Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Movie Night: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

With the recent release of the second movie about Ron Burgundy I figured it was a good idea to check out the first one. I wasn't sure what to expect considering Will Ferrell can be a hit or miss, and that this movie was intended to be a really silly movie. With a good dose of a buzz though, and a nicely timed comedic movie though, this one works to be a comedy hit. I also have had Afternoon Delight stuck in my head since watching the movie.

Summary: Ron Burgundy sits atop the best of San Diego's newsman, but that is about to change. Him and his male-dominated crew are quite rude and crude when Veronica Corningstone arrives at the station. They also all are set on winning a date with her, which Burgundy achieves himself. Things turn ugly though when he discovers that Corningstone won't let their relationship risk her getting to the top of the news station as a newswoman. Now Burgundy's career could be threatened if the crowd loves her more.

Acting: Will Ferrell leads in probably in his more well received, and popular role he has been in as Ron Burgundy. For some reason there is just something about the whole vibe and persona that also suits Ferrell enough that his comedy also rolls well with it. Christina Applegate also appears in a rare movie role where she is the reporter making waves in the male dominated atmosphere, and honestly I thought she worked great with the humor, and also her character's serious nature. It also keeps the movie from being so sexist that it just is unappealing to women. Steve Carell is a popular character as well as Brick. I think this is a great role for Carell because it shows he has a bit of comedic range that his other roles hadn't really shown before. I believe that Paul Rudd's role as Brian also does the same for him. Rudd usually doesn't play a jerk, but in this movie he is. David Koechner rounds out the main lead as Champ, who seems a bit dim, but rounds out the cast well with a personality that the others don't show. There is really a whole group of other people who are recognizable faces that make cameos that will get your attention like Fred Arminsen, Fred Willard, Danny Trejo, and even Seth Rogen, but the one that doesn't quite flow with the movie is Ben Stiller. Even though the movie is really out there, it just doesn't feel like it was in place.

Filming: The movie is shot to capture the vibe of the 70's, which the movie is based in. Supposedly this movie is very loosely based on a real person. Anyways, Adam McKay does well with really capturing the comedy. I can't really go over some traits that are attributed to this particular director, but there are scenes that really stand out. Like when Ron is playing the jazz flute out on his date with Veronica. It's hilarious just with how they capture it, and the expressions of those listening. Most of all though the movie's success can be attributed to the writing. It's most known for the one liners people quote from it.

Plot: I like how with the silliness of the movie it still maintains a strong plot that gets you watching for something beyond the laughs. Don't be mistaken the main appeal is the comedy, but the aspects of a woman entering the male dominated newsroom, and then trying to work with them, and even compete makes for an interesting attribute. While the guy's are sexist the movie does it in a way that makes them look silly for their treatment of Veronica. That was the attribute I liked about Anchorman that I haven't found other movies able to do like The Other Guys. I enjoyed The Other Guys, but I found some aspects more degrading to women than making the situation humorous.

I've got to say I'm very ready to Anchorman 2 now. It's rating isn't so much lower than this one, so hopefully the sequel guides well from the first movie. I also felt the roles of the actors suit them, and also shows some of their best work they've done in movies. Even though these guys are the biggest jerks, somehow you still feel for them.

Rating 8 of 10.

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