Anchorman “Rich Mahogany Edition” Blu-ray Review

“I don’t know how to put this but I’m kind of a big deal.”

Anchorman (2004) has divided Will Farrell admirers with some considering the film among his best work and others wondering what all the fuss is about. While in the former camp, I can appreciate the dissenting opinions and would hesitate to suggest Ron Burgundy as an entry point into the actor’s post SNL career which is littered with goofy comedies (Old School, Elf). There is just something about the oddball wackiness perpetrated under Adam McKay’s (Talledega Nights, Step Brothers) direction that leaves many fans cold.

Yet Ferrell as a politically incorrect, narcissistic news anchor paying homage to 1970’s cliches is comedic gold. If you can warm to the utter randomness of the script’s breathless leaps between bizarre one liners and bits, Anchorman can be one gut-busting, albeit inane, movie. What’s not to love about a spontaneous A capella rendition of the Starlight band’s ‘Afternoon Delight’ or a violently over the top gang fight breaking out between rival news teams in a back alley? And wait till you see the animated trip to “Pleasure Town.”

Remaining members of the Channel 4 crew are strangely intriguing including boozing, chauvinist sports commentator Champ Kind (David Koechner), clueless ladies man/roving reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and, last and definitely least (as far as IQ goes), weatherman Brick “I love lamp” Tamland (Steve Carell). The guys provide humorous support for Ron’s self absorbed attempts at wooing rival female anchor Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) who vacillates between falling under his lusty spell (the flabby gut and kinky body hair have to be a turn on) and battling with slapstick passion against his caveman ways.

The off the wall and often raunchy catchphrases (“I pooped a Cornish game hen.”, “The human torch was denied a bank loan.”, “Como Esta, beetches!”, “I’m gonna punch you in the ovary”) insinuate themselves further with each viewing, securing Ron Burgundy as a part of 21st century pop culture. You’ll find with Paramount’s “Rich Mahogany” 2-disc Blu-ray edition of Anchorman (including rated and unrated versions) that San Diego’s leading news team is more pungent and endearingly idiotic in high-def. Like Sex Panther cologne by Odeon, 60% of the time, this comedy is hilarious every time!

High-Def Presentation

Anchorman isn’t exactly a showstopper in HD, but 1080p resolution treats Ron Burgundy much better than you might assume. Colors pop and there’s an above average dimensionality, clarity and detail accentuated against a thin layer of grain lending a film-like quality. What this transfer has to contend with is the 70’s era aesthetics of bad clothing, criminal hairdos and boring sets, but that’s all part of the film’s character. Paramount’s Blu-ray squeezes out every last bit of goodness making this upgrade from standard-def video the best way to “stay classy” for fans.

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is what you’d expect from a dialog driven comedy. You won’t miss any of the zingers delivered with crisp clarity from the center channel while the non verbal shenanigans are to be found, with good fidelity and separation, in your front speakers. Though your rear channels and subwoofer are rarely engaged (the bear scene does kick in the .LFE), Anchorman isn’t the kind of movie where you’re expecting that level of surround involvement. The lossless audio does a pretty decent job reproducing this smelly, pirate hooker of a soundtrack.

Beyond the Feature

Showcasing literally hours of special features is Wake Up Ron Burgundy (93 min, HD), a whole extra movie pieced together from unused footage (and it’s in 1080p!). If you think Anchorman is lacking in narrative structure, brace yourself before watching Wake Up. At best it has subplots, most notably an inept radical group headed by Maya Rudolph and Kevin Corrigan trying to take over the news, tied together by alternate takes. But all the lead characters and many cameos reappear with further zany bits to get your Ron Burgundy fix on. If you’re a fan, you’ll dig this though I’d have a hard time watching both films back to back.

Additionally there’s over three hours of extras listed below. Highlights include feature commentary led by McKay and Ferrell with input from costars and random guests. This may qualify as one of the least informative but stupidly amusing tracks I’ve heard leading off with the two competing for the most inventive inclusion of swear words (it’s about on the maturity level of this film). Also notable are auditions where the cast takes turns playing other characters, Burgundy interviewing Burt Reynolds, table reads watching the actors try not to crack up and almost an hour’s worth of further deleted scenes extending the inanity. This is really an impressive supplements package topped off by a calendar notebook full of Ron’s scribblings and a pack of Anchorman trading cards.

  • Feature length Audio Commentary on Anchorman
  • 36 Deleted and Extended Scenes (53:56)
  • Bloopers (7:46)
  • “Afternoon Delight” Music Video (3:50)
  • ESPN Sportscenter Audition (1:55)
  • Intro Commentary for Wake Up Ron Burgundy (12:00)
  • 5 PSAs (3:41)
  • Award Speech (3:12)
  • 27 Raw Footage “Good Takes” (39:26)
  • “Afternoon Delight” Recording Session (2:58)
  • Happy Birthday AMC Loews (3:15)
  • Interviews (10:14)
  • 3 Specials (28:41)
  • Cast Auditions (13:03)
  • Table Read (18:37)
  • Rehearsals (9:09)
  • Playback Video (5:10)
  • Commercial Break (2:04)
  • Trailers and TV Spots (4:39)

WHAMY! Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy has garnered cult status with its immensely quotable dialog and absurd antics. I think this comedy is the pinnacle of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s collaborative efforts, and it’s all the better on Blu-ray. Including rated and unrated versions of the film along with Wake Up Ron Burgundy in HD and compiling hours and hours of hilarious extras, Paramount does right by this goofball comedy in high-def. This Blu-ray special edition smells of “Rich Mahogany” and is a no-brainer purchase for Burgundy fans.

– Robert Searle

Note: Anchorman “Rich Mahogany Edition” is currently exclusive to Best Buy stores.

TheHDRoom may be paid a small commission for any services or products ordered through select links on this page.