Movies


Aug. 01, 2014 | 11:45 a.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy': Michael Rooker finds life after ‘Dead’

Yondu (Michael Rooker) in "Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy." (Marvel/Disney)
Rarely is there an upside for an actor to have his character killed off one of the most popular series on television. But when Michael Rooker received the news that his role as Merle Dixon on AMC’s hit zombie series “The Walking Dead” was coming to an end, he took some comfort in knowing that another opportunity was waiting in the wings. The popular character actor has a pivotal role in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Marvel’s epic space adventure that arrives in theaters Friday, playing Yondu, a bandit who is something of a mentor to Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. “Yondu is a responder, he’s a doer,” Rooker said recently. “He’s the leader of a group of interstellar piracy-type guys and a very paternal figure for Peter Quill. He’s his kid pretty much and he taught him how to […]
July 30, 2014 | 3:53 p.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy': Zoe Saldana channels masculinity for Gamora

“Guardians of the Galaxy” takes audiences on a cosmic carpet ride into the farthest reaches of the Marvel universe, with its story of an unlikely team of interstellar heroes who band together to stop a supervillain from achieving his genocidal aims. But for Zoe Saldana, who plays the resourceful assassin Gamora — known in comic book lore as the most dangerous woman in the galaxy — the role was one rooted in earthbound inspiration. The former dancer developed the character’s physicality after watching footage of a bullfighter and deciding that she should move gracefully, with elegant precision. Grappling with the trauma of Gamora’s past, however, led Saldana in another direction. The green-skinned alien is the last surviving member of her race, an orphan who was trained to be lethal by her adopted father Thanos (Josh Brolin), and her plight reminded […]
July 29, 2014 | 7:40 p.m.

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ poster withdrawn over 9/11 concerns

Paramount Pictures Australia is apologizing for and immediately discontinuing a poster from the upcoming “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” film that contains an image reminiscent of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy. On the Australia poster, the four hero turtles are shown jumping out of an exploding skyscraper with the Australia release date of Sept. 11 in red lettering below. “We are deeply sorry to have used that artwork for the marketing materials promoting the September 11 opening in Australia,” said Tom Roache, head of publicity for Paramount Pictures Australia, in an email. “Combining that image and date was a mistake. We intended no offense and have taken immediate action to discontinue its use.” The skateboarding heroes, created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in the early 1980s, were made famous in the animated TV series that ran from 1987 to 1996. […]
July 29, 2014 | 4:55 p.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy': ‘Behold,’ Dave Bautista says (only) as Drax

When Dave Bautista took the stage at Marvel’s Comic-Con International panel in San Diego last year, he was overcome by emotion sitting beside his “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast mates. The film had only begun shooting, but when the former champion WWE wrestler talked about winning the role of Drax the Destroyer in the interstellar adventure, he appeared overwhelmed. “There’s a point where I go to set every day and I still can’t freaking believe I got this job,” he said at the time. “It’s something that I wanted more than anything I ever wanted in my life. When I got it, I broke down and cried like a little baby.” One year later, Bautista, 45, seems just as moved when he thinks back to being cast in “Guardians,” which blasts into theaters Friday as the first installment in Marvel’s […]
July 28, 2014 | 2:14 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies’ trailer brings war to Middle-earth

Ian McKellen  and Luke Evans in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."  (Mark Pokorny /Warner Bros.)
The first official teaser trailer has arrived for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the film that will bring to a close Bilbo Baggins’ journey and mark the conclusion of Peter Jackson’s years-long cinematic exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth. Set to open Dec. 17, the film enjoyed a high-profile presence at San Diego’s Comic-Con International this past weekend, where Comedy Central host and massive Tolkien nerd Stephen Colbert was on hand to moderate the Hall H presentation devoted to the series, dressed head to toe in the Lake-town garb he wore in his brief cameo in the last “Hobbit” film. Joining Colbert and Jackson on the stage were a full assortment of familiar faces from both the “Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” films, including Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Elijah Wood, Graham McTavish, […]
July 28, 2014 | 1:35 p.m.

