Jan. 10, 2013 | 7:05 a.m.
The 85th Academy Award nominations managed to offer some surprises Thursday morning — industry pundits were buzzing about the omission from the best director competition of Ben Affleck for “Argo” and Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty” — but fans of fantastic entertainment had reason to cheer. Unless, of course, you were rooting for an Oscar for “The Dark Knight Rises.” While “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Skyfall” and “Django Unchained” all earned multiple nominations in a variety of categories, the final installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy was not recognized, despite the critical acclaim that met the film when it was released in July. OSCARS 2013: Full coverage Happier news greeted Tim Burton today, with the filmmaker’s black-and-white 3D stop-motion love letter to childhood and Universal monster movies, “Frankenweenie,” leading the pack in the animated feature category. The movie, […]
Jan. 08, 2013 | 2:12 p.m.
Attention, true believers! Soon you will get a chance to Hulk-out, Lego-style. “Lego Marvel Super Heroes” is coming to game consoles this fall. Lego added Marvel Comics characters to its vast lineup of licensed construction sets in April of last year, so it’s not entirely shocking that the next announced video game in the Lego series from TT Games will involve the Hulk, Spider-Man and Iron Man, among other beloved characters. Marvel and Lego made the announcement on Tuesday about the game, which is coming from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games. It will be available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Playstation Vita and Windows PC. Unlike the “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” or “Lord of the Rings” Lego games, the “Lego Marvel Super Heroes” game will have an original storyline involving Nick Fury calling […]
Dec. 30, 2012 | 2:11 p.m.
For fans of fantastic entertainment, it was a bountiful year at the box office. The highest-grossing movies of 2012 starred a collection of superheroes, two strong young woman with mean archery skills (Katniss Everdeen and Merida from “Brave”), a suit-sporting super spy and a mild-mannered hobbit who embarks on an unexpected adventure — not to mention a coven of sparkly vampires and a talking stoner teddy bear. With so many movies to choose from, it’s easy to see how audiences might have overlooked a few gems. So as the year draws to a close, we’ve assembled our top picks for films to belatedly check out — as well as a few that no doubt warrant repeat viewings. “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” Yeah, yeah, so it didn’t take the box office by storm, and critics griped that the movie wasn’t funny. […]
Dec. 20, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.
San Diego’s Comic-Con International is always full of hype and bombast for movies and TV projects designed to appeal to lovers of genre entertainment. But even in the extensive annals of Hall H lore, the 2010 Marvel panel in which the cast of “The Avengers” assembled on a public stage for the first time still holds a special place in the history of the 6,500-seat auditorium. As the wild crowd cheered stars Robert Downey Jr., Clark Gregg, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo, writer-director Joss Whedon departed from the usual script — one in which filmmakers vow that their upcoming movie will be nothing short of awesome — with typical self-deprecating wit. “I am going to blow it,” he said amid the cheers. “I’m not up to it.” No surprise, really. He […]
Dec. 17, 2012 | 10:00 a.m.
This post has been corrected. See below. COMMENTARY It started with The Big Bang. Not the still somehow controversial theory of the universe’s origins, the CBS comedy, “The Big Bang Theory.” Before those two wacky physicists and adorably mismatched roommates Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) began wooing hearts and winning Emmys, the term “geek” was something of a pejorative. Proudly worn, perhaps, by those to whom it applied–comic book collectors, math heads, Trekkies, sci fi and fantasy fans and other obscure genre devotees–but certainly not in any way synonymous with popular, or influential or, heaven forbid, hot. Now, of course, we live in a Brave New World. San Diego’s Comic-Con International is a pop cultural touchstone/marketing platform, video games are truly the next new art form and Stephen Colbert proudly brandishes his pricey replica of the Elven blade […]
Oct. 01, 2012 | 11:40 a.m.
“Avengers vs. X-Men” is Marvel Comics’ big crossover event of the year — and by the time it reaches its conclusion, one major figure will be no more. Professor Charles Xavier formed the X-Men after the mutant population exploded around the world, with an eye toward teaching his followers to use their abilities for the common good. The book itself dates back to 1963, and with its 50-year anniversary approaching, the fact that the character is reaching the end of his narrative journey speaks to the new environment in which superhero comics reside — his departure allows Marvel to creatively shake up the storyline as the X-Men are forced to grapple with the weight of his death. Hero Complex contributor Jevon Phillips caught up with Jason Aaron, the writer tasked with scripting the final issue of the AvX series, and […]
Sept. 25, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.
“The Avengers” finally comes to Blu-ray and DVD, following a record-breaking summer at the box office and half a decade of hype. The Marvel mega-franchise, with cinematic roots that date back to Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man” in 2008, is still expanding, with a S.H.I.E.L.D. television series on ABC and a number of movie sequels in the works, including “Iron Man 3,” “Captain America 2,” “Thor: The Dark World” and an as-yet-untitled “Avengers” sequel. The superhero blockbusters proved themselves vehicles for established stars (Robert Downey Jr.) and breakout performers (Tom Hiddleston) as the muscled men chosen to portray the comic classics on the big screen. And since the $1.5-billion success of “The Avengers,” writer-director Joss Whedon — previously best known for creating cult classic TV series “Firefly” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” — has become a big-budget director and a household […]
Sept. 24, 2012 | 7:51 p.m.
How could Loki, a villain who was defeated by a single superhero in “Thor,” become a believably formidable foe for a team of six superheroes backed by S.H.I.E.L.D.? The question plagued Loki actor Tom Hiddleston, 31, when he was preparing for “The Avengers,” out on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday. “That was what I was so terrified I would fail to do,” Hiddleston said. “It’s a big old movie.” Big it certainly is. “The Avengers,” which cost $220 million to make, was a popular and critical hit, earning more than $1.5 billion worldwide and making director Joss Whedon a household name. The film unites a team of A-list muscle men, many of them already stars of their own Marvel movies, including Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2″), Chris Evans (“Captain America”), Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”), Black Widow actress Scarlett […]
Sept. 20, 2012 | 3:52 p.m.
Louis D’Esposito escorts guests through the offices of Marvel Studios like a proud father. Meet the directors of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”! Check out this test footage for “Ant-Man”! Now Marvel’s co-president can say, “Look at my movie!” After about 25 years as an assistant director and producer on mainstream movies including “Ishtar,” “Basic Instinct” and “S.W.A.T.,” and six years overseeing Marvel superhero adaptations such as “Thor” and “The Avengers,” D’Esposito has fulfilled an ambition to make his own film. His 10-minute short “Item 47” ships next week with the “Avengers” Blu-ray disc. It tells the story of a young couple who live in the same world as Thor and Iron Man — the perfect material for a man who brings home comic books to research superheroes but seems to be friends with every person he passes. “Lou is […]
Aug. 06, 2012 | 4:32 p.m.
With “The Bourne Legacy” hitting theaters this week and “The Avengers” and “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” under his belt, Jeremy Renner has officially made the leap to Hollywood action star. The 41-year-old Modesto native also plays a bounty hunter version of the classic fairy-tale character in “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” due out in January. Hero Complex caught up with Renner earlier this summer to talk about ”Bourne,” which opens in theaters Friday, as well as his role in “Avengers,” which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray next month. HC: Before the last few years, you did a lot of indie films. Did you ever fancy you’d be an action hero? JR: Not by any stretch of the imagination. It just sort of became opportunities that I don’t think anybody really would want to turn away. As long as it was […]