Noelene Clark

July 22, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Divergent’ producers tap Veronica Roth’s Dauntless power for sequel

Theo James, left, and Shailene Woodley in "Divergent." (Summit Entertainment)
While the spring blockbuster “Divergent” doesn’t arrive on Blu-ray and DVD until Aug. 5, the first film based on Veronica Roth’s bestselling young adult book trilogy is available for digital download Tuesday, giving fans a chance to catch up with the dystopian adventure set in a future version of Chicago. “Divergent,” which has earned nearly $275 million at the worldwide box office since opening in March, follows Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), a young heroine where people are tested and sorted into five factions based on personality. Tris finds out she is divergent, meaning she has an aptitude for multiple factions and doesn’t fall neatly into one category — a dangerous trait in the rigidly divided society. She hides her divergence and decides to join Dauntless, the faction based on bravery, where she finds herself among a group of tattooed warriors. Hero […]
June 09, 2014 | 10:44 a.m.

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: Charting the video game console evolution

(William Lu / For Hero Complex)
The world’s largest annual video game trade show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, kicks off in downtown Los Angeles this week, with more than 45,000 people expected to converge on the L.A. Convention Center for the event. Now in its 19th year, E3 has become a mecca for video game developers, retailers, industry professionals and journalists. The trade show, which is to run Tuesday through Thursday and is not open to the public, often serves as the pulpit for the industry’s biggest announcements, such as last year’s reveal of two next-generation video game consoles — Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. Buzz on the show floor often revolves around the rivalry between the major consoles, and though the wars between the systems couldn’t be more contemporary or contentious, the modern-day brawl has been more than three decades in the making. […]
May 11, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Game of Thrones’ death matrix: Connecting the 36 most shocking demises (so far)

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Cersei Lannister said it best: “When you play the Game of Thrones, you win, or you die.” Since HBO’s massively popular and critically acclaimed political fantasy series, based on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, arrived in 2011, numerous characters have been dispatched in all manner of gruesome ways, and the body count seems only to climb higher with every passing episode. Even the tagline for the current fourth-season is a translation of “Valar morghulis,” the High Valyrian phrase meaning “All men must die.” With that in mind, we’ve created a detailed look at how so many deaths on “Game of Thrones” spiraled out from the off-camera passing of Jon Arryn, the former hand to the former king, Robert Baratheon, whose widow Cersei (Lena Headey) spoke those prophetic words to none other than the ill-fated Ned […]
April 25, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ takes motion-capture into real world

Caesar, portrayed by Andy Serkis (in performance capture suit), in a scene from the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (David James/20th Century Fox)
A troop of men in skin-tight motion-capture suits darted across a sparse set inside a Manhattan Beach studio on a late October morning. A grid of more than 50 cameras recorded their movements as they grunted and screeched their way toward a gray platform where Andy Serkis crouched. The 49-year-old actor snarled and flared his nostrils, stretching the white markers painted on his face. Anyone watching the scene unfold on the bank of computer monitors tended by the Weta Digital visual effects team, however, would have seen a herd of chimpanzees scampering by. “Good, OK, let’s keep rolling, and let’s do one more even more territorial,” called out “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” director Matt Reeves. “Just a little harder, a little louder.” When it comes to helming the sequel to 2011’s breakout hit “Rise of the Planet […]
April 17, 2014 | 5:52 p.m.

‘Star Wars': Disney takes on original trilogy in new kids’ book series

"The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight," by Tony DiTerlizzi and Ralph McQuarrie. (Disney-Lucasfilm Press)
Disney is releasing a new series of children’s books based on the original “Star Wars” trilogy, starting with a collaboration between bestselling children’s author Tony DiTerlizzi and the late iconic concept artist Ralph McQuarrie. The “Star Wars Saga” series will hit stores beginning with DiTerlizzi and McQuarrie’s picture book “The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight” in October, Disney Publishing Worldwide announced Thursday. Three subsequent books will follow, leading up to the highly anticipated December 2015 movie release of “Star Wars: Episode VII.” The additional titles include retellings of “A New Hope” by R.J. Palacio (“Wonder”), “The Empire Strikes Back” by Adam Gidwitz (“A Tale Dark and Grimm”) and “Return of the Jedi” by Tom Angleberger (“Origami Yoda” series). The books will be illustrated by “Star Wars” concept artist Iain McCaig and published under the Disney-Lucasfilm Press imprint. DiTerlizzi, best known […]
April 14, 2014 | 10:47 a.m.

