From ’300′ to ‘Playing for Keeps’: Gerard Butler’s Best On-Screen Moments (PHOTOS)

Whether he’s providing eye candy for Angelina Jolie in Tomb RaiderThe Cradle of Life, or going full Spartan warrior in 300Gerard Butler is always smokin’ hot.

In anticipation of Gerard Butler’s new romantic comedy, Playing For Keeps, we’ve decided to honor Gerry’s most memorable movie moments that left us all begging for another shirtless close up …

Since Butler and his impossible abs defeated an army of bad guys in 300, legions of women have not been able to get enough of the Scottish actor.

Even in romantic comedy mode, Butler’s shirt finds a way of just not showing up for a work in a scene or two, and we’ve got a gallery of his best moments on screen. Check out the pics above, and then watch Celebuzz’ exclusive video interview with Gerard Butler!

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From ’300′ to ‘Playing for Keeps’: Gerard Butler’s Best On-Screen Moments (PHOTOS)

Whether he’s providing eye candy for Angelina Jolie in Tomb RaiderThe Cradle of Life, or going full Spartan warrior in 300Gerard Butler is always smokin’ hot.

In anticipation of Gerard Butler’s new romantic comedy, Playing For Keeps, we’ve decided to honor Gerry’s most memorable movie moments that left us all begging for another shirtless close up …

Since Butler and his impossible abs defeated an army of bad guys in 300, legions of women have not been able to get enough of the Scottish actor.

Even in romantic comedy mode, Butler’s shirt finds a way of just not showing up for a work in a scene or two, and we’ve got a gallery of his best moments on screen. Check out the pics above, and then watch Celebuzz’ exclusive video interview with Gerard Butler!

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‘Breaking Dawn,’ ‘Playing For Keeps’ and ‘Killing Them Softly’: Five Flicks in Five Clicks

Between tentpole blockbusters, limited releases and film festivals, hundreds of movies are released every year, often a dozen at a time. Friday almost invariably unleashes a whole new set of choices on moviegoers, who not only have to choose from these options, but remember what all of them are, while deflecting critical acclaim, marketing muscle, and of course just the business of their daily lives.

Five Flicks in Five Clicks is Celebuzz’ way of whittling down those choices to a comfortable number. Rounding up a handful of new releases, lingering box office champs and left-field surprises, we’ve assembled a shortlist of movies and broken down their appeal (or lack thereof) to help you decide what exactly you might want to watch.  So click on!

Playing for Keeps

Synopsis: Premiering this weekend, Playing for Keeps finds Gerard Butler doing his best David Beckham as a former soccer star who accepts a job coaching his son’s junior team. Hoping to repair their damaged relationship, the Hollywood rom-com curse of great talent and equal beauty stifle his attempts at maturity as the manchild is swarmed by an endless parade of fawning soccer-moms.

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Skyfall

Synopsis: Three films into his turn as the millennial James Bond, Daniel Craig continues to shake and stir audiences world-wide, fleecing them for their box office receipts with all the wit and charm of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Brit. Currently in its fourth week of release, Skyfall’s tale of spy-vs-spy remains squarely in second place as tuxedo enthusiasts and amateur sleuths infiltrate theaters for a second and third go-around with 007.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2

Synopsis: The second half of the final chapter in the Twilight saga (or, as we prefer to think of it, the prequel to 50 Shades of Grey) is still imprinting itself onto Twi-hards and confused boyfriends alike. The werewolf-vampire-zombie love triangle (the girl with no facial expression is undead, right?) is already rumored to spawn one or two more non-novel sequels, so you’ll probably want to catch up before The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 3: The Revenge hits theaters.

Celebuzz Rating & Review: “While I won’t spoil any of its surprises, the final act of this film ranks among the most surprising and satisfying of 2012, and that’s no small feat. Further, [director Bill] Condon has really pulled off something with this final installment that seemed previously impossible — namely, making a real movie, or the closest thing to it, not just a Twilight movie.”

