Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New on DVD/VOD

  • Print
Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

CP Enlarge Image

Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

In 2004's Anchorman, a combination of stupidity and arrogance saw San Diego meat puppet Ron Burgundy lose and reclaim the title of No. 1 news anchor, in addition to hooking up with out-of-his-league newswoman Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate).

In director Adam McKay's sequel, set on the cusp of a new bad-hair decade -- the '80s -- the stakes are raised as Ron and Veronica, married with a child, transplant to New York City, where Veronica is better appreciated and Ron's incompetence is subject to more critical scrutiny. Inevitably, Veronica is promoted and Ron is fired. So what's a rejected anchorman to do?

The answer is to reassemble his supportive clique of friends -- investigative reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sports guy/closet case Champ Kind (David Koechner) and thick-as-a-brick weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) --to dip their newshound shnozzes in the trending new media trough: 24-hour news networks.

Therein lies the satiric edge of Anchorman 2 that prevents it from being a loose assembly of skits. The secret of Ron's success -- the thing that rescues him from a 2 a.m. shift -- is his assumption the public is as stupid as he is and will appreciate a non-stop barrage of feel-good stories, live feeds of highway chases, crack-smoking demonstrations and assertions of American superiority. Ron is not only proven right, he invents the modus operandi of both CNN and Fox News.

The story arc of the film pretty much duplicates the original and some bits fall flat. But scene for scene, the comedy lives up to its predecessor, whether it's in a new version of Anchorman's news team battle or Ferrell and McKay's experimentation with comic tropes, like a scene preceding an RV accident in which the setup ("Why do you have this bag of bowling balls and this terrarium filled with scorpions?") is just as funny as the payoff.

The Blu-ray has loads of extras, including table-read footage, an often hysterical two-part, 15-minute gag reel and a super-sized R-rated alternate cut with "764 new jokes." 3-1/2 stars

47 Ronin

A story doesn't get more specifically Japanese than the tale of the 47 Ronin -- a thrilling but instructive tale of leaderless samurai conspiring to avenge their master that celebrates the Bushido code of honour and sacrifice.

The movie 47 Ronin dispenses with cultural specificity and delivers a disposable Hollywood action-fantasy. The decidedly non-Japanese Keanu Reeves plays Kai, a "half-breed" of mystic origins who joins forces with disenfranchised samurai warriors when their master, Lord Asano (Min Tanaka), is framed by his ambitious rival Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) and is compelled by the Shogun to commit ritual suicide.

Adding insult to injury, Kira is betrothed to Asano's daughter Mika (Kou Shibasaki), the woman Kai loves.

Director Carl Rinsch has a fairly strong hand for integrating elaborate visual effects into big set pieces, but no discernible talent at all for driving a narrative.

It is not a total loss. The primary villain is not Lord Kira but his supernaturally potent aide, the witch Mizuki (Rinko Kikuchi), whose appearance alternately suggests both a spider and a snake. Kikuchi brings a badly needed bit of textured perversity to a film that is otherwise as authentically Japanese as Sobeys' in-store sushi. 2 stars

randall.king@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 3, 2014 C14

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Trucks power through flooded underpass at Main St and Higgins

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada Goose cools off in a water pond Monday afternoon at Brookside Cemetary- See Bryksa’s Goose a day Challenge– Day 27-June 25, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • The sun peers through the fog to illuminate a tree covered in hoar frost near Headingley, Manitoba Thursday- Standup photo- February 02, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s comment that Tina Fontaine’s slaying was a crime, and not part of a larger sociological problem?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google