Movies


April 19, 2014 | 11:00 p.m.

WonderCon 2014: Fox bets big on dystopia with ‘Apes,’ ‘Maze Runner’

Twentieth Century Fox is trading heavy on dystopia this summer. During its panel Saturday at WonderCon, the studio presented three not-so-optimistic views of the future with “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Maze Runner” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” “Dawn” is intended to be a bridge between the studio’s surprise hit “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and the 1968 classic “Planet of the Apes.” Director Matt Reeves was joined onstage by cast members Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis, who returned as the intelligent ape, Ceasar, from the previous film. The new movie, which is set to open July 11, picks up years after the end of “Rise,” which concluded with a lethal virus wiping out most of the population. Reeves said the first third of the new film and the opening of the […]
April 19, 2014 | 9:35 p.m.

WonderCon 2014: ‘Lucy’ director Luc Besson on ScarJo, strong heroines

Luc Besson’s return to full-tilt action filmmaking with “Lucy” revved up the crowd at the Universal presentation at WonderCon on Saturday. Set for release Aug. 8, “Lucy,” written and directed by Besson, stars Scarlett Johansson as a drug mule who ingests some contraband and finds herself with enhanced abilities, apparently because the chemicals enable her to access more of her brain. (Johansson has been on a professional run lately, with turns in films including the Academy Award-winning “Her,” in which she gave voice to a sentient operating system; April’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Under the Skin”; and next month’s indie restaurant movie “Chef,” directed by Jon Favreau). In Anaheim on Saturday, Besson screened two sequences from “Lucy,” the first of which showed Johansson’s character learning to exploit the powers she’s unlocked by taking advantage of more of her […]
April 19, 2014 | 5:30 p.m.

WonderCon: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past,’ no questions, no Bryan Singer

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer had been scheduled to take the WonderCon stage Saturday to tout his upcoming mutant sequel. But Singer canceled his promotional plans in the wake of a teen sex abuse lawsuit filed against him this week. So it was writer-producer Simon Kinberg who spoke to fans about the film, stirring excitement with an extended clip showing mutants of the future, including Sunspot and Iceman, facing off against the destructive Sentinels. Notably, no audience questions were allowed during the “X-Men” portion of Fox’s arena presentation. “Days of Future Past” adapts one of the most popular storylines from “X-Men” history, a two-part story from Chris Claremont and John Byrne that originally ran in 1980. The story takes place in two time periods: in a dystopian future in which mutants are hunted by the deadly Sentinels, […]
April 19, 2014 | 5:00 p.m.

WonderCon 2014: Bill Paxton talks ‘Edge of Tomorrow,’ ‘Avatar’ sequels

“Godzilla” might have made the most waves at the Warner Bros. WonderCon panel in Anaheim on Saturday, but the audience in the arena of the Anaheim Convention Center still had lots of love to give to Bill Paxton, famed for his roles in “Weird Science” and “Aliens,” among many other genre favorites. Paxton was on hand Saturday to discuss his role in the upcoming Tom Cruise sci-fi action film “Edge of Tomorrow,” and he told the audience that he suspected it was “Aliens” that got him the job: “They needed someone to yell ‘Game over, man,’” Paxton joked, recalling his famous line from “Aliens” as panicky space marine Hudson. In “Edge of Tomorrow,” Paxton plays a platoon sergeant who must whip a new soldier (Tom Cruise) into shape to stage a Normandy-style retaking of Europe from a conquering alien horde. […]
April 19, 2014 | 4:46 p.m.

WonderCon: ‘Godzilla’ director Gareth Edwards shares monster secrets

Elizabeth Olsen as Elle Brody in "Godzilla." (Legendary/Warner Bros.)
Director Gareth Edwards appeared at the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures presentation at WonderCon in Anaheim on Saturday to unveil footage from his upcoming “Godzilla” remake, due in theaters May 16. The glimpse fans saw provoked a wild reaction. “And that’s why we make movies,” he said as the lights came up after the screening of the footage. What drove the fans into a frenzy? It wasn’t just the glimpses of Godzilla rising from the Pacific to lay waste to Honolulu, although the footage, even with incomplete visual effects, was impressive. It was the presence of a creature that, until now, has not been seen in any of the film’s marketing. In the new film, fans will get to see their Godzilla fight Mothra, or at least a giant winged creature that bears a vague resemblance to a moth. Edwards […]
April 18, 2014 | 12:48 p.m.

