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Celebritology 2.0: July 20, 2008 - July 26, 2008

'Heroes' Comes Back Strong

I am OD-ing on movie panels (at this moment, Sam Raimi is telling us about his upcoming horror flick, "Drag Me to Hell"), but I have to pause for a moment to talk "Heroes." "Heroes" was, by far, the most electric panel I have attended so far at Comic-Con; like a rock concert when the whole cast took the stage. To that point: A girl in one of the front rows was holding up a sign, directed at Milo Ventimiglia, that said, "Milo, We Camped Out 4 U All Night." And they did. Several people slept outside the doors of Hall H just to get a prime seat for the panel. They were rewarded -- not only with the eye candy that is the "Heroes" cast, but with a screening, in its entirety, of the first episode of the third season. Now, I gave up on "Heroes" last season because...

By Jen Chaney  | July 26, 2008; 8:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Comic-Con  
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Harold & Kumar Go to Comic-Con

Kal Penn and John Cho make nice in the middle of the maelstrom that is Comic-Con. Note Cho's 'goth Harold' t-shirt. (Liz Kelly for washingtonpost.com) Kal Penn and John Cho have taken Comic-Con in stride. In the midst of the convention center's massive exhibition hall, the actors held court with a handful of folks -- including me -- on the second level of the New Line Cinema booth. As fans yelled up their well wishes (and got thumbs-up in return), Penn and Cho seemed excited and a little bit overwhelmed by the scene unfolding around them. "I tend to be a little freaked out in crowds, but I just went to use the bathroom and I don't think I've been around nicer fans," said Penn. "It's a pretty festive feeling." They were more than ready to talk about "Harold and Kumar" franchise, their duo of movies about two pot-smoking...

By Liz Kelly  | July 26, 2008; 7:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Comic-Con: Live-Blogging the 'Lost' Panel

Fans wait in line for Saturday's 'Heroes' and 'Lost' panels. (Liz Kelly for washingtonpost.com) Jen and I spent a harrowing two hours in line outside the convention center this morning, worried that we may have seriously miscalculated. Based on the easy time we both had getting in to yesterday's "Watchmen" panel, we figured we'd get in line at 8:30 a.m. for today's Noon "Lost" panel. Imagine our surprise to find the line already stretching all the way around the massive convention center and past the next-door Marriott complex. Apparently rabid fans of "Lost" (and "Heroes," which has a panel in the same hall in the prior hour) had started queueing at 2 a.m. There were some moments there when we thought, "Man, we need a Benjamin Linus. Ben always has a back-up plan." Turns out we didn't need it and we got in. En route to the entrance, we...

By Liz and Jen  | July 26, 2008; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Comic-Con, Lost  
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Bringing a 'Porno' to Comic-Con

After sitting through a few panels at Comic-Con filled with the usual Hollywood PR BS -- actors ruminating on their "craft," directors talking about how tremendous it was to collaborate with the cast -- Kevin Smith brought a breath of fresh, profanity-laced air to the proceedings last night. The "Clerks" director, Comic-Con veteran and Jedi master of vulgar humor gave people a peek at his next movie, "Zack and Miri Make a Porno." The movie comes out on Halloween and stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as high school pals who decide to (as the title suggests) venture into the adult film industry. Smith showed a clip from the comedy, a scene in which Justin Long shares a kiss with Brandon Routh, Superman of "Superman Returns." (And if you know about Smith's history with Superman, you'll understand why that's a genius bit of casting.) It was a mildly funny scene...

By Jen Chaney  | July 26, 2008; 9:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Morning Mix: All Comic-Con Edition

What we learned Friday: All about "Watchmen" and that quippy Billy Crudup. -- Liz While dashing through the Convention Center, I passed by a guy who was buying a pretzel and looked a lot like Greg Mottola, director of "Superbad," "The Daytrippers" and several episodes of "Arrested Development" and "Undeclared." Turns out it was Greg Mottola. He told me he was doing a bit of filming at the Con because he's working on a movie, featuring "Shaun of the Dead" alums Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, that begins and ends at Comic-Con. -- Jen Shortly thereafter, I interviewed Pegg, "Shaun" director Edgar Wright and Jessica Hynes, who all worked together on the very funny BBC series "Spaced." Pegg confirmed what Mottola said, but didn't want to share many details. More of that interview will be posted Monday, in video form. (Also look for video with some of the guys...

