Crystal Ball: The Upside Of The Dark Side – Why The Last Jedi Trailer Should Leave You Feeling Upbeat

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Don’t let the frowny faces fool you: there’s a LOT to be positive about when it comes to The Last Jedi trailer!

By now, we’ve all had time to digest the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (unless you’re one of the strong-willed souls who resisted the urge to watch it!). General consensus among fans and critics seems to be that – adorable porgs aside – Episode VIII of cinema’s greatest sci-fi/fantasy saga looks like a far darker outing than its predecessor, The Force Awakens.

After all, this most recent look at the film provided new glimpses of a grumpy, grizzled version of Luke Skywalker, good guys the Resistance on the run, and Jedi-in-training Rey being tortured by big bad Supreme Leader Snoke – at last taking a break from his giant hologram Wizard Of Oz-schtick. Heck, there’s even the suggestion that a bit of matricide might be on the cards, with tormented wannabe Darth Vader Kylo Ren seemingly poised to murder his mother, the former Princess Leia!

Ratcheting up the gloom factor has only served to further fuel comparisons between The Last Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back – the latter of which is widely considered not only the best Star Wars episode of all time, but a perfect example of the “darker sequel” done right. And whilst it’s hard not to see tonal similarities between these two sombre films – just as it was impossible not to draw parallels between The Force Awakens and series opener A New Hope – the trailer has left me feeling surprisingly upbeat.

That’s because – despite its surface-level imitation of The Empire Strikes Back – this tantalising peek at The Last Jedi seems to have rewarded the faith of fans like me who hoped that incoming director Rian Johnson would finally taking the franchise in a fresh new direction. “This is not going to go the way you think,” promises Luke at one point – and thank the Force for that!

Continue reading “Crystal Ball: The Upside Of The Dark Side – Why The Last Jedi Trailer Should Leave You Feeling Upbeat”

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Crystal Ball: The Upside Of The Dark Side – Why The Last Jedi Trailer Should Leave You Feeling Upbeat

Soapbox: 20 Confusing Movie Endings (And What Happened Next) Explained

The-Matrix-Revolutions
Not even these guys knew what they were fighting about by the end…

If you’re a movie fan – and we’re guessing you are, given you’ve visited Screen Rant – you’ve come across your fair share of confusing endings. While some films are downright baffling from start to finish, in a lot of cases, things only start to take an unexpected (and often inexplicable) turn during the closing moments.

Sometimes, we can tease out the meaning behind a finale with bit of extra thought (not to mention a cheeky repeated viewing or two). But just as often, even after considerable mental effort and umpteen re-watchings, viewers can still be left scratching their heads.

This can be further aggravated in instances where films end on an ambiguous, open-ended note. Here, the director deliberately refuses to serve up an easy answer to audiences, leaving us to wonder not only how the story ended, but inviting us to speculate over what happened next.

Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of the Internet age, we have a jaw-dropping wealth of information at our finger tips – whether it’s actual commentary by the filmmakers or well-researched theories by fans and critics.

As such, we’ve mined this online knowledge bank to create this list, which covers 20 Insanely Confusing Movie Endings (And What Happened Next) – try to keep up!

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

Soapbox: 20 Confusing Movie Endings (And What Happened Next) Explained

Soapbox: 6 Amazing Movie Scenes That Almost Never Happened

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It’s fair to say that this article took a bit of Indiana Jones-style archaelogy!

As even the most casual movie fan could tell you, virtually every frame of a film – even a bad film – takes months of planning and creative development.

Having said that, it’s quite startling just how many memorable movie scenes were either a last minute addition, or were very nearly left on the editing room floor!

From pre-production re-thinks to post-production re-shoots, you wouldn’t believe how many iconic cinematic moments came this close to not winding up on the screen.

With this in mind, here’s a round-up of six amazing movie scenes that almost never happened!

Continue reading “Soapbox: 6 Amazing Movie Scenes That Almost Never Happened”

Soapbox: 6 Amazing Movie Scenes That Almost Never Happened

Soapbox: 10 Incredible Movie Cliffhangers (And 5 That Are Absolutely TERRIBLE)

The-Empire-Strikes-Back
“Bring Your Kid To Work Day” had taken a real turn for the worst…

Cliffhanger endings have been keeping movie audiences on the edge of their seats since virtually the dawn of cinema. Not to be confused with stand alone films containing ambiguous, “open” endings, this storytelling device sees films draw to a close without a true resolution, but rather with the promise of more events to come.

