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: 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

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)!

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

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

Soapbox: So what’s in a MacGuffin?

TheMalteseFalcon
All that fuss over a statue! Of a bird!
Whether you’re an aspiring movie buff or simply someone who spends their time around a lot of film geeks, chances are you’ve heard the word “MacGuffin” used in conversation more than once.

It’s the type of cinematic term that more ardent fans tend to assume everyone else is familiar with, and thus its meaning often goes unexplained.

So just what exactly is a MacGuffin? And why does it keep cropping up when people talk movies?

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Soapbox: So what’s in a MacGuffin?

Soapbox: Pop culture over-analysis – Are we destroying what we love?

Carl Denham_King Kong
The face of a murderer (sorta)

The Multiversity, the most recent experiment by writer Grant Morrison to push the boundaries of mainstream superhero comic books, features a variety of memorable moments that cover the entire spectrum of human emotion.

Of these, quite possibly the most (in)famous occurs in the fourth issue “Pax Americana”. Here, Morrison and artist extraordinnaire Frank Quitely show the increasingly detached Captain Atom use his otherworldly powers to dissect his pet dog in an attempt to locate the source of his affection for the poor animal.

Continue reading “Soapbox: Pop culture over-analysis – Are we destroying what we love?”

Soapbox: Pop culture over-analysis – Are we destroying what we love?

Pop Culture By The Numbers: The Lord of the Rings

Pop Culture By The Numbers_The Lord of the Rings_excerpt
And how many talking trees did A Tale of Two Cities have?

I like to think that all of the different types of feature included on The Pop Culture Studio serve a specific purpose. Some, like the reviews or The Anatomy Lessons, are meant to offer up unique insight into the books, films and comics we love.

Others, like Soapbox or Crystal Ball, are intended to provide commentary on topics new and old that pop culture fans will hopefully find interesting.

But sometimes,  all I really want to do is entertain you, so with this in mind, I’ve decided to launch a new feature, Pop Culture By the Numbers.  Read on and you’ll be treated to the first infographic in the series, which looks at some of the amazing statistics behind The Lord of the Rings media franchise.

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Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Martin Freeman looks as shocked as anyone by Bilbo’s reduced screentime

So here we are at last: the final installment in Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth series, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. At this point, it seems pointless to dredge up the old debate over the merits of turning J.R.R. Tolkien’s slim, whimsical fairytale into a blockbuster trilogy; to be honest, whilst I think the naysayers have a point, I’ve mostly enjoyed the ride so far, and overall I’m fairly happy with the three new films we ended up with.

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Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies