Review: Movies opening on Christmas

Sandy Kenyon reports on movies released on Christmas Day
December 24, 2013 5:44:44 PM PST
A number of new movies open Wednesday, with Christmas being a popular day for people to go to the theater. If you're looking for a movie to get you in the Christmas spirit then The Wolf of Wall Street is not for you, but if you're looking for a hymn to hedonism this holiday season, then have at it. Leonardo Di Caprio stars as Jordan Belfort, who wrote a book about how he swindled investors out of more than $200 million in the 1980's.

"What attracted me about the material and him was how incredibly honest and candid he was about who he was, and a lot of times I would ask him about specific times in his life or chapters in the book and he'd say 'not only was it like that I was worse,'" said Di Caprio.

Here greed isn't just good, it's great. But spending three hours in this world gets tiring enough. You just wish the academy would give 'Leo' the Oscar he so clearly wants, so the rest of us could on with our lives.

Walter Mitty's Secret Life is a fantasy at first, but soon his adventures becoem real enough in Ben Stiller's charming adaptation of a short story about a daydreaming man and the object of his affection, played by Kristen Wiig.

"I think there's a little bit of Mitty in all of us," said Wiig.

"I think we all have an idea of who we want to be that doesn't quite exist in reality," said Stiller.

His fans may be surprised that Stiller is aiming higher here as a star and director, but I found his quest entertaining and highly endearing.

The recent death of Nelson Mandela has made his Long Walk to Freedom even more timely, and starting Wednesday it's in many more theaters.

"We're not doing the lookie-like Mandela. We're doing Mandela as we see him," said Idris Elba, who plays Mandela.

A generation ago we saw boxers differently, thanks to Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro, so you really can't blame them for having a little fun now.

Before stepping into the ring for their grudge match, the guy who once played Rocky had a message for the former Raging Bull. "You know what pal: your Oscars aren't going to help you in here. You're in with 'Sly."