Thursday 24 September 2015

Review: Raising Arizona

I can't believe I haven't seen…

Raising Arizona Poster

Raising Arizona (1987)
Cert: 12 / 94 mins / Dir. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen / Trailer
WoB Rating: 5/7

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 ;)

Have you really never seen this before?
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.

So are you glad you've finally have?
I am.

And would you recommend it, now?
I would.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Holly Hunter appeared in 1987's End Of The Line, as did Mr Wilford Brimley aka Noa in The Battle For Endor.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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