Dec. 22, 2014 | 4:08 p.m.

‘Star Trek 3′ boldly goes forward with ‘Furious’ director Justin Lin

Director Justin Lin is photographed on the Universal Studios lot, in advance of his newest film "Fast & Furious 6, " April 9, 2013. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
“Star Trek 3″ has found a director in Justin Lin. The “Fast & Furious 6″ filmmaker will take over the project from Roberto Orci, who previously had signed on to direct the third installment in Paramount’s rebooted “Star Trek” franchise, sources confirmed Monday. The film would have marked the directorial debut of Orci, a “Trek” veteran who wrote the scripts (with Alex Kurtzman and then Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof) for the previous two movies in the series, 2009’s “Star Trek” and 2013’s “Star Trek Into Darkness.” The most recent movie prospered at the box office, earning more than $444 million worldwide after opening to mostly positive reviews, though many fans groused about the veil of secrecy that surrounded the villain who was played by Benedict Cumberbatch, a character first identified as John Harrison and later revealed to be the iconic […]
Dec. 22, 2014 | 2:15 p.m.

Mike Colter set as Luke Cage for Marvel ‘Jessica Jones’ series

Mike Colter has been cast as Luke Cage in the netflix series "AKA Jessica Jones." (Marvel)
Marvel has found its Luke Cage. Actor Mike Colter (“Halo: Nightfall”) will star as Luke Cage for Marvel’s upcoming Netflix show “A.K.A. Jessica Jones,” a 13-episode series set to premiere next year. Krysten Ritter will play the title role based on the comics character created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos. Writer-producer Melissa Rosenberg will oversee the series, which is said to focus on Jones as she works as a private investigator in New York following a short-lived run as a superhero. Ritter appeared in AMC’s acclaimed drama “Breaking Bad” and in the comedy “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23,” among other projects, and she can be seen on the big screen this month in Tim Burton’s “Big Eyes,” about the lives of Margaret and Walter Keane. In addition to starring in Microsoft’s original series “Halo: Nightfall,” Colter’s […]
Dec. 22, 2014 | 12:51 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies': Richard Armitage finds his inner Thorin

English actor Richard Armitage shares some interesting traits with his “Hobbit” alter ego, valiant dwarf Thorin Oakenshield. “I had to be pretty honest with myself because you do get asked that question a lot, ‘Where are you like the character?'” Armitage said earlier this month. “I’m very stubborn and pigheaded like Thorin… I’m a little bit taller than him. And I can grow a beard at an astonishingly weird rate.” Armitage’s confession was one of the highlights of the special Imax preview screening of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which took place Dec. 11 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & Imax. Armitage was joined on stage for a Q&A following the movie by his “Five Armies” costar Lee Pace, who plays the Elven King Thrandruil. Check out video from the conversation below. The final installment […]
Dec. 19, 2014 | 4:36 p.m.

New video game ‘Hatred’ takes ugly aim at the industry’s progression

There's nothing to love about the early looks at "Hatred." (Destructive Creations)
THE PLAYER Congratulations, video game community. You have graduated. Like film and television before you, you are now mainstream. In the same way there are those who see lots of films and those who only see a few films, there are those who play lots of games and those who only play a handful. Some play more, some play less, but the video game community now belongs to us — all of us. Resistance is futile, but that isn’t stopping purists from trying, desperately, to fight back. They long for a time when video games were underground and playing itself was an act of rebellion, and no doubt the past year in games has been a tough one for them. LIST: Todd Martens’ best video games of 2014 Changes are not just afoot, but are in fact galloping over long-held […]
Dec. 19, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

2014 Games: There was ugliness, but diversity won

Snow White keeps players in check in the game "The Wolf Among Us." (Telltale Games)
THE PLAYER One of the most unforgettable video game characters of 2014 was a princess and one whose name most Americans would recognize: Snow White. Only this version of Snow White isn’t exactly similar to the royal in fairy tales of yore. A star of Telltale Games’ “The Wolf Among Us,” this Snow White is a tough, no-nonsense New Yorker. The Snow of “The Wolf Among Us” is a rarity in video games, in part because she’s a woman and in part because Telltale has crafted a game in which Snow’s every word can send the player into a second-guessing headache. LIST: Todd Martens’ best video games of 2014 Snow also couldn’t have come at a better time. Much of the past year in gaming was marred by a quasi-Internet-driven movement known as “gamergate.” The phrase was almost immediately associated […]
Dec. 19, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

