March 01, 2013 | 1:50 p.m.

Obama dismisses ‘Jedi mind meld’ to solve sequester

An image sent out by the White House on Twitter following Obama's "Jedi mind meld" remark. Credit: White House
As Congress, the president and the nation grapple with the so-called sequester and the possible harrowing effects of billions of dollars in automatic, across-the-board federal budget cuts, there’s one thing Congress doesn’t have to worry about: President Obama performing a Jedi mind meld.  The president has indicated that he cannot go to those lengths. It’s just as well. The ability to connect minds “so closely as to act as a single person” is likely the kind of presidential power that no Founding Father (or Vulcan) would ever allow. The president made the sci-fi reference — a combination of a “Star Wars” term and a “Star Trek” term — on Friday when he spoke to reporters following a failed meeting with top congressional leaders to avoid the sequestration cuts — $85 billion worth — that will likely go into effect at […]
Feb. 20, 2013 | 11:21 a.m.

Zombie foreclosures: Not a monster, but a monster of a headache

Zombie foreclosure? Guess again.
Zombie foreclosures??? In the words of “South Park’s” Sheila Broflovski: “What? What? Whaaat?” The Internets were all abuzz Wednesday morning over zombie foreclosures. Does that mean zombies are skipping out on their mortgages? Biters ain’t paying their bills? It really does not sound like a good “Walking Dead” episode if Rick Grimes were to get a real estate license and start offering foreclosure guidance to reanimated corpses. That’s really not what zombie foreclosures are anyway. What are they? CNN explains it this way:  It’s when a borrower moves out of his or her home after the bank schedules a foreclosure auction — then finds out months or even years later that the foreclosure auction never took place or that the bank failed to transfer the deed to the house.  Thus, the borrower is still technically the homeowner and “on the […]
Feb. 18, 2013 | 2:25 p.m.

Cartoons, characters linked to kids’ bad behavior: Power Rangers again

Power Rangers, marking their 20th year, at the 2013 International  Toy Fair in New York
A new study on children’s behavior has found that certain TV programming beats other programming when you’re trying to calm aggressive, violent behavior in preschoolers. And once again, the Power Rangers were among the evildoers.  Power Rangers bad. Dora, and presumably her monkey Boots, good. What it comes down to is, less violent programming equals less violent preschoolers.  Parents who are always in search of quality animated films and TV shows for their kids may be tempted to reply, “Duh.”  What’s different about this new study was the emphasis on switching channels rather than simply pulling the cord out of the wall. As the Los Angeles Times’ Monte Morin reports, researchers are saying parents should steer children in the right direction. “It is a variation on the ‘if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em’ idea,” Claire McCarthy, a pediatrician at […]
Feb. 14, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.

‘Fire Emblem: Awakening’ review: Swords kill, love hurts

'Fire Emblem: Awakening' featured image
Ten hours into “Fire Emblem: Awakening,” and still no wedding. This was a cause of great panic. “Fire Emblem: Awakening,” released earlier this month for Nintendo’s handheld 3DS, is a fantasy war game, but it’s also concerned with matters of the heart. Sure, there are great axes, fantastic lightning spells and there’s even more than one gorgeous flying Pegasus. And when it comes to fights, there’s evil sorcerers, slimy monsters and all sorts of beasts that look borrowed from Mordor. But beyond the “Dungeons & Dragons” stuff, this is really about the strategic game of love. Amid the troop assignments and battle positioning, there’s even more awkward encounters between characters. One of them, for instance, may happen to stumble upon another mid-bath. This, ultimately, is a game of personality management. Was my no-nonsense, purple-haired Kes, a female magician-sword-fighter, too weird or […]
Feb. 09, 2013 | 8:30 a.m.

Where can I watch ‘Walking Dead’ Season 3?

