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LOS ANGELES — With less than a week to go before the Academy Awards, the Dolby Theatre in the heart of Hollywood is on lockdown. Guards stand at every door, and handlers with walkie-talkies keep a close eye on any visitors.
Many adults complain that today’s youth is dominated by video games and iPads. But no matter how advanced technology becomes, LEGO will always be there to provide the building blocks for good, old-fashion fun. Every LEGO box is a treasure chest of infinite possibilities, allowing us to construct castles, cars, and entire cities. LEGO has fueled our imaginations ever since 1949. Sixty-five years and 560 billion LEGO pieces later, we get “The LEGO Movie.”
Mason McLaughlin, 5, receives a superman balloon figure at the Santa's Back event at Ahwatukee Plaza on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013.
Comic book movies are increasingly, like Sandra Bullock in "Gravity," lost in space.
The obsession began somewhere around the same time I got my first pair of Underoos.
Candy, ghouls, pumpkins, and the nip of fall’s cold air means Halloween is close. It's the time of year that Brad Butler admonishes children for making fun of the devil by dressing up as Sparky. “You should have been Superman!” he tells them. The poor child, having made fun of the devil, will now soon be devoured warns Mr. Butler. But what do we read at the end of his diatribe? He supports the very mascot about which he warns us by sending a child to ASU. Sounds to me like a bit of hypocrisy is mixed in with that nip of fall’s cold air.
When you look at the big picture of life (or as my pastor calls it, “the whole shebang”) you see that there are three main players: God, us, and the devil (which is Satan and all his mini-me’s).
On and off screen, it's been a bruising summer for Hollywood.
There’s no denying that Richard Donner set the bar for the “Superman” franchise with his 1978 film. The icy landscapes of Planet Krypton, John Williams’ vigorous musical score, Christopher Reeve’s iconic performance, every aspect of Donner’s movie remains definitive. Since then, most interpretations of Superman have either drawn inspiration from or paid homage to the original classic. One has to give director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan credit for taking “Man of Steel” in the complete opposite direction. Where Donner’s “Superman” was light, funny, and colorful, “Man of Steel” is dark, serious, and brooding. The film presents a vision of Superman that’s new and bold with a satisfying payoff.
This film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Henry Cavill as Superman in "Man of Steel." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Clay Enos)
In the galaxy of big-screen superheros — a rather glum lot — Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man is the snappy one.
From “Snow White and the Huntsmen,” to “Mirror Mirror,” to “Hansel and Gretle: Witch Hunters,” to “Red Riding Hood,” the film industry has really been banking on adult-oriented fairytales as of late. Television has additionally gotten in on this fairytale fad with ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” NBC’s “Grimm,” and, to a lesser extent, the CW’s “Beauty and Beast.” So what’s been causing this recent outbreak of fairytale reinterpretations aimed at grown-up audiences? Perhaps it can be attributed to the concept of nostalgia. Since fairytales are typically the first stories ever introduced to us, everybody identifies with them. By giving these timeless tales a PG-13 spin, they can appeal to our inner child while also satisfying our desire for something more mature. “Jack the Giant Slayer” comes close to working as a fun fantasy adventure for childish adults and sophisticated kids. If only the familiar story had more of a twist to it.
Look! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … well, you know the rest.
Considering the surroundings, the Mountain Pointe players held it together pretty well while everything around them probably felt like it was closing in on them.
Fifteen dogs attended Sue Subkow’s first Halloween party in 2005. Half wore costumes, half were naked and all went home in about an hour.
London • There was no mystery as to which team Varun Pemmaraju was supporting: His American flag was tied around his neck, the Stars and Stripes floating like a cape behind him.
Superman may be the most iconic of superheroes, providing people with a symbol of hope and setting an example for all mankind. But if you asked anyone who is the more interesting superhero, Batman or Superman, they would likely reply, “Batman,” in a heartbeat. But what is it that makes Batman so much more compelling than not just Superman, but Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman and various other superheroes? Is it because of his tragic past, dark persona, lack of superpowers, or endlessly impressive rouge gallery? That all certainly contributes to Batman’s appeal. On the whole though, Batman is all about great character development and storytelling. This is what has made Batman such an eternal character, from his first appearance in the comics to Christopher Nolan’s latest “Dark Knight” trilogy.
A good trilogy centered on a superhero has yet to be accomplished. Some series, such as “Superman” and Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man,” have come close to having a great trilogy. But whether it’s due to Richard Pryor or an idiotic dance sequence, they always seem to screw up the third installment. Christopher Nolan is the first filmmaker to completely nail a superhero franchise from beginning to end. “The Dark Knight Rises,” his grand conclusion to the Batman saga, is a film well worthy of its two exceptional predecessors. To call this the pinnacle collection of superhero pictures goes without saying. But “The Dark Knight Rises” additionally engraves Nolan’s take on the Batman legend into the history books as one of the best movie trilogies of all time.
A good trilogy centered on a superhero has yet to be accomplished. Some series, such as “Superman” and Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man,” have come close to having a great trilogy. But whether it’s due to Richard Pryor or an idiotic dance sequence, they always seem to screw up the third installment. Christopher Nolan is the first filmmaker to completely nail a superhero franchise from beginning to end.
Superman may be the most iconic of superheroes, providing people with a symbol of hope and setting an example for all mankind. But if you asked anyone who is the more interesting superhero, Batman or Superman, they would likely reply, “Batman,” in a heartbeat.
Andrew Snedecor has been to the epicenter of creativity and coolness for a 12-year-old boy: Todd McFarlane’s office.
Superman had his cape and Will Claye had his deadlocks.
Dave Williams would love a do-over.
Dave Williams would love a do-over.
Thirty years ago, it seemed ambitious just to see Superman or Batman in a feature-length, live-action film. Back then, people never could have anticipated that we would one day see six of the most iconic superheroes come together in a single movie. Over the course of five movies and several years, Marvel has been building up to “The Avengers,” their main event. If the film did not live up to expectations, there would be an outcry of hatred from fanboys across the nation. Imagine the tragic aftermath of “Star Wars: Episode One” times a thousand. Fortunately, “The Avengers” not only exceeds the overwhelming hype, but also emerges as one of the absolute best superhero pictures ever produced.