Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: 20th Anniversary (Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray)

In the 1970s, an anchorman's stint as San Diego's top-rated newsreader is challenged when an ambitious newswoman becomes his co-anchor.

July 3, 2024 8 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I stopped watching SNL in the late 90’s. There wasn’t really a particular reason, I’d been watching it since the late 80’s and with the cast constantly changing, it just wasn’t the same. That and at the time I was starting a website in which I reviewed movies, so…most of my free time went there. Who’d know that a quarter of a century later, I’d still be at it? Having said that, Will Ferrell had made quite a name for himself in the early part of the 21st century. With films like Elf and Old School under his belt, Ferrell was once again headlining a movie. Anything with this guy I’ve always taken with a grain of salt, so in preparation for this review, I figured I’d see if Ron Burgundy was actually a real person. He was not. Rather the film is loosely based on a Detroit Anchor, Mort Crim – you can read about him here. Taking place in the ultra non politically-correct era of the late 70’s, this is everything that raises eyebrows today. But this is also a Will Ferrell movie – did they pull it off?

Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is the popular anchor for a San Diego TV station. His status has given him a huge ego. He’s obsessed with his looks (mainly his hair) and spends his off hours with the rest of his news team: Sports reporter Champ Kind (David Koechner), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and weatherman Brick (Steve Carrell). When they’re not working, they’re playing – hard. These male bonding rituals are thrown into disarray when a new up-and-coming reporter, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) shows up. Burgundy initially mistakes her for “just another pretty face” but soon sees that she’s got her sights set on being a network anchor. They begin to flirt, then date and ultimately they become rivals. Ron is driven over the edge after missing a newscast and with Veronica as his replacement – sees that his future might not be so bright.

I’d like to say “there’s more to it than that” but…there really isn’t. It’s more along the lines of “The Adventures of Ron Burgundy” but they do it in great style. The film also has a lot of, at the time, unknown talent. There was Steve Carrell before The Office, Paul Rudd before he did…everything, Jack Black as an angry motorcyclist and even Seth Rogen as a cameraman. Of course, at the heart of the film is Will Ferrell. He carries the show, but there’s almost too much of him. This is where the supporting cast comes into play and with a group of seasoned comics, he was in good hands. Two decades later, you don’t me to tell you if this is a good film or if you’ll like it. Odds are you will. This film, and its sequel, might be most remembered for a West Side Story brawl. I’ll leave it at that.

Video: How’s it look?

I’ve only seen this film a few times since its release. And that’s a shame. But for the film’s 20th anniversary, we get this in 4K and, let me tell ya, it looks amazing. From the fine detail of Ferrell’s mustache to the 80’s hair to the intricate patterns in the tweed coats.  Stunning.  Colors are bright and vivid and the entire film seems to have a sleekness that’s just flat out outstanding. A top notch effort here and despite what some might think about the film, this transfer knocks it out of the park.

Audio: How’s it sound?

As if the video presentation wasn’t good enough, it’s not to be outdone as this DTS HD Master Audio sound mix scores (get it)! All kidding aside, it really is an immersive mix.  Surrounds are constantly active, the sub thumps and the front stage is very active.  Surrounds are there, but not too prevalent. Vocals are spot on that sound rich and pure. Suffice it to say that this makes use of each and every channel in your system. Well done!

Supplements: What are the extras?

Disc One (4K)

  • Extended Cut – Three additional minutes of the film’s extended cut are available via branching.
  • Audio Commentary – Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Lou Rawls, Andy Richter, Kyle Gass, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Christina Applegate
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes – 36. Count ’em, 36 deleted and extended scenes that run nearly an hour. Too many to list here, but suffice it to say there was a plethora of “unused” footage.
  • Bloopers – Nearly 8 minutes of these are present. They wore thin after a minute or two.
  • Music Video – “Afternoon Delight”
  • ESPN SportsCenter Audition – Ron Burgundy – Pretty much that. A mock audition with Farrell’s character.

Disc Two (Blu-ray)

  • Wake Up Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie – The title is dead on accurate. This is a full-length film from unused cuts from the feature-length version. This was originally released individually, but it’s nice to have it as part of this set.
  • Intro-Commentary – Will Ferrell and Aaron Zimmerman have a dozen minutes of things to say about the above film.
  • PSA – Ferrell, in character (of course) doles out nearly four minutes of public service announcements.
  • Award Speech – Burgundy’s acceptance speech at the Emmys.
  • Raw Footage “Good Takes” – Nearly 30 alternate takes are shown.
  • “Afternoon Delight” Recording Session – Just that. The cast as they’re recording the video that’s shown in the film.
  • Interviews – The MTV 2004 Music Video Awards (remember those?) are shown with a trio of celebrities.
  • Specials – A trio of features: Cinemax: The Making of Anchorman, Comedy Central Reel Comedy: Anchorman and A Conversation With Ron Burgundy.
  • Cast Auditions – We see the cast as they audition for their roles as well as some “alternate universe” takes with the actors playing other characters.
  • Table Read 6/2/03 – Six different scenes are shown. This took place on June 2, 2003 if you missed the line item.
  • Rehearsals – Pretty self-explanatory.
  • Playback Video – The news team’s “not so great” moments.
  • Commercial Break – Essentially a blooper reel.
  • Trailers

The Bottom Line

Two decades later, you’re either a fan or you’re not. There’s really no middle ground with a Will Ferrell movie. Paramount’s two-disc offering ports over all the extras from the previous version and there’s no shortage of extras. The real standout is the new 4K presentation. For fans of the movie, this one is a must have.

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