Archive: 2010

Dec. 31, 2010 | 12:49 p.m.

‘Green Hornet,’ unmasked: Exclusive on-the-set photos

David Strick took his camera on the set of “The Green Hornet” and came back with a revealing photo collection that shows the toil and tedium that go into the creation of a modern box-office hero. — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Rogen is a Marvel man: “I’ve kinda given up on DC” Rogen’s pipe dream: “Greener Hornet,” the pot sequel  ZEITCHIK: Are movie fans ready for a heroic Rogen? “Green Hornet,” in search of Hollywood buzz Green movement: “Lantern” vs. “Hornet” 26 Black Beauty cars destroyed for “Green Hornet” Rogen’s survival tips for Comic-Con Gondry’s fav movies? “Robocop” and “Back to the Future”
Dec. 31, 2010 | 7:56 a.m.

Tim Burton opens up about his ‘weird mental process’

David L. Ulin checks in with Hero Complex after his interview with Tim Burton Tim Burton, with whom I talk in Friday’s Los Angeles Times Calendar section about his book “The Art of Tim Burton,” has always been a visual artist first. Trained in animation at California Institute of the Arts, he’s been drawing since childhood, and indeed much of the material in his book (and in the museum show of his artwork, which comes in May to LACMA) has little to do with his films. This, of course, is part of the fun of the book, and it was part of the fun of talking to Burton as well. I reached him in England, where he has lived for many years now, and after warning me that he might be interrupted by his children, he began to speak — […]
Dec. 30, 2010 | 5:10 p.m.

‘Fantastic Planet’ brings trippy alien vistas to Cinefamily

“Fantastic Planet” Long before there was “Pink Floyd The Wall” or “Koyaanisqatsi,” there was “Fantastic Planet” — a trippy, animated French sci-fi feature film from the early ’70s, rounded out with spacey, psychedelic music that assured its status as cult classic and stoner staple. For the uninitiated, the distant planet of Ygam is a surreal place where tiny, abducted humans (the Om race) run wild, scampering across the vast, muted plains and prickly wooded areas like vermin. Others are collared and kept as pets by the indigenous Draag race, enormous, blue-skinned humanoids with fire-red eyes.  The film is as remembered for its lush, hand-drawn images as it is for the airy, orchestral score by Alain Goraguer. On Tuesday, animation historian Jerry Beck will host a rare “performance screening” of  the film at Cinefamily’s Animation Tuesdays. The series, held monthly at the […]
Dec. 30, 2010 | 12:05 p.m.

Anthony Hopkins at 73: Happy birthday, Hannibal

It’s surprising that no savvy producer has cast Anthony Hopkins, who turns 73 on Friday, for the dual lead role in a new adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” because few actors have been able to alternate between stately intellect and brutal villainy with the sort of flair that the Welsh star  has brought to cinema. There’s the proper side of Hopkins who has appeared in veddy British films such as the Merchant/Ivory classics “Howards End” in 1992 and “Remains of the Day” in 1993  or as American president John Quincy Adams in Steven Spielberg’s 1997 epic “Amistad.” But he’s enjoyed perhaps more acclaim playing monsters, whether they be real – Adolf Hitler in the 1981 CBS movie “The Bunker” — or imagined, such as the brilliant cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a role that won him the lead actor Oscar for 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs.” […]
Dec. 29, 2010 | 6:30 p.m.

The ‘Green’ line: The ‘Hornet’ and the ‘Lantern’

Two of the biggest special-effects films of 2011 are “The Green Hornet” and “Green Lantern.” Although both movies are based on venerable properties (the title heroes date back to the FDR administration), average moviegoers may have trouble keeping them straight. We’re here to help you answer the old question: “Who was that masked man?” Click here to see the photo gallery. — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Seth Rogen is a Marvel man: “I’ve kinda given up on DC” Ryan Reynolds on kissing girls and throwing a punch ZEITCHIK: Are movie fans ready for a heroic Rogen? Berlanti: Lantern is part Jedi, part “Top Gun” 26 Black Beauty cars destroyed for “Green Hornet” ‘Green Lantern’: The costume controversy Gondry’s fav movies? “Robocop” and “Back to the Future” Campbell: “Lantern” has “Flash Gordon” element
Dec. 28, 2010 | 6:03 a.m.

