Movies


Nov. 21, 2014 | 10:48 a.m.

‘Strange Magic’ trailer offers singing elves, fairies and goblins

Dawn (Meredith Anne Bull) is crazy for love; her sister Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood) takes a decidedly different stance in "Strange Magic." (Lucasfilm)
Disney has released the first trailer for the upcoming Lucasfilm animated musical “Strange Magic,” offering a glimpse of the movie’s eccentric world of fairies and goblins. The film, inspired by William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” pits the magical folk (sparkly fairies and elves) against the Dark Forest’s mysterious creatures (goblins and other troll-like creatures) in a battle over a dangerous potion. Based on a story by “Star Wars” mastermind George Lucas, “Strange Magic” will feature modern-day pop songs from the last six decades. The trailer features covers of “Wild Thing,” “Say Hey (I Love You)” and a rather grating rendition of “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch.” (Check out the trailer below) Gary Rydstrom, a seven-time Academy Award-winner for sound and sound effects editing, is directing the film from a screenplay penned by David Berenbaum (“Elf”), Irene Mecchi (“Brave,” “The Lion […]
Nov. 20, 2014 | 2:43 p.m.

‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ director on Jennifer Lawrence and Philip Seymour Hoffman

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen; Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee. (Lionsgate)
Inside filmmaker Francis Lawrence’s West L.A. office sits a framed collection of arrows with an inscription reading, “May the odds be ever in your favor,” a signature line that fans would immediately recognize from “Hunger Games” lore. The director received the gift for his work on last year’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which saw him take the reins on Lionsgate’s blockbuster franchise from original director Gary Ross. With the release this weekend of the third movie in the series, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” the odds would continue to be in Lawrence’s favor. The film, with Jennifer Lawrence reprising her starring role as headstrong archer Katniss Everdeen, is on track to break boxoffice records, possibly collecting as much as $160 million in just three days of release, according to some early estimates. “Mockingjay” sees the leaders of […]
Nov. 19, 2014 | 2:03 p.m.

‘Legends of the Knight’: Batman inspires ordinary heroes in documentary

A scene from "Legends of the Knight." (Brett Culp Films)
Filmmakers and comic book creators have taken Batman to some dark and scary places in recent years, but a new documentary steps away from the grim and gritty to examine the Dark Knight’s bright side as the character inspires people to do good. “Legends of the Knight,” out this week on DVD and video on demand, weaves together the true stories of ordinary heroes, including a man who dons the cape and cowl to visit children’s hospitals; a journalist whose love of superheroes offers her courage as she lives with muscular dystrophy; a town that comes together to grant the wish of a little boy with leukemia to be a superhero for a day; and a student who, while dressed as Batman, does anonymous good deeds for his community. The feel-good film, from director Brett Culp, also features extensive interviews […]
Nov. 19, 2014 | 11:11 a.m.

‘Cinderella’ trailer: Disney brings magic to live-action fairy tale

Lily James in "Cinderella." (Disney)
The first trailer for Disney’s live-action take on Cinderella is out, and from the looks of it, the film adheres closely to the animated classic, right down to the cartoon-y mice. “Cinderella,” directed by Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay penned by Aline Brosh McKenna and Chris Weitz, sees “Downton Abbey” actress Lily James wearing the Disney princess’ iconic glass slippers. “Game of Thrones” alumnus Richard Madden portrays her prince, Helena Bonham Carter plays her fairy godmother, and Cinderella’s trio of tormentors include Cate Blanchett as the stepmother and Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera as the wicked stepsisters. The trailer, released Wednesday, is narrated by Hayley Atwell (“Agent Carter”), who plays Cinderella’s mother — a character who does not appear in Disney’s animated rendition of the fairy tale. “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all […]
Nov. 17, 2014 | 12:24 p.m.

‘Star Wars Celebration’: Watch exclusive first-look video for fan expo

Organizers of Star Wars Celebration, the traveling confab that celebrates all things connected to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away, are expecting April’s gathering in Anaheim to be the biggest yet — thanks in no small part to the anticipation surrounding the release of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The 2015 Celebration rolls into the Anaheim Convention Center April 16-19, with interactive programming including diorama building, Jedi training and “Star Wars” tattooing. A new session of “Star Wars University,” a classroom-style presentation that in the past has featured a lesson in storyboarding with “Star Wars Rebels” executive producer Dave Filoni, also is set to take place during the semi-annual event . Last week, Hero Complex exclusively debuted the poster for the 2015 event; today readers can check out a new promotional video for the Celebration above. The Celebrations […]
Nov. 17, 2014 | 11:30 a.m.

