Jan. 10, 2013 | 2:10 p.m.
It’s a sad moment for fans of “Fringe” — the series created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will draw to a close in a little more than a week from now, with the show’s two-hour finale set to air Jan. 18. Ahead of the concluding episode, the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills hosted a tribute Wednesday celebrating the paranormal Fox procedural, treating fans to an early screening of Friday’s episode and a Q&A with show runner J.H. Wyman and actor Lance Reddick, the actor who plays Agent Phillip Broyles. “Fringe” won a following for the way it was able to channel the best aspects of science-fiction, specifically the genre’s unique ability to explore universal questions by relocating characters to a fantastic setting. In its final season, the central ensemble of Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) and […]
Jan. 09, 2013 | 5:15 p.m.
It must have seemed like a dream come true for Daniel H. Wilson when filmmaker Steven Spielberg scooped up the rights to his not-yet-complete sci-fi novel “Robopocalypse,” a cautionary tale in which an artificial intelligence releases a virus that leads the planet’s network of machines to violently turn on the human race. Today, it looks like the dream has been put on hold. As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Spielberg has nixed plans to shoot the literary adaptation. The news comes on the eve of the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards — Spielberg’s drama “Lincoln” is widely tipped as a likely competitor in a number of categories, including best picture. Spielberg’s deep résumé of beloved genre fare, of course, includes “War of the Worlds,” “Minority Report” and “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” not to mention such landmark films as “E.T. […]
Dec. 14, 2012 | 4:17 p.m.
An extended preview of the highly anticipated “Star Trek” sequel began playing today in 288 theaters across the U.S., five months before the movie’s expected release date. The first nine minutes of “Star Trek Into Darkness,” directed by J. J. Abrams, are being shown in Imax 3-D in advance of screenings of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” The footage is the first to be released exclusively in Imax 3-D, Paramount said. Those who attend non-Imax screenings of “The Hobbit” will see the regular “Into Darkness” trailer. According to a plot summary released last month, the movie begins when the crew of the Enterprise returns home to find “an unstoppable force of terror” within their organization that has destroyed the fleet and everything it stands for. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) begins a manhunt to a world-war zone to capture a one-man […]
Dec. 10, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.
Boyish and buoyant, “Star Trek Into Darkness” filmmaker J.J. Abrams bounded into a Century City screening room Sunday night to greet an audience gathered to watch the first nine minutes of the highly anticipated May release from Paramount. He promised the footage would contain “a lot of intensity, a little bit of gloom.” What he didn’t mention were the revealing space-age wetsuits, the scarlet trees of alien worlds or the fact that Spock (Zachary Quinto) finds himself inside an active volcano that threatens to blow the highly logical Vulcan into another dimension. The screening was the first piece of a two-day effort to woo journalists with early access to scenes from the film, the sequel to Abrams’ 2009 big-screen reboot of the landmark science-fiction franchise. On Monday, at the Santa Monica offices of Abrams’ company, Bad Robot, the director and […]
Oct. 28, 2012 | 6:00 a.m.
Los Angeles isn’t a city known to be particularly spooky. Sun, sand and movie stars, yes. Scary old castles, not as much. Nevertheless the City of Angels has hosted plenty of demons in its time. L.A. has been the location for countless horror movies that have managed to take even the most picturesque parts of Southern California and turn them into something sinister. Lovely downtown Sierra Madre has served as the backdrop for an alien invasion; a historic home in the West Adams district has housed a basement full of cannibals. Even a beautiful Malibu beach has welcomed a coven of witches performing an occult rite. PHOTOS: Horror movie locations around Los Angeles “Los Angeles is a unique mixture of aging buildings and bizarre natural settings,” said Harry Medved, author of “Hollywood Escapes,” a guide to film locations around Southern […]
July 09, 2012 | 10:54 a.m.
