Kim Basinger

GRUDGE MATCH-FILM

The idea of Rocky vs. Raging Bull is almost irresistible, and when it comes to that factor, Grudge Match has its moments. However, those moments aren’t enough to make a good movie. Indeed, Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro have been cashing their nostalgia bitcoins for a while now. De Niro seems to be taking every film that comes his way – good or bad – and relying more and more on his reputation rather than giving a good performance. It’s not just the Meet the Parents films that capitalize on this. In fact, The Family from earlier this year had a huge plot point to the film hinge on De Niro’s long career playing a Mafioso (resulting in a scene almost as awkward as the Julia Roberts gag in Oceans 12). Similarly, Stallone has been trying to spin his once-top-rated box office name into modern success. It worked with The Expendables and The Expendables 2, but pretty much everything else he’s tried to reclaim his 80s glory days has fallen flat. While I thought Bullet to the Head wasn’t bad and thoroughly enjoyed Escape Plan this past fall with Arnold Schwarzenegger, few others did.

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Alison-Brie-strange

What is Casting Couch? A rundown of the day’s most notable casting news, concerning actors as new to the film world as young Iain De Caestecker or as seasoned as the spicy Kim Basinger. No discrimination here. Mad Men and Community beauty Alison Brie has once again found time in her schedule to do some work up on the big screen. Variety is reporting that she’ll be joining Justin Chatwin and Colin Hanks in the cast of a new indie called No Stranger Than Love. The story here is a weird one, as apparently Brie will be playing a small town art teacher who intends on starting an affair with the married football coach at her school, but whose plans get interrupted when he’s sucked into an inter-dimensional hole that appears on her living room floor. See? Weird.

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Of many preferred professions, I find chefs to be on the right end of the hotness scale. Their passion for food translates into multiple areas of life and it’s hard not to get swept away into a blissful utopia where calories don’t count but your opinion of that chocolate mousse does. As you may have guessed, I have been suckered into this world once or twice, and unlike the obsessions of mine that turned sour, my chef love remains. I had high expectations for the Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart led kitchen romance No Reservations. Two hot-tempered executive chefs forced together to run one kitchen sounded almost as steamy as angry sex in the Grey’s Anatomy on-call room. The potential for secret glances over chopping boards and mutual arousal from yelling at their sous chef seemed inevitable. However, the movie wasn’t about the sexy times of these two hot chefs. Rather it was more about Zeta-Jones’ Kate and Eckhart’s Nick learning to put aside their ambition and realize what’s important in life. Sex and cooking go hand-in-hand, so thankfully the couple does partake in a few tingly make-out moments and fade-to-black sex scenes. But most of the movie’s heavy petting is left for the dough in the prep oven. Tough lady chefs like Zeta-Jones’ Kate are modeled after real chefs, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood has been quick to allow women to be tough and sexy on screen. On the contrary, many movies featuring female cooks have been just that—cooks.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr is all giddy because he’s been invited to a “Dinner for Winners” (though no one has the heart to tell him it’s really a Dinner for Schmucks). He also puts on his 3D glasses to take a gander at some furry spies in Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Finally, he squeals with excitement about the new Zefron film, but then weeps uncontrollably because Universal didn’t screen it in advance for him.

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theburningplain

The new film from Guillermo Arriaga, writer of Amores Perros and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, is a heavy-handed, oppressively somber affair starring a lot of deadly serious actors.

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coronersreport_newheader

While She Was Out The Coroner slipped into her house, ate her peanut butter, and gave her movie a thumbs down.

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While She Was Out

While She Was Out stars Basinger as a troubled housewife and mother who makes a fateful decision to go shopping at the mall.

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