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<p>Comic-Con&nbsp;exclusive &quot;Django&nbsp;Unchained&quot;&nbsp;T-shirt</p>

Comic-Con exclusive "Django Unchained" T-shirt

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'The Hobbit,' 'Django Unchained' and more look to stir advance word at Comic-Con

In a weak year on the film side, a few hope to get the awards gears turning early

SAN DIEGO - I'm here but I'm not covering Comic-Con this year. Last night was the annual HitFix Kick-Off Party, which I was happy to attend, but a day in Coronado sounds a lot better than fighting the hordes, so I'm opting out this year.

Most agree this is a pretty thin year on the whole for movies at the Con, anyway. Dan Fienberg and Alan Sepinwall will surely have a blast on the TV side of things, as the small screen continues to dominate programming. But I don't think I could sit through "Resident Evil" and "Total Recall," etc. The only panel of note in my view is Warner Bros., bringing footage from "Man of Steel," "Pacific Rim" and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

On the latter, it's one of a couple of films that serve our purposes here. As in, films that we may be talking about in a few months' time as the awards circuit heats up. Peter Jackson and company hit a bit of a snag when the 48 fps (frames per second) footage was largely criticized at CinemaCon in April, but the presentation here at Comic-Con will be in 24 fps "so the focus stays firmly with the content and not the technical stuff," as Jackson said in a recent interview with Hero Complex's Geoff Boucher.

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<p>Summit hasn't released any Cullens pictures from &quot;Part 2,&quot; so here's part of the happy family in &quot;The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1&quot;</p>

Summit hasn't released any Cullens pictures from "Part 2," so here's part of the happy family in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1"

Credit: Summit

Comic-Con 2012 Live-Blog: The Cullens' 'Breaking Dawn - Part 2' press conference

Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone and Ashley Greene meet the press

SAN DIEGO - I still vividly remember the shocking -- to those of us who hasn't properly internalized its phenomenon status -- response in Hall H for the very first "Twilight" Comic-Con panel. That was only a few years ago, but Comic-Con has changed since that panel, at least in small part due to the passion of the "Twilight" fanbase, and certainly the stars of the franchise have changed as well. And I'm pretty sure I've reported from a "Twilight"-centric panel or press conference at every subsequent Comic-Con.

Today's "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" press conferences -- Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and Mackenzie Foy, plus Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone and Ashley Greene -- will be my last Comic-Con "Twilight" experiences [fellow HitFixers will be covering the actual Hall H panel and the press line]. Sniffle.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" press conference, featuring  Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone and Ashley Greene.

Click through...

[Obligatory apology: I'm going to be typing fast. There's a very good chance I'm going to misspell "Renesmee" at least once and that I'm going to call the movie "Breaking Bad" at least once. In this blog, it's inevitable that I'm going to confuse Alice and Rosalie or forget Dr. Cullen's name. It's not that I don't know. It's just that I'm aiming for speed and quote accuracy. Sorry!]

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<p>Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in a scene from the &quot;Breaking Bad&quot; season premiere.</p>

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in a scene from the "Breaking Bad" season premiere.

Credit: AMC

AMC to live-stream 'Breaking Bad' premiere for Dish customers

Offer the latest salvo in war between cable channel and satellite provider

The new season of "Breaking Bad" premieres on Sunday night at 10 on AMC, but because of a contract dispute between Dish and AMC's parent company, AMC has been yanked from the satellite provider's channel lineup. The show is available by other means (episodes appear on iTunes early the following morning, for instance), but AMC has offered Dish customers a free alternative for at least the season premiere.

The website Breaking Bad 4 Dish allows Dish customers to register (beginning Friday at 3 p.m. Eastern) for a chance to watch a live-stream of the premiere on Sunday night. It sounds like a one-shot deal, as the press release states: 

AMC wants its loyal DISH viewers to experience the excitement of the “Breaking Bad” premiere at the same time as their friends and neighbors, and we want to give DISH customers an extra week to switch providers so they can enjoy the rest of the season.

But it's something, at least.