By Liz Kelly  | July 26, 2008; 8:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Swag: It's in the Bag at Comic-Con

The self-satisfied look of the man with the swag: one conventioneer shows off his 'Watchmen' bag. (Liz Kelly for washingtonpost.com) Each day, as the sun rises over Comic-Con, marketing geniuses at the big media booths unpack boxes of promotional doodads to hand out to conventioneers eager to fill up on free stuff -- stickers, posters, T-shirts, rub-on tattoos, plastic rings, hats and the ever-useful swag bag. As Jen mentioned in an earlier post, yesterday's hot item -- the animated "Wonder Woman" swag bag -- was supplanted today by the equally outsized "Watchmen" swag bag you see above. It's useful because the bags give you a place to put all your other swag. And so a million (okay, a few thousand) mobile billboards are launched out into the world -- helping, it is hoped, to build buzz for one's product. And Comic-Con is all about the buzz. The kind of...

By Liz Kelly  | July 25, 2008; 10:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Watching the 'Watchmen'

Liz and I just left the "Watchmen" panel a short time ago. She was Twittering away the whole time, so head over there to get a blow-by-blow of everything that director Zack Snyder, Dave Gibbons and the stars of the film had to say. The footage -- essentially an extended version of the trailer shown with "The Dark Knight" -- was visually striking and very much in keeping with the look of the graphic novel. We got to see a bit more of Nite Owl and some violent Vietnam imagery starring Dr. Manhattan. Speaking of the Doc, let me just say this: I liked Billy Crudup before that panel. Now I kinda love him. Anyone that good-looking who can refer to himself as a "40-year-old jackass" wins big points in my book. Am also very, very eager to see what Jackie Earle Haley does with Rorschach. He only spoke...

By Jen Chaney  | July 25, 2008; 4:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Comic-Con Video: Samuel L. Jackson on 'Afro Samurai'

Thursday evening I sat down with Samuel L. Jackson to talk about the animated series in which he stars (and executive produces): "Afro Samurai." Before dismissing it as a pet project in which Sam indulges his love of manga and samurai culture, know that the line for the "Afro Samurai" panel -- in which Sam talked about the just announced Afro Samurai movie (Lucy Liu's on board) and the new tie-in video game (from the press release: "Slice and dismember opponents as Afro acrobatically leaps from one location to the next...") -- was out the door of the convention center and stretching down to a nearby yacht harbor. These hardcore fans are Sam's people and he was utterly in his element. Below, Sam talks about the crowd's reaction and his one-of-a-kind "Afro Samurai" t-shirt: Sam also talked about "Snakes on a Plane" ("Hey, not every movie can make $158...

By Liz Kelly  | July 25, 2008; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Comic-Con Video: The Dharma Initiative Recruits

All of you loyal "Lost"-ophiles undoubtedly remember the Octagon Global commercial that aired during the season finale and urged people to come to San Diego in July. Well, that was all a big promotion for what's happening here at Comic-Con: A recruitment effort by the Dharma Initiative. Yesterday, I swing by Dharma's booth on the Convention Center's Exhibit Hall Floor and met a very pleasant woman named Jackie (just Jackie), who explained what they're doing. I then spoke to Isabel Lim, a San Diego resident who had just completed her assessment and gotten approval to join Dharma. Watch the video below to find out what they said. I am hoping to get my own assessment sometime in the next couple of days. Hopefully I'll also pass muster and be well on my way to wearing my very own fashionabe Dharma jumpsuit. Here's the video. And, of course, Namaste. Photo...

By Jen Chaney  | July 25, 2008; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Comic-Con, Lost  
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Morning Mix: Christian Bale Asks for Privacy; Paris Hilton Hits Comic-Con

Headlines: Christian Bale says alleged assault is "personal matter"... Mariah Carey scoffs at rumors of marital strife... Amy Adams engaged to longtime boyfriend... Eva Mendes is new bod of Calvin Klein underwear... Meg Ryan dons fat suit for movie role... Russell Brand tapped to host this year's MTV Video Music Awards... Pam Anderson set to launch new reality show; living with Tommy Lee again... Dustin "Screech" Diamond penning memoir... Rosario Dawson gets out the vote... Marissa Jaret Winokur welcomes son via surrogate. Crime Watch: DMX pleads not guilty to identity theft charges. Rumor Mill: Brangelina twins conceived via in vitro, per Us Weekly... Anne Hathaway's diaries confiscated by FBI... Diddy proposes to girlfriend Cassandra Ventura... Ex-boyfriend Justin Long drops out of Drew Barrymore's directorial effort... Paris Hilton stopped by police for "erratic" driving... Michelle Williams dating director Spike Jonze?... Brooke Hogan considering Playboy spread offer, apologizes for accusing her...

