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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues(2013)
With the 70′s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to the news desk in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone , weather man Brick Tamland, man on the street Brian Fantana and sports guy Champ Kind – All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy…while taking the country’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.
For more about Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and the Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Blu-ray release, see Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 20, 2014 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Dylan Baker
Director: Adam McKay
» See full cast & crew
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Blu-ray Review
An anchor of any good Blu-ray collection.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 20, 2014
Flip on through any of the many television news options, be they the 24-hour cable variety, network nightly programs, or local news, and see a lot of well-groomed and pretty faces but also, generally, quite a few sycophants in love with their own voices and celebrity, more concerned with the image they project rather than the stories they share. These types are not even limited to the larger networks and the biggest markets, but generally speaking, the brighter the spotlight, the larger the ego and, probably because of market size rather than talent or trustworthiness, the higher the ratings. This is not always true, of course. There are still some very good objective journalists out there that don't spin and don't report for ratings but are concerned with telling the truth as best as they can find it through all of the muck. Be that as it may, the news has largely become a place for entertainment, and taken to the extreme on Comedy channels that air programs masquerading as "real news." But the news wasn't always car chases and fluff stories and political posturing and favoritism and mindless speculation behind a news item that's barely out of the gate or, even worse, trickling new information at the speed of bureaucracy. It used to be all news, hard news, and world-shaping events or, at least, stories important to a local community. The inflated egos, the false sense of importance, and bigger and bigger audiences with longer and longer time slots to fill brought with them not opportunity to expand on the news but to speculate on the news and, for better or for worse, declare something other than "news" as "news." Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues tells the fictionalized and comical story of the birth of the 24-hour news cycle and one whacky group of "journalists" that reshaped the news into entertainment, feel-good stories, and overly dramatized non-news branded as important for public consumption. In essence, and if the movie is to believed, the modern news cycle and presentation style was influenced by morons. Very funny morons. Who knew?
Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are married news co-anchors in New York City. When their boss Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford) calls them in for a meeting, he promotes Corningstone to the big chair -- she's to be the first full-time female nightly news anchor -- and fires Burgundy. Burgundy's and Corningstone's relationship is left in shambles, and Burgundy, now separated from his wife, lives in a bubble of pain, pity, liquor, and a public that's turned its back on him. He gets a big break, however, when he's approached by Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker), a news director putting together a team for the world's first 24-hour news network, GNN. Burgundy reassembles his old San Diego news team -- Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Champ Kind (David Koechner), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) -- to presumably headline the new network. Unfortunately, they learn they've been slotted to fill the overnight shift rather than primetime, a gig that's been handed to a hotshot youngster named Jack Lime (James Marsden). In order to beat Lime's ratings in the overnight hours, Burgundy and his team set out to redefine how the nation receives and consumes its news, at first to the chagrin of station manager Linda Jackson (Meagan Good). When the ratings show instant success, the team rises to the top where only a perilous fall can keep it from television news greatness.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues updates the series without really "updating" it. Though it's set in the early 1980s, it follows the birth and plows through the progression of the modern news cycle, which in essence allows it the freedom to riff on the way modern media works without fast-forwarding to today and losing the film's trademark time period stylings. The film is packed with references to some of the biggest news stories to grip the 24-hour news cycle since it came into existence (which, not coincidentally, was in 1980 with the birth of Ted Turner's Cable News Network, better known as CNN. Though the film's fictional "GNN" finds immediate success thanks to Burgundy and co., the real CNN took well over a decade to fully mature, truly finding its footing and audience with its groundbreaking coverage of the 1991 Persian Gulf War) as well as a few choice movie references that would, in the coming years, become part of the American vernacular. Burgundy and his crew of misfits find success for themselves and their network by, basically, having fun with their jobs, becoming entertainers and deliverers of news as dramatic entertainment, patriotism, and tabloid journalism. It's often uproariously funny, and more so, likely, to viewers who are more immediately familiar not simply with how modern television journalism works, but who dedicate good chunks of their time to watching these very sorts of stories play out on Fox News or CNN. The little inside jokes and references are of great value, and the ability to go "inside" the studio and beyond what appears on the home television monitor -- particularly with this bunch of lovable broadcast buffoons -- is where the film finds its stride.