Dec. 18, 2012 | 11:41 a.m.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” broke a December box-office record by collecting $84.8 million over its debut weekend, but Hero Complex didn’t need the figures to know that J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” prequel would be popular. The first of Peter Jackson’s planned three-part adaptation of Tolkien’s landmark 1937 novel, “Unexpected Journey” chronicles the initial leg of Bilbo Baggins’ trek over the Misty Mountains to help Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his band of dwarf followers reclaim their lost treasure and their homeland. The second movie, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” is due next year, with the final chapter, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” due for release in 2014. We’ve counted down to the film’s theatrical release with exclusive interviews and photo galleries. Now that the spoiler-wary have had a chance to see “An Unexpected Journey” in […]
Dec. 14, 2012 | 1:47 p.m.
Ian McKellen speaks in a wise, mellifluous baritone that contains just a hint of impish glee. Over the course of his decades-long career, he’s used that voice to command armies on stage and on screen, holding audiences rapt in an array of roles, though McKellen, 73, might be most closely associated with characters devised by an unlikely quartet of dreamers — Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien and Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Of course, it’s Gandalf the Grey — rather than Kings Lear or Richard, or even Magneto, the electrifying foil to the X-Men’s Professor Charles Xavier — who’s occupied McKellen’s thoughts in recent weeks. The actor has undertaken the fairly daunting work of promoting his role in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which arrived in theaters Friday amid mixed reviews, though early criticism was hardly sufficient to quell fan enthusiasm. The first […]
Dec. 06, 2012 | 11:47 a.m.
The theatrical release of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is only a week away, but for those Peter Jackson fans who can’t stand the wait, here’s a Hero Complex exclusive sneak peek at a scene from the film. The clip, which runs 1 minute and 11 seconds, foreshadows the events of “The Lord of the Rings,” set 60 years after “The Hobbit,” and features Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Hugo Weaving as Elrond and Christopher Lee as Saruman sitting in council in the Elven city of Rivendell. Against a gorgeous backdrop of a waterfall at sunset, the scene reveals Gandalf’s motivation in helping Thorin Oakenshield and his company of dwarfs reclaim their home kingdom from the dragon Smaug. PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘The Hobbit’ “Smaug owes allegiance to no one, but if he should side with the […]
Nov. 26, 2012 | 10:42 a.m.
Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” will have its world premiere Tuesday — and Hero Complex will take you there with a live stream of the event beginning at 6:50 p.m. PST. Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Ian Holm, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood and more are expected to walk the red carpet. Neil Finn will also perform at the event in a set that will include ”Song of the Lonely Mountain” from the film’s soundtrack. Since those first notes were sung by Thorin Oakenshield and his dwarf companions in the debut trailers late last year, fans of J.R.R. Tolkein’s tome have waited to see Freeman and company put their stamp on the […]
June 04, 2011 | 7:26 a.m.
The mighty mutants of the Marvel Universe are back on the screen with “X-Men: First Class,” which hit theaters this weekend. The retro adventure begins in World War II and tracks through to the Cuban Missile Crisis to tell the secret history of mutants and set the stage for adventures shown in previously released films. There are a lot of new faces – good and evil mutants such as Azazel (played by Jason Flemyng), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Riptide (Álex González) and Darwin (Edi Gathegi) — but we’ve put together a photo gallery that explains some of the connections (and disconnects) between this throw-back adventure and the four previous Fox films. Just click “CAPTIONS ON” to read it but be warned there are some mild spoilers in there. – Jevon Phillips and Noelene Clark RECENT AND RELATED January Jones stressed by sexy suits Why is Kevin Bacon […]
July 09, 2010 | 2:12 p.m.
“This is Ian McKellen, who was a member of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ cast, feeling back home in Middle Earth …” That’s one of the opening lines of a new but brief interview with McKellen, the two-time Oscar nominee. The intriguing tidbit, though, is that the British actor was speaking at Weta, the esteemed New Zealand visual effects outfit that was cofounded by Peter Jackson and became a mighty cinematic brand name with its work on the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The Weta folks who conducted the interview were plainly thrilled to have McKellen in the building, and he sounded especially pleased to be there. “Gandalf sends his love …” he purred into the microphone at one point. McKellen’s presence at the Wellington facility will stir the soul of “Rings” faithful who are growing ever more fearful about the fate of “The Hobbit,” […]
March 18, 2010 | 12:58 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE This is a longer version of a story that will appear in the Sunday Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times and also on the cover of Brand X. Through the years, comic-book films took audiences to all the predictable places, including the grim streets of Gotham City and the doomed spires of planet Krypton, but, a decade ago, a new type of comic-book film had the audacity to set its opening sequence in a truly unexpected place — the gates of Auschwitz, where Jewish families were being marched through mud on their way to death and despair. From those first moments, “X-Men” set itself apart from the entire Hollywood history of comic-book adaptations and marked the beginning of this current era of fanboy cinema, which has dominated the box office and elevated San Diego’s Comic-Con International into something […]
Nov. 09, 2009 | 6:58 p.m.
I wish that, just for a moment, Ian McKellen actually possessed some of those nature-bending powers that he wielded in the “Lord of the Rings” and “X-Men” films because it would have been a delight to see him turn the set of “The View” into a charred crater. The esteemed 70-year-old thespian was a guest on the ABC daytime show last week and the footage is excruciating to watch. I have to say I didn’t know much about this show beyond its reputation for shrill banality but, after watching this, I’m discouraged by the fact that this a nationally aired show. (Thanks by the way to Jay West for sending me the link.) McKellen was on to promote “The Prisoner,” the new six-episode AMC series that begins Nov. 15, but he was met with a quartet of hosts who had their own flaky […]