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DREAMWORKS

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Adam McKay
Cast:
Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard, Chris Parnell, Kathryn Hahn, Fred Armisen
Writing Credits:
Will Ferrell, Adam McKay

Tagline:
His news is bigger than your news.

Synopsis:
Will Ferrell stars as Ron Burgundy, the top rated anchorman in San Diego in the 70's. When feminism marches into the newsroom in the form of ambitious newswoman Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), Ron is willing to play along at first - as long as Veronica stays in her place, covering cat fashion shows, cooking, and other "female" interests. But when Veronica refuses to settle for being eye candy and steps behind the news desk, it's more than a battle between two perfectly coiffed anchor-persons ... it's war.

Box Office:
Budget
$26 million.
Opening Weekend
$28.416 million on 3091 screens.
Domestic Gross
$84.136 million.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish

Runtime: 94 min. (Theatrical Version) / 97 min. (Extended Version)
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 3/15/11

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Adam McKay and Actors Will Ferrell, Lou Rawls, Andy Richter, Kyle Gass, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Bloopers
• Music Video
• “ESPN Audition”


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; 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: The Legend Of Ron Burgandy [Blu-Ray] (2004)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 21, 2011)

With 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, we get a period comedy from Will Ferrell. Set in the Seventies, the flick takes us to San Diego to meet TV newsman Ron Burgundy (Ferrell), the top dog in the market. We also get to know his cohorts: sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell) and street reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd). As the top-rated newscasters in San Diego, they love their lives.

Trouble in paradise arrives when Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) joins the news team in the name of diversity. She poses a threat to the guys, though they all try to bag the sexy babe. Ron succeeds, as against all odds, Veronica falls for him as well.

At this point the pair date, although Veronica worries it’ll affect her reputation in the industry. Both aspire to become network anchors, though a glass ceiling stands in Veronica’s way. However, when Ron misses a broadcast, Veronica fills in for him – and does great. The rest of the movie follows their competition and its impact on their relationship.

As with 2006’s Talladega Nights, this collaboration between Ferrell and director Adam McKay offers an awfully inconsistent piece. Both films share a lot of similarities, as they give us broad, dim-witted lead characters whose dopiness causes most of their problems. Arrogant and self-absorbed, their lack of awareness leads to their stumbles – and most of the attempts at humor.

I didn’t think a lot of Talladega on first viewing, but I enjoyed it much more during subsequent screenings. Maybe that means I’ll like Anchorman better if I see it again. After one time through, however, I rate it as moderately amusing but not anything particularly memorable.

In comparison with Talladega, I think Anchorman feels a bit more self-indulgent. A little too high concept for its own good, it often comes across like a collection of non sequitors packed into a movie. The flick lacks a lot of coherence as it stumbles from one gag to another.

Much of the time Anchorman feels a bit like an extended SNL sketch since Ron comes across as that sort of character. The movie mixes elements together without a lot of connection; it’s a melange of ideas without great direction. Really, the flick finds it hard to expand the lead character beyond buffoonish skit status.

Don’t take this to mean that Anchorman lacks entertainment value. We get the usual excellent cast, though it pours on a few too many cameos. I won’t reveal all of the participants, but we find a lot of big names, and this gets a little old. It seems like the flick relies too much on these bits to carry it, so the technique turns into a mild distraction.

I would like to see Anchorman again at some point, since I think it’ll probably work better. After one screening, however, I don’t see it as anything special. The movie provides moderate amusement and keeps us generally entertained as it runs. It fails to stick with the viewer, though, and just doesn’t make much of an impact. This is a decent movie but not a very good one.

Footnote: be sure to stick through the finish of the end credits for a little bonus sequence.


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

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie provided an inconsistent transfer.

For the most part, sharpness succeeded. A little softness crept into a few shots, but those instances occurred infrequently. The majority of the flick appeared acceptably concise and distinctive. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering popped up, but edge haloes created more than a few distractions. I also noticed occasional small specks and marks; these weren’t a frequent issue, but they appeared more often than I’d like.

