Soapbox: Sympathising With Severus – Why All Harry Potter Fans Should Have A Soft Spot For Snape

Snape_Alan-Rickman
Admittedly, beneath his prickly exterior is an equally prickly interior…

Harry Potter author JK Rowling recently kicked-off the kind of fierce debate only the internet can facilitate, when – as part of her tradition of apologising for the death of character killed during the Battle of Hogwarts – she tweeted that she was sorry for killing off Professor Severus Snape.

Despite Rowling’s pleas for fans not to argue over the tweet (which was about as ambitious as a Muggle trying to cast a spell, really), battle lines were drawn almost immediately.

On one side were those Potterheads who have forgiven the notoriously unpleasant Potions Master thanks to his posthumously revealed acts of heroism, and on the other were those who still can’t look past what a jerk he was to Harry and his classmates.

To be honest, I’ve never really understood why the issue of Snape’s redemption always seems to become such a talking point, let alone such a huge bone of contention. To me, not only is Snape one of the most fascinating characters in the Harry Potter series, he’s also – glaring personality flaws included – one of the most heroic.

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Soapbox: Sympathising With Severus – Why All Harry Potter Fans Should Have A Soft Spot For Snape

Live From The Pop Culture Studio: Everything You Need To Know About American Gods

Wednesday-Shadow
Mr. Wednesday and Shadow both regretted the decision to fly coach

American Gods – Starz latest big budget TV series – arrives on our screens this weekend.

While fans of the Neil Gaiman novel on which the series is based will already be up to speed with what to expect, others might be a little less certain.

Never fear though – this month’s Live From The Pop Culture Studio video covers everything newcomers need to know about American Gods!

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Video

Soapbox: Egg-ceptional Easter Options – The Five Greatest Eggs in Pop Culture

Rise-of-the-Guardians_Easter-Bunny
Sorry, Bunnymund – your eggs didn’t make the cut

It’s Easter this weekend, which means that most of us will have eggs on the brain.

Whilst the average punter will probably be hoping for conventional chocolate eggs in their Easter bonnet on Sunday morning, fans of film, TV, books and comics could be forgiven for having their sights set on slightly more…fantastical fare.

With this in mind, I’ve pulled together a list of the five greatest eggs across all of pop culture, to help fuel these (inevitably unfulfilled) Easter-related desires!

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Soapbox: Egg-ceptional Easter Options – The Five Greatest Eggs in Pop Culture

Soapbox: 10 Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Quotes To Live By

The-Fellowship-of-the-Ring
Bonus Quote: “And my axe” should always be how you offer to join a band

It’s hard to believe it, but The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring turns 15 this month.

To celebrate the anniversary of the first film in Peter Jackson’s smash-hit adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s classic trilogy of novels, here’s a rundown of 10 Fellowship of the Ring quotes fans can (and do) live their lives by.

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Soapbox: 10 Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Quotes To Live By

Live from The Pop Culture Studio: Dumbledore, Grindelwald and the Fantastic Beasts sequel

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will have four sequels come the rumours that Professor Dumbledore and the dark wizard Grindelwald will star in them.

So who is Grindelwald? What’s his relationship with Dumbledore? And what does it mean for the Fantastic Beasts sequels?

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Live from The Pop Culture Studio: Dumbledore, Grindelwald and the Fantastic Beasts sequel

Soapbox: What’s in a name? 10 big screen adaptations that changed the original title

DieHard
How exactly does one “die hard”, anyway?

Whenever a novel, comic book, video game or even theme park ride is made into a movie, invariably, changes are made in an effort to make it work better for cinema-going audiences.

Whilst most critics and fans tend to focus on the alterations made to plot, characters and themes when a pre-existing work is reimagined for the movies, it’s worth noting that the original titles of these stories also tend to fall by the wayside during this process too.

Titles might not seem important in the grand scheme of things, but they really are.

Not only do they pique our initial interest in a story and help form our decision whether or not to check it out, but they can also provide additional commentary around the work and its themes, creating a complete storytelling package.

Sometimes, titles are changed for the better – either because the original handle would be a hard sell, or was even just plain awful – but other times, the results are less successful.

Here, I’ve rounded up 10 examples of big screen adaptations that ditched the title of their source material, giving my verdict on which of these rechristenings work (and which most definitely don’t)!

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Soapbox: What’s in a name? 10 big screen adaptations that changed the original title

Anatomy Lesson: “La Mer”

TinkerTailorSoldierSpy_Smiley
For a guy named “Smiley”, he sure does frown a lot…

I love James Bond. Seriously, the 007 franchise is an absolute favourite of mine.

Heck, I’m a sucker for spy movies in general – from the Bourne series through to Mission: Impossible flicks all the way down to The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Yet even as I’m drawn to these films for their escapist thrills, there are times when I hanker for something a bit more “real”.

I’m talking about espionage yarns less about shooting up the bad guys and bedding gorgeous women, and more about the less glamorous legwork and moral quandaries that plague the secret agent trade as it exists in our world.

Fortunately, there are more than few films out there that cater to those with similar hankerings to get their fill.

One of the very best is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of the classic John le Carré novel – released in cinemas five years ago this month – the closing montage of which serves as the basis for this latest Anatomy Lesson feature.

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Anatomy Lesson: “La Mer”