Will Ferrell

John C Reilly and Will Ferrell in Step Brothers

When Anchorman 2 was announced, the Adam McKay and Will Ferrell collaboration was a blessing for fans of the original film. Sure, another Anchorman movie meant that Ron Burgundy, Champ, Brian and the whole gang would be back for a new adventure after years of anticipation, but it also meant something truly terrible: a sequel to Step Brothers would never happen. The Ferrell and John C. Reilly film, in which two 40-something screw-ups are forced to move in together after their parents get married and then subsequently become best friends, is one of the finest comedies of our times — I’ve waxed poetic about its greatness before — and after the lackluster continuation of Ron Burgundy’s story, the fact that we wouldn’t be able to hear another refrain of “Boats ‘n Hoes” only hit harder. But today’s news is sweetening that bitterness just a little bit with word that Ferrell and Reilly are teaming up again for a different kind of story, and McKay is set to direct this one, too. According to Deadline, the duo will reunite for Border Guards, the tale of two All-American citizens who take it upon themselves to patrol our border with Mexico for illegal immigrants. Naturally, they’re both well-meaning idiots who can’t do their job properly, meaning they somehow wind up on the other side of the border without their passports or a way to get back home. It’s now up to them to figure out how to sneak back into the United States.

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Will Ferrell and friends in ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

“It’s done. I think that’s it. It was great to do it, and it was so fun to work with those guys again, but I think that’s it for Ron Burgundy.” So says Adam McKay, director, co-writer and producer of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and 2004′s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, when asked about a potential third installment. Will Ferrell, along with castmates Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner will make their final run together on the big screen starting today, with an R-rated, extended cut of the most recent theatrical release, with over seven hundred new jokes, which essentially turns this version of the film into a massive comedy stew of scenes that didn’t make the final cut, and a whole lot of improvisational comedy. It’s a seven day run in theaters, and according to McKay, that’s the last new Burgundy you’ll be getting from the Gary Sanchez Productions crew. Though it made $169,268,368 USD total gross worldwide, McKay appears content to move on to new projects, additionally shooting down another prospective sequel in Step Brothers 2 with some finality whilst discussing an Anchorman trilogy.

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Anchorman 2 Shark

February 28. One week only. See Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues in theaters nationwide. That sounds a little odd, doesn’t it? Anchorman 2 was already in theaters nationwide. It was actually there for a period of several weeks, during which anyone who wanted to see it probably did so. But director Adam McKay knows there’s always an audience for more of Ron Burgundy’s classy-yet-extremely-deplorable hijinks, and more importantly, he knows that there’s a mountain of unused improv footage from the filming of the Anchorman sequel. And so next week will see the release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated Version. It’s the same movie, more or less. Same story, same characters, same proud, firm mustache hair. The only difference is that McKay, Will Ferrell and several editors, through the ease of modern digital editing, have gone through the original cut and excised every single joke (save for a few that are story-necessary). Then, they filled each gap with an unused yuk found on the cutting room floor- 763 yuks, to be specific.

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Ferrell and McKay

Will Ferrell and Adam McKay wear many hats in this industry. As writers, directors, and actors, they’ve leant their touch to countless comedies that have that distinct Ferrell-McKay edge: both Anchorman films, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, among others. That’s because they wear one of those hats together, as Gary Sanchez, Paraguayan financier, enterprenuer, and film producer at Gary Sanchez Productions. Ferrell and McKay have announced that Gary Sanchez’ next move is to launch a sister label that will focus on female-driven television and film projects. Gloria Sanchez Productions, named after Gary’s favorite step-grandaughter of course, will be headed by longtime Sanchez executive Jessica Elbaum. Elbaum worked with the duo on Step Brothers and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and served as the producer of their female-centric film Bachelorette in 2012, which starred Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, and Rebel Wilson. Apparently the Gloria Sanchez venture was Elbaum’s idea, one that Ferrell and McKay wholeheartedly backed, if their official statement is any indication: “When Jessica came to us with this idea, we thought it was fantastic. She has worked with some of the great female voices in comedy and has proven herself as a gifted producer who has a keen eye for material.”

