Review Category : Entertainment

Comic-Con Closes with Avengers Re-Assembling for “Age of Ultron” Peek

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — As expected, Comic-Con International: San Diego kicked into high gear on Saturday, and the talk of the convention was a triple superhero tease: Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, and Warner Bros.’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The latter film remains on a collision course with Marvel’s Captain America 3 on May 6, 2016.

Marvel brought the big guns to bear in Hall H and managed to reassemble most of the Avengers — minus a pregnant Scarlett Johansson, who sent a greeting via video, and writer/director Joss Whedon, laid up from knee surgery.

Robert Downey Jr. entered the hall in full Tony Stark mode, grooving to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” while pulling out a bunch of roses from a sleek looking case. He tossed the flowers into the crowd, saving one white one each for Ultron’s female cast members Elizabeth Olsen and Cobie Smulders, the latter reprising her role as Maria Hill.

Introduced prior were their Avengers co-stars Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/The Hulk), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), and Olsen’s fellow newcomer and onscreen sibling Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who plays Quicksilver to her Scarlet Witch. James Spader was also making his first appearance on a Marvel panel ahead of his role as the movie’s baddie Ultron. Paul Bettany, known in the Marvel universe as the voice of Iron Man’s computer sidekick J.A.R.V.I.S., was on hand, too as he will be seen for the first time in the 2015 film as The Vision.

Near the close of the presentation, Josh Brolin surprised the crowd, wielding the golden Infinity Gauntlet, which gives his character Thanos nearly unlimited power. “Where’s my rose?” he growled to Downey, who pulled out the final flower — this one purple, which not coincidentally matches Thanos’ face. Brolin, who appears as the character for the first time in Guardians of the Galaxy, then took the flower in his hand and chomped it, to the crowd’s and Downey’s delight.

The panel also screened a snippet of the film, that started with a party in Avengers Tower, features a Hulk vs. Iron Man battle, and ends with the team bloodied and battered, and Cap’s nearly unbreakable shield metaphorically shattered.

Another Marvel project, Ant-Man, also brought its stars to a Q&A panel Saturday, including director Peyton Reed, and stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, and Evangeline Lilly. The presentation also included some footage of the movie’s titular hero exercising his science-based powers: the ability to shrink down to ant size and back, and the ability to call the insects to come to his rescue. Rudd called joining the Marvel universe, “a mind-bender,” while Douglas admitted, “I’ve always vicariously looked at Marvel films from afar with tremendous envy.” Ant-Man crawls into theaters June 17, 2015.

[The Five Biggest Moments from Comic-Con]

On Warner Bros.’ side of things, Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill made an appearance to plug their onscreen face-off between Affleck’s Caped Crusader and Cavill’s Man of Steel. The teaser was just that: Batman strides onto a roof, his eyes glowing as they appeared in the comics, and fires up the Bat-Signal. The beam cuts through the rainy night to reveal Superman, his eyes burning a furious red. The crowd went ape. The reaction was mixed for a later reveal of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman costume — with some fans digging it and others digging at it, by saying it looked just like Lucy Lawless’ outfit from Xena: Warrior Princess.

One coming attraction that those who didn’t go to San Diego Comic-Con get to enjoy is the first trailer for WB’s Mad Max: Fury Road, the Road Warrior reboot that features Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy taking Mel Gibson’s place as a drifter in a violent, post-apocalyptic world. Mad Max’s original director George Miller is calling the shots once again. The movie rolls into theaters May 15, 2015.

