Oct. 25, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved’ plays with remix culture

Utilizing only touch controls, "Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved" allows participants to play with colorful environments. (Harmonix/Disney)
THE PLAYER Walt Disney’s 1940 film “Fantasia” opens with a series of bold, inventive proclamations. Audiences are welcomed to a “new form of entertainment,” one in which the animation isn’t afraid to veer toward the abstract and the music isn’t concerned with what’s on the charts. But as the British narrator early in the new “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” says, “Let’s see how you handle something a little more contemporary.” Words that sent a shiver down the spine of this stubborn “Fantasia” loyalist. Indeed, the first voice we hear in “Fantasia: Music Evolved,” a just-released interactive interpretation of the experimental but venerable brand, is that of Lady Gaga. This is dangerous territory. Beethoven is timeless, but “Applause” is already dated, its glittery melodic tendrils firmly gripping 2013. Of course, those who own the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One are […]
Oct. 24, 2014 | 12:33 p.m.

‘RoboCop: The Definitive History': See exclusive images from the book

'RoboCop: The Definitive History'
A new compendium about the cyborg film franchise “RoboCop” is out this week, and Hero Complex readers get an exclusive sneak peek at some images from the book. “RoboCop: The Definitive History,” from Titan Books, includes stills and behind-the-scenes images, concept art, storyboards, script extracts and new interviews. The 224-page hardcover is penned by British writer and documentary filmmaker Calum Waddell (“Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever”). The illustrated history chronicles the making of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 sci-fi classic as well as its sequels, TV spinoffs and this year’s reboot from Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha. The film franchise follows Alex Murphy — played by Peter Weller in the 1987 film and Joel Kinnaman in the 2014 remake — a cop who dies in the line of duty only to wake up as a part-man, part-robot police officer tasked with cleaning up a […]
Oct. 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.

San Fransokyo architects built a new world for Disney’s ‘Big Hero 6′

The San Fransokyo cityscape in "Big Hero 6" is an urban mash-up of San Francisco and Tokyo. (Disney)
Before the directors of the new Walt Disney Animation movie “Big Hero 6″ settled on their story, they created the world in which it’s set: a jammed, vibrant place called San Fransokyo. A mash-up of San Francisco and Tokyo set in the not-too-distant future, San Fransokyo is a dense, hilly city with cable cars and cherry blossoms, Victorian row houses and glittering neon billboards. The filmmakers’ idea — never stated in the film — is that in a parallel universe after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the city split off and an influx of Japanese immigrants helped rebuild it. San Fransokyo is a quintessential example of the craft of world building, the process of constructing a wholly imaginary universe for films, television, video games and other media, that involves creating the look of everything from buildings, vegetation and vehicles to […]
Oct. 24, 2014 | 4:40 a.m.

‘Constantine': Matt Ryan plays demon hunter as flawed, tormented, angry

Matt Ryan in character as John Constantine, the DC Comics character that serves as the inspiration for the NBC pilot "Constantine." (Warner Bros. Television)
Matt Ryan had just finished a run of “Henry V” in London’s West End, playing Fluellen to Jude Law’s commanding prince, when he flew to America earlier this year to meet with the producers of NBC’s “Constantine.” Not three weeks later, he found himself wearing John Constantine’s signature trench coat, preparing to battle supernatural forces in the starring role in the new series, adapted from the long-running DC series “Hellblazer,” set to premiere Oct. 24. “It was a bit of a whirlwind actually,” the Welsh actor said during a recent interview, speaking by phone from “Constantine’s” Atlanta set, where he was shooting the sixth episode of the show, created by executive producers Daniel Cerone (“Dexter”) and David S. Goyer. But even in these early days, he seems to have found his footing with the character, last seen on screen in […]
Oct. 23, 2014 | 1:14 p.m.

‘Riverdale': Archie Comics TV series lands at Fox

Life With Archie #36 (Ramon Perez variant)
Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica are coming to the small screen. “Riverdale,” a new TV series based on the Archie comic book characters, is coming to Fox, Archie Comics announced Thursday. The one-hour drama will be produced by Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Productions (“Arrow,” “The Flash”) and written by Archie Comics’ recently named chief creative officer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who was previously best known for “Glee” and his work in Marvel Comics. Aguirre-Sacasa is the scribe behind “Afterlife With Archie” and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” and has been a key figure in the publisher’s resurgence. “This is something we’ve been working on for a while now, figuring out the best way to bring these characters to life for what will be, essentially, the first time,” Aguirre-Sacasa said in a press statement. “It feels like the stars have finally aligned for Archie and […]
Oct. 23, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Constantine': Neil Marshall talks Hellblazer, horror, future movie plans

