Quantcast

Anchorman – The Legend of Ron Burgundy – Unrated Rich Mahogany Edition – (Blu-ray Review)

AnchormanAnchorman is one of those films I have not visited since its theatrical release way back in the calendar year of 2004.  I cannot believe it has been that long, but I digress.  What looked like a slapstick comical movie back then that I would go for practically fizzled for me when I first saw it.  However, over the years, the film has grown to achieve quite the cult following and respect in mainstream media with so many countless references and quotes.  So large in fact, that we’ll actually be seeing a sequel this Christmas that really no one admittedly saw coming or imagined it could really happen.   Hell, after watching it and taking it in all last night, even I’m intrigued as to where this sequel is going to go since the ending of 2004’s Anchorman seemed pretty cut and dry as to where the characters have gone in their respective lives.  But let’s not jump ahead of ourselves.  The trailers for the sequel look like a rowdy good time, but we have a certain special 2-disc set to talk about here in great detail.  So while I may not be the biggest fan of the film, I’m definitely going to give it my all out best in furnishing an unbiased review below.

anchorman 1

Film 

Anchorman obviously stars Will Ferrell.  Now understandably so, he’s not everyone’s cup of proverbial tea.  In my opinion he’s very hit or miss.  I loved him in films like Night At the Roxbury, Elf and The Other Guys, while I hated him in others like Talladega Nights and Blades of Glory.  I also know people that vehemently hate the man so much that they won’t watch a single thing he’s in.  Really?  How do you hate a man that much you don’t know?   Stupid!   I actually had the good fortune of meeting the man and conversing with him years ago at San Diego Comic-Con so I have nothing but good things to say about him even though I don’t like all his films.  It’s called free will I guess.

So I’ve been doing some research on this release and it’s quite interesting.  It seems this Blu-ray release was formally a Best Buy exclusive since 2010 complete with the included booklet and trading cards we’ll talk about in more detail below.  Obviously, Paramount chose this December 3rd title as way to cross promote, sell and market the upcoming sequel as we are even given free movie cash to see the film.   Hey…if you don’t own this movie already on Blu-ray and you’re planning on seeing the upcoming sequel, this is a win-win for you, is it not?!  Sure it is!  They have you by the boy parts with this release.

Before I even get into talking about what Anchorman is all about for the whole 12 people in the world whom have never seen this movie before, perhaps one of the best parts I loved about the film was how much it was a trip down memory lane.  When I say that I’m strictly talking about the actors, not the time period.  I was born in the 70’s, but I don’t remember much except for KISS and maybe “The Rainbow Connection” song.  No, but seriously…what I mean is how young the actors were that I have grown up with in my 30’s this past decade.  We all know Will Ferrell is the main billing star here, but let’s face it.  His other equals in the film include the likes of Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Vince Vaughn, Fred Willard and Chris Parnell.  Quite frankly, I’m not even talking about the aforementioned actors as much as I am about the youth in the following, which include cameos by Danny Trejo, Jack Black, Judd Apatow, Tim Robbins, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Seth Rogen, Kathryn Hahn and more.  And to say the cast is anything less than stupendous would be like sucker punching a newborn walrus in the snout.  The cast and their deliveries are what makes this film truly something special and downright memorable.

If it was up to me and I was the all saying power, I would declare there are two important take aways here in Anchorman.  Sounds weird saying important and Anchorman in the same sentence, huh?  First off, Anchorman asks that age old question of what is love?  What is it about a woman that can make a playboy suddenly fall for and be complacent with just one lucky lady for the rest of his life?  And second…remember these are just my opinions…Anchorman tackles the battle of the sexes here (not to mention cultures and races too if you really want to be politically correct about things during the news team brawl).  So when Channel 4 KVWN’s all-star anchorman Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) is suddenly faced with the encroaching equality of women in the workplace, no thanks to Applegate’s character, what’s a man supposed to do?  Never mind the fact that he’s also in love with her too.  I smell complications, don’t you?

