April 04, 2013 | 11:48 a.m.
Anybody familiar with Danny Boyle’s movies (“Trainspotting,” “Shallow Grave,” “28 Days Later,” “Slumdog Millionaire”) knows he is fond of disturbing images, and he doesn’t alter the course with his new art heist thriller “Trance.” The British filmmaker, speaking Saturday at an early screening of “Trance” hosted by Hero Complex at WonderCon in Anaheim, said he was drawn to “Trance’s” darker side largely as an antidote to his directing the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Boyle shot “Trance” while he simultaneously preparing the games, then finished work on the film after staging the ceremonies. “It was wonderful to do something so different to that big celebratory, endlessly positive, family-friendly” event, Boyle said of shifting from the games to “Trance.” “To go to the dark side on the other days was really, really wonderful.” The film stars James McAvoy as […]
April 03, 2013 | 12:21 p.m.
Danny Boyle’s art heist thriller “Trance” is as much about the theft of a precious painting as it is a study of memory. When a robber named Simon (James McAvoy) suffers a brain injury, he can’t remember where he hid the stolen masterpiece, so a hypnotist (Rosario Dawson) helps him rewind his mind to an earlier time. Consequently, “Trance,” which opens Friday, rapidly shifts between the present and the past — sometimes so quickly the audience has to sort out whether it’s watching a memory or a current event. “Einstein said that the only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once,” Boyle said Saturday at an early screening of “Trance” hosted by Hero Complex at WonderCon in Anaheim. “I think cinema is a complete contradiction of that — because the wonder of cinema is that everything […]
April 02, 2013 | 4:30 p.m.
Director Danny Boyle has directed some strong women in a number of memorable roles: Think of Freida Pinto in “Slumdog Millionaire,” Naomie Harris in “28 Days Later,” Kerry Fox in “Shallow Grave” and Virginie Ledoyen in “The Beach.” But the British filmmaker had never cast a woman as the dramatic axis of any of his productions until Friday’s “Trance,” which stars Rosario Dawson as a hypnotherapist trying to help an amnesiac art thief (James McAvoy) recall where he stashed a stolen masterpiece. Boyle first encountered the “Trance” screenplay nearly 20 years ago, when writer Joe Ahearne sent it to the filmmaker. Ahearne wanted to direct the movie himself, and eventually did as a television movie in 2001, but the script’s central premise — and the chance to have a female protagonist— stuck in Boyle’s mind. “The idea of a woman […]
March 18, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
“Trance,” the latest film from Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”), doesn’t open in theaters until April 5, but Hero Complex readers will be able to see the art world-set thriller early — and free — at a special screening March 30. Boyle will be on hand for a Q&A moderated by Hero Complex contributor John Horn following the film. The first feature from Boyle since the 2010 drama “127 Hours,” “Trance” stars James McAvoy as Simon, a fine art auctioneer who becomes mixed up with a criminal (Vincent Cassel) and seeks the help of a hypnotist (Rosario Dawson). There was a sneak preview of the film earlier this month at Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest Film Festival, where Boyle and his longtime musical collaborator Rick Smith from the English techno duo Underworld partnered on a DJ set at a […]
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 […]
June 02, 2011 | 3:56 p.m.
“X-Men: First Class” star James McAvoy was back at his home in London on Wednesday and waiting for the film’s opening weekend with the mix of anxiety and excitement you might expect. The film, directed by Matthew Vaughn, has been enjoying some stellar early reviews, and the actor who now plays Charles Xavier can’t help wondering if that means he will be losing his hair and his on-screen sense of humor in the months and years to come. The Fox film that opens Friday is a prequel to previous “X-Men” films — this one is set in the 1940s and 1960s — and Vaughn and producer Bryan Singer have talked about two more films that would follow this new story and add chapters that would fall, chronologically, in the decades leading up to the earlier movies. In those, Patrick Stewart portrayed Xavier as a serious man with big thoughts […]
June 01, 2011 | 4:20 p.m.
A couple of years ago, Kevin Bacon needed a few degrees of separation from his fame. He daydreamed of a crowded place where people didn’t tug at his sleeve to gush about “Footloose” or quote “Diner.” Finally, he went to a Hollywood makeup specialist and invested in a custom-made disguise that was weirdly simple but completely effective. He paid the $500 and then, with an anxious glee, he took his new rubber face to the Grove shopping center to experience an afternoon without autographs. “You wouldn’t have recognized me if I was standing next to you,” Bacon said with a faraway expression. “It was really bizarre and I didn’t really like it. I didn’t like it at all. People cut in front of you and when you’re at a check-out counter it’s just … different. People weren’t all that nice […]
April 26, 2011 | 2:23 p.m.
Here’s an early look at my “X-Men: First Class” preview in the Summer Sneaks issue in the upcoming Los Angeles Times Sunday Calendar issue. How’s this for unexpected territory in a superhero film: “X-Men: First Class” not only uses the Kennedy years, the Civil Rights movement and the Cuban Missile Crisis as a backdrop for its retro tale, the movie’s story of two massively powerful mutants who struggle against bitter prejudice was directly informed by the complicated lives of Malcolm X and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “It came up early on in the rehearsal period and that was the path we took,” says Michael Fassbender, who stars as the emotionally scarred Erik Lehnsherr, who will become the militant mutant known as Magneto. “These two brilliant minds coming together and their views aren’t that different on some key things. As you […]
Feb. 23, 2011 | 9:16 a.m.
James McAvoy leads the way to the past in ”X-Men: First Class,” which opens June 3 and presents him as a younger Charles Xavier, the mutant master who sees the world in very different ways than his frenemy, Erik, who is destined to become Magneto. Our Geoff Boucher caught up with McAvoy a few weeks ago while the 31-year-old Scottish actor was shooting the Fox film in L.A. GB: It sounds like you had your hands full with the water-tank work here in L.A.? JM: It was me saving Michael Fassbender’s … which is always fun. We worked together before, we met on “Band of Brothers,” which was my first TV job and probably his first or second. We both ride motorbikes, you know, scooters, around London, and every now and again, we’d pass each other and stop and give an old pump […]