Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Blu-ray Review)

Disclaimer: This opening paragraphs consists of all original thoughts, phrases and ideas.  Admittedly so, I missed this one in theaters.  I got lazy.  I never showed up.  I even lost the free movie cash we had to see this one.  Boo!  However, I was still curious to see where this second and supposedly final film in the franchise took our favorite anchorman as when we last left Ron Burgundy it seemed that Veronica Corningstone and he were living happily ever after.  Could turmoil have boiled up in the bask of their afterglow?  Was Baxter the dog alright?  What happened to the other guys?  These and many more are questions I was hoping to find answers for as I finally got the chance to snuggle up with Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues on the home media format of choice, Blu-ray.  Now all that’s left to do is to continue to drop some more avant-garde thoughts and original ideas on you down below while taking you through a quick retrospect of all the key players involved, what’s it all about and finally, but most importantly, what I thought of it all.  So without further ado I invite you on in for a quick chat in regards to this newest Paramount Home Media release.  Come on in…please.

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As with the original outing, this time around it’s also directed by Adam McKay based on a screenplay penned by Will Ferrell and him.  Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate and obviously Will Ferrell all return to reprise their respective roles from the first film.  There’s also a slew of other stars to enjoy here like Meagan Good, James Marsden, Kristen Wiig, Fred Willard, Chris Parnell, Greg Kinnear and a smorgasbord of other famous cameos that I don’t want to spoil except for one, Harrison Ford, but I’ll deliver my discussion of him in a few moments.  Like its predecessor the film already has quite the cult following in the film community and I’m sure it’s also viewed as a rare treat because I’m pretty sure a lot of the original movie’s diehard fans probably thought it would never come to fruition.  So let’s talk about it…Anchorman 2 that is.

Make no mistake, for the majority of the film community, Anchorman 2 was hotly anticipated.  I have to admit too, the trailers sucked me in, especially the hilarious antics of Steve Carrell, but more about him in a minute.  The real trick here is pulling off a successful sequel to an original flick that did not exactly scream a sequel was needed.  That’s the difficult part here and for the most part of the ride, I was totally onboard with Anchorman 2 throughout my initial Blu-rya screening.  I actually identified with it more than I did with the first film, which is a cult classic in its own right for its many quotable lines, but to each their own, right?  So where do we start here?  I guess we start from the beginning to catch y’all up with events in the world of Ron Burgundy (I’m going under the assumption that everyone reading this has at least seen the first film).

Our film picks up some seven years after the first feature with Ron and Veronica (Applegate) supposedly living happily ever after as co-anchors on the news when all of the sudden Veronica is offered a promotion by none other than a character played by Harrison Ford.  I mention Harrison Ford solely because he looks so surprisingly spry here.  Maybe it’s the hair dye, but I have not seen this guy look this good in years.  However, I digress.  Ford has a big role in this flick, but that’s all I will say on the matter.  So anyway, at the same time Veronica is offered a huge promotion Ron is fired.  Say whaaat?  I know!  How could they do that to the legendary newscaster?  And worse of all, Ron gives Veronica an ultimatum that it’s either him or her job.  I guess you know what Veronica chooses as time passes by in the movie world and we are reunited with Ron as a drunken announcer at Sea World.  LOL.

So I guess it will come as no surprise to anyone that Ron gets fired from Sea World.  While down on his luck and after a failed suicide attempt of trying to hang himself from a fluorescent ceiling light, Ron is given a second chance as he accepts a job with GNN (Global News Network), the world’s first 24 hour news network.  That means the team is back!  Ron wastes no time in reassembling the team we all love from the first feature: Champ Kind (Koechner), who passes off bats as chicken in his store, Brian Fantana (Rudd), who takes pictures of cats and Brick Tamland (Carrell), who is presumed dead until he shows up for his own funeral.  LMAO.  Now even though we love this dream team that doesn’t mean everyone respects them…enter Meagan Good as Linda Jackson.  She thinks they are complete idiots.  Man is she going to eat her words as Ron and team go on to conquer the news ratings despite all odds against them on the graveyard shift forcing all-star anchor Jack Lime (Marsden) to change his name to Jack Lame and later Jack Me Off.  ROTFLMAO.

However, with the good always comes the bad.  After all, you won’t really have much of a movie without conflict and obtrusive challenges for your main character and team to overcome and get over.  That’s all here and I applaud the fact that at least for the first two hours of the Super-Sized edition of the film, McKay and gang did just that.  They gave me an engaging story full of ups and downs and challenges and then came the film’s last half hour and it just fell apart in front of me.  I don’t even know how to explain other than it just seems like either they ran out of steam or really had no clear direction on how to appropriately handle an ending for this one.  It’s sad, but very true through at least my eyes.  Even the after the credits scene was an absolute dud to me.  I won’t ruin it for anyone and talk about what the final climatic moments were, but nonetheless all the cameos still made it a fun time at least from a trip down memory lane sort of perspective for me.

