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.