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Ron Burgundy is real-life anchorman in Bismarck, North Dakota

1 December 2013 1:05 PM, PST

Will Ferrell assumes his alter ego behind the anchors' desk of a local newscast, as part of press tour for Anchorman 2

Television viewers in Bismarck, North Dakota, were treated to a class act this weekend when the great Ron Burgundy read them the news.

Actor and comedian Will Ferrell reprised his Anchorman role for Kxmb's Saturday night news broadcast. The former Saturday Night Live star is promoting Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, a sequel to the 2004 film about a fictional news team's sexist reaction to the arrival of an ambitious female reporter.

Dressed in his signature rust-colored, three-piece suit and a striped tie, Ferrell read stories off the teleprompter, punctuated his delivery with exaggerated eye blinks and engaged in witty banter with weekend anchor Amber Schatz and the rest of the Bismarck news team.

Schatz said she has watched the original Anchorman about 30 times, and the hardest part of »

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Spider-Man 3 recap: is this Hollywood's biggest ever mistake?

1 December 2013 8:30 AM, PST

On Sunday at 6:25pm, Channel 5 is screening the third of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films. With two fantastic Spidey films in the bag, they couldn't mess this one up... could they?

Peter Bradshaw's review of Spider-Man 3

• Hadley Freeman meets Kirsten Dunst

"Why would I want to push you away? I love you!" - Peter Parker

When Spider-Man was released in 2002, it almost singlehandedly laid the groundwork for the current superhero boom. Smart, funny, bold and kinetic, its influence can still be felt in everything from Batman Begins to The Avengers. 2004's Spider-Man 2 went even further; roping in Michael Chabon to enrich the themes and deepen the characters in a way that's pretty much become standard for modern comic book films. And then came Spider-Man 3.

Spider-Man 3 is just as influential as its predecessors. Why? Because it's the perfect example of how a sure-fire hit can »

- Stuart Heritage

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Paul Walker: Fast and Furious star was typecast and proud

1 December 2013 4:53 AM, PST

Actor's private love of cars and motor-racing scene meshed with his on-screen persona of petrol-head cop Brian O'Conner

It is always a danger for actors to become wholly identified with one big role, one hit franchise. For a while, Sean Connery was James Bond, but then showed he was dramatically licensed to do something other than kill, flirt, seduce and handle gadgets. Daniel Radcliffe grew away from Harry Potter and in future Jennifer Lawrence will in all probability detach herself from Katniss Everdeen.

But Paul Walker became entirely associated with the role of tousle-haired blond boy racer Brian O'Conner in the Fast and the Furious movie franchise: O'Conner is a cop with some bad-boy attitude who goes undercover in the street-racing scene to catch criminals and have car chases. Walker's death in a car crash after a Los Angeles charity event this weekend grimly seals the association, although he was »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Fast and Furious star Paul Walker killed in car crash

1 December 2013 4:14 AM, PST

The actor Paul Walker, who found success starring in the popular car-racing franchise, has died in an automobile accident in Los Angeles aged 40

Peter Bradshaw: Paul Walker - Fast and Furious star was typecast and proud

Paul Walker: a career in clips

Paul Walker, the much-loved star who for 12 years headlined the Fast and Furious franchise, has died in a car crash aged 40.

The actor was travelling as a passenger in a new Porsche when his friend who was driving - who has been described as an "experienced driver" - lost control of the vehicle and collided with a street light, and then a tree.

The La County Sheriff's department has confirmed that two people died in a collision in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, at 3:30pm on Saturday, but Walker's death was confirmed by his representatives on his official Facebook page, and then by his publicist, »

- Catherine Shoard

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Paul Walker, Fast & Furious star, dies in car crash

1 December 2013 12:44 AM, PST

Movie star, 40, was a passenger in red Porsche that burst into flames after hitting a light pole and tree, according to reports

Paul Walker, a star of the Fast & Furious movie series, has died in a car crash north of Los Angeles.

Walker, 40, was the passenger in a friend's car when it crashed on Saturday afternoon, a statement on the actor's Facebook page said. His publicist, Ame Van Iden, confirmed his death to the Associated Press.

The statement said Walker had been in the area to attend a charity event for his organisation Reach Out Worldwide.

"We ... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news," the statement said.

The Los Angeles county sheriff's department said deputies found a car engulfed in flames when they responded to a report of a collision in the community of Valencia. Two people found in the car were pronounced dead at the scene.

