Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues The worst thing about the Anchorman phenomenon is the way it’s been taken to heart by the very same people it’s meant to eviscerate. For nine years now, we’ve been listening to the salon casualties of the on-air news industry chortle over how much they loved the first movie, and how accurate it was in portraying everyone in their business except them. Of course, that sort of egocentric obliviousness is just what Will Ferrell and company set out to parody, which makes them a success on an entirely extra meta-level. (Hey, I’m sure Brian Boitano thinks Blades of Glory is laughing with him, not at him.) So now that I think of it, maybe I’m enumerating Anchorman’s strengths, not its drawbacks. Either way, count on even more buddy-buddy fawning over the next few weeks: Anchorman 2 puts its heroes at the dawning of the cable era, which should ensure an entirely greater degree of “empathy” on the part of the world’s Chris Cuomos, who cannot relate to anything that happened more than 35 years ago and to anybody else. (PG-13) – Steve Schneider
Walking With Dinosaurs The obvious joke here is that this movie has a more limited appeal than Rupert Murdoch hopes, since his business model is to pander to people who simply will not accept the sight of a dinosaur without a Pilgrim riding it. The second most obvious joke is why anybody thought that a 3-D version of the acclaimed miniseries would add anything in particular, since it has in the interim yielded a touring stage production that has entertained fans on four continents. See, live theater sorta qualifies as three-dimensional already, with the possible exception of some stuff I once saw in Clermont. That’s two obvious jokes in one capsule; three if you’ve been to Clermont. Holiday bonus joke: Fox would be billing the thing as 4-D if they realized it takes place over time. (OK, they can’t all be gems.) (PG) – SS
Nebraska Alexander Payne just doesn’t make bad movies – until now. This simple story of truth, trust and family, which casts Bruce Dern as an aging Midwesterner who’s sure he’s won a million dollars, wilts faster than cornstalks in a drought. Though Payne captures the small-town feel of his native Nebraska nicely, helped by Phedon Papamichael’s black-and-white cinematography, his film falls apart bit by bit, thanks to forgettable writing, paltry performances and editing that robs the picture of humor, momentum and a sense of urgency. (R) – Cameron Meier
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