Last weekend, my wife and I went to go see Anchorman 2. We love going to the movies, and I love the experience even more now that we have a local theatre that provides video description (hat-tip to Cinemark. I hope the other theaters in my area follow their example). I was pretty excited, because I loved the first Anchorman.
First, a little background: It is an outrageous and inappropriate comedy that is not meant for children. Will Ferrell plays Ron Burgandy, an anchorman who leads a team of newscasters from a San Diego television station. They are provided their "big break" for the network news in New York City. As in the prior film, there are ups and downs with a lot of ridiculous dialogue and behavior.
That said, a few comments on the movie. [WARNING: Spoilers ahead.] At one point, Burgundy loses his vision, becoming blind. They have him moving into a lighthouse, which I thought was quite hilarious. There are so many blindness organizations with their name related to "Lighthouse for the Blind." Why not have a character that moves into one? —Pretty funny stuff. I don't know if everyone will feel that way, but I thought it was great. I also enjoyed some of the situations and dialogue surrounding Burgandy's blindness. His character is always extremely over the top, and he doesn't stop there. His lighthouse was a disaster inside—he was using his dishwasher as a fireplace, and everything in the apartment was upside down. He was complaining about using a lobster as a toothbrush. His friends were like, "But a lobster doesn't even feel like a toothbrush!' They were dismissing a lot of his misconceptions, with him being more than a bit absurd.
I loved when he grabbed his car keys, rushed out, and tried to drive away. He immediately crashed, and yelled something like, "Can someone call me a cab, I'm blind!" This was funny to me, as well as a friend of mine who is also blind, because that is a tough part of being blind—anyone with vision loss knows it's difficult to just storm out and leave, unless you live in a place with great 24 hour public transportation. I was actually a little nervous about the movie's portrayal of blindness at first, but I am totally cool with how the rest of the characters related to him. It was less about "making fun of" blindness and more an unpredictable situation for a totally ridiculous character to navigate.
Lastly, a quick aside to comment on the video description during the film. I thought it was done well overall. I had seen the film "Delivery Man" a week prior, where the description was done poorly (in my opinion). The description had been clustered together at times, and in a few cases the description was provided after the relevant situation or scene. The strange thing was, there were openings—pauses in dialogue, that is—for it to be appropriately inserted. It seemed as if they felt the material should interrupt less, but there wasn't much to interrupt. I would give Anchorman a B+ or A- for the description, and Delivery Man a B- (as you can see, I’m real intellectual movie buff!). Take these grades with a grain of salt—my satisfaction at having description available at all is an A!
Darkened movie theater photo courtesy of Shutterstock.