By Liz Kelly  | July 25, 2008; 7:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Comic-Con, Daily Mix  
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'Twilight' Time at Comic-Con

The Twi-hards were in big-time squealing mode during the panel for "Twilight," the movie based on Stephenie Meyer's mega-popular series of vampire novels and due in theaters this December. In addition to sitting in on the Thursday afternoon panel -- at least what could be heard of it through the constant screams -- I also participated in a press round table with director Catherine Hardwicke, Meyer and several of the film's stars -- including Robert Pattinson, who plays vampire hottie Edward Cullen. (Oh, all right. Go ahead and scream.) After the jump, a few tidbits for those of you who worship the beloved Bella and her blood-sucking friends....

By Jen Chaney  | July 24, 2008; 7:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
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Video Interview: 'Lost Boys: The Tribe'

This morning I sat down with director P.J. Pesce and actor Corey Feldman to talk about their new straight-to-DVD movie "Lost Boys: The Tribe" -- a reboot of the 1987 hit. Below, watch as Corey and P.J. talk about their approach to dangerous territory -- messing with a classic. Oh, and that guy that pops in at the end: Angus Sutherland, Kiefer's little brother, who also co-stars. "Lost Boys: The Tribe" will be coming to your DVD player -- or so hopes Corey -- on Aug. 29. Sadly, the publicists kept me well away from asking Corey about the "I (heart) Corey" g-strings available for sale on his official Web site. Another time. Photo Gallery: More of the scene from the 39th annual Comic Con Convention in San Diego....

By Liz Kelly  | July 24, 2008; 5:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Five Things to Know About Walking the Exhibit Hall Floor

If you've never been to Comic-Con, then you haven't had the distinct pleasure of entering the Exhibit Hall, a place not unlike the floor at a typical trade show. If, you know, that trade show featured super-sized statues of Jabba the Hut and grown men lining up to play "Lego Batman." During last night's preview night, Liz and I joined the Comic-Con masses to storm the Exhibit Hall floor, checking out thousands of booths where purveyors of pop culture were promoting and selling their products, from Dwight Schrute bobbleheads to backcopies of "The Watchmen" from the early '80s. It was an eye-popping, body-jostling, swag-filled journey. And naturally, we learned a few things. If you're making your novice trek to Comic-Con this weekend or are just Comic-Con-curious, here are five things to know about the Exhibit Hall experience....

By Jen Chaney  | July 24, 2008; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Morning Mix: Forbes -- Vince Vaughn is Hollywood's Best Bet; Comic-Con Kicks Off

Headlines: Vince Vaughn gives most bang for the buck, says Forbes... Surprise! George Clooney named Hollywood's top bachelor... Brad Pitt threatens to sue over photos of family... Ethan Hawke and wife welcome baby girl Clementine Jane... Nas protests Fox News "racist" Obama coverage... Wax Amy Winehouse unveiled in London... Country singer Mindy McCready enters rehab... Sienna Miller sues tabloid over topless Balthazar Getty pics... Heather Locklear leaves in-patient treatment facility... Nick Hogan moving into general jail population... 50 Cent sues Taco Bell for "stolen" endorsement... Steve Guttenberg lobs banana at paparazzo... List: 10 Most Undeserving Celebrities Who Got Action Figures. (I'll take the Redd Foxx, please.) Rumor Mill: Christian Bale, who emerged for Wednesday's Spanish premiere of "The Dark Knight," reportedly lashed out at mom after she insulted his wife... Nick Jonas dating Selena Gomez?... Tabloid claims Matthew Broderick stepping out on Sarah Jessica Parker... Britney Spears and Justin...

By Liz Kelly  | July 24, 2008; 8:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (279)
Categories:  Comic-Con, Daily Mix  
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Comic-Con, Here We Come

As you read this, Jen Chaney and I are about 30,000 feet above flyover country on our way to Comic-Con: the yearly pop-culture fest that has become the must-attend event for fans of comic books, action/sci-fi movies -- pretty much most cool stuff. From the first peek at upcoming big box office hopefuls to revelations from the best show on TV ("Lost"), there is so much going on at this year's convention (see the full schedule for yourselves) that it would be criminal to reprint it here and use up all that valuable post.com bandwidth. Below, Jen and I share what we're most excited about: "Lost": At the top of both Jen's and my own list is the annual "Lost" panel. Show creators Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof have chosen Comic-Con to reveal juicy tidbits about the upcoming season in the past couple of years. Will they come through...

