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May 14, 2014 | 3:00 p.m.

Malcolm McDowell to receive life career prize at Saturn Awards in June

Malcolm McDowell in a scene from the movie, "A Clockwork Orange." The acclaimed actor will be presented with the Life Career Award from the Saturn Awards Organization in June. (Warner Bros.)
All the droogs will shout and cheer. Malcolm McDowell, most famous for playing the eyeliner-wearing bad boy Alex DeLarge in “A Clockwork Orange,” directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on Anthony Burgess’ dystopian novel, will be presented with the Life Career Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films at the 40th annual Saturday Awards in June. “I was invited into the woods when Kubrick cast me in the film but I couldn’t see the trees until years later,” McDowell told Hero Complex in a 2011 interview, when asked about his iconic performance. “For maybe 10 years, I resented it because everyone wanted me to repeat it. The best part for any actor is the next one and ‘Clockwork’ irritated me because it took that away at times.” Other winners of the Special Awards honors include writer-producer Byran Fuller (NBC’s […]
May 12, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

Katee Sackhoff, Bear McCreary join Hero Complex Film Festival lineup

Katee Sackhoff and Bear McCreary will take part in the "Battlestar Galactica" tribute at the Hero Complex Film Festival. (Vince Trupsin / Thomas Mikusz)
Actress Katee Sackhoff and composer Bear McCreary will take part in a “Battlestar Galactica” tribute that will kick off the 5th annual Hero Complex Film Festival May 30. Sackhoff, who played Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, and McCreary will join the show’s creator Ronald D. Moore and stars Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell and Jamie Bamber at a sold-out event designed to honor the creative achievements of the science-fiction series. The evening will include a free screening of the 2003 “Battlestar Galactica” miniseries, which rebooted the late-1970s franchise and provided the foundation for the acclaimed 2004-2009 program that chronicled the efforts of a band of survivors to find a new home planet after a devastating attack by a race of beings called Cylons nearly eradicated humanity. The miniseries will be shown in two installments. After the first segment, the stars and McCreary […]
May 04, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

May the Fourth Be With You: ‘Star Wars’ fans celebrate saga in Tunisia

"Star Wars" fans gathered for an international meeting in Tozeur, Tunisia, over the weekend. Here, some fans pose for cameras last week in Tunis.  (Fethi Belaid / AFP/Getty Images)
Finally, after months of conjecture, “Star Wars” fans learned last week precisely which actors will have a role in “Star Wars: Episode VII,” the film that will return George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away to the multiplex Dec. 18, 2015. Adam Driver, best known for his role in HBO’s “Girls,” and Oscar Isaac, who won considerable acclaim for his turn in the Coen brothers “Inside Llewyn Davis,” will appear alongside Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, performance capture expert Andy Serkis and venerable Swedish thespian Max von Sydow in director J.J. Abrams’ new film. John Boyega, known for his work in the fan favorite film “Attack the Block,” and newcomer Daisy Ridley, also will star, and the principal actors from Lucas’ original saga — Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker — are set to return […]
April 29, 2014 | 9:30 a.m.

James Cameron, Sigourney Weaver top Hero Complex Film Festival lineup

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Revolutionary filmmaker James Cameron, groundbreaking actress Sigourney Weaver and venerable writer-director Joe Dante will be among the special guests at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival, set to take place May 30-June 1 at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood. Festival programming also will include a special tribute to the recent TV series “Battlestar Galactica,” with actors Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell and Jamie Bamber and creator Ronald D. Moore; a preview of the animated sequel “How to Train Your Dragon 2″; and a special “quote-along” Sunday matinee showing of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Celebrated Australian comics artist Nicola Scott (“Birds of Prey,” “Secret Six”), who currently illustrates DC Comics’ “Earth 2,” created the out-of-this-world image for this year’s festival poster, pictured at right. The festival will open May 30 with a free screening of the 2003 […]
April 19, 2014 | 2:34 p.m.

WonderCon 2014: Cosplayers congregate for Anaheim genre celebration

Jeff Campbell, 33, as Batman and his 8-year-old daughter Phoenix as Robin. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
WonderCon 2014 is underway at the Anaheim Convention Center, with cosplayers, comic book enthusiasts and genre fans flocking to the city’s convention center to check out a range of booths, panels and special programming. Smaller in scale than July’s massive San Diego confab, Comic-Con International, WonderCon still draws movie studios and television networks eager to showcase their upcoming titles. Saturday’s schedule included arena presentations devoted to such upcoming blockbusters as “Godzilla,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” while Friday night brought the premiere of the new animated movie, “Son of Batman,” which was followed by a Q&A with actors Jason O’ Mara, Sean Maher, Xander Berkeley and others. COMIC-CON PHOTOS: Cosplay costumes, in all their crazy glory Cosplay, of course, is always a big part of the scene at the annual pop culture expo […]
April 14, 2014 | 2:09 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones’: Twitter reacts to Joffrey, Purple Wedding surprise