[PHOTOS: Costumed Fans Attend Comic-Con]

Other Comic-Con-related tidbits include:

  • Director James Gunn tweeted that he’s writing and directing a sequel to his Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens Friday. The sequel is set for July 28, 2017.
  • Hobbit fanboy Stephen Colbert made a surprise appearance — dressed as his “Lake Town spy” cameo character from The Desolation of Smaug — to moderate a panel for the third Hobbit film, the Battle of the Five Armies. Co-star Benedict Cumberbatch is no stranger to geek-friendly fare, thanks to his voicing Smaug, and roles in Sherlock and Star Trek Into Darkness, but he’d never been to Comic-Con. He told ABC News Radio he’s plotting coming back next year in disguise. “I’d love to get more into the thick of it a little bit. you know,” says the actor, “I would love to just mix in amongst the people a little bit more. Because the amount of devotion of the people coming out — these are fans who have already paid for their ticket to see your film, then paid to come to the convention, who spend a fortune on their costumes and travel and you know, their, their stay — It’s just, it’s just mind-blowing, and it’s for the love of what you do!”
  • Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series star Andy Serkis told ABC News Radio that this Comic-Con felt different for him than the others he’s attended, as the performer realized Battle of the Five Armies is his last J.R.R. Tolkien-related film. “This one has an extra layer of emotion attached to it, obviously, because it’s the last one with Middle-Earth, really,” the Planet of the Apes and Star Wars: Episode VII actor explained. “And…it was a really big achievement I think to get, to get everyone from both sets of films — you know The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy, together in one room, you know, as many, as…we could.”

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“Hit the Floor’s” Kat Bailess Says It’s Hard Being a Devil Girl

VH1 Networks(NEW YORK) — Kat Bailess plays Kyle Hart, the one dancer on the Los Angeles Devil Girls professional dance team on VH1’s Hit the Floor that isn’t afraid to use her sexual prowess to get exactly what she wants. In the second season of the series, centered on a fictional NBA team and it’s drama under the dome, fans have taken to Bailess’ character, and she thinks she knows why.

“The only reason she’s funny I think is because she’s so cutthroat, dry. Like, I mean everything is just: ‘This is who I am. I don’t care if you don’t like me.’ And I think that’s why people have grown to love her,” the actress tells ABC News Radio.

So is that southern accent real? Bailess says absolutely as she’s from Vicksburg, Mississippi. “They didn’t plan on this character, Kyle, being southern. And they pretty much wrote this character for me, which is…a compliment,” she adds.

But it’s not all fun and games playing the former stripper turned professional dancer. Bailess says when she’s not flexing her acting chops on set, she’s struggling to learn the series’ intricate dance routines, which she only has sometimes days to learn. Also, the routines can get dangerous as she’s been injured several times while filming. Her most serious injury came when filming the show’s pilot episode.

“I tore my hamstring. And that’s because you know you’re sitting in the make-up/hair chair for hours. And then they’re like, ‘OK! We gotta go!’ And then they’re like, ‘Put your leg up to your face.’ You know what I mean? Or like ‘Jump into splits.’ And I wasn’t warmed up properly,” she explains. “I learned my lesson the hard way so I had to spend the entire pilot with that pulled hamstring.”

VH1’s Hit the Floor airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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“Hit the Floor’s” Kat Bailess Says It’s Hard Being a Devil Girl

VH1 Networks(NEW YORK) — Kat Bailess plays Kyle Hart, the one dancer on the Los Angeles Devil Girls professional dance team on VH1’s Hit the Floor that isn’t afraid to use her sexual prowess to get exactly what she wants. In the second season of the series, centered on a fictional NBA team and it’s drama under the dome, fans have taken to Bailess’ character, and she thinks she knows why.

“The only reason she’s funny I think is because she’s so cutthroat, dry. Like, I mean everything is just: ‘This is who I am. I don’t care if you don’t like me.’ And I think that’s why people have grown to love her,” the actress tells ABC News Radio.

So is that southern accent real? Bailess says absolutely as she’s from Vicksburg, Mississippi. “They didn’t plan on this character, Kyle, being southern. And they pretty much wrote this character for me, which is…a compliment,” she adds.

But it’s not all fun and games playing the former stripper turned professional dancer. Bailess says when she’s not flexing her acting chops on set, she’s struggling to learn the series’ intricate dance routines, which she only has sometimes days to learn. Also, the routines can get dangerous as she’s been injured several times while filming. Her most serious injury came when filming the show’s pilot episode.