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues isn't perfect, however. It transitions from lovably zany to downright weird in its second half, relying on far-flung oddity rather than realistically grounded humor. Fortunately, the opening half, and even much of that second half, works in a tremendous amount of gut-busting humor, humor that's crude, tactless, tasteless, racist, and uproariously random. There's rarely a dull moment, thanks in large part to Will Ferrell's complete screen domination and, to a lesser but certainly not frivolous extent, Steve Carell's mastery of his character's childlike naiveté deadpan delivery. Ferrell's comedic genius is on full display here, outshining his cast mates by leaps and bounds, not because they're in any way terrible but because he's so fantastic in the part, fully inhabiting a man of obvious intelligence, charisma, and stature but unable to differentiate between his inner and outer voice and finding both pleasure and pain in the consequences of his actions. Even as the story progresses to the truly absurd, Ferrell manages to draw an endless supply of humor from the part, milking every scene and unearthing every detail to his, and the film's, advantage. He's surrounded by his trio of returning pals from the original film and also several excellent newcomers, including Meagan Good, Harrison Ford, Greg Kinnear, and James Marsden as the slick young hot shot anchor who serves as the de facto antagonist.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Blu-ray, Video Quality
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues dazzles with a perfect 1080p transfer. Paramount's latest effort represents, flat-out, one of the best viewing experiences on Blu-ray. The image produces incredible clarity and sharpness, a natural, cinematic texture that showcases the format's strengths and the beauty of a fresh motion picture meticulously transferred to Blu-ray. The film is packed with razor-sharp textures and dazzling intricate detailing. Wardrobe is particularly noteworthy considering the intimacy with which close-ups reveal the finest lines and seams. Facial details are faultless, showcasing fine lines, makeup, and hair with amazing lifelike accuracy. Background clarity and detail are just as striking. The Sea World scene early in the film comes through so clearly that it's easy to identify individual faces well back in the crowd and distant from the camera. Every edge is smooth and perfectly defined throughout the entire film, leaving no inch of the frame in any way soft, murky, or anything less than pristine. Colors are equally gorgeous. The palette explodes off the screen with a rich, realistic splash of varied colors, whether bright blue Sea World waters, loud blazers and ties, or multicolored television graphics. Black levels are deep, inky, and refuse to go too bright or absorb any detail. Flesh tones are accurate across the board. No wear and no readily evident transfer flaws are visible. This is a dazzling effort from Paramount.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues features a fantastic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Paramount's audio presentation impresses from the studio log forward. The listener is immediately greeted by a big, dynamic, widely spaced, immersive, and deep musical piece that epitomizes all of the goodness to come. Immaculate clarity, potent yet even bass, and surround that swallows the listener but doesn't come across as needlessly big for the sake of filling the speakers all contribute to what amounts to a perfect Comedy listen. The track enjoys its fair share of bigger sound effects, too, that prove just as dynamic as that music. Most of them come during some final act mayhem that includes several explosions and gunshots and even a roaring jet, though a fairly substantial vehicle rollover crash earlier in the film is no slouch, either, all presenting a dynamic, full, accurate sonic sensation that blends all of the necessary pieces in flawless harmony. Light ambient support is scattered throughout, including a very well-engineered microphone echo effect in chapter two. General dialogue plays evenly and smoothly from the center. This is a first-rate listen from Paramount.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues contains hours of supplements spread across both included Blu-ray discs. Also available are three cuts of the film. Disc one houses both the theatrical version (runtime 1:58:55) and the extended version (runtime 2:03:05). Disc two contains the Super-Size version of the film (runtime 2:23:14). DVD and UV/iTunes digital copies are included in the case.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues doesn't work quite as well as the original, largely because its second half just goes way overboard into the abyss of randomness and absurdity. Its first half, however, is brilliant comedy, not a revelation but rather a solidification of the franchise's potential, Will Ferrell's talents, and, as the name suggests, his character's "legendary" status. It's all in good fun, certainly crude and tasteless much of the time but endlessly hilarious and sure to at least delight, if not downright absorb, fans of the original. Paramount's Blu-ray release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues enjoys pristine video, fantastic audio, and tons of supplements. Very highly recommended.
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