Sci-Fi

Sept. 25, 2014 | 2:20 p.m.

‘Jupiter Ascending’: Mila Kunis stands to inherit Earth in new trailer

Mila Kunis stars as Jupiter Jones in "Jupiter Ascending." (Warner Bros.)
A new trailer for “Jupiter Ascending” offers a glimpse of what promises to be a blockbuster sci-fi spectacle, with stars Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum simmering at its center. The film, the latest venture from Andy and Lana Wachowski’s (“The Matrix” trilogy), centers on Chicago house cleaner Jupiter Jones (Kunis), who discovers she is destined for more after she is tracked down by genetically engineered hunter-turned-protector Caine (Tatum) and learns the truth about Earth’s origins. “You’ve been taught that the birthplace of the human race is Earth,” Sean Bean’s character Stinger tells her as the trailer opens. “But it’s not.” Instead, humans can trace their roots back to “one of the most powerful dynasties in the universe,” and Jupiter’s genetic markers place her next in line to inherit Earth. Standing in her way is the villainous Balem (Eddie Redmayne), the […]
Dec. 11, 2013 | 12:01 p.m.

‘Edge of Tomorrow’ trailer: Tom Cruise reborn on sci-fi battlefield

Emily Blunt as Rita Vrataski and Tom Cruise as Bill Cage in the epic sci-fi thriller "Edge of Tomorrow." (David James/ Warner Bros.)
Tom Cruise finds himself in a life-and-death situation — over and over again — in the new trailer for “Edge of Tomorrow,” the latest film from director Doug Liman (“Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “The Bourne Identity”). Set for release in 2014, the sci-fi action adventure is based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s award-winning novel “All You Need Is Kill” and sees Cruise as Lt. Col. Bill Cage, an officer dropped onto a futuristic battlefield only to die. He then finds himself reborn again and again at a moment before the siege. The cast includes Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Laura Pulver and Jeremy Piven, among others. The high-concept outing comes on the heels of Cruise’s recent “Oblivion,” released earlier this year. That film, adapted from a 2010 graphic novel Joseph Kosinski (“Tron: Legacy”) penned with comic-book writer Arvid Nelson, takes place on a future Earth […]
Aug. 25, 2013 | 11:34 p.m.

‘Divergent’: New teaser finds Shailene Woodley’s Tris Prior on the run

The new teaser for the upcoming film “Divergent” debuted Sunday evening, and it promises plenty of sci-fi action as Shailene Woodley’s Beatrice Prior becomes the target of suspicion in a dystopian future Chicago. Adapted from Veronica Roth’s series of novels set in a world where teens are herded together based on specific skills and attributes, “Divergent” centers on 16-year-old Tris Prior, who finds herself gifted in multiple areas. She’s labeled as an outcast yet finds herself in a position to affect the future of humanity. The new clip leads off with Kate Winslet’s Jeanine Matthews announcing, “The future belongs to those who know where they belong.” With Tris defying easy categorization, she’s soon forced to go on the run, being trained to fight for her life to survive. Opening March 21, 2014, the film, directed by Neil Burger, also stars […]
June 25, 2013 | 4:31 p.m.

Richard Matheson dies: A look back at his big-screen legacy

Richard Matheson (Beatrice de Gea / Los Angeles Times)
Science-fiction writer Richard Matheson died on Sunday at age 87, leaving a legacy of some of the best genre storytelling in literature, television and film. Matheson’s prolific career includes dozens of novels and more than 100 short stories, not to mention screenplays for the big and small screens. Among Matheson’s works are “A Stir of Echoes,” “Ride the Nightmare” and his 1954 novel “I Am Legend” (on which no less than three movies were based, including the 2007 Will Smith feature), as well as many of “The Twilight Zone’s” most memorable episodes, such as “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” Matheson also wrote several Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, including “House of Usher,” “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Raven,” for filmmaker Roger Corman. Matheson had been scheduled to receive the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films’ Visionary Award during […]
March 28, 2013 | 6:56 p.m.

‘Doctor Who’: BBC’s Eyestalk app gives you a Dalek eye-view

A Dalek through one of the Doctor Who: Eyestalk lenses. Doctor Who: Eyestalk is a new app that turns any mobile iOS device into a Dalek's lens. (BBC)
Angry cyborgs bent on universal domination, the Daleks first appeared on the “Doctor Who” television series in 1963 and were quickly established as one of the Doctor’s deadliest enemies. For half a century, viewers have watched the Time Lord battle these evil beings whose singular goal is to “Exterminate! Exterminate!” Nobody should want to see the world through a Dalek’s point of view. According to the show’s lore, they have had every emotion removed except hate. But on Thursday the BBC  released Doctor Who: Eyestalk, a new app that lets you transform your iPhone, iPad, or iPod into a Dalek’s lens. ‘Doctor Who’ at 50: Meet the 11 faces of the Time Lord Eyestalk is basically a photo-filter app. You take a photo or video and then run it through one of seven filters that correspond to different Daleks that […]
March 15, 2013 | 7:39 a.m.