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<p>Bryan Cranston as a newly-bald Walter White in the early days of &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Bryan Cranston as a newly-bald Walter White in the early days of "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

'Breaking Bad' star Bryan Cranston looks back at Walter White's greatest hits, part 1

On everything from the Heisenberg hat to the poisoning of Brock

Though "Breaking Bad" will have another eight episodes to run next summer after the eight that start airing Sunday night at 10 on AMC, this is technically the start of the show's final season. So when given the chance to sit down with the show's two leading men, I thought this might be a good time to let each of them revisit some of the most memorable moments for their characters, and what it was like to play those scenes. I first spoke with Aaron Paul, then sat down for lunch with Bryan Cranston.

This conversation wound up being quite a bit longer than the one with Paul, so I'm splitting it into two parts. Today deals with a variety of topics, from Heisenberg's hat to what Cranston knew when about the Brock storyline. The second half (which includes "I am the one who knocks!" and "Run.") will come tomorrow at this time.

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<p>By complete coincidence, this is what I'm wearing to the HitFix Comic-Con party tonight.</p>

By complete coincidence, this is what I'm wearing to the HitFix Comic-Con party tonight.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Is Fox in danger of losing 'Daredevil' back to Marvel?

New behind the scenes developments make things interesting between the studios

20th Century Fox has taken plenty of heat over the years for their handling of comic book properties, some of which I've applied personally, but any fan of the modern age of superhero movies has to acknowledge that if they hadn't taken a chance on "X-Men" when they did, things might look very different right now.

They're still very much in the Marvel business, and it looks like they've made it official now that they'll be rebooting "Fantastic Four" with Josh Trank directing.  I really liked his work on "Chronicle," and I think it'll be interesting to see what sort of aesthetic he brings to the property.  They never really found a tone that worked in the first two films, but I believe that "Fantastic Four" could be one of the biggest franchises in all of superhero cinema if they get it right.

What's more interesting is that David Slade has left "Daredevil," which means Fox has to scramble now to get someone onboard to start production on the film this fall, or they risk having the rights revert to Marvel.

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"So You Think You Can Dance"

"So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: 'The Top 20'

Our finalists show what they can do, and Nigel declares one girl the best of the bunch

It's time for "So You Think You Can Dance"! Whoot! We're still in the stage in which we have a bajillion dancers in the running, so there's no time to think -- and getting attached just isn't advisable. This looks to be a strong stable of dancers, so fingers crossed we get some performances worthy of the hot tamale train tonight.

We kick things off with a cool "Mad Men" opening, then head into a samba.

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<p>I just hired this guy to do my yard. That shouldn't be a problem, right?</p>

I just hired this guy to do my yard. That shouldn't be a problem, right?

Credit: Universal Pictures

The MCP: Don Winslow guests on an Oliver Stone-themed podcast

Tom Cruise and Andy Griffith are also discussed in this free-wheeling conversation

The latest episode of the podcast is posting a few days past its due date, but I had a weird tech issue I had to sort out, so I apologize.

The good news is that the interview I did with author Don Winslow is about a half-hour long, and it's a really great chat with a guy whose work is reaching an increasingly large audience with each new book, and who deserves the acclaim.  It's always nice to talk to filmmaker or actors, but we don't feature nearly enough in-depth conversations with writers, and this is a great example of what I'd like to do more often in the future.  Also, since the film's already out, I don't feel so bad about talking with Winslow about the ending of the movie, but be warned…  if you haven't seen it, spoilers do ensue.

In addition, Scott and I have a lengthy talk about the work of Oliver Stone in general this week, and both of us were hardcore fans of Stone for many years.  It's been frustrating for a while now looking at movies of his that just didn't excite me, and finally having a new movie from him that feels like it's worth the sort of excitement he used to generate every time out has been a treat.

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<p>This doesn't capture the tone of &quot;Political Animals&quot;</p>

This doesn't capture the tone of "Political Animals"

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 138 - Annual Roadtrip Edition

Dan and Alan talk 'Political Animals,' 'Breaking Bad' and drive to Comic-Con

The

As promised, it's a special midweek edition of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, our third annual Roadtrip Podcast. 
 
