Soapbox: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Batman Returns

Batman-Returns
Hey kids! Remember when Batman couldn’t turn his head?

Believe it or not, Batman Returns has been out for 25 years. Tim Burton’s follow-up to his original Batman film pitted Michael Keaton’s Dark Knight against the dastardly schemes of the Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), and was the third highest grossing film of 1992.

Whereas Burton toned down his distinctive style somewhat the first time around, Batman Returns represents the director well and truly cutting loose. The end result is a movie that’s even more visually impressive than its predecessor, and a story that’s darker and quirkier than any Batman adventure to date. It received mostly positive reviews from critics, however Burton’s approach to the source material divided fans (a debate which still rages even now on online message boards!).

Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, Batman Returns is an undeniably iconic piece of cinema, and its journey to the big screen (and what followed after) is a fascinating one.

Indeed, there’s plenty of interesting factoids surrounding the film’s production – ranging from outlandish early scripts through to crazy planned spin-offs. Of these, we’ve boiled it down to only the very best trivia, and present for your enjoyment 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Batman Returns.

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

Soapbox: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Batman Returns

Soapbox: 15 Weakest Force Users In The Star Wars Universe

Star-Wars-Rebels_Ezra
Full disclosure: Ezra is easily the most recognisable character on this list…

Within the Star Wars universe, the Jedi and Sith are renowned for the fantastic abilities granted to them by mystical energies of the Force. This level of reverence is so great, that virtually anyone with Force powers is treated with outrageous amounts of awe by those without, as if all Force sensitive beings were capable of the same legendary feats. The actual reality is that, while many Jedi Knights and Sith Lords are indeed breathtakingly powerful, as with any profession, there are also plenty who are actually pretty mediocre – in some cases, almost embarrassingly so.

Yes, you get heavy hitters like Master Yoda who can lift entire X-Wings off the ground with only their mind, but there are also quite a few also-rans who are barely able to levitate a pebble, so weak is their connection to the Force. As these less capable guys and gals rarely take centre stage in your typical adventure set in a galaxy far, far away (and rightly so), many of them tend to go unnoticed by your casual fan – but no more!

Read on as we comb through the entire Star Wars canon – as well as the non-canon pre-Disney era expanded universe (the stories from which are now labelled “Legends”) – in order to shine a spotlight on the 15 Weakest Force Users In The Star Wars Universe.

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

Soapbox: 15 Weakest Force Users In The Star Wars Universe

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

Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Vol-2_Poster
This flick has roughly 989 million more colours than the average modern blockbuster movie…

A lot has been written about what a surprise hit Guardians of the Galaxy was when it landed back in 2014, but it bears repeating: Marvel Studios really did accomplish the unthinkable in making a big budget film about an obscure superhero team – which including talking raccoons and trees, no less! – into one of the most critically and commercially successful blockbusters of that year.

Fast forward three years and the inevitable follow-up, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, has finally arrived to considerable anticipation. In promoting the film, returning director James Gunn promised fans something different, but in reality, this second go-round doesn’t really diverge too much from the formula laid down by its predecessor.

But then, when that formula produces such fun end results, does anyone really care if Vol.2 simply offers more of the same?

Continue reading “Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2”

Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Crystal Ball: Visions Of The Force – The Five Biggest Things We Learned From The Star Wars: The Last Jedi Teaser

So the plan this month really wasn’t to feature TWO Star Wars posts (let alone two virtually back to back).

But, as I lack Jedi clairvoyance, I wasn’t able to foresee the arrival of the Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi teaser trailer earlier this week, and thus realise that my intended next post would soon be headed the way of the Death Star.

Still, what you lose in variety, we all gain in excitement – because The Last Jedi teaser is exciting. VERY exciting.

This first sneak peek at director Rian Johnson’s new adventure offers fleeting, tantalising glimpses of Leia, Finn, the Millennium Falcon and at least one breathtakingly epic space battle, all of which are enough to give fans genuine goosebumps of anticipation.

Even so, these brief moments – whilst undeniably cool – are virtually nothing compared to what else is on show, which is why I’ve pulled together this rundown of the biggest talking points across the galaxy (or at least, the internet) surrounding the teaser, and what they might mean when The Last Jedi hits cinemas this December!

Continue reading “Crystal Ball: Visions Of The Force – The Five Biggest Things We Learned From The Star Wars: The Last Jedi Teaser”

Crystal Ball: Visions Of The Force – The Five Biggest Things We Learned From The Star Wars: The Last Jedi Teaser

Soapbox: Logan reminds us that great stories are more important than continuity

Logan
Logan doesn’t care about much, and that includes continuity

By now, we’ve all had a chance to see Logan, and it’s safe to say that for most fans and critics, the film serves as a great send-off for Hugh Jackman as he hangs up his claws after over decade and a half in the role.

There are several reasons for Logan’s success – including its smaller, more relatable scale and tighter focus on a small cast of characters – but without doubt a key reason why this Wolverine swansong soars is because it stands largely apart from the wider X-Men franchise.

Sure, it has links to earlier films in the series, but it also tends to gloss over (or even flat-out ignore) any aspects of the established canon that don’t fit with the story director James Mangold wants to tell, and in doing so, it reminds us that when it comes to storytelling versus continuity, the former is always more important than the latter.

Continue reading “Soapbox: Logan reminds us that great stories are more important than continuity”

Soapbox: Logan reminds us that great stories are more important than continuity

Soapbox: Duets, Card Games And Turning Back Time – The Top 10 Big Screen Romantic Moments

SayAnything
This would have looked soooo much less impressive if he’d used an iPhone…

Romance is a tricky thing to get right, not just in real life, but in the movies, too.

As in real life, when it comes to romantic moments on film – whether it’s a sweeping gesture, an emotional speech or something in-between – those that truly stand-out do so because of the genuine connection we as an audience feel between the loved-up couple on screen.

With that in mind – and in honour of Valentine’s Day today – the following list provides a rundown of the 10 big screen romantic moments where just such a connection takes place, and which are guaranteed to set your heart aflutter!

Continue reading “Soapbox: Duets, Card Games And Turning Back Time – The Top 10 Big Screen Romantic Moments”

Soapbox: Duets, Card Games And Turning Back Time – The Top 10 Big Screen Romantic Moments