Movies


April 14, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.

‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ writers revel in Marvel universe

Christopher Markus, left, and Stephen McFeely in Markus' home studio. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
In a competing superhero franchise, the wisecracking sidekick might have summed up “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” with a well-timed “Holy meta-narrative, Batman!” Drafting the sequel to 2011′s hit comic book movie adaptation “Captain America: The First Avenger,” screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely faced challenges above and beyond delivering the kind of slam-bang action-adventure associated with a nearly unstoppable super soldier dressed in star-spangled fatigues. “Cap 2″ (as the project became known) needed to fit squarely into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That is, into a narrative continuum established by the movie’s production company Marvel Studios where costumed heroes such as Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye and the Hulk have turned up in one another’s tent-pole movies since 2008. PHOTOS: ‘Captain America’ stars walk the red carpet Encompassing future films and TV shows whose plot lines and outcomes are all, to […]
April 14, 2014 | 6:30 a.m.

‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’: New TV spot for Michael Bay epic

Actor Mark Wahlberg received the MTV Generation Award at Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards, and during the telecast, Paramount revealed a new TV spot from the actor’s upcoming blockbuster, “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which sees him join up with Michael Bay’s hit franchise. Written by Ehren Kruger and directed by Bay, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” stars Wahlberg as mechanic Cade Yeagar, a father and everyman who becomes embroiled in the high-stakes action that ensues when warring tribes of alien robots duke it out here on planet Earth. The latest installment, set to open in theaters June 27, introduces Dinobots into the mix. In a 2012 interview with Hero Complex, Bay talked openly about his plans for a fourth “Transformers” movie, saying at the time that it “absolutely” will be his last. “Here’s the thing,” Bay said at the time, “it’s tough to […]
April 12, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Oculus’: Karen Gillan on ‘Doctor Who,’ horror, action hero boot camp

Karen Gillan is photographed in Los Angeles April 2, 2014. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
In her childhood years in Inverness, the quaint Scottish city nestled miles away from Loch Ness in the country’s picturesque highlands, Karen Gillan developed a bit of an obsession with darkness – perhaps a natural reaction to growing up in a place with limited sunlight and the mythical presence of monsters nearby. As a young girl, she’d watch episodes of “Tales of the Unexpected” with her mother and films such as Wes Craven’s satiric “Scream” with her friends. “One time, my friend came over to my house dressed in the ‘Scream’ costume and jumped into my room and it was the scariest moment of my life,” Gillan recalled recently over a cup of English breakfast tea at a West Hollywood hotel. “I’ve always been a horror film fan.” So, when director Mike Flanagan approached Gillan about starring in his time-bending […]
April 11, 2014 | 11:32 a.m.

‘Oculus’ director on smart horror, Karen Gillan’s ‘spitfire intensity’

Karen Gillan stars in "Oculus." (John Estes/ Relativity)
In the new horror film “Oculus,” which arrives in theaters Friday, Karen Gillan plays a confident young woman who fearlessly confronts the demons of her past – which just so happen to reside inside a haunted mirror that slowly drives its victims insane. The film is based on a short that director Mike Flanagan made back in 2005 — the expanded feature-length treatment allows Flanagan to jump back and forth between the past and the present, as the audience witnesses young Kaylie (Annalise Besso) and her brother Tim (Garrett Ryan) become increasingly fearful of their parents’ (Rory Cochrane and Katee Sackhoff) unusual behavior. As an adult Kaylie (Gillan) decides to confront the evil spirit inside the lethal Lasser Glass, and recruits her brother (Brenton Thwaites) to assist her in her scheme. With its time-bending, hallucinatory structure, “Oculus” aspires to the […]
April 11, 2014 | 8:52 a.m.

‘Allegiant,’ the finale to ‘Divergent,’ will be split into two films

“Allegiant,” the third book in Veronica Roth’s massively successful “Divergent” trilogy, will get a two-part big-screen adaptation, Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate announced Friday. “Allegiant – Part 1” will be released in theaters on March 18, 2016 and “Allegiant – Part 2” on March 24, 2017. The Shailene Woodley-starring “Divergent,” based on Roth’s first book in the dystopian adventure series, has earned more than $116 million at the domestic box office since opening three weeks ago, and is set to open in France, Germany, Russia, Australia and other markets this weekend. Pre-production for “Insurgent,” based on the second book in the series, is  underway, with Robert Schwentke taking the reins from “Divergent” director Neil Burger. That film is set to open March 20, 2015. In splitting the final installment into two parts, Summit is following a formula proved successful by the […]
April 10, 2014 | 12:10 p.m.