However, I think he main question or focus when critiquing Anchorman 2 should be whether or not the story was entertaining compared to what the first film offered us, but at the same time was it unique and different too?  For me, I liked this one better than the first film, with the exception of the last half hour of the Super-Sized edition.  And yes, I feel this story thankfully stands on its own in a different way from the first flick.  That’s definitely a good thing here!  However, what’s most unique, especially about this Blu-ray release, is the fact that there are three different cuts of this movie and you better believe that all three are different.  Lines and scenes are completely changed and some of it can also be considered a game changer.  Out of the three, I have to honestly say I like the Super-Sized edition the most.  I think the lines delivered in that one trump the other two cuts, but again…this is only my opinion.

And here’s the even trickier part for Apatow, Mckay, Ferrell and company to pull off…the comedy or the humor in it all.  Does it make you laugh and keep you interested?  Considering Kori, my girlfriend, fell asleep during her first viewing I guess you can say your results may vary.  I was bored a bit during the first half hour of my initial viewing and then all the sudden the movie opened up like a stinky can of sardines and I smelt the genius of it all.  Like a genie let out of the bottle I was instantly able to roam around freely in Ron Burgundy’s crazy world and have a good time.  Now take that with a grain of salt because I know a lot of people who can’t stand the dry humor of Will Ferrell.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions of course, but it basically comes down to you as to whether his humor, the feature’s onscreen visuals or shocking moments (there are not many of these) make you laugh hard or not or do you silently chuckle?  Again, this is all you.  You are the master of your own domain here.

Thankfully for me, just about every word out of Steve Carrell’s mouth here made me as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning.  I laughed my pretty little a$$ off at everything he did.  He was the glue, in my opinion, that held things together here for me.  Whenever he was in a scene with the guys it just made things that much better, not to mention the really cool space gun he came to the movie’s climatic brawl equipped with (oops…I said too much).  And you want to watch Brick pick up the ladies?  Rest assured, there are some epic dating tips delivered here by him.  LOL.  That’s all I will say.  His over-the-top performance was very reminiscent of his role in The 40-Year Old Virgin, but maybe that’s why I liked it so much because I am such a hug fan of that comedy.  And the what about the rest of the troupe too?  How can you not like Rudd?  Is that even possible?  What say you?  Did Anchorman 2 crack you up or did you feel secluded to standing on the sidelines?  I want to know!  The one thing you can’t diminish the fact of is that this film’s 80’s soundtrack just plain out rocked and you don’t even need to smoke crack on live television, get a perm with your homies or experiment with cruise control (this movie gives a whole new meaning to the technology) in your RV to appreciate it.  But how does it look on Blu-ray?  That is the main question I need to answer for you in this review is it not?  Groovy!  Let’s get down to business!

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If you can’t tell from the score up above, Paramount delivers an exceptional Blu-ray presentation here.  But don’t take my word for it.  Let’s examine the facts!

Encoding: AVC MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: There is incredible clarity and sharpness abound in all cuts of this film on Blu-ray.  It really is quite remarkable from the razor sharp and chiseled textures in the suits to individual strands of hair out of place…and of course…PORES!

Depth: Because of the striking backgrounds this Blu-ray has that thing we all love going for it.  I call it the three-dimensional Blu-ray pop!  The characters are just so well defined that this presentation just leaves you with your jaw dropped wide open, drool running out of it and speech rendered useless except the ability to mutter the word wow.

Black Levels: The black levels are spot on inky and deep.  I have absolutely no qualms here.

Color Reproduction: I’m always a sucker for bright blue waters on Blu-ray presentations (hence my affinity for Into the Blu) so it comes as no surprise as I talk about the beautiful blues in the Sea World scenes for example. Just like the 1980’s things are bright, bold and rich here throughout in this transfer.

Flesh Tones: For the people who love skin…LOL…the flesh tones here are authentic and accurate throughout.  You thought I was going elsewhere with that initial comment, huh?  LOL.

Noise/Artifacts: This Blu-ray presentation is free of any debris, artifacts, white noise, specks, dirt, etc.  In other words…it’s P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

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You didn’t think Paramount would leave you hanging in the audio department after such and outstanding presentation up above, did you?  Of course not!  Let’s find out why down below.

Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: This one is sonic from the get go due to the groovy and infectious 1980 anthems to authentic repercussions of an RV rolling across the highway, for example.   Even though this was a comedy things just feel big and robust here without being obnoxious or intrusive.