Rotten Tomatoes: 48%

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Life of Pi

Synopsis: Based on the wildly popular novel, Life of Pi frames the story of one boy’s epic and semi-fantastical journey in the aftermath of a life-changing shipwreck as a larger metaphor for our own spiritual soul-searching. If that seems heavy and off-puttingly deep, don’t worry. There’s a friendly tiger, a phosphorescent whale and an island filled with adorable meerkats to help it all go down. Not to mention a wonderfully moving film visualized by the legendary Ang Lee.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

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Killing Them Softly

Synopsis: Brad Pitt plays a ruthless – whatever, it doesn’t matter, he’s so damn dreamy – in this movie about – who cares, can’t you get lost in those smoky eyes? Even at this most violent, bloodied and rugged in Andrew Dominik’s post-recession, blue-collar mob movie, Pitt manages not only to steal the screen, but to fill it with personality and bravado. Opening last week to a relatively low-ranking seventh place at the box office, this intensely visual and finely acted crime film crackles with sharp-tongued dialogue and sleekly photographed gunplay.

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%

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Which movie will you watch this weekend? Let us know if the comments below!

Flashback Friday: Jessica Biel in ’7th Heaven’ (VIDEO)

2012 has been quite the year for Jessica Biel—or should we say Jessica Timberlake.

The 30-year-old actress, whose sporty rom-com Playing for Keeps hits theaters Friday, recently got hitched to our favorite former boy-bander Justin Timberlake.

After the October nuptials, Biel dropped her surname in favor of his, and has since been touting the title loud and proud.

But there’s one name she may never be able to shed.

As Mary Camden, the eldest daughter of Reverend Camden’s seven-kid clan on The WB’s 7th Heaven, Biel began her ascent to small-screen stardom.

The overdramatized yet wildly entertaining drama of ’90s primetime broke records with a 10-year run, each episode tackling moral lessons of underage drinking, premarital sex, drug abuse, and any other issues that would be doubly problematic for such a pious family.

In this clip, Mary and her younger sister Lucy (Beverley Mitchell) get into a heated argument at their parents’ vow renewal, which turns into a full-on frilly-dress cat fight.

Biel, whose performance twice-won her a Nickelodeon’s Teen Choice Award, hones her chops perfecting the art of dramatic argumentation and female showdown— skills most recently seen executed in her Total Recall fight scene with Kate Beckinsale.

But as in any 7th Heaven episode, all’s well that ends well. And from a girly fist fight comes a moral lesson of sisterhood.

Check out the clip above to see Jessica Biel in the long-running role that spearheaded her career.

‘Playing For Keeps’: How Do Critics Score the Soccer-Themed Rom-Com?

Gerard Butler’s latest effort at professionally affording groceries – otherwise known as “acting” – has landed beneath the Christmas tree like a nicely wrapped package of farts. The story of a David Beckham-esque soccer star who coaches his son’s junior team in an effort to repair their damaged relationship, Playing for Keeps bakes up a fresh batch of irony when the manchild is tempted by an utterly unbelievable parade of randy soccer-mom’s.

And if it appears that we weren’t fans of the film, wait until you see the stadium full of critics who dislike this soccer rom-com with all the passion of a Venezuelan referee.

Todd Gilchrist, Celebuzz

Playing For Keeps unfolds like some kind of metaphorical deconstruction of his charms: a meandering, formulaic look at a former sports star confronted by an uncertain future as he continues to exploit the superficial things the world still seems to want from him.”

Scott Tobias, AV Club

“The film is a bedroom farce without the farce, a fish-out-of-water comedy on sun-cracked lake-bed, a story of fatherly redemption that barely gets past the hair-mussing stage. Even the title represents a weak compromise: Once called Playing The Field in reference to its hero being a retired soccer star and ladies’ man, it’s now the generic Playing For Keeps, under the presumed logic that the Kool-Aid wasn’t watery enough.”