‘Hercules’: Dwayne Johnson adventure channels ‘Game of Thrones’ in clip

“Look at me. Do I look afraid?”  Dwayne Johnson’s fearsome hero asks an enemy in a new clip released from “Hercules,” Brett Ratner’s coming sword-and-sandals adventure due in theaters this summer. The new scenes from “Hercules” debuted Wednesday night on MTV in the run-up to the network’s annual MTV Movie Awards, set to be hosted by Conan O’Brien this weekend. The clip sees the warrior and his comrades walk into a confrontation with an army of painted warriors. Ratner’s film about the mythical hero hits theaters July 25 and is based on Steve Moore’s series for Radical Comics; Johnson stars as the son of Zeus who aids the King of Thrace in his quest to topple a fearsome warlord. While it will be a CG-heavy affair, “Hercules” has a strong supporting cast that includes Ian McShane, Joseph Fiennes, Rufus Sewell […]
April 10, 2014 | 8:42 a.m.

‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ director Marc Webb talks ‘emotional’ sequel

Inside a darkened sound mixing stage on Sony’s Culver City lot, Marc Webb, the director of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” labored to balance a sonic cocktail of music, sound effects, background noise and dialogue while, across a massive screen at the front of the room, Electro, the luminescent blue villain played by Jamie Foxx, wreaked havoc on a busy night in Times Square. “Does it sound sloppy there?” Webb asked editor Pietro Scalia. “How far down can we drop the sound effects and how long can we keep them out? It just feels really busy.” With just two days left to finalize the movie’s soundtrack, the pair worked alongside a team of roughly a dozen technicians to refine a key sequence in what is expected to be one of the biggest movies of the summer. A reverb effect was added […]
April 09, 2014 | 4:05 p.m.

‘Captain America’: Samuel L. Jackson on Nick Fury’s ‘Winter Soldier’ turn

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” blasted into theaters this past weekend, bringing to the screen a tale inspired by the famous 2005 comic book story line by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting and earning a record-breaking $96.2 million in domestic theaters. But the movie also has bigger ideas on its mind — drone technology, government surveillance, corruption and the unchecked consolidation of powers are all engines that drive a narrative in which Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers begins to uncover a conspiracy at international espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. He finds allies in Scarlett Johansson’s spy Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, and veteran Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), who has his own heroic identity as the Falcon, but also in Nick Fury, the cagey operative made famous by Samuel L. Jackson in a growing number of Marvel movies (and even […]
April 09, 2014 | 10:24 a.m.

‘Game of Thrones’ star Emilia Clarke covers new Hero Complex magazine

emilia-hero
“Game of Thrones” heroine Daenerys Targaryen takes the spotlight on the cover of the latest issue of the Hero Complex print magazine, available now. In a detailed interview, actress Emilia Clarke reveals how her approach to playing the Mother of Dragons on the hit HBO fantasy has evolved over the lifespan of the sprawling series, based on the bestselling novels of George R.R. Martin. “I’ve been growing with her, which is the exciting part,” Clarke said. “Man, she’s got more strength than I have, that’s for sure. Getting to be with her throughout this growth process is so exciting as an actor. While she’s pushing herself, I get to push myself and my acting every season.” (Click through the gallery above for a look at Season 4 of “Game of Thrones.”) The issue also features new interviews with “Godzilla” director […]
April 08, 2014 | 5:12 p.m.

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ posters spotlight iconic weapons

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael
Four new character posters for the upcoming Michael Bay-produced “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” were released Tuesday, spotlighting each turtle’s weapon of choice. Each poster features one of the turtles’ three-fingered hands (do we call them hands?), wrapped in the appropriate color wristband and wielding his favorite weapon. Leonardo wears blue, and his hand clutches one of his two trademark katanas. Raphael, in red, wields a pair of sai. Michelangelo, orange, sports a pair of nunchakus, and Donatello, purple, carries a bo staff. Check out the posters of the mean, green fighting machines in the gallery above. They come a couple of weeks after the release of the film’s first trailer, an action-packed preview that featured the heroes in a half shell facing off against baddies in the subway and body surfing down a snowy mountain. The movie mutants seem to […]
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