Soapbox: 10 Last-Minute Changes That Saved Movies (And 6 That Ruined Them)

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Who’d have guessed both of these characters doing less fighting would be a good thing?

It takes years of planning to make a typical Hollywood film – and this can even stretch to decades, particularly where big budget blockbusters are concerned. As you’d expect, an incredible amount of decision-making is involved along the way, all to ensure that the best possible story ultimately finds its way into cinemas.

Amazingly, though, it’s often the last-minute changes made by filmmakers that determine whether a movie is a massive success or a bitter disappointment. Sometimes, these edits are made after the director has a “Eureka!” moment, realizing just in time what elements need to be amended for the final cut to truly soar.

In other cases, the circumstances are motivated less by artistic considerations and more by the commercial bottom line. Here, the studio financing the production will mandate alterations intended to maximize box office revenue – often based on feedback from test screenings.

Regardless of the rationale behind these edits, what makes them remarkable is just how late they’re implemented. Seriously: we were only weeks away from seeing very different versions of some of the most popular films of all time!

With this in mind, here are 10 Last-Minute Changes That Saved Movies (And 6 That Ruined Them).

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

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Soapbox: 10 Last-Minute Changes That Saved Movies (And 6 That Ruined Them)

Soapbox: 8 Movie Theories That Are Actually True (And 8 That Definitely Aren’t)

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Unfortunately, there’s no crazy theory that links Frozen to James Bond…yet

For almost as long as there have been movies, there have been crazy fan theories to go along with them. The internet has only given rise to this phenomenon, with a seemingly endless stream of out-there hypotheses cropping up that claim to put a whole new spin on new and classic films.

Some of these theories are taken very seriously by their proponents. These viewers genuinely believe that – by picking up subtle clues missed by the wider audience – they have unearthed hidden storytelling elements hidden by the filmmakers.

Conversely, other lines of conjecture were only ever intended in jest. These theories are designed simply to entertain, and those involved don’t really believe they hold any factual merit. Sometimes, it’s just plain fun to dream up hilarious alternate readings of blockbusters and innocent family outings.

Regardless of whether they are intended to be earnestly informative or side-splitting, these outlandish theories are typically dismissed by film critics, cinema buffs or even the filmmakers themselves. After all, they couldn’t possibly be true – or could they? As it turns out, sometimes, the answer is actually “yes”!

Here’s a round-up of 8 Crazy Movie Theories That Are Actually True (And 8 That Definitely Aren’t).

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

Soapbox: 8 Movie Theories That Are Actually True (And 8 That Definitely Aren’t)

Soapbox: 15 Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype

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There were more than a few cranky faces, when these rankings were announced…

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 15 Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype.

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

Soapbox: 15 Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype

Crystal Ball: Superheroes, Senators And Smugglers – 10 Movies You Need To See In 2018

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Run (don’t walk) to your nearest cinema when these movies come out

2018 is now well underway, and that means it’s time to start getting excited about this year’s slate of big screen releases.

With several major blockbusters – including the latest instalments in several of your favourite franchises – and star-studded dramas scheduled for the year ahead, there’s a lot to look forward to.

Here, I’ve pulled together a rundown of the 10 movies I think you can’t afford to miss in 2018 – along with a few honourable mentions you should definitely try to squeeze in, as well!

Continue reading “Crystal Ball: Superheroes, Senators And Smugglers – 10 Movies You Need To See In 2018”

Crystal Ball: Superheroes, Senators And Smugglers – 10 Movies You Need To See In 2018

Soapbox: A Certain Point Of View (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Last Jedi)

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Luke Skywalker wasn’t the only one a bit grouchy over the events of the latest Star Wars episode!

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.

Continue reading “Soapbox: A Certain Point Of View (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Last Jedi)”

Soapbox: A Certain Point Of View (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Last Jedi)

Soapbox: 15 Terrible CGI Villains That Completely Ruined Movies

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These guys are many things, but terrifying isn’t one of them

The history of cinema is filled to the brim with examples of memorable villains. Indeed, more often than not, the success of a film relies as much (if not more) on the quality of its bad guy as it does on the hero! Thanks to the high bar set by these iconic wrongdoers – including legendary figures like Hannibal Lecter, the Joker, and Darth Vader – filmmakers have to try harder than ever to craft a truly impressive villain.

That might explain the increasing trend towards baddies created entirely through CGI, with directors convinced that we’ve now reached the limits of what can be achieved using flesh-and-blood actors covered in prosthetics. To be fair, when these digital delinquents are done well, the results are truly impressive, delivering the kind of malevolent on-screen threat that could only be imagined previously.

However, when an artificial antagonist falls flat, the impact on a movie can be devastating. We’re not overstating things when we say that several films released in the last few decades have been totally wrecked – or at the very least, severely hampered – by an unconvincing computer-generated monstrosity.

Here are 15 Terrible CGI Villains That Ruined Movies.

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

Soapbox: 15 Terrible CGI Villains That Completely Ruined Movies

Soapbox: Star Wars – 15 Times The Jedi And Sith Forgot How To Use Their Powers

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That moment when you realise you’ve forgotten how your Force powers work…

Within the Star Wars universe, 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.

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

Soapbox: Star Wars – 15 Times The Jedi And Sith Forgot How To Use Their Powers