ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY: DVD
In 1970s San Diego, the local tv station newsroom is male dominated, with Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) as the leader, the king, the anchorman. With the arrival of feminism, the station hires Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) who is a better journalist than any of the men, and ambitious to boot. A war of the sexes erupts, as the dismal males try to out-swagger the woman who won't settle for cat fashion show stories and who won't back down.
Review by Louise Keller:
If Will Ferrell is your cup of tea and the notion of a satire set in television newsrooms about male presenters with gargantuan egos tickles your funny bone, you are in the market for the DVD. The fun stuff includes bloopers and deleted scenes, but it's the commentary that is the piece de resistance. Listening to Ferrell chatting to writer director Adam McKay non-stop about the most unexpected and ridiculous things, will put the fans in stitches. They spend the first five minutes talking about personal things including steroids, before questioning who on earth would ever listen to a commentary such as this? This is pure comedy schtick and other cast members such as Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and others pop in with occasional interruptions.
Conceived and written by Will Ferrell (Elf) and former Saturday Night Live writer Adam McKay, who also directs, this is a comedy that self-parodies and sets about to be silly. Admittedly, some of it is very funny. Ferrell fans (or might I say, feral fans?) will get the most out the film, although it is a little hard pressed to maintain for the duration.
The script comes and goes. When it comes, it comes with a wallop, but when it goes, it just feels plain dull. All roads point to the wonderful scene when all San Diego's television anchors (all men, of course) come head to head in a crazy conflict, toting knife, chain, hand-grenade, hammer, gun and trident. The biggest joke comes from the cameos by Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins, Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson. It's this overdone style of comedy that works best, dismembered limbs not withstanding. I also enjoyed the fantasy scene, when Christina Applegate's Veronica (to the strains of Tom Jones' Help Yourself) urges amorous Ron to take her to Pleasure Town, amid angels, stars, rainbows and unicorns. Their climactic free-falling brings us back to earth, and as ecstasy abates, we find them waking up in Ron's bed.
Many scenes are like elongated sketches as Ron and Veronica go through the motions of courtship, followed by combat-ship, when there are no holds barred when ego and ambition are concerned. Ron's Achilles heel is that he will read absolutely anything that scrolls in the tele-prompt, a fact that Veronica has no hesitation to (mis) use. Ron also has a cute-as-a-button dog called Baxter, whom he calls a miniature Buddha covered in hair. Look for the scene involving Baxter and a crazy cameo from Jack Black as an incensed bikie, and there's an entertaining encounter at the zoo when hibernating Kodiak bears are prompted to wake up quickly.
Ferrell performs to his heart's content, ably supported by a madcap team comprising Paul Rudd as the field reporter, Steve Carell as uncool weatherman Brick and David Koechner as Champ, the nutter sportscaster, who hides under his cowboy hat. Character names are fun too, and needless to say, Ron dresses in burgundy. Applegate delivers, although she never seems as much in her element as she did in Married With Children.
Anchorman may be funnier in its parts than in its entirety, but for those in search of a laugh, it may fit the bill.
Published March 24, 2005
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ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY: DVD (M)
CAST: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard, Chris Parnell, Kathryn Hahn, Fred Armisen
PRODUCER: Judd Apatow
DIRECTOR: Adam McKay
SCRIPT: Adam McKay, Will Ferrell
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Thomas E. Ackerman
EDITOR: Brent White
MUSIC: Alex Wurman
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Clayton Hartley
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
PRESENTATION: Widescreen; audio English 5., dolby digital, English 2.0 Dolby digital; French 5.1 Dolby Digital
SPECIAL FEATURES: Bloopers, deleted scenes, the making of, commentary, music video
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
DVD RELEASE: March 23, 2005