September 13, 2009 |
When Spike Jonze set out to create live-action versions of the classic creatures from "Where the Wild Things Are" for his movie adaptation of the beloved children's book, the writer-director had a very clear image in mind -- of what he didn't want. In 2004, around the time he also started co-writing its script with novelist Dave Eggers, Jonze rejected a number of submissions from a Hollywood special-effects company for being, well, "too creature-y." Jonze thought they simply failed to capture a bestial je ne sais quoi found in Maurice Sendak's 1963 picture book about Max, a little boy in a wolf costume who misbehaves and imagines himself transported to a faraway land where he becomes the king of all Wild Things.
October 28, 2009 |
If you owned a successful movie called "Monsters vs. Aliens" and all the characters contained therein, you would be some kind of fool to let Halloween go by unexploited. Your stockholders would be right to rise up and smother you in goo, in a playful yet serious way. That is not how they roll here in Hollywood, where every hit becomes a brand. And so we have "Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space," a DreamWorks production that premieres tonight on NBC. It is naturally something less -- less spectacular, less subtle -- than the movie that preceded it, which, after all, cost more than $165 million and a reported 45.6-million computing hours to produce, almost twice as many hours as I spend each week on Facebook.
October 10, 2012 |
Like a slow but determined zombie, Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain continues to lumber in the right direction after years of generic Halloween fare. > Photos: Fright Fest 2012 at Magic Mountain Following the addition of more mazes and monsters last season, Fright Fest 2012 introduces a new standard of excellence by which all future haunted attractions will be judged at the Valencia amusement park. A state-of-the-art makeover of the Willoughby's Haunted Mansion, a venerable but aging Fright Fest mainstay for more than a decade, raises the bar for all Magic Mountain mazes and serves as a warning shot that the Six Flags park is prepared to go head-to-head with its Southern California rivals.
August 25, 2012 |
"Hotel Transylvania," an animated comedy about Dracula running a high-end resort for monsters, had already sucked the lifeblood out of five directors when Genndy Tartakovsky came aboard as director No. 6 in February 2011. Tartakovsky, the Moscow-born creator of the Cartoon Network shows "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Samurai Jack," is an accomplished figure in the cozy world of TV animation. The cartooning equivalent of a live-action TV auteur like "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner, Tartakovsky has been nominated for 13 Emmys and won three, and his kids shows have attracted a following among adults for their wit, action and style.
September 24, 2012 |
Knott's Berry Farm celebrates the 40th anniversary of Halloween Haunt with a crosstown rival threatening to tear the middle-aged monster limb from limb. But rather than cower and hide, Knott's Scary Farm has fought back against the resurgent Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, refusing to go quietly into the fog-filled night. > Photos: Halloween Haunt 2012 at Knott's Berry Farm Change takes time, though. The granddaddy of theme park events has grown to 13 mazes, nine shows and four scare zones with 1,000 monsters during its four decade reign of terror.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 1993
Judge William W. Bedsworth has done the community a tremendous service by sending a man convicted of drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter to prison for seven years. Perhaps as more of these monsters are removed from the streets, the devastation created by them will diminish. GENE P. MORRIS Lake Forest
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 2001
While "McVeigh Called Model Prisoner" (Oct. 18) is curiously interesting, I fail to understand the purpose or value in reporting that Timothy McVeigh was considered a model prisoner. Are we to feel empathy for this monster who callously destroyed 168 lives and considered them all "collateral damage" simply because he was clever enough to act normal and appear "content with life" following his capture and conviction? It is a hallmark of all evil to be disingenuous and clever--and appear normal and even personable.