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The story of the London premiere of “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” went around the world. It was unavoidable. That’s because it was news, no matter how you reported it.Two members of Mandela’s family were scheduled to attend. They were told by cellphone before the screening that Mandela had died. They insisted that the premiere proceed. The audience wasn’t told of his dea…

Movies

In any other year they’d have been contenders: Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” the year’s most ridiculous idea for a film that somehow, when you saw it, looked like the excessive folly Jay Gatsby himself might have made; Zat Batmanglij and Brit Marling’s newest political fantasy “The East”; Denis Villeneuve’s vigilante nightmare “Prisoners”; Sofia Coppola’s dark, inside …

Gusto

Sorry. 2013 was too great a movie year – the best, by far, in a decade or more. So I’m not even going to try to keep my year-end list to that hallowed number – 10 – that has been sanctified by critics in their year-end lists since, no doubt, Byzantine Rome.If I kept it to 10, I’d probably have to leave Gilles Bourdos’ wonderful “Renoir” and Ryan Coogler’s “The Fruitvale St…

Movies

In any other year they’d have been contenders: Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” the year’s most ridiculous idea for a film that somehow, when you saw it, looked like the excessive folly Jay Gatsby himself might have made; Zat Batmanglij and Brit Marling’s newest political fantasy “The East”; Denis Villeneuve’s vigilante nightmare “Prisoners”; Sofia Coppola’s dark, inside …

Featured

Sorry. 2013 was too great a movie year – the best, by far, in a decade or more. So I’m not even going to try to keep my year-end list to that hallowed number – 10 – that has been sanctified by critics in their year-end lists since, no doubt, Byzantine Rome.If I kept it to 10, I’d probably have to leave Gilles Bourdos’ wonderful “Renoir” and Ryan Coogler’s “The Fruitvale St…

“The Best Man Holiday”In this sequel to the 1999 film “The Best Man,” college friends reunite after 15 years over the Christmas holidays and discover how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be ignited. Starring Monica Calhoune, Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa and Taye Diggs. 122 minutes. Rated R for language, sexual content and brief nudity.Showing at…

Movies

Vanessa Williams was on vacation in Egypt with her daughter last year, seeing the sights on the last day of their Nile cruise, when she noticed another tourist who stood out from the rest.He was wearing a Sabres shirt.“So I went up to him and asked him, ‘Are you from Buffalo?’ ” Williams said. No surprise there. Western New Yorkers around the world are used to these encoun…

“The Best Man Holiday”In this sequel to the 1999 film “The Best Man,” college friends reunite after 15 years over the Christmas holidays and discover how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be ignited. Starring Monica Calhoune, Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa and Taye Diggs. 122 minutes. Rated R for language, sexual content and brief nudity.Showing at…

Movies

Vanessa Williams was on vacation in Egypt with her daughter last year, seeing the sights on the last day of their Nile cruise, when she noticed another tourist who stood out from the rest.He was wearing a Sabres shirt.“So I went up to him and asked him, ‘Are you from Buffalo?’ ” Williams said. No surprise there. Western New Yorkers around the world are used to these encoun…

The BBC series “Walking with Dinosaurs” gets a kid-friendly big-screen treatment, complete with cutesy story and dino-poop jokes, in “Walking with Dinosaurs 3D,” opening Friday. Aimed squarely at that dino-crazy demographic (7-12), it pumps a few IQ points into a kid film genre sorely in need of them.“Walking” takes care to ID each new dinosaur species introduced, includin…

The BBC series “Walking with Dinosaurs” gets a kid-friendly big-screen treatment, complete with cutesy story and dino-poop jokes, in “Walking with Dinosaurs 3D,” opening Friday. Aimed squarely at that dino-crazy demographic (7-12), it pumps a few IQ points into a kid film genre sorely in need of them.“Walking” takes care to ID each new dinosaur species introduced, includin…

Art

Until a recent weekend morning, I had never set foot in Sweet_ness 7 cafe on Grant Street, although I’ve been in the neighborhood dozens of times. Then I got a look at the online menu and within days I was lining up a Cheap Eats there. What got me in the door was the combination of laid-back vibe for customers and serious-as-can-be attitude toward the food. The menu has a…

Four big movies – “American Hustle,” “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” “Nebraska” and “Saving Mr. Banks” – are coming to area theaters this week, and News Arts Editor Jeff Simon screened them all. Wondering which you should see? Check out his reviews, both written and video:“American Hustle”: “Everything about David O. Russell’s ‘American Hustle,’ opening Friday, is a t…