Anchorman [Retro Review]

“I love lamp.”

The Scoop: 2004 PG-13, directed by Adam McKay and starring Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate and Steve Carell

Tagline: His news is bigger than your news.

Summary Capsule: The world of manly newscasting in the 70’s is shaken up by a girl… and Afternoon Delight

Justin’s Rating: My sky rocket’s definitely in flight.

Justin’s Review: If movies were a date, and Anchorman an uneven, pretty-yet-foul, occasionally brilliantly funny partner that went to dinner with me, I’m 100% sure I’d ask for a second date by the time the news teams gang war broke out.  Call me a sucker for a truly bizarre — and hilarious — scene in a comedy that isn’t afraid to lather itself in weird and go for the gusto, but any movie that has extremely nerdy TV news anchors waging battle with baseball bats and grenades and tridents and Ben Stiller as a Spanish anchorman in a back alley deserves a closer look.

The headlining presence of Will Ferrell here should suggest that this was an uphill battle to likeability for me.  Even by the end of the film, I felt reasonably charmed and sometimes twitteringly surprised, yet still not as rabidly happy as I wished.  I’m such a fickle pickle.  Why do I dislike Ferrell so?  Is it a vast misunderstanding between me and what seems to be the world at large that finds this odd misshapen man to be one of the top comedians of the day?  Is it that he looks like a creepy homeless guy who will try to steal my chicken sandwich should I fall asleep?  I’m not sure.

In Anchorman — based on actual events, except not — Ferrell IS Ron Burgundy, the machismo bulwark of late 70’s TV news.  He and his three buddies, the swinging Brian (Paul Rudd), the balding and insecure Champ (David Koechner), and the high-40’s IQ weatherman Brick (Steve Carell), are all about ruling their roost and throwing wild parties with hideous shag carpeting.  This comes to a gradual halt one day, however, with the introduction of a female reporter (Christina Applegate) who brings her sass and class and hass-le into the newsroom and boy’s club.

As I said before (at least I think I did, but right now I’m entirely too lazy and coffee-free to go back and check) to the effect that Anchorman contains jutting island chains of smashing humor surrounded by a sea of lukewarm motions.  Looking plastic-like, Applegate is there for nothing more than to be a great betrayer to all feminists everywhere (despite her supposed strong independence, she easily falls into bed with Ron and Ron’s moustache early on).  Several scenes, such as the first confrontation between the #1 and #2 news teams in the city, smelled rank of potential yet did nothing more than insert a load of pregnant pauses that gave birth to dead air.

That all doesn’t matter, I suppose, because once again Steve Carell absolutely steals the day as the childlike idiot Brick.  Although anyone who’s watched The Daily Show knows of Carell’s comedic brilliance, it’s only lately that he’s really receiving his due — a gut-buster role in Bruce Almighty, this film, a starring role in TV’s “The Office”, and headlining the 2005 smash The 40-Year-Old Virgin.  Brick is there in Anchorman as a tried-and-true fallback for any moment that requires a huge heaping of weird humor.  To watch him try to act like the big boys while having little if any clue what he’s saying — heck, even watching him eat a banana is funny — is to know what Brick love is all about.

Overall, I’d ask this movie to kneel before me as I tap its shoulders with my Critic’s Sword and deem it a fairly good comedy.  Definitely, definitely see it once… if only to see Jack Black get medieval on a dog and to be properly edumacated on the proper uses for Sex Panther cologne.

This is the hell in which she’s confined for co-starring in Married…With Children.

Intermission!

  •  The Mexican restaurant Veronica visits with the girls from the station is named “Escupimos en su Alimento”. In Spanish, that means, “We spit in your food”.
  • Ron Burgundy’s license plate is “IM #1.”
  •  The sound effect heard when the News Team jumps into the bear pit is from The Six Million Dollar Man
  •  Jack Black, scary biker!
  • One of the outtakes during the closing credits was actually taken from Smokey and the Bandit. That film was one of the first to include humorous outtakes at the end of the film and it became a fixture for many of Burt Reynolds’s films.
  • There are 23 people in the street fight.
  • Was inspired by a biography show that Will Ferrell watched about Jessica Savitch, and how one of her male coworkers confessed to being a total chauvinist back in the day.
  • A pseudo-sequel/spinoff movie called Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie is also out there. It’s basically outtakes and dropped scenes from Anchorman repackaged as a movie.

Groovy Quotes

Ron: [to dog] You’re so wise. You’re like a miniature Buddha, covered with hair.

Ron: I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly…

Veronica: My God, what is that smell? Oh!
Brian: That’s the smell of desire my lady.
Veronica: God no, it smells like, like a used diaper… filled with… Indian food! Oh, excuse me.
Brian: You know, desire smells like that to some people.
Garth: What is that? Smells like a turd covered in burnt hair.

Champ: We need you. Hell, I need you. I’m a mess without ya. I miss you so damn much. I miss being with you. I miss being near you! I miss your laugh! I miss – I miss your scent. I miss your musk. When this all gets sorted out, I think you and me should get an apartment together.

Veronica: Take me to Pleasure Town!
Ron: Oh, we’re going there!

Ron: Guess what, I do. I know that one day Veronica and I are gonna to get married on top of a mountain, and there’s going to be flutes playing and trombones and flowers and garlands of fresh herbs. And we will dance till the sun rises! And then our children will form a family band! And we will tour the countryside and you won’t be invited!

Ron: You are a smelly pirate hooker!
Veronica: You look like a blueberry!
Ron: Why don’t you go back to your home on Whore Island!
Veronica: Well you… have bad hair!

Ron: What? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole… wheel of cheese? How’d you do that? Heck, I’m not even mad; that’s amazing! How ’bout we get you in your p.j.’s and we hit the hay.

Ron: I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

Ron: You stay classy, San Diego. I’m Ron Burgundy?
Ed: Dammit! Who typed a question mark on the Teleprompter?

Ron: Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale’s vagina.
Veronica: No, there’s no way that’s correct.
Ron: I’m sorry, I was trying to impress you. I don’t know what it means. I’ll be honest, I don’t think anyone knows what it means anymore. Scholars maintain that the translation was lost hundreds of years ago.
Veronica: Doesn’t it mean Saint Diego?
Ron: No. No.
Veronica: No, that’s – that’s what it means. Really.
Ron: Agree to disagree.

Ron: I’m gonna punch you in the ovary, that’s what I’m gonna do. A straight shot. Right to the babymaker.

Ron: I saw that! Brick killed a guy! Did you throw a trident?
Brick: Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident!
Ron: Brick, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you’re probably wanted for murder.

Ron: Brick, where did you get a hand grenade?
Brick: I don’t know.

Brian: That was one crazy party. I am hung over.
Champ: I woke up on the floor of some Japanese family’s living room, and they would NOT stop screaming!
Brick: I ate a big, red candle.

Brian: No, she gets the special cologne. Sex Panther, made by Odeon. It’s illegal in nine countries. It contains real panther bits, so you know it’s good.
Ron: It’s quite pungent. It’s a formidable scent.

Ron: [to Veronica Corningstone] I’m gonna shoot you with a BB gun when you’re not looking. Yep, back of the head.

Brick: I would like to extend to you an invitation to the pants party.
Veronica: Excuse me?
Brick: [struggling] The… party. With the… with the pants. Party with pants?
Veronica: Brick, are you saying that there’s a party in your pants and that I’m invited?
Brick: That’s it.

Brick: [riding a bear] Hey, Ron! I’m riding a furry tractor!

Brick: I love… carpet. [pause] I love… desk.
Ron: Brick, are you just looking at things in the office and saying that you love them?
Brick: I love lamp.

Brick: [opposing women in the newsroom] I read somewhere their periods attract bears. Bears can smell the menstruation.
Brian: Well, that’s just great. You hear that, Ed? Bears. Now you’re putting the whole station in jeopardy.

Ron: I don’t normally do this, but I felt compelled to tell you something. You have an absolutely breath-taking… heiney. I mean, that thing’s good. I wanna be friends with it.

If you liked this movie, try these:

  • Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie
  • Old School
  • Wedding Crashers
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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Heather and Eunice Make Wild Speculations About The Films of 2013 « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

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