James Patterson’s ‘The Gift’ is colorful, inventive wizard saga

 REVIEW Books and movies have been banned. Music, art — they too have been outlawed by an evil regime known as the New Order and its hateful leader, The One Who Is The One. Gone are the days of individualism and integrity, and with it the easy availability of cheeseburgers and rock ‘n’ roll. Such is the world inhabited by teen siblings Wisty and Whit Allgood as they attempt to evade capture in “The Gift,” the second installment of James Patterson’s bestselling “Witch & Wizard” series for young adults. Armed only with a blank journal and a single drumstick, a wicked sense of humor and an awful ineptitude with timing, it’s up to the Allgoods to cast off the shackles of oppression. “The Gift” picks up exactly where the first book ended: With Wisty and Whit waiting to be hung by […]
Dec. 27, 2010 | 3:35 p.m.

‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Lord of the Rings’ in latest trivia challenge

“It’s too hard! Make it easier!” Fine, you people said we were just too intense with our previous trivia challenges, so for this installment of QUIZZAM we put some training wheels on the TARDIS and tapped the brake to drop it down out of hyperspeed. (Why are we expecting a chorus of the Moaning Myrtles who have a new complaint: “It’s tooooo easy! Make it harder!”)  This edition of the quiz was written by Michael Farr, but if you think you can do better maybe we’ll make this an open feature. CLICK ON THE LOGO TO TAKE THE QUIZ TAKE OUR OTHER TRIVIA CHALLENGES Quizzam No. 1 Quizzam No. 2 Quizzam No. 3
Dec. 27, 2010 | 11:41 a.m.

Will Eisner marched to different beat with PS magazine

REVIEW Although Will Eisner is best known for “The Spirit” and the graphic novels he wrote and drew in later life, a substantial portion of his career was devoted to creating comic-book-like pages for the U.S. Army magazine PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly. The magazine was established by the Department of Defense in 1951 to help American troops in Korea deal with aging equipment from World War II and new weapons that hadn’t been adequately tested. Paul E. Fitzgerald, who enjoyed a long friendship with Eisner, documents the history of the publication, especially Eisner’s contributions from 1951 to 1971, in “Will Eisner and PS Magazine” (, $59.95; 224 pp. illustrated). The didactic panels recall the “Private Snafu” cartoons that Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel and the Warner Bros. animators created for the short-film program the Army-Navy Screen Magazine. Eisner’s well-intentioned but […]
Dec. 27, 2010 | 7:02 a.m.

‘The Avengers: A Celebration’ spies on a memorable mod moment

By the time “The Avengers” premiered in the States on ABC on March 28, 1966, the stylish, mod British spy series had been fixture on television in its native Britain for five years — and it had gone through almost as many permutations as that other British favorite,  “Doctor Who.” “Avengers” fans are in for a real treat with a new coffee table book, “The Avengers: A Celebration,” by Marcus Hearn, featuring a foreword by none other than Patrick Macnee, who was the only constant on the series in his role as John Steed, the super-suave, bowler-wearing  secret agent. About 10,000 images that are in the care of the show’s current-rights holders, CANAL+, were perused until 350 negatives and prints were selected, scanned and digitally restored. In the case of the first season, the photos are a rare surviving record — just two episodes from that premiere […]
Dec. 26, 2010 | 4:31 p.m.

‘The Illusionist’ rivals ‘Toy Story 3’ as 2010’s best animated film

Nearly three decades after his death, French comic actor Jacques Tati has returned to the silver screen — starring in a movie he wrote that was never produced. If this sounds like sleight-of-hand, it is, in a way: The film is aptly titled “The Illusionist,” and it has been brought to life by the imagination and sensitivity of French animator Sylvain Chomet, who is best known for 2003’s “The Triplets of Belleville.” The hand-drawn, 2-D “Illusionist” opened Saturday and may give Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” a run for its money this awards season. The New York Film Critics Circle named it 2010’s best animated film, and it has also been nominated for a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice award and five Annie awards. “The Illusionist,” Chomet said, is “kind of a letter from the sky from Jacques Tati.” Tati, who […]
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