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review the lego movie

You’d be right to be cynical about a Hollywood movie based around a bestselling toy with a high price point and a lack of prepackaged story inside the box. The movie business is just that, a business, and when they join forces with toy manufacturers to make “entertainment” for children the results are rarely satisfying or recognizable as anything but crummy, feature-length commercials. But every rule has an exception, and The LEGO Movie is that gloriously wise, beautifully crafted, and unabashedly fun anomaly. Emmet (Chris Pratt) is an average guy whose continually optimistic outlook is fueled by his appreciation for, and obedience of, President Business’ (Will Ferrell) instructions for living. They tell him to park within the lines, drink overpriced coffee, root for the local sports team… everything necessary for an orderly, structured, and “perfect” community. That illusory perfection is threatened by a prophecy stating that a lone hero will rise to liberate the people through organized chaos, and as luck would have it, Emmet appears to be that hero. Or not.

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The Lego Movie arrives in theaters February 7, 2014, but there’s been no shortage of video content introducing us to the world and characters the interim leading up to the release. There are a lot of characters. And oh, what fun it appears we’ll be in store for. I’ll admit, I’m already kinda sold, but I’m highly biased. My love of Lego is borderline unhealthy.

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tiko and shark

Much of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is more of the same from Ron Burgundy and the gang. As the lead character, Will Ferrell does the news, does some ladies and has a few meltdowns. Brick says idiotic things, Champ says inappropriate things and Brian Fantana has a special cabinet alluding to his assumed sexual prowess. Oh, and Veronica Corningstone is back and mad at Ron again. There is even another cameo-filled brawl. But there are a few things added in that we didn’t see in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, like Ferrell wrestling with a shark that calls to mind scenes with a cougar and a bear in Talladega Nights and Semi-Pro, respectively. The sequel reminded me of some other movies besides those in the filmography of its star. Sometimes this was the intention of the filmmakers via a direct reference. Other times it was just the usual wandering of my brain making relevant associations. Occasionally the reminders came externally from another writer’s comparison. Regardless of where this week’s list of recommendations came from, I’ve wound up with a nice variety of titles about broadcast journalism and keeping sharks as pets plus selections highlighting some of the cast’s other work worth checking out. Queue them up for your holiday week, why don’t you. As always, the following may involve SPOILERS as some of the titles below are linked to specific plot points of the movie.

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ferrell and mckay 02

This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. When people talk of the best modern actor/director duos, they tend to leave out Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Maybe it’s because unlike 12 Years a Slave (the latest Fassbender/McQueen), Inside Llewyn Davis (the latest Goodman/Coens) and The Wolf of Wall Street (the latest DiCaprio/Scorsese) Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues won’t be winning any major awards this year. But the latest from Ferrell/McKay is scoring high marks from critics and audiences. And since their first feature collaboration, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy, they’ve consistently delivered the comedy goods. Look at the funniest of Ferrell’s movies over the past decade and you’ll see they’re primarily McKay’s. And you won’t even find any movies directed by McKay not starring his old Saturday Night Live buddy. It’s actually at SNL where this perfect duo technically made their first film together. While Ferrell was a cast member and McKay was head writer, McKay began his move to directing by creating the show’s Digital Shorts brand of videos, which were initially just sketches fully produced prior to the live airing of the program. The original Digital Short debuted on February 5, 2000, during an episode hosted by Alan Cumming and featuring J.Lo as musical guest. Titled either The H is O or The Heat is On depending on which part of the credit sequence you accept as being the title, it […]

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mckay

As their world keeps evolving, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his news team remain the same guys we met 10 years ago in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. They’re stuck in their adolescent and ignorant mindsets, which Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues challenges. For a man like Burgundy, real drama is having to accept a black woman as his boss. Heavy stuff. The old Channel 4 news team may not have changed, but their sequel has. Co-writer/director Adam McKay and his characters were barely bound by structural rules, giving Anchorman 2 some wild directions to go in. To no surprise, McKay took full advantage of those opportunities, and 60% of the time it worked every time. I spoke with McKay, who explained his improv method for the film in depth, described his minor battles with the MPAA and revealed the cameos he wanted but couldn’t get.

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review anchorman 2

Comedy sequels hardly ever inspire confidence. Most attempt to recapture what worked about the first movie, but that’s never proved to be the right way to go about it. That decision tends to lead to a calculated and stale result, missing the point of why its predecessor caught on with an audience in the first place: it was unexpected. Thankfully we have one exception to the rule, and it’s called Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Co-writer/director Adam McKay‘s sequel stays in tune with the spirit of the first movie, and sometimes revisits beats as well, but that approach is fitting for characters aren’t exactly fond of change. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), Champ Kind (David Koechner), Bryan Fantana (Paul Rudd), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) are more or less the same people we saw in the first movie. The world is going through changes, but these four haven’t developed in the slightest. Some of the film’s best laughs come from them having to embrace these changes, like, having a black female boss. The movie starts with Ron Burgundy being fired, pushed away from his home, and, worst of all, working at SeaWorld. It’s the beginning of the end until a man, played by Dylan Baker, offers him an unlikely position as an anchor on a 24 hours news station. At first Burgundy scoffs at the idea, but when money comes into the equation, he takes the job and goes on a road trip to wrangle up his old news team. Bryan Fantana is […]