‘Upside Down’ opens: Don’t view it with too much gravity, star says

Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst in the visually compelling "Upside Down." (Millennium Entertainment/Associated Press)
Truth be told, Jim Sturgess is not a big sci-fi fan.  But the actor has now appeared in both “Cloud Atlas” and  “Upside Down,” which opens in theaters Friday. “Upside Down” stars Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst as star-crossed lovers in twin, inverted worlds governed by opposite gravity.  The worlds sometimes share the same frame. Reviews have been mixed, but the Los Angeles Times’ Gary Goldstein recommends that viewers not overthink it — just enjoy. That’s advice echoed by Sturgess, who told CBS New York earlier this month that he’s not a “huge” fan of science fiction but that “Upside Down” was, at heart, a fairy tale.  With fairy tales, he said, “there’s a certain amount of artistic license.” Adam, played by Sturgess, is a resident of “Down Below” and Eden (Dunst) lives “Up Top.”  The imagery is eye-popping.  “As they fight gravity, […]
Feb. 20, 2013 | 3:17 p.m.

‘Ender’s Game’: A new look at Ender and Battle School army logos

A new still from "Ender's Game" starring Asa Butterfield, right. (Summit Entertainment)
“Ender’s Game” won’t hit theaters until Nov. 1, but Summit Entertainment has just released new imagery from the movie. On Wednesday, Summit sent out a new round of images:  A new still from the film features Asa Butterfield, who plays the film’s shy but brilliant hero Ender Wiggin, dressed in the gray uniform of the Battle School. He appears to be chatting cheerfully with his peers in the mess hall while a high-tech glowing scoreboard hovers over the scene. The company also sent the four army logos from the Battle School — Dragon, Salamander, Rat and Asp. (Click through the gallery to see those.) This is not the first still from “Ender’s Game” that Summit has released. An  image of Harrison Ford, who plays Col. Hyrum Graff , addressing Butterfield in a futuristic barracks has already been floating around the Internet. […]
Feb. 19, 2013 | 9:55 a.m.

Nicolaus Copernicus’ 540th birthday: A man who questioned the rules

Google Doodle screenshot
Nicolaus Copernicus has received that highest of modern day honors, a Google Doodle, marking what would have been his 540th birthday. Copernicus doesn’t come up in day-to-day conversations, but perhaps he should: He is considered the founder of modern astronomy and single-handedly changed the way we think about our place in the universe by positing that the Earth revolved around the sun, and not the other way around. He remains a patron saint to those who like to question the rules. And, let’s face it: The plots of sci-fi movies and TV shows such as  “Prometheus” and “Star Trek” are all the more fascinating because of our understanding of this great galaxy of ours — and the galaxies beyond. And we have Copernicus, among others, to thank for that. ‘DJesus Uncrossed’: Most controversial skit in ‘SNL’ history? Copernicus was born […]
Jan. 18, 2013 | 9:07 a.m.

‘Fringe’ finale: 10 episodes, 60 images to salute sci-fi series

Peter (Josh Jackson), right, battles Windmark (Michael Kopsa) for the fate of mankind in "An Enemy of Fate," the second in the two-part series finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)
Much in the same way its spiritual predecessor “The X-Files” paired the paranormal with the procedural, “Fringe” — the spectacular sci-fi series created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci that draws to a close Friday — imagined a world in which the fantastic lay just beyond the grasp of an unknowing populace. But of the many alien, unnatural threats that intrepid agents Mulder and Scully faced on Chris Carter’s landmark 1990s drama, “Fringe’s” time shifts and visits to parallel dimensions weren’t among them. Indeed, by the time its second season arrived, “Fringe” had established its own unique rhythms and preoccupations as its action centered around Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), an agent for the FBI’s Fringe Division, a covert operation set up to investigate extraordinary events, and her cohorts, the red licorice-munching, off-kilter scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble) and […]
Aug. 01, 2012 | 4:43 p.m.

TV’s top 50 sci-fi characters: Mr. Spock, Starbuck and…TOBOR?

Sci-fi 50 (featured image)
Mad scientists and mechanical men, space cowboys and time travelers,  man-monsters and man-eating aliens — clearly this is our kind of crowd. We came up with a list (in no particular order) of 50 essential characters from the sci-fi small screen. Check them out in the gallery above, or better yet, head to the iTunes store and download our Hero Complex Magazine app, which features our Sci-Fi 50 as well as interviews with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“The Dark Knight Rises” and “Looper”), Jonathan Frakes (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”) and Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock Holmes” and the upcoming “Star Trek” sequel), a story about Ridley Scott (“Alien,” “Prometheus”) and more. The magazine app also features extra behind-the-scenes photos, video and an interactive “Star Trek” quiz. The invasion from above began on June 27, 1949. On that evening, as America sat down to […]
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