Neal Stephenson, author of science fiction novels such as “Snow Crash” and “Cryptonomicon,” wants to swap his pen for a game controller. The 52-year-old writer, whose work has been honored with a Hugo Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award and multiple Locus awards, has come up with a concept for a fantasy sword-fighting game called “Clang.” But as the author followed an unfamiliar industry’s path, he learned how difficult the terrain can be for independent game developers who have a fresh idea but not a track record or reliable brand name. With development budgets ballooning beyond $50 million, traditional game publishers play it rather safer with a known franchise. Kickstarter has leveled the landscape a bit for indie game developers by giving them a way to raise money. Projects are given 30 days to collect money from the site’s visitors, who can donate […]
May 02, 2012 | 1:18 p.m.
Hidden in a basement somewhere in Los Angeles, a woman named Maggie leads a group of devout white-clad followers. A journalist and his girlfriend infiltrate the cult and investigate Maggie’s alleged past – or future, rather: She claims to be from the year 2054. The premise is the setup for the new Fox Searchlight film “Sound of My Voice,” starring Brit Marling and directed by Zal Batmanglij, who together wrote the script for the cryptic thriller. The movie, which opened in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., last week, is the first in a small wave of projects to explore the notion of time travel on the big screen this year. Due in June is another time-bending indie, “Safety Not Guaranteed,” and the fall will bring “Looper,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a hit man in the near future whose […]
March 17, 2012 | 12:20 p.m.
The acclaimed SyFy show “Battlestar Galactica” aired its final episode nearly two years ago but the deep-space (and deep-thinking) epic was still echoing at WonderCon, the pop-culture expo that opened Friday in Anaheim. The first day of the convention featured two Q&A sessions devoted to the show, one with Richard Hatch, who acted in both the original 1978 series and the re-imagined SyFy series that launched in 2004. The other panel featured Kevin Grazier, the scientific advisor for the more recent show. Grazier, who worked for a time at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, got a foothold in the entertainment business when he co-wrote a ”Star Trek: Voyager” spec script that got him in the pitch process at Paramount. That led to a meeting with “Battlestar” co-creator Ron Moore and, eventually, a gig as scientific advisor. More recently, he’s been a hired brain for Alfonso Cuarón’s […]
Feb. 04, 2012 | 12:16 p.m.
What if Clark Kent, Peter Parker or Erik Lehnsherr had been part of the Facebook generation? That’s the premise behind “Chronicle,” a found-footage film from new director Josh Trank and screenwriter Max Landis (son of monster movie icon John Landis), opening in theaters this weekend. “Chronicle” follows three teenagers who receive telekinetic powers after a supernatural encounter, but what they do with their newfound superpower is hardly heroic. Critics are heralding the arrival of fresh talent in Trank and lead actor Dane DeHaan, and praising the film, which stands at 84% on RottenTomatoes.com. Hero Complex writer Noelene Clark chatted with Trank about “Chronicle,” telekinesis and what it means to be a teenager in the YouTube age. NC: How did “Chronicle” come about? JT: I’ve always wanted to make movies my whole life. And for about 10 years or so, I’ve been shooting […]
Jan. 03, 2012 | 6:57 a.m.
Kirsten Dunst delivered the most famous upside-down smooch in film history in 2002’s “Spider-Man” and now, a decade later, she’s going back to head-over-heels romance with a topsy-turvy fantasy movie called “Upside Down.” The “Melancholia” actress co-stars with Jim Sturgess in a movie about forbidden love within a fantastical setting – the meeting point between two worlds that exist and face each other like stacked skylines, each with a gravity that keeps their inhabitants rooted on their side. Sturgess plays Adam, a man of humble origins who falls for Dunst’s character, a girl from the affluent upper world. Take a look at the trailer below — or is that above? French distributor Canal released this first trailer for the film. Shot in Montreal and directed by Argentina-born filmmaker Juan Diego Solanas, “Upside Down” doesn’t have a U.S. distributor lined up yet. – Emily Rome RECENT AND RELATED ‘The […]