The Channel 4 news team has finally reassembled after years of Will Ferrell and his writing partner Adam McKay searching for funding for a sequel to what has become, possibly, the biggest cult hit comedy of our times. So big that it may transcend the term of ‘cult’ as it is loved by so many people. Interestingly the first Anchorman was a box office flop but it’s popularity grew with word of mouth and it’s endlessly quotable dialogue. The Legend of Ron Burgundy is easily one of my favourite comedies of all time, it’s ridiculous humour proves the perfect platform for Ferrell’s style of performance as well as bringing the best out of all it’s other cast members. The film deserves the place it has a modern cultural phenomenon, put it does put a lot of pressure on this sequel that comes nine long years after the first instalment.
I am pleased to say that The Legend Continues will not disappoint anyone whose a fan of the franchise. The team have created a very well crafted plot that stops Anchorman 2 falling into the common issue of being repetitive. Ron Burgundy is offered the chance to present the news on what is the first ever 24 hour news station and decides it’s time he reunited his news team in the process. The adventure that ensues again provides Ferrell’s comedic way the best platform he has ever had. Burgundy is easily his best character and what works in this film, actually better than the first one, is the plotting. The film was never going to quite live up to the quotable best of the first and it’s important not to go in expecting that, Anchorman 2 is at its best when it’s original and the lack of snappy one-liners is actually a blessing in disguise. If they’d have tried to simply re-create what worked well in the first film this movie would’ve flopped and it’s in the moments where the film refers back to its predecessor that the laughs drop off. While for the most part the film is very funny it does spend too much just repeating old jokes, there are two or three scenes which more or less are exactly the same as the first, and in doing so detract from the originality and the spark that can be found in other scenes. Clocking in at 119 minutes it’s almost a whole half hour longer than the first and that, quite simply, is too long. As a whole it would’ve worked much better just to cut out the references and hark backs as the new material is strong enough to stand on its own two feet.
Overall Anchorman 2 is a triumph, it could well have been pushing the boundaries of funny and in turn ruin the first films legacy but Ferrell and the team do a fantastic job of progressing their characters and bringing fresh, new material to the table. It’s over-long but this movie will not let you down.
Yes, this weekly update is two days late, and, yes the title does sound as if capital punishment has been brought back over in Canada but actually this post has nothing to do with hangings at all. Apologies for the lateness of the post, it’s been busy settling back into life at uni, and a shit load of fun too. However, I have just about managed to fit in time for my three reviews even if it is a little bit late. My first review was of new romantic comedy Hope Springs, which stars Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carrell, so to find out more about that, click here https://musicmoviesgenerallifeandsuch.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/hope-springs/. Second was the streaming of the new Gallows album online, the review of their self titled third album can be found just here https://musicmoviesgenerallifeandsuch.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/gallows/. And last but not least, as promised the review of new Killers album Battle Born https://musicmoviesgenerallifeandsuch.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/battle-born/. Please comment any feedback you have, it’s all very much appreciated.
This week I’m going to leave you with something which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is incredibly exciting, the new trailer for The Hobbit:
Well its been a bit too long since my last post, I’ve been busy settling in to my new house for my second year of uni. Fortunately there has been no lack of media to talk about so first of all I’ll talk about romantic comedy, Hope Springs. When I originally saw the trailers for the film I thought it looked a bit naff but thanks to the persuasion of some trusted reviewers and a girlfriend who has had enough of miserable films I decided to give it a watch.
Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones star as a couple whose marriage has completely lost its spark, Streep, desperately trying to salvage it books an intensive counselling course in Hope Springs where they are helped through their issues by Dr. Feld, played by Steve Carrell. I went in thinking Carrell would be the one bringing the laughs, but his psychiatrist is a surprisingly straight turn for the actor best known for his hilarious performances on The U.S. Office. Instead the majority of the laughs come from Jones, whose grumpy old husband frequently produces a chuckle just from his facial expressions and extreme pessimism. Streep is, as always, perfect for her role but in my eyes it’s really Jones that steals the show.
With the exception of a about three scenes though, this film isn’t so much about the laughs and much more about its central couples relationship which it deals with very seriously and provides an uplifting look on long-lasting marriages with a heartfelt conclusion. It never feels to over the top or corny, it’s just all very nice indeed. The only issue is the film is so happy to just sit in its comfort zone. It will hardly stretch outside its target audience and will end up lumped alongside all the other romantic comedies about aging couples that middle-aged couples will buy on dvd and never watch, or maybe watch once and forget. But in truth it deserves to be more than that, perhaps the film makers should have taken a bit more risk and chucked a few more jokes in that would appeal to a younger viewing age, as this film should really get much more exposure than it inevitably will.