July 17, 2013 | 9:16 a.m.

‘Aliens,’ ‘Predator’ get Mondo poster treatment for Comic-Con

Aliens Predator Mondo posters
Two of the most fearsome extraterrestrials in modern sci-fi — the insect-like xenomorphs of the “Alien” films and the namesake hunters of the “Predator” series — get their close-ups in a pair of new posters by Mondo, the collectible-art division of the Alamo Drafthouse. The gallery above offers an exclusive peek at the posters, and a variant for each, all of which will be released at Comic-Con on Thursday. Australian artist Ken Taylor created the poster for “Aliens” (the second installment in the “Alien” franchise), which James Cameron directed in 1986. Taylor’s poster depicts a blood-red alien queen gnashing its teeth while flanked by two more aliens in the familiar black coloration. The variant print is a monochrome version washed in a sober gray-green. FULL COVERAGE: San Diego Comic-Con 2013 Taylor told Hero Complex, “Design-wise, the queen is such an […]
March 27, 2013 | 10:00 a.m.

Hero Complex Film Festival: ‘X-Files’ reopens for anniversary salute

With “The X-Files,” Chris Carter created the template for the modern science-fiction series and influenced the direction of serialized storytelling on television, which is why we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll commemorate the 20th anniversary of the show with a special closing-night screening at the fourth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. What’s more — you get to tell us which three episodes of the landmark series that detailed the exploits of intrepid agents Mulder and Scully that we’ll screen at the event. The Hero Complex Film Festival will take place May 10-12 at the Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, and the event will culminate with an evening tribute to “The X-Files.” Starting today, you can vote for three of 11 hand-picked episodes from the annals of “The X-Files” that we’ll show on the big screen. Your choices range from quirky […]
Feb. 06, 2013 | 5:00 p.m.

Earth-like planets — and aliens? — may be closer than we thought

This artist’s conception shows a hypothetical habitable planet with two moons orbiting a red dwarf star. Astronomers have found that 6 percent of all red dwarf stars have an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone, which is warm enough for liquid water on the planet’s surface. Since red dwarf stars are so common, then statistically the closest Earth-like planet should be only 13 light-years away. (David A. Aguilar / CFA)
Confirming what “Doctor Who” fans have long suspected, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CFA) have found that Earth-like planets, and possibly alien life, may be right in our celestial backyard. The closest Earth-like planet could be as little as 13 light-years away, the scientists said in a report released Wednesday. That’s still a distance of about 76 trillion miles, but in the context of our vast universe, it is practically right next door. Scientists: Earth-like planet could be just 13 light-years away The working definition of an Earth-like planet is one that is small, rocky and warm enough for liquid water to exist on its surface. Scientists have pegged these types of planets as a starting place to look for extraterrestrial life forms. For this report, the scientists analyzed data collected by NASA’s Kepler telescope, which is pointed at […]
March 13, 2012 | 10:15 a.m.

‘Alien Encounters’: A few sage (and Sagan) thoughts on invasion

Vintage publicity still for "This Island Earth" (Los Angeles Times archives)
When it comes to close encounters, Hollywood is  pretty far off. That’s the take-away from “Alien Encounters,” a pair of one-hour Science Channel specials that begin Tuesday night at 10 p.m.with “Alien Encounters: The Message”  and conclude with the March 20 premiere of “Alien Encounters: The Arrival.” Writer and producer Nick Sagan and Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute are among the voices that delve into the discussion of how alien contact might take place and what the scientific, cultural and psychological effects might be for our planet inhabitants. Our Geoff Boucher interviewed Sagan (who is also the son of the famed astronomer Carl Sagan) about the traditional Hollywood spin on flying saucers. GB: When you watch Hollywood’s portrayals of alien-contact films, what makes you groan? NS: Humans having any kind of sporting chance against hostile alien invaders armed with superior technology. Good luck. If they’re […]
Oct. 20, 2011 | 2:59 p.m.

Aliens! Zombies! L.A. convention attacks pop culture

Paul and a zombie from "The Walking Dead" (featured image)
Monsters enthusiasts of all stripes will congregate this weekend in Hollywood for the inaugural Aliens to Zombies Convention, an event that will bring together visual-effects artists with specialists in the other-worldly for panel discussions, creature-crafting competitions and more. Todd Masters, a monster-maker himself, co-organized the event with Bruce Haring, the director of JM Northern Media, which runs the DIY Convention and multiple book festivals. Masters, who founded MASTERSFX, the company that handles effects for shows including “True Blood” and “Falling Skies,” used his industry connections to assemble panels that kick off Saturday starting at 11 a.m. at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Participants will include “I Am Legend” effects artist Shaun Smith, Zombie Research Society founder Matt Mogk, “Encyclopaedia of Hell” author Martin Olson and Amalgamated Dynamics co-founders Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr., whose effects resume includes “The Thing” prequel […]
March 09, 2011 | 3:13 p.m.

‘Paul’: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost chat with Hero Complex readers

Surely you know Simon Pegg and Nick Frost from the cop parody “Hot Fuzz” or the modern comedy classic “Shaun of the Dead.” But if you’re the kind of person who reads Hero Complex, then you also know them from the essential BBC comedy “Spaced.” However you know them, the pair are known for being able to fluently speak geek. Their latest collaboration, “Paul,” does to sci-fi films what “Shaun” did to zombie movies and “Hot Fuzz” did to cop-buddy flicks. Pegg and Frost play a couple of guys who have fulfilled their lifelong dreams of attending San Diego’s Comic-Con International, but soon find themselves driving cross-country with a small gray alien that sounds exactly like Seth Rogen. Like their previous films, “Paul” is awash in pop culture references and in-jokes. Afraid you’ll miss one of the inside gags? No worries. […]
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