Jan. 21, 2012 | 1:01 p.m.
It’s difficult to reconcile Kate Beckinsale, the slender, silky-voiced actress leaning gracefully on a coral chaise at the Montage Hotel, with Selene, the cold-faced vampire woman who blasts hot metal into the bodies of her werewolf enemies in “Underworld: Awakening.” In the film, which hit theaters Friday, Selene punches through somebody’s torso. In the Beverly Hills hotel on a recent January evening, Beckinsale absently tucks a soft curl behind her ear as she talks about diving into the vampires-versus-werewolves franchise for the third time. She emanates femininity. That’s how directors saw her a decade ago, when the “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Pearl Harbor” actress was turned down for parts because she appeared too innocent and soft. “I’d had some feedback from casting directors kind of saying, ‘We don’t know if we really want to see her for this part, […]
May 08, 2011 | 7:29 p.m.
There was always something menacing about British actor Oliver Reed. He had a thick bull neck, a sinewy frame, dark eyes, a noticeable scar on his face and a flat nose. He was a notorious boozer and rabble-rouser,too, a life as rough as his visage. The presentation wasn’t always gentle, either; when he appeared in the 1980s on David Letterman’s show, for instance, he would answer questions only in German. If there was a beast inside, it came out during his first starring role, the blood-curdling “The Curse of the Werewolf” from 1961. The only werewolf film from Hammer Film Productions, the Terence Fisher film was feted Saturday night at Pitzer College in Claremont with a 50th anniversary celebration that featured a life-size sculpture of the hirsute monster, a creation of Mike Hill. “The Curse of the Werewolf” finds Reed at his hair-raising best as […]
March 12, 2011 | 10:27 a.m.
Los Angeles Times film critic Betsy Sharkey went into the woods with “Little Red Riding Hood,” here’s an excerpt from her review… The horror-tinged romance of “Red Riding Hood” is at its heart nothing more than a fashionable fairytale version of what’s all the rage in teen love stories these days. The basic formula includes a moody beauty falling for the wrong boy, who may actually be a vampire-alien-werewolf-whatever. Can “Pinocchio at 15” be far behind? With “my, what big eyes you have” Amanda Seyfried as the girl in the scarlet cloak and that edgy shaman of young angst, Catherine Hardwicke, in the director’s chair, the movie comes with great expectations. So it kills me to say — or at least it bothers me a lot — that what we have here is a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Gorgeously shot, […]
March 10, 2011 | 2:42 p.m.
The massive box-office success of 2008’s “Twilight” changed the fortunes of its three young stars, propelling them on an upward career trajectory and transforming Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner into household names. Yet not so much changed for the film’s director, Catherine Hardwicke. A respected production designer who transitioned to the director’s chair with the acclaimed 2003 low-budget indie “Thirteen,” Hardwicke, 55, earned praise for her films’ kinetic energy and visual stylings, but not even wearing the mantle of the female director with the highest-grossing opening weekend in movie history dramatically improved her fortunes in Hollywood. “Nothing is easy,” Texas-born Hardwicke said recently over a vegetarian meal. “You have a big success, and it’s still not easy to make a movie. I had a bunch of other projects that I worked really hard on after ‘Twilight,’ and the […]
Nov. 16, 2010 | 6:37 a.m.
EXCLUSIVE Catherine Hardwicke understands impetuous teen heroines the way George Lucas reverse-engineers robot sidekicks. In March, the director of “Twilight” and “Thirteen” will unleash her newest troublemaker upon the world with a dark, sensuous spin on “Red Riding Hood.” Hardwicke’s trailer for “Red Riding Hood,” which stars Amanda Seyfried in the title role, has just premiered on Apple.com. Hero Complex writer Rebecca Keegan spoke to Hardwicke about modernizing the fairy tale, building her own medieval world and casting (as Little Red’s heartthrob) the actor who almost played Edward in “Twilight.” RK: This red riding hood isn’t so little. She’s a young woman, apparently caught in a love triangle. Where did the idea of sexing up this folk tale originate? CH: It came from Leonardo DiCaprio. He came up with the idea, “Wouldn’t it be cool to do a Gothic twist […]
Aug. 05, 2010 | 9:46 p.m.
Daina Beth Solomon is back on Hero Complex with a look at a new book and a creative team that is hunting down a far different werewolf from the ones who howl in “Twilight” films and books. When Paul Jessup brainstormed the story for “Werewolves,” the illustrated book that hits stores this week, he thought about what was missing in popular supernatural tales such as “The Lost Boys“ or “Twilight.” What he heard in his head was the voice of a strong female character. In “Twilight,” the female protagonist is forever reactive, and in “Lost Boys,” the women are victims or barely-there characters. “I thought it would be interesting to take it the other way,” Jessup said. He wanted a story “not just about a girl who needs to be saved, but a girl who saves herself — as well […]