The Green Hornet

Jan. 19, 2011 | 7:52 a.m.

Green Hornet swarm: Four other actors who wore the mask

Green Hornet Van
The mask of the Green Hornet belongs to Seth Rogen these days — the film opened to a solid $40 million in domestic box office over the weekend — but the role has a history that dates back farther than the debut of  Superman or Batman. The tales of Britt Reid, a newspaper publisher who fights crime as a masked vigilante with a fierce-fighting sidekick named Kato, go back to the mid-1930s, and here’s a look at four other actors who brought the Hornet to life. Al Hodge: “The Green Hornet” began on radio in 1936 with the sonorous-voiced Hodge playing the role of Reid until 1943. (Robert Hall took over from 1943 to ’46, and Jack McCarthy came on board in 1946 and stayed with the series until it ended in 1952.) Hodge’s talents went beyond microphone work — he also produced radio […]
Jan. 16, 2011 | 8:50 a.m.

‘Green Hornet’ director Michel Gondry: ‘It’s not really my movie’

Micehl Gondry at premiere of "The Green Hornet"(Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
  Judging from the belly laughs at theaters, it’s one of the funniest scenes in the action-comedy “The Green Hornet”:  Newly empowered as masked crusaders, party-boy media scion Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) and his trusty manservant Kato (Taiwanese pop star and action-movie heartthrob Jay Chou) head out into Los Angeles to battle the bad guys. As their Chrysler Imperial lurches into traffic, Kato drops the needle on a turntable in the backseat. And Reid begins to rap along to Coolio’s R&B tinged 1995 criminal anthem “Gangsta’s Paradise.” With its maudlin take on urban nihilism and mellifluous hook (courtesy of the singer L.V.), the song assumes buffoonish overtones with its new context — a pump-up theme for superheroes on their work commute.  “Hornet’s” distributor Columbia Pictures saw the song’s marketing potential, making it a cornerstone of one of its TV spots for the film. But to […]
Jan. 14, 2011 | 9:45 a.m.

‘Green Hornet’ review: The most tedious superhero film ever?

Green Hornet car
Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan on “boring bromedy” with masked men … “The Green Hornet” may not be the most tedious superhero movie ever — the competition is admittedly tough — but it is certainly in the running. An anemic, 97-pound weakling of the action comedy persuasion, “Hornet” is a boring bromedy that features mumblecore heroics instead of the real thing. Though the Hornet’s been around since the 1930s in various incarnations, including a TV series that featured the one-of-a-kind Bruce Lee as his sidekick Kato, the Hornet’s technically not a superhero at all. Rather, like his animal kingdom cohort Batman, the Hornet fights crime from behind a mask with just his ordinary human powers, plus nifty inventions like a tricked-out Chrysler Imperial. Invention, however, is what’s lacking in this latest version. Neither director Michel Gondry nor star […]
Jan. 11, 2011 | 2:42 p.m.

Seth Rogen says ‘Green Hornet’ would be ‘too potent’ in tights

Actor Seth Rogen (L) arrives with writer
“The Green Hornet,” starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou, has been winning over preview and media crowds lately, and the cast and crew got to show off a bit for the red carpet premiere in Hollywood — covered by The Times’ Amy Kaufman.   Over the course of the last year, actor Seth Rogen has gotten a lot of attention for slimming down his once-plump frame. Despite having shed a fair amount of weight, in his new film, “The Green Hornet,” Rogen doesn’t sport any figure-fitting ensembles. Instead of the standard spandex, he’s bundled up in a bulky jacket. “I went with the loose suit,” he said on the green carpet at the film’s premiere in Hollywood on Monday night. “Me and spandex and 3-D is too potent a combination, I think.” Despite his reluctance to show off his body, […]
Jan. 10, 2011 | 9:31 a.m.

‘Green Hornet’: One fan rumbles down memory lane with the Black Beauty

The Black Beauty (Petersen Automotive Museum)
Randy Lewis has been writing about rock and pop music for the Los Angeles Times since the 1980s, but he’s dropping by the Hero Complex to reconnect with a childhood hero — and that hero’s sweet ride. When I saw the first billboards go up for “The Green Hornet,” I’ll confess I got a little adrenaline rush — not so much at the prospect of whatever adventure lay in store for the Hornet, a.k.a. newspaper publisher Britt Reid, or even for his martial-arts-expert valet, Kato. No, my heart jumped when I caught that initial glimpse of the hero’s sweet ride, the Black Beauty. I was 13 when “The Green Hornet” TV series debuted in the wake of the surprise success of “Batman.” The voiced-over introduction — “Another challenge for the Green Hornet!” — that launched each episode as trumpeter Al […]
Dec. 31, 2010 | 12:49 p.m.

