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May 26, 2015 | 10:27 a.m.

Exclusive poster: Dwayne Johnson rocks ‘Fast & Furious: Supercharged’

Dwayne Johnson, “the Rock” to many, is conquering earthquakes in “San Andreas,” the wrestling ring in his WWE exploits, and even the finances of sports figures in the new series “Ballers.” But it’s his role as agent Luke Hobbs that may have people the most excited, and though “Furious 8” is a ways off, he reprises that role at Universal Studios newest attraction: “Fast & Furious — Supercharged.” Hero Complex has an exclusive first look at a poster showing Hobbs doing what he does best as part of the grand finale to the park’s famous Studio Tour. The ride opens June 25 and also features appearances by “Fast & Furious” alum Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Luke Evans. Johnson addressed his theme park appearance in a statement: “When you have something as unique and special as the ‘Fast […]
May 22, 2015 | 4:18 p.m.

Paycheck Friday: Skip the movies and visit your local comic book shop

It’s time for another installment of Paycheck Friday, the weekly roundup of some of Hero Complex’s favorite toys, games, books and other geek merchandise. While a slate of summer movies including “Tomorrowland,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Pitch Perfect 2” battle it out in the box office over the weekend, this week’s paycheck goes to taking a trip to your local comic book shop to catch up on the month’s releases. With May marking the launch of Marvel’s “Secret Wars” event series that sees the various Marvel universes combining into one unified Battleworld just as DC’s “Convergence” event is winding down, it’s easy to get lost in the various interconnected tie-in series from the “Big Two.” Fear not, this week’s comic book selections are titles that require no knowledge of “Secret Wars” or “Convergence.” This week’s first pick is “The […]
May 22, 2015 | 10:19 a.m.

‘Game of Thrones: The Musical’: Watch Coldplay perform with HBO cast

If you ever wanted to see Jon Snow jamming to the Troggs, “Game of Thrones: The Musical” will not disappoint. Members of the sprawling “Game of Thrones” cast showed off their vocal chops in a comedic collaboration with the band Coldplay. The Chris Martin/George R. R. Martin mash-up sketch was part of the inaugural U.S. version of the U.K.’s live fundraising telethon Red Nose Day. The video (watch it above), kicks off with an abbreviated version of the fantasy show’s elaborate title music before offering Coldplay frontman Chris Martin’s lyrics for the theme song. “There are Starks and there are Lannisters and Kardashians –” “Targaryens,” drummer Will Champion corrects. The sketch also features Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister on “Thrones”) crooning “Man for All Seasons,” a song about his character’s relative longevity; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister) channeling his inner Bryan Adams as he sings a piano-driven ballad dedicated to his […]
May 21, 2015 | 2:02 p.m.

‘Batkid Begins’ documentary trailer revisits little hero’s super adventure, influence

The trailer for “Batkid Begins” is out, offering a first look at the emotional documentary about a young leukemia survivor whose superheroic wish is granted. The film, from director and co-producer Dana Nachman, follows then 5-year-old Miles Scott, a cancer patient who told Make-A-Wish Foundation he wanted to be “the real Batman.” “When we’re going about doing a wish, it is whimsical in thinking about what would wow that child,” Patricia Wilson, executive director of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area, says in the trailer. “And it gives them a little bit of their childhood back that’s been robbed.” With the help of more than 12,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish transformed San Francisco into Gotham, helped Miles become Batkid and orchestrated a comic-book-worthy adventure that unfolded in front of a national television audience and internationally via social media. “Batkid Begins” isn’t Hollywood’s only take […]
May 21, 2015 | 1:20 p.m.

Throwback Thursday: Original ‘Poltergeist’ conjured controversy over ratings creative control

It’s an image ingrained in the memory of horror film fans: A little girl in front of a static-filled television set, holding out her hands to touch the whispering screen. As director Gil Kenan’s remake of “Poltergeist” opens in theaters Friday, this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday revisits the seminal original, about a suburban family whose young daughter Carol Anne communicates with spirits who can throw objects, move furniture and manipulate weather. “Poltergeist,” co-produced and co-written by Steven Spielberg, stepped into the light on June 4, 1982. The film, which contained no graphic sex, no slasher gore and no deaths, was frightening enough to spark a ratings controversy. The MPAA initially gave it an R rating because “cumulative effect” was “too intense,” co-producer Frank Marshall told The Times before the film’s release. Spielberg was so upset about the R rating, […]
May 20, 2015 | 3:06 p.m.

