Soapbox: Mortal Kombat – Every Ninja Ranked From Worst To Best

Let’s be honest: the question isn’t “Who got the top two spots?” but rather “In what order?”

Ninjas have been a mainstay of the Mortal Kombat universe ever since the introduction of iconic characters Sub-Zero and Scorpion in the first game in the series. From these humble beginnings, the number of ostensibly stealthy – yet inexplicably brightly-attired – warriors taking part in the franchise’s various tournaments has ballooned dramatically.

At first, the rationale for the rapid increase in ninjas featured in Mortal Kombat was purely a technical concern. Thanks to the limited amount of memory space available on video game cartridges (remember those?), the easiest way to add more fighters was to swap the colour palette of a masked character.

But even as technological advancements rendered storage space effectively a non-issue, the ninja aesthetic had become so ingrained in the Mortal Kombat mythology that more continued to be added. After all, who doesn’t love ninjas?

As you’d expect with this many shadowy assassins all populating the same fictional world, some stand out more than others – and the cream of the Mortal Kombat ninja crop all boast the best fighting moves, most gruesome finishing moves, coolest visuals and deepest backstories.

In a tip of the hat to Mortal Kombat’s spirit of (brutal) competition, here is Every Mortal Kombat Ninja Ranked From Best To Worst.

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

Soapbox: Mortal Kombat – Every Ninja Ranked From Worst To Best

Review: IT: Chapter One

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”

Review: IT: Chapter One

Soapbox: 20 Movie Cameos You Completely Missed

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

Soapbox: Death wears a smile – Why do we find clowns so creepy?

I think this picture says it all, really…

OK, I’ll admit it: I’m afraid of clowns.

It’s not that I have full-blown coulrophobia or anything – your average, garden-variety jokester doesn’t bother me one bit – but the evil clown archetype really does unsettle me, which has always proven a bit of a problem, given how much of a pop culture staple it has become.

The recent global phenomenon of creepy clown sightings has only compounded my woes, so on the eve of the Halloween weekend – when I’m almost certain to come face-to-grease painted face with one of these monsters – I’ve decided to confront my fears and try to figure out just why it is that these characters designed to amuse children are able to chill the blood of fully grown adults.

Continue reading “Soapbox: Death wears a smile – Why do we find clowns so creepy?”

Soapbox: Death wears a smile – Why do we find clowns so creepy?

Live From The Pop Culture Studio: Everything you need to know about the Dark Tower

In a recent Soapbox article on The Dark Tower, I promised I would do a spoiler-free follow up post for fans new to the series, and with the release of this month’s Live From The Pop Culture Studio video, I’ve kept that promise.

As you’d expect from the title, “Everything You Need to Know About The Dark Tower” features all the information you need to know about Stephen King’s epic novels, in the lead up to the 2017 big screen adaptation starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, without spoiling any of the surprises contained in either the books or film.

Continue reading “Live From The Pop Culture Studio: Everything you need to know about the Dark Tower”


Crystal Ball: Looking into the Wizard’s Glass – What to expect from The Dark Tower movie

Roland’s quest would have ended far sooner, had he bothered to look right

After years of false starts and near-misses, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series is finally making the leap to the big screen in February 2017.

With Idris Elba strapping on the sandalwood-gripped revolvers of gunslinger Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey set to don the cloak of the sinister Man in Black, fans are clamouring to find out what else from King’s magnum opus will make it onto the silver screen.

Fortunately, thanks to an Entertainment Weekly interview with King and director Nikolaj Arcel – not to mention a breakdown of a previous draft of the script over on Ain’t It Cool News – we can now make at least five predictions regarding what lies in store for Roland and his ka-tet next year.

(In case it wasn’t clear already, this article has been written with those who have already read The Dark Tower novels in mind; if you haven’t read the books and want to go into the movie unspoiled, you should probably wait for next month’s spoiler free Live From The Pop Culture Studio Dark Tower primer episode scheduled to land next month).

Continue reading “Crystal Ball: Looking into the Wizard’s Glass – What to expect from The Dark Tower movie”

Crystal Ball: Looking into the Wizard’s Glass – What to expect from The Dark Tower movie

Review: The Babadook

It’s a scary book, sure – but is it any worse than Grimm’s fairytales?

I have a love/hate relationship with horror movies.

On the one hand, I find a well-told spooky story captivating (I own a small library of Stephen King novels), but on the other, I’m also a bit of a chicken when it comes to things that go bump in the night.

Still, it’s Halloween and I feel it’s my obligation to post an article on supernaturally-inclined pop culture – so with that in mind, let’s take a look back at one of the best horror films in recent years, 2014’s The Babadook.

Continue reading “Review: The Babadook”

Review: The Babadook