Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.

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Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Film #297

THE PLOT

Ron Burgundy is San Diego’s top rated newsman in the male dominated broadcasting of the 1970’s, but that’s all about to change when a new female employee with ambition to burn arrives in his office.

Year 1, Day 304

BEFORE: The week of horror and pain and suffering is over and now I have about two days free before I have another week of horror and pain and suffering (just kidding, it’ll be a lot of fun but extremely time consuming). For now though, all you need to know is that I’m watching Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (just Anchorman from here on out). I’ve heard nothing but good things but I am worried that it will be a lot like Dodgeball. Lets see.

AFTER: After a dismal performance yesterday, seeing Anchorman was a relief but still not the film I was hoping for. Dodgeball was bad because the negatives far outweighed the positives and my hatred towards the main character and the premise just bled into the other, semi-good parts. Anchorman is different in that it didn’t cause any strong visceral reaction that triggered feelings of animosity. But it still failed to really hook me and entice me to keep watching.

By far the best part of Anchorman was Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). This is an example of a great character - he was funny, engaging, and above all, felt real. While there was by no means that same level of falseness and rigidity seen in the characters, the clear star of the cast was Carell. His performance of the kind but dim-witted weatherman helped the film and provided a tiny spark of hope for why you should watch it. But besides him, the rest of the film felt bland. It’s another film from the Judd Apatow house (the first being The 40 Year Old Virgin - also with Carell) though not directed by him. Biggest difference, and improvement over The 40 Year Old Virgin is that there are no run-on improv scenes. The only thing it really did though was not destroy scenes. I didn’t find myself cringing in pain (that’s a bit harsh, but you get the idea) but rather accepting the jokes they told and even laughed at a few.

I was expecting Anchorman to be a hilarious film, one I’d find it hard to breath because I was laughing so much. It didn’t meet those expectations, and while I’m obviously disappointed, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. There were still plenty of things I liked about the film. In addition to the aforementioned Steve Carell character, the overall setting of the film - sexist 1970s newscasting - made for a few laughs. The best thing you can do would be to go into the film expecting that: a modest amount of laughs and entertainment, something you can pass the time with rather than finding your new favorite film. And with that, it’s time for me to sign off. Stay classy Internets.

RATING: 3 out of 5