July 23, 2014 | 4:54 p.m.
If you’re planning to spend any time in downtown San Diego this weekend, keep an eye out for Homer Simpson’s head. That iconic bald pate is expected to take up a noticeable portion of the city’s shoreline in a clever bit of promotion for “The Simpsons,” one of thousands of movies, TV shows, comic books and video game titles vying for attention at the annual pop culture expo that kicks off Thursday. Comic-Con International long ago evolved from its modest origins — it began as an intimate gathering in the basement of San Diego’s U.S. Grant Hotel in 1970 — into an important marketing platform for Hollywood, an opportunity for studios and networks to bring an increasingly broad range of movies and series directly to an enthusiastic audience of roughly 130,000 fans amid a frenzied, carnival-like atmosphere. But with life-size […]
March 03, 2014 | 11:25 a.m.
Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres might have taken down Twitter with the star-studded selfie she snapped during Sunday night’s Academy Awards telecast, but earlier in the evening, English actor Benedict Cumberbatch crafted one special impromptu photograph of his own. Cumberbatch has a way of setting Internet hearts aflame even on an average day, but the actor, who had a role in Sunday’s best picture Oscar winner, “12 Years a Slave,” managed yet another “meme-orable” turn on the Academy Awards’ red carpet, leaping into frame as venerable rock band U2 was posing for a group photo. Hands raised, with a silly expression, Cumberbatch might now rank as the most amusing celebrity photobomber of all time. Best picture from the #Oscars? Cumberbatch photobombs U2. More here: http://t.co/JJYce9QqJG (Pic: Reuters/Mike Blake) pic.twitter.com/RwJZYmkguJ — The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 3, 2014 He did turn up in […]
Feb. 18, 2014 | 3:30 p.m.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” reigned at the box office during the holidays, earning more than $860 million worldwide after it opened Dec. 13. Now the film is set to arrive on Blu-Ray and DVD on April 8 — in a variety of packages, including a limited edition set selling for $105.43. The limited collector’s edition includes two Gates of Erebor replica bookends from the Noble Collection and features the theatrical version of the film in 3-D high-definition, high-definition and standard definition; only 25,000 will be available in the U.S. For those hoping to own the film at a lower price point, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” will be available as a Blu-ray 3-D combo pack for $44.95, a Blu-ray combo pack for $35.99 and as a 2-disc DVD special edition for $28.98. All versions include a digital […]
Feb. 04, 2014 | 1:16 p.m.
Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for his performances as the eponymous detective in “Sherlock” and the villainous Khan in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” is appealing to the “Sesame Street” crowd. In an adorable video from PBS titled “Benedict Cumberbatch and the Sign of Four (or is it Three?),” the actor receives a “perplexing puzzle” from Murray Monster, who has dubbed himself “Murray-arity” — a reference, of course, to the brilliant Sherlockian villain Moriarty. “Are you ready for my brain-bending challenge, Sherlock?” the furry red monster asks Cumberbatch. “I’m not really Sherlock,” Cumberbatch responds. “I just play him on the television.” “What’s your name, then?” Murray asks. “Benedict.” “Well then are you ready for my brain-bending challenge Benedict Sherlock?” The Muppet proceeds to ask Sherlock whether there are more apples or more oranges on the table. “You’re the super-sleuth. Figure it out!” […]
Jan. 03, 2014 | 1:54 p.m.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” reigned at the box office during the holidays, earning more than $658 million worldwide since it opened Dec. 13. The second installment in Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s landmark 1937 novel chronicles Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) journey through the dark and mysterious Mirkwood Forest and through Lake-town to help Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company of dwarfs reclaim their treasure-filled homeland from the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). The third and final movie, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” is due in theaters Dec. 17. Hero Complex counted down to “Desolation of Smaug” with exclusive interviews, videos and photo galleries. Now that the spoiler-wary have had a chance to see “Smaug” in theaters, here’s a look back at our coverage leading up to its release. GALLERIES ‘The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: 60 […]
Dec. 30, 2013 | 2:56 p.m.
Peter Jackson and Joe Letteri will receive the Producers Guild of America’s Vanguard Award next month for the groundbreaking digital creations dreamed up in New Zealand’s WETA Digital. It’s an appropriate honor. Together, Jackson and Letteri have conjured all manner of creations — Letteri won Oscars for his work on two films in Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and on the writer-director’s remake of “King Kong” (though Andy Serkis’ vivid performance-capture turns as Gollum and the lovelorn giant ape were certainly central to those victories). The duo might be in contention for Academy Awards once more for Jackson’s latest fantasy adventure, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The movie is brimming with technological marvels — the spiders of Mirkwood, the dynamic barrel chase scene — but perhaps none are quite so marvelous as the vividly rendered dragon Smaug played […]
Dec. 16, 2013 | 5:00 p.m.
Benedict Cumberbatch inspires the sort of rabid, overwhelming Internet love usually reserved for cats wearing sweaters and cute baby videos, but sitting with the actor even briefly, it’s sort of easy to understand why. In the course of 20 minutes, Cumberbatch, while enjoying a cup of tea and some Swedish Fish, sounded off with ease and eloquence on his personal relationship to the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, his “porn star dragon” Smaug — one of the two characters to receive title billing in the latest epic fantasy from Peter Jackson, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — and dealing with international celebrity (specifically being recognized for his acclaimed portrayal of Sherlock Holmes by a waitress in Oklahoma, a tale he shared by dropping in and out of a rural American accent). Check out what he had to say below. Hero […]
Dec. 11, 2013 | 4:09 p.m.
When it came time to craft “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second installment in their latest trilogy of movies based on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, filmmaker Peter Jackson and his screenwriting partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens had a decision to make. The story, as they saw it, was crying out for a dynamic female character. So, they invented one. With the film arriving in theaters Friday, audiences soon will have the opportunity to meet Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel, the first character entirely crafted by Jackson and his creative counterparts for the screen. She’s a fierce warrior, the captain of the guard in the forest of Mirkwood, and she’s apt to be controversial, merely because she represents perhaps the greatest digression yet from Tolkien’s classic texts. Hero Complex caught up with Boyens to discuss Tauriel in greater detail, […]
Dec. 10, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” barrels into theaters Friday, but for fans who can’t wait to return to Middle-earth, here’s a sneak peek at the movie. “Desolation” is the second installment in Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. The film picks up where “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” left off, after Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the company of dwarfs barely escape from a band of bloodthirsty orcs. The orcs are still in pursuit in the second film, but the travelers must also face enormous spiders, the dangerous Mirkwood elves and, of course, the eponymous dragon, Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). The images released so far provide peeks at the forest realm of the Mirkwood elves, the gloomy waters of Esgaroth (also known as Lake-town) and the treasures of Erebor, the […]
Dec. 09, 2013 | 12:32 p.m.
A new trailer for “Sherlock” Season 3 offers a glimpse of Benedict Cumberbatch’s consulting detective — alive and well after faking his death in last year’s season finale. The one-minute trailer, released Sunday, also shows a mustachioed Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman), sharing a bed with Mary Morstan, the character’s wife in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories about the pair of private eyes. Incidentally, Freeman’s real-life partner Amanda Abbington plays Morstan, who makes her debut in the upcoming season. Fan anticipation for the Golden Globe-nominated show’s return is high after the cliffhanger in Season 2′s finale, “The Reichenbach Fall,” in which Sherlock appeared to leap to his death from a tall building but was afterward revealed to be secretly and inexplicably alive. The mystery of his survival will be unraveled quickly in the new season, co-creator Steven Moffat told Comic-Con […]