The prevailing wisdom among movie fans is that a big-screen blockbuster lives or dies based off the quality of its main villain. It’s not hard to see why – after all, if the baddie in question isn’t a memorable or credible threat, watching our heroes triumph over them isn’t particularly satisfying.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course. With the exception of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, the rogues gallery of the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe have largely proven a disappointing bunch. But even so, the marketing machines behind virtually every blockbuster film – including those released by Marvel Studios – put a significant amount of effort into generating pre-release excitement around the supposed awesomeness of their villains.
Sometimes, these big bads really do live up to the promotional buzz. Brilliantly twisted creations like Heath Ledger’s Joker have since gone on to become iconic examples of what a cinematic antagonist should be, far exceeding audience expectations along the way. But more often than not, the hoopla surrounding these nefarious characters turns out to be grossly exaggerated.
Check out our list of 15Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype.
If you’re a long-time reader of The Pop Culture Studio, you probably noticed that I didn’t review The Last Jedi, unlike the other recent instalments in the Star Wars saga.There’s a reason for this: my initial reaction to Rian Johnson’s film was negative – really negative.
And despite the tone of some of my recent “work for hire” posts, being negative isn’t what The Studio is about. On the contrary, this site is supposed to be about being constructive – even when it comes to movies, TV shows or comics that I don’t like – and I genuinely wasn’t sure that I could do that when it came to The Last Jedi, that’s how unimpressed I was.
However, in the weeks since the movie was released, I’ve subsequently reconsidered my opinion of it – or looked at it from a different point of view, as Obi-Wan Kenobi might have put it – and I’ve come to the realisation that I do like it after all.
Don’t get me wrong: I still have issues with the film – major issues, in fact. But ultimately, I’ve decided that these imperfections are insignificant compared to The Last Jedi’s many good points, and what the film means for the future of the franchise and its fans.
Within the Star Warsuniverse, the Jedi Knights and Sith Lords are renowned thanks to the awesome powers granted to them by their mastery of the Force. With the Force as their ally, a fully trained member of either order can move faster, jump higher, and just generally fight better than a non-Force sensitive individual. They also boast a myriad of even more fantastical abilities, ranging from telekinesis to precognition and other extrasensory gifts.
As such, both Jedi and Sith combatants are theoretically unstoppable – except when they forget how to use their powers! If that sounds unlikely (or even a little silly), it shouldn’t. Over the course of all the Star Wars films released to date, numerous servants of the light and dark sides of the Force – including several very prominent ones – have lost because they neglected to effectively use the amazing abilities at their disposal.
There’s a real-world reason for this, of course: it’s just not that exciting to watch unbeatable characters, so the filmmakers occasionally resort to afflicting Force users with temporary amnesia. But let’s be honest – half the time, audiences are so enthralled by these adventures in a galaxy far, far away, they don’t even notice.
Here are 15 Times The Jedi And Sith Forgot How To Use Their Powers.
When The Matrixarrived in cinemas back in 1999, it blew audiences away with its unique blend of martial arts spectacle, high-brow philosophizing, and dazzling visual effects. Indeed, the film influenced the action genre for years to come, with subsequent filmmakers trying (and failing) to emulate the Hong Kong cinema/Japanese anime vibe of its stylized fight choreography.
Admittedly, series creators The Wachowskis themselves struggled to deliver a satisfying follow-up to their initial outing, with both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions receiving a tepid response from viewers and critics alike. Nonetheless, the story of digital messiah Neo and fellow freedom fighters Trinity and Morpheus remains popular with fans who still admire the franchise’s pioneering “bullet time” aesthetic and rich, underlying subtext.
Yet even The Matrix’s devoted followers – those who consider the first Matrix a masterpiece and its sequels underrated gems – probably realize that there’s plenty wrong with all three flicks. That’s right, even the original movie has quite a few things that either don’t quite stack up or flat-out make no sense. So what doesn’t add up?
Here are 15 Things Wrong With The Matrix Trilogy We All Choose To Ignore.
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!
So much has already been said about Blade Runner 2049 – director Denis Villeneuve’s follow up to Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult sci-fi classic – that it’s hard to know where to begin.
The film – which, like its predecessor, draws upon Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep – has received near universal acclaim from critics, which is nothing short of remarkable for a sequel weighed down by 35 years worth of expectations!
But amid reports of underwhelming box office returns, casual moviegoers might be left wondering if Blade Runner 2049 lives up the massive amount of hype cinema buffs have built up around it.
The honest answer is no, probably not. However if Villeneuve’s film isn’t quite the masterpiece it’s being hailed as, it’s always good and often brilliant, and most importantly, serves as a worthy continuation of the Blade Runner story.
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!