Wake Up, Ron Burgundy is a straight to dvd movie that shows an alternate story to the clash of news anchors that we know and love. Due to being made up of unused scenes (and a few reused ones to provide narrative that can’t be done with alternate footage), it doesn’t feel as polished as Will Ferrell’s 2004 classic, Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, does. It comes as part of a boxset with the first movie.
The alternate movie covers Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone’s bid to stop an activist organisation known as The Alarm Clock (which is acknowledged in-movie as a terrible name) by using Investigative Journalism! to beat Movie Cops Who Aren’t Shown! to the punch. Along the way, it features more weirdness from our favourite mustached anchorman and his gang of friends.
Some of this weirdness can get a bit too weird at times and wander into the realm of disturbing (there was an almost creepy moment with Champ and Ron, but it was played for laughs), but it’s worth sticking with, if only for the excellent sequence on the mountainside near the observatory where the gang prove how utterly useless they are when lost. While it’s an alternate movie, some gags (such as the Recurrence Of The Pungent Sex Panther) don’t make sense if you haven’t actually seen the movie that screened in theaters, and some of the best ones are naturally not carried over. These are the gags you miss, as the Anchor Fight, the brief cameo of Jack Black (without the Pick of Destiny, but with the Dog Of Punting) and some of Brick’s best quotable lines (He does love his lamp) aren’t carried over either.
It expands on some stuff from the main movie, such as having Ed Harken (the newspaper editor) berate his son, who is played by Galaxy Quest and Dodgeball nerd Justin Long. We hear about more things that he did which were abandoned from the main film. Justin Long in this movie, come to think of it, reminds me of Lovable Air Rocker Ted (Theodore Logan) played by a young Keanu Reeves** in the classic Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
It’s certainly a good move to make, as they could’ve just shoved the extra scenes onto one dvd and classed it as “new material” (and they did add more material to the first movie dvd), but no – they went ahead and released a second disc to go with the first. The dvd itself is minimalist (just the movie and subtitles), which is still better than the early days of dvd, when they advertised ‘interactive menus’ as a special feature*. If you liked Anchorman as it was, this is certainly a good dvd to get, and if you can find the set cheap enough (as I did), it’s worth splashing out and replacing your original copy of the first movie.
In the true Anchorman style, I’m Scott Varnham. You stay classy, loyal readers, and thanks for stopping by.
*Highlander 2 was one of these dvds. Having the ability to watch it with subtitles (as I can hardly watch stuff without them) would still not make it any less shite.
**(some, to be devilishly satirical, would say he was at his acting peak then. Ho ho ho.)