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Anchorman

Just in case you haven’t heard, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is storming into theaters this December and bringing the Channel 4 News Team back into our lives. With the announcement of the sequel to 2004′s beloved Anchorman came a slow but steady progession of trailers and fun marketing tactics that only amplified the excitement surrounding another round of Ron Burgundy. First came Will Ferrell visiting the set of Conan in character as Ron Burgundy in March to play a little jazz flute and announce the sequel. Clearly, it was delightful and people flipped their lids when they spotted that finely-crafted red suit hit the stage. In the months since March, the buzz grew with several trailers and the usual release of stills and one-sheets. But then came the constant in-character promotions and endorsements. Have we reached peak Burgundy saturation?

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There’s something undeniably charming about The LEGO Movie. Sure, it may be a feature-length toy commercial, and the toys in question will undoubtedly engineer some vast takeover of every store on planet Earth, but who could resist our Danish building block overlords when the product they’re hawking is so clean and crisp and inviting? With stop-motion animation and a voice cast going for broke with giddy childlike enthusiasm, the directors of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs may have just made the greatest feature-length toy commercial ever made. In this new theatrical trailer (or as YouTube awkwardly puts it, the “Official Main Trailer”), we’re given a greater look at the story that will string us along from LEGO set to LEGO set. Emmett (Chris Pratt) is an ordinary LEGO dude who falls into a hole and is thus mistaken to be “The Special,” a mystical hero destined to save the universe from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) with the help of a love interest (Elizabeth Banks), a wise old sage (Morgan Freeman) and Batman (Will Arnett). Some of the humor in the trailer may fall a little flat, for sure. But there’s a frighteningly huge supply of talented voices in the cast including Liam Neeson, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill, and the animation is so endearing it’s practically a controlled substance. Who could possibly turn The LEGO Movie down?

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Anchorman 2 Shark

Ron Burgundy! Yes. The latest trailer for Anchorman 2 is pitch perfect in its racist, chauvinist, animal-loving majesty. Trying to rise through the milk-soaked ashes, Burgundy and the team attempt to make their mark on the world of worldwide news. It looks like they’ll be facing all sorts of progressive ideas and a handful of ball checks. Plus, Ben & Jerry’s just announced they’d be making a Scotchy Scotch Scotch ice cream flavor in honor of the movie, so daydream about that while this:

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Ferrell and Reilly

Like chocolate and peanut butter, or whiskey and Diet Coke, or burritos and Tapatío, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are one of the most magical pairings known to man. The duo previously starred together in Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers (and to a really messed up extent as uncle and nephew in Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie), and now they are teaming up again for Devil’s Night. Devil’s Night is October 30th, the day before Halloween – and the day when the real fun happens. Anyone who has had Monday classes when Halloween fell on a Sunday can attest to this. Ferrell and Reilly will star as Leonard and Gabe, who become best friends on the holiday as children, but are also torn apart by its chaos and destruction. Fifteen years later, they are forced to reunite to save their neighborhood after Devil’s Night grows out of control.

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talladega nights 16

With Rush out in theaters, we wanted to revisit another racing classic of two bitter rivals whose competition drove them to not only be better drivers but also better people. That’s right, we are talking about Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, which sees the title character (Will Ferrell) face many obstacles on his quest to prove he is the best race car driver in NASCAR all while being pitted against his polar opposite, French driver Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Coehn). Where Ricky is sponsored by Wonder Bread, Jean is sponsored by Perrier. Ricky is married to “stone cold fox” Carley (Leslie Bibb) while Jean is married to world-class German Shepherd trainer Gregory (Andy Richter). But the major difference between these two drivers is Ricky truly loves to race whereas Jean is starting to find himself drawn to other pursuits — you know, things like training Komodo dragons in Sri Lanka and teaching them to perform Hamlet. Talladega Nights is classic Ferrell taking on a caricature of not only NASCAR drivers but also the world that, uh, drives this sport. Neither Ricky Bobby nor Talladega Nights ever hesitate to dive head first into stereotypes, but it also immediately takes the wind out of those ideas without coming across as preaching. Ferrell leads the charge, but the entire cast is hilarious and prove that no one in the film is just there as set dressing. Everyone has a punch line to deliver. Join us as we look at ten of our favorite scenes from the movie below.

