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Anchorman
BLU-RAY disk
09.10.2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
Anchorman order
Director:
Adam McKay

Actors:
Will Ferrell
Paul Rudd
Steve Carell

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Ron Burgundy is San Diego’s main man when it comes to the news. Life couldn’t be better for Ron until the unthinkable happens: Channel 4 News hires its first female reporter with eyes on Ron’s job. The stakes are high as Ron and his boys try to take her out (in more ways than one).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Ron Burgundy. I don’t want to seem overly critical here as I know this is a favourite for a great many people but in all honesty I don’t find Will Ferrell all that funny. He has his moments and obviously some of his films are better than others but for the most part I find him weak and annoying. This film looked funny as hell from a trailer point of view and I don’t doubt this looked good on paper but I’d only watched this flick once before this latest viewing and I now understand why. The bottom line for me is that this movie has some memorable “one liners” but like most SNL type comedies, ANCHORMAN doesn’t fair well when it comes to multiple viewings.

If I had to choose my favourite Will Ferrell character I would probably side with Ron Burgundy simply because he is pretty funny in his own right (I’m also fond of Ricky Bobby but again haven’t watched that film a second time as of yet so I’m still not sure how it will hold up either). When Ron’s got his game face on he’s brilliant but it’s when he starts to involve himself with Christina Applegate that things not only go downhill for Ron but downhill for the laughs as well. Ferrell plays over the top characters and I’ve come to terms with that but this does limit his potential as he’s constantly trying to play the random angle (like FAMILY GUY does) which more often than not doesn’t work.

This film not only launched Ferrell’s career into high gear but also did the same for Paul Rudd and Steve Carell (David Koechner not so much as most of his roles after this one are just plain lame, cough, cough, WAITING). Oddly enough, Steve Carell’s “challenged” character spawned a bigger following that Ron Burgundy with the fans, I still see people wearing “I love lamp” tee shirts every now and again. Some of this film’s best highlights (aside from our four anchormen) come from cameos. I love Jack Black’s scene as well as seeing Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins and Luke Wilson (and who better than Danny Trejo for the bartender). There’s a lot of talent here don’t get me wrong, I just feel that if they’d all been used to their full potential it would have made for a tighter comedy.

ANCHORMAN is definitely one of Will Ferrell’s better comedic vehicles and despite all its flaws would be a good pick for background viewing while boozing up with the boys before a night out on the town. There are a ton of special features which make this Blu-ray edition a valid purchase as (I hate to say this) most of these extras outshine the actual feature (my personal favourite being the Ron Burgundy interview with Jim Caviezel to promote THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST and ANCHORMAN). I wish I felt differently as I really wanted to love this movie but I knew going in that it wouldn’t be a good as I remembered.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: This is one of those rare situations where the commentary is a full blown adventure and ends up stealing the movie’s thunder more often than not. ANCHORMAN has its moments but this commentary along with the rest of the special features are the where the true laughs can be found.

Deleted & Extended Scenes: There’s nearly an hour’s worth here and though the extended Baxter scene was good along with the line, “The kind of bone with an ER on the end of it if ya know what I mean,” were fun but the rest is forgettable.

Bloopers: This is eight minutes of un-funny nonsense that really doesn’t qualify as a blooper reel.

“Afternoon Delight” Music Video: Ron’s intro before the song is funny but this song sucks and is only here because it’s featured in the film (though I can’t imagine why).

ESPN Sports Center Audition Ron Burgundy: This two minute interview for a spot on Sports Center is hilarious. My only complaint is that it wasn’t longer.

Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: While this is an hour and a standalone film it’s fairly obvious that it recycles most of its scenes from the original while superimposing different dialogue and minor changes. That said, it’s still pretty funny at times.

PSA: Here we have some entertaining public service announcements from Ron that would be simply awesome to see on TV. Ron sure does hate the hippies.

Award Speech: Here we have Ron’s Emmy Speech from 1970 that as you can imagine turns into a meltdown disaster.

“Afternoon Delight” Recording Session: This is a very unnecessary extra look at the boys recording that ridiculous song. Seriously, they could have chosen something better.

Interviews: Now these three fake interviews from the 2004 MTV Movie Awards were some of the funniest promotional stuff going for this movie, the Jim Caviezel one especially.

Specials: There are three TV specials here; a making of piece, a comedy central bit and yet another interview with Ron himself. They’re all funny and worth a watch.

Cast Auditions: There’s some cool stuff here, especially the Justin Long bit and the alternate universe takes on the film’s characters.

Table Read: This is some pretty standard table reading highlights as well as some rehearsal footage with all the cast and crew.

Playback Video: Here we have some unusually funny (yet sometimes awkward) news team videos as well as a funny look at what happens during the commercial breaks.

Previews: There are a couple trailers for the movie as well as a teaser where Ron makes fun of SPIDERMAN.

This 2-Disc unrated version also includes some trading cards as well as Ron’s personal diary (which again, is hilarious).
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This film is either hit or miss depending on your particular comedic taste but one thing I will say, this Blu-ray is almost worth the money just to read THE MANY MONTHS OF BURGUNDY (Ron’s colourful diary) which is an absolute gas from cover to cover.
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