Neil Marshall, left, and Matt Ryan. (Courtesy Neil Marshall; NBC)
Is director Neil Marshall pleased to see John Constantine reborn for the small screen, personal demons and English accent intact? In a word, yes. “I’m very happy that it’s gone back to its roots, having a British guy with the blond hair and a few nasty habits. That’s how it should be,” Marshall said recently over coffee in a downtown Los Angeles eatery. It’s true that the supernatural investigator played by Matt Ryan on NBC’s new series “Constantine” bears a much stronger resemblance to the paranormal detective of the “Hellblazer” comics than did Keanu Reeves in the 2005 big-screen horror adventure of the same name. Perhaps a bit of credit for that transformation goes to Marshall, who directed the pilot for the show, created by executive producers Daniel Cerone (“Dexter”) and David S. Goyer (“The Dark Knight” film trilogy). But […]
Oct. 23, 2014 | 7:25 a.m.

‘The Hobbit’ stars cameo in new Air New Zealand safety video

Air New Zealand's safety video pays tribute to "The Hobbit" film trilogy. (Air New Zealand)
A new safety video from Air New Zealand once again features a host of stars from “The Hobbit” films, including Frodo Baggins actor Elijah Wood and director Peter Jackson, in a tribute to Middle-earth. Titled “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made,” the video instructs passengers including dwarves, orcs and elves in the proper use of seat belts, oxygen masks and life jackets. The video was released online Wednesday and is being rolled out across Air New Zealand’s fleet. The safety video — the airline’s second “Hobbit”-themed video after 2012’s “An Unexpected Briefing” — comes ahead of the final film in Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which opens Dec. 17. VIDEO: Watch Benedict Cumberbatch writhe and snarl as Smaug The video begins with two “Hobbit” fans rushing through the Wellington Airport, pausing to take a picture […]
Oct. 23, 2014 | 3:30 a.m.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer teases Hulkbuster, Quicksilver

A screenshot from the trailer for "Avengers: Age of Ultron." (Marvel)
The first trailer for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is out, revealing Tony Stark’s Hulkbuster armor, mysterious newcomers Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch and, of course, the villainous Ultron. Marvel released the trailer, which was slated to debut during next week’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” episode, after it leaked online Wednesday. “Age of Ultron” is director Joss Whedon’s hotly anticipated follow-up to 2012’s “The Avengers,” which united Marvel’s disparate superheroes, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), in a battle against Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and his swarm of alien invaders. The summer blockbuster set box-office records, earning more than $1.5 billion worldwide, and was hailed as witty and worthy of its hype. “Age of Ultron,” which is due in theaters May 1, will reunite the superheroes as well as […]
Oct. 22, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Constantine': 41 images from NBC’s fiery new supernatural thriller

Director Neil Marshall has some encouraging news for fans of the character John Constantine, who will be at the center of his own new NBC series once “Constantine” premieres Friday. ” ‘Constantine’ doesn’t feel necessarily like a comic book adaptation — I know it is — but we’re playing it for scares,” said Marshall, who was behind the camera for the pilot episode. “We’re playing it nice and dark.” Created by executive producers Daniel Cerone (“Dexter”) and David S. Goyer (“The Dark Knight” film trilogy), “Constantine” is based on DC Comics’ antihero, a chain-smoking con man and occult detective from Liverpool, known for his cynicism and foul-mouthed snark. Constantine served as the lead character in the “Hellblazer” series, though he made his comics debut in a 1985 issue of “Swamp Thing.” More recently, he’s the star of his own New […]
Oct. 22, 2014 | 8:22 a.m.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer to debut during ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

The first trailer for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will make its broadcast debut during next week’s episode of Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” The upcoming trailer was announced as the credits rolled after Tuesday evening’s “S.H.I.E.L.D.” episode on ABC, and Marvel subsequently tweeted the news from its @AgentsofSHIELD and @Avengers accounts: We'll have the exclusive world broadcast debut of the new trailer for Marvel’s "Avengers: Age of Ultron" during next week's episode! — Agents of SHIELD (@AgentsofSHIELD) October 22, 2014 Tune in to #Marvel’s #AgentsofSHIELD, Tuesday, October 28, 9|8c on @ABCNetwork to see the #AgeofUltron trailer on TV! pic.twitter.com/tfcyg1L6sf — The Avengers (@Avengers) October 22, 2014 The film is director Joss Whedon’s hotly anticipated follow-up to 2012’s “The Avengers,” which united Marvel’s disparate superheroes, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), […]
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