Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Do we really need ‘Anchorman 2?’

Could somebody explain the phenomenon of “Ron Burgundy” to me? Really!

Will it be worth excessive hype?
Burgundy, of course, was the character played by actor Will Ferrell in the now-decade-old film “Anchorman.”

WHERE HE WAS the tacky, no-class, pompous news anchor beloved by all of San Diego (until he told them to commit a certain sexual act with themselves) back in the 1970s. The 2004 film was a comedy (what else could Ferrell do?) and it took its shots at the cheesiness of ‘70’s pop culture.

All in all, it was a good laugh back then. Whenever I happen to be flipping through television channels and happen to stumble across it, I usually stop and watch a few minutes.

Particularly if it’s at the point of the news anchor gang fight!

I’m not sure what is more ludicrous – actor Steve Carrell’s character killing a man by suddenly throwing a trident or the other news person’s weapon of choice; lighting himself on fire.

OR PERHAPS IT is the sight (and sound) of actor Ben Stiller playing the anchor for Spanish-language news.

But it definitely is a piece, in and of itself. It’s not something that begs out for a sequel – because one could easily take the humor from the original film (best consumed in small doses) and blow it out into something bordering on the grotesque.

That is what seems to be happening now. After nearly a decade, we’re going to get “Anchorman 2” come Dec. 20. Maybe Hollywood producers envision us all going out to the theater on Christmas Day after we’ve opened our gifts and eaten our holiday feasts so we can get a chuckle at the self-absorbed, not-too-bright jazz flute-playing Burgundy.
Who will be Anchorman 2's 'Harry Doyle?'

They certainly seem to be anxious to feed us the concept already.

JOCKEY IS PRODUCING special underwear meant to tie in to the film, while Ben & Jerry’s ice cream has come up with a butterscotch-flavored product meant to mock the Burgundy character’s love of scotch – as in the alcoholic drink.

Ferrell is even appearing in television spots for Dodge Durango – where my own gut reaction is that he looks too old (Ferrell himself is 46 these days) to be playing the part of a news anchorman.

Somebody seems determined to market this film – which makes me fear it will be such a clunker. Will these products be living down the shame of being associated with a film sequel that will stinks?

Somebody is probably hoping for the next “Godfather II,” although I wonder if we’re destined to get “Major League II” – which beyond baseball broadcaster Bob Uecker as over-the-top broadcaster “Harry Doyle” isn’t worth watching at all. It may well be the most-pointless sequel ever.

THERE EVEN ARE people who ought to know better trying to tie themselves into the film. A special exhibit at the D.C.-area “Newseum” about the film? Emerson College naming its school of communication for Burgundy?

Even if just for one day, it still sounds odd for an entity supposedly dedicated to reporting something close to resembling the truth to be named for a fictional character!

The over-the-top promotional ties to the film actually have me skeptical. I doubt I’m buying any Jockey underwear in the near future, nor do I feel the need to get the new ice cream flavor (in part because I’m not fond of butterscotch).

And even though I am actually in the market for an automobile, I may avoid Dodge like the plague just because of its association with the film.

WHAT IS SAD is that the subject matter has potential for parody and humor – the sequel takes us to the 1980s when the Burgundy character is allegedly a cable news anchor. CNN in its early days was good for laughs!

Botching this subject would be truly sad.
Preserving them on celluloid?

Although I was intrigued to learn that Bill Kurtis will be involved with the sequel as well – reprising his role as the film’s narrator (while also giving us “the voice” of television so as to give the film some credibility).

It’s just too bad they couldn’t find a way to give us dual narrators – just envision Walter Jacobson alongside Kurtis as they tried to tell us the follow-up to the ludicrous life of Burgundy. That would be worth watching.


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