The »

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Saving Mr Banks – review | Mark Kermode's film of the week

1 December 2013 12:07 AM, PST

Emma Thompson is superb as Mary Poppins author Pl Travers as she tries to resist Walt Disney's transformation of her famous creation

Anyone who has seen and loved Mary Poppins as much as I have knows one thing for certain: it's not about the kids. For all its riotous scenes of young Jane and Michael having tea parties on the ceiling and jumping through chalk pavement pictures, it's the uptight Mr Banks who is the real target of Poppins's attentions, as she seeks to break him out of his "bank-shaped cage" and reconnect him with what really matters – his family. No wonder the enduring Disney classic ends with Mr Banks himself leading everyone in a tear-jerking chorus of Let's Go Fly a Kite; after all, it was his story all along.

This is the central thrust of Saving Mr Banks, a lovely, sentimental and quietly insightful account of the making »

- Mark Kermode

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Leviathan – review | Mark Kermode

30 November 2013 10:05 PM, PST

An expressionistic documentary study of the grim business of deep sea fishing, with a soundtrack to match

Less a documentary than an expressionist art installation, this arresting audiovisual tone poem describes the bizarre nocturnal world of a fishing trawler in a manner that is alternately baffling, alarming, distracting and unsettling.

Viewed from angles that occasionally seem to replicate the point of view of decapitated fish heads, and accompanied by a peculiarly (meta)physical soundtrack, this evokes a turbulent netherworld of heaving chains, gutting knives and wrenching nets, wherein slopping buckets descend into a bowel-like abyss as screeching birds flock overhead and rusting helms creak and groan underwater.

No interviews or narration are needed and none is offered, leaving the audience all at sea, adrift on the strange tide of sound and vision.

Rating: 3/5

DocumentaryMark Kermode

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- Mark Kermode

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The Best Man Holiday – review | Mark Kermode

30 November 2013 10:05 PM, PST

A belated follow-up sees The Best Man's cast reassemble for a middle-aged get-together, with surprisingly enjoyable results

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Nearly 15 years after Malcolm D Lee's debut "dramedy" The Best Man became a surprise Us hit, the ensemble cast reassembles for a Big Chill-style catch up. Whereas previously the central concerns were friendship, sex, ambition and marriage, this time they've been duly adjusted for middle age, so it's marriage, childbirth, retirement, unemployment, death and God – the last two in surprising abundance.

Although you may well have forgotten the particular plot points of the original (don't worry, there's a quick refresher at the beginning), the rogues' gallery of famous faces is familiar enough, as are the contrived circumstances and plot convolutions in which they find themselves wrapped as Christmas draws near. While the script may be uneven and the film itself overlong, the cast make for winning company, »

- Mark Kermode

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Jeune et Jolie – review | Mark Kermode

30 November 2013 10:05 PM, PST

A vacant central performance and equally empty directorial treatment cast no light on the difficult subject of teenage prostitution

The whiff of fatuousness pervades François Ozon's film about "what it feels like to be 17" in which the grim subject of teenage prostitution is flirted with "to illustrate the questions of identity and sexuality raised by adolescence". Blithely quoting the poems of Rimbaud and the songs of Françoise Hardy, Ozon presents a four seasons portrait of "young and beautiful" Isabelle (Marine Vacth) who drifts listlessly from losing her virginity on a beach to selling her body in hotels.

Her motives are unclear. Beyond a disenchantment with people in general and sex in particular, there's no driving force (monetary, domestic) behind her actions. Inevitably, she ends up making a "connection" with an ageing client (Johan Leysen) with whom Ozon breezily imagines that her professional transactions are "tender, not at all mechanical", the tiredest of soft-soap cliches. »

- Mark Kermode

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The Day of the Flowers – review | Mark Kermode

30 November 2013 10:05 PM, PST

Two sisters search for their roots in Cuba in a gently moving drama with added ballet stardust in the form of Carlos Acosta

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Chalk-and-cheese Scottish sisters travel to Cuba to scatter their father's ashes during the titular festival in this surprisingly engaging and likably lively romantic melodrama. Eva Birthistle shines as the politically engaged Rosa whose fashionista sister, Ailie (Charity Wakefield), tags along for the ride as she attempts to trace her troubled family roots, both personal and political.

Carlos Acosta segues from dance to drama with ease, aided by Eirene Houston's thoughtful script that gently ties together a plethora of competing themes and ideas. Although occasionally the multiple plot strands seem to be pulling against each other, there's a warmth to the production that eases us over the structural cracks and makes us care about the outcome.

