May 08, 2013 | 2:24 p.m.
In the 2001 Pixar movie “Monsters, Inc.,” Mike, the one-eyed green orb voiced by Billy Crystal, takes his scaly, snake-haired girlfriend Celia out for sushi at a local haunt called Harryhausen’s. The name of the restaurant was a nod to a man who influenced “Monsters, Inc.” director Pete Docter — special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, who died Tuesday in London at age 92. Before the kind of computer animation pioneered at Pixar became Hollywood’s standard tool for crafting its fantasies, Harryhausen used the methodical, frame-by-frame technique of stop-motion animation to place dinosaurs in New York City in 1953′s “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms,” to pit Jason against an army of skeleton warriors in “Jason and the Argonauts” (1963), and to release the kraken in the 1981 version of “Clash of the Titans.” It was an approach that captured the imaginations […]
May 07, 2013 | 11:26 a.m.
The wait to see J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” just got a little shorter. Paramount announced Tuesday that it will release the film May 16, one day earlier than its original opening date of May 17. Directed by Abrams and written by Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and Roberto Orci, “Into Darkness” sees the return of Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the USS Enterprise crew as they face a new villain, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). As with so much in the fictional worlds Abrams creates (“Lost,” “Super 8”), many details around the movie have been cloaked in mystery, including the true identity of Cumberbatch’s character. But in a recent interview with The Times, Pine and Quinto shared insight into John Harrison — and the movie’s present-day parallels. “This film is about earthbound terror,” […]
May 04, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
When Disney announced in January that J.J. Abrams would direct “Star Wars: Episode VII,” the news had major implications for the geek faithful. While some rejoiced at the prospect of Hollywood’s A-list nerd-auteur shepherding the next entry in the beloved sci-fi franchise, many fans of that other beloved sci-fi franchise, “Star Trek,” wondered what Abrams’ new gig would mean for them. After all, Abrams had successfully revived “Star Trek” with his 2009 Paramount film, casting Chris Pine as a young James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock, and crafting a movie that managed to win over both “Trek” die-hards and newcomers to the series. He had already shot “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which opens May 17, and was on track to make a third movie. It turns out it wasn’t just fans wondering what Abrams taking on “Star Wars” […]
April 26, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
“Star Trek” has always been about more than a spaceship crew hurtling through the cosmos — over the decades, the sci-fi series in all its forms has tackled earthly issues such as race, gender and the Vietnam War. When it comes to shining a spotlight on contemporary conflicts, the film and television franchise’s newest entry, the movie “Star Trek Into Darkness,” is no exception. Directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and Roberto Orci, “Into Darkness,” which opens May 17, sees the return of Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the USS Enterprise crew, as they face a new villain, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). As with so much in the fictional worlds Abrams creates (“Lost,” “Super 8”), many details around the movie have been cloaked in mystery, including the true […]
April 16, 2013 | 10:13 a.m.
Tom Cruise was on hand Monday night in New York for an early screening of his new Universal film “Oblivion,” hosted by Hero Complex, and afterward, in a special interactive Q&A simulcast to nine IMAX theaters across the country, the star talked at length about his interest in making the film, citing in particular filmmaker Joseph Kosinksi, calling the writer-director seated beside him “a world creator” and a “true visionary.” Based on a 2010 graphic novel Kosinski penned with comic book writer Arvid Nelson, “Oblivion,” which opens Friday, takes place on a future Earth left decimated by an alien invasion. Former Marine Jack Harper (Cruise) is one of a few people left on the planet to mop up after the war. The movie, written by Karl Gajdusek and Michael deBruyn, also stars Morgan Freeman as a 102-year-old insurgency leader, Melissa […]
April 15, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
Get those questions ready — tonight the Hero Complex screening series will offer fans an early look at the new film “Oblivion” followed by a unique opportunity to pose queries directly to star Tom Cruise and director Joseph Kosinski (“Tron: Legacy”). Following screenings of “Oblivion” in 10 cities across the country, Cruise and Kosinski will join Hero Complex contributor Rebecca Keegan at 7 p.m. Pacific time on Monday at New York City’s AMC Loews 34th Street to discuss the movie and respond to fan questions. The film opens in theaters Friday. The post-screening interview will be simulcast via satellite to IMAX theaters in Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego and Virginia Beach, Va. Audiences in all 10 cities as well as online viewers can submit potential questions real time via Twitter by tweeting queries for Cruise […]
April 10, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.
The U.S.S. Enterprise, the Millennium Falcon, the Nostromo — in the best science-fiction movies, the spaceship is an iconic character unto itself. So when “Tron: Legacy” director Joseph Kosinski set about designing a spacecraft for Tom Cruise to pilot in his next film, the sci-fi thriller “Oblivion,” due in theaters April 19, he knew the stakes were high. Based on a 2010 graphic novel Kosinski penned with comic book writer Arvid Nelson, “Oblivion” takes place in a not-so-distant future when Earth has been decimated by an alien invasion, and former Marine Jack Harper (Cruise) is one of a few people left on the planet to mop up after the war. The movie, written by William Monahan, Karl Gajdusek and Michael Arndt, also stars Morgan Freeman as a 102-year-old insurgency leader, Melissa Leo as Jack’s authoritarian boss and Olga Kurylenko as […]
April 02, 2013 | 6:50 a.m.
Excited to see Tom Cruise return to spectacle science fiction cinema in “Oblivion”? So are we. The Hero Complex screening series is going bicoastal with our latest event, a sneak preview of the star’s new film “Oblivion,” which will take place at New York City’s AMC Loews 34th Street on April 15. An interactive, live Q&A with Cruise and director Joseph Kosinski (“Tron: Legacy”) will follow the screening at 8 p.m. The post-screening Q&A, moderated by Hero Complex contributor Rebecca Keegan, will be simulcast via satellite to nine IMAX theaters in Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego and Virginia Beach, Va. The discussion will also stream live on Hero Complex and at facebook.com/IMAX. Audiences in all 10 cities as well as online viewers will be able to submit potential questions real time via Twitter by tweeting […]
Feb. 01, 2013 | 3:47 p.m.
Forget the Ravens vs. the 49ers. How does “Star Trek” stack up against “Iron Man 3″? More than half of the grown-ups who tune in to the Super Bowl on Sunday will be watching not for the game, but for the ads, according to a recent poll by Harris Interactive. And movie fans in particular have a reason to stay put on the sofa during commercial breaks, with new spots expected for “Fast Six,” “Iron Man 3,” The Lone Ranger,” “Snitch,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Oz the Great and Powerful” and “World War Z.” All in all, it’s a movie marketing bacchanal. Some studios have started teasing their Super Bowl ads early — an ad for an ad, if you will– and one is using the event as an occasion to debut its own app. So before you whip up […]
Jan. 28, 2013 | 6:32 p.m.
The Millennium Falcon is changing course. Now that “Star Wars” has a new studio home, a new movie in the works and a new director, other adjustments are in store for the franchise: Lucasfilm is postponing this fall’s scheduled 3-D re-release of “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of The Clones” and “Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.” “Given the recent development that we are moving forward with a new ‘Star Wars’ trilogy we will now focus 100% of our efforts on ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ in order to ensure the best possible experience for our fans,” Lucasfilm said in a statement. “We will post further information about our 3D release plans at a later date.” The changed plans don’t come as a huge surprise — last year’s 3-D re-release of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” grossed […]