Celebritology Live

Aug 02, 2012

Celebritology blogger Jen Chaney gabbed about the latest celebrity gossip and pop culture news making waves across the Web.

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It's chat time on what is so far (fingers crossed) a very slow Thursday.

What's on your mind? Pattinson/Stewart, since that situation won't seem to go away? "Totall Recall"? The Olympics ? Something else?

Let the conversation begin.

Taylor Swift's relationships barely seem to make it two weeks so I'm not sure how Ethel Kennedy will be able to welcome her into the family fold. What a funny lady!

I think Kennedy just wanted to make it clear that she likes Swift. No one is marrying them off quite yet. Wisely, as you noted.

Pippa is not one! She is pretty, I think.

I agree. I think it's an empirical fact, really.

Can you explain to me why weekend box office totals often come out Sunday afternoon or early evening? Do people not go to the movies Sunday afternoon/evening? Is Sunday no longer considered part of the weekend, while Friday night is ? For the record, I consider Friday night part of the weekend but I also include all of Sunday.

This is an excellent question.

The figures released on Sunday afternoons are considered "estimates"; attendance winds down on Sundays so the studios release totals based on projected ticket sales. Of course, the media tends to report those most widely since they are the first numbers released.

The final numbers are then issued Monday. Every once in a while the finals are drastically different from the Sunday projections, and the rankings of the movies wind up being revised. That's somewhat rare but it does happen because of the projection factor.

So in conclusion: Sunday is still part of the weekend. It just doesn't count as much as Friday night and Saturday.

I'm not sure how much Olympics talk there will be on the chat today, but I would like to submit my request to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not post anything that will give any results away from today. I try really hard during the day to not go on any sites that may spoil me and I'm very much looking forward to the women's all-around gymnastics competition tonight. My phone alerted me to their gold win on Tuesday even though I thought I had turned all of my notifications off. My smart phone is apparently smarter than me.

No spoilers, my friend. I've already had it spoiled for me but I will not repeat the ruining.

I admire your determination. It's very hard to remain in digital blackout mode.

I'm going on vacation next week and need suggestions for movies to load on my iPad. Jen, as the Post's resident movie expert, what would you suggest? I don't do horror movies or films that deal with a parent dying, but other than that I'm pretty open minded. I think I need something to replace Twilight in my library.....

Mrs. Robinson, can you give me a little more guidance ? Are you looking for recent films? Any specific genres?

and I thought it was pretty good, although a little long there in the last third. I thought Anne Hathaway was phenomenal in her ability to show vulnerability underneath the tough exterior. I would never have thought she could pull that subtlety off and it was great. I'm not the target audience but it was a good time. Oh, and Christian Bale looked real good, once he cleaned up. And finally, my 19 year old daughter wants to know how she can meet Joseph Gordon-Levitt!

Glad you enjoyed it. Bale looked good even while stuck at the bottom of that massive hole, in my opinion. And agreed on Hathaway: she was great.

Regarding Mr. Gordon-Levitt, I don't know where the guy hangs out necessarily. He does have another movie coming out soon, called "Premium Rush." Maybe your daughter could try to hang out near the red carpet premiere in L.A. or New York? That might be a bit stalkery -- I guess it depends on how desperate she is to meet him.

Hello, Is this thing on? I love how in family feuds everyone spends a lot of time publicly bashing each other then claim the issue should be resolved privately. How about they think of that before they release public statements, tweet, etc. ? Gad can you imagine if Suri Cruise had her own twitter account?

It's barely on. There are very few questions in the queue, which is I am answering verrry sloooowly./

Yes, there's some irony in Jermaine Jackson's statement. Seems like he's trying to get things under control in what has clearly been an out of control situation.

And I hope there is a day when Suri -- at a much older age, of course -- does have a Twitter account. She might turn out to be a fascinating loose canon.

