June 21, 2012 | 3:07 p.m.
There was still an hour before the gates would open at Universal Studios Hollywood, so Michael Bay pretty much had the Autobot universe to himself on Tuesday morning. First he took two spins through Transformers: The Ride — 3D, the theme park’s just-opened, $100-million digital marvel. Then the 47-year-old filmmaker wandered through Transformers Supply Vault (a store designed to look like the world’s most cheerful military bunker) where even he seemed surprised by its inventory of merchandise that included T-shirts, masks, magnets, patches, coffee cups, books and (of course) plastic toys. It was all a bit much, but then Bay was presented with a frosty mango-colored energy drink from a Transformers-themed concession stand. “It’s called Energon,” one of the Universal employees chirped, “and it’s the preferred fuel of the Transformers.” Nearby, a Universal dancer wearing an elaborate Bumblebee costume began to […]
June 15, 2012 | 1:13 p.m.
E.T., Elliott and a gang of kids on bicycles first flew across the silver screen 30 years ago this week in “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” which is showing tonight as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival. Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film is a touchstone for children of the 1970s and ’80s, who watched in theaters and on worn VHS tapes, letting John Williams’ otherworldly score envelope them as the strange spaceman with the glowing heart discovered Reese’s Pieces, beer and the best and worst in humanity. “E.T.” took the classic children’s adventure story (think “Huckleberry Finn” and “Peter Pan”) and relocated it to the American suburb. The film’s hero is lonely, alienated, 10-year-old Elliott (Henry Thomas), who musters the courage to help a stranded visitor find his way home. Its villains are faceless adults with guns and flashlights. It was the […]
Jan. 02, 2012 | 10:57 a.m.
Los Angeles Times television critic Robert Lloyd is a longtime “Tintin” fan. He has been writing a series of posts on the heritage of the character. This installment explores the bookshelf epic’s many costars and companions. Tintin, the Belgian boy reporter, did not travel alone. From the very beginning to the very end he was accompanied by his dog, Snowy, and as the years went on, he collected other friends and kept them: a bibulous sea captain, a pair of lookalike detectives, a hard-of-hearing inventor, an Italian soprano. Snowy: For his first eight adventures, Tintin’s sole sidekick was the little wire fox terrier (or, as creator Hergé once described him, “approximately” a wire fox terrier) English readers know as Snowy. His French name, Milou, came from the nickname of Hergé’s first girlfriend — or from Belgian motorcycle champion Rene Milhoux, according […]
Dec. 26, 2011 | 1:48 p.m.
“The Adventures of Tintin” star Jamie Bell compared the film’s director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson to the film’s heroic duo — Tintin and Haddock. “Steven is Tintin, a fearless innocent, and Peter, who is a mischievous, anarchic … kind of guy,” Bell told a packed theater during a Q&A after Hero Complex’s free screening of “Tintin” earlier this month. “They speak a common language which is making movies. I will say that the one thing that is similar about them is that they both makes films like it’s their first one.” Bell, who plays the title character in the film, and Nick Frost, who plays bumbling detective Thomson, answered questions from audience members about “Tintin,” which opened in U.S. theaters this week. Watch the video below to hear their takes on Spielberg, Jackson, Andy Serkis and the differences […]
Dec. 24, 2011 | 5:00 a.m.
Tintin is the right kind of role model for kids, “The Adventures of Tintin” star Jamie Bell told a packed theater after a free screening of the film. “There’s a spirit about him that is great,” said Bell, who played Hergé’s widely beloved comic strip character in the Steven Spielberg film, which opened in U.S. theaters this week. “I consider Tintin to be very much a beacon of excellence for children. His moral compass is definitely pointing the right way. And what makes him great is that he relies on nothing other than being who he is. He doesn’t have a super power. He doesn’t have technology that makes him amazing. He just has this fantastic natural heroic instinct…” “– and a gun,” Nick Frost added, drawing big laughs from the audience at the Hero Complex event earlier this month. […]
Dec. 19, 2011 | 9:32 p.m.
