Raising Arizona (1987)
Cert: 12 / 94 mins / Dir. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen / Trailer
Somehow, it turns out I've been enjoying My Name Is Earl all these years without having seen this. The amount of influence that the Coen's H.I. McDunnough has over Earl Hickey is (to me, at least) startling and rather touching. It's certainly the thing which put a broad smile on my face in the first thirty seconds of the film.
The yarn of dumb intentions and comedic ineptitude unravels with a greater focus than I've seen in Ethan and Joel's other movies; more immediately character driven and with a slyly-paced script. The second act feels like it devolves into farce slightly (although still a highly enjoyable farce), and everything was going well until the film's ending which is far neater and more saccharine than the screenplay should allow - even in a tall tale such as this. Ironically, My Name Is Earl pulls off these moments (and sappier ones, besides) because its TV format gives more time to build the personalities. An hour and a half is a perfectly respectable amount of time to spend in the McDunnough's company, but characters as fun as these are crying out for more.
But ultimately, Raising Arizona is a film which reminds me that as much as he's become a hoary old parody of himself, I do enjoy a Nicholas Cage movie (even if it's primarily for his presence alone). It's not a film which has redefined how I look at cinema, just one that I should have seen before tonight.
Thanks, Gareth ;)
Yeah, as regular readers will attest, I didn't really do the Coen Bros until fairly recently. And I'm still not doing them particularly robustly.
Holly Hunter appeared in 1987's End Of The Line, as did Mr Wilford Brimley aka Noa in The Battle For Endor.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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