The Sixth Estate
Thursday, July 08, 2004
QUOTE OF THE DAY : Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued. - Socrates

SONG OF THE DAY : The Hives - Walk, Idiot, Walk

LINK OF THE DAY : Ebert & Roeper Reviews

O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?

ANCHORMAN : The Legend of Ron Burgundy
8/10 STARS

News Team 4 at it's finest.

In "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy", Will Ferrell stars as Ron Burgundy, a pompous news anchor at Channel 4 in 1970's San Diego. Burgundy and his Team 4 are legendary party animals and womanizers. Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), field reporter and resident man-whore. Brick Tamland (Steven Carell) weatherman and certified moron. Champ Kind (David Koechner) sports guy and filthy drunk. Channel 4 is #1 in the ratings and Team 4 are veritable kings among men in San Diego. Things run smoothly at Channel 4 thanks to the efforts of Station Manager Ed Harken (Fred Willard) who is more of a father figure to Team 4, than his own troublesome son. All is well at the station until an ambitious newswoman named Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) joins the news team, much to the chagrin of Burgundy and his male colleagues. Burgundy is more interested in pursuing a relationship with Veronica than taking her seriously as a newsperson. Corningstone quickly makes a name for herself, and is soon promoted to Co-Anchor. Ron Burgundy will not be upstaged so he and Team 4 do everything in their sexist, chauvinistic power to embarrass and humiliate Veronica both on and off the air. However, since their combined IQ's are that of a small child, it's a losing fight. Burgundy realizes that maybe he'll need more than his perfectly coiffed hair and the ability to read a teleprompter to upstage Veronica.

Anchorman has to be one of the funniest movies made in the past few years. I was laughing constantly, so hard it brought tears to my eyes several times. Elf proved a Will Ferrell movie could do well, Anchorman will cement his well deserved position as the latest successful former SNL alumni. Ferrell doesn't star as Ron Burgundy, he is Ron Burgundy in this movie. I didn't feel like I was watching Will Ferrell on the screen, I was watching Ron Burgundy. He's playing a literal amalgam of all the cheesy anchormen from yester-year. From the strange random comments Burgundy makes, to the constant ad-libbing, Ferrell is top notch. The rest of the cast is great as well. Paul Rudd, who has yet to have a breakthrough role, really impressed me with his comedy. Also, Steven Carell of Daily Show fame nearly steals the show from Ferrell and the others at times. Much like her character in the movie Christina Applegate proves once again that she's not just another pretty face, she and Will Ferrell's comedic chemistry is what really makes this film work. Main cast aside, the cameos in Anchorman are almost worth the price of admission. The entire "Frat Pack" shows up for a climactic gladitorial battle of the TV News Teams. Tim Robbins and Jack Black also make hilarious appearances.

Imagine the best SNL sketch you've ever seen - Now multiply that by 10 and you have Anchorman. For some this is a good thing, and others... Not so good. Whether you're a fan or not of SNL, you'll like this film. Anchorman is by no means a perfect film, but you'll literally be laughing too hard to care about the very few problems that show up. It has all the camp and capers of a classic Mel Brooks movie, and is just as silly. It is ridiculous at times, it is stupid at times, and confusingly random at times - but it works. It's so silly it works.

If you're in the mood for a good laugh, Anchorman is the perfect movie to see. It doesn't take itself seriously, and neither should you. The director, Adam McKay and star Will Ferrell must have had a blast writing this film, almost as much as they did making it... And it shows. Definitely worth the price of the ticket, and with out a doubt the funniest movie of the year so far.

- Will


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