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

“As featureless and bland as the suburban Louisiana locations standing in for Northern Virginia, this is a movie that adamantly refuses to live up to its title, aiming instead to lure in a few unsuspecting fans of stars Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel, do its damage and — with any luck — disappear quickly from theaters with virtually no one knowing that it ever existed.”

Kyle Smith, The New York Post

“The boy-dad bonding is no funnier or more convincing than the sex-farce scenes. Playing for Keeps is one of those movies that comes ‘straight from the heart’ — the heart of the hack screenwriter’s manual that pushes formulaic structure to cover up a lack of compelling characters, genuine emotion or actual humor. This is an excellent way to get your script approved by studio execs who think the public can’t tell the difference between an ‘actual movie’ and a ‘rancid piece of garbage.’”

Chris Bumbray, JoBlo.com

“If you’ve seen the Playing for Keeps trailer, you’ve essentially seen the film. All the movie does is stretch it out to ninety minutes, although I’d wager a good sixty of those minutes feel like filler. Gerard Butler seems game on establishing himself outside the action genre, but I find him too bland for a movie like this. How is he any different for a guy like Josh Duhamel or Patrick Dempsey? Ok – he has an accent, but that’s it.”

Christy Lemire, Huffington Post

“This is supposed to be the time of year when high-quality movies come out, whether they’re potential Oscar contenders or crowd-pleasing family fare. So the presence of flat, hacky, unfunny dreck like Playing for Keeps – the kind of film that ordinarily tries to fly under the radar in January or February but would be torture to sit through in any month – is a total mystery. It is truly baffling that all the talented, acclaimed actors involved actually read this script and then agreed to devote their time to this movie, especially given its uncomfortably flagrant misogynistic streak.”

Watch Celebuzz’ exclusive video interview with Gerard Butler. And let us know what you thought of the movie in the comments below!

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‘Playing For Keeps’: Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel Strike Out in this Sports-Themed Rom-Com (MOVIE REVIEW)

There was a time when Gerard Butler could have been a movie star, but then he decided instead to act in films like Playing For Keeps.

The guy who once played the title character in The Phantom of the Opera and King Leonidas in 300 somehow became the go-to-guy in terrible romantic comedies, undermining virtually all of his real charisma and talent in lieu of the fleeting appeal of his gruff manliness and a semi-irresistible Scottish accent.

And like a final nail in the coffin of his “real” acting career, Playing For Keeps unfolds like some kind of metaphorical deconstruction of his charms: a meandering, formulaic look at a former sports star confronted by an uncertain future as he continues to exploit the superficial things the world still seems to want from him.

Butler plays George, a soccer star who moves to Virgina to be close to his ex-wife Stacie (Jessica Biel) and son Lewis (Noah Lomax) after squandering his fortunes. Reduced to selling his trophies and other sports keepsakes in order to make ends meet, George dreams of a job as a sportscaster while keeping an eye on Lewis’ own athletic aspirations.

But after he reluctantly agrees to coach the kid’s soccer team, George finds his prospects improving: not only does he attract the attention of several local women (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman and Judy Greer) looking for an escape from suburban motherhood, but lands a chance to become an ESPN anchor. But when Stacie announces plans to marry her new boyfriend, George is forced to decide whether he will close that chapter of his life and explore a new career path in another city, or stay in the lives of the two people who mean the most to him.

The biggest problem with Playing For Keeps is that it has absolutely no idea what kind of movie it wants to be. Is it a coming-of-age story for 40 year olds? A tender story about a father reconnecting with his son? A romantic portrait of two people who love one another but have trouble finding the right time to make a relationship work? Or a sex farce where an aging charmer regains his mojo de-pantsing all of the soccer moms in a Virginia suburb?

Certainly a movie can contain multiple threads, but they need to be related by something more significant than just the people acting them out. Notwithstanding the fact that even for Gerard Butler, the women in the film improbably throw themselves at him, the various scenes of seduction – or hooking up, which is more accurate – reinforce only one sad theme: all of the characters’ lives are painfully empty. Otherwise, George’s life unfolds in a series of mostly-unrelated vignettes that languish in purposeless self-indulgence, at least until the film decides to pay off his midlife crisis in the most clichéd way possible.