Anchorman went with a garish Seventies-influenced palette. We found loud oranges, greens and browns throughout the movie, all of which looked solid within the design. The colors seemed accurate and pretty bold. Blacks were a little inky but usually fine, and shadows came across as smooth and clear. This wasn’t a bad transfer, but the mix of minor issues left it as a “C+”.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Anchorman, it presented a very typical “comedy mix”. The material largely focused on the forward channels. Music showed decent stereo spread, and some general ambience crept up on the sides. Not a lot of activity occurred, so don’t expect much pizzazz from the soundscape. The surrounds remained quite passive. They expanded a bit during a fight segment, and a crowd scene opened things up as well, but otherwise they offered little.

At least audio quality was very good. Music sounded lively and full, while effects followed along the same lines. Those elements seemed accurate and clear. Speech also appeared natural and crisp, though a little edginess marred a few lines. This was a perfectly acceptable track though nothing strong enough to merit a grade above a “B-“.

How did the picture and sound of this Blu-Ray compare with those of the 2004 DVD? Both demonstrated pretty similar sound. Though the lossless track might’ve had a little more kick, the mix lacked the involvement to show real differences.

Visuals offered improvements, but it wasn’t as big a step up as it should’ve been. While it boasted greater definition, it also showed more source flaws and more prominent edge haloes. I do prefer the Blu-ray, but it could’ve used greater care.

Only some of the DVD’s extras repeat here. These begin with an audio commentary from director Adam McKay, actors Will Ferrell, Andy Richter, Kyle Gass, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate, and musician Lou Rawls. Only McKay and Ferrell participate for the entire running, screen-specific track; the others come and go along the way.

If you’ve heard the comedic commentaries from Ferrell, McKay, etc. for Talladega Nights, you’ll have an idea what to expect here. At the start, Ferrell and McKay explore the limits of the “unrated” commentary; they discuss what kinds of obscenities they can and cannot use. From there, Richter and Gass pop into the session; they had nothing to do with the film, and they’re “bitter” so they start a fight. Rudd joins on the phone and gets involved in the antagonism. Once they leave, Rawls enters. He also played no part in the flick, but he sounds good, so he chats with McKay and Ferrell. Koechner shows up for a while to complain that he didn’t get enough screentime, and Applegate later phones into to gripe that no one invited her to the recording session.

As with the Talladega tracks, this one can be hit or miss. To be sure, you’ll not learn a damned thing about the movie’s creation. The commentary plays everything strictly for laughs, and it often achieves its goal. Some tedious moments come along the way – the opening discussion of obscenity threatens never to end – but the track is usually fun and reasonably amusing.

Note that the Blu-ray allows you to choose between the film’s theatrical and unrated versions. The former runs 94:35, while the latter goes for 97:24. I’ve only ever watched the longer edition, so I can’t comment on the differences. It’s nice that the Blu-ray lets us see both, especially since the DVD editions only ever offered the extended cut.

Next comes a collection of bloopers. This seven-minute and 45-second compilation offers the usual assortment of goofs and giggles, but it works better than most. It throws in plenty of improv bits and gives us a lot of amusement.

The movie’s main characters reunite for an “Afternoon Delight” Music Video. Ferrell and the others perform and create an intentionally – and amusingly – hokey clip for the tune. It’s a fun addition.

Dated “August 24, 1979, Ron Burgundy’s ESPN Audition lasts one minute and 57 seconds. Ferrell throws out a lot of sports related lines and makes a decent show for himself.

36 Deleted and Extended Scenes fill a total of 53 minutes, 56 seconds. Some of these extend existing scenes; these include a revelation about the Vince Vaughn character. We get a lot more about Baxter’s disappearance, some alternate endings, and a quick turn from Joe Flaherty as Veronica’s prior boss. The “Scenes” include a lot of good material.

This Blu-ray adds about 14 minutes of deleted/extended scenes not found on the DVD, but it drops some of that release’s components. We lose a featurette and some in-character pieces. I believe these can be found on the two-disc Best Buy exclusive Anchorman - along with other pieces – but they’re MIA here.

A spotty and inconsistent comedy, Anchorman presents a decent number of laughs. The flick never quite connects, though, as it’s too up and down to keep us truly entertained much of the time. The Blu-ray presents decent picture and audio as well as a few nice extras. Although I lack enthusiasm for the flick, I’d recommend it to fans of Will Ferrell and his cohorts; it has enough going for it to make those folks like it. They just shouldn’t expect it to be one of Ferrell’s stronger efforts.

To rate this film, visit the Unrated review of ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGANDY

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