‘Star Wars Epic Yarns’: Jack and Holman Wang reconstruct the classics

The original “Star Wars” film trilogy is given a new spin in the word book series “Star Wars Epic Yarns.” Created by twin brothers Jack and Holman Wang, “Star Wars Epic Yarns” breaks down each of the first three “Star Wars” films into 12 words, depicted by 12 scenes crafted in needle felt. The all-ages board book series features images of handmade needle felt versions of Luke, Leia, Han and other familiar characters staged on custom-built sets and in on-location photo shoots to reenact some iconic scenes. The brothers, who are the team behind the “Cozy Classics” series of board books, answered a few questions over email to discuss their process, the most difficult elements in creating “Star Wars Epic Yarns,” and their favorite “Star Wars” film. Obviously, the felt figures and scenes were not easy to craft. But how […]
May 19, 2015 | 11:44 a.m.

The game changes in ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ trailer

Everything is going to change. Again. After barely surviving the Maze Trials in last year’s “The Maze Runner,” Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers now come face-to-face with a grim, post-apocalyptic reality in the first trailer for the sequel, “The Scorch Trials.” The second chapter of the YA trilogy based on the book series by James Dashner, “Scorch” finds Thomas, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and the other survivors being introduced to a larger world of political intrigue and rebellion, where the truth may not be what it seems. And who is there to guide them in this harsh new world? Why, it’s Littlefinger himself — Aiden Gillen, familiar to fans as the duplicitous Lord Petyr Baelish on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” He tells them, “The Maze was one thing, but you kids wouldn’t last one day out in the Scorch.” Oh, […]
May 18, 2015 | 11:23 a.m.

‘Game of Thrones’: Fans outraged by brutal Sansa Stark scene

This post contains “Game of Thrones” spoilers. Poor Sansa Stark can’t catch a break. And fans are taking to social media to express their outrage following the latest atrocity inflicted on Sansa in last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones.” Sansa, portrayed by 19-year-old Sophie Turner, has survived horror after horror in the hit HBO fantasy series. From losing her direwolf Lady, to witnessing the beheading of her father Ned Stark, to suffering the brutality and humiliation inflicted by Joffrey Lannister, to being attacked by a riotous mob, Sansa’s lot only seems to worsen over time. And after fearing sexual assault by Joffrey, by the Hound, by the mob, by Tyrion and potentially even by Littlefinger, Sansa is raped on her wedding night by her new husband, the psychotic Ramsay Bolton, as a tearful Theon Greyjoy, a.k.a. Reek, is made […]
May 18, 2015 | 5:23 a.m.

Shanghai Comic Convention: China is the new frontier for con organizers

SHANGHAI — Two sexy female Captain Americas, a Superman, a Catwoman and Japanese anime schoolgirls come to life were milling around the second floor of the Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center when Yang Wanjing emerged from a curtained booth, trembling. Unlike many of her counterparts at the first Shanghai Comic Convention, she had decided to forgo a costume. But the 23-year-old automotive quality-control clerk nevertheless was living out her personal fantasy, plunking down $115 — 20% of her monthly salary — for a fleeting meeting with her idol, Mads Mikkelsen of the NBC show “Hannibal.” Bashfully clutching photographic proof of her star encounter (“I look terrible next to him,” she lamented), Yang struggled to compose herself. She seemed unsure of whether she had just made the best decision of her life — or the worst. “All fans are idiots, in […]
May 15, 2015 | 5:40 p.m.

Paycheck Friday: Add some ‘Mad Max’ flair to your workspace

For this week’s installment of Paycheck Friday, Hero Complex’s roundup of some of our favorite toys, books and other geek merchandise, we turn to the post-apocalyptic world depicted in “Mad Max.” Now in theaters, “Mad Max: Fury Road” follows Mad Max Rockatansky’s (Tom Hardy) quest for survival in a desert wasteland after civilization has collapsed. It is a world where, as director George Miller described to The Times in a previous interview, “all the bad things we see in the news come to pass: all the economic collapse, oil wars and water wars, even stuff we never see coming.” With that in mind, this week’s paycheck goes to re-creating a scaled-down version of this post-apocalyptic world to liven up your workspace. First, to set the appropriate mood, we recommend picking up the “Mad Max: Fury Road” soundtrack. While the standard […]
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