Todd Martens’ best video games of 2014

Here's a look back at some of the best video games of 2014.
THE PLAYER New faces dominated interactive entertainment in 2014, from a tiny princess adrift in a puzzling kingdom to a Native American lost in the Alaskan arctic. Those looking for something familiar, take heart, an Italian plumber still had a role in one of the best games of the past 12 months. Here’s a look back. “Monument Valley” (Ustwo). Miniature kingdoms — some in the sky, some in meadows, some in black holes — toy with our perception as we guide a princess through forgotten lands. Each tap of the screen reveals an unexpected perspective, all of them suitable for framing. “Framed” (Love Shack). A comic book sprung to life; panels can be slid and rotated to drastically change the action. This is an uniquely mobile experience and one that has the player acting like the director of an animated […]
Dec. 18, 2014 | 1:47 p.m.

‘Hobbit’: Lee Pace, Richard Armitage salute Peter Jackson’s ‘Battle’ vision

Of all the visually striking sequences in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” one of the most arresting comes well into the film, the final installment in Peter Jackson’s latest fantasy trilogy, where dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield is wrestling with the greed and arrogance that threaten to rob him of his honor. At a special Hero Complex fan screening of “Five Armies” on Dec. 11 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX, Thorin actor Richard Armitage explained how that scene came together — it was born out of collaboration between Armitage and Jackson. “There were so many moments of experimentation throughout the course of filming, but this was toward the end of the shoot,” said Armitage, seated beside his “Hobbit” costar Lee Pace. “It was just a simple stage direction which said, ‘Thorin sees his reflection […]
Dec. 18, 2014 | 1:40 p.m.

‘The Hobbit': Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens on ‘Five Armies’ ending

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” filmmakers Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh are bidding Middle-earth goodbye after six films. “Five Armies,” which caps “The Hobbit” prequel trilogy, is in theaters, and though director  Jackson says he’s “too close” to the movies to know if they’re good, fans of the series appear to be showing up in force at the box office. “Five Armies” grossed more than $11 million in domestic ticket sales for opening-night showings Tuesday, in addition to the roughly $125 million it has earned overseas. For Jackson and Boyens, who spoke to Hero Complex via phone prior to the film’s release, it’s been a long journey from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” which introduced moviegoers to writer J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy world more than a decade ago, to […]
Dec. 18, 2014 | 12:40 p.m.

‘Shutter’: Joe Keatinge, Leila Del Duca get weird with Image series

'Shutter' No. 7 (featured image)
While interviewing writer Joe Keatinge and artist Leila Del Duca about their creator-owned Image Comics series “Shutter,” the first thing that stands out is how often they make each other laugh. There’s a relaxed, friendly energy between the two collaborators that is clearly evident, even through the filter of a conference call, and that personal connection has translated to outstanding creative chemistry on the comic-book page. Keatinge and Del Duca have two very different histories with the medium. A Los Angeles native, Keatinge grew up in an area heavily populated with comic shops, and can’t recall a time when comics weren’t a part of his life. Del Duca was raised in Missoula and Billings, Mont., where comic shops were scarce. She was exposed to the medium through the Internet and the early days of webcomics, but it wasn’t until college […]
Dec. 18, 2014 | 11:23 a.m.

‘Hobbit’ stars Lee Pace, Richard Armitage share ‘Five Armies’ memories

Even for the stars of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” the film’s impressive visual scale can come as something of a surprise. At a special Hero Complex fan screening of the film on Dec. 11 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX, actors Lee Pace, who plays the Elven king Thranduil, and Richard Armitage, who stars as the dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, explained what it’s like to watch director Peter Jackson’s vision unspool on screen after having spent so much time on the New Zealand set. “You see a lot of stuff that you never knew was there when you were shooting it,” Pace said. “I remember talking to Pete about the army, ‘It’s going to be a big army, right?’ ‘Oh yeah, it’s going to be big.’… Then I watch the movie back and […]
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