Jan. 20, 2011 | 3:10 p.m.
Jay West drops by the Hero Complex with a guest essay on the legacy of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture“ With a new “Star Trek” film ramping up it’s a good time to reflect on the history of a film franchise that dates back to the Carter administration but has a complicated legacy. Below, you’ll find a rarely seen, 10-minute featurette on the making of the first movie, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which beamed down into theaters on Dec. 7, 1979. The featurette has never been released in any home-video format, amazingly, but it provides a unique and engaging behind-the-scenes look at the making of this inaugural “Star Trek” movie — showcasing some of the movie’s models (with especially interesting footage regarding the classic dry dock sequence) and sets. There are also glimpses of the main cast preparing for scenes, alien crew members donning their […]
June 12, 2010 | 7:15 p.m.
I’m not sure who had more fun Friday night, Leonard Nimoy or the sold-out audience that came to see him at the first night of the inaugural Hero Complex Film Festival. Early on, I knew we were going to have a good ride when the Starfleet icon sent the audience into delirious laughter with his overwrought impression of William Shatner delivering the eulogy for Spock at the end of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” “Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was most… human.” Absolutely priceless. The conversation that followed was lively and unpredictable (who expected to hear about Nimoy’s chance meeting with rock demi-god Jimi Hendrix in Cleveland four decades ago?) and bittersweet. The dynamic 79-year-old has just announced his retirement from acting and, after a few “Trek”-related appearances later this year, he is stepping away from the public […]
May 24, 2010 | 6:35 p.m.
William Shatner is headed back to television with a new comedy pilot for CBS, and he’s also busy in the world of comics with his assorted projects for Bluewater Productions. The 79-year-old icon is also coming off of the great success of the Hollywood Charity Horse Show, a fundraiser that since 1990 has bridged the world of celebrity and saddle culture to raise money for children in need. I sat down with Shatner at the recent Anaheim Comic-Con to talk about the Starfleet universe, his unexpected interest in reviving radio drama and his insights into the difficult life decisions of an actor. GB: You’ve had such an interesting ride through pop culture, going all the way back to the 1960s, but in recent years, with the role of Denny Crane on “Boston Legal” and “The Practice,” there was a new level of […]
March 22, 2010 | 5:30 p.m.
O captain, my captain … William Shatner is 79 today, and here’s hoping he keeps on going boldly through life for many, many more years. To mark the day, let’s revisit one of our favorites here at Hero Complex, the genius philosophy of “Shatner of the Mount” … Want to see the original interview that was used to make the video? It’s from the extras on a ”Star Trek V” home video release and you can watch it right here. RECENT AND RELATED William Shatner: “It’s strange to say goodbye” William Shatner meets his hero VIDEO: William Shatner sings about Prop. 9 Shatner and “Kingdom of Spiders” hits DVD VIDEO: “Star Trek” meets … Monty Python? Starfleet goes Guantanamo? Next “Trek” may have torture themes Chris Pine takes command: “My name is not William Shatner” Leonard Nimoy: “Star Trek” fans can be scary Leonard Nimoy’s […]
Jan. 15, 2010 | 9:34 p.m.
They say Hollywood is a dog-eat-dog kind of town, but the stars of the 1977 cult classic “Kingdom of the Spiders” took that mentality to a whole new level by literally trying to devour their competition. The film, which finally arrives on DVD on Tuesday, features an army of orange-kneed tarantulas in the title roles, and that furry-limbed critter happens to be cannibalistic, which presented director John “Bud” Cardos with the prospect of an especially tense lunch break each day. “Each one of those spiders had to be kept in almost like a cottage-cheese container,” said Cardo, who didn’t have the benefit of CGI special effects back in the day and had to use genuine creepy-crawlies (and a few rubber props here and there). Spider wrangler Jim Brockett of Brocketts Film Fauna imported 5,000 tarantulas from Mexico to star in this arachnid version of “Jaws,” which stars […]
Nov. 06, 2009 | 11:31 p.m.
On Wednesday, William Shatner was at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and this is one of the photos from Getty Images. It’s Friday and that means it’s a good time for a caption contest. Boldly go to the comments section and give us your best line about this cosmic moment. – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Starfleet goes Guantanamo? Next “Trek” may have torture themes GENIUS VIDEO: William Shatner and the mountain of love Chris Pine takes command: “I am not William Shatner” REVIEW: “Star Trek” star Chris Pine takes the stage in L.A. Leonard Nimoy: “Star Trek” fans can be scary VIDEO: “Star Trek” meets … Monty Python? Leonard Nimoy seks human life through photography William Shatner: “It’s strange to say goodbye” Simon Pegg: “I felt damn sexy” in Starfleet uniform Photo: Chris Pine. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
Oct. 28, 2009 | 9:35 p.m.
Susan King, purveyor of many things film and television and beyond, falls into “The Twilight Zone” in her latest Classic Hollywood column as she gets out the word about “You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead — your next stop, the Twilight Zone.” With those now-famous words, TV audiences 50 years ago were introduced to Rod Serling’s breakthrough sci-fi series “The Twilight Zone.” The series, essentially morality plays with evocative twists of fantasy, ran for five seasons on CBS — and endlessly in reruns and the public imagination. One week, viewers could be on a plane with a troubled young man who insists he sees a monster on a wing; another week, an elderly […]
Aug. 19, 2009 | 11:07 p.m.
Last-minute notice, but … Rod Roddenberry, son of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, will be signing the first issue of a new comic book series, “Days Missing,” along with the book’s creator Trevor Roth, tonight at Golden Apple Comics in Hollywood (7018 Melrose Ave.). Attendees will get a free “vintage ‘Star Trek’ poster.” Does that mean Ricardo Montalban as Khan or William Shatner with Tribbles in hand? Not sure. The book itself is described as telling ”the stories of a mysterious being known only as The Steward. His ability to literally fold days of time has allowed him to secretly remove critical days from our shared history that have forever changed the course of mankind.” Oooh, sounds like it could have the same title as Oliver Stone‘s new historical series “Secret History of America.” Not another branch in the “Trek” universe, so to speak, but […]
July 29, 2009 | 12:49 p.m.
William Shatner is a fount of pure genius. All you have to do is stand there and let it splatter on your shoes. If you doubt me, watch this… – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Geoff buys William Shatner a cup of coffee VIDEO: “Star Trek” meets…Monty Python? Chris Pine takes command: “I am not William Shatner” VIDEO: Darth Vader displeased by new “Trek” success The music of Warp 11: Funnier than Capt. Picard with a toupee Leonard Nimoy: “Star Trek” fans can be scary VIDEO: William Shatner sings about Prop. 9 CREDIT: Captian kirk photo from the Los Angeles Times archives.
April 29, 2009 | 6:46 p.m.
It’s a funny old universe, isn’t it? Take this Priceline commercial from a while back. That’s William Shatner at the wheel, of course, but what about the guy in the back? Well, that’s Robert Pine, who you may remember as the sergeant on “CHiPs” and from a zillion other roles through the years. Robert Pine’s son is … Chris Pine. Yes, that’s right, the new Captain Kirk. Here’s a little story Chris told me over lunch at a Greek restaurant a few weeks ago: “William Shatner and I have never met. I wrote him a letter in the beginning, when I first got the role, and we were going to go out to lunch, which never happened. And we need to get together sooner than later. Absolutely. And I’m looking forward to it. Here’s a funny thing: My father, strangely and oddly enough, […]