It’s hard to think of anywhere farther from Southern California than New Zealand, but if there is such a place, it would be Middle-earth. That’s why it was a massive surprise this summer when Peter Jackson — the cinema wizard behind the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and its upcoming two-part prequel, “The Hobbit” — left his work in Wellington to make a mad dash to Comic-Con International in San Diego. “Madness is the word for it,” Jackson said at the time when asked about the trip, which involved more than 24 hours in the air and less than 24 hours on the ground. “But I’m happy to do it if it helps spread the word about Tintin. He’s like an old friend, one of my oldest, in fact….” Tintin is the beloved adventure hero who, for five decades, lived […]
Dec. 14, 2011 | 8:09 a.m.
Two stars of “The Adventures of Tintin,” Jamie Bell (who plays the title role) and Nick Frost (who plays Thomson, the daft policeman), joined us Monday night for a free screening of the film in Burbank and talked about working within “the volume,” the performance-capture space that was used by director Steven Spielberg and his crew to create the world of the young adventure hero. Here’s the first video installment of the on-stage interview. Check back for more from Bell and Frost. — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED ‘Tintin’: A beginner’s guide to the European classic Hergé: An animated (and complicated) life The hopes (and fears) of one longtime ‘Tintin’ fan ‘Tintin’: Spielberg on the Indiana Jones connection ‘Tintin’: Catching up with a globetrotter ‘Tintin’: Spielberg felt ‘more like a painter than ever’ Andy Serkis’ Haddock is ‘shipwreck of a human’ Spielberg touts ‘Tintin’ […]
Dec. 12, 2011 | 1:17 p.m.
The first trailer for next summer’s “Men in Black 3” reveals that a lot of time traveling is going on. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back as Agents J and K, running around after all kinds of aliens on the loose in New York City. But this time, Smith’s Agent J travels back in time to the 1960s, where he encounters a much younger version of his partner, played in the past by Josh Brolin. Viewers may also find themselves time traveling a bit, as “Men in Black 3” is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend of 2012, almost 10 years after the previous film, “Men in Black 2.” Can Smith, Jones and returning director Barry Sonnenfeld recapture the magic spark that made the MiBs so cool back in the Clinton era? The third film in the franchise […]
Dec. 03, 2011 | 8:03 a.m.
We’re still hearing a lot of response to our biggest article this week, “Terry Gilliam: The heir of Fellini and the enemy of God?,” but the story isn’t quite done yet. Gilliam, the director of “Brazil” and “Twelve Monkeys,” is a man of fiery opinions and during our two interviews (covering three hours and spread over two days) he lobbed a few Molotov cocktails in different directions. So, with quotes that didn’t make it into that first article, we bring you the World According to Gilliam: * On “Transformers: Dark of the Moon“: “The latest ‘Transformers’ movie was on the plane coming over to Los Angeles. It’s horrible and there’s all these phallic things going on. I just couldn’t even deal with it. C’mon, leave some room for me, as the audience. The audience is totally excluded, you just sit there and watch the explosions. […]
Dec. 02, 2011 | 12:00 p.m.
Is there a better way to start a Hollywood friendship than handing someone an Oscar as you shake their hand for the first time? That’s what happened when “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” won the Academy Award for best picture and Spielberg was the presenter as producer-director Jackson came forward to pick up the most coveted trophy in town. The two filmmaking titans are now collaborators with “The Adventures of Tintin,” a movie that takes Europe’s beloved boy adventurer and introduces him to an American audience through a cutting-edge cinematic creation that, to most observers, pushes the envelope for animation and, for some skeptics, tests the Academy’s definitions of what it is and what isn’t animated. Geoff Boucher sat down with Spielberg and Jackson together backstage at last summer’s Comic-Con International to talk about the project’s spirit […]