March 27, 2013 | 9:39 a.m.
Superman is turning 75. When Superman first leaped (not flew, mind you) onto the pages of “Action Comics” No. 1 in 1938, the Man of Steel heralded the beginning of the superhero comics genre, paving the way for Batman, Spider-Man and many more spandex-wearing crime fighters. But there is only one Superman. His super-speed, super-strength and a noble devotion to truth, justice and the American way have helped make Superman the most enduring figure in comics, inspiring several landmark portrayals in television, on stage and in film, including the upcoming “Man of Steel,” in theaters June 14. “It’s precisely because we have so many dark heroes (Batman), and fraught ones (Spider-Man), that we’re aching for a big blue Boy Scout who knows right from wrong instinctively, and never wavers from the light or is sidetracked by anxieties,” said Larry Tye, who wrote […]
March 19, 2013 | 12:28 p.m.
The destruction of the Death Star was an inside job! So says “Luke’s Change,” a video that’s racked up 680,494 views on YouTube. Video creator Graham Putnam describes the video as “an examination of some questionable events and circumstances leading up to the destruction of the Death Star, through the eyes of an amateur investigative journalist within the Star Wars galaxy. The focus is mainly on the connections between the people who created and operated the Death Star and those responsible for destroying it.” P.S. This is a satirical send-up of the 9/11 truther video “Loose Change.” PHOTOS: 10 best comic-book villains The seven-minute video documents “that fateful day” when “the terrorist organization known as the Rebel Alliance blew up the Death Star with a squad of single manned fighters … destroying the prominent political target. “But could the destruction […]
March 12, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
One of the most memorable aspects of Sam Raimi’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” is the unlikely kinship that arises between James Franco’s cad con man turned hero Oscar Diggs and Finley, the tiny talking monkey given voice by actor Zach Braff. At an early Hero Complex screening of “Oz the Great and Powerful” at the AMC Century City 15 & Imax last week, Braff, famous for his work on television’s long-running sitcom “Scrubs” and his lauded turn behind the camera as director of the memorable indie “Garden State,” among other projects, described his on-set chemistry with Franco, whom he now considers a close friend. “James is a wacky guy, and I love wacky people,” Braff said during a Q&A that took place following the film. “There’s times I’ve done movies where you really can’t get along with the person […]
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 11, 2013 | 9:53 a.m.
Douglas Adams’ 61st birthday is being marked with a Google Doodle that would make the author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” proud. But “Don’t Panic” if you looked at the Google Doodle and wondered … “what is that supposed to be?” The interactive doodle draws on several allusions to the late English humorist’s writing, down to the rumpled towel said to be an important part of any trip. There’s a cup of tea, a packed back, a manuscript, the galaxy whizzing by outside the window. You can also see Marvin the robot by clicking on the sliding doors to the left, and you can tap the e-reader’s keyboard for several inside references. Most of it, though, will likely be lost on those unfamiliar with the author, who died at the age of 49 from a heart attack. He […]
March 10, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.
In “Oz the Great and Powerful,” James Franco might play the magician conman who’s called upon to bring peace to a faraway fantasy land, but it’s Zach Braff’s dutiful Finley who really has to do the heavy lifting — why else would a winged primate dress as a bellhop unless it was to carry a wizard’s bags? Finley is just one of the fantastic creations that populates “Oz the Great and Powerful,” the weekend’s hit spectacle event movie that stands as a quasi-prequel to the Oscar-winning 1939 musical, “The Wizard of Oz.” Bringing the character to life required Braff — the actor famous for his turn on television’s long-running sitcom “Scrubs” and his lauded turn behind the camera as director of the memorable indie “Garden State,” among other projects — to supply plenty of comedy. But the role also required […]
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 07, 2013 | 6:15 a.m.
Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day and the group behind the weekly web series “TableTop” are hoping to take their fervor for board games global with a March 30 event they’ve dubbed International TableTop Day. Day’s multimedia company and YouTube channel Geek & Sundry are teaming up with local game stores and major publishers, including Asmodee Editions, Days of Wonder, Indie Boards & Cards, Mayfair Games and Wizards of the Coast, to host the event — a sort of worldwide gaming open house. People interested in trying new games or meeting other gamers can sign up at TableTopDay.com to attend free events at game shops or to host their own gaming event. The event comes after the success of the “TableTop” series, hosted by Wheaton, of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “The Big Bang Theory” fame. The show, which launched last April, […]
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. 20, 2013 | 2:58 p.m.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” topped the Saturn Award nominations Wednesday, with nine nods including best fantasy film, best director for Peter Jackson, best actor for Martin Freeman and best supporting actor for Ian McKellen. Other films being honored with nominations for the 39th annual Saturn Awards include “Life of Pi,” “Skyfall,” “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Looper,” “Cloud Atlas,” “Argo” and “Les Miserables.” The diversity of films underscores “the ways in which genre filmmaking has expanded beyond its roots as niche entertainment,” the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films said in its announcement. ‘Hobbit’ Blu-ray release March 19 won’t have extended edition Although much of Hollywood is focused this week on Sunday’s Oscar ceremony — considered by many to be the highlight of the awards season — the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films is just […]