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When the unusual teaser trailer for "Cloverfield" first appeared unexpectedly before last summer's blockbuster "Transformers," it set off a wave of interest verging on hysteria. The clip featured what looked like home-video footage of a New York City...
"Godzilla" meets YouTube in "Cloverfield," a cheesy idea that gets a huge boost from the immediacy of its style. In this brainchild of producer J.J.Abrams (TV's "Alias" and "Felicity," the last "Mission: Impossible" movie), a giant monster terrorizes a...
Special to The TimesMAKEUP effects pro Mike Elizalde admits he had never heard of "Hellboy" when director Guillermo del Toro originally approached him about working on his 2004 movie based on the character. "I was not a comic book fan. I never have been," he says. But the...
Tags: Armed Forces, Guillermo Del Toro, Surgery, Entertainment, Death
REWRITING a famous story from a different character's point of view has become common enough that the results constitute a genre of their own. John Gardner saw "Beowulf" through the monster's eyes in "Grendel"; Jean Rhys' "Wide Sargasso Sea" excavated the...
Tags: Fiction, Juno (movie), Joe Haldeman, Ellen Page, Senior Citizens
By Nick Owchar Like many an excellent chronicler of village life, Lauren Groff gives us early in "The Monsters of Templeton" (Voice/Hyperion: 364 pp., $24.95) an ensemble view of the citizens of Templeton, a place very closely modeled on Cooperstown, N....
Zap2It.com"Cloverfield" tried to be many things: an American iconic monster; an examination of our increasingly video-oriented culture; an allegory for the 9/11 attacks. To its credit, the movie succeeded at being an above-average monster flick that truly does...
Zap2It.comIn the olden days of television, when a show was canceled after only a few episodes, it was tossed in the dustbin of history, never to see the light of a TV screen again. Now in the age of cable channels and DVD box sets, even a premature death is no...
Times Staff WriterBack in 1993, creature creator and special effects makeup artist Howard Berger's heart sank when he saw the digital dinosaurs inhabiting "Jurassic Park." "All of the creature guys saw it and said, 'Oh, my God, we might be extinct,' " Berger recalls....
By Nick Owchar Why do so many monsters live in Victorian London? Was there something toxic in the Thames (Spenser probably wouldn't call it "sweet" if he could have seen it then -- or now) or in the fog that, as the Environmental Protection Agency points...
Myth is an extremely rich vein that writers have always mined. This year was no exception, as demonstrated by Kate Summerscale's splendid nonfiction study of a 19th century murder, "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher" (Walker: 380 pp., $24.95). In 1860, the...
Times Staff WriterSAN DIEGO — If the words "Children's Television Workshop" light up old neural centers in your brain, consider yourself in the right demographic for "Avenue Q," the diverting Tony-winning musical that lends a new twist to the familiar "Sesame Street"...
Los Angeles Times Staff WriterPRETTY much everything in Guillermo del Toro's world is oversized. The bearish filmmaker's video and comic book collection is so immense that he recently had to buy an extra home to accommodate it. Del Toro's passion for classic monster movies is of such...
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