Is it just me or do the USA women gymnasts look more body-builderish up top than ever before? I know gymnasts always have excellent upper body strength but they seem bigger than years before. Then again, I don't really follow gymnastics. I'm not criticizing, just wondering if I need glasses.

I don't know if they are bigger necessarily. I've noticed that the swimmers' suits seem to be a lot tighter than they used to be. Obviously most of the swimmers are very broad shouldered, for good reason. But the suits look so tight up top, like they're cutting off their circulation.

This has been today's Upper Body Olympic Observations moment.

Why would any famous man, or man with a famous name such as Kennedy, date Taylor Swift, knowing how she views her relationships/encounters with men as the primary source for her lyrics? Is it driven by a desire to have a thinly-veiled song written about them? Have they learned nothing from John Mayer, Taylor Lautner, or Kanye? She dates a guy, she breaks up with a guy, she writes a song about a guy, she profits from it...what do the guys get out of it? I just don't get it.

Well, my best guess as to why is that Conor Kennedy enjoys her company. But the song thing totally occurred to me, too.

This is a family that is considered by some to be cursed. You put a woman who writes songs about every piece of heartbreak she experiences into that mix, and suddenly we've got a whole new window into the Kennedy mystique. A window that, hopefully, will one day be revealed during a Grammy performance that reminds viewers of the Bear Country Jamboree.

Dear lord.

So this is a slow chat anyway, but I just realized I never pressed the crucial live button, which is none of you could see the discussion. Ugh! I am so very sorry. Let's continue from here, shall we?

Where are you?

So sorry about the error. Can you hear me now?

It's been a rough summer: first we lost Vidal Sassoon, then we lost Gore Vidal. Who would have thought we'd lose another Vidal so soon? (Too soon?)

The Internet has made "too soon" an almost non-existent proposition. I saw someone on Twitter making this same Vidal connection almost immediately after Gore Vidal died.

It is sort of strange, really.

I kind of love that some unknown Toronto-based actress is getting way more attention then either Jessica Biel or Kate Beckinsale.

The three-breasted woman was one of the things in the new "Recall" that didn't make sense. She was just there as an homage to the old one, whereas in the 1990 version, there were more mutants of all kinds on Mars and she was just one of the more "shocking" ones.

That said, even though it wasn't great, I still think the new version is better.

Re-watching the series, and I have to say, the show holds up incredibly well (perhaps benefiting from already being set in the past so not being dated by 80's/90's teen fashions). Still, two things bother me: 1.) Winnie and Kevin are TERRIBLE together, why did I ever root for them? And 2.) who on earth is singing that awful version of "A little Help from my Friends" over the opening credits now? I know they couldn't get the rights to Joe Cocker's version, but egads, it's not good.

Answering these in reverse order:

I don't know who sings the theme, but I agree, it is an abomination.

Also: WHAT?!? You are against Winnie and Kevin now? How can this be? What, would you prefer he stay with that harlot Becky Slater?

Let me ask you this: have you gotten to the episode yet where they kiss for the first time? Because if that doesn't make you root for them, I don't know what will.

I thought maybe we weren't having a chat and I was so worried! I'm the one with the daughter who wants to meet JGL. She wouldn't go so far as to stalk him, but I do admire her taste in men. I taught her good! (some of my other celeb crushes over the years include Coach Eric Taylor, Keanu Reeves in "Speed" only, Gary Oldman in "Immortal Beloved," and the current Sherlock).

That is impressive. Not surprisingly, I applaud her admiration of Kyle Chandler. And I respect her "Speed"-only stipulation for Reeves. It's important for one's celeb crushes to be extremely specific.

Will Ryan Lochte be an actual celebrity after the Olympics, if he has only won one measly gold medal? Will Gillette keep showing his commercials? Will he get new bling for his teeth?

I don't know about the bling or the Gillette, but the guy is already a celebrity. Obviously interest will wane once the Olympics end; as good as he is, he hasn't accomplished what Phelps has, so the long-term attention may not be as high.

