May 29, 2010 | 9:46 p.m.
Chris Lee went on the set of “The A-Team” and found out firsthand that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson lives up to his nickname. This is a longer version of the Calendar cover story that will appear in the Sunday edition of the Times. Talk about a Bad Attitude. As early December darkness fell on the Vancouver set of Fox’s $100-million movie reboot of “ Pride of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and a former light-heavyweight champ (he is scheduled to fight May 29 for the title in Las Vegas) — a guy whose day job consists of beating the toughest men in the world into either submission or unconsciousness — Jackson stood in the middle of his trailer spewing invective with a glint of real menace in his eye. At issue: a movie crew member had wandered in on this final day of […]
May 05, 2010 | 10:01 p.m.
Chris Lee checks in with this exlcusive for the Hero Complex… On film, Jessica Biel has fought off Leatherface (in the 2003 reboot of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”), played an Austro-Hungarian duchess (in the art house mystery “The Illusionist”) and even served as the objet du desir for Adam Sandler’s closeted heterosexual schlemiel (in 2007’s “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry”). But Biel had a challenge of entirely different caliber with “The A-Team,” which opens June 11. She portrays Army specialist Lt. Charisa Sosa, ex-paramour of the Team’s dashing rogue, Templeton “Faceman” Peck (Bradley Cooper). Her character becomes the squad’s arresting officer when the four Iraq war covert operatives are set up for a crime they didn’t commit. And, as the actress explained in between scenes on the film’s Vancouver set in December, she had to bring in the big guns for […]
April 26, 2010 | 11:51 p.m.
ON THE SET: “THE A-TEAM” Here’s more Hero Complex coverage of “The A-Team” from Chris Lee’s visit to the set in Vancouver in December. Just like those prawn aliens in ”District 9,” Sharlto Copley has a strange, long-hidden secret in his South African past: It turns out the actor may have been the biggest “A-Team” fan in his native country. “It was my favorite show when I was a kid,” Copley said of the NBC commando series that is now the basis of a feature film opening June 11 with Copley as one of its stars. “For the first two years it was on, I wasn’t allowed to watch; my parents thought it was too violent. “But I sneak-watched a few episodes. And I used to tape record the audio.” And, guess what, Copley’s favorite character on the TV series just happened to be Capt. […]
April 23, 2010 | 12:00 a.m.
Filmmaker Joe Carnahan, known for edgy and indie crime films, is joining the remake craze of Hollywood with his upcoming film “The A-Team” and there’s a bit of resignation in his voice when he talks about it. “It’s getting tougher to lead out there with your chin and finance something that doesn’t have the loyalty of a fan base,” said Carnahan, whose debut feature “Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane” added some blood and guts to the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and was followed by his underworld explorations in ”Narc” in 2002 and “Smokin’ Aces” in 2007. There’s strong advance word on “A-Team,” which arrives in June and stars Liam Neeson, Rampage Jackson, Jessica Biel and Bradley Cooper, but the maverick-minded Carnahan says he yearns for the days when studios would take dark gambles such as Martin Scorsese’s 1976 classic “Taxi Driver.” “We’re not in […]
March 29, 2010 | 12:52 p.m.
Rachel Abramowitz goes back to the future to look at Hollywood’s big-time interest in the 1980s. Actor-writer-director Jorma Taccone remembers with loving fondness the gear montage from almost every ’80s action flick of his youth — Rambo movies and “Die Hard” and the “entire canon” of Arnold Schwarzenegger. “It’s people putting the big Bowie knife into the sheath, the shell belts over the chest, click-clacking the gun. It was a quintessential awesome moment. It has permeated the minds of people who grew up in that era. There are entire websites dedicated to the gear-up montage.” Of course, Taccone has included several choice gear-up moments in his new film “MacGruber,” based on the “Saturday Night Live” skits and starring Will Forte and Kristen Wiig. Opening May 21, “MacGruber” pays homage to the action films of the Reagan years. But Taccone is […]
Jan. 14, 2010 | 6:19 p.m.
ON THE SET Hero Complex commando Chris Lee visited the set of “The A-Team” in Canada last month and writes that the Fox summer film might be of a different caliber than fans might expect. The new trailer for Fox’s big-budget screen adaptation of “The A-Team” (due in theaters June 11) makes a point to hit the familiar touchstones of the cheese-tacular ‘80s action-comedy TV series. Liam Neeson’s character, Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, leader of the fun-loving crew of mercenary brigands, utters the late George Peppard’s signature line from the show: “I love it when a plan comes together!” And Bradley Cooper (in the playboy mercenary role of Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck made famous by Dirk Benedict ) looks at former UFC champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s B.A. Baracus character (Mr. T’s scowling dramatic creation) and remarks, “You look like you have a […]
Jan. 12, 2010 | 11:15 p.m.
The fugitives who always have a plan and drive a cool, souped-up black van are back, and we pity the fool who hasn’t seen the trailer for the 2010 big-screen remake of Stephen J. Cannell’s and Frank Lupo’s action-packed seminal ’80s TV show “The A-Team.” Not much reinvention here as the actors — Bradley Cooper as Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck, Liam Neeson as Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, Sharlto Copley as Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as Sgt. Bosco “B.A.” Baracus and new addition Jessica Biel as Lt. Sosa — don’t seem to stray too far from the core concept of the characters. Smart for director Joe Carnahan. The original Murdock (Dwight Schultz) and Faceman (Dirk Benedict) will apparently make appearances as well. Subtle, or not so subtle, links to the past are usually cool. Over-the-top, a bit snarky, […]