It’s been the better part of a decade since “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” first graced screens and spawned a seemingly endless (and timeless) string of catchphrases and quotables. Now, as the release of the hotly anticipated follow-up, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” draws near Paramount has seen fit to unleash a brand-new blu-ray edition of the film that started it all.
“Anchorman” is a film that people tend to love or hate, and by now you should know where you stand. If you fall into the latter category, stop reading now (why indeed have you read this far?), because The “Rich Mahogany” Edition Blu-ray was made with fans of the highest order in mind. This set (available everywhere Dec. 3) is positively packed. It boasts not one, not two, but three feature-length versions of the film–the theatrical version and an unrated version are standard fare for most releases, but this set also features an alternate cut with a vastly different plot line, “Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie”, that will give “Anchorman” fans all new reasons to laugh and all new lines to quote.
This comprehensive collection also includes a physical printing of “The Many Months Of Burgundy” (a diary that is really just some glossy pages stapled together, but the inscriptions to be found within are plenty amusing), collectable trading cards featuring the Channel 4 News Team and some of their rivals, and, beyond all of that, hours of bonus features. This set, much like the Ron Burgundy himself, is kind of a big deal.
The first of the two discs featured the theatrical and extended, unrated versions of the film; a feature commentary with Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Lou Rawls, Andy Richter, Kyle Gass and David Koechner; bloopers, almost 50 minutes worth of deleted and extended scenes, an “Afternoon Delight” music video and footage of Ron Burgundy’s ESPN Sports Center Audition. Of the above Burgundy’s Sports Center audition is certainly the most brief special feature, but it’s a clever, funny little nugget that shouldn’t be missed.
The first disc packs an incredible amount of content, but as special features go, the second disc seems to have the lion’s share, and certainly enjoys the best of the extra content. All told it includes “Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie”, a feature introduction from Will Ferrell and Aaron Zimmerman, several PSAs from beloved anchor Ron Burgundy, an award speech from the same, a slew of raw footage dubbed “Good Takes”, footage of the cast “Afternoon Delight” recording session, a happy birthday message from Mr. Burgundy to AMC Loews, Burgundy’s 2004 MTV movie awards interviews with Rebecca Romijin, Jim Caviezel and Burt Reynolds; a Cinemax “Making Of” special, a Reel Comedy “Anchorman” special, a special interview with Ron Burgundy, footage from cast auditions, table read footage, rehearsals footage, playback video footage of the Channel 4 News Team reporting out in the world, a commercial break and a collection of TV spots and trailers.
Of that mighty list a few offerings stand out above the rest. “Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie” is an absolute must for fans. The raw “Good Takes” footage features incredible strings of the actors doling out their best lines over and over with just the slightest tweaks and variations, and deep within the cast auditions footage lies a collection of auditions entitled “Alternate Realities” in which viewers can see David Koechner (Champ Kind) audition for the role of Brick and Steve Carrell (Brick Tamland) try his hand at the role of Brian Fontana. Here too are clips of Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph giving their takes on Veronica Corningstone–just try to suppress raucous giggles when Poehler gets rolling. Though we don’t get to see those lovely ladies of “SNL” in the final cut of the theatrical version, they both factor (and delightfully so) into “Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie”.
The “Rich Mahogany” Edition Blu-ray is a comprehensive collection that will delight any “Anchorman” fan–however if all of the above still doesn’t satisfy your Ron Burgundy needs, an even more vast limited edition gift set is rolling into Walmart and Sam’s Club stores on Dec. 10. In addition to all of the above, the gift set features: an “I’m Kind of a Big Deal” t-shirt, a Walmart coupon for a free pint of Ben & Jerry’s “Anchorman” Scotchy Scotch Scotch Ice Cream, a 16-page excerpt from the new autobiography “Ron Burgundy: Let Me Off At The Top!”, Movie Money to see “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” (up to $7.50) and a digital copy of “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”.
“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” hits theaters on Dec. 18.