Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (The Rich Mahogany Edition Blu-ray)
SPECIAL FEATURES A
BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 9.5
(OUT OF 10)
The classic Will Ferrell comedy has finally come to Blu-ray—shortly after Paramount told director Adam McKay and the full returning cast that they weren't allowed to make a sequel. Anchorman didn't scorch the box office when it was released, and all of the stars' price tags have gone up, so the studio said no. Never mind that the film became the most beloved Will Ferrell comedy of all time ... as of now, Paramount is denying you a sequel!
No doubt, everybody wanted to come back because they had a blast making this one. Ferrell plays the notorious Ron Burgundy, San Diego's No. 1 newsman in the '70s. He's dealing with changing times, and a new anchorwoman (Christina Applegate) is muscling in on his territory. While walking in despair through the heated streets of Southern California, he swills milk, which is a very bad choice.
Steve Carell's Brick is the stuff of legends, and Paul Rudd kills as the guy who splashes Sex Panther cologne on his neck and winds up smelling like a used diaper full of what used to be Indian food. In this film, Ferrell really came into his own, and I would like to see the story continue.
Get with it, Paramount!
SPECIAL FEATURES: For the time being, this is a Best Buy exclusive—so you can only buy it there. It comes loaded, including the film Wake Up, Ron Burgundy, a full movie made of outtakes (one of the greatest special features ever). You also get countless deleted scenes, audition tapes, a commentary featuring the cast hanging out with Lou Rawls, bloopers and more. This is one of the year's best Blu-rays.
Bored to Death: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
SPECIAL FEATURES B
BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 8
(OUT OF 10)
In this excellent and funny HBO series, Jason Schwartzman plays Jonathan, a novelist who gets bored and lists himself on Craigslist as a private detective. He works for cheap, so lots of people call him, and he spends each episode doing things like solving blackmail cases and finding people with his comic-artist friend, played by Zach Galifianakis.
Let me make this clear: Galifianakis doesn't just stop by for a cameo; he is a star in this show, and is every bit as funny as he's been in stuff like The Hangover. Ted Danson plays a needy magazine editor, and the character is far and away the best thing he has ever done. I wouldn't be surprised if Emmy took notice one day and nominated both Danson and Galifianakis for their work on this show.
A highlight would be the episode in which Jonathan squares off against a woman making sex tapes for extortion purposes. It features, among other things, Danson and Galifianakis smoking pot and drawing portraits of one another. The season ends with two hilarious episodes in which the trio is challenged to boxing matches. Oliver Platt stops by to spar with Danson, and it's brilliant.
Schwartzman is consistently funny and charming in the central role. His attempts to woo his ex (the sweet Olivia Thirlby) and his romance with a food co-op employee played by Jenny Slate are fun to watch. Schwartzman has himself a real winner here; he also sings the theme song.
The second season commences on Sunday, Sept. 26. It is easily one of the best things on TV, so make plans to crack up.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentaries and making-of featurettes are all good.
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done
SPECIAL FEATURES B-
DVD GEEK FACTOR 5.75
(OUT OF 10)
In this characteristically bizarre film from director Werner Herzog, Michael Shannon plays a man with mommy issues who should've never gotten into theater. The movie is actually based on the true story of a man who killed his mother after becoming obsessed with a Greek tragedy.
This is the first collaboration between Herzog and David Lynch (who produced), and it certainly feels like something you'd expect from the pairing. Lynch standbys like Grace Zabriskie are in the cast, and, well, the whole thing is just plain weird.
Willem Dafoe, Michael Peña and Chloë Sevigny are all good in this experimental film; it seems like every line of dialogue is at least slightly odd. Shannon, who is always good, gets to basically go nuts. His obsessions with Greek plays, flamingos and the Quaker Oats guy are well-played.
I go for this kind of stuff, but the pacing and strangeness are liable to turn off a lot of people. If you are a fan of Lynch and Herzog, you are safe. If you hated Blue Velvet and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call—New Orleans, you will hate this even more.
SPECIAL FEATURES: A short called Plastic Bag—a funny film about, of all things, a plastic bag—and a Herzog commentary are the highlights.