Review: IT: Chapter One

It-2017
Seriously: Clowns really are the worst

It’s no secret that clowns creep me out. It’s also a well-established fact that I’m a pretty huge fan of the works of Stephen King – despite being a total scaredy cat when it comes to horror!

So it’s fair to say that It: Chapter Onedirector Andy Muschietti’s big screen adaptation of King’s seminal novel about a demonic clown who preys on children – presented something of a challenge for me.

On the one hand, I’ve been terrified of It – otherwise known as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” – since I first encountered the 1990 TV adaptation of the book at the too-young age of six.

And yet on the other hand, not only is the book is a favourite of mine, but the remake has also received largely glowing reviews and is currently raking in some serious cash at the box office.

What to do, what to do?

In the end, my curiosity outweighed my fear. I plucked up my courage and went to see It, entering the theatre with a level of trepidation matched only by my high expectations for the film.

I’m happy to report that not only did I survive the screening, but my expectations were also largely met – although interestingly, It is strongest when it plays as a “coming of age” story, and far weaker when it tries to be an actual horror film.

Continue reading “Review: IT: Chapter One”

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Review: IT: Chapter One

Soapbox: Harry Potter –15 Things You Never Knew About The Sorting Hat

Neville-Voldemort-header
Neville may have a cracked noggin, but at least he has a nose!

The Sorting Hat is one of the most well-known and important magical objects in the Harry Potter franchise.

Created by the four founders of Hogwarts, this enchanted headwear has been allocating novice witches and wizards to school houses GryffindorRavenclawHufflepuff, and Slytherin for centuries.

What this essentially means is that – despite being a tatty old cap designed to handle a matter of school administration – the Sorting Hat has (at least partly) decided the destiny of the wizarding world for generations!

Indeed, despite its ragged appearance and seemingly limited (if vital) purpose, the Hat actually boasts a rich history full of surprises.

Some of its secrets – such as its ability to summon the Sword of Gryffindor – have long since become common knowledge to even casual fans of the Harry Potter books and films.

But just as many fascinating tidbits related to the Hat – including those surrounding its origins and abilities – remain a mystery to less ardent Potterheads.

We’ve sifted through all the available information – including books, films, interviews, plays and web content! – about the Hat, in search of the most interesting trivia.

Here, we present the fruits of these labors: a list of 15 Things You Never Knew About The Sorting Hat.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: Harry Potter –15 Things You Never Knew About The Sorting Hat

Soapbox: More Than Just “The Rest” – Learning To Embrace Your Inner Hufflepuff

Cedric_Diggory
I mean the guy from Twilight was a Hufflepuff – they’ve gotta have something going for them!

Ask any Harry Potter fan which Hogwarts house they think they’d belong to, and there’s a pretty good chance that their response will be “Gryffindor”.

This is hardly a surprise. After all, not only is it the house that Harry – along with Ron, Hermione and most of the other major supporting characters – was sorted into, but it’s also the house “where dwell the brave at heart”.

Toss in Gryffindor’s reputation for good-natured mischief, and you’re pretty much looking at the coolest student fraternity ever, magical or otherwise.

But whilst Gryffindor is undeniably awesome, the adoration that is lavished upon it by so many fans often comes at the expense of discounting the positive qualities of other houses – most notably Huffepuff.

The Sorting Hat – that magical headgear responsible for deciding which students are placed where – even claims that house founder Helga Hufflepuff “took the rest” when selecting her charges, and that’s a view that seems shared by the general fandom.

However, this is selling short everyone who has ever worn a black-and-yellow scarf – including Newt Scamander, Cedric Diggory and Tonks – many of whom have proven themselves highly talented witches and wizards.

Here, I’m going to take a look at why we can’t all be Gryffindors, why there’s nothing wrong with being a Hufflepuff, and why we need to accept (and embrace) that we all possess traits representative of every house.

Continue reading “Soapbox: More Than Just “The Rest” – Learning To Embrace Your Inner Hufflepuff”

Soapbox: More Than Just “The Rest” – Learning To Embrace Your Inner Hufflepuff

Soapbox: Game Of Thrones – 15 Worst Decisions Jon Snow Has Ever Made

Jon-Snow
In his defense, at least one of these decisions has since proven to be a good one!

The world of Game of Thrones has very few true heroes, but of the possible contenders, Jon Snow surely comes closest to fitting the bill.

The bastard of Winterfell – who is probably neither a Stark nor a bastard! – certainly possesses several traditional heroic traits. Jon is a brave and capable warrior, a loyal and compassionate friend and ally, and self-sacrificing.

Valiant or not, Jon doesn’t exactly have the greatest track record when it comes to decision-making. While his former flame Ygritte may have been overstating things when she said “You know nothing, Jon Snow”, it is fair to say that our guy doesn’t exactly have a great grasp of cause and effect.

Admittedly, many of the choices Jon has made were a case of making the best of a terrible situation outside his control. Others represent instances where the King in the North was prepared to accept negative consequences in the short term and banking on this paying dividends in the long term.

On the other hand, on more than a few occasions, the thought processes of the former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch have been borderline bonkers, even resulting in his (quickly reversed) death!

With all of this in mind, here’s a round-up of the 15 Worst Decisions Jon Snow Has Made over the past 7 seasons of Game of Thrones!

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: Game Of Thrones – 15 Worst Decisions Jon Snow Has Ever Made

Soapbox: Lord Of The Rings – 15 Things You Never Knew About Middle-Earth

Middle-Earth Map
Otherwise known as “the mythical kingdom of New Zealand”…

From the moment J.R.R. Tolkien first introduced readers to Middle-earth with The Hobbit, fans have been blown away by the scope of his fantasy world. With its detailed history, constructed languages and well-established geography, Middle-earth is arguably the most fully-realized imaginary environment in all of literature.

Indeed, the unmatched immersive quality of Tolkien’s life’s work has had such a profound effect on the genre that it’s spawned countless imitators over the years. Although some of these – like A Song of Ice and Fire – have made a worthwhile attempt at capturing a similar sense of reality to the one Tolkien was able to infuse into his own magical realm, none have so far surpassed the bar set by Middle-earth.

In recent years, more people than ever have become familiar with Tolkien’s world of Hobbits, Wizards and Orcs, thanks to the huge success of Peter Jackson’s blockbuster film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, more casual fans – particularly those who haven’t read Tolkien’s wider body of work – probably don’t know as much about Middle-earth as they might think.

That’s why we’ve pulled together this list highlighting 15 Things You Never Knew About Middle-Earth, in order to bring you fully up to speed on the greatest place that never was!

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: Lord Of The Rings – 15 Things You Never Knew About Middle-Earth

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.

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

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!

Continue reading “Live From The Pop Culture Studio: Everything You Need To Know About American Gods”

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