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ TV spot reveals glimpse of Splinter

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” fans got a look at some new scenes from the upcoming summer film during Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards. The latest TV spot offers a first look at the turtles’ trainer, Master Splinter. The teaser opens with an action montage with several scenes already featured in last month’s trailer, an action-packed preview that showed the heroes in a half shell facing off against baddies in the subway and body surfing down a snowy mountain. The TV spot (watch it below) also revealed several new scenes, including Raphael punching out a hooded thug, Donatello (Jeremy Howard) wearing one of his trademark inventions and one of the turtles launching off a cliff on some sort of rocket-propelled skateboard. Meanwhile, a voiceover narrates: “You live, you die, you fight as brothers. Remember, nothing is as strong as family.” The new […]
April 11, 2014 | 8:52 a.m.

‘Allegiant,’ the finale to ‘Divergent,’ will be split into two films

“Allegiant,” the third book in Veronica Roth’s massively successful “Divergent” trilogy, will get a two-part big-screen adaptation, Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate announced Friday. “Allegiant – Part 1” will be released in theaters on March 18, 2016 and “Allegiant – Part 2” on March 24, 2017. The Shailene Woodley-starring “Divergent,” based on Roth’s first book in the dystopian adventure series, has earned more than $116 million at the domestic box office since opening three weeks ago, and is set to open in France, Germany, Russia, Australia and other markets this weekend. Pre-production for “Insurgent,” based on the second book in the series, is  underway, with Robert Schwentke taking the reins from “Divergent” director Neil Burger. That film is set to open March 20, 2015. In splitting the final installment into two parts, Summit is following a formula proved successful by the […]
April 08, 2014 | 5:12 p.m.

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ posters spotlight iconic weapons

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael
Four new character posters for the upcoming Michael Bay-produced “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” were released Tuesday, spotlighting each turtle’s weapon of choice. Each poster features one of the turtles’ three-fingered hands (do we call them hands?), wrapped in the appropriate color wristband and wielding his favorite weapon. Leonardo wears blue, and his hand clutches one of his two trademark katanas. Raphael, in red, wields a pair of sai. Michelangelo, orange, sports a pair of nunchakus, and Donatello, purple, carries a bo staff. Check out the posters of the mean, green fighting machines in the gallery above. They come a couple of weeks after the release of the film’s first trailer, an action-packed preview that featured the heroes in a half shell facing off against baddies in the subway and body surfing down a snowy mountain. The movie mutants seem to […]
April 08, 2014 | 1:14 p.m.

Exclusive ‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’ clip: Giant Mirkwood spiders

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)
This post has been corrected. See the note below for details. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, and Hero Complex readers get an exclusive first look at video promoting the release. The film, which was a box-office blockbuster last winter, is the second installment in Peter Jackson’s planned movie trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s landmark 1937 novel. “Desolation of Smaug” chronicles Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) travels with Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company of dwarfs in their mission to reclaim their treasure-filled homeland Erebor from the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). The journey takes them through many mysterious corners of Tolkien’s fantasy world, Middle-earth, including the dark forest Mirkwood, where Bilbo experiences a milestone in his personal quest for courage. In the exclusive video below, Jackson talks about creating the giant spiders that Bilbo faces. “This time […]
April 08, 2014 | 11:56 a.m.

HBO renews ‘Game of Thrones’ for fifth, sixth seasons

HBO’s breakout hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones” will get a fifth and sixth season, the cable network announced Tuesday. The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning show, based on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, kicked off its fourth season Sunday evening to record-breaking ratings. About 6.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the episode, giving HBO its best numbers since 2007′s series finale of “The Sopranos” and crashing HBO Go, the network’s online streaming service. Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, called the series “a phenomenon like no other” in the renewal announcement Tuesday, praising series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for “their dazzling storytelling.” The lavish series, primarily set on a fictional continent called Westeros, chronicles the intrigue, treachery and power lust of warring families who seek to rule from the Iron […]
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