Television

Sept. 29, 2014 | 12:16 p.m.

‘SNL’ spoofs Marvel success with ‘Guardians’ star Chris Pratt

(NBC / screenshot)
Is Marvel so successful that it can do no wrong in the eyes of moviegoers? Maybe, according “Saturday Night Live.” In the show’s premiere this weekend, “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt joined the “SNL” cast in a satirical trailer poking fun at Marvel’s ever-expanding roster of superhero films and their apparent box-office invincibility. The faux trailer begins with images from “Guardians,” which has earned some $644 million at the worldwide box office, and a voice-over explaining that, after the success of a film based on “a super-obscure comic book” and the hype surrounding the studio’s eagerly anticipated “Ant-Man” (“It’s about a guy who talks to ants. What? Yeah!”), Marvel doesn’t need comic books anymore. “We made a superhero team by pointing at a bunch of random words in the dictionary,” the trailer deadpans, introducing “Creatures of the Cosmos,” […]
Sept. 24, 2014 | 11:04 a.m.

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.': Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, more talk Season 2

B.J. Britt and Clark Gregg in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (Kelsey McNeal/ABC)
“It’s all connected.” That was the familiar refrain Tuesday night from Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” producers and cast after the ABC series’ Season 2 premiere aired. (And, if you’ve yet to see the new episode, consider pausing here and coming back after you’ve watched. Spoilers ahead.) Those words were clearly true from the new season’s get-go, as it started with a taste of the 1940s-set upcoming series “Agent Carter,” starring Hayley Atwell, with a strange and powerful obelisk her team boxed up back then driving the quick-paced, twisting-and-turning action for Agent Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) present-day S.H.I.E.L.D. team. Season 2 picks up with S.H.I.E.L.D. still in shambles from the disastrous double-agents revelation of HYDRA and the destruction seen in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” that changed the course of the show. HYDRA is still active, there’s that obelisk, the mystery of […]
Sept. 22, 2014 | 4:34 p.m.

‘Gotham': Penguin actor Robin Lord Taylor cites Tim Burton influence

Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), left, and Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), in a scene from "Gotham."  (Jessica Miglio/Fox)
Among the many villains in the new Fox series “Gotham,” actor Robin Lord Taylor’s Oswald Cobblepot might stand out as one of the more unhinged personalities Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) encounters as he finds his feet on a new beat in the corrupt city. One pointed scene in the premiere episode, which arrives Monday night, plays up Cobblepot’s rather robust enthusiasm for enhanced interrogation methods in the service of ruthless crime boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). But Oswald isn’t just some deranged lunatic, the actor points out — as “Gotham” unfolds, he promises, viewers will learn more about what motivates the character, and possibly even find some ways to sympathize with him. “The MO of the show,” he said, is “taking the fantastic and making it real.” In an interview with Hero Complex late last week, Taylor, whose […]
Sept. 08, 2014 | 3:41 p.m.

‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.': Lady Sif brawls with bikers [video]

The first season of Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” arrives on DVD Tuesday, giving fans the chance to review the 22 episodes of the series’ initial run before the ABC hour-long adventure returns for a second season Sept. 23. The release will include a number of behind-the-scenes featurettes and commentaries with the cast of the show, which tracks the weekly adventures of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his roster of operatives: Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), Skye (Chloe Bennet), Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). Hero Complex readers can get an early, exclusive look at some new footage and cast interviews from the episode “Asgardian Bar Fight,” which shows Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) teaching a lesson to some rowdy bikers under the spell of Lorelei (Elena Satine). Watch it below. The series has […]
July 08, 2014 | 2:09 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: ‘Under the Dome,’ ‘Scorpion,’ ‘Reign’ offer early looks

Dean Norris as James "Big Jim" Rennie, left, Alexander Koch as Junior Rennie, Natalie Martinez as Linda Esquivel and Mike Vogel as Dale "Barbie" Barbara in  "Under the Dome," which started its second season June 30. (CBS)
Their characters may be trapped “Under the Dome” in Chester’s Mill, but the hit CBS show’s actors are willingly entering a bubble of another sort in San Diego: Comic-Con International’s Ballroom 20. Big Jim himself — Dean Norris — and cast mates Mike Vogel (military veteran Dale ‘Barbie’ Barbara), Rachelle Lefevre (reporter Julia Shumway), Alexander Koch (the troubled Junior “My Name Is James” Rennie), Colin Ford (separated-from-his-family teen Joe McAlister) and Eddie Cahill (Big Jim’s brother-in-law Sam Verdreaux) will join executive producer Neal Baer to kick off CBS Television Studios’ consecutive panels on July 24 at 11:15 a.m. in the large-capacity room. The presentation also includes a premiere screening and panel for the new CBS drama “Scorpion” at 12:15 p.m. and a sneak preview of the second season of the CW historical drama “Reign” at 1:15 p.m., ending at 2 […]
July 04, 2014 | 9:22 a.m.

