Nov. 22, 2013 | 12:32 p.m.
When it came time for Francis Lawrence to dream up his vision of Katniss Everdeen’s bleak, brutal world, the director of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” didn’t find inspiration in the famous sci-fi landscapes of cinema past. Instead, he reached back to movies steeped in real-world history to infuse the new sequel with emotional weight. “I looked a lot at movies like ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘Platoon,’ movies about Vietnam,” Lawrence said. “One of the things that really appealed is the idea of the consequence of war and the consequence of violence and many of the aspects of that, including things like PTSD.” The new film, which opens in theaters Friday, arrives as the second installment in the blockbuster adaptation of novelist Suzanne Collins’ YA adventures. The young heroine Katniss (played again by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence) has survived the events […]
Nov. 19, 2013 | 4:52 p.m.
For those of us who don’t receive our letters via owls, the United States Postal Service is releasing “Harry Potter”-themed postage stamps. Beginning Tuesday, Muggles can choose from stamps featuring Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) as well as other heroes and villains from the wizarding world. Hogwarts hopefuls might be rejoicing that the boy wizard has been immortalized on a “forever” stamp (stamps that aren’t assigned a specific cent value and can still be used if postage prices increase), but not everyone is happy about the Harry Potter stamps. Some members of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, which for 56 years has researched and recommended subjects for new stamps, are upset after the Postal Service bypassed that panel in its decision to run 100 million Potter stamps, the Washington Post reports. “Harry Potter […]
Nov. 19, 2013 | 12:22 p.m.
A new trailer for “The Wind Rises” is out, offering a glimpse at the film legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki has said will be his last. The Studio Ghibli release tells the story of real-life Japanese engineer Jiro Horikoshi, who designed the Zero fighter plane. The film, based on a short story by Japanese poet Hori Tatsuo, follows Jiro through pre-World War II Japan, the country’s devastating 1923 earthquake, a tuberculosis epidemic and economic troubles that preceded the war. It’s a departure from Miyazaki’s previous work, which often relied on myth, magical realism and a strong focus on nature. “The Wind Rises,” which marks Miyazaki’s first time directing since “Ponyo” five years ago, was released briefly earlier this month for an Oscar-qualifying run. Originally in Japanese with English subtitles, “The Wind Rises” will be released for North American audiences under […]
Nov. 18, 2013 | 1:00 p.m.
Cookie Monster enters the arena in a new “Sesame Street” parody of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” “The Hungry Games: Catching Fur,” released Monday, is replete with “Hunger Games” references, kicking off with an announcement by a Muppety version of Effie Trinket. “The time has come to choose who will play in the Hungry Games,” the pink puppet says. “And may the cookies be ever in your flavor.” Cookieness Evereat – Cookie Monster with a Katniss Everdeen braid — is lured in by the promise of cookies. “Me volunteer!” Cookieness yells. “Me volunteer to play!” Puppet versions of Finnick Odair (who is a finicky eater), Peeta Mellark (a piece of pita bread) and Wiress (who carries a clock with her) also make appearances. QUIZ: Test your ‘Hunger Games’ knowledge Cookieness and company must solve food-related puzzles to fend off the horrors of the Hungry Games arena, which are, […]
Nov. 14, 2013 | 11:26 a.m.
Katniss Everdeen is back in action in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” The movie sequel, based on the second installment in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian young-adult book trilogy, is due in theaters Nov. 22 and stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark. Though the pair were the victors of the 74th Hunger Games in the first film, their troubles are far from over when an unexpected twist lands them back in the battle arena, once more fighting for their lives. “She’s struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder after the games while living in Victor’s Village, where she never wants for food, and feels useless,” Lawrence said of her character’s evolution during Comic-Con International in San Diego this summer. “She’s adapting to a new life.” Directed by Francis Lawrence (“Water for Elephants,” “I Am Legend”), the film also stars […]
Nov. 13, 2013 | 3:34 p.m.
As Odin, venerable actor Anthony Hopkins plays the father to two obstinate sons and the whole of the Nine Realms in “Thor: The Dark World,” the latest Marvel sequel to score at the box office — the movie raked in $86.1 million domestically in its opening weekend, and that was after an impressive overseas debut. Hero Complex chatted this week with Hopkins to get his take on the Marvel universe, his experiences working with Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Tom Hiddleston as Loki and to ascertain what the future might hold for Odin — though, on that last point, Hopkins conceded that he might not have all the answers. Hero Complex: You were spotted with Stan Lee at the Hollywood premiere for “Thor: The Dark World.” What did you think of the film? Anthony Hopkins: It’s a terrific movie, action-packed, […]
Nov. 13, 2013 | 10:14 a.m.
“Divergent” fans got a glimpse of Tris Prior’s world in a new trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation and a live chat with the director Wednesday morning. The film, based on the popular young adult book trilogy by Veronica Roth, is set in a dystopian future in which teenagers are sorted into five factions based on their virtues. The trailer introduces heroine Tris, played by Shailene Woodley, who is born into the faction Abnegation, which esteems selflessness above all other characteristics. Like all teenagers, Tris takes an aptitude test to determine which faction she ultimately belongs to — Abnegation, Amity (kindness), Candor (honesty), Dauntless (bravery) or Erudite (intelligence). “The only way our society can survive is for each of you to claim your rightful place,” Kate Winslet’s Jeanine Matthews tells the young people in the trailer. “The future belongs to those […]
Nov. 13, 2013 | 7:04 a.m.
The first teaser trailer for Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent” has arrived, showcasing just how great the actress looks wearing the signature horns of the Disney sorceress. Due in theaters May 30, 2014, “Maleficent” is a live-action retelling of the 1959 animated classic “Sleeping Beauty,” but with a focus on the events that turned the character to the path of evil. The new clip mostly centers on a conversation between Maleficent and the Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning), but concludes with what appears to be one of the haunting climatic moments from the animated tale — the wicked conjuror raising a forest of thorns from the ground. Earlier this summer, footage from the film, including a scene in which Maleficent cursed the baby Aurora, was revealed for the first time at Disney’s D23 convention. “Since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always […]
Nov. 12, 2013 | 11:06 a.m.
A new poster for Disney’s “Maleficent” shows the film’s star Angelina Jolie clad in witchy garb, horns and all. The poster was released Tuesday to promote the film’s first trailer, set to be unveiled Wednesday morning. “Maleficent,” due in theaters on May 30, 2014, is a live-action retelling of the 1959 animated classic “Sleeping Beauty,” but with a focus on the events that turned the sinister sorceress to the path of evil. “A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land,” reads the film’s official description. “Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone.” The new trailer, to be revealed Wednesday at 6 a.m. […]
Nov. 11, 2013 | 6:26 p.m.
Tom Hiddleston had just spent six weeks living inside the melancholy mind-set of a vampire for a new Jim Jarmusch film when he turned up for the first day of shooting on “Thor: The Dark World.” Ready to reprise his role as the treacherous god Loki for the Marvel superhero sequel, which thundered to an $86.1-million opening this weekend, Hiddleston stood inside a prison cell set wearing the character’s green and gold costume and his trademark ebony locks. From behind a plexiglass wall, he glowered and dissembled for director Alan Taylor, but something was amiss. “I did the first take, and Alan was like, ‘Really nice. Wow … I think you can smile if you want to,’” Hiddleston recalled during a recent interview. “I was like, ‘Oh yes! Loki is a showman and he smiles all the time because he’s […]