Rating: 3/5

DramaCarlos AcostaMark Kermode

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- Mark Kermode

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Saving Santa – review | Mark Kermode

30 November 2013 10:04 PM, PST

Dire animated festive fare fails to be enlivened by the vocal contributions of Martin Freeman and Tim Curry

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"Once they were yo-ho-ho-ing; now they'll be boo-hoo-hooing!" They will if you drag them along to this homegrown festive turkey, which conjures up visions of cold stuffing sandwiches a whole month before the traditional hardening of festive arteries has begun. Imagine all the most cliched ideas from Santa Claus – The Movie, Elf and Arthur Christmas mixed up in a bowl of bland digimation, cooked in the oven of utterly perfunctory 3D, sprinkled with a tired time-travelling riff from Doctor Who, and then left (like the proverbial MacArthur Park cake) out in the rain to go soggy and stale, before shipping up on DVD as a crap last-minute 24-hour garage stocking filler.

That Martin Freeman and Tim Curry (both mighty in their own way) should lend »

- Mark Kermode

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Carrie – review | Mark Kermode

30 November 2013 10:04 PM, PST

A strangely faithful remake of the 1976 De Palma horror classic has little new to say

From the dreamy slo-mo of its opening shower scene, drenched in Pino Donaggio's score, through the split-screen sensation of its fiery central party piece, to the final graveside "jumper", Brian De Palma's 1976 adaptation of Stephen King's slim first published novel hit all the high notes.

This presents something of a problem for Kimberly Peirce, leaving her update very little space in which to "reimagine" the tale of a bullied adolescent whose repressed rage manifests itself in telekinetic revenge. Yes, we get the inevitable addition of mobile-phone footage that allows Carrie's initial humiliation to spread around the school like modern digital wildfire. And yes, the fiercely talented Chloë Grace Moretz is the first actress to play Carrie close to her actual age (both Sissy Spacek and TV remake star Angela Bettis were in »

- Mark Kermode

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The naked truth: Hollywood still treats its women as second class citizens

30 November 2013 10:00 PM, PST

Research shows female stars are paid less, have fewer lines and spend more time with their clothes off than men

By Monday morning, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the sci-fi adventure thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence, will have taken close to half a billion dollars in global ticket sales. A female-led blockbuster is rare in any year, and all the more so in one marked by box-office disappointments and industry turmoil.

Nevertheless the film's success is likely to intensify rather than diminish calls for greater sexual equality in film. For despite the success of women-led films such as The Hunger Games and Cate Blanchett's Oscar-tipped performance in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, or directors like Kathryn Bigelow and writers such as Lena Dunham – and most recently the taboo-busting French lesbian romance Blue Is the Warmest Colour – Hollywood remains stubbornly set in its ways regarding sexual equality.

The New York Film Academy »

- Edward Helmore

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Nebraska: money and family on the road in Midwest America

30 November 2013 4:34 PM, PST

Alexander Payne's new movie, starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte, is both a touching father-and-son journey and a penetrating look at a nation's desperate, empty soul

Alexander Payne, the director of The Descendants, Sideways and About Schmidt, has a new film, Nebraska. It's simple and brilliant, beautifully nuanced, funny, well acted and generous. It's in black and white and begins with an old man walking down the side of a highway in cold weather in Billings, Montana. This is Woody Grant (Bruce Dern), and he's planning to walk to Nebraska to collect his million dollars from a sweepstakes notice he's received in the mail. Every American adult has received such a notice. Printed like a deed, it says you've won a million bucks. Only in the fine print does it say you've won only if your numbers match. It's a trick to sell magazine subscriptions.

The movie refuses the »

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Ian Fleming hit a Nazi, but you should have seen the one that got away… | David Mitchell

30 November 2013 4:06 PM, PST

Sky's sexed-up biopic of lan Fleming's life plays brilliantly to the internet age's curious blend of credulity and scepticism

A new TV drama is coming out about the life of the writer Ian Fleming. There's a lot of that sort of thing around at the moment. Because of our culture's lack of confidence in its ability to devise anything wholly new, a successful author's actual life becomes like a bonus work they wrote. No need to start readapting their stuff quite yet, because there's still the real life to do! And, brilliantly, it's marketable in the same way as all the recurring adaptations: as securely grounded in the old and good, rather than being new and now, contaminated by the unshakable rubbishness of contemporary us.

