Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) - Unrated Widescreen Edition
|DreamWorks || Unrated - 103 minutes - $19.99 || December 28, 2004|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-01-02|
Writer(s): Will Ferrell (written by) & Adam McKay (written by)
Cast: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard
Theatrical Release Date: July 9, 2004
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Anchorman is the kind of movie that you will either like or hate depending on the company you watch it with. For instance, I first saw this at the theater with a old high school buddy who really liked it. I in turn also enjoyed it (for the most part) and gave it a good rating. I then watched it again on DVD with different friends and they tended to hate it, and I could absolutely see why. While Anchorman has some funny moments, they are scattered too wildly across that it never melded into anything of real comedy. And speaking of wild... that's how I describe this entire DVD.
“Good evening. I'm Ron Burgundy?” Indeed you are, Will Ferrell. Meet Ron Burgundy (Ferrell), the most popular news anchor in the 1970s, which was a time when the industry was made for men. Included in this anchor posse are Brian Fantana (Rudd), Brick Tamland (Carell) and Champ Kind (Koechner). But, one day everything gets thrown into chaos after Burgundy meets and falls for a saucy young lady named Veronica Corningstone (Applegate) who wants her own shot at the anchor desk. Antics, mayhem and so forth ensue. . .
I have to be up front and honest here, I really have not been that big of a fan of Will Ferrell’s films (the few that I’ve seen, anyway). Old School was mediocre and Zoolander -- which I realize wasn’t his movie -- was below average in my book. So, given those two examples, I wasn’t real excited to see Anchorman but I wanted to go to the movies with this option or King Arthur. While I cannot speak for Arthur, I believe I made the right choice.
Anchorman is the kind of comedy that you can only shake your head in how absurd and idiotic it is, and yet still laugh at it at the same time. There were some scenes that were absolutely classic (such as the back alley brawl -- with some cool cameos) and others I just found myself laughing my ass off.
Having never seen Elf -- though I've heard great things about it -- it seems as if Will Ferrell has crossed a certain threshold to that of A-list stardom with the like of perhaps even Jim Carrey. Like Carey, Ferrell has a way of bringing to life these insane characters but still make it last through a feature film. Ferrell has also done something former “Saturday Night Live” alums (for the most part) have failed to do, make the goofy characters that work for a skit, also work in a movie. Of course, “SNL” alums like Bill Murray, Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy have been successful, they’ve had to hone down their skills to just average comedy while Ferrell seems to be able to make everything work so well.
Even though Will Ferrell does a very funny job here, the funniest part was actually by Steve Carell as a semi-retarded man who does the weather report. Carell’s inane characters from Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” are, for me, golden.
The other cast members like Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and the four or five cameo appearances, were spot on and works. Applegate, who hasn’t had a good role since her TV days on “Married with Children” finds a good niche here that could’ve been boring or stupid, but she provides that beauty -- and charm -- to the part.
I really can’t say a whole lot about this movie because, frankly, it’s just plain funny. But, like most comedies, it’s tough to maintain any sort of consistent comedic momentum, but Anchorman does its best and accomplishes the job at hand.
I must admit, this is one of the strangest DVDs I've ever reviewed, though I should'nt be surprised given the movie was also a [somewhat] strange experience as well.
The carnival starts with the commentary track with director Adam McKay and star/co-writer Will Ferrell, who begin with talking about what can and cannot be said on a commentary. But since this is the unrated edition, they decide to go all out starting with sh*t bags, balls, etc... trying to test the limit (which was easily met several times as dialogue was bleeped out). After about 15 minutes of this, they kick it up a notch when Andy Richter and Kyle Gass step into the room (these two guys weren't even in the film!). Soon enough, a "fight" breaks out when Richter makes fun of Paul Rudd's mustache (after which Rudd phones to chime in on the matter). One thing leads to another and Gass "punches" Ferrell in the nose and "breaks" it. Bizarre skit for sure, but it does get a bit stranger when musician Lou Rawls (I actually don't know who he is) is invited in to give his opinion even though he too had nothing to do with the film. Later, another cast member stops by while Christina Applegate phones in pissed that she was not invited. For sure this is one of the more... unique commentaries I've listened to since the commentators only actually talked about the film for maybe 15 minutes (if that). Life scripted.
Making of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: Interestingly, despite the title, this is not your usual 'making of' featurette, instead it's another skit created by Farrell and the gang. There's some mock interviews as director McKay admits that it was a difficult set to work on. I think, like the movie itself, it's only pretty funny. Nothing more, nothing less. Just nothing.
Deleted Scenes: A majority of the 20 or so scenes come across as more "extended" than anything else, but beyond that, they're just not that funny. One scene has flashbacks inserted with character introductions to expand on their past more. Other scenes just have Ron screaming some more in anguish or taking a call from the animated panda bear. Although there are a ton of scenes (all things considered), this isn't something really worth while.
The Anchorman DVD also includes some featurettes like Burgundy's failed ESPN audtion, pretty funny but I've seen it plenty of times before that it's worn its welcome. There is also a Ron Burgundy interview with Bill Kurtis, fairly long but also fairly dull as well. Next is an interview with Rebecca Romijn-Stamos by Burgundy, which originally aired on the MTV Music Awards. It has the typical RB behavior as he woos his latest conquest and pushes for more "information" out of her.
Other features on this DVD include: Trailers, some funny bloopers and the "Afternoon Delight" Music Video. The menu comes with some nice voiceovers from Burgundy as he wonders why anyone would want to watch these. Well, I'll give it him, he indeed tried to warn us.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
The picture is very good, as (I keep explaining over and over) it should be since it's a recent release. The sound, however, is mainly focused on the center speaker with vocals; the side one's weren't used too much, though for a comedy, they really don't need to be either.
This Anchorman DVD is only for those who absolutely loved the movie. Personally, I found this experience to be less enjoyable so I don't ever want to see it again. However, I will admit that the commentary, however bizarre the skit may become, is still interesting to listen to (even for those who don't usually listen).