June 11, 2012 | 9:03 a.m.
The 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival is history now but before we move on (yes, Comic-Con awaits) we wanted to share an email that came in from James Gelberg, a bright and remarkably poised 15-year-old who attends Valley Christian High School in Cerritos. In his freshman year Gelberg started a Classic Film Club and asked if I would stop by for a club screening of “Batman” for a Q&A with the members. That led to a great visit, and when Gelberg asked if we needed an eager volunteer during the festival I told him he could help out with our expanded trivia contests by keeping track of questions, handing out prizes, etc. This is his account of the weekend, which started with an already-scheduled school trip to San Diego and then a mad dash back to the festival at L.A. Live. If you’d told me […]
May 24, 2012 | 6:46 p.m.
We’re still recovering from the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival (maybe you are too) and we’ll be posting videos soon from the long weekend of movies, memorable moments and madness, but first there’s a bit of unfinished business: Andrew Stanton promised to send over some fun behind-the-scenes Pixar photos from the “Wall-E” days and we promised to post them and … here they are. The two-time Oscar winner was the guest after our Sunday matinee screening of the most cosmic of Pixar films and he mentioned that the editorial department at Pixar had a bit of fun by taking a reference model of M-O over to the Sears Portrait Studio where warm family memories are preserved forever, um … tasteful flair? — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Brad Bird: Hollywood won’t copy Pixar ‘John Carter’: Andrew Stanton digs into Mars ‘Rango’: Verbinski’s new approach The […]
May 11, 2012 | 11:01 a.m.
It’s almost here — we’re just one week from the start of the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival and with the franchise in its third year we’ve moved to a sweet new home (Regal Cinemas at LA Live, where in September we brought you a 30th anniversary screening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” with Steven Spielberg and surprise guest Harrison Ford) and expanded the program (four days now with more than a dozen guests, including three that haven’t been announced). To get a bead on the festival, peruse the photo gallery above — be sure to click the “CAPTIONS ON” option if you don’t see text across the bottom of each image — and you’ll get a snapshot description of all of eight of our separately ticketed screenings. The box here on the right leads to the ticketing page. And how about those fun images in the gallery? […]
April 25, 2012 | 12:14 p.m.
2012 HERO COMPLEX FILM FESTIVAL Writer-director Andrew Stanton won his second Oscar with the evocative sci-fi tale “Wall-E” and on May 20 at the Hero Complex Film Festival the filmmaker will return to familiar space to reconnect with the Pixar hit. Five years have passed since the cosmic comedy won over moviegoers and critics alike and cemented the Hollywood stature of Stanton, who had previously taken home an Academy Award for “Finding Nemo,” regarded by many Pixar fans to be among the best — if not the best — of the company’s historic run of feature films. Stanton went on to direct “John Carter,” the huge fantasy film that got caught up in Disney cross-currents and became the most bruising Hollywood headline so far this year. Stanton will talk about his next step — could it be a return to Pixar? Fans who buy […]
March 09, 2012 | 11:55 a.m.
Never work with children or animals, the Hollywood adage goes, because they steal every scene. A fantastical addendum for the Martian action-adventure epic “John Carter” might be: Never work with a 10-legged, giant lizard dog either. Woola, the homely, Martian canine creature called a Calot in director Andrew Stanton’s new Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation, was little-seen in the promotion or marketing for the film, but has emerged as an early fan favorite. “It’s sort a boy and his dog,” Stanton said, explaining Woola’s appeal. “Who wouldn’t want a dog that could run like the Roadrunner in the Warner Bros. cartoons and go that fast?” A kind of Barsoomian man’s best friend, Woola quickly cottons to Taylor Kitsch’s flinty Confederate Civil War veteran, following him loyally across the Red Planet’s sandy dunes. Like his master, Woola travels with unearthly speed. The […]
March 07, 2012 | 5:28 p.m.
Andrew Stanton has spent almost five years of his filmmaking career in the orbit of John Carter’s Mars, but even in the decade before that he was pondering the Red Planet’s cinematic possibilities — and the question of which actor could swing the hero’s sword in a feature film adaptation. The Hero Complex IMAX Screening Series brought Stanton and his new film, “John Carter,” to Burbank for a free, early screening of the Disney fantasy epic, and in the Q&A after the movie the director explained that, as a devoted fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ character John Carter, he followed every twist and turn of the property’s convoluted path to the screen, even when it was Robert Rodriguez or Jon Favreau listed as director. In the video above, Stanton also said he locked in on Taylor Kitsch as a leading-man candidate all the way back in 2006 […]
March 03, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.
This post has been corrected, as detailed below. “John Carter” director Andrew Stanton was motivated to make the Disney adventure film, which hits theaters March 9, out of “selfish fan desire,” he told a packed theater after an early screening of the film earlier this week. Stanton, best known for directing the acclaimed and popular Pixar films “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E,” spoke during a Q&A after a free IMAX screening Monday hosted by Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher, describing how he came to love the franchise through the John Carter Marvel comics, which led him to the original novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. “This idea of seeing this movie on the screen, I’ve had for 36 years — not as a filmmaker, but as a fan. The year I read it was the same year, later, I saw ‘Star Wars,’ and then […]
March 02, 2012 | 8:57 a.m.
The windstorm on the way was a nasty one — blinding dust clawing at the red sandstone cliffs, big rigs shuddering and shimmying on their way to the Arizona state line. But with his scarf, goggles and ginger beard, filmmaker Andrew Stanton had the aplomb of an Old World explorer willing to take some elemental beatings if there’s a chance he can put his name on the maps of the future. “On the really harsh days I just keep saying to myself, ‘OK, this is my David Lean moment, this will be the adventure I can look back on,'” Stanton said on that 2010 afternoon in Utah as the wind howled across the set of “John Carter,” the mega-budget fantasy epic that reaches theaters Friday. “This is an adventure and something like this shouldn’t be easy.” Any explorer knows that you […]
Feb. 29, 2012 | 4:10 p.m.
John Carter’s cosmic adventure on Mars is a checklist of what every 11-year-old boy wants, Andrew Stanton told a packed theater Monday after an early screening of his Disney film “John Carter.” The IMAX screening and Q&A in Burbank, Calif., were hosted by Hero Complex writer Geoff Boucher. The film, which opens in theaters March 9, follows a Civil War veteran who is transported to Mars, where he finds himself caught in the middle of a war between alien kingdoms. The story is based on the classic adventure novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. “When you’re 10 or 11 years old, and you’ve discovered girls, but they haven’t discovered you yet, and you’re reading about this ordinary guy that’s suddenly extraordinary on another planet, he’s got the coolest best friend, the coolest pet, and he’s winning the heart of the most […]
Feb. 23, 2012 | 10:09 a.m.
“John Carter” will arrive at theaters with something to prove — the Disney fantasy epic is expensive, the trailers haven’t won over the Comic-Con crowd and early polls of moviegoer interest aren’t very pretty at this point — but director Andrew Stanton said his years at Pixar working on projects like “WALL-E” and “Toy Story” taught him to ignore the early skeptics. “That’s always been the case,” Stanton said on the red carpet before the film’s Wednesday premiere in downtown Los Angeles. “People don’t remember how much naysaying there’s been on how much of the other stuff we’ve worked on. You just gotta trust us. We really put our heart and soul into making movies that you’re going to have a real good time watching.” “John Carter,” based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs bookshelf hero who debuted a century ago, opens on March 9. Taylor […]