First popularized in serials of the 1920s and 1930s – famous for the “To be continued” text that rounded each instalment – cliffhangers have long proven divisive among cinemagoers. After all, by their nature, cliffhanger endings typically prevent a film from having a truly satisfying conclusion.

How can they, when they’re designed to build anticipation for a follow-up movie containing the story’s actual finale? Even so, when done well, cliffhangers can be a thrilling way to wrap up a film, dramatically raising the stakes even as they surprise viewers with shocking revelations and happenings.

Of course, when they go wrong, cliffhangers can add an extra note of frustration to an already vexing theatrical outing – especially when they tease a sequel that never materializes!

As cinema history is filled to the brim with famous – and infamous! – cliffhanger endings, we’ve pulled together this list of 10 Amazing Movie Cliffhangers (And 5 That Are Terrible) for your reading pleasure.

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

Soapbox: 10 Incredible Movie Cliffhangers (And 5 That Are Absolutely TERRIBLE)

Live From The Pop Culture Studio: Is Cobb Awake At The End Of Inception?

Inception_Cobb
Never before has a simple children’s toy caused so much speculation!

There’s been a lot of buzz lately around Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Dunkirk, which opened last month. As stunning as Nolan’s war epic is, recently, I’ve actually found myself more preoccupied with one of the director’s earlier classics, dream-heist caper, Inception.

Specifically, I’ve been fixated on one question: at the end of the film, is Cobb awake or not? It’s a question that cinephiles have debated constantly since Inception was released way back in 2010 – and in this month’s Live From The Pop Culture Studio, we’re going to answer it!

Continue reading “Live From The Pop Culture Studio: Is Cobb Awake At The End Of Inception?”

Live From The Pop Culture Studio: Is Cobb Awake At The End Of Inception?

Soapbox: Star Wars – 15 Deleted Scenes That Should Never Have Been Cut

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Fortunately, everything the filmmakers left in was pretty good, too

Every great movie franchise – from James Bond to Harry Potter – has its fair share of amazing deleted scenes, and Star Wars is no different. Ever since the first film was released way back in 1977, awesome footage of our favorite galaxy far, far away has ended up on the cutting room floor!

Of course, the filmmakers almost always had very good reasons for trimming these moments from their respective Star Wars episodes. More often than not, the rationale behind these cuts was two-fold – to improve the plot’s pacing, as well as to streamline the narrative.

Whilst we can all agree that a briskly-paced, tightly-focused Star Wars movie is ideal, there’s a few instances where it seems that the editor’s scissors were used a bit too judiciously. The end result is scenes being omitted that should arguably have been left in the final cut.

Over the years, Lucasfilm has shared a hefty chunk of these rejected sequences, leading fans to speculate over whether or not they deserved to wind up on the trash heap.

With this in mind, we’ve sifted through all the available unused Star Wars footage, in order to pull together this list of 15 Star Wars Deleted Scenes That Should Have Been Included in the finished films!

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

Soapbox: Star Wars – 15 Deleted Scenes That Should Never Have Been Cut

Soapbox: 20 Movie Cameos You Completely Missed

Daniel-Craig_The-Force-Awakens
It was Bond’s most outlandish disguise yet…

Most movie cameos are easy to spot – indeed, a lot of the time, noticing these brief appearances by big names in the industry is entirely the point! But sometimes, these “mega star, minor moment” instances can fly completely under the radar.

When this happens, it’s almost always on purpose. The typical rationale for sneaking a recognizable face into a film is that the filmmakers want to do a favor for one of their high profile friends – and c’mon, who doesn’t want to be in a flick like Star Wars? – without distracting the audience.

Other times, it’s a case of those involved looking to have a bit of good-natured fun and hoodwinking the audience by hiding a major celebrity in plain sight.

Whatever the reason, spotting these often ultra-brief walk-ons by some of the biggest names in the entertainment world can be a surprisingly rewarding feeling – consider it the movie geek version of bird watching.

It also means that you’ll likely never watch certain scenes in quite the same way, knowing that guy or gal you thought was only an extra is actually a Hollywood A-lister in disguise.

So in order to totally rock your world – or at the very least, encourage you to revisit a lot of great films – we’ve compiled this list of 20 Movie Cameos You Completely Missed. Happy hunting!

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

Soapbox: 20 Movie Cameos You Completely Missed