‘Captain America: Civil War’: Fans respond to Daniel Brühl’s casting

Actor Daniel Brühl. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Speculation is ramping up about the role Daniel Brühl will play in “Captain America: Civil War” after Marvel announced his casting Friday. Brühl – who is known for his performances in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” and Ron Howard’s “Rush” (incidentally opposite “Thor” actor Chris Hemsworth) — will star alongside Chris Evans (Cap), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), and Chadwick Boseman (newcomer Black Panther) in the third “Captain America” installment. “With Daniel’s ability to deliver intense, nuanced performances, we knew we had found yet another great actor to share the screen with some of our biggest heroes,” producer Kevin Feige said in Marvel’s blog post announcing the casting. The film sees directors Joe and Anthony Russo returning after this year’s hit “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which has raked in more than $715 million at the international box office. Brühl’s role has yet to […]
Nov. 17, 2014 | 7:47 a.m.

‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ blitzes with ‘SNL,’ poster, TV spots

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' poster (featured image)
The Hollywood hype machine is kicking into high gear for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” which opens in theaters Friday. The latest additions to the blockbuster mega-franchise’s media blitz include two new TV spots, a new poster and a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” “Hunger Games” stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth crashed costar Woody Harrelson’s “SNL” opening monologue — a parody to Taylor Swift’s hit single “Blank Space” from her recent album “1989.” Lawrence’s co-stars used the opportunity to tease her about her tone-deaf singing voice, comparing it to the Internet-famous screeching goats. The weekend also brought a new street art-inspired poster for “Mockingjay – Part 1,” as well as two new TV spots (check them out below). In “The Hunger Games” films, Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, victor of the Hunger Games — […]
Nov. 13, 2014 | 5:01 p.m.

Star Wars Celebration: Exclusive first look at poster for Anaheim show

"Star Wars Celebration" will be held in Anaheim from April 16-19, 2015. (Lucasfilm)
For many fans, J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” looms on the 2015 release date calendar like a most eagerly anticipated holiday gift that can’t be unwrapped quickly enough. Organizers of Star Wars Celebration, the traveling confab that celebrates all things connected to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away, are hoping to capitalize on that enthusiasm, looking to build attendance for the 2015 gathering, which rolls into the Anaheim Convention Center April 16-19. (Hero Complex readers can get an exclusive first look at the poster for the 2015 event above.) “It’s going to be really interesting, because we are way ahead with ticket sales from where we usually are this far out,” said Mary Franklin, senior events and fan relations lead for Lucasfilm. “I feel safe saying this is going to be the biggest one yet.” The Celebrations date […]
Nov. 13, 2014 | 7:59 a.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ exclusive clip: James Gunn talks Groot

Groot in a screen shot from "Guardians of the Galaxy." (Marvel)
Of all the characters in Marvel’s groovy space romp “Guardians of the Galaxy,” an unexpected fan favorite might be Groot, a tree-like creature who somehow manages to be both adorable and deadly. With a five-word vocabulary and lethal fighting skills, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) protects his partner Rocket (Bradley Cooper’s snarky gun-toting raccoon) and the rest of the Milano’s oddball crew while his own motivations remain mysterious. Hero Complex readers get a closer look at Groot’s character design in an exclusive clip from the bonus features on the “Guardians of the Galaxy” home video release, out Dec. 9. “Once we got the function right, then we started to refine the look of Groot and give him that ability to be both very innocent and very fearsome,” director James Gunn says in the clip. “And Vin came in … and his […]
Nov. 12, 2014 | 1:25 p.m.

‘Divergent Series: Insurgent’ trailer features fire, action, Tris’ mom

A screen shot of a trailer for "The Divergent Series: Insurgent." (Summit)
The first teaser for “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” is out, offering a glimpse of a reality-defying action scene featuring Shailene Woodley’s heroine Tris. “Insurgent,” the second film in the movie franchise based on the bestselling YA novels by Veronica Roth, follows Beatrice “Tris” Prior, a girl who discovers she doesn’t fit neatly into one of five rigidly divided societal factions in a dystopian future version of Chicago, but rather has aptitude for multiple factions — a dangerous trait known as divergence. In the first film “Divergent,” which drew more than $288 million at the international box office earlier this year, Tris tried to hide her abilities and joined Dauntless, the faction based on bravery, where she met love interest Four (Theo James). But now, war looms between the factions, and Tris and her allies are fugitives from the power-hungry Jeanine […]
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