Movies


Oct. 31, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ director warns Katniss is ‘very alone’

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part1." (Lionsgate)
In a barren Georgia warehouse on a cold January day, Jennifer Lawrence was doing something unusual for the young Oscar winner. She was acting very, very badly. Lawrence was filming a scene for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1,” in which her strident archer Katniss Everdeen was attempting to summon righteous indignation for a propaganda piece designed to stoke a nascent uprising. Katniss may be many things — a fierce warrior, a devoted sister, a reluctant symbol of hope — but a talented thespian she is not, and Lawrence was giving it her all. FULL COVERAGE: Movie Sneaks “She was very good at it,” director Francis Lawrence recalled of his star’s ability to turn in an intentionally lousy performance. “We had a bunch of variations, but we didn’t want to go too far. Some were really broad and funny […]
Oct. 31, 2014 | 6:30 a.m.

‘Hobbit': Peter Jackson promises thrilling finale with ‘Five Armies’

Director Peter Jackson, center, and Martin Freeman on the set of the fantasy adventure movie "The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros.)
Judging strictly from the title, it might seem safe to assume that “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the concluding installment in Peter Jackson’s latest trilogy of films based on the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien, would arrive as something of a war film, Middle-earth style. But Jackson insists that the blockbuster fantasy, which opens in theaters Dec. 17, is far more interested in charting the descent of proud dwarf Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) into a crippling madness than it is in conjuring images of battlefield brutality. “It’s very much like a thriller. That’s the tone of it,” Jackson said, speaking by phone from New Zealand, where he was in the final throes of completing the film. “I’m not letting that tone go for a second. It gives me a chance to feel like I’m making a different movie, […]
Oct. 30, 2014 | 6:10 p.m.

Clive Barker on ‘Nightbreed’: ‘Where there are monsters, I feel home’

Clive Barker, famous for his horror stories and movies, spends much of his time now in his Beverly Hills gallery painting the demonic and fantastic. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
In 1990, horror novelist Clive Barker released “Nightbreed,” his second feature film as a writer-director. The follow-up to his provocative 1987 study in sadomasochism, “Hellraiser,” “Nightbreed” arrived as an adaptation of Barker’s novella “Cabal” and posited a world in which monsters had been driven to an underground sanctuary called Midian. The city begins to haunt the dreams of a Canadian man named Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer), who is under the psychiatric care of one Philip Decker (David Cronenberg), a therapist with questionable motives and dark secrets of his own. The movie, which featured artistic contributions from the likes of Ralph McQuarrie and Danny Elfman, opened to middling reviews. Writing for The Times, critic Michael Wilmington observed that there was a “thick, clunky quality” to the film with “remarkable moments scattered throughout — wild nightmare visions and a tingling sound track […]
Oct. 30, 2014 | 12:37 p.m.

‘Alien': Neil Marshall praises Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic [guest essay]

In the spirit of Halloween, Hero Complex reached out to select filmmakers to solicit their fondest memories of classic horror. Below, Neil Marshall — who recently directed the pilot episode of NBC’s new series “Constantine,” and who produced the ghost story “Soulmate,” which arrived on DVD this week — discusses his respect and admiration for Ridley Scott’s “Alien.” He also addresses its influence on his features, including the acclaimed thriller “The Descent,” a superlative horror story that sees a strong heroine fighting monsters in a confined setting. Few horror movies have had such a profound effect on me as Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece, “Alien.” Few movies of any kind have had as much of an impact and influence on the movies I make. I was too young to catch it at the cinema when it was first released, but my […]
Oct. 29, 2014 | 6:31 p.m.

The high art of ‘The Shining’: A guest essay by ‘Horns’ director Alexandre Aja

"Horns" director Alexandre Aja and star Daniel Radcliffe; "The Shining." (Radius-TWC; Warner Bros.)
In the spirit of Halloween, Hero Complex reached out to select filmmakers to solicit their fondest memories of classic horror. Below, Alexandre Aja, whose new Joe Hill adaptation “Horns” starring Daniel Radcliffe opens Friday, fondly recalls the influence that Stanley Kubrick’s iconic take on Stephen King’s “The Shining” has exerted over his own work.   The first time I saw “The Shining” it changed my life. There was a video club right down the street from us, a two- or three-minute walk from our house. As soon as I was old enough, my mother gave me permission to go to the video club and rent films. Even then I loved movies. I knew there was that section at the end of the store where they had all the horror movies. I remember the poster for “Evil Dead II” was the […]
Oct. 29, 2014 | 11:22 a.m.

‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay': Katniss threatens Snow in final trailer

A screenshot from the trailer for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1." (Lionsgate)
The final trailer for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″ teases an action-packed battle between President Snow’s forces and the rebel resistance fighters, with Katniss on the front lines. The trailer, released Wednesday, features some of the same footage in previously released spots, with Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) telling President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), “No one else can do this but her.” “Her,” of course, refers to Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), victor of the Hunger Games — an annual televised battle to the death in the future country of Panem. Katniss twice survived the horrors of the arena (in the box-office blockbusters “The Hunger Games” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”) and suffers from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of her experiences. The end of the second film saw Katniss whisked from the arena to District 13, […]
Oct. 29, 2014 | 10:48 a.m.

‘Insurgent': 3-D posters unveiled for ‘Divergent’ sequel

(Summit)
Shailene Woodley’s Tris, Theo James’ Four and the rest of the “Insurgent” cast take on new dimension in a series of character posters released Tuesday. “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” — the second film in the movie franchise based on the bestselling YA novels by Veronica Roth — will be released in 3-D, Summit announced Tuesday, and in keeping that the new posters are interactive and in 3-D. The story is set in a future version of Chicago, where people are tested and sorted into five factions based on personality. Young heroine Tris Prior (Woodley) finds out she is divergent, meaning she has an aptitude for multiple factions and doesn’t fall neatly into one category — a dangerous trait in the rigidly divided society. She hides her divergence and decides to join the faction based on bravery, where she meets a […]
Oct. 29, 2014 | 7:56 a.m.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ clip: Who’s worthy to wield Mjolnir?

A scene from Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron." (Jay Maidment / Marvel Entertainment)
A new video clip from the upcoming superhero blockbuster “Avengers: Age of Ultron” features Marvel’s mightiest in a fun-spirited faceoff involving an otherworldly weapon. The clip, which debuted during Tuesday’s episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” shows the Avengers gathered at what appears to be Stark Tower, enjoying drinks and takeout. When Thor (Chris Hemsworth) places his hammer, Mjolnir, on the coffee table, a challenge of sorts is issued. “Whosoever, be he worthy, shall have the power — yeah, whatever man, it’s a trick,” Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye says, mocking the inscription on the Asgardian hammer. “No, it is much more than that, my friend,” Thor laughs. “If I lift it, do I get to rule Asgard?” Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) challenges. “I will be fair but firmly cruel.” What follows is a comedic montage of superheroes attempting to lift the […]
Oct. 28, 2014 | 7:21 p.m.

Marvel chief Kevin Feige unveils Phase 3 films stretching into 2019

Actors Robert Downey Jr., Chadwick Boseman and Chris Evans onstage during Marvel Studios fan event at The El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images  for Disney)
A line of comic-book movie fans stretched down Hollywood Boulevard late Tuesday morning, each person hoping for a seat inside the historic El Capitan Theatre, where the electronic marquee had been taken over by the Marvel Studios logo. Bringing a touch of Comic-Con International frenzy to Disney’s movie palace, Marvel movie chief Kevin Feige took the wraps off the company’s latest lineup at a launch event that felt like an Apple product unveiling, only for superheroes. Feige, wearing a ball cap and jeans, stood alone at the side of the El Capitan stage while release dates and titles for nine new films were projected onto the screen behind him like a road map to box-office gold. Particularly notable were the introduction of actor Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, the first black character to anchor his own Marvel film, and the […]
Oct. 28, 2014 | 1:31 p.m.

Captain Marvel, Black Panther get stand-alone films; Twitter rejoices

Captain Marvel (Featured image)
Captain Marvel will headline her own movie in 2018, Marvel announced Tuesday, and Black Panther, Doctor Strange and the Inhumans are on deck. Marvel’s new lineup was announced at a special event at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre, and comics creators took to Twitter to celebrate the news. Perhaps most compelling among the online reactions was that of longtime “Captain Marvel” writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, whose fans tweeted their support using the hashtag #CarolCorps — a reference to their informal network of admirers of cosmic hero Carol Danvers, the Air Force pilot formerly known as Ms. Marvel. Oh! Wow. — Kelly Sue Demonic (@kellysue) October 28, 2014 Did not see that coming. — Kelly Sue Demonic (@kellysue) October 28, 2014 That’s right before my birthday. Can you preorder movie tickets…? — Kelly Sue Demonic (@kellysue) October 28, 2014 Uh… so is […]
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