Tag Archives: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Review

25 Dec

anchorman-2-review-photo-lead-1Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was, and still is, one of the most beloved comedies in recent memory. It spawned a sequel here in 2013, and while understandably, the second movie doesn’t quite capture the magic of the first, it’s still an entertaining ride.

To be honest, this isn’t much of a ‘movie’; McKay and Ferrell seem intent on piling joke after joke and tangential subplot after tangential subplot onto the already bloated proceedings, and the comedy hits more sporadically than it does in the first; for example, when Burgundy visits Linda Jackson’s (Meagan Good) house and starts talking like the stereotypical black person, it’s more cringe-worthy than uncomfortably funny. Speaking of, the whole Linda character isn’t very well-crafted; her character shifts are too broad and strange for my tastes, and her relationship with Ron is more head-scratch worthy than funny; still, Ron’s constant barrage of “Black” is hilarious.

In general, the character work–or what passes for character work in these films–is a bit disappointing, particularly with the usage of Veronica Corningstone, an integral part of the first film. The main antagonist is James Marsden’s Jack Lime/Lame, a one-note character whose foundation is one flimsy punchline and whose poop smells like sandalwood. In addition, the news team itself stumbles a bit and is fairly inconsequential (Fantana gets to show off some condoms, though), and the movie attempts to utilize Brick Tamland a bit too much with his Chani (Kristen Wiig) subplot. He’s probably one of my favorite movie characters of all time, but here, it’s a little broad. Still, he makes me laugh every time he’s on screen–Carell’s facial expressions are priceless, and he’s especially great when he freaks out over a green screen–and that’s what counts, right?

That’s what it all comes down to here. Although the movie is nowhere near the first’s quality, it’s hilarious; the second half of the movie ramps up the insanity notch by notch, starting with an exquisite sequence where a blind Ron Burgundy raises a shark with his son and serenades it off into the waters. It all ends with a variation on the first movie’s News Team fight, one which contains Stonewall Jackson’s ghost, even crazier weapons, and Liam Neeson, Vince Vaughn, Kanye West, Marion Cotillard, Jim Carrey, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Will Smith, among others. Sure, this is the very definition of broad, but I’m a sucker for random insanity, which is why the second half works for me.

Although the movie has its problems, it’s still a great way to spend your time in the theater. Ferrell and McKay understand these characters and are masters at crafting unique people, and it’s a pleasure to see them onscreen. You stay classy, Ron Burgundy.

GRADE: B

OTHER THOUGHTS

-The sequence in which Burgundy finds his news team is excellent; Champ Kind now sells fried bat, chicken of the cave, Fantana organizes video shoots of cats, and Brick is dead. This all culminates in a slow-mo RV crash that causes a bunch of bodily harm, yet at the same time does no damage to anyone.

-“By the hymen of Olivia Newton-John!”

-“Who the hell is Julius Caesar? You know I don’t follow the NBA!”

-“If you’ve got an ass like the North Star, wise men are gonna want to follow it.”

-“I can always guess how many jelly beans are in a jelly bean jar, even if I’m wrong.”

-So, the movie also attempts some satire with the whole GNN thing and Ron’s big speech at the end. I appreciate the effort, but it gets lost in the shuffle.

-One of the things I liked about the first movie was that it was inherently a personal story: Ron Burgundy’s. Here, it’s a personal story plus a bunch of others.

-I wish I could read Brick’s mind. It would probably consist of everything and nothing all at once.

-The after credits scene is nice.

Photo credit: Paramount, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Saturday Night Live “Paul Rudd/One Direction” Live Blog/Review (39×08)

7 Dec

screen_shot_2013-12-03_at_9.58.28_pmAll times central.