So yeah, long story short, Anchorman takes on the culture of the 1970’s from the perspective of the action news format.  Ferrell’s character, Ron Burgundy, clashes with Veronica Corningstone (Applegate), his new female on air counterpart, which he ends up falling for her and also experiences a few bumps in the road in the process…to say the least.  Ron is joined by his hilarious news team troop consisting of lead field reporter Brian Fantana (Rudd), sportscaster Champion “Champ” Kind (Koechner) and the insane, almost retarded chief meteorologist Brick Tamland (Carell).  I will admit this.  If it wasn’t for Carell’s character, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed myself as much as I do with this film.  He cracks me up every time he opens his mouth.  He’s just so stupid it’s funny.  I know it makes no sense, but if you’ve seen the film, you know what I’m talking about.  And oh yeah!  There’s a cute, furry panda in our story too!  She’s about to give birth and all the San Diego news teams are vying for this story.  However, this is around the same time when Ron begins falling from glory after his dog is punted off the San Diego Coronado Bridge.  Yes!  I said I punted.  Now you see how crazy this film is?  How can you not have a good time with it when a dog is kicked like a football off a bridge?  Will Ron redeem himself?  Will he and Veronica happy ever after?  Will Brick live a life behind bars for stabbing someone with a trident?  All this and so much more is waiting for you should you choose to tackle the cult classic Anchorman on Blu-ray.

This isn’t my time to force this movie on you.  This is your time to experience it if you have never done so before or re-live it if you just can’t get enough.  This special edition has no doubt been released to bring about awareness, promote and sell more tickets to the sequel, but it also pays homage to one of the greatest comedies of the 2000’s according to many sources.  Whether you feel the same way or not is your prerogative, but having not own Anchorman on any HD format before, I can’t think of a greater version to have in one’s collection.  You see, for me, it’s all about the cameos, news brawling mayhem, pranks, one-liners and one-uppers here.  I think the first time I saw this I was way too serious.  I seriously believe that was my problem.  This second time around I kind of knew what to expect and let’s face it seeing a young Seth Rogen or Vince Vaughn with a full head of hair is a welcome trip down a blissful memory lane in my life…at least for me it is.  I like to think I matured with these comedic fellows and they with me.  Now the circle is complete, but we still have so much more to talk about.  So let’s get going here!

anchorman 3

Video 

For it’s age, no pun intended, I got to say Anchorman looks pretty decent on the Blu-ray format.  It’s not your breathtaking three-dimensional pop (although you will see it occasionally) that you’re accustomed to as of late with blockbusters on the Blu-ray format, but in all honesty it was never intended to be that way.  Instead, we have a pretty diligent and strong fighting 1080p AVC MPEG-4 transfer framed in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  The presentation from the get-go is 1970’s infused and inspired with its rich, warm and at times vibrant color palette.  You would think a film going for this kind of 70’s vibe would look bad or fuzzy in appearance, but thankfully that’s not the case here as there’s actually a great amount of fine detail to be seen throughout the presentation in areas like the faces of the actor (most notably on Will’s closeups) to the old school fashioned jackets that the newscasters don and hair/makeup effects and so on.  The tweed, man!  The tweed jackets is what I wanted to say!  My biggest complaint here with this Blu-ray title comes in the speckle, noise and blemishes department.  That’s right!  There are a few speckles here and there that pop up in the print.  It’s not service interrupting and it’s nothing that will distract you from enjoying what you see onscreen, but nevertheless you will notice them (that’s just not me be my nitpicking self).  There’s also a thin layer of grain that covers the print and while they are not the inkiest black levels on the planet, they are pretty decent here.  All in all, you have a respectable encode here that I think you’ll really dig and enjoy longterm.  Everyone else that owns previous HD incarnations of this title will already know what to expect.

anchorman 5

Audio 

Now granted, this title is not going to win any awards for demo worthy in the audio aficionado department, but truly…what comedies ever do?   Things are status quo here, but for the most part it’s actually quite exceptional for the age of this uproarious comedy track.  Paramount kicks up the mayhem here with a pretty efficient 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround track that I’m perfectly happy with down to the bears who roar (speaking of uproarious) as effectively as the Rancor monster does in Episode 6.  From the groovy song selections to the helicopters twirling behind you, I can’t help being giddy about this fun little track that can.  One thing, however, I can’t nitpick on is the clear and perfectly intelligible dialog levels penetrating through that glorious center channel.  I never missed one comedic word or zany one-liner at all.  That’s an important ingredient and benchmark to possess when your grading a Blu-ray audio track on a comedy release.  You know what I be sayin’?  Another scene where the surround sound triumphed and the LFE kicked in that I fondly recall was in the streets during the news team brawl.   Yeah.  You know what I’m talking about!   Things get awful crazy there…in a good way!  And before we move on and tackle the ever so important Special Features department in this release I also wanted to point out that selectable via the disc’s menu one can find Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital surround tracks as well as English, Spanish and French subtitles.

