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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Adam McKay
Cast:
Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd
Writing Credits:
Will Ferrell and Adam McKay

Tagline:
It's Kind of a Big Deal.

Synopsis:
With the 70's behind him, San Diego's top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Also back for more are Ron's co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) - all of whom won't make it easy to stay classy... while taking the nation's first 24-hour news channel by storm.

Box Office:
Budget
$50 million.
Opening Weekend
$26,232,425 on 3,507 Screens
Domestic Gross
$125,118,135

MPAA:
Rated PG-13/Unrated

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical/Extended Cuts Only)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical/Extended Cuts Only)
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish

Runtime: 118 min. (Theatrical Version)
122 min. (Extended Version)
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 4/1/14

Bonus:
Disc One:
• Both Theatrical and Extended Versions of the Film
• Audio Commentary with Director Adam McKay, Producer Judd Apatow and Actors Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner
• “Behind the Scenes: Newsroom” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• Line-O-Rama
• “Welcome to the Dolphin Show” Featurette
• “Catfight” Featurette
• “News-O-Rama”
• “Kench-O-Rama”
• Table Read
Disc Two:
• “Super-Sized” Version of Anchorman 2
• “Behind the Scenes” Featurettes
• Eight Deleted Scenes
• 25 Extended/Alternate Scenes
• Three Previsualizations
• Three Auditions
• Benefit for 826LA: “Spoiler Alert”
• Six Trailers
Disc Three:
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 23, 2014)

Set about seven years after the original film, 2013’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues picks up in 1980 and reintroduces us to TV newsman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell). We learn that he married former rival Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) and they now have a six-year-old son named Walter (Judah Nelson).

Since we last saw them, Ron and Veronica moved to New York to become co-anchors of the weekend newscast. When longtime weekday anchor Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford) decides to retire, he chooses Veronica as his successor – and fires Ron. This excites Veronica, of course, but it infuriates Ron so he gives his wife an ultimatum: the job or him.

Veronica chooses work over love, so Ron moves back to San Diego and gets a job as an emcee at Sea World. His situation leaves him suicidal, but just when he reaches the end of his rope, Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker) offers him a job at a soon-to-debut 24-hour news network. Initially Ron scoffs at the idea, but Freddie wins him over with cash and Burgundy agrees – as long as he can bring along his old team.

From there we see Ron search for his old pals sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell) and street reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd). Once he succeeds, they all head to the Big Apple and inadvertently revolutionize TV news. We follow Ron’s professional path as well as his personal side, especially when he connects with his boss, Linda Jackson (Meagan Good).

As I mentioned when I reviewed it, I never became part of the sizable Anchorman cult. Does the movie have funny moments? Sure, but I don’t think we find enough of them to make it a great film, and the whole thing fails to come together to become a coherent tale.

Continues arrives with some of the same issues that befell its predecessor, mainly in terms of narrative. Actually, it may be an even bigger mess in terms of story, as Continues flits all over the place. It can’t decide if it wants to focus on Ron’s career or his relationship with Linda or his past with Veronica or his issues with son Walter – and it throws in subplots connected to Brick’s romance with office worker Chani (Kristen Wiig), Ron and rival anchor Jack Lime (James Marsden), and a shark (don’t ask).

Combine the “throw everything at the wall” nature of the story with the movie’s excessive running time – nearly half an hour longer than the first film – and Continues should be a dud. To my surprise, it’s actually pretty good, as its multiple flaws can’t prevent it from being funny.

Make no mistake: Continues can be hit or miss, but the misses go by pretty quickly and the hits come frequently. Of course, if you don’t like Ferrell’s style of skewed, absurd humor, you won’t find much to enjoy here. Nothing about the film alters the standard template, so you’ll find lots of off the wall moments that delight in their own oddness.

Why do these gags work better here than they did in the original? I don’t know, but I think the sequel comes with an anarchic looseness absent from its predecessor. When I watch Anchorman, I feel like the filmmakers knew that they were making a feature-length sketch and struggled desperately to give it more substance.

