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Best bets: 'Black Swan' shows eerie side of ballet

Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis play competing ballerinas in the new movie. Plus: "Top Chef All-Stars" brings back 18 cheftestants; "Eclipse" comes to DVD.
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"Black Swan"
is already being discussed when the Oscars are mentioned, and it sounds delightfully eerie. Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are competing ballerinas in "Swan Lake," with Portman playing the innocent White Swan and Kunis the sensual Black Swan. When Portman finds herself changing, things really start to get interesting. (Opens Dec. 3.)

True-crime buffs will remember the name Robert Durst, son of a real-estate mogul who was questioned in both the disappearance of his wife and the murder of a friend. He wasn't charged in either case, but later ended up being acquitted of the murder of a neighbor whom he admitted to dismembering (he pled self-defense). The new film "All Good Things" uses Durst as a model, with Ryan Gosling playing the main character and Kirsten Dunst as his vanished wife. A fascinating look at a true-life story that still remains unexplained. (Opens Dec. 3.)

The Black Panthers are hardly talked about any more, but once they made headlines across the nation. In "Night Catches Us," Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington play Panthers who must deal with divisions within his troubled Philadelphia neighborhood after he apparently snitched on a friend. Times change, but not that much. (Opens Dec. 3.)

Other shows bring back fan favorites and villains all the time — "Survivor" most notably — so why not "Top Chef All-Stars"? Eighteen former cheftestants sharpen their knives again, including Richard Blais, Tiffany Derry, Spike Mendelsohn and Fabio Viviani. (Dec. 1, 10 p.m., Bravo.)

North, to Alaska! We're goin' North, the rush is on. Yes, another reality show set on The Last Frontier, but this one has no Palins in sight. "Gold Rush: Alaska" follows six men who try gold mining out of economic desperation. Someone check the calendar, is it 1849 or 2010? (Premieres Dec. 3, 10 p.m., Discovery Channel.)

Entertainment Weekly called "Eclipse" the best "Twilight" movie so far. Although most new DVDs are released on Tuesdays, this latest Bella-Edward-Jacob vamprance is coming out on a Saturday so fans can celebrate at Saturday midnight release parties. Get those Team Jacob and Team Edward shirts out again! (Out on DVD Dec. 4.)

Disney fans who are itching to see behind the magical Mouse curtain will want to mark their calendars now. Three Disney documentaries — "Waking Sleeping Beauty," "The Boys," and "Walt & El Groupo" are coming out on the same day. "Beauty" looks at the studio's rich animation history, "El Groupo" examines a little-known goodwill tour Walt Disney made in South America, and "The Boys" focuses on the Sherman brothers, who wrote some of the most popular Disney songs of all time. "Chim-Chim-Che-ree," anyone?" (Out on DVD Nov. 30.)

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is's movies editor.