2 items from 2013
Cameos have become one of the staples of modern ensemble movies. It’s not like they need them to succeed. They don’t even need them for plot. But, hey, if you can get Bill Murray to pop up as himself in the middle of Zombieland, why not? When done well, cameos can be as transcendent as David Bowie in Zoolander, John Hurt in Spaceballs, or Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. When executed poorly, well, at its best, it gets quickly forgotten. At its worst, it’s Bruce Willis in Ocean’s Twelve.
- Lindsey Bahr
Making a sequel to a cherished cultural totem is no easy business, but director Adam McKay and his muse Will Ferrell keep things very classy in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” a modestly less quotable but generously funny new adventure for scotch-and-mahogany-loving 1970s newsman Ron Burgundy, here catapulted into 1980 and the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle. Mindful that bigger isn’t often better, McKay and Ferrell have scaled up 2004’s “Anchorman” without compromising its core of freewheeling prankishness, while making a not-unserious movie about the devolution of TV news into pandering infotainment. (Imagine “Network” as directed by Mel Brooks, and starring Gene Wilder.) Sure to leave a smile on the faces of all but the overly botoxed, this early Paramount Christmas present should easily power past the original film’s $85 million domestic haul, and possibly even the $148 million earned by Ferrell-McKay’s 2006 “Talladega Nights.”
Probably the most willfully absurd, »
- Scott Foundas
2 items from 2013
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