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ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard
Director: Adam McKay
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Dreamworks
Features: See Review
Length: 98 Minutes
Release Date: December 28, 2004

"Mr. Burgundy, I am a professional and I'd appreciate it if you stopped acting like a baby!"

"I'm not a baby, I'm a MAN, I'm an ANCHORMAN!"

"You're not a man, you are a BIG, FAT JOKE!"

"I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. That's what kind of man I am. You're just a woman with a brain a third the size of us men. It's science."

Film ***

It's been a long, long time since I found myself laughing frequently, scene for scene, during a single movie. Last year gave me two cases of this; the first was the cheerfully zany Dodgeball, and the other was even more off the wall Anchorman. One thing's for sure, Will Ferrell has arrived as a knockout comedic force.

Not even Ferrell's charming turn in Elf can prepare you for how insanely funny he is in the role of self-indulged 70s news anchor Ron Burgundy. Burgundy is quite a character, and quite honestly, only Ferrell could've done this character proper justice. After all, he co-wrote the screenplay with director Adam McKay.

The movie centers on Burgundy and his fun-loving news team, who report on San Diego's Channel 4 news. His ragtag team consists of field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner) and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), who reports the weather but appears to have had his brain struck by lightening. Upon introducing himself, he informs us that years down the road, a doctor will inform him that he is in fact, “mentally retarded”.

Since in the 70s only men were allowed to read the news, Burgundy can't seem to take the arrival of female news reporter Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) very seriously. She is a focused journalist, who one day dreams of becoming a network news anchor. Despite laughing at her dreams, Burgundy can't help but become attracted to this blonde force.

Things then take a turn for the disastrous when the station manager (the priceless Fred Willard) assigns Veronica as a co-anchor. This angers Burgundy immensely, so much to the point that he gives up his love for her after she reads HIS news (how this happens is a scene too funny for words, thus I will not reveal.) Burgundy and his crew resort to childish antics to ensure that she won't make it as top anchor.

I'd be lying if I said that Anchorman didn't play like a series of skits tied together for a 90 minute movie. That seemed to be the staple of every Saturday Night Live-inspired movie which failed miserably. But Ferrell's restless comic energy, along with the hugely funny supporting cast, elevates this into the realm of a newfound comedy classic.

Most of the jokes are very off color and extremely over the top, so it's fair to say that some will get the humor and some won't. For me, the laughs are non stop and the one liners are kind that you'll find yourself quoting after watching it. That's how funny they are.

In closing, Anchorman is one of the funniest movies of the past year, as well as one of the funniest ones to come around in a long time. Will Ferrell has established himself as a new comedy king with an energetically funny performance.

For all of us here at DMC News, I'm Gordon Justesen. You stay classy!

BONUS TRIVIA: Cameos galore from the likes of Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, and Tim Robbins.


ADDED TRIVIA: The narrator of the movie is none other than veteran reporter Bill Kurtis, host of A&E's American Justice.

Video ****

OUR TOP STORY TONIGHT--Dreamworks delivers yet another fantastic looking disc. The anamorphic picture on this release is that of consistent sharpness and pure clarity. In addition, colors appear in a grand form. Ron Burgundy's colorful suits have never looked better! Not a single image flaw to be reported. A terrific all around presentation.

Audio ***1/2

ALSO IN THE NEWS--The 5.1 sound mix provided on this release gives this comedy a stronger than expected performance. The plentiful dose of physical comedy, especially that of a brutal riot between rival news stations, payoff remarkably well, as far as surround sound goes. Dialogue and music are handled enormously well, in addition. Quite a superb job!

Features ****

FINALLY TONIGHT--This extended unrated edition offers up extra minutes of never before seen footage. Also included is a commentary track with Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay, 35 minutes worth of bloopers and deleted scenes, The Making of Anchorman featurette, an personal interview with Ron Burgundy, a look at a couple of Ron Burgundy interviews at the MTV Movie Awards, a Ron Burgundy ESPN audition, and a music video for the song "Afternoon Delight" as performed by Ron Burgundy and his news team in the movie.

Summary:

Comedies don't get as over the top and funny as Anchorman. With Will Ferrell in superb comedic form, this is one laughfest that is certain to make millions laugh, as well as embarrass the life out of those reporting the news across the globe!

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