Talk about just desserts. Last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” “The Lion and the Rose,” elicited a rousing celebration from Twitter; as the tweets piled up around the #purplewedding hashtag, it was clear that the death of a key character at the wedding of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) produced one long, slow clap from the Internet. If you still haven’t seen the latest twist in HBO’s fantasy series, you should stop reading now. The highlights? Well, the wedding was a white-knuckled affair even before Joffrey was fatally poisoned. Indulging his own twisted ideas of entertainment, he’d brought out a troupe of dwarfs to act out the so-called Battle of the Five Armies, referencing both Ned Stark and Robb Stark’s murder to the horror of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). Not content with this base-level humiliation, Joffrey baited his […]
March 28, 2014 | 4:18 p.m.

Eliza Dushku: ‘The Gable 5,’ ‘Dollhouse,’ life as a ‘convention junkie’

Eliza Dushku in "Gable V." (Machinima)
Eliza Dushku, best known to fans for her Whedonverse turns as Faith in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and Echo in “Dollhouse,” is tackling another brainy, gutsy character in a topical short film that launched Thursday on Machinima called “The Gable 5.” (Fans can watch the short here, but note there is some strong language.) Directed by Kevin Tancharoen, whose credits include the “Mortal Kombat” online miniseries and the movie “Fame,” “Gable 5″ centers on a corporation that has discovered how to isolate and repress chemicals created by the brain that produce panic, fear, anxiety, temptation and rage. Dushku appears to be a test subject — she arrives onscreen (without a back story) and expertly takes on multiple armed assailants, suggesting some improved reflexes. Hero Complex recently caught up with Dushku to talk about “Gable 5,” its relationship to “Dollhouse,” her […]
March 25, 2014 | 5:15 p.m.

‘Deus Ex: Human Revolution’ live action fan-film adapts Square Enix hit

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The Square Enix hit “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” is the latest big-game title to get the live-action, fan-film treatment. Dcode Films and its founder, Moe Charif, released a twelve-minute short Tuesday on Machinima, with Charif playing the lead character Adam Jensen. In the game, Jensen is an ex-SWAT specialist who’s been handpicked to oversee the defensive needs of one of America’s most experimental biotechnology firms. After a militaristic team breaks in and kills scientists working there, Jensen, badly wounded during the attack, must be mechanically augmented to survive and pursue the culprits. The short also focuses on Jensen’s relationship with his ex-girlfriend Megan Reed (played by actress Liannet Borrego) and on a particularly ruthless female assassin, Yelena Fedorova (Shayna Nicole E’Orio). The game was favorably reviewed at the time of its release — with Joystiq saying: “Compared to Deus Ex […]
March 16, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.

Enhanced Big Thunder Mountain ride adds thrills to Disneyland favorite

Guests ride the train cars on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain ride. (Disney)
PERSPECTIVE My youngest son’s first roller coaster was Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. He had just turned four, proudly towered an inch or so over the 40-inch minimum, and jumped on with a wide smile. He loved it – as much for the excitement of the ride itself as for the realization that he had now passed an initiation of sorts, from toddler-hood to full-blown boyhood. While he may have been among its younger passengers at the time, his joyful experience was hardly unique for the beloved Frontierland ride, which after a lengthy refurbishment officially reopens St. Patrick’s Day. A cheers (with green beer) indeed! Actually it will be green tea for my son who is now 12 and whose roller coaster palette has broadened quite a bit since he first boarded the Disney train. Much to the horror of Disney […]
March 10, 2014 | 6:30 a.m.

L.A., meet Frank Castle: Nathan Edmondson on his West Coast Punisher

"The Punisher" #2 variant cover by Jerome Opena. (Marvel)
The New York of noir fiction is known for dark alleys, shady subways and organized crime — the perfect gritty territory for Frank Castle, better known as the Punisher, Marvel Comics’ marine turned vigilante who prefers killing bad guys to turning them in. But a change of scenery is on the horizon for Castle, as writer Nathan Edmondson takes over the comic book with art by Mitch Gerads and relocates the character to sunny Los Angeles with its sand, surf and palm trees. “We’re inviting the question that perhaps L.A. for too long has ignored the cancer that’s growing in the roots of those very palm trees and behind the facades of some of the more glamorous streets,” Edmondson said. “We wanted to offer something original, fresh and exciting. Set in New York, there were a lot of expectations, a […]
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