April 01, 2015 | 7:17 a.m.

‘Star Wars': R2-D2 looks for love in fan-made short film

The now-iconic “Star Wars” droid R2-D2 takes a page from Pixar’s lovestruck robot Wall-E in a new fan-made short film. “Artoo in Love,” from director Evan Atherton, depicts the android and the unlikely object of his affections — a blue mailbox. The mailbox, wearing an enormous, pink hairbow, does what mailboxes do while R2-D2 woos her (it?) with picnic lunches, caricatures and even a movie night, projecting a romantic scene between Han Solo and Princess Leia from the “The Empire Strikes Back.” Though we’d like to think that the clever little droid who helped take down the Galactic Empire would be able to tell the difference between a mailbox and true love, the short film is about as cute as an Ewok. Check it out above and let us know what you think in the comments. Meanwhile, the Star Wars Celebration […]
April 01, 2015 | 6:00 a.m.

‘She Makes Comics’ sheds light on how women shaped the medium

'She Makes Comics' logo
Long before Scarlet Witch, Batgirl or even Wonder Woman, women were shaping the comics business. “She Makes Comics,” a feature-length documentary that had its premiere at last month’s Long Beach Comic Expo, traces the enduring impact women have had on the industry. Chances are its deeper than many remember. While increasing diversity in pop culture, and comics in particular, is an of-the-moment issue — no less than three panels at this weekend’s WonderCon will explore the subject — women have been a guiding force in the modern comics industry since at least the early 20th century. “She Makes Comics” contains the footage to prove it. The film goes behind the scenes and features interviews with dozens of influential industry figures, ranging from comics pioneer Joyce Farmer, Comic-Con International organizer Jackie Estrada, comic book editor Janelle Asselin and founding editor of DC’s edgy imprint Vertigo Karen […]
March 31, 2015 | 1:40 p.m.

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ trailer: Tom Hardy on the run

Tom Hardy in "Mad Max: Fury Road." (Warner Bros.)
The new trailer for George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” is out, and it finds Tom Hardy in a bind. “In this wasteland, I’m the one who runs from both the living and the dead” opens the voiceover as Hardy’s Mad Max Rockatansky is doing just that. “A man reduced to a single instinct: survive.” “Fury Road,” set for a May 15 release, marks the relaunch of the post-apocalyptic “Mad Max” franchise that kicked off with Mel Gibson as the titular hero in 1979. Unlike most recent reboots, “Fury Road” marks director Miller returning to the franchise for the fourth time to revisit the world he started over 35 years ago. The trailer, viewable above, reveals more of the post-apocalyptic desert wasteland the film is set in, as well as a better glimpse of Hugh Keays-Byrne as the villainous warlord […]
March 31, 2015 | 6:57 a.m.

Are Adam West and Burt Ward returning to the Batcave?

'Batman & Robin'
It’s been a long bat-time and it’s a different bat-channel, but Adam West and Burt Ward appear to be heading back to Wayne Manor. The two dropped the news at a convention over the weekend in Charlotte, N.C., telling the assembled crowd at the Mad Monster Party that there will be at least one 90-minute animated film to celebrate the 50th anniversary of 1966 film “Batman: The Movie.” Insert full-color “POW!” and “ZAP!!” animations here. PHOTOS: Batman actors through the years Well, hopefully. A spokesperson for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment declined to comment, saying the company will only speak on “official announcements.” Ward, however, was far from quiet about the proposed project. “You can look forward to a new animated ‘Batman’ full-length 90-minute feature, coming out on the 50th anniversary,” said Ward, who portrayed Robin for the campy film and series. The […]
March 30, 2015 | 1:14 p.m.

Is Hugh Jackman hanging up his Wolverine claws?

Hugh Jackman as Logan in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (Twentieth Century Fox)
Hugh Jackman — who has played Wolverine in seven “X-Men”-related films and counting — appears to be nearing the end of his run as the ornery Marvel mutant. The actor is set to reprise his long-running role in a third as-yet-untitled solo Wolverine film in 2017, a project he’s now alluding will be his last hurrah as the character. The star hinted at the news in a recent Instagram post (below) that reads “WOLVERINE …ONE LAST TIME. HJ” Don’t despair — there may still be a few opportunities to see Jackman in the Wolverine role. Although it is unconfirmed, Jackman is rumored to be appearing in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” due in theaters May 27, 2016, and could potentially make a cameo in “Deadpool,” set for February 12, 2016. Jackson’s Instagram post comes just days after Jennifer Lawrence revealed to MTV that “Apocalypse” will mark her last appearance as the shape-shifting Mystique. The […]
March 30, 2015 | 10:34 a.m.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ video introduces Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver

Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver in Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron." (Jay Maidment / Marvel)
A new featurette for Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” offers a closer look at newcomers Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. The video, which Marvel released Monday, showcases the formidable sister-and-brother team Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, portrayed on the big screen by Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and their superpowers and contrasting personalities. “Quicksilver is very fast,” director Joss Whedon says in the video (watch it above). “As fast or almost as fast as a bullet.” He’s also quick-tempered, Taylor-Johnson notes. Meanwhile, Scarlet Witch is “grounded and thoughtful,” Olsen explains. As for her powers, they seem to diverge somewhat from her comic-book ability to alter reality. “She’s got telekinesis, she can move things, and she can get inside your head so that all your worst fears or doubts come to the fore,” Whedon says in the video. And judging from the featurette […]
March 28, 2015 | 12:08 p.m.

‘Spectre’ trailer reinvents a famous Bond rival

Daniel Craig in 'Skyfall'
The trailer for “Spectre,” the next James Bond film, has been online for a few hours, and it sees the return of some familiar faces and the dark reinvention of some others. It also comes with a particularly sinister line, this one spoken by “Quantum of Solace’s” Mr. White (Jesper Christensen): “You’re a kite, dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond.” When it comes to villains, none are as poetic as those who face off against Mr. Bond. “Spectre,” still filming, won’t be released til Nov. 6. The film is the fourth with Daniel Craig in the Bond role, and second to be directed by Sam Mendes. The latter point is key, as the trailer for “Spectre” reveals that the film appears to be a pretty direct sequel to 2012’s “Skyfall.” The film will reintroduce the terrorist organization SPECTRE to the […]
March 27, 2015 | 11:49 a.m.

‘Deadpool’ star Ryan Reynolds looks cozy in suit reveal

Actor Ryan Reynolds revealed his official “Deadpool” get-up to fans via Twitter on Friday, with a dose of the Marvel character’s trademark wisecracking attitude. Clad head-to-toe in red and black, the star is seen laying supine on a fur and lit by a roaring hearth. “No bears were harmed in the making of this photo. Though many bears likely turned on,” Reynolds tweeted.  With great power, comes great irresponsibility. #deadpool #officialsuit @deadpoolmovie — Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) March 27, 2015 The photo serves as a reminder that 20th Century Fox’s “Deadpool,” set for release on  Feb. 12, 2016, strays far from the path tread by superhero blockbusters to date. The film is based on the Marvel character Wade Winston Wilson, known for a tendency to break the fourth wall and speak directly to comic book readers. The antihero, first portrayed by Reynolds […]
March 26, 2015 | 1:16 p.m.

Lex Luthor and more bald baddies: Who did it best?

Jesse Eisenberg has gone hairless to play a villain, but he's far from the first. Click through the gallery to see other memorable bald baddies in film. (Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines; Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Actor Jesse Eisenberg looks sinister as Lex Luthor in the first image from the upcoming “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” He’s less built than the Luthor in the comics, but just as bald. The image — a black-and-white portrait of the actor in character — surfaced on Entertainment Weekly on Wednesday morning. Eisenberg is hardly the first actor to go bald for a villainous role on the big screen. The film world has often depicted characters with a penchant for evil with shiny noggins. Max Schreck’s blood-hungry performance in the 1922 horror film “Nosferatu” is hauntingly hairless. More recently, Karen Gillan got sadistic in hues of blue as Nebula in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Before Eisenberg, Kevin Spacey took a turn as DC Comics’ wealthy supervillain in “Superman Returns.” Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor: Twitter reacts to Batman/Superman casting Plenty […]
March 26, 2015 | 12:48 p.m.

Remembering Leonard Nimoy on his birthday: Spock’s legacy lives long, and we prosper

Leonard Nimoy, who died last month from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, would have celebrated his 84th birthday Thursday. The beloved actor is best known for playing the iconic “Star Trek” character Mr. Spock. Author Steve Hockensmith examines Nimoy’s legacy in a guest essay for Hero Complex. He was Spock — even if, as obituary after obituary recently reminded us, he once tried to deny it. Fortunately, Leonard Nimoy seemed to have made his peace with the character that largely defined his career. When he passed away in late February at the age of 83, Nimoy was a sort of benevolent father figure to the flourishing nerd culture he helped create. Though he’d officially passed the Spock mantle to another actor, he remained a supportive presence in the new “Star Trek” films, continued to (lovingly) spoof his connection to the franchise […]
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