Comic-Con: Guillermo del Toro talks ‘Crimson Peak,’ ‘Pacific Rim 2′

If there was one creative force who appeared to be nearly omnipresent at San Diego’s Comic-Con International this year, it was Guillermo del Toro. The busy writer-director was on hand for the pop culture expo to discuss a slew of projects: his 2015 horror film, “Crimson Peak,” starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam; his FX TV series, “The Strain,” adapted from a trilogy of vampire novels he wrote with Chuck Hogan; the upcoming animated movie he’s producing, “Book of Life,” which arrives in theaters Oct. 17; and “Pacific Rim 2,” the sequel to last summer’s movie that paid glorious homage to the Japanese pop culture he adored as a child in Guadalajara. After debuting the first scenes from “Crimson Peak” at the Legendary Comic-Con panel in Hall H on Saturday, Del Toro sat down with Hero […]
July 28, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Hollywood stirs fan fervor to the very end

avengers-duo
If Hollywood seemed a tad quieter than normal this past weekend, there was a good reason: Like moths to a porch light — or Batman to the Bat Signal — film and television creators, executives and stars were drawn en masse to downtown San Diego in an effort to drum up excitement for their upcoming wares at the annual Comic-Con International pop-culture expo. The unveiling of the first footage from the highly anticipated superhero mash-up “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and an extended early glimpse at “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” may have sent the biggest reverberations through the four-day film, television, video-game and comic-book fest. But there was plenty of other news to stir the excitement of the 130,000 or so convention-goers who descended upon the San Diego Convention Center, many decked out in costume, to watch exclusive […]
July 27, 2014 | 10:44 p.m.

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1′ video: Katniss’ rebel cause

The new teaser for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″ is out, showing how Katniss Everdeen reluctantly finds herself the symbol of rebellion in the world of Panem, and the target of ruthless President Snow. The clip for the new film, due out in November, opens with a conversation between former games maker Plutarch Heavensbee (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Julianne Moore’s Alma Coin discussing how Katniss (played again by Jennifer Lawrence) is the only person capable of uniting a downtrodden populace terrorized by Donald Sutherland’s Snow. QUIZ: Test your ‘Catching Fire’ knowledge, Katniss fans The film arrives as the third installment in the “Hunger Games” franchise, adapted from Suzanne Collins’ bestselling post-apocalyptic novels. The movies have been box-office giants, with last year’s “Catching Fire” earning more than $854 million worldwide, and they’ve helped transform Lawrence into an […]
July 27, 2014 | 8:03 p.m.

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ trailer: Tom Hardy’s world of fire and blood [video]

Tom Hardy as Max in a scene from "Mad Max: Fury Road." 
(Jason Boland / Warner Bros)
Only one day after making a splash at San Diego’s Comic-Con International, Warner Bros.’ “Mad Max: Fury Road” makes a play for a wider audience, with the first trailer for George Miller’s action vehicle showcasing the intensity of star Tom Hardy and the movie’s chase scenes. Watch it below. Set for release May 15, 2015, the film, which also stars Charlize Theron, sees Hardy step into the role originated by Mel Gibson in “Mad Max,” the high-octane post-apocalyptic action film that spawned two hit sequels. In an interview with Hero Complex this weekend in San Diego, Miller said that he never could have imagined retuning to the franchise that launched his career so many years later. ” ‘Mad Max,’ was my very first film,” Miller said. It was made for $350,000, which even back then was very low-budget. I’d hardly ever been […]
July 27, 2014 | 10:14 a.m.

‘Mad Max: Fury Road': George Miller on car crashes, Tom Hardy’s animal magnetism

Tom Hardy as Max in a scene from "Mad Max: Fury Road." 
(Jason Boland / Warner Bros)
In the 35 years since Australian director George Miller made his debut with a gritty, high-octane post-apocalyptic action film called “Mad Max,” his road has taken many a twist and turn. The shoestring-budgeted “Mad Max” launched its star, Mel Gibson, to worldwide fame and spawned two hit sequels — 1981’s “The Road Warrior” and 1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” — and Miller went on to make such varied films as “The Witches of Eastwick,” “Lorenzo’s Oil,” “Babe: Pig in the City” and “Happy Feet.” Now, much to his surprise, Miller’s road has led him back to the “Mad Max” franchise, which he is rebooting with “Mad Max: Fury Road,” starring Tom Hardy — in the role Gibson originated — along with Charlize Theron. Hero Complex caught up with Miller just hours after footage from the film, which opens May 15, 2015, was greeted with raucous applause at Warner Bros.’ Comic-Con International panel. Hero […]
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