Sound of Music: Sorry, show, I didn’t really want to see Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig back, much less this character. Both had some good characters back in the day, but if they’re going to come back, it has to be better than the lameness here. I knew a Sound of Music parody would arise eventually, but not like this. GRADE: C-

Monologue: I also knew the Anchorman cast would show up, but this is great; the Nine Direction are a sight to see, and it’s hilarious watching all of them interact. “Why don’t you sit on Santa’s lap and ask for some balls?” says Steve Carell, and then they all burst into “Afternoon Delight”. It’s great. GRADE: B+

Al Sharpton: Well, here’s another tired ObamaCare spoof; Paul Rudd is criminally under-used here, and the main joke of this sketch is the inability of Sharpton to read. Some funny moments, but overall, it’s stale. GRADE: C+

One Direction’s Biggest Fan: So it’s a good, albeit very surface, concept here, and it’s worth it to see Paul Rudd as One Direction’s biggest fan. Many of the jokes don’t really land, though–it’s a purely sight gag sketch, I’ll give it that–and it goes on a bit too long. GRADE: B-

DIVORCE MEETING: Well, this is pretty fun. Paul Rudd and Vanessa Bayer break out dancing to Fleetwood Mac’s “I Don’t Want to Know”, and it’s just really entertaining. I liked the various interludes as well; the sketch could’ve been split up into two, honestly. GRADE: B

WEEKEND UPDATE: So the actual news jokes are pretty mediocre this week, but the guests are good. I know I’ll get tired of both of them at some point, so hopefully SNL doesn’t run them into the ground (nice quip about this very fact by Atkinson). Anyway, Killam and Bayer (it’ll be interesting to see Jacob’s interactions with Cecily) do great work, as always. “I probably shouldn’t do this after the audience went full bitch over the Snoopy joke!” “Charlie Brown, you have a pube on your forehead!” I love this guy, even if it wasn’t as crazy as last time, though. Edited to add: The show has Ron Burgundy in the studio; why not use him here? GRADE: B

MICHELANGELO: So, dick jokes; that’s all there is to this sketch, and the show knows it; Jay Pharoah pops in for a few seconds at a time to make tiny penis jokes, and this shouldn’t be funny at all. But hey, it isn’t AS bad as I was expecting. GRADE: C

WHITE CHRISTMAS: Okay, so we’re parodying “Best Man Holiday” and “Black Nativity” now; it’s a flimsy premise, but there are certainly some funny moments in there, even given the fact that everything’s too on-the-nose. Sadly, it’ll probably ignite a race discussion at some point tomorrow. GRADE: B-

SANTA’S WORKSHOP: So the cast is pretty good at playing elves, but the sketch never really gels; Kate McKinnon isn’t as funny as the concept suggests here, and while the general concept is pretty good, the jokes never land. GRADE: C

28 MILES AWAY: Although I wasn’t a fan of the sketch as a whole and it’s one-note premise, I’m glad about the attempt and the approach to it; Cecily Strong’s great, and Rudd’s Victor makes for a few laughs. It’s unique, I’ll give it that. GRADE: B-

ONE DIRECTION: So, these guys perform “Story of My Life and “Through the Dark”. These are some pretty generic pop songs here, but hey, I don’t have as much of a problem with them as a bunch of people I know. I’m not going to seek out their songs, but they aren’t terrible. GRADE: B-

BILL BRASKY: Well, I’m always a sucker for a five-minute workshop of spouting out one-liners. This hearkens back to the old days, which is something that it already has going for it, and although I would’ve liked to see the Anchorman cast utilized better (get in something, Carell. You and Rudd are my favorites.), I think this is a solid bookend to the night; it’s way too long, though. GRADE: B+

Now we’ll close out with whatever I could catch from the Brasky sketch:

“I actively worship the Devil.”

“Last night I made sweet, passionate love to a box of Kleenex.”

“Brasky’s ejaculate can cure leprosy.” “I wish I had leprosy.”

“Brasky gave AIDS back to the monkeys.”

“I like to sneak into hospitals and kiss coma patients.”

“Brasky once punched a bald eagle because it wasn’t patriotic enough.”

OVERALL GRADE: B-

NEXT WEEK: John Goodman, who is amazing. I was excited to see him in Inside Llewyn Davis, but alas, my theater didn’t carry the movie yet. That means I’ll have American Hustle, Inside Llewyn Davis, Anchorman, (hopefully) Her, and The Wolf of Wall Street to watch over the course of a week. It’s looking to be a good upcoming weeks for movies. Alright, that’s it for the movie talk for me; sorry.

Credit to NBC and Saturday Night Live for all pictures. I own nothing.

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