WonderCon 2014: ‘X-Men,’ ‘Batman’ and beyond — 11 can’t-miss events

WonderCon 2013 attendees show off their "Game of Thrones" costumes. (Noelene Clark / Los Angeles Times)
WonderCon 2014 opens its doors Friday at the Anaheim Convention Center. The little sister event to San Diego’s Comic-Con International is expected to draw crowds that include cosplayers, comic book enthusiasts and all manner of genre fans to check out a range of booths, panel presentations and special programming. For those headed to the weekend-long affair, here’s a selection of highlights you might not want to miss. FRIDAY 1. Celebrate the Bat: Batman marks his 75th anniversary this year, and Wondercon will feature several panels dedicated to the Caped Crusader. Tops on the list could be the world premiere of the “Son of Batman,” based on Grant Morrison’s heralded storyline and the latest entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe animated films. The cast and crew will be on hand for a Q&A following the screening. 6 p.m. 2. […]
April 16, 2014 | 9:33 a.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana tout Marvel adventure

Marvel debuted a new “Guardians of the Galaxy” featurette during Tuesday’s episode of ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” The behind-the-scenes clip showcased prominent members of the movie’s ensemble cast discussing their roles in the cosmic adventure that’s set to arrive in theaters Aug. 1. “It’s a not a typical superhero movie,” star Zoe Saldana explains at one point. Directed by James Gunn (“Super”) and based on the Marvel comic of the same name, “Guardians of the Galaxy” stars Chris Pratt as the roguish antihero Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. Once the interstellar scofflaw steals a mysterious orb, Quill finds himself on the run from powerful villain Ronan (Lee Pace), whose evil plans threaten the universe. Quill is forced to team up with a squad of alien misfits to battle the galactic threat — a group that includes a gun-toting creature named Rocket […]
April 15, 2014 | 9:02 p.m.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’: Wolverine center stage in final trailer

The final trailer for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” has debuted, and the clip spotlights the critical role in the narrative played by Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. “I was sent here for you, from the future,” Jackman’s Logan says to a younger Charles Xavier, played by James McAvoy. “Could you give me that one more time please?” the disheveled Xavier asks with a laugh. Mutant fans can check out the clip promoting the director Bryan Singer’s film, which is set to arrive in theaters May 23, below. Adapted from one of the beloved comic book story lines conceived by Chris Claremont, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” stars actors from Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 prequel “X-Men: First Class,”and the original “X-Men” trilogy, which launched in 2000 with Singer’s original “X-Men” and arguably ushered in the current golden age of comic book films. “Future […]
April 14, 2014 | 1:38 p.m.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’: Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore flee Sentinels

Ellen Page, left, as Kitty Pryde and Shawn Ashmore as Iceman in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (Fox)
Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) are on the run in the latest clip from Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Mutant fans can check out a new sequence from the Fox film, which is set to arrive in theaters May 23. “Days of Future Past” picks up after Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 prequel “X-Men: First Class,” which chronicled the mutant superheroes’ origins as young people in the 1960s, discovering and learning to manipulate their powers. The new film, adapted from one of the beloved comic book story lines conceived by Chris Claremont, stars actors from “First Class” and the original “X-Men” trilogy, which launched in 2000 with Singer’s original “X-Men” and arguably ushered in the current golden age of comic book films. “Future Past’s” expansive cast includes James McAvoy playing the younger Xavier, with Michael Fassbender and Ian […]
April 14, 2014 | 12:47 p.m.

‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′: Ominous TV spot hints at Gwen Stacy’s fate

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ director Marc Webb has suggested that Andrew Garfield’s heroic Peter Parker will be tested as never before in the upcoming Sony sequel set to open May 2. But a new TV spot for the film sure does seem to intimate that it’s Peter’s relationship with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy that will be specifically affected by the events unfolding in the anticipated sequel, written by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner. Fans in the know will recognize elements from Gerry Conway’s notorious 1973 comic book storyline centering on Parker’s lady love. Check it out below. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” sees Garfield’s wall-crawling hero face off against several foes, including Paul Giamatti as Aleksei Sytsevich, an Eastern Bloc criminal who becomes the Rhino, and Dane DeHaan as Oscorp heir Harry Osborn, who is poised to inherit the […]
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