"Real-life stories" also play brilliantly to the internet age's curious blend of credulity and scepticism. We'll queue up for dramatised biographies of creative giants »

- David Mitchell

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30 November 2013 4:06 PM, PST

(Federico Fellini, 1963; Argent Films, 15)

With La Dolce Vita, Fellini created a new, fantastical, personal, expressive style of film-making to succeed the fading neorealism that had dominated the Italian cinema since the second world war. With Otto e Mezzo, he went even further. He made the most avant-garde movie ever to become a major international success, a film where dream, nightmare, memory and reality intermingle in the story of Guido Anselmi (Fellini's handsome cinematic alter ego), a successful director suffering a serious crisis. Guido has embarked on an expensive production, a science-fiction film with an enormous set already built of a spaceship launch pad. Unfortunately, he's suffering from the equivalent of a writer's block. Surrounded by a variety of people dependent on him – a beautiful, resentful wife (Anouk Aimée), a demanding mistress (Sandra Milo), numerous actors, increasingly anxious producers – he has no idea how to complete his ambitious, determinedly honest picture. »

- Philip French

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Guy Lodge's DVDs and downloads

30 November 2013 4:06 PM, PST

Neither Superman nor the Lone Ranger can hold a candle to Kristin Scott Thomas, whatever she's in

Two aged American heroes saunter on to small screens this week. No surprise that the one fighting fit is Clark Kent himself, back in moneyed, near-machine-like condition in Zack Snyder's sturdy, appropriately metallic and largely humourless Superman update Man of Steel (Warner, 12). Less expected is that it's dustily unfashionable lawman The Lone Ranger (Disney, 12) who gets far the more thrilling film. Unjustly maligned by critics who smelled blood as inevitable commercial failure loomed, it re-emerges on DVD looking to harvest as cultish a following as any Disney mega-production can hope for.

Man of Steel may boast the airbrushed visual sheen and positively homoerotic muscularity that is Snyder's directorial signature, but it's otherwise focus-grouped to the nth degree: the dominant creative presence is not Snyder but producer Christopher Nolan, whose recent Batman trilogy set the tone of stern, »

- Guy Lodge

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On my radar: Jack Huston's cultural highlights

30 November 2013 4:06 PM, PST

The actor on his enduring love for Guns N' Roses, the brilliance of The Wire, and the appeal of artist Eric Roux-Fontaine

Jack Huston, 30, is the grandson of the Hollywood film director John Huston and nephew to actors Anjelica and Danny Huston. He is best known for his role as Richard Harrow, a disfigured war veteran turned assassin, in the HBO Prohibition drama Boardwalk Empire. Huston was born in London in 1982, the son of Lady Margot Lavinia Cholmondeley and Walter Anthony (Tony) Huston. He decided he wanted to be an actor at the age of six after playing the lead role in a school production of Peter Pan. He began to get major film roles in his early 20s and has since appeared in 19 films and almost every episode of Boardwalk Empire's four seasons. He can currently be seen in Strangers on a Train by Craig Warner. Directed by »

- Ben Marshall

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Naomie Harris interview: 'Playing Winnie is the hardest thing I've done'

30 November 2013 4:06 PM, PST

Naomie Harris became a global star as the Bond girl in Skyfall, but her biggest challenge yet has been playing the controversial figure of Nelson Mandela's wife in the new biopic. Luckily, she says, her co-star was Idris Elba

The first time I met Naomie Harris was in 2010 in a noisy cafe in Portobello Road, London. I thought then that she was the sort of girl you would have wanted to make your best friend if you had met her at school: warm, talkative, not at all puffed up and not dressed up either. I don't remember what she wore but it wasn't aiming to be memorable. The cafe was noisy so she suggested we talk in her nearby flat. She was best known then for her role in Pirates of the Caribbean and for television dramas (Clara in White Teeth, Hortense in Small Island). She was about to pull into the fast lane, »

- Kate Kellaway

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On Nebraska's poetic road to nowhere in pursuit of a million dollars

30 November 2013 4:05 PM, PST

The American Midwest's spare, glum beauty is conjured in Alexander Payne's lugubrious road comedy

At the start of Nebraska, Woody Grant (Bruce Dern), confused and old, is seen slouching doggedly along a highway on the outskirts of his town. "Hey, bud, where ya headed?" asks a solicitous cop. But where can Woody possibly be headed? It takes just one look at the nondescript urban expanse; at the chimney belching out fumes in the background; at the sign reading "Billings City Limits" (that's Billings, Montana) to know he can't be going anywhere special. This is the back of beyond, right? And Woody's surely on the proverbial Road to Nowhere.

In fact, Woody is determined to get to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he's convinced that a million dollars are his for the claiming. It's usual in American cinema to assume that areas such as the stretch between Billings and Lincoln, some 800 miles away, »

- Jonathan Romney

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