Since the first flick was a hit, success frees them to do whatever the heck they want, and it shows – in a good way. Can Continues be self-indulgent? God, yes – there are more than a few moments that seem to exist because the filmmakers think they’ll be funny, not because they believe the audience will agree.

And God help anyone who feels bothered by anachronisms, as they abound. If I recall correctly, Anchorman never reveals the year in which it takes place; we can assume it’s supposed to be 1976 or 1977 based on its music and fashions, but the movie avoided specifics.

That doesn’t happen here, as Continues clearly tells us that it takes place in 1979/1980. That’s probably a mistake, partially because it makes the first movie’s chronology suspect – it couldn’t have taken place in 1973, but it “had to” if Walter is six at the start – and also because it makes the anachronisms more glaring. We can accept incorrect elements in a movie set in a global “Seventies”, but when we’re plopped directly into 1980, the abundance of goofs may become a distraction.

Though I shouldn’t call them “goofs”, really, as I’m sure the filmmakers knew they used elements that didn’t exist in the movie’s time period. I suspect they did so intentionally, actually, to mess with the “IMDB Cops” who track each and every “mistake”. Clearly the filmmakers wanted a theoretical “early 80s” more than 1980 itself, which makes it strange that they chose to be so specific.

In any case, if you can let go of concerns with anachronisms, the movie becomes much funnier. Ferrell seems freer than he’s appeared in a while – at least since 2008’s Stepbrothers - and his attitude carries through to most of the others.

Perhaps a reflection of his increased stardom since 2004, Carell fills a much bigger role here than he did in the original, and that’s generally a good thing. The sub-moronic Brick threatens to become a one-note character, but Carell plays him with such manic glee that he remains amusing. Carell’s tended toward more serious roles like The Way Way Back in recent years, so I suspect he had a blast with such an over the top comedic part.

Continues comes with more cameos than you can shake a stick at, most of which delight – and most of which show up during the film’s climactic brawl, at which time on-air personnel from various networks battle to the death. This scene shamelessly recreates the same scenario from the first film but it works, largely because a) it expands to cable channels, and b) it packs all those cameos. Does the film grind to a halt to show us all these big names? Sure, but it’s so much fun that we don’t care.

Truthfully, only one adult castmember flops here: Meagan Good. She feels completely out of place as Ron’s boss/love interest; she wants desperately to play the role’s funny side but she lacks any comedic talent I can discern. This means she looks like someone who works too hard to do what should come naturally, and the movie suffers; Good sucks the comedic life out of her scenes.

I hesitate to criticize child actors too severely – especially when they’re as young as Nelson – but I also have to acknowledge that he’s terrible as Ron’s son. The kid never feels vaguely natural, and he usually appears to be reading his lines off of cue cards – the kid never seems to be looking where he should. Maybe the filmmakers wanted a stiff performance to mock the movie’s feel-good moments, but it doesn’t work; whether or not Nelson is bad on purpose or unintentionally, he’s a huge drag on his scenes.

Honestly, I could go on forever about the cinematic flaws perpetrated by the too-long, too-incoherent, too-self-indulgent Anchorman 2, but one should view it as a case of a whole that becomes much more than the sum of its parts. Whatever flaws it displays, it gets one thing right: it’s often really, really funny. And since I watch comedies to laugh, I can live with the filmmmaking problems and go along for the frequently hilarious ride.

Footnote: stick around through the finish of the end credits for a little bonus.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus A

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This ended up as an appealing presentation.

Only a smidgen of softness crept into the image, as the occasional wider element could look a little tentative. Those instances remained infrequent, so the majority of the flick appeared accurate and well-defined. Shimmering and jagged edges failed to show up, and edge haloes didn’t mar the image. Print flaws also remained absent.

In terms of colors, Continues tended toward a warm palette. Though it leaned a little teal and orange at times, it didn’t do this to a dominant degree, so the tones seemed full and appealing. Blacks were deep and tight, while low-light shots gave us good smoothness. I felt satisfied with this attractive transfer.