“I tore my hamstring. And that’s because you know you’re sitting in the make-up/hair chair for hours. And then they’re like, ‘OK! We gotta go!’ And then they’re like, ‘Put your leg up to your face.’ You know what I mean? Or like ‘Jump into splits.’ And I wasn’t warmed up properly,” she explains. “I learned my lesson the hard way so I had to spend the entire pilot with that pulled hamstring.”

VH1’s Hit the Floor airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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Freddie Prinze Jr. Trashes Kiefer Sutherland

Vince Bucci/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) — Freddie Prinze Jr. and Kiefer Sutherland worked together on 24 a few years ago, an experience that Prinze tells ABC News Radio was “terrible.”

Prinze was at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend to promote his new Disney XD show Star Wars Rebels when the topic of past projects came up and Prinze, completely unsolicited, recalled that working on the Fox series in 2010 almost led him to quit acting.

“I did 24, it was terrible. I hated every moment of it,” Prinze told ABC News Radio. “Kiefer was the most unprofessional dude in the world. That’s not me talking trash, I’d say it to his face, everybody that’s worked with him has said that. And I just wanted to quit the business after that. So, I just sort of stopped.”

Prinze, who was a can’t-miss movie star in the late 1990s with hits like She’s All That and I Know What You Did Last Summer, dropped off the map for a while and even ventured into other projects.

“I went and worked for Vince McMahon at the WWE…and it was a crazier job than working with Kiefer,” he told ABC News Radio. “But, at least he was cool and tall. I didn’t have to take my shoes off to do scenes with him, which they made me do. Just put the guy on an apple box or don’t hire me next time. You know I’m six feet and he’s five-four.”

Sutherland is listed as five-foot-nine on various websites. He was also at Comic-Con, promoting 24: Live Another Day.

In an interview with Parade magazine in January 2010 about the then upcoming eighth season of 24, Sutherland had nothing but positive things to say about working with Prinze. “We have some great actors joining us — Mykelti Williamson is the head of CTU, Freddie Prinze Jr. is playing my partner. So, it’s this great balance between something that’s new and what fans will find familiar.”

A request by ABC for comment from Sutherland’s rep was not immediately answered.

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“Lucy” Outmuscles “Hercules” to Take Top Spot at Box Office

Universal Pictures(NEW YORK) — Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy topped the box office this past weekend, fending off Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules for the top spot.

Johansson’s character is able to manipulate time and matter by accessing 100 percent of her brain — way above the normal 10 percent that the movie posits humans can access. Lucy may not have taken 100 percent of the box office, but did manage to hold off Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Hercules reboot.

Last week’s top film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes finished in third place.

Here are the top ten films of the weekend according to boxofficemojo.com:

1. Lucy: $44.025 million
2. Hercules (2014): $29 million
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: $16.4 million
4. The Purge: Anarchy: $9.896 million
5. Planes: Fire & Rescue: $9.303 million
6. Sex Tape: $5.975 million
7. Transformers: Age of Extinction: $4.6 million
8. And So It Goes: $4.552 million
9. Tammy: $3.4 million
10. A Most Wanted Man: $2.717 million

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Prince George Learns to Swim

JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) — It’s the biggest little secret and now it can be revealed: Everyone’s favorite prince is learning to swim.

Like his father and grandfather before him, Prince George is experiencing the royal splash-about with his mother at the world’s most exclusive gym, the Buckingham Palace pool. Kate was seen driving in to the grounds of Buckingham Palace with George and a nanny in tow on his birthday Tuesday.

Many assumed she had brought him to visit his grandfather, but the Duchess of Cambridge has been teaching the future king how to swim.

Both William and Kate are avid water sports buffs. Prince William captained his water polo team and Kate is understood to do laps at the Palace pool to stay fit.