Then again, the Internet loves him. And as long as he remains meme-able on some level, he'll remain semi-famous.

Loved it. My favorite of the 3, definitely better than 2. Anne Hathaway may have set a new standard, Catwoman-wise. The best parts of Julie Newmar and Michelle Pfeiffer mashed together. And Man! Can that girl dismount a motorcycle!

I need to see it again before I can definitively state it was better than Dark Knight. But on first viewing, I personally thought TDKR had more consistent momentum, whereas Dark Knight -- as good as it is -- occasionally felt like a movie waiting for Heath Ledger to show up again.

Which reminds me: I still want to do a list  of the best comic book movie performances of all time, not counting the actual superheros. Ledger is No. 1, obviously. Simply no question.

Oh Jen...not the crucial live button...bless your heart. No Pippa isn't as pretty as her sister but she is plenty pretty and has karl lagerfeld looked in a mirror lately? Who dresses him? Egad. And for my money, it's Citizen Kane all the way. I hate wonky lists like that anyway. Seriously, had anyone seen any of those foreign movie (except maybe the Samurai movies) except the people who made that list? Grrr.r

Me not pushing the button that makes things live: That's a pretty good summary of how I feel this week.

I agree Methinks! As absurd as it might be to compare two clearly exemplary films, I bend toward Citizen Kane over Vertigo. Even after hearing how revolutionary it was, the first time I saw it I was still blown away by the choices Welles made with the camera.

And as for the other films, they are not exactly mainstream American fare. There were a good number I have not seen either, and I've seen a lot of movies. Although, everybody has a few holes in their movie lists that need to be rectified.

Yes, and beyond that - they are terrible to each other! Kevin is controlling, Winnie is emotionally withholding, they are always upset with each other over the most idiotic things - it's awful! He was better with Linda, his platonic dance date, or his summer girlfriend from the lake house (the one he meets at the drive in).

All right, I'll give you the Linda thing. I always felt bad for Linda. (I was basically always the Linda when I was in junior high or high school.)

That being side, I am  not sure I agree with you about Winnie and Kevin. Winnie is allowed to be withholding. Her brother just died. Plus, Kevin can't be expected to be perfect. For God's sake, he has Wayne as a brother.

Every time I am around for a live chat it seems to get cancelled. Now I know it's that you just don't like me so you never activate my live button.

No, *I* am cursed. You've got it all backwards.

I'm just not feeling 100% great today. That's part of the problem.

I liked him a lot until recently, when, among all of the press about the hook up fest that the Olympic Village apparently is, there was a link to an article where his MOTHER talked about all he was into now was one night stands. I don't care so much about him being a player, but why on earth would he discuss this with his mom?

I saw that. Her specific quote was: "“He goes out on one-night stands. He’s not able to give fully to a relationship because he’s always on the go.”

I suspect that she meant he goes out on dates that don't go anywhere, as opposed to sleeps with randoms and ditches them the next day.  I am not sure Lochte has long conversations with his mom about all of his one night stands. Although, maybe he does.

I can just see Lochte in a diner, opposite his mother:

Ike Lochte: "I want details."

Ryan Lochte: "I'm not in the mood, Mom."

Ike Lochte: "Now you listen to me; I want details, and I want them right now. I don't have a job, I've got no place to go. You're not in the mood? Well you GET in the mood!"

Do you have to press the live button every 108 minutes?

Ding ding ding!

Someone else made today's Lost reference for me. You're the big winner! And you win...

absolutely nothing.

Interestingly (for me, at least), I love movies but have never seen Citizen Kane. At least not all the way through, but I did see Vertigo when the newly refurbished version was released a few years ago. Love that angles in the movie. Also, do you promise that Michael Phelps will go away after the Olympics. So.damn.tired.of.that.frat.boy.

