Director: Adam McKay
Year Released: 2013
Throwaway Jokes: The Movie. Inept news anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is fired from his day job (and abandons his wife, played by Christina Applegate) to re-form the news crew Muppets-style and join a 24-hour news network (not unlike CNN) started by an Australian mogul (not unlike Rupert Murdoch). Though the script by McKay and Ferrell allows for plenty of improv and truly out-there one-liners and surreal moments (the "courtship" between Steve Carell and Kristin Wiig is hilarious), it is weak as satire of modern news outlets like Fox News (Patriotism 24/7! Car chases! Hot vaginas!) and the entirety of the last third of the movie, starting with Ferrell going blind, raising a shark, restoring his vision and having an all-out brawl with supernatural forces (a Minotaur! the Ghost of Andrew Jackson!) isn't so much funny as bizarre and self-indulgent, taking unexpectedly outré moments from the first movie, making them bigger and, well, draining the humor out of them. McKay has promised there will be no third Anchorman movie ... which is a welcome admission of restraint.