Princess Diana took William and Harry to Buckingham Palace as young boys. She too was an avid swimmer, and wanted her sons to benefit from all the enjoyment that water sports bring.

The pool is located in the rear of the Palace in a stunning conservatory-type area adjacent to the beautiful back gardens. Generations of royal children have enjoyed the pool and now Prince George is among them.

At a recent event at the British Sub-Aqua Club, Prince Charles passed the presidency to his son Prince William and reminisced how he too taught his son to love the water.

“I threw him in the pool on occasions. Instead of putting him off, it enthused him,” Charles said.

“I hope one day my son George might follow in our footsteps,” added William. “At the moment, bath time is quite painful but hopefully donning a snorkel and mask might calm him down “

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Warner Bros. Shows First Footage from “Batman vs. Superman” Film at Comic-Con

Clay Enos/Warner Bros.(SAN DIEGO) — Warner Bros. opened its two-hour panel at Comic-Con International with a video featuring the first footage from the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film.

Director Zach Snyder introduced the footage, after which Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill were brought out, along with Wonder Woman Gal Gadot.

In the video, Batman responds to the call of the bat signal atop a building, where Superman hovers above him. The Man of Steel’s eyes glow red, while the Caped Crusader’s glow blue.

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Warner Bros. Shows First Footage from “Batman vs. Superman” Film at Comic-Con

Clay Enos/Warner Bros.(SAN DIEGO) — Warner Bros. opened its two-hour panel at Comic-Con International with a video featuring the first footage from the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film.

Director Zach Snyder introduced the footage, after which Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill were brought out, along with Wonder Woman Gal Gadot.

In the video, Batman responds to the call of the bat signal atop a building, where Superman hovers above him. The Man of Steel’s eyes glow red, while the Caped Crusader’s glow blue.

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Susan Sarandon Reveals Past Tryst with David Bowie

ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) — Like most people, Susan Sarandon went through a wild period.

The actress once had a tryst with “a rock star”: David Bowie.

“In terms of hooking up with movie stars, I got married really young [to actor Chris Sarandon], which knocked out most of my 20s to be f***ing around,” she told the Daily Beast. “There have been a couple of famous, pretty interesting ones. One rock star [Bowie].”

Sarandon, 67, didn’t specify when it happened, though she clearly enjoyed spending time with the singer.

“He’s worth idolizing. He’s extraordinary,” she gushed. “Bowie’s just a really interesting person and so bright. He’s a talent and a painter and he’s great.”

However, she eventually settled down, which came as a surprise to her. After dating director Louis Malle, who was 14 years her senior, she had a relationship with Franco Amurri, who fathered her daughter, Eva, 29. Then, she met Tim Robbins, with whom she was involved for 23 years. They had two sons, Jack, 25, and Miles, 22.

“I wasn’t supposed to have kids,” she said. “I’m the oldest of nine and had mothered all of them, so I wasn’t ever in a mode to where I was looking to settle down and raise a family, so that definitely changes the gene pool you’re dipping into.”

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HBO Confirms Newest “Game of Thrones” Cast Members

Photo: Macall B. Polay/HBO(SAN DIEGO) — HBO confirmed the newest cast members for its hit show Game of Thrones at Comic-Con International on Friday.

Many of the newest additions appeared in a video unveiled at the annual event in San Diego. Among the newest inhabitants of Westeros are Alexander Siddig of 24 and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Jonathan Pryce from the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

The series appears likely to delve into at least one region of Westeros that viewers haven’t seen much of, the southern kingdom of Dorne. Dorne, home to fan-favorite Oberyn Martell, is ruled by Siddig’s character, Doran Martell. Also confirmed to appear in season five are Jessica Henwick, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers and Keisha Castle-Hughes, of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Whale Rider, as Oberyn’s daughters, known as the dangerous “sand snakes.”

The fifth season of Game of Thrones is scheduled to begin sometime in 2015.

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