After standout roles in Old School and Elf, Will Ferrell comes into his own with 70s news spoof Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy. He co-wrote the script for this "funny, daft comedy" with helmer Adam McKay, but his unique sense of humour divided moviegoers into those who loved it, and those who just didn't get it. Still one thing's for sure: you'll be seeing a lot more of Ferrell, who has no less than 12 projects on the slate in the next 12 months. As Ron might say, "Sweet Lincoln's mullet!"
And Now For Something Completely Different
21 deleted scenes make for wonderfully bizarre and compelling viewing thanks to a cast who aren't afraid to improvise. Among the comic oddities are Ferrell singing scat, Brick getting traumatised by the birth of a panda (played by the brilliantly deadpan Steve Carell), and extra footage featuring Luke Wilson and Tim Robbins as rival newsmen (note: Robbins' afro as previously sported by Kevin Keegan).A seven-minute blooper reel features more inspired moments of improvisation, but are largely scuppered by Ferrell's inability to keep a straight face. Co-star Christina Applegate also does her fair share of fluffing and snorting, but it's no wonder when Ferrell approaches her with chat-up lines like, "You're sitting on it, I like it. Hell, I'd like to be friends with it."
Back To The Studio
Sparks were flying between Ferrell and Applegate as early as the first audition, as seen in a ten-minute 'making of' featurette (note: Ferrell's coiffure previously seen in When Animals Attack). And who knew Paul Rudd was so funny? Rib-tickling audition tapes for his role as moustachioed ladies' man Brian Fantana are also included, along with snippets of Carell and David Koechner. There's also behind-the-scenes footage of the chaos, which ensued on set; Ferrell throwing out scathing non-sequiturs like, "You're a smelly hooker who hangs out with pirates!"
Don't expect any useful insights from the audio commentary. Instead director and co-writer Adam McKay joins Will Ferrell for what is effectively a 90-minute sketch where Ferrell reveals the sordid details of a wild weekend in Vegas and McKay confesses an addiction to crystal meth. And then they realise the mics are on...
From there it becomes a comedy free-for-all with assorted cast members, like Applegate and Rudd, calling in with their thoughts and random actors stumbling into the studio for cocktails. Sometimes it's just downright weird, but it may be the only film commentary you listen to from start to finish. Even the accompanying music video is worth tuning into, it's just a shame the extended cut of the movie isn't included here. In any case, this DVD edition of Anchorman will keep fans rooted to the sofa.