Like other comedies, Continues didn’t give us a slam-bang DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. That said, it delivered material that suited the story. Music showed good stereo presence, and effects occasionally opened up the mix in a logical manner. For instance, the Winnebago crash rumbled around the room well, and a few other action elements added zip – especially during the climax. These didn’t appear often, but they gave us a little extra involvement.

Audio quality pleased. Music was full and dynamic, while effects showed nice accuracy and range; when necessary, these components brought us solid low-end. Speech was the most vital aspect of the mix, and the lines came across as natural and distinctive. Though rarely memorable, the soundtrack worked fine for the film.

Expect a slew of extras across this package. On Disc One, we find both the movie’s “PG-13” theatrical version (1:58:55) as well as an unrated extended cut (2:03:05). The two differ in small ways.

None of the extra footage stems from true deleted scenes; instead, we find a whole bunch of extended/alternate shots. Some of these offer “R”-rated versions of existing gags, while others pad out the sequences from the original movie.

The extended segments vary in length, and many last only a few seconds. The longest probably comes from an argument between Ron and Walter about their shark’s name, and a pitch for a newscast idea also runs relatively long. Overall, though, we find a slew of short/small changes.

Do these make the movie better? Perhaps by a little, as a lot of the extended cut’s gags work well. That said, the theatrical version remains very funny, so both get the job done. I prefer the extended cut but not by much.

Alongside the extended cut, we get an audio commentary from director Adam McKay, producer Judd Apatow and actors Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner. All six sit together for a running, screen-specific chat. The track mixes comedy along with general thoughts about the film like cast and performances, sets and locations, visual effects, and some story/character areas.

Prior commentaries for McKay films went for pure comedy, whereas this one blends laughs with facts. That should have made it better than its peers, but unfortunately, it lacks enough quality in either domain to make it a winner. The jokes aren’t all that funny, and the movie-related info tends to be lackluster. While I can’t call this a bad chat, it doesn’t do much for me.

Next comes a featurette called Behind the Scenes: Newsroom. It goes for 18 minutes, 50 seconds and offers info from Ferrell, McKay, Rudd, Koechner, Carell, property master Jimmy Mazzola, production designer Clayton Hartley, supervising engineer Ben Betts, video playback supervisor Todd Marks, and actors James Marsden and Meagan Good. We learn about story/character elements, new cast members, sets and design, and some scene-specifics. The comments don’t tell us a ton, but we do see a lot of good shots from the set.

Like all its Apatow-related siblings, Continues comes with ample servings of unused footage. This includes a Gag Reel (14:50) with alternate lines as well as goofs/giggles; even when the actors crack up, they often do so in response to gags not in the final film, and that makes this reel more valuable than most.

We also get compilations called Line-O-Rama (8:14), Welcome to the Dolphin Show (2:03), Catfight (1:49), News-O-Rama (2:28), and Kench-O-Rama (1:40). Expect a slew of funny lines here, some of which seem superior to the gags that made the final cut.

Disc One finishes with a Table Read. For 21 minutes, 52 seconds, we hear the actors go through a handful of movie scenes; these cover “Horse Piss”, “Bats”, “RV”, “Lace-Man”, “The Bet”, “Brick Has a Date”, “Crack”, “Family Dinner” and “Light House”. This becomes a decent look at the cast’s run-through with the script, mainly when it shows alternate lines not in the final flick. We don’t get a ton of these, but they add some fun bits.

Disc Two’s main attraction comes from a Super-Sized “R”-Rated Version of Continues. This edition runs two hours, 23 minutes, 14 seconds and claims to include 763 new jokes. Because I didn’t keep track, I can’t verify the veracity of that boast.

Going into “Super-Sized”, I figured it’d resemble Wake Up, Ron Burgundy, the “lost movie” found on one of the Anchorman Blu-ray releases. Wake Up essentially provides an alternate version of Anchorman; while it follows the same general narrative, it comes with entirely different takes/scenes and adds some new plot points/characters.