You should watch Kane all the way through. Totally worth it. If memory serves, Roger Ebert also does a commentary track on the DVD that is worth listening to. And yes, the angles in Vertigo are amazing.

And no, Phelps will not go away. Sorry. Them's the breaks.

You're still thrown off by the fact that Duran Duran didn't perform in the Opening Ceremonies, aren't you, Jen? And was it me, or did you have to be an Anglofile to really 'get' the show? Maybe if Matt and Meredith had put some more effort into it.

I'm thrown off by the fact that they didn't show any of the pre-concert in Hyde park, which is where Duran Duran did play. All I want from these events is raw footage of musical performances.

I thought some elements of the opening ceremonies worked well and some did not. Trying to tell an ongoing narrative doesn't totally convey on TV. But some of the imagery -- the Mary Poppinses, the fireworks -- were amazing. And I loved the music.

She's not a butterface, but she, like most of us, has some unflattering angles. There are some "oh my" photos out there, which were among the first I saw of her, and I felt bad for her being the ugly sister of the princess (duchess). Then I saw more photos and realized that she is in fact pretty. I suspect she hasn't had quite the same intensive training on how to make sure her angles are good.

She also probably doesn't have as much control over who is snapping her photo and from what angle.

I would be happy to trade angles with Pippa. Maybe Lagerfeld can broker the deal for me.

At the risk of verging into Lisa De Moraes bailiwick, what do you think of the promos for the new TV shows that are being advertised within an inch of their lives during the Olympics? Most make me NOT want to watch them. Biggest giggle is the one where a graphic mentioning "Our Hope" appears just before a photo of Wrigley Field. Doesn't everyone know there's NO HOPE for the Cubbies?

The Matthew Perry ones are not doing that show any favors. Neither are the "Animal Practice" ones.

Is the best Hitchcock film, let along best of all time. I liked North by Northwest and Rear Window better.

"Rear Window" is my favorite. Agree with you there.

Just a friendly reminder from last week: Have you put "Jesse Owens Returns to Berlin" on your Netflix (or whatever) list yet? IMHO it is to sports documentaries what "Citizen Kane" is to modern cinema. And yes, I mean that in the very best possible way.

No, but I will as soon as this chat is over, Nosy Parker. I promise!

I don't mind Hollywood bending history when it's more distant, like X-Men and the Cuban Missile Crisis, or Boardwalk Empire interweaving real and fictional historical figures, but for some reason it doesn't work for me on The Newsroom. That stuff JUST happened, and in many cases where Jeff Daniels and co are supposedly leading the vanguard and breaking the big stories based on instincts and gut feeling and lucky sources, in reality those stories were already broken by other news organizations. If I was a current reporter, I'd be a little weirded out by an HBO show preaching about how modern news people are neglecting the truth, then having a fictional character happen upon the story I broke through research and work, and not through tenuous and unlikely channels (ex-boyfriends, old roomates, sisters, etc). It's still a good show, but this aspect of it really bothers me. I almost wish they set it in an alternate universe, so I didn't have to compare Elliot's assault with what has happened to real reporters like Laura Logan.

I need to catch up with it and see more. The first two eps frustrated me, and then I got distracted by other matters on Sunday nights.

What you describe is one of the issues I had with the show.

I didn't find his mockery of the "Chariots of Fire" theme funny. Not. At. All. Nor his digitally-added running on the beach. Some things are just sacred, and COF is one of them.

I thought it was kind of funny.

My son heard about it at school and wanted to watch that part. When the conductor came out, he said, "Is that Mr. Bean?" He eventually figured out who Mr. Bean was. And he was amused by it.

Last night when he was supposed to be in bed he wanted to watch it again. Maybe you just weren't the target demo for that particular portion of the program.

Do a mob trifecta--Godfather Pts 1&2, then Goodfellas And for general criminality, throw in Pulp Fiction Doesn't matter if you've already seen them, each is definitely worth a revisit, especially compared to most of the junk out there today (now get off my lawn!)