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GetHard

When we first heard that comedic powerhouses Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell were planning on teaming up for a project called Get Hard, all that we knew about it was that it was coming from a pitch Key & Peele showrunners Ian Roberts and Jay Martel gave to Warner Bros, and that it would likely star Farrell as a yuppie investment banker who was being sent to prison and Hart as the street tough who he hires to teach him how to handle life on the inside. Well, today Get Hard is back in the news, and not only does it appear that the script is getting close to being done, but it also appears that a first time feature director whose name you nonetheless probably know has been hired to come on board and direct. Oh, and also a little bit more has been revealed about the lead characters. Apparently Farrell is innocent of the crime he’s going to jail for and Hart starts off the film as the guy who cleans Farrell’s car. Let’s get to the stuff about the director though.

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Ron Burgundy

Okay, it’s probably paperback, but if the marketing team behind Anchorman: The Legend Continues is smart, they’ll make this vision happen. As part of the viral (written?) campaign for the long-awaited sequel to 2004′s Anchorman, Random House’s Crown Archetype will be teaming up with the legendary broadcaster from the Action 4 News Team to release a memoir entitled Let Me Off at the Top!: My Classy Life and Other Musings. The memoir promises never-before told details about Ron Burgundy’s (Will Ferrell) personal life, childhood, and meteoric rise to fame as one of the most successful and talented anchormen to ever sit behind a desk and bring you the damn news. And since it’s Burgundy doing the writing, it’s pretty much guaranteed that he won’t skip any of the juicy details when talking about the ladies, either. It’s a bit of a strange move to release a book to promote a films; it’s not something you see much these days outside of kids’ movies, but it’s almost weird enough to work. I’m at least a little curious to see what Burgundy’s childhood was like, or how he became a jazz flute master.

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680x478

Ron Burgundy has clearly blown into his mighty conch and summoned his trusty news team to assemble in the 1980′s, if these stills from Anchorman: The Legend Continues are to be believed. Will Ferrell is back as Burgundy, and it’s unclear whether he and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) will ever be married on top of that mountain with garlands of fresh herbs, but they certainly look happy traipsing down the streets of New York City together. When you survive a bear attack together, you can survive anything as a couple. The whole team, including Brick (Steve Carell), Brian (Paul Rudd), and Champ (David Koechner) have left their local station in San Diego for a revolutionary 24-hour news channel in the Big Apple called…GNN. This is the 80′s, so the overwhelming wall of news coverage that we’re used to isn’t a thing yet. And these are the brave men (and woman) who are being trusted to bring it to the world. From the second image, it’s clear that Burgundy is still their faithful leader. Also, take a moment to just soak in their early 80′s fashion. Good to know that Champ’s cowboy hat survived the 70′s. Take a look at the second still after the break.

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anchorman-commentary1

One of the funniest films of the new century is Adam McKay’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. While it didn’t necessarily launch Will Ferrell’s lucrative film career, it definitely put him on the map as a comedy A-lister. However, it did help Steve Carell go from a somewhat obscure TV and movie bit player to a funny man in movies. While Anchorman was still in release, Ferrell and McKay sat down to record an unconventional commentary, which includes mostly random (and often facetious) discussions with no relevance to the film. There are also surprise guests who drop by, including call-ins from Paul Rudd and Christina Applegate, as well as an in-person visit from David Koechner. In line with the film’s absurdity, some people who have nothing to do with the film whatsoever (including Andy Richter, Tenacious D’s Kyle Gass, and even legendary musician Lou Rawls) join in. This commentary is not to be taken seriously, and quite possibly the same can be said for this article. Still, who knows? There might be some nuggets of truth in here as well.

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Anchorman 2 Poster

The world is about to meet Ron Burgundy. Again. Anchorman 2 hits theaters this Christmas, and even though there’s a second Anchorman movie already exists, this one still gets a “2″ in its name.  This time, Ron, Brick, Champ and Brian are re-teaming to polyester their way through the 1980s with the prospect of a 24-hour news channel dangling overhead. They’ve teased with images and one-liners and appearances on late night talk shows, but now the first trailer reveals that — just as he evolved for a world where women were empowered — Ron is learning a lot about race relations as his legend continues:

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published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.17.2014
D+
published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.16.2014
B+

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