I’ll tell you up front: This isn’t as good as or better than the first Anchorman. That doesn’t make this a bad movie, not in the slightest. The original was something special, at least for me. I wanted to say that upfront. Expectation is the source of all heartache, especially with sequels.*
The best part of the movie was the central plot, the news team working for the first 24-hour news network. Of course, Ron Burgundy was responsible for making the news what it is today: sensationalism coupled with entertainment. It really was a brilliant move. Between the graphics, banners, live car chase, I couldn’t help but laugh and roll my eyes. Ron Burgundy was meant to read the news, and have salon-quality hair.
The movie was stuffed with characters and great performances. Steve Carell has more screen time, given his star power. His new love interest, played by Kristen Wiig, did great opposite the stalwart weatherman. Paul Rudd was solid, while David Koechner had little to do past the first act beyond showing up. Christina Applegate had a decent sized part as well. Given the previews, I thought she’d have less of a presence.
It was obvious that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay knew what a sacred cow they had and that they were trying to put their best foot forward with the sequel. This was obvious to me as I sometimes thought they were trying too hard. Nearly a half hour longer than the first, it felt overly bloated (like many Apatow movies) and could have used some editing. There’s a bit of time before the news team is assembled. While I had a few chuckles before then, it wasn’t until they were together, more than 20 minutes in, that the movie gelled.
Comedy sequels typically follow a formula, taking the best parts from the first and doing them bigger. That being said, it’s pretty easy to guess the arc of the movie: Ron leaves the news team, falls from grace, fights a dangerous animal with Baxter saving him, etc. This is where the movie seemed to drag the most, particularly at the beginning of the third act when Ron was blind. The entire bit with the shark could have been removed. The dinner scene with Meagan Good and family was horribly awkward, and I couldn’t wait for it to end. I don’t care for embarrassing, awkward humor (like The Office). My biggest complaint was that when the movie picked up steam, if a bit that didn’t work, it would grind to a halt.
What did work? Again, the central plot was great, as was any time the team was reporting the news. Carell was funny, and every time Rudd was on screen, you felt it. The best scene though, which I’m glad was repeated, was the epic battle. There were some major cameos that I won’t spoil for you here. Do yourself a favor and let it be a surprise. It’s difficult to mention what was funny without ruining the surprise.
I went into this movie with my expectations set low. This wasn’t a negative outlook. I was trying to prevent my hopes from getting too high. Though it doesn’t touch the original, it’s certainly no Caddyshack II. You’ll feel the slow spots, but still leave with a smile on your face and a few new quotes. “Like the old saying goes, nope.”
What was your favorite cameo? How does it compare to the original for you? Comment below!
*My girlfriend said that line and allowed me to use it.
I didn’t see a trailer for this and went it with no expectations. I left surprised and happy. This 1970’s mobster/con flick from David O. Russell was a lot of fun. Bale transformed himself again for a role, tipping the scales around 250 lbs. and sporting the worst comb over ever. Bradley Cooper was serviceable, becoming more dimwitted as the movie continued, though I think this is a result of the script. Jennifer Lawrence was amazing, but seemed wasted in a supporting role with only a few scenes. Amy Adams was captivating and strong, and didn’t wear a bra for the entire film.
The story was simplistic and the stakes seemed to waiver in gravitas. Some scenes, particularly the one featuring a surprise cameo, was intense. After, the pressure seemed to be lifted inexplicably. This constant tension swing hindered my enjoyment slightly. The ending subverted my expectations, but wasn’t overly shocking. Again, these are script complaints. The performances were astounding and easily the draw of the movie. Make a point to see this. Plus, Bradley Cooper with a perm.
Saving Mr. Banks:
Given my love of Disney, I was very interested to see this “biopic.” I never knew the problems Disney faced with getting the rights from author P.L. Travers for Mary Poppins. Emma Thompson played the obnoxious author with Hanks portraying Walt Disney himself, the first time anyone has ever played him. While Thompson was wonderful as Travers, Hanks left me a little wanting. Seeing plenty of clips of Disney throughout the years, the man had an undeniable charm and magnetism that Hanks failed to capture.
Interlaced throughout the movie were flashbacks to Travers youth, explaining her attachment to Poppins, and her inception. Colin Farrell tugged a few heartstrings as her father, though some of connections between her child and adulthood were a little heavy handed. Any fan of Mary Poppins or Disney should see this at least once. Remember, this is a dramatization. Somethings are a little incorrect, but nothing overtly so.
Now I have Mary Poppins’ songs stuck in my head.