Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

December 26, 2013

CALLERI: Are you going to the movies this holiday season? Here are six new choices


Night & Day — Burgundy gets the call to join the Global News Network and decides that he wants to bring his merry band of news, sports, and weather brothers back together. Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Steve Carell return, but it all seems less jovial and more akin to “we’re making a sequel, so let’s finish it.” There are jokes that score and many jokes that don’t. At times the camaraderie comes across as forced. Actors getting older will do that to a youthful concept.

“Anchorman 2” is directed by Adam McKay and written by him and Ferrell. They wallow in some of the previous material, and the new stuff lacks sincerity. You watch their movie feeling more resigned than happy. A lot of anchormen are bona fide phonies, but should a movie about them also be fake? Watching it is like taking a pop quiz. What do you remember, and why were you supposed to care?

Nelson Mandela died just as the new biographical film about him was opening. This fact will certainly affect how audiences react to it. As a teller of history, “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” ends in triumph. The man who fought South Africa’s brutal and oppressive system of apartheid will become the president of the nation that jailed him for decades. But because of Mandela’s death, the movie feels incomplete.

The problem is actually less about the great liberator dying and more about the film being too generic. It tells its story calmly from point A to point B, but it never gives us a sense of the man. I am sure the filmmakers were passionate, but their presentation lacks power. Justin Chadwick directs from William Nicholson’ screenplay, which is based on Mandela’s autobiography. Idris Elba plays Mandela with conviction, but his impersonation of the man doesn’t take us inside his mind. We get historical facts without the much-needed interpretation.

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