As much as I like Jessica Biel and think the work she’s doing these days – even in this – is really solid, the female roles she’s offered are really just kind of shameful. Stacie exists to remind George throughout the movie that he’s a screwup, and then to be a reflection, and a reward, for his self-improvement. That Biel sheds some convincing tears for a relationship that her character is always better than is a testament to her commitment to the material.

But ultimately, the movie plays just a weird tribute to Gerard Butler as a sex symbol, an unironic celebration of the qualities that helped him retain stardom – and, in the end, an escapist fantasy that suggests his good looks and accent are all he needs. Butler isn’t bad in the film per se, but he contributes nothing but empty verisimilitude, and seems uninterested in seeing the character grow or change.

As a result, so are we, making Playing For Keeps not just a redundant exercise in rom-com wish-fulfillment, but the kind of experience that provokes the exact kind of life-changing epiphany that its characters never enjoy: if we stop watching movies like this, maybe they will stop making them. There’s no reason Gerard Butler shouldn’t have a flourishing career, but it should be with material that challenges him — and hopefully, us as well.

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‘Playing for Keeps’ vs. ‘Twilight’: Box Office Battle (POLL)

This weekend at the movies, it’s soccer-themed romantic comedy versus vampire-werewolf love story versus James Bond!

Gerard Butler‘s new movie, Playing for Keeps, is the sole new release arriving in theaters this weekend, where it will face-off against popular holdovers Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 and Skyfall. Will the 300 star and his legion of soccer mom fans be enough to defeat Team Edward?

Celebuzz wants you to weigh in on this weekend’s battle at the box office.

Keeps casts Butler as a 40-something womanizer opposite Jessica Biel in this coming-of-age late in life story. Given Keeps‘ soft marketing push, Butler and his loyal fanbase face an uphill battle if they want to dethrone Breaking Dawn — Part 2 from the No. 1 spot, where it has reigned for the last three weeks.

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The real battle for No. 1 might once again be between Breaking Dawn — Part 2 and Skyfall, two of the biggest hits of the year.

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Daniel Craig‘s third outing as the super spy became the highest grossing Bond movie in both the U.S. and London this week, while the final Twilight film cleared over $700 million in international ticket sales. This weekend will most likely mark yet another successful frame for each franchise.

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Which movie will you see this weekend? Watch Celebuzz’ interview with Gerard Butler, and then choose your pick in the comments below!

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Gerard Butler on His Womanizing ‘Playing for Keeps’ Character: ‘I Probably Have a Lot in Common With George’ (VIDEO)

Legions of female fans expecting Gerard Butler‘s newest film, the romantic comedy Playing for Keeps, to give them just another excuse to see their favorite actor’s chiseled physique might be in for a surprise.  for the actor to show off his chiseled physique are in for a surprise.

In Keeps, Butler plays George, a handsome, 40-something womanizer who is forced to grow up a lot sooner than he expected. While the movie offers plenty of eye candy for the ladies, it also provides them with an unlikely coming-of-age story, one that hit a little too close to home for the 300 star.

“[George] reminds me a little bit too much of me,” Butler told Celebuzz. How much? Read on…

Butler has played everything from a Spartan king to a burgeoning Tomb Raider. But it’s roles like George that prove to be the most difficult for him as an actor.

“It’s more challenging playing ‘me’, or a slightly different version of me.”

But Butler is quick to point out that, despite those challenges, he, like his character, works to overcome them. “It wasn’t a difficult role to connect with, but what’s interesting is that… the movie’s about realizing when you’ve been a certain way your whole life, you got to finally go for something deeper.”

Playing For Keeps, starring Butler and Uma Thurman, opens Friday, December 7. Watch Celebuzz’ exclusive interview with Butler above, and check out a clip from the film below!

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Jessica Biel Talks Being Married to Justin Timberlake: ‘It’s Like Nothing’s Changed and Yet Everything’s Changed’ (VIDEO)

Jessica Biel is singing the praises of marriage with Justin Timberlake.

