( Max score: 100 )
Will Ferrell (Old School, Elf) is Ron Burgundy, a top-rated 1970's San Diego anchorman who believes woman have a place in the newsroom - as long as they stick to covering fashion shows or late-breaking cooking news. 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!
Will Ferrell's films run hot and cold for me. There are several of his movies that I have really liked while there are others that I just can't stomach. Honestly I am not clear as to why he feels the need to burden us in almost every one of his films with seeing him practically naked but what ever. I saw Anchorman: The legend of Ron Burgundy when it was first released on DVD and remember thinking it was kind of funny but typical of his brand of over zealous tomfoolery. When I was contacted regarding its release on Blu-ray I figured this would be a good opportunity to take another crack at it. This unrated two disc Rich Mahogany Blu-ray edition is a Best Buy Exclusive that includes the theatrical and unrated cuts of the film, a boatload of bonus material (including new content), The many months of Burgundy book and 12 collectible trading cards. I watched the unrated version which adds a little over three minutes to the theatrical cut's runtime. The story pokes satirical and of course over the top humor at 1970's network news.
Ron Burgundy is San Diego's top news anchor and he along with his news team, Brian Fantana (Rudd), Brick Tamland (Carrel), and Champ Kind (Koechner) rule the airwaves every evening at six pm. When not working they share a carefree life of parties, women and comradery that is envied by the other news teams in town. Ron is beloved by the city of San Diego which has made him a network mainstay and the primary catalyst for their #1 ranking. It is the 1970's and the world is changing. In order to keep up with the times the network hires a female news correspondent by the name of Veronica Corningstone (Applegate). She is competent, attractive, ambitious and a threat to Ron's status as the center of attention. Veronica struggles to be taken seriously at work and has a fervent desire to be a news anchor. Her presence touches a nerve with everyone at the network and culminates in an episodic showdown with Ron for the anchor seat.
I must admit that this second viewing of Anchorman: The legend of Ron Burgundy proved more rewarding. Yes it's an outrageous, raunchy, and silly film but I got a kick out of the purposefully ridiculous dialogue, pitch perfect 1970's references, and the cohesive comedic interaction among the cast. Fred Willard's uncomfortable telephone conversations with his son's school cracked me up (love the one about the German pornography). Here are a few more scenes that had me chuckling aloud:
There are well placed cameos by the likes of Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, Tim Robbins, Ben Stiller, and Luke Wilson. There are many who feel that Anchorman: The legend of Ron Burgundy is a comedy classic. I wouldn't compare it to my definition of a classic comedy film but I think that in its own right it deserves recognition for selection of a time period and subject matter that makes for hilarious fodder in the hands of writers Will Ferrell and Adam MacKay. Fans can revel in this fully loaded Rich Mahogany Blu-ray edition that brims with everything Ron Burgundy and makes for a perfect keepsake.
The unrated version is for mature audiences and contains adult situations, language and thematic material that would be inappropriate for young viewers.
Anchorman: The legend of Ron Burgundy comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 Mbps.
This is a decent looking encoding from Paramount that predominantly presents this catalog Blu-ray release in a positive light. Images have appreciable definition with adequate refinement which provide images with discernible structure and relatively clear resolution that draws perceivable nuance in the objects and people onscreen. There are a few soft spots and at times the video takes on an edgy quality but I didn't feel it problematic. The period style colors are bright with clean rendering and deep primary highlights. Fleshtones are a little on the warm side which gives complexions a mildly rosy tinge. Blacks are dynamic and punchy while appearing just a tad crushed. The films dark sequences exhibited very good balance between light and dark content with appreciable but not definitive visibility of detail in backgrounds. Grain is intact and clearly evident over the course of the presentation. Minor specks and debris are visible on the print but their presence is rarely intrusive.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio retains a front loaded perspective with well defined dialogue that is always intelligible. I would have preferred smoother dynamic range and better depth/weight to sounds and voices but that is more a limitation of the recording and not the encoding. The soundfield is one dimensional with discernible front channel separation and clarity. The soundstage does open up nicely during the jazz club sequence. The music score has good dimensionality with adequate low frequency response. The rear channels occasionally supply mild ambient extension but envelopment is rarely involving. Bearing in mind that this is a six year old comedy that is predominantly driven by dialogue I would say that it sounds just fine.
Anchorman: The legend of Ron Burgundy is outrageous, raunchy, and silly but proves lots of fun thanks to a well conceived script that makes for hilarious fodder in the hands of writers Will Ferrell and Adam MacKay. I chuckled at the pitch perfect 1970's references, purposefully ridiculous (and funny) dialogue, and spot on comedic timing of the well placed cast. Fans can revel in this Best Buy exclusive and fully loaded Rich Mahogany Blu-ray edition that brims with everything Ron Burgundy. It comes from Paramount/DreamWorks offering high definition audio/video quality that clearly improves upon any previous home video release and is a must have keepsake for fans. Enjoy and Stay Classy!