Low Frequency Extension: Speaking of highway crashes, things are bombastic as well.  The subwoofer goes boom boom, but not for the sake of being bullying or annoying.  It’s all done with class and grace as it just perfectly rounds out the soundscape here with the much needed presence that’s required.

Surround Sound Presentation: I was blown away before the motion picture presentation ever began with just the surround sound of the whip in the production company’s beginning credit splash.  Can you say WHAMMY?!  I can!  This track invites you in and swallows you whole as the surround sound literally ingests you.  Even the sound track in this beauty infuses every nerve in your body and just makes you want to shake as it reverberates through the rear speakers.  This is boogie time, folks!  Of course there’s also your atmospheric conditions like gun shots, vocals and whatnot.

Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue is always loud and clear throughout.  After all, you don’t want to miss a joke, do you?  You even get to hear Ron Burgundy hilariously and accurately warming up before his newscast.  How much better can it get?

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One word…wow!  There’s a lot of crap (and by crap I mean the good version of that word) to go through here.  I hope you’re wearing your reading glasses because I have a long laundry list of items down below that I need to make sure I cover in the most detail I can.  So where do we start?  How about the fact that this Blu-ray Combo set has 3-discs and astonishingly three cuts of the movie on 2 Blu-rays.  You can’t say Paramount skimped here.  They gave you the one two- three..the double and triple dip all in one package.  Hooray!  Let’s not forget that there’s also a DVD of the movie included as well as HD Digital Copies of the theatrical cut of the film on UltraViolet and iTunes redeemable via paper instructions inside.  If you’re a fan of this film, Paramount has got you covered no matter where you watch this, even in the bathroom, and I hope the exceptional score up above reflects that.  So let’s dispense with all the toilet talk and jump right into all these bonus goodies spread across 2 glorious Blu-rays and 1 DVD disc.  There’s a multitude of HOURS to cover here.


Disc One (Blu-ray):

  • Theatrical (HD, 118 min.) – This one is sadly PG-13 and I watched it!  Yes!  I said PG-13.  Unless you have young kiddies in the room, skip this one and move onto the Unrated or Super-Sized cuts please.
  • Unrated (HD, 122 min.) – Although this one is only 4 minutes longer than its predecessor, you bette rbelieve things are changed up a bit with an Unrated rating!
  • Audio Commentary – This lone audio commentary track features writer/director Adam Mckay, producer Judd Apatow, actors Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner.  It’s a pretty entertaining listen given the people that are involved, but be warned…this one is only accessible via the film’s unrated version.
  • Behind-the-Scenes: Newsroom (HD, 18:50) – Truth be told, a lot of things go down in discussion here from the cast and crew dishing on the story, how it all came about, and behind-the-scenes moments to sequel influences, real 24-hour news cycles (kind of the history of CNN and how they needed bodies), props and so much more.
  • Gag Reel (HD) – Believe it or not there are actually two parts here, one clocks in at 7:14 and the other at 7:45.  That’s a whole lot of laughs folks if you like cracks like butt-mitzvah and scrapping kittens!
  • Line-O-Rama (HD) – Once again this one is presented in two parts, 4:28 and 3:53 respectively.  You remember this extra from my previous Anchorman Blu-ray review don’t you?  It’s basically a collection of multiple takes and lines from choice scenes.  My favorite was what’s you favorite food?  Communion wafers!  LMAO!
  • Welcome to the Dolphin Show (HD, 2:03) – This is a collection of outtakes from Ron Burgundy’s drunk Sea World scenes.
  • Catfight (HD, 1:49) – This one wasn’t too big a deal for me, but it happens during the confrontation between the characters of Linda and Veronica.
  • News-O-Rama (HD, 2:28) – Here we simply have outtakes from the GNN newsroom.
  • Kench-O-Rama (HD, 1:40) – There are a a lot of “ramas” here huh?  LOL.  This one involves outtakes with the character of Kench.
  • Table Read (HD) – There are a total of nine-different parts here and these are basically clips from a table read with the cast: “Horse Piss” (2:25), “Bats” (1:26), RV (2:19), “Lace-Man” (2:53), “The Bet” (2:25), “Brick Has a Date” (2:18), “Crack” (2:11), “Family Dinner” (1:49) and “Lighthouse” (3:56).


