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New films and DVDs for March 2014

Written by · Published Mar 6, 2014

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The second of 3 epic instalments in director Peter Jackson’s blockbuster prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Set in Middle-Earth 60 years before events in The Lord of the Rings, the story follows the adventures of Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who, at the instigation of the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), suddenly finds himself co-opted into joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) to help reclaim the lost kingdom of the Lonely Mountain from the clutches of Smaug the dragon (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch).

While Gandalf heads south on his own, Bilbo, Thorin and the Dwarves enter the treacherous Mirkwood Forest on their way to the mountain. When they reach Lake-town Bilbo will have to perform the role he was assigned at the start of the quest – to find a secret door that will lead him to the lair of the dragon.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Will Ferrell reprises his role as the self-obsessed news anchor in this sequel to the 2004 hit comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

Accompanied by his former Channel 4 news team including Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and Champ Kind (David Koechner), Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) moves to New York City where he is introduced to the world of cable TV and 24-hour news coverage. But with his estranged wife Veronica (Christina Applegate) back in San Diego clocking up the ratings, Ron and the team will have to bring their A game to get back to the top.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller directs and stars in this reimagining of the classic James Thurber story.

Walter Mitty (Stiller) escapes his mundane and lonely life by disappearing inside his own head, where his daydreams consist of heroic acts and fantastic adventures in which he always gets the girl (Kristen Wiig). When his job at Life magazine is endangered by ongoing changes in technology, Walter takes it upon himself to save his career by embarking on a real-life adventure beyond even his own imagination.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Justin Chadwick directs this award-winning biopic of the former South African President and key anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela.

Idris Elba stars as Mandela, who grows up in a nation divided by racial segregation laws but doesn’t become politicised until his university years. While training as a lawyer, Mandela becomes increasingly aware of the injustice suffered by black South Africans in a country run almost exclusively by whites.

His relationships with like-minded spirits such as his wife Winnie (Naomie Harris) fuel his radicalism and lead him into a conflict with the authorities that sees him imprisoned on Robben Island with other anti-apartheid activists for over a decade.

With unrest growing throughout the nation, Mandela becomes an increasingly influential figure despite his imprisonment, leading him to hope that he may yet lead his people on the walk to freedom.

The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Original Song and won the corresponding award at the Golden Globes.