‘Green Hornet,’ unmasked: Exclusive on-the-set photos

Jay Chou as Kato (David Strick)
David Strick took his camera on the set of “The Green Hornet” and came back with a revealing photo collection that shows the toil and tedium that go into the creation of a modern box-office hero. – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Rogen is a Marvel man: “I’ve kinda given up on DC” Rogen’s pipe dream: “Greener Hornet,” the pot sequel  ZEITCHIK: Are movie fans ready for a heroic Rogen? “Green Hornet,” in search of Hollywood buzz Green movement: “Lantern” vs. “Hornet” 26 Black Beauty cars destroyed for “Green Hornet” Rogen’s survival tips for Comic-Con Gondry’s fav movies? “Robocop” and “Back to the Future”
Dec. 29, 2010 | 6:30 p.m.

The ‘Green’ line: The ‘Hornet’ and the ‘Lantern’

green400
Two of the biggest special-effects films of 2011 are “The Green Hornet” and “Green Lantern.” Although both movies are based on venerable properties (the title heroes date back to the FDR administration), average moviegoers may have trouble keeping them straight. We’re here to help you answer the old question: “Who was that masked man?” Click here to see the photo gallery. – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Seth Rogen is a Marvel man: “I’ve kinda given up on DC” Ryan Reynolds on kissing girls and throwing a punch ZEITCHIK: Are movie fans ready for a heroic Rogen? Berlanti: Lantern is part Jedi, part “Top Gun” 26 Black Beauty cars destroyed for “Green Hornet” ‘Green Lantern’: The costume controversy Gondry’s fav movies? “Robocop” and “Back to the Future” Campbell: “Lantern” has “Flash Gordon” element
Oct. 10, 2010 | 10:38 a.m.

The top 10 sidekicks of all time

sidekicks
It’s the 10 o’clock hour on  10-10-2010, and across the Los Angeles Times, we’re creating top 10 lists. Here at the Hero Complex, we are using the occasion to celebrate sidekicks — those trusty pop-culture pals who forever trail in the shadow of alpha figures but often win the hearts of fans. It was a tough list to assemble, and there were plenty of near-misses. Strong cases could be made for  Tinker Bell, Boo-Boo, George Costanza, Dyna Girl, Danno, Renfield, Art Garfunkel and Al Gore — we’re sorry, but really at this point they must be accustomed to the also-ran role.  So let’s get on with our companion countdown, in which we nod to a loyal pal, smile and say, “He’s with me.” 10. Mini-Me: The minions of Dr. Evil wanted to keep the criminal mastermind on track with his plans for global domination, and […]
July 27, 2010 | 3:05 a.m.

COMIC-CON 2010: Movie prospects, pitfalls and payoffs

Sure, every movie feels like a hit when it’s promoted in the celebratory climate of Comic-Con’s Hall H. But there’s cheering and there’s cheering; some movies preview at Comic-Con and begin their journey to serious bank, while others start down a lonely road from which they’ll never return. On Hero Complex’s sister blog 24 Frames, The Times’ Steven Zeitchik takes a look at the winners, losers and tweeners at this year’s fan extravaganza. RECENT AND RELATED The ‘Sucker Punch’ trailer and its liquid calamity COMIC-CON 2010: Check out our full coverage Harrison Ford gives ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ an otherwordly feel Slowly but surely, ‘Let Me In’ builds some goodwill PHOTO GALLERY: Scenes from Comic-Con 2010 Stallone, locked and loaded in “old-school way” “Scott Pilgrim” in San Diego…with jet-packs Jeff Bridges, old and new, plugs in “Tron: Legacy” “Sucker Punch” amps […]
July 26, 2010 | 9:56 p.m.

COMIC-CON 2010: Hollywood’s heroes take flight with unexpected directors

Here’s a longer version of John Horn’s Los Angeles Times Calendar article on Comic-Con filmmakers. When the big studios commit big bucks on their big franchises, the list of directors deemed equal to the task suddenly can grow very small. Just as different baseball teams consistently hire the same managers again and again, studio executives fall prey to familiar-is-good thinking, repeatedly shortlisting identical names for their high-profile movies, be it Stephen Sommers (“G.I. Joe,” “Van Helsing,” “The Mummy“), Martin Campbell (“The Legend of Zorro,” “Casino Royale,” “Edge of Darkness“) or anyone else with a tentpole track record. Their caution is understandable: If you’re about to fly in a $200-million movie, you might feel better if its pilot has at least flown before. But moviegoers, it seems, don’t mind a little inexperience, as long as the results are interesting and original. […]
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