5   +   3   =  

Anchorman-2-the-legend-continuesIt’s Christmas time and that means an extended edition for you this week folks.

Move over Santa, he’s back. After nearly a decade away, Ron Burgundy, the man who may well be responsible for the parlous state of modern news reporting, returns to bring levity to the most inappropriate stories. He’s rounded up his old crew for a madcap, scattershot burst of hilarity that will see you through the pre-Christmas panic.

Once the festivities are out of the way, a wave of films will be rolling into cinemas on Boxing Day. If the family holiday has been too relaxing, check out All Is Lost. Robert Redford pops up with a late contender for performance of the year as he battles gamely to prevent his sailing boat from sinking after being holed by a stray cargo container. Always gripping and frequently harrowing, this will be one of the best films you’ve seen in 2013. A word of caution though – don’t watch if you’re soon to take up sailing.

Vying for a little more respectability, Ben Stiller stands both sides of the camera in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Adapted from the classic short story, Life magazine employee Mitty escapes his dull routine in a series of outlandish daydreams before launching out on a real adventure. The intimate moments are often drowned out, and a strong supporting cast including Kristen Wiig and Sean Penn is wasted, but it is a beautifully shot, stirring film at times. Fans of Papa John’s should also watch out for some less than subtle product placement going on for their Icelandic branch. Get down there now if you like pizza and volcanoes.

If the previous 2 films sound far too serious, Keanu Reeves is in town. The man who has honed his patented cardboard acting style in some pretty darn good films (and some pretty darn bad ones for that matter) returns in 47 Ronin. Assuming their maths are up to scratch, 47 ronin fight mythical CGI beasts with swords to avenge their murdered master. It’s not aiming for the cerebral crowd, but it might be just the thing to rid the system of turkey, mince pies and sherry.

Out on DVD just in time to make the perfect gift for someone you don’t like is bodybuilding crime tragedy, Pain & Gain. Michael Bay’s latest assault on filmmaking sees Mark Wahlberg and The Rock do some terrible things, for terrible reasons in a terribly sexist way. There is a good rapport between the leads and that’s about it. Things blow up, music blares and slow motion drags out the experience. This one is certainly stacked closer to the pain than gain side.

Should you find vouchers burning a hole in your pocket on Boxing Day, Elysium, Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to the exhilarating District 9, will be out to buy. If you are a fan of pretty and vapid things with a sprinkle of celebrities, give it a go. With the rich having retreated to the space station paradise of Elysium, injured worker Matt Damon tries to break in for treatment after a soon to be fatal accident on earth. Inadvertently sparking a revolution, the story is hyperbolic political allegory that’s ultimately lacking in any real depth. Oh, and Jodie Foster pops up with a quite horrendous accent that might just be worth the price of purchase alone.

With early 2014 already shaping up to be very tasty indeed, I wish you Merry Christmas and I’ll see you next year.

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