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 […]
March 10, 2010 | 1:02 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE This is a longer version of my story that is on the Wednesday cover of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section… The topic at the Batcave on Monday night was the future of that other superhero — you know, the one from Metropolis. “It’s very exciting; we have a fantastic story,” Christopher Nolan said while sipping tea in the sleek editing suite that fills the converted garage next to his Hollywood home. “And we feel we can do it right. We know the milieu, if you will, we know the genre and how to get it done right.” Nolan was standing next to his wife, producer Emma Thomas, his partner in all of his films — including “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” the grim franchise that pulled in more than $1.3 billion at theaters worldwide — and he […]
July 03, 2009 | 12:42 p.m.
It’s a weird time to be Corey Feldman — but isn’t that always the case? Nicholas White caught up with the former child star for a feature in today’s Los Angeles Times Calendar section and while the main topic was his overall career and the death of Michael Jackson, the piece veered a bit into the fanboy sector. And while last summer Feldman called a “Goonies” revival “a myth,” this year he’s more slippery on the subject. Here’s an excerpt: The 1980s movie icon — Mouth of “The Goonies,” Teddy of “Stand by Me,” Pete of “Gremlins” — wants you to know he really is a good guy. Since last summer’s second season of the A&amp;amp;amp;amp;E reality show “The Two Coreys” and last July’s long-awaited (but direct-to-DVD) feature “Lost Boys: The Tribe,” Feldman has kept largely quiet. But lately, […]
Oct. 20, 2008 | 11:41 p.m.
The Jules Verne Festival kicks off this weekend in downtown L.A. with classic movie screenings, some intriguing documentaries and several events that have guests and themes that will certainly appeal to the Hero Complex audience. You can check out the extensive (and inexpensive!) programming at the official website but here are a few scheduled events that jumped out at me. Disney fans will be excited about a Friday 7 p.m. screening of "Fantasia 2000" but even better is the Saturday afternoon bill with its two grand classics of science fiction cinema: "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951) at 1 p.m. and "Forbidden Planet" (1956) at 3 p.m. All screenings at the Edison. Alfred Gough ("Smallville") will be on hand for a special screening of Richard Donner’s "Superman" and his re-edited version of its sequel, which is called "Superman II: […]
Oct. 13, 2008 | 6:16 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE: The filmmaker talks about "Lethal Weapon," the state of Superman and getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: Richard Donner, who directed and produced all four "Lethal Weapon" films but found himself excluded from the recent plans to make a fifth, now says that his old friend Mel Gibson has walked away from the franchise revival. "Mel turned it down," Donner said. "I would like to think that Mel turned it down because I wasn’t involved. Knowing Mel, I would like to think that. Would that be the kind of thing he does? It sure would be." I checked with Gibson’s camp on Sunday night and while they were reluctant to make any official comment, I left the conversation with no doubt in my mind that Donner’s account is accurate. The 78-year-old filmmaker should have pretty good […]
Sept. 21, 2008 | 8:15 p.m.
The Venice Biennale, the preeminent international architectural exhibition that is now underway, isn’t exactly familiar turf for the Hero Complex, but when we saw the design on display (at right) of a mobile city as envisioned by Chinese architects, our first thought was: “These guys obviously enjoyed Richard Donner’s ‘Superman.’ ” Then we heard that the entry pavilion incorporated images from the films “Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back,” “Dr. Strangelove” and “The Wizard of Oz,” and we decided that maybe there might actually be some unexpected fanboy enlightenment on display at the 11th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. When visitors approach the entrance to the main hall (and 250,000 are expected to pass through that hall, the Corderie dell’Arsenale, before the close of the Biennale on Nov. 23), they are confronted with the 4,624-square-foot […]
Sept. 05, 2008 | 5:40 p.m.
Comics writer Mark Millar (who brought the world “Wanted,” “Superman: Red Son” and Marvel’s “Civil War“) is a big fan of Richard Donner’s 1978 film “Superman.” How big? Well, he has one of Christopher Reeve‘s capes from the movie hanging in his home in Glasgow and (this is not a joke) he bought the stuffed and mounted corpse of Frisky, the stranded cat that Superman plucks from a tree in the movie. He recently got a chance to meet Donner and giddily compares it to “meeting Gandhi.” Millar was in Los Angeles visiting Golden Apple and he chatted with Blair Butler of G4’s Fresh Ink for an interview and the subject turned to the future of Superman on the screen, which is quite the hot topic right now. It turns out that, a while back, Millar hatched an idea for […]
Sept. 04, 2008 | 2:03 a.m.
Thirty years ago, the Man of Steel was flying high at theaters. But will he ever get off the ground again? Richard Donner‘s “Superman,” released in December 1978, was a box-office triumph and critics were, for the most part, cheering right along with the fans. Roger Ebert called the film “a pure delight,” while the late Jack Kroll wrote in Newsweek that Donner had pulled off “a major feat in filmmaking.” It was by nature a sunny film, sentimental and playful, never embarrassed while soaring with its John Williams score and (literally) with its special effects. But show it to a teenager today and he or she will snicker and roll their eyes. These are kids who have sat in dark theaters with Wolverine, Hellboy and Heath Ledger’s Joker. If they’re holding out for a hero, you can bet he’s […]