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Non-Review Review: Anchorman 2 – The Legend Continues

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is perhaps twenty minutes too long, and indulges in a little bit too much of the nostalgia common in comedy sequels during its final act, but it’s a movie with its heart in the right place. More message-driven than its direct predecessor, and much more of an ensemble piece, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is an enjoyable example of the sorts of cringe comedy that made the original such a cult classic. While it might not measure up perfectly, it ranks quite highly among the annals of comedy sequels.

Jumping for joy?

Jumping for joy?

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Jameson Cult Film Club: Predator

I had the privilege of attending last Tuesday evening’s Jameson Cult Film Club screening of Predator. It’s easy to take for granted the care a preparation that goes into these nights celebrating popular classic films, but the crew pulled out all of the usual stops for the evening, turning their city centre into something of a jungle. From improvised death traps (within health and safety regulations, of course) through to advice on movie etiquette translated from… whatever that noise is that Predator’s make, the evening was a fitting tribute to an eighties cult classic.

Again, the production team walked the line, balancing the need for spectacle carefully against the integrity of the film. Predator is a loud film by its nature, and the special effects on the location were well-chosen to turn the volumes up to eleven. The pyrotechnics display during the movie’s climax was just astounding, as were brief interludes of the Predator itself preparing for battle or cleaning up after one.

The guys at Jameson Cult Film have sent over some snapshots of the night. Check them out below and click to enlarge. In the meantime, feel free to register at their website for free tickets to their next event, which I am already looking forward to.

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Watch! Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Trailer!

Via Paramount, here’s the latest trailer for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which is being released in December. It’s a pretty big deal. Eagle-eyed viewers will spot some RTÉ footage in there. Great Odin’s raven!

 

Watch! New Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Trailer!

Comedy sequels are, as a rule, a dodgy proposition. After all, you generally assume that the first film – if was successful – had really mined the premise for all it was worth. There’s a tendency to turn comedy sequels into remakes starring the same cast, as there’s an understandable reluctance to meddle too heavily with a successful formula and cast. So I’ll admit that I am a little nervous about Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Still, the trailer looks promising, and updating the characters to the eighties (complete with obligatory Journey soundtrack) could provide enough of a shake-up to keep things interesting. It helps that the original film has – I’d argue – one of the great comedy ensembles, and I trust Ferrell, Carrell, Rudd and Koechner to keep the sequel fresh. It looks worth a shot at least, and it certainly reminds me of what I liked so much about the original Anchorman without seeming like too much of a retread.

Check it out below.

Non-Review Review: The Campaign

The Campaign is hardly the most complex piece of political satire ever written. In fact, the movie suffers a great deal because its observations about political corruption feel fairly superficial. The relationship between donors and politicians, and the sway that what the movie terms “big money” has over elected officials, are hardly cutting insights into the way that lobbying and electioneering actually works. To be fair, there is something in the way that the movie parodies the tendency of US elections to get incredibly dirty incredibly fast, but The Campaign ultimately winds up feeling a little superficial.

That’s not to say that there aren’t moments of wit to be found here. Both Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are skilled comedians, even when the material isn’t necessarily up to scratch. And in order to make fun of the extreme rhetoric that such campaigns may involve, the movie occasionally pushes itself into the realm of the surreal. However, its observations and its targets seem so obvious that the movie can also be remarkably frustrating.

A candid(ate) look at the electoral process?

A candid(ate) look at the electoral process?

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Celebrating 100 Years of Paramount in Poster Form…

I’m a sucker for a bit of movie nostalgia. To celebrate 100 years of Paramount, Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles have released this special and stylish poster counting down many of the iconic films they’ve released over the years. While I’m not too ashamed of how I did, I’ll freely confess that I didn’t quite get all of them. Might make a nice game over the weekend. Anyway, check it out below and click to enlarge. Awesome.

Non-Review Review: Talladega Nights – The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is not as good as Anchorman. That said, this reunion of Will Ferrell with Adam McKay has its charm – helped along by the fact that its comedy is framed inside a wonderful little story, and acted out by all manner of skilled performers. I think, if anything, the movie stands as a testament to the huge difference that a sympathetic and engaging protagonist and strong supporting cast can make to a comedy.

A breath of fresh air...

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