A scene from "The Walking Dead," Season 3, Episode 1 Credit: Gene Page/AMC
“The Walking Dead” will resume its third season at 9 p.m. Sunday on AMC with the episode “The Suicide King,” blessed relief for fans who have been shambling in zombie limbo during the show’s midseason break. Show runner Glen Mazzara spoke with Hero Complex in a two-part interview about the remainder of the season, promising more surprises for diehard fans — and warning that, should the story demand their deaths, no character is safe. PREVIEW: Season 3 episodes | RECAP: ‘Made to Suffer’ “We’ve already deviated from the Governor’s [comic] storyline in interesting ways; it’s a matter of continuing to tell that story and being honest and true to the essence of what’s there,” Mazzara said. “But comic book fans will not be able to guess what’s coming.” It’s been a long wait for “Dead” devotees, who were informed during […]
Feb. 08, 2013 | 12:20 p.m.

Zombie quiz: Prove you’re smarter than a zombie

As the midseason return of “The Walking Dead” nears, here’s a quiz — with plenty of George Romero — to test your zombie IQ.
Feb. 06, 2013 | 1:52 p.m.

Sasquatch 2013: Mumford & Sons and some geek highlights

Just some of the performers scheduled for the Sasquatch festival, via Live Nation.
Sasquatch the music festival, scarcely as elusive as its namesake, has unveiled its lineup, and topping the bill at the annual alt-music event are folk-rock stars Mumford & Sons, the Postal Service (reunited) and rap act Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. There are 108 artists and nine comedians scheduled to appear at the festival, from May 24 to 27 at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Quincy, Wash. But as fans are busy flipping through the Sasquatch lineup, we’d like to point out some performers that the geek crowd in particular can appreciate. Here are some intricately produced videos created by some Sasquatch performers that touch on sci-fi, horror and animation. Twin Shadow, which is on the bill, created the video for “Five Seconds.”  It is inspired by frontman George Lewis Jr.’s own foray into science fiction, a novel titled “The Night of […]
Dec. 25, 2012 | 2:00 a.m.

Merry Christmas from Hero Complex — and chickens

muppet-chickens400 copy
Have a wonderful holiday everyone! – Gina McIntyre Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex RECENT AND RELATED PHOTOS: Kermit the Frog, a career The Muppets crash WWE, Leno Disney says ‘Make Mine Marvel’ Donald Duck: A classic quest Pixar is making a dinosaur movie 2012: The year in awesome ‘The Hobbit’ collected: Complete coverage The year in video games: Indie possibilities Muppets director promises ‘anarchic stupidity’ Kermit commanded Jason Segel’s respect
Oct. 01, 2012 | 3:47 p.m.

Hero Complex: The future begins now

Jeffrey Jones as Criswell in Tim Burton's "Ed Wood."
“Greetings, my friends – We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.” – Criswell, “Plan 9 From Outer Space” Welcome to the new iteration of Hero Complex. Well, not entirely new, as we’ll continue to bring genre fans the smartest possible stories from the worlds of science fiction, fantasy and horror across all media – film, TV, comic books, video games, literature and the Web. But what is new is me – I am delighted to now be the lead writer and editor of Hero Complex. I thought it appropriate to take a quick minute to introduce myself. I grew up in Indianapolis, and every Friday night, my dad and I would stay up watching late-night monster movies hosted by local ghoul Sammy Terry (and […]
Oct. 01, 2012 | 3:34 p.m.

Hero Complex: A farewell from Geoff Boucher

Geoff Boucher at the DC Entertainment panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival Of Books on April 21, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Michael Kovac / Getty Images for DC Entertainment)
First, a farewell: I started Hero Complex in 2008 because it was a place where I could write and read about entertainment of the fantastic and the new frontiers of spectacle imagination. It turns out that a lot of people out there wanted the same thing out of a website, and this one has been a success by every possible measure. The brand has even stretched into live events, print editions and an online talk show. It’s been a tremendous ride but, after 21 terrific years as a mild-mannered reporter at the great Los Angeles Times, it was time to look for a new challenge. That doesn’t mean Hero Complex is going away. Far from it, the site’s success is the work of a team, not an individual. Gina McIntyre, my editor during the site’s greatest success, is expanding her […]
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