March 07, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
Noam Murro had one question when he was asked to direct the follow-up to 2007′s bloody swords-and-sandals action film “300″: How do you make a sequel to a movie in which everyone died? The answer, in short: You don’t. Zack Snyder’s “300″ concluded with [spoiler alert!] Sparta’s King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his few, proud soldiers being gloriously slain while making a heroic stand against the overwhelming forces of Persian god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). The new “300: Rise of an Empire” uses that Leonidas-vs.-Xerxes narrative as a crucial plot point. In essence, the new film wraps its story around the earlier movie’s action to function as something more like a companion piece than a reboot. “What do you call it? A prequel? A sequel?” says Murro, 52. “It’s an equal, hopefully. It’s a different perspective of the same time. Thematically, […]
March 06, 2014 | 2:58 p.m.
Robert Rodriguez’s new trailer for “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is out, and it features exactly the same stylized black-and-white opera of violence that made its predecessor a starkly addictive viewing experience. Working with c0-director Frank Miller to bring his landmark graphic novel to the screen, Rodriguez’s 2005 “Sin City” might stand as one of the most faithful comic book adaptations ever made. Panel by panel, down to the last diagonal sheet of rain and stinking garbage heap, three volumes of the popular series were painstakingly “translated” to film for a movie that featured multiple story lines of grim noir action. Miller and Rodriguez reunited once again for the upcoming film, which features such returning cast members as Jessica Alba and Mickey Rourke alongside new additions including Ray Liotta, Josh Brolin and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The visual palette remains […]
Dec. 02, 2013 | 4:36 p.m.
“The Wolverine,” the most recent X-Men film starring Hugh Jackman as the troubled antihero, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD this week, a prelude to Jackman’s next turn as the character in May’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and a new stand-alone sequel announced last month. Released this past summer, “The Wolverine” marked a special moment for the Australian actor, who said he first read the landmark 1980 comic book by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller that inspired the film when he was shooting Bryan Singer’s original “X-Men.” Jackman said he was struck back then by the moody, introspective qualities of the saga and the nuanced portrait it offered of Logan and his exploits in Japan. “The guy who is the outsider, emblematic in a way of anti-authority, anti-tradition, anti-honor, anti-code, is in Japan with all these samurai and ninjas,” Jackman […]
June 12, 2013 | 10:38 p.m.
A new trailer for “300: Rise of an Empire” offers the same sort of swords-and-sandals splendor that made filmmaker Zack Snyder’s visually arresting 2006 adaptation of the landmark Frank Miller graphic novel such a hit. “Rise of an Empire” is not a sequel or a prequel but its own free-standing thing, taking place before, during and after the events of “300.” Directed by TV commercial ace Noam Murro and produced by Snyder, the film sees Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro reprise his role as Xerxes, the nefarious 9-foot-tall antagonist. “The movie looks cool. It’s beautiful,” Santoro told Hero Complex in an interview this year. “It’s like ’300′ but there are fresh things in there. It’s a smart way to do a sequel. The fans are going to be pleased.” More of the Persian “God King’s” back story will be revealed in […]
Jan. 29, 2013 | 5:01 p.m.
Kevin Smith has no small amount of praise for Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns.” “‘The Dark Knight Returns,’ for many people of my generation, for many people that followed, from the moment it was published forward is kind of like ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ of comic books,” Smith said at the West Coast premiere of “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2,” the concluding chapter of Warner Bros.’ animated adaptation of Miller’s landmark 1986 miniseries. “It’s a very important book that we all carry with us and just like the ‘Catcher in the Rye,’ they’ve never done a movie of it, because most people thought it was unfilmable,” he said. Perhaps, though the animated format seems to have served the story just fine, judging from the reaction of the audience attending a screening of the new PG-13 rated […]
Jan. 28, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
Frank Miller’s genre-shaking graphic novel “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” is getting the movie treatment. The second installment in the two-part animated adaptation premieres Monday evening at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. The premiere includes a panel discussion moderated by filmmaker and geek personality Kevin Smith, featuring director Jay Oliva, dialogue director Andrea Romano, executive producer Bruce Timm and screenwriter Bob Goodman. The panel will be live streamed from PaleyCenter.org beginning at approximately 8:30 p.m. The film — which doesn’t stray far from Miller’s classic 1986 story — features the voice talent of Peter Weller (“Robocop,” “Dexter”) as a time-worn (and probably psychopathic) Bruce Wayne who becomes so disturbed by Gotham’s worsening crime that he decides to come out of retirement against the wishes of local and national government. The president turns to none other than Superman to […]
July 21, 2012 | 10:10 a.m.
The defining moment in the history of the fictitious city called Gotham is when a trembling young boy in a tuxedo — he’s dressed up for a night at the theater — kneels next to his slain mother and father as a gunman runs off into the night. The gun-metal grimness of that scene in the 2005 film “Batman Begins” echoes in every part of director Christopher Nolan’s bleak and bruising franchise. And now, after the shooting at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo., the record-breaking Hollywood franchise will be remembered in shades of funereal black and lurid tabloid red. Police said the 24-year-old suspect had “painted” hair and told them after the shooting that he was the Joker, the warped murderer played by Heath Ledger in Nolan’s previous Batman film, “The Dark Knight.” According […]
Oct. 25, 2011 | 10:48 a.m.
The latest direct-to-video animated film from Warner Home Video is “Batman: Year One,” an adaptation of the landmark 1980s comics that became a template for the Christopher Nolan version of Gotham City and its corrupt police department. Bryan Cranston, who has won three Emmys for his work on the AMC series “Breaking Bad,” stars as James Gordon, the cop who is trying to sort out his personal life and survive the mean streets of a city on the edge. The cast also includes Benjamin McKenzie as Bruce Wayne, Eliza Dushku as Selina Kyle and Katee Sackhoff as Det. Sarah Essen. Our Geoff Boucher caught up with Cranston to talk about the film, which is now on sale. GB: Whether it’s in animation or in one of the live-action films, it seems like Gotham City is a must-visit place for character actors […]
June 30, 2011 | 8:01 a.m.
For the better part of a decade, Frank Miller has been talking about a graphic novel on terrorism called “Holy Terror,” but it was only this week that he could say the one sentence everyone was waiting to hear. “I’m done,” Miller said. “It was eight years in the making, but I’m done.” The 120-page book will hit the shelves right after the 1oth anniversary of 9/11 and Miller — the 54-year-old creator of “”The Dark Knight Returns,” “”300” and “Sin City“ – promises that the tale and imagery will be “pretty rough,” which is saying something given his history of scorching political rhetoric and ultra-violent artwork. For many followers of Miller’s career, though, the biggest shock of “Holy Terror” is the fact that it’s actually reaching stores. Miller is arguably the most important comic book artist of the last three decades but […]
Dec. 16, 2010 | 12:40 p.m.
I sent a note to Frank Miller asking if he had a moment to draw a holiday greeting for Hero Complex readers. I wasn’t sure what to expect. A “Sin City” Santa? A “Xerxes” Xmas? Here’s what I got back: “Christmas 2010,” Frank Miller – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED: Miller returns to “300″ without apology Zack Snyder: “Xerxes” script underway ESSAY: An Iranian-American wrestles with”300′s” message Miller searches for “The Spirit” of Eisner Miller: Imagine Sly in “Dark Knight Returns” Miller drops “terrible, glorious” F-bombs