May 25, 2015 | 4:30 a.m.
Survivors will remember it as the night they shut ol’ Disney down. A 24-hour day at the Disneyland Resort always gets a little crazy. But this year was record-breaking crazy. The eyes of even the most seasoned pass holders and employees will widen in memory of Memorial Day weekend 2015. Disneyland turns 60 this summer, you see, and like any self-respecting diva of a certain age, she’s had a little work done. But where others might take things slowly, make changes gradually, Disneyland characteristically decided to go in another direction. To celebrate the diamond jubilee, the park has a new parade, a new fireworks display and a new “World of Color” show. Sleeping Beauty Castle has been bedazzled and many old rides thematically tweaked, and of course there’s a whole line of anniversary merchandise including special-edition everything. FULL COVERAGE: Disneyland […]
May 22, 2015 | 4:18 p.m.
It’s time for another installment of Paycheck Friday, the weekly roundup of some of Hero Complex’s favorite toys, games, books and other geek merchandise. While a slate of summer movies including “Tomorrowland,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Pitch Perfect 2” battle it out in the box office over the weekend, this week’s paycheck goes to taking a trip to your local comic book shop to catch up on the month’s releases. With May marking the launch of Marvel’s “Secret Wars” event series that sees the various Marvel universes combining into one unified Battleworld just as DC’s “Convergence” event is winding down, it’s easy to get lost in the various interconnected tie-in series from the “Big Two.” Fear not, this week’s comic book selections are titles that require no knowledge of “Secret Wars” or “Convergence.” This week’s first pick is “The […]
May 22, 2015 | 10:19 a.m.
If you ever wanted to see Jon Snow jamming to the Troggs, “Game of Thrones: The Musical” will not disappoint. Members of the sprawling “Game of Thrones” cast showed off their vocal chops in a comedic collaboration with the band Coldplay. The Chris Martin/George R. R. Martin mash-up sketch was part of the inaugural U.S. version of the U.K.’s live fundraising telethon Red Nose Day. The video (watch it above), kicks off with an abbreviated version of the fantasy show’s elaborate title music before offering Coldplay frontman Chris Martin’s lyrics for the theme song. “There are Starks and there are Lannisters and Kardashians –” “Targaryens,” drummer Will Champion corrects. The sketch also features Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister on “Thrones”) crooning “Man for All Seasons,” a song about his character’s relative longevity; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister) channeling his inner Bryan Adams as he sings a piano-driven ballad dedicated to his […]
May 21, 2015 | 2:02 p.m.
The trailer for “Batkid Begins” is out, offering a first look at the emotional documentary about a young leukemia survivor whose superheroic wish is granted. The film, from director and co-producer Dana Nachman, follows then 5-year-old Miles Scott, a cancer patient who told Make-A-Wish Foundation he wanted to be “the real Batman.” “When we’re going about doing a wish, it is whimsical in thinking about what would wow that child,” Patricia Wilson, executive director of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area, says in the trailer. “And it gives them a little bit of their childhood back that’s been robbed.” With the help of more than 12,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish transformed San Francisco into Gotham, helped Miles become Batkid and orchestrated a comic-book-worthy adventure that unfolded in front of a national television audience and internationally via social media. “Batkid Begins” isn’t Hollywood’s only take […]
May 21, 2015 | 1:20 p.m.
It’s an image ingrained in the memory of horror film fans: A little girl in front of a static-filled television set, holding out her hands to touch the whispering screen. As director Gil Kenan’s remake of “Poltergeist” opens in theaters Friday, this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday revisits the seminal original, about a suburban family whose young daughter Carol Anne communicates with spirits who can throw objects, move furniture and manipulate weather. “Poltergeist,” co-produced and co-written by Steven Spielberg, stepped into the light on June 4, 1982. The film, which contained no graphic sex, no slasher gore and no deaths, was frightening enough to spark a ratings controversy. The MPAA initially gave it an R rating because “cumulative effect” was “too intense,” co-producer Frank Marshall told The Times before the film’s release. Spielberg was so upset about the R rating, […]
May 20, 2015 | 4:00 p.m.
A new issue of “Lumberjanes” hit shelves Wednesday, kicking off a new arc in the continuing adventures of the campers and staff at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. Created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson, “Lumberjanes” launched in April 2014, introducing the world to best friends and bunkmates Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley, who found themselves caught up in supernatural adventures in and around their summer camp. Stevenson, perhaps best known for her Web comics, was initially brought on board to help with the character designs before taking on a writing role. “I believe that, originally, the descriptions that I was given were based on people that really existed,” Stevenson said. “But I didn’t know these people. I just kind of did the character designs based on my own image of them.” And for one character, […]
May 20, 2015 | 3:06 p.m.
The original “Star Wars” film trilogy is given a new spin in the word book series “Star Wars Epic Yarns.” Created by twin brothers Jack and Holman Wang, “Star Wars Epic Yarns” breaks down each of the first three “Star Wars” films into 12 words, depicted by 12 scenes crafted in needle felt. The all-ages board book series features images of handmade needle felt versions of Luke, Leia, Han and other familiar characters staged on custom-built sets and in on-location photo shoots to reenact some iconic scenes. The brothers, who are the team behind the “Cozy Classics” series of board books, answered a few questions over email to discuss their process, the most difficult elements in creating “Star Wars Epic Yarns,” and their favorite “Star Wars” film. Obviously, the felt figures and scenes were not easy to craft. But how […]
May 20, 2015 | 11:21 a.m.
Longtime fans of HBO’s grisly “Game of Thrones” will tell you that the dark fantasy show is notoriously packed with murder, torture, dismemberment, incest and Coldplay. Wait, what was that last one? In a break from all that violence and dragonfire, the cast of the HBO hit is teaming with Chris Martin and company for a special musical performance this Thursday as part of the inaugural U.S. version of the U.K.’s live fundraising telethon Red Nose Day. “Game of Thrones: The Musical” will no doubt be among the highlights of the event, with several prominent members of House Lannister and House Stark joining Coldplay for tuneful tales of life and death in Westeros. In a teaser for the show (above), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister on “Thrones”) hams it up in as he croons a short ditty pointing out that, while major characters such as Ned Stark, […]
May 19, 2015 | 11:44 a.m.
Everything is going to change. Again. After barely surviving the Maze Trials in last year’s “The Maze Runner,” Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers now come face-to-face with a grim, post-apocalyptic reality in the first trailer for the sequel, “The Scorch Trials.” The second chapter of the YA trilogy based on the book series by James Dashner, “Scorch” finds Thomas, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and the other survivors being introduced to a larger world of political intrigue and rebellion, where the truth may not be what it seems. And who is there to guide them in this harsh new world? Why, it’s Littlefinger himself — Aiden Gillen, familiar to fans as the duplicitous Lord Petyr Baelish on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” He tells them, “The Maze was one thing, but you kids wouldn’t last one day out in the Scorch.” Oh, […]
May 19, 2015 | 5:06 a.m.
Joe Casey doesn’t remember a time when comic books weren’t in his life. A writer who has worked on some of the most popular characters in superhero comics, including Superman, the X-Men and the Avengers, Casey grew up as an unabashed fan of the medium, and the works of Jack Kirby were some of the very first books that caught his attention. During his trips to local drugstore spinner racks, Casey discovered Kirby’s work through random issues of “Eternals,” “Devil Dinosaur,” “Black Panther” and “Captain America and the Falcon,” and it made an impression that has significantly influenced Casey’s development as a comics creator. “[Kirby] was a bit out of fashion at that point, as I later learned, but … he was never not great, as far as I’m concerned,” Casey said. “Once I really dove into the medium — […]