THE PLOT THUS FAR
Will Ferrel (Old School, Elf) is Ron Burgundy, a top-rated 1970’s San Diego anchorman who believes women have a place in the newsroom – as long as they stick to covering fashion shows or late-breaking cooking stories. So when ron is told he’ll be working with a bright young newswoman (Christina Applegate) who’s beautiful, ambitious and smart enough to be more than eye candy, it’s not just a clash of two TV people with really great hair – it’s war! Filled with wicked wit and slapstick humor, Anchorman is the year’s most wildly irreverent, must-see comedy hit! Free Movie Coupon Sticker on each title (up to $7.50 value)!
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Will Ferrell is TV news anchor Ron Burgundy in 1970s San Diego. This is pre female anchor era, a dark age when men reported the news almost exclusively. Burgundy, shallow and self-absorbed without redemption, chases skirts and is so genuinely stupid he reads anything on the teleprompter. His news crew consists of adulators and one misfit, Brick Tamland, played with unremitting mental blankness by Steve Carrell. Burgundy’s dog is a delight, a pooch who can bark in a few languages.
The “Men’s Club” is jolted by the station honcho’s decision to add a woman to the newsroom, largely to appease the network satraps. He says it’s necessary in the interests of “diversity,” a word one staff member doesn’t even understand. Enter pretty but tough Veronica Corningstone, Christina Applegate. Applegate makes what really is a tough comedic role work completely.Upon waking up, he tries to steal a quick five minutes on his brother’s guitar, a musical instrument requiring grace and precision, and he does so very badly before he is forced off it: dismissing those whom go on to strike up a good sound as a four-man-band. This drama cannot be divorced from its social and political context. The seeming hopelessness and helplessness of remote aboriginal communities like this one screams out for not just understanding but some way forward.
The film’s not without its flaws, certainly. Chief among them is the wasting of one of the best comic character actors in the biz: Fred Willard. If ever there was someone born to play a smarmy local TV newsman, Willard is it. But he’s inexplicably cast here as a dull station suit, while David Koechner plods through the sportscaster role that was clearly meant for him–passable but certainly not as inspired as Willard would have been. Also, I think that the story would have benefited if Vaughn and his cronies, the closest thing to villains in this lightheaded romp, had a little more face time.
The Blu-Ray comes with featurettes, music video, alternate cut, auditions, a little booklet and Movie Cash for Anchorman 2. For all intents and purposes, this is nothing but the same edition that was a Best Buy exclusive for years. If you bought that one, then there’s no need to buy this one. The A/V Quality is a sharp DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track alongside a clean 1080p transfer. I spot minor bits of noise during some of the newsroom scenes, but it works. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: 12/03/2013