anchorman 2

Extras 

This is the section where fans of the film may be tempted to double dip for this release if they don’t already own the Best Buy exclusive as there’s a wealth of supplements and extras to waste time with and they are housed on not one, but on two Blu-ray discs.  There’s also physical treasures for the diehard fans to be found here like The Many Months of Burgundy diary (as pictured below in my exclusive unboxing pictures) as well as 12 collectible trading cards (also pictured below).  So take your time and look carefully below.   Who knows?  You might find something truly worth taking that second dive for if you haven’t already with the Best Buy set in 2010.  This is a long list, followed by my exclusive unboxing pictures, so bear with me.  I’m doing my best to make this informative and entertaining at the same time.  But don’t you think it would have been nice to provide us with a Digital Copy?   Ultimately, that’s the only reason why I decided this section should not have a perfect 5-doggie score.  Well, that…and the weak audio commentary track.  I know, I’m a hard one to impress, but rest assured…there’s still an abundance of good stuff to talk about below.  Oh!  Alright!  I’ll be a nice guy!  A 5-doggie score it is!  There’s a lot of sh1t here!  Just wait until we get to this second disc.  It’s a monster of great proportions!  I’m going to be very tired and winded after this section.

 *

Disc 1:

  • Theatrical Version of the Film (HD, 94 minutes) – This is obviously the version shown in theaters back in 2004.
  • Extended, Unrated Version of the Film (HD, 98 minutes) – And this is obviously the version everyone should be watching.  Be careful with the menu selection on this one.  I had to press up to select Extended because every time I pressed the down arrow on the remote like you logically should it kept taking me back to the main talking menu.
  • Audio Commentary – Here we are treated to an audio commentary of the film with Director/Writer Adam McKay, Actor/Writer Will Ferrell, Musicians Lou Rawls and Kyle Gass, Entertainer Andy Richter, and Actors Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate.  Wow!   That’s a lot of folks!  It’s a funny commentary track, but it won’t provide any useful information on the making of or anything like that if that’s what you are looking for here because most of it is just off the wall.
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes (SD, 53:56) – There are a total of 36 scenes to be found here.  Like Will Ferrell, these were hit or miss with me, but there were some good ones!   Good god!   Look at the runtime of all these!
  • Bloopers (SD, 7:45) – You didn’t think there wouldn’t be bloopers, did you?   If you’re a fan of seeing these, you’re in the right place!   Come on in!
  • “Afternoon Delight” Music Video (SD, 3:49) – I swear I had this song in my head the entire night after watching it.  Ron Burgundy and gang perform their own unique take on this legendary track.
  • ESPN Sports Center Audition – Ron Burgundy (SD, 1:54) – Ron Burgundy tries out for a presenter in this fake audition tape.

 *

Disc 2:

  • Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie (HD, 92 minutes) – This is what you are here for as it’s especially a treat for new customers of Anchorman on Blu-ray to have in their collection as well.  This was originally released straight to video back in 2004, but it finds itself here as a bonus in this expanded set.  It’s actually a full-length feature film assembled from cut scenes abandoned stories/subplots, edited scenes and alternate takes that never made it into to the final cut of Anchorman.  You’d think this one would be a throwaway, but you’d be gravely mistaken if you made that presumption.  It’s actually quite a treat and on par with the HD presentation of the feature film on this disc as well as receiving the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 treatment.  The red carpet has been rolled out for this guy.  The film follows the KVWN Channel 4 News Team in their investigation of an extremist organization, The Alarm Clock, who are robbing banks while trying to convey a message they haven’t figured out yet.  This was actually the concept of the original feature.  It’s really amazing they had this much footage, in my opinion, to make a separate feature film.  However, that’s what happens when you shoot comedies.  You always want all the footage and takes you can get and later you can determine what truly works and doesn’t.  In the case of Anchorman, I guess they struck gold twice here, huh?
  • Feature Introduction by Will Ferrell and Aaron Zimmerman (HD, 12:00) – This is a commentary track that’s available as an intro over the beginning of Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie.
  • Public Service Announcements (SD, 3:41) – Here we have a total of 5 PSA’s from Ron Burgundy.
  • Award Speech (SD, 3:12) – Here we have Ron Burgundy’s 1970 Emmy Awards Speech.  LOL.
  • Raw Footage “Good Takes” (SD, 39:26) – This is a collection of 27 alternate takes and whatnots.
  • “Afternoon Delight” Recording Session (SD, 2:49) – This one shows the cast rehearsing the song for the music video they produced that’s housed on disc 1.
  • Happy Birthday AMC Loews (SD, 3:15) – Do you want to watch Ron Burgundy report on Loews’ 100th birthday?  Well if so, you’ve come to the right place!
  • Interviews (SD) – These interviews actually took place at the 2004 MTV Music Awards with Rebecca Romjin (3:37), Jim Caviezel (3:24) and Burt Reynolds (3:12).
  • Cinemax: The Making of Ron Burgundy (SD, 9:29) – This little featurette is a brief behind-the-scenes look with cast and crew discussing the film and whatnot.
  • Reel Comedy: Anchorman (SD, 8:31) – Here we have Bill Kurtis in an interview with yep…you guessed it…Mr. Ron Burgundy!
  • A Conversation with Ron Burgundy (SD, 10:41) – This time Kurtis speaks with Burgundy in front of an audience.
  • Cast Auditions (SD, 13:03) – This one features cast auditions (duh!) with Christina Applegate, David Koechner, Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Kevin Corrigan and Justin Long.  My favorite Paramount PR person was nice enough to pass along this footage with Steve Carrell in it so I thought I would break up the monotony of text here and share that with you now.

  • Table Read (SD) – This so called table read featurette actually features the cast reading through six different scenes: “Women Don’t Belong in the Newsroom” (2:29), “News Team Confrontation” (2:56), “News Team Take a Run at Veronica” (5:14), “The Alarm Clock” (1:48), “Ron and Veronica Date” (3:02), and “Ron and Veronica Sleep Together” (3:07).
  • Rehearsals (SD, 9:09) – Watch the actors tackle their characters here in some rehearsal footage. 
  • Playback Video (SD, 5:10) – Here are some throwaway news reports and embarrassing moments with the news team.
  • Commercial Break (SD, 2:04) – Here are some behind-the-scenes clips and humorous moments on set.
  • Trailers – Here we find the film’s teaser trailer (HD, 1:50), theatrical trailer (HD, 2:32) and “Trounced Spiderman” TV Spot (SD, 0:17).

As promised above, please find below exclusive unboxing pictures of everything you’ll find with this 2-disc Blu-ray set.

*

This is what the Blu-ray case and front artwork looks like outside the cardboard sleeve the set is housed in.

photo 1

*

And here’s the posterior of both the Blu-ray case art and the cardboard holder that houses the set.

photo 2

*

The booklet below, “The Many Months of Burgundy,” is a 12-month planner filled with Burgundy’s own words, appointments, drawings and photos (for the diehard fans only).

photo 4

photo 1-2

*

There is also a sealed pack of 12 Anchorman trading cards.  Don’t you wanna just rip them open?!

photo 2-2

*
There’s also a really nice gift of some movie cash for the film’s sequel this December to redeem!
*
photo 3*

*

anchorman 4

Summary 

Call it a cash grab.  Call it what you want.  What I believe this to be is the finest Blu-ray/HD set of Anchorman ever released.  Should you double dip on this one?  Well for starters, the price of admission isn’t really that bad considering it’s low ales price currently and that you do get free movie cash to see the sequel this month.  Second, do you own this film already on Blu-ray or HD-DVD?  And third…even if you do own this, do you own this former exclusive Best Buy set or Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie in HD?  If not, you probably want to consider upgrading here.  I think the movie cash and three cuts of the film more than make up for your small financial loss.  However, that’s just me.  You already made it this far in this review.  I think I can trust you to do what’s right with this Paramount set that hit retail shelves everywhere yesterday.  If you’re interested, you know what to do.  Be careful of bears!

Anchorman Rich Mahogany Blu-ray

Share

Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

1 Response to “Anchorman – The Legend of Ron Burgundy – Unrated Rich Mahogany Edition – (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Sean Ferguson

    Anchorman gets five stars from me. I love this film!