April 16, 2013 | 2:51 p.m.
“The Lords of Salem,” the latest feature from writer-director Rob Zombie, just might surprise fans of the musician-filmmaker’s grittier, gorier outings, “House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil’s Rejects,” his two “Halloween” movies. For his fifth live-action film, Zombie adopted a strange, subtle approach to horror, replacing the extreme bloodletting of his earlier projects with a nightmarish weirdness that’s hard to shake off. Opening Friday, “The Lords of Salem” tells the story of a radio DJ (his wife, Sheri Moon Zombie) who finds herself the victim of an ancient curse, unleashed after she plays a screeching, droning song by a mysterious band known as the Lords on her show. Soon she begins to experience headaches and night-terrors that bleed into the daylight hours. Her increasingly erratic behavior causes her friends to worry that the recovering addict might have succumbed once more […]
March 11, 2013 | 2:17 p.m.
“Oz the Great and Powerful” handily won the weekend box office with an impressive $80.3 million take in the U.S. and Canada, making it the biggest hit of the year so far. The film, Sam Raimi’s quasi-prequel to the 1939 Oscar-winning musical “The Wizard of Oz,” benefited from its broad appeal (not to mention higher 3-D ticket prices). For the actors starring in the lavish fantasy inspired by the books of L. Frank Baum, though, the emphasis was on performance, not eventual box-office returns. Attempting to find the right approach to Finley, the sweet-natured talking monkey who becomes a boon companion to James Franco’s magician con man in the magical realm, proved an interesting assignment for Zach Braff, the actor explained last week at an early Hero Complex screening of “Oz the Great and Powerful” at the AMC Century City […]
March 08, 2013 | 12:46 p.m.
International Women’s Day is being honored today with that singular cultural touchstone: a Google Doodle. The doodle drawing of faces of women around the world artistically honors the advancement of women’s rights — one of the chief goals of International Women’s Day — and the fact that a woman’s work, it seems, is never done. Hero Complex is celebrating International Women’s Day in the best way it knows how: with a photo gallery of women from film, TV, games and comic books who embody female empowerment and, let’s face it, kick booty. (Yes, we said “booty,” but only because the L.A. Times censors made us.) Beyoncé as Wonder Woman? Now we know there’s a long list of complaints about women in genre. Chiefly, that they are hyper-sexualized sidekicks who do little more than bust out of their curve-hugging costumes. And, […]
March 04, 2013 | 11:28 a.m.
Zombie-lovers and “Walking Dead” fans were divided over a “Saturday Night Live” send-up of the cult hit AMC series. Some felt the skit was absolutely hilarious and others slamming it as absolutely horrible. The zombie parody dove into some dicey racial politics as the skit depicted “Walking Dead” characters crossing paths with Lyle, played by this week’s host, Kevin Hart. MORE: The plight of the black zombie The group fears allowing Lyle to join their ranks — he’s acting like a zombie, after all — but Lyle uses those fears to prey on white guilt. What did you think? Did the skit go too far? Were you thrilled to see the comedy sketch show tackle “The Walking Dead” and zombies? Or did you find it to be one of this week’s less-than-funny sketches. (That Z-shirt thing? Would have been much […]
Feb. 21, 2013 | 4:56 p.m.
Talk about real-world special effects: NASA has just released stunning video of a “coronal rain,” a solar phenomenon in which hot plasma appears to rain down in great arches onto the surface of the sun. What you see in the video is actually three types of eruptive events: A solar flare — a sudden eruption that causes a flash of electromagnetic radiation and light; a coronal mass ejection (CME), which is when the sun sends some of its matter shooting out into space; and finally, the dazzling coronal rain that occurs when the super hot plasma that rose into the sun’s atmosphere begins to cool and trace strong magnetic fields back to the surface of the sun. Solar flares, CMEs and even coronal rains are not so unusual, said Alex Young, a solar astrophysicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. But it […]