Soapbox: 20 Things That Make No Sense About The Hobbit Trilogy

TheHobbit_Bilbo
All of these plot inconsistencies really weighed Bilbo down…

Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films arguably constitute the finest fantasy trilogy ever made. Accessible to newcomers while remaining largely faithful to J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, The Lord of the Rings movies married incredible spectacle and stunning visuals with genuine, heartfelt emotion.

When it was announced that Jackson would return to Middle-earth to helm a prequel trilogy based around The Hobbit, fan expectations were understandably high. Unfortunately, although the The Hobbitfilms were wildly successful commercially, the reaction from audiences was far more lukewarm this time around.

The more charitable verdict is that – although the films have their moments – they’re a misguided attempt to transform a brief children’s tale into a sweeping saga for adults.

To be fair, Jackson had his work cut out for him, as the The Hobbit is a deceptively difficult book to adapt. In addition to its lighter, more juvenile tone, it also has 15 core cast members, 13 of whom are near-identical dwarves!

Nevertheless, other issues with the films seem avoidable – and chief among these is just how often they flat-out fail the logic test.

With this in mind, here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About The Hobbit Trilogy.

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

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Soapbox: 20 Things That Make No Sense About The Hobbit Trilogy

Soapbox: 15 Terrible CGI Villains That Completely Ruined Movies

Terrible-CGI-Villains-header
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

6 Terrible CGI Costumes That Ruined Movies (And 9 That Are Amazing)

CGI-Costumes-Header
It’s a weird state of affairs when an “octopus-man” costume looks more convincing than a superhero spandex…

When it comes to costume design in movies, it used to be the case that filmmakers were limited by what could be achieved using real-world fabrics and prosthetics. Basically, if a design couldn’t be made using existing materials – and even if it could be made, if it was too unwieldy to actually wear – it was back to the drawing board!

Following the advent of computer generated imagery, however, all of that changed. Now, whatever costume designers can dream up can theoretically be made a reality, thanks to the magic of visual effects. Indeed, in a post-CGI world, actors regularly find themselves attired in the most otherworldly clothing imaginable, especially those starring in fantasy and sci-fi outings.

However, while the current trend towards CGI costumes has yielded some truly breathtaking results – bringing to life characters we never expected to see in a live-action film – more than a few have fallen flat.

Typically, this is because either the digital “tailoring” and “make-up” involved failed to convincingly portray whatever it was intended to mimic, or it’s because the end product wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. Either way, this usually suggests that the filmmakers might have been better off going down a more traditional route!

Here are 6 Terrible CGI Costumes That Ruined Movies (And 9 That Are Amazing).

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

6 Terrible CGI Costumes That Ruined Movies (And 9 That Are Amazing)

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)

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

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: 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