Anime Expo: ‘Sailor Moon’ voice Linda Ballantyne on the series

(© Naoko Takeuchi / PNP,  Toei Animation / VIZ Media)
She came to the world’s attention as a 14-year-old klutz who encounters a talking black cat with a magical brooch. The cat’s brooch transformed Usagi Tsukino, or Serena to U.S. audiences, into the manga heroine Sailor Moon, one of the most recognizable of all anime icons. More than 20 years after Naoko Takeuchi created Sailor Moon and her fellow Sailor Senshi, she’s not only appeared on countless lunch boxes and notebooks, her red-bowed schoolgirl’s uniform with the thigh-high miniskirt remains one of the most recognizable costumes at gatherings like this year’s Anime Expo. The annual convention celebrating Japanese animation and pop culture kicks off Thursday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Saturday will be the expo’s “Sailor Moon Day.” Planned events include the premiere of the new series “Sailor Moon Crystal” as well as a panel where the first two […]
June 19, 2014 | 5:01 p.m.

‘Sailor Moon': Anime reboot and redub to premiere July 5

'Sailor Moon Crystal'
North American “Sailor Moon” fans can rejoice: “Sailor Moon Crystal,” the new reboot of the classic anime franchise, will be available to stream starting July 5 on Hulu and Viz Media’s Neon Alley. Based on Naoko Takeuchi’s long-running manga series, “Sailor Moon Crystal” will retell the story of Usagi Tsukino discovering she is Sailor Moon. As revealed in the trailer below, Usagi meets Luna, a black cat that can talk, who has been searching for her. After she is given a special brooch to transform into Sailor Moon, Usagi is tasked with the mission to gather her allies, other Sailor Senshi or “Guardians,” and defeat the enemy. As in the original anime series that aired in the U.S. starting in 1995, Sailor Moon’s mission also involves seeking out the Legendary Silver Crystal and protecting it from Queen Beryl. “Fans everywhere […]
April 08, 2014 | 11:56 a.m.

HBO renews ‘Game of Thrones’ for fifth, sixth seasons

HBO’s breakout hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones” will get a fifth and sixth season, the cable network announced Tuesday. The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning show, based on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, kicked off its fourth season Sunday evening to record-breaking ratings. About 6.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the episode, giving HBO its best numbers since 2007′s series finale of “The Sopranos” and crashing HBO Go, the network’s online streaming service. Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, called the series “a phenomenon like no other” in the renewal announcement Tuesday, praising series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for “their dazzling storytelling.” The lavish series, primarily set on a fictional continent called Westeros, chronicles the intrigue, treachery and power lust of warring families who seek to rule from the Iron […]
April 04, 2014 | 12:46 p.m.

‘Hunger Games’ sequel casts ‘Game of Thrones’ star Gwendoline Christie

Gwendoline Christie plays Brienne of Tarth, whose sword skills and unusual strength and size set her apart from other young maids. Brienne swore an oath to Lady Catelyn Stark to deliver hostage Jaime Lannister to King's Landing in exchange for the safe return of Catelyn's daughters, Sansa and Arya. (HBO; Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
“Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie is joining the cast of next year’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” the final installment in the blockbuster movie franchise. Christie, whose previous screen credits include Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and the BBC children’s series “Wizards vs. Aliens,” is best known for her “Game of Thrones” role. In the lavish HBO fantasy series,” Christie plays Brienne of Tarth, a warrior woman who is better with a broadsword than most of the male knights who cross her path. Christie is slated to play Commander Lyme, taking over the role from “Mockingjay – Part 1″ actress Lily Rabe (“American Horror Story”) due to a scheduling conflict with Rabe’s previous commitment to a production of “Much Ado About Nothing” at Shakespeare in the Park, according to Lionsgate. QUIZ: Test your ‘Game of […]
April 04, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 4: Kit Harington fights for honor on Belfast set

Kit Harington in Season 4 of HBO's "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan / HBO)
BELFAST, Northern Ireland — It’s a winding two-lane road in the Northern Irish countryside that leads past grazing cattle to the open fields of Clandeboye Estate, a placid locale famed for its dairy products and its wedding receptions. But as sunset arrived on a mild September evening, the property hosted a ceremony of another kind. HBO’s lavish fantasy “Game of Thrones” had come to shoot a tricky fight scene for an episode of its fourth season, which begins its highly anticipated 10-show run Sunday. Inside the cramped confines of a rustic wooden structure, actor Kit Harington, clad in the Night’s Watch black of his noble character Jon Snow, was on the receiving end of troubling blows. Candles cast a warm, golden glow and magnificent shadows over the action inside the set, as Harington, blood painted onto his cheeks, and his […]
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