Woo!
 
I think that after three shots, we've mastered the art of recording a semi-audible, moderately unpleasant-to-listen-to car podcast! I apologize for part of the semi-audible part. It's hard to talk directly into a microphone and keep your eyes on the road at the same time. I also apologize for some portion of the ambient noise. Greta isn't the quietest of cars.
 
So yeah. We're a little quieter than usual. And there's some car noise. [A lot of car noise.] But I beg you to remember Car Podcast 1.0. This is oodles better.
 
Anyway, it's a short-ish podcast because Sepinwall's battery was on life support, but we covered "Bunheads," "Political Animals" and "Breaking Bad" and also previewed Comic-Con a wee bit.
 
Here's the breakdown:
"Bunheads" (00:01:15 - 00:13:15)
"Political Animals" (00:13:15 - 00:28:15)
"Breaking Bad" (00:29:00 - 00:44:15)
Comic-Con (00:44:15 - 00:55:10)
 

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 138: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Political Animals,' Comic-Con & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 138: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Political Animals,' Comic-Con & more

Dan and Alan also talk about 'Bunheads' on another road trip podcast

The

Continuing an annual tradition for Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, Dan and I got in his car and attempted another road trip podcast, this time on the road from Los Angeles to San Diego for Comic-Con. Along the way, we chatted about "Breaking Bad," "Political Animals" and "Bunheads," bickered about missed exits and exalted at certain familiar landmarks along the way.

As mentioned on the show, our next podcast will be next Thursday, July 19, where we'll discuss Emmy nominations, the "Breaking Bad" premiere, and possibly more. 

The line-up: 

"Bunheads" (00:01:15 - 00:13:15)
"Political Animals" (00:13:15 - 00:28:15)
"Breaking Bad" (00:29:00 - 00:44:15)
Comic-Con (00:44:15 - 00:55:10)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
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"Project Runway"

"Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

Heidi Klum talks about 'Project Runway''s wacky 10th season

Look for candy dresses, big stars - and designers sneaking off the show


"Project Runway" is back for its 10th anniversary season (Lifetime, July 19, 9 p.m.), and Heidi Klum will be back to auf designers left and right. During a conference call with reporters, Klum gave a few hints about what viewers could expect. "[One of the guest judges] I'm allowed to mention are Patricia Fields, who was one of our very first judges ever; she judged the first challenge of the very first season of the show, so we thought it would be fun to bring her back… We also have Lauren Graham, who'll be at our Times Square challenge, Hayden Panettierre and Krysten Ritter."

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Watch: The Shins' magical new video for 'It's Only Life'

Watch: The Shins' magical new video for 'It's Only Life'

A boy and his dog have high adventures

Being a kid is a magical time, especially in a Shins video. Being an adult, not so much. In the new clip for “It’s Only Life,” a young boy and his dog are experiencing great summer time adventures, seemingly oblivious to the much darker drama playing itself out.

As the boy and his dog play in the woods and at local merchants, the story unspools that he and his pooch may be the only ones remaining uncaptured by a crew of black horse-like creatures, who have nabbed the rest of the town’s denizens, including Shins’ leader James Mercer.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Sigourney Weaver and Carla Gugino in &quot;Political Animals.&quot;</p>

Sigourney Weaver and Carla Gugino in "Political Animals."

Credit: USA

Review: USA's 'Political Animals' takes compelling look at an alternate Clinton family

Sigourney Weaver, Carla Gugino and Ellen Burstyn head a terrific miniseries cast
Summer television is for the most part a time for light escapism, a concept that USA has embraced to enormous success with the likes of "Burn Notice," "White Collar," "Royal Pains," et al. But success can give you license to deviate from your formula from time to time, and Sunday night at 10, USA debuts the very un-USA miniseries "Political Animals," a heavier, more mature six-part story about the intersection of politics, family and the media in Washington, D.C.
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