Oh shoot, I forgot to come back to Mrs. Robinson. That's a good suggestion.

I'll also suggest an Alexander Payne marathon: "Election," "About Schmidt" and last year's "Descendents." "Sideways," too, if you're feeling ambitious.

Just saw "North by Northwest" again recently, and my goodness it was great! Besides "Rear Window" don't forget "To Catch A Thief."

I'll forgive the lack of other Marsian-born mutants, but unsure if Kate Beckinsale is worthy to the mantle of Sharon Stone?

Really? Watch the original again: Stone is not at her best.

I also think it makes a lot more sense that Beckinsale and Biel look so much alike.

That's the best one I've heard since "You move my island".

Feel free to use that one at your next happy hour.

Gotta rise to the defense of my fellow Baltimorean. How can he be a frat boy when all he has done since childhood is devote himself to swimming. Some jerk takes a cell phone picture of a grown man taking a toke on a bong (horrors!) and suddenly Phelps is an Animal House type. Yeah, you try getting up at 5 a.m. every day since you could walk and do nothing but devote yourself to swimming. Then we will see who's the frat boy and who's the insanely devoted athlete.

In defense of Phelps. As a fellow Marylander, I felt obligated to share. (For the record, he doesn't seem like a frat boy to me either.)

Not Descendants for Mrs. Robinson. She said no dying parent movies. That movie made me cry and it's been over a year since my mother died.

Oh shoot! That's right, forgot about that stipulation. Yes, Descendents is not a good idea for that reason. Man, is it a cryer.


And your son is how old? Not in one of advertisers' coveted demographics yet, I'd hazard.

Not at all. Pretty sure NBC wasn't going after the 5-year-old set. But man, do they sure love a good nose-blowing gag.

One thing that the original had that Doug Quaid's "fantasy girl" (who turns out to Hauser's mistress Melina) is totally the opposite his wife Lori. Lori is Nordic blond and blue-eyed uptown and demure while Melina is total opposite, browned skinned, sleazy and in-your-face. It helps show how "fake" Doug Quaid's life really is. Yet Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel looks so much a like. Maybe that works, but I kind of though that was clever of the 1990 Total Recall making the two women so different.

To me, it makes more sense that they are the same.

At this point, I must throw up a SPOILER ALERT. Don't read further if you want to remain in the dark about "Total Recall."

If Cohaagen's goverment really wanted to keep him unaware of his past, wouldn't they give him a wife that looks like the woman he really loved? That way he could easily mistake any flashes of memory of Melina as a memory of Lori.

Plot-wise it makes more sense to me from that standpoint, although I hear you point about the fakeness.

!!! Unpopular Opinion Alert !!! Actually, I don't think she's all that pretty -- her facial features strike me as kind of bulbous. She's by no means unattractive, mind you, but she surely doesn't have stunningly beautiful features. Unfortunately, as KL pointed out, she does look better going away than coming.

Dang. I don't want to end on such a negative note.

He didn't deserve Paul, or Winnie. He and Wayne deserved each other.

Shoot, this is negative, too. Maybe Pippa and Kevin Arnold should date.

And with that lame attempt to tie the whole room together, I'm out of here. Next week, I promise to hit the live button in a timely manner. Thanks for your patience with me.

In This Chat
Jen Chaney
Jen Chaney anchors The Washington Post's Celebritology blog, The Post's online window into the world of pop culture and celebrities. She also frequently writes about entertainment trends, filmmakers and other Hollywood-related matters for the print edition of The Washington Post.

A Post staffer for more than a decade, Jen also can be seen reviewing movies on WETA's "Around Town," where she is one of the show's regular film critics. Last year, she contributed a series of essays to the book, "The Friday Night Lights Companion."

When she isn't blogging, at the movies or watching a television show, she's ... um ... probably at home watching a movie or a TV show.

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