“It’s so funny — it feels like nothing’s changed, and yet everything’s changed,” the newlywed said on Tuesday’s Good Morning America. “It’s kind of that intangible thing. You can’t put your finger on it – I guess the idea of having sort of a partner in crime, and I guess the word ‘husband’ is pretty amazing.”

“I’m loving it,” said Biel, who married JT on Oct. 19 in Italy. “It’s so fun to say, ‘Oh, this is my husband.”

The stunner also chatted about her new big-screen endeavor — Playing for Keeps, which co-stars Gerard Butler, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta Jones and Uma Thurman.

“It really was quite a cast,” she said. “I think that was probably one of the reasons I was so excited to be a part of this film, especially with Gabriele Muccino, our director — I was such a fan of his as well. It’s amazing to work with your idols who have now become your peers.”

 

In the film, Biel plays Stacie, the mom of 9-year-old whose dad (Butler) comes back in their life to coach his soccer team. So does the 30-year-old ever think about having kids of her own?

“Yeah, sure,” she said. “Especially because the kid Noah [Lomax] who played my son is literally the coolest kid I’ve ever met.”

She’s pretty cool, too: Biel said that between takes, she and her young co-star would rock out to satellite radio, and play “air guitar and just jam out and head-bang in the car.”

Playing for Keeps opens nationwide on Friday — along with another Biel film, Hitchock.

Watch the star’s entire interview above. Then tell us in the comments section: Will you be seeing either of her movies this weekend? 

 

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Jessica Biel Talks Being Married to Justin Timberlake: ‘It’s Like Nothing’s Changed and Yet Everything’s Changed’ (VIDEO)

Jessica Biel is singing the praises of marriage with Justin Timberlake.

“It’s so funny — it feels like nothing’s changed, and yet everything’s changed,” the newlywed said on Tuesday’s Good Morning America. “It’s kind of that intangible thing. You can’t put your finger on it – I guess the idea of having sort of a partner in crime, and I guess the word ‘husband’ is pretty amazing.”

“I’m loving it,” said Biel, who married JT on Oct. 19 in Italy. “It’s so fun to say, ‘Oh, this is my husband.”

The stunner also chatted about her new big-screen endeavor — Playing for Keeps, which co-stars Gerard Butler, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta Jones and Uma Thurman.

“It really was quite a cast,” she said. “I think that was probably one of the reasons I was so excited to be a part of this film, especially with Gabriele Muccino, our director — I was such a fan of his as well. It’s amazing to work with your idols who have now become your peers.”

 

In the film, Biel plays Stacie, the mom of 9-year-old whose dad (Butler) comes back in their life to coach his soccer team. So does the 30-year-old ever think about having kids of her own?

“Yeah, sure,” she said. “Especially because the kid Noah [Lomax] who played my son is literally the coolest kid I’ve ever met.”

She’s pretty cool, too: Biel said that between takes, she and her young co-star would rock out to satellite radio, and play “air guitar and just jam out and head-bang in the car.”

Playing for Keeps opens nationwide on Friday — along with another Biel film, Hitchock.

Watch the star’s entire interview above. Then tell us in the comments section: Will you be seeing either of her movies this weekend? 

 

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‘Playing For Keeps’: Soccer Star Gerard Butler Tries to Score With Jessica Biel (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Gerard Butler is known on and off screen as a legendary ladies’ man, but as a former soccer star in Playing For Keeps, there’s one woman whose attention he can’t win: his ex-wife, played by Jessica Biel.

“You’re the only woman I ever really loved,” he tells her. She laughs.

In a new TV spot exclusive to Celebuzz, Butler’s character attempts to win back Biel’s as he takes on their son’s soccer team.

Directed by Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness), the film promises to be a heartwarming romantic comedy. The cast also includes Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, Judy Greer and Dennis Quaid.

Playing For Keeps opens nationwide December 7, 2012. Watch Celebuzz‘ celebration of the actor’s 43rd birthday below.

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