“Super-Sized” doesn’t follow that path. Instead, it gives us a longer, “R”-rated version of the theatrical Continues; much of the time, the original and “Super-Sized” editions are very similar.

But far from identical. While we do locate a lot of the same elements, we still find quite a few alternate takes and added elements. For instance, we now discover a long musical number in the newsroom, and many of the gags come with different lines.

These don’t substantially change the final product, though, and “Super-Sized” does little to take advantage of its “R” rating. I guess it includes more graphic profanity, but I’d be hard-pressed to come up with anything else to make it “R”; it lacks nudity or anything else to push the MPAA envelope.

It may stretch the viewer’s patience, though. At 143 minutes, “Super-Sized” lives up to its billing and threatens never to end. While the theatrical cut can be slow and self-indulgent, the addition of 25 minutes to the running time makes matters worse. Few comedies can bump up against two and a half hours and succeed; Continues doesn’t get better with the added length.

That said, the movie remains enjoyable. Even while it grows tiresome at times, much of the material entertains, and it’s fun to see the alternate pieces. Ultimately I prefer the theatrical cut, but “Super-Sized” amuses as well.

Under Behind the Scenes, we get featurettes. These fill a total of 46 minutes, 16 seconds and offer notes from Ferrell, McKay, Carell, Rudd, Koechner, Mazzola, Marsden, assistant choreographer Sean Bankhead, visual effects supervisor Eric Robertson, animal trainer Mathilde De Cagny, stunt coordinator Chris O’Hara, special effects coordinator David Fletcher, animatronic shark supervisor Walt Conti, and actors Kanye West and Greg Kinnear. These pieces look at sequel ideas, the musical sequence from “Super-Sized”, stunts and various effects, animal training/performance, and the film’s climactic fight sequence.

Like Disc One’s “BTS” featurette, these provide a good array of footage from the set. It also conveys a superior level of moviemaking information, as it gives us a nice mix of details. Expect a solid array of components in these satisfying segments.

Eight Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 10 minutes, 14 seconds. The most substantial depicts the growing rift between Ron and his team as well as Jack’s attempts to capitalize. We also see Ron and Veronica in court as they fight for custody of Walter. The others seem less valuable but they have merit as well; I can’t claim any of them should’ve made the final cut, but they’re interesting to view. (By the way, note that we only get six unique scenes; for two of them, we find alternate versions as well.)

25 Extended/Alternate Scenes run a whopping one hour, 31 minutes and one second. That’s a lot of material, and some of it proves to be amusing. That said, there’s not much here that I’d call comedy gold, and a lot of the sequences run much too long. I’m happy to get a look at the footage, though, and think this turns into a cool collection.

Three Previsualizations go for eight minutes, 47 seconds. The first two show early CG depictions of scenes that would require substantial visual effects, while the third lets us see a live-action video test reel for a fight sequence. They offer a decent little look behind the scenes.

Three Auditions last six minutes, 34 seconds. Only one of these shows an Anchorman 2 try-out, as we watch Meagan Good play Linda. “From the Vault”, the other two come from 2003 and let us see Dylan Baker as Ed Harken and Amy Poehler as Veronica. They’re enjoyable test runs.

Next comes Benefit for 826LA: “Spoiler Alert. This three-minute, 39-second clip comes from a November 2013 event that included a table read. We don’t see that, but we do hear a song Jack Black did to express his anger at his absence in the sequel. It offers a funny bonus.

The disc ends with six trailers. The first three offer teasers and feature exclusive material, while the other three present more standard compilations of movie tidbits. This makes the teasers the most interesting of the bunch.

A third disc presents a DVD copy of the film. It presents only the theatrical version and lacks any extras.

I might be alone in this assertion, but I think Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues becomes a more satisfying comedy than its predecessor. Though it lacks logic and can meander, the movie comes with so many laughs that it ends up as a winner. The Blu-ray brings us good picture and audio along with a slew of bonus materials. Continues might be the funniest movie of 2013. a

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main