Disc Two (Blu-ray):

  • Super-Sized R-Rated Version (HD, 143 min.) – Before watching the theatrical version I checked this one out first and I can tell you firsthand that this is the one you should choose.  It does add 20+ minutes of runtime, but I like the lines much better throughout in this cut too!  In addition, there are supposedly 763 new jokes billed, hence why I like it so much better!  LOL.
  • Behind-the-Scenes (SD) – This is where it gets kind of sad because had the following slew of extras, minus the trailers below, be in HD we may have been potentially talking about a score of a 5 here.  I know that’s big talk, standard definition?  Really?  So this one is essentially broken down into four parts and there is a Play All option.
  • Anchorman 2: The Musical (9:49) – This one I found quite interesting as they examined ideas for a prequel and sequel including a musical that they pitched to Paramount and they supposedly loved the idea and were behind it.
  • RV (9:28) – Without going into any spoilers let’s just say there was an RV scene early on when our gang gets together and the dangers of speed control.  LOL.  That’s why I don’t use it!  It is interesting to see the CG employed and how they captured all the entertaining shots during one incident in particular.  And of course, it’s also about getting the band back together!
  • Baxter & Doby (10:32) – Well, first thing first.  Baxter is the lovable dog of Ron Burgundy that we all know and love, but this one is a new one they had to train.  And Doby, well, he’s a shark.  Yes, Ron Burgundy sort of owns a shark in this one too.
  • News Fight (16:45) – This is the part of the movie where you say holy crap look at all those onscreen cameos.  The Hollywood magic of this epic celebrity brawl is the topic of discussion here.
  • Deleted Scenes (SD) – I’m never a fan of these, but if you can’t live without knowing what didn’t make the final film, then check out these 8 scenes yo: Ron Leaves (0:24), Linda Leaves (1:04), Courtroom (1:18), Posse: Fanny (0:44), Posse: Funny (0:59), A Side of Lime (3:15), Disconnecting With Walter (1:43) and Connecting With Walter (0:37).
  • Extended/Alternate Scenes (SD) – Here’s where things get even crazier with a total of 25 scenes to go through here.  As you can see from some of the following titles, you know you are in for a good time.  These include “Horse Piss” (5:30), “Dolphin Show” (4:34), “Champ Chicken” (2:45), “Fantana Cat” (6:53), “Garth Wants In” (1:50), “Meet Jack Lime” (5:06), “Launch” (6:00), “Porn Fired” (2:44), “Apartment” (1:59), “More Graphics” (0:30), “Brick Butter” (0:38), “Brick Has A Date” (12:19), “Crack Report” (4:16), “Post Arrest Linda” (1:34), “Laundromat Date” (2:28), “Synergy” (3:59), “Cab To Dinner” (1:30), “Cab From Dinner” (2:31), “A Walk In The Park” (3:15), “Boner Time” (2:30), “The World Of The Blind” (11:31), “Dishwasher Fire” (0:50), “Stonewall: Soul” (1:29), “Stonewall: Heaven” (2:02), and “Wedding Vows” (2:34).
  • Previsualizations (SD) – Here we have three scenes with live test footage as well as computer animatics for “RV” (1:43), “Shark Attack” (1:40), and “News Fight” (5:29).
  • Auditions (SD) – Here we have three auditions with Meagan Good (1:43), Dylan Baker (1:55) and Amy Poehler (2:49).
  • Benefit For 826LA (SD, 3:39) – Jack Black performs a song as a special tribute to Anchorman 2!
  • Trailers (HD) – Believe it or not there are a total of six trailers here: Teaser Trailer 1 (1:07), Teaser Trailer 2 (1:17), Teaser Trailer 3 (1:16), Domestic Trailer 1 (1:38), Domestic Trailer 2 (2:31) and International Trailer (2:17).


Disc Three (DVD):

  • Theatrical Version (SD, 118 min.) – This is obviously the theatrical version of the film that’s rated PG-13.

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So in my opinion it all comes down really to how much you love Will Ferrell and how big of an Anchorman fan you are as to how much you will love this one.  However, I can say this.  As an outsider to the Anchorman fascination I really dug this one for the most part and was enjoyably engaged in its nonsensical frolics throughout the first two-thirds of the film.  I have many problems with the movie’s final act, but don’t let my nitpicking dissuade you of giving it a chance.  What I love here the most about this Blu-ray Combo pack from Paramount is they give you everything from perfect audio and video presentations to all the extras you could ever want (minus half of them being in SD sadly on the second Blu-ray disc) PLUS the fact that you get not one, but THREE cuts of this comedy film that’s destined to become a classic among cult enthusiasts of the first feature.  Now that ladies and gentlemen is definitely worth the price of admission in my mind’s eyes.  Couple with that outstanding April 1st pre-order price shown below on Amazon and you have one hell of a bargain deal on this gem of a Blu-ray release courtesy of Paramount.  Enjoy!

In celebration of the grooviest main menus in recent history I created the below video captured from the infectious Blu-ray menu with a quick summary of the scores contained within this review.  Get your dance on!


1 Response to “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Blu-ray Review)”

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