By Liz and Jen  | July 23, 2008; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Morning Mix: Bale Denies Assault Allegations

Demure diva Mariah Carey poses backstage at MTV's "TRL Live" on Tuesday in New York. (AP) Headlines: "Golden Girl" Estelle Getty dies at 84 | EW shares some top Getty moments via YouTube... Will Smith is top Hollywood earner, says Forbes... Robert Downey Jr. postpones his memoir... OK! Magazine debuts pix of Levi McConaughey (who is still too young to be embarrassed by this)... Britney Spears snapped smoking around ciggy curious toddler Sean Preston... "The View's" Sherri Shepherd says she had "more abortions than I would like to count"... Courtney Love sued for profits from Nirvana catalog sales... Miley Cyrus calls Vanity Fair photos a "mistake," says she won't be starring in an R-rated film anytime soon... Lindsay Lohan returns to the set of "Ugly Betty"... Ian McKellen to reprise Gandalf role in "Hobbit" films... Anne Hathaway goes down the shore to get her karaoke on... Candy Spelling buys...

By Liz Kelly  | July 23, 2008; 7:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (288)
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When Celebs Shill: Mark McGrath's Very Bad Idea

Move over Cosmos. According to my e-mail in-box, the latest celebrity beverage trend involves root beer and Jägermeister. From a press release that just popped into my in-box: Stars are usually seen sipping cosmos or martinis, but there's a new cocktail that's making the rounds in celebrity circles -- the spiked root beer float! At Mark McGrath's new Newport Beach, Calif. restaurant A, they serve root beer floats that Mark calls a "slice of heaven". Here's the recipe: Spiked Root Beer Float 2 oz. Three Olives Root Beer Vodka 1 oz. Jägermeister 1 scoop vanilla ice cream 5 oz. Root Beer Soda Yes, while the rest of us poor shmoes have been busy playing catch up with political cocktail trends, celebs -- boundary pushers one and all -- have again confounded us with a game-changing concoction that will doubtless trickle down to your Local Mall Eatery (TM) by year's end....

By Liz Kelly  | July 22, 2008; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Morning Mix: Report: Christian Bale Accused of Assaulting Mom, Sister

Headlines: Jay Leno's final "Tonight Show" date set for next May... Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt plan Iraq trip... Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen return to court in child custody case... Balthazar Getty confirms separation from wife... Halle Berry's daughter makes public debut... Sarah Jessica Parker-produced reality show picked up by Bravo... CBS cleared in Janet Jackson Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction" case... Tori Spelling penning motherhood book... Nicole Richie tapes "Chuck" cameo... Omarosa spars with talk show host Wendy Williams... Bill Murray to jump from the sky somewhere over Chicago... Video: Matthew McConaughey's "Surfer, Dude." Crime Watch: Police investigating report that Christian Bale attacked mom, sister... Amy Winehouse's husband sentenced to longer prison term... "Greek" star Scott Michael Foster arrested for drunk driving. Rumor Mill: Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton planning big screen reunion?... Bob Geldof's 19-year-old daughter treated for suspected drug overdose. Say What? You know what?...

By Liz Kelly  | July 22, 2008; 8:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (222)
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Comment Box: Childfree by Choice Celebs?

All this talk of Hollywood babies makes me wonder: do you know of any celebrities who are vocal about being childless by choice? I feel like I've seen quotes from Rachael Ray about choosing not to have kids. I can't stand her, but it's nice to hear a celebrity talk honestly about not having kids instead of saying "I can't wait to start a family" because that's what they think people want to hear. -- from last week's Celebritology Live discussion Good question. Since one can hardly walk the streets of L.A. or St. Tropez without stepping on a celebrity baby these days, there's no better moment to visit the other end of the spectrum -- celebs who have consciously opted out of the baby-making and kid-rearing game. A few big names immediately come to mind: Oprah Winfrey, for one, who has said publicly that she never intended to...

By Liz Kelly  | July 21, 2008; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (244)
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Morning Mix: Angie and the Twins Leave Hospital

Headlines: Angelina Jolie and new twins check out of hospital... Britney Spears and Kevin Federline reach (confidential) custody agreement; Spears makes appearance at autism fundraiser... Ledger-led "Dark Knight" sets box office record with $155 million opening weekend haul... Salma Hayek breaks off engagement... Healthy-looking Patrick Swayze calls himself a "miracle"... Jessica Simpson's country debut nets mixed audience reaction... It's official: Shannen Doherty returning to "90210"... "Dancing With the Stars" alum Jason Taylor traded to the Redskins... Coming soon to a phone near you: Chuck Norris... Darryl "DMC" McDaniels has surgery to remove blood clots... Verne Troyer settles sex tape lawsuit... Ed McMahon sues hospital for failing to diagnose his broken neck... Video: Diddy's epiphany ("I have 10 fingers and 10 toes.")... Pic: Kelis shows off her little piggies in open-toed boots... Last shuttle to Lionel Richie concert departs at 5:15 p.m. Crime Watch: One time Guns N' Roses drummer...

By Liz Kelly  | July 21, 2008; 6:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (88)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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