ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY: The ‘Rich Mahogany’ Edition Blu-ray Review

     September 15, 2010


There are two kinds of people in this world: people who are fans of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and people who aren’t. Either you totally get someone’s “Milk was a bad choice” tattoo or you blankly stare at the 2004 film starring Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Christina Applegate. Those who are fans probably already own the DVD, have probably burned it out and only need to know one thing about the Blu-ray. Buy or not to buy? Well, the answer is buy. There’s plenty of new stuff to warrant a hilarious upgrade. Hit the jump for details.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy The “Rich Mahogany” Edition is a two disc set that also comes with a copy of Ron’s diary called “The Many Months of Burgundy” and a set of playing cards from the film. They’re cute, but, that’s not why most of us buy a special edition. We buy it for the extras. To begin, first disc has two versions of the film: the theatrical and unrated with a commentary by director Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Lou Rawls, Andy Richter, Kyle Gass, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate. What? Was Steve Carell too busy? Apparently. Also on the disc is an insane amount of deleted scenes – 36 in total – along with a blooper reel, the “Afternoon Delight” music video and Ron’s ESPN Sportscenter audition. Most of that is on the original DVD. So let’s skip to disc two.

The highlight of disc two is Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie, which was previously released on DVD but only in a special Anchorman gift set. It’s a 90 minute almost-whole-other-movie that was pieced together from omitted subplots and alternate takes. By most accounts, Wake Up is a new movie, has a different plot, but feels exactly like the first movie because it uses some of the same stuff. As an Anchorman fan, it’s a fun watch, but it’ll never replace the timing and humor of the original movie. Still, the more Ron Burgundy the better. There’s no official commentary on the film, but there is a weird 10 minute introduction with Ferrell and Aaron Zimmerman, the third credited executive producer, that runs over the beginning. It’s worth checking out just because it’s so weird.

Next up are a series of five public service announcements, Ron’s full Emmy Acceptance speech and then 26 scenes called “Raw Footage ‘Good Takes.’” These are fascinating as they are some of the most famous scenes in the movie, but before all the fancy sound and color timing was done and before they were snipped into the bits from the movie. Just watching these gives a great idea of the huge amount of editing that went into this film.

The recording sessions for “Afternoon Delight” are next and this is exactly what you think it would be. A fly on the wall view as the news team goofs off while trying to record the song. It’s very reminiscent of the 10 minutes of rehearsals that appear later on the disc. Watching both of these, it’s hard to imagine this movie ever got made with the amount of fun people are having while doing it.

A series of video vignettes is next including Ron’s custom made Happy Birthday to Loews Theaters and some interviews he did at the MTV Movie Awards, which were on the original DVD. Then there’s “Cinemax: The Making of Anchorman,” “Comedy Central Reel Comedy” and “A Conversation with Ron Burgundy” from the Museum of Television and Radio. Some of those things were also on the original DVD but others, like the Cinemax making of, are new and pretty cool.

There is an absolute insane amount of audition footage on this disc. Basically everyone is here, save for Ferrell who – of course – didn’t have to audition. The best part, though, is watching the “Alternative Universe” takes that feature actors who got cast in different parts playing other parts. Just think – Steve Carell as Brian Fantana.

Six scenes from the original Anchorman table read on June 2, 2003 are next and notable because Rudd and Carell aren’t there. Then there’s something called “Playback Video” which just seems to be Brick Tamblin and Brian Fantana doing stories across San Diego. Finally, a segment called “Commercial Break” which is a few minutes of what went on between “Action” and “Cut.” It’s mostly just Rudd with his underwear on.

So yeah, if you are a fan of Anchorman, you will spend hours and hours with this disc just eating wait waiting for Anchorman 2. It’s highly recommended. If you aren’t a fan, then I can’t believe you read all the way to the end of this review.


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