Film Friday #162

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

The years have passed and legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his now wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are co-anchors of their San Diego news stati0n but when the current prime time anchor (Harrison Ford) retires, Veronica is picked to take over and Ron is fired. Unable to accept Veronica’s success, Ron leaves her and their young son, Walter (Judah Nelson) and heads for New York. Initially things go badly but soon he is hired to join a new 24 hour news channel… but first he’ll have to get together the old team, navigate the complicated world of civil rights and get one over on up-and-coming new anchor Jack Lime (James Marsden). The team behind Anchorman 2 throws everything including the kitchen sink at this long awaited sequel and I have to admit for me almost all of it sticks. The storyline is utterly outrageous – I mean there is a whole section where Ron goes blind and raises an orphaned shark… not to mention Brick (Steve Carrell) coming back from the dead to have a romance with a coworker even weirder than he is (Kirsten Wiig) and an anchor fight that makes the first one look like a scrap on a playground. It’s hilarious, endlessly quotable and quite slyly satirical and it has some of the most star-studded cameos you’re likely to see any time soon. If you enjoyed the original, you’ll probably be happy to just go with the craziness. If you didn’t, you should probably avoid this like the plague. 4/5

The moment Ron discovered he'd been eating "the chicken of the cave"

The moment Ron discovered he’d been eating “the chicken of the cave”

A Bronx Tale (1993)

This semi-biographical story of writer/actor Chazz Palminteri’s life follows Calogero Anello (Francis Capra/Lillo Bancato) a young Italian-American growing up in the Bronx in the 1960′s. Calogero’s father, Lorenzo (Robert De Niro, who also directs) is a straitlaced bus driver who does his best to avoid the shiftier elements of the neighbourhood and does his best to keep his son on the straight and narrow but Calogero can’t help but be fascinated with local mobster, Sonny LoSpecchio (Chazz Paliminteri). When Calogero covers for Sonny after a shooting, Sonny takes him under his wing, nicknames him C, and to Lorenzo’s horror becomes a kind of second father to him. The years pass and C falls in with a crowd of hoodlums who are mostly concerned with keeping the nearby black neighbourhood from encroaching on theirs. It doesn’t take long for things to get out of control and C will be forced to make choices that will shape the rest of his life. What makes this really interesting is that Sonny, despite being a criminal, is often the voice of reason in C’s life and the one most likely to keep him from getting into real trouble. There are a lot of secondary characters in this film but somehow they all manage to have personalities and never sink into cliche, one of my favourite being the endlessly unlucky, Mush (Eddie Montanaro). It also has a wicked soundtrack spanning everything from Hendrix to Sinatra. Very well worth a watch. 4/5

XXX

How many times do I have to tell you to stop copying my mole!

The Rainmaker (1997)

A newly graduated lawyer, Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) takes on a massive insurance company after they refuse to pay out his client’s (Mary Kay Place) claim when her son (Johnny Whitworth) gets leukemia. He also meets a young abused woman (Clare Danes) and decides to rescue her. Somehow all of this goes on for over two hours but that’s not actually a bad thing because this John Grisham interpretation is actually a very watchable David and Goliath story with decent supporting performances from Danny De Vito and Danny Glover… there’s just not an enormous amount you can say about it. If you like a good courtroom drama you could probably do a lot worse and watching Rudy learn to work the legal system is pretty satisfying. 3/5

MATT DAMON!

MATT DAMON!

The Other Guys (2010)

Compared to the reckless top detectives in their precinct, Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) and Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) are “the other guys”. Terry is in disgrace after accidentally shooting a sports star and Allen is a glorified accountant chasing down paper trails with no actual experience of police work. The two are reluctantly thrust together as partners and start working a corruption case against a dodgy capitalist called, David Ershon (Steve Coogan). As this odd couple are genuinely a bit useless they manage to bungle almost every situation they get themselves into, which means that no one else wants to believe that they’re actually onto something, which just adds to the mayhem… but if they do pull it off they might just redeem themselves. I actually found this silly buddy cop film hilarious. There is a whole bit with Allen’s wife, Sheila (Eva Mendes), where Allen seems oblivious to the fact that she is breathtakingly beautiful and Terry refuses to believe that she’s actually Allen’s wife that is brilliant. As well as when Allen and Sheila pass their love messages through Sheila’s elderly mother. Wahlberg is clearly having fun playing his standard tough guy role with his tongue firmly in his cheek and Ferrell is his usual silly self. If you like Ferrell and enjoy your comedies a little off the wall, this a fun way to spend an evening. 3.5/5

XXXX

How many times do I have to tell you that this tie doesn’t go with your shoes?

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