March 25, 2014 | 10:39 a.m.
The new trailer for “Hercules” has arrived, and from the looks of it, the film is hoping to appeal to the “Game of Thrones” crowd with scenes of its muscle-bound mythic hero, massive armies and expansive vistas of a faraway land. Due in theaters July 25, the film, directed by Brett Ratner and based on Steve Moore’s series for Radical Comics, sees Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in warrior mode as the son of Zeus who comes to the aid of the King of Thrace to help defeat a powerful warlord. The movie’s impressive supporting cast includes Ian McShane, John Hurt, Joseph Fiennes and Rufus Sewell, though the trailer emphasizes the film’s CG spectacle with Hercules facing off against fantastic creatures. When it comes to large-scale, action-adventure movies, Johnson is a Hollywood fixture. In recent years, he’s joined the “Fast & […]
March 15, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
Cinema has plenty of classic couples — Hepburn and Tracy, Bogart and Bacall, Brad and Angie — but few are as ageless or as lovable as Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. The charming amphibian and his porcine paramour are reunited on the big screen for the eighth time in “Muppets Most Wanted,” which opens Friday. In this Disney caper, the Muppets fall into the clutches of the world’s No. 1 criminal, Constantine, who, with the exception of a facial mole and a vaguely Eastern European accent, bears a striking resemblance to Kermit. After a case of mistaken identity leads to Kermit’s imprisonment in a Siberian gulag run by Tina Fey’s warden Nadya, Constantine — disguised as the Muppets frontman — travels with the gang to major European capitals to pull a series of heists with the help of his […]
March 13, 2014 | 10:56 a.m.
Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and more stars of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” are expected to walk the red carpet tonight for the film’s world premiere. Hero Complex readers can watch the red carpet event live at 6 p.m. PDT, as well as see an exclusive clip from the Marvel sequel. “Winter Soldier,” due in theaters April 4, sees Evans reprise his role as the star-spangled hero of “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “The Avengers.” In “Winter Soldier,” Evans’ Steve Rogers remains in he employ of S.H.I.E.L.D., occasionally teaming with Johansson’s Black Widow on key missions. Yet even as he bonds with a military man named Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Cap finds himself with few people he can trust as his past quite literally comes back to haunt him in the form of a close friend […]
Feb. 14, 2014 | 1:24 p.m.
At this time of year the cinematic conversation usually is centered on Oscar front-runners, or the best titles that screened in Park City, Utah, or looking ahead to how much money “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” stands to rake in when it kicks off the summer blockbuster season. But in TV land, “The Walking Dead” is cable’s highest-rated drama. The astonishing popularity of that series owes to a number of factors — compelling characters under constant threat, grappling with what it means to be human in a world beset by inhuman calamity. And also zombies. In other words, all the hallmarks of what makes for the best horror cinema. With that in mind, it seemed a good time to explore the undying popularity of horror movies. As the two L.A. Times writers who most frequently cover the genre, we’re both serious […]
Feb. 06, 2014 | 4:46 p.m.
Ben Kingsley is back as the Mandarin — or more precisely, actor Trevor Slattery — in Marvel’s new one-shot, “All Hail the King.” The Oscar winner originated the comic book villain for last summer’s blockbuster “Iron Man 3,” turning up as a dangerous terrorist determined to bring down billionaire playboy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Of course, as the story advanced, the Mandarin was revealed to be something other than what he initially seemed, a character far removed from the scientist and martial artist who first appeared in comics in 1964’s “Tales of Suspense” No. 50. In director Shane Black’s film, Kingsley played to great comedic effect a failed English actor who was hired to create the role of a warrior philosopher with a driving hatred for America to help distract Stark from the machinations of Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian. […]
Jan. 31, 2014 | 11:34 a.m.
Early on a recent evening on the edge of Beverly Hills, Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha was breaking into song. Seated in the ballroom of a luxury hotel with Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman, the star of his new $120-million reboot of “RoboCop,” the director was feeling mirthful about the looming release of his first Hollywood production, which arrives in a hail of CG action and automatic weapons fire just before Valentine’s Day. Padilha made a name for himself with his 2002 documentary “Bus 174,” which chronicled a gruesome hijacking in Rio de Janeiro, and a pair of ultra-violent action movies — “Elite Squad,” about a Rio special-forces unit, won the Golden Bear award at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival; its sequel, “Elite Squad: The Enemy Within,” ranks as one of the highest-grossing Brazilian films in history. “RoboCop,” a retelling of the […]
Jan. 31, 2014 | 9:27 a.m.
An action-packed new teaser for the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Super Bowl spot debuted Friday, featuring stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Anthony Mackie in full on action movie mode. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” arrives with the promise of bringing to the screen the famous 2005 comic book storyline by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting that inspired the name of the Marvel sequel, and the new film certainly will feel like a departure from Joe Johnston’s 2011 hit “Captain America: The First Avenger,” with its World War II-era focus that chronicled the beginning of Steve Rogers’ transformation into the Marvel icon. The sequel, which is set after the events depicted in 2012′s “The Avengers,” sees Evans’ hero having remained in the employ of S.H.I.E.L.D., occasionally teaming with Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, or Black Widow, on key […]
Jan. 30, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” arrives in theaters April 4 with the promise of bringing to the screen the famous 2005 comic book storyline by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting that inspired the name of the Marvel sequel. Star Chris Evans and fraternal directing team Anthony and Joe Russo also looked back to certain cinematic landmarks to help bring a contemporary resonance to the superhero tale. Marvel “told us that they wanted to do a ’70s thriller, and we grew up on ’70s thrillers,” Joe Russo said in an interview with Hero Complex last year. “We’ve seen ‘The French Connection’ 50 times, studied it frame by frame.” Although Anthony and Joe Russo are best known to a certain swath of fans for their groundbreaking work on the subversive cult comedies “Community” and “Arrested Development,” they were able to […]
Jan. 14, 2014 | 2:59 p.m.
“Carrie,” last year’s big-screen retelling of Stephen King’s first published novel, arrives on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday with an alternate ending and some featurettes exploring the making of the film, which stars Chloe Grace Moretz as the traumatized telekinetic who becomes the brunt of a cruel prom night prank. The experience of making the film, a remake of Brian De Palma’s 1976 classic starring Sissy Spacek in an Oscar-nominated turn, was profoundly emotional for the young actress, who shot to fame with memorable turns in such films as Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” and the “Kick-Ass” movies, not to mention a winning guest stint on the television comedy “30 Rock.” In an interview with Hero Complex prior to the release of the movie, Moretz mentioned that she relied on the support of her family members to help carry her through the production. […]
Jan. 13, 2014 | 1:17 p.m.
“Behind the Candelabra” actor Michael Douglas will star in “Ant-Man,” Edgar Wright’s 2015 comic book adventure for Marvel. Douglas is set to play original Avengers member Hank Pym, Marvel announced on its website Monday. In the comics, Dr. Pym is a scientist who invents a shrinking serum that allows him to sneak around in miniature form and surprise foes. “With Hank Pym’s rich history in the Marvel Universe, we knew we needed an actor capable of bringing the weight and stature to the role that the character deserves,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said in the announcement. “We felt incredibly relieved when Michael Douglas agreed to step into the part with the charm and fortitude he brings to every character he inhabits, and couldn’t be more excited to see what he will do to bring Hank Pym to life.” Douglas […]