Top Chef DC: cafeteria cuisine

Never shy about making the challenges on “Top Chef” interesting, the producers of this awesome Bravo show threw yet another curve ball to the chef-testants last night on episode 2. Along with guest judge Sam Kass, who is the assistant White House chef, Padma announced the quick fire challenge, which was the “bi-partisandwich” challenge…even the names of these challenges are creative. But wait, there’s more. They would work in groups of two, in an apron for two, meaning one person could use their left hand and the other their right hand, making it even more difficult to make a simple sandwich in 30 minutes. They drew knives to determine who they’d be working with.

Tamesha and Amanda, with their basic grilled cheese with prosciutto; and Tiffany and Lynne’s saltimbocca sandwich were the worst two in Kass’ eyes. And the best two? Angelo and Tracey’s flounder sandwich with spicy mayo; and Kenny and Ed’s Korean ahi tuna sandwich with cucumber. And once again, Angelo’s team won the top prize, which for this week was immunity for both he and Tracey. Kenny again came in second and was annoyed.

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Movie news for a dying decade

It’s the very last day of the aughts, the noughties, or the 2000s, whichever term you prefer, and there’s some movie news to pass along.

* It’s a funny day to have a stockholders meeting, but that’s appears to be what Marvel Entertainment did and, yes, they approved the widely heralded Disney merger. Russ Fischer at /film has the details.

* With, as far as I can see, no major wide releases or, as I far as I can tell, even large expansions to talk about and not much other information available, I’m dispensing with this week’s box office preview. However, Jolly Carl DiOrio is here to tell us that this weekend is going to look a little something like last weekend.

That’s not to say there aren’t some new movies out that you can see this week — though you’ll possibly have to live in New York or L.A. to see them. Since I dig Tennessee Williams, I’m sorry to see the bad reviews for “Loss of a Teardrop Diamond. South Korea’s “The Chaser” was a hit at home for director Na Hong-Jin and looks intriguing to me. It has also been optioned for a high profile American remake, possibly involving Leonardo DiCaprio and screenwriter William Monahan of “The Departed.”

the-chaser-movie-3

* Speaking of box office, I’m not sure this is exactly news, but, get this, “Avatar” is doing really well — it just passed the $800 million mark worldwide — and looks likely to continue to do extremely well for quite a long time. Even the busiest man in the world apparently couldn’t wait to see it in the White House movie theater (I wonder if it can show digital 3-D?) Also note that eight year-old Sacha and 11 year-old Malia were allowed to see it even though it has a PG-13 rating . Expect this to be discussed at length on the Sunday shows.

* I had to update yesterday’s post to correct this. Apparently, The Weinstein Company is going to leave “Nine” in the roughly 1,400 theaters it’s in, despite last week’s poor showing.

* It’s now “Sir Captain Picard” to you. Alongside Patrick Stewart, film and theater director Nicolas Hytner (“The Madness of King George”) just got an excuse to be extra snooty.

* Neil Blomkamp of “District 9” wants to make original films that aren’t based on older franchises and, so, has said he’ll stay away from large budgets. He’s not dumb.

  

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The Biggest Loser: karma reigns again

This week’s “Biggest Loser” on NBC was a special event, as the backdrop was Washington D.C., where the contestants would not only have a chance to spread the word about the show but also talk to members of congress about their own journeys and how they feel they could teach fellow Americans about a fit lifestyle.

The first thing host Alison Sweeney told them when they arrived in DC was that they would no longer be blue vs. black, but would be going back to being singles. Mrs. Mike pointed out that they have only been teams for a couple weeks, so once again they have confused us all. But okay. So the pop challenge was to gather people off the streets to come and work out with them, with Bob and Jillian leading the way….and the one who brought the most people to work out would win. Allen went straight to a fire station to lure his fire fighting “brothers” but it was Liz who drew the biggest crowd and won the challenge.

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