HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Raising Arizona Definitely Baby
Year: 1987
Director: Joel Coen
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Frances McDormand, Randall 'Tex' Cobb, T.J. Kuhn, Lynne Kitei, Peter Benedek, Charles 'Lew' Smith, Warren Keith, Henry Kendrick, Sidney Dawson, M. Emmet Walsh
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: H.I. McDunnough - you can call him Hi (Nicolas Cage) - was a career criminal with a habit of robbing convenience stores, although never with a loaded gun as he didn't wish to hurt anyone. This saw him landing in prison quite a few times, and every time he was arrested he would meet Edwina - you can call her Ed (Holly Hunter) - who was employed to take the mugshots of the criminals as they were taken in. He got to know her pretty well over time, and although he had gotten used to his lifestyle Hi felt that there was something more to life, and decided to reform. So he asked Ed to marry him.

The Coen Brothers' first film had been Blood Simple, the mean and moody film noir tribute, so when they followed it up with Raising Arizona people were not sure how to categorise them as in tone this could not have been more different. It was a goofy and frenetic comedy with a lot of heart and playing up the cartoonish nature of their characters made the whole movie look like some kind of spoof, although what its targets might have been was known mainly to the producer-writer-directors. There were those who liked it better than their initial effort, thus setting a pattern of genres where the filmmakers switched from humour to drama over the next few decades, not always with satisfying results but the fact they didn't do what might have been expected of them was always a bonus.

Certainly they coaxed some of the best comedic performances their cast had ever given, with Cage finding the ideal role for his hangdog features, looking as if the world was leaning heavily on his back and only occasionally as if he could contemplate the way his instinctive behaviour had landed him in so much trouble. If Hi stopped and thought about his impulsiveness and how it was damaging him, he might have travelled through life a lot easier, but the manner in which people act in this deems them to be allowing their emotions rule over their intellect. You could accuse the Coens of patronising them if it had not been for the obvious affection they held everyone in, and that included the most obvious baddie, The Lone Rider of the Apocalypse (Randall 'Tex' Cobb).

Why is there a bounty hunter such as he in this film? It's down to the missing baby, Nathan Jr (T.J. Kuhn), at the centre of the plot, and the reason he's missing is that Hi and Ed have kidnapped him. Ed, you see, has found out that she cannot bear children, and her determination to bring up a baby has been foiled yet more by her husband's criminal record which means they are turned down for adopting. As luck would have it, if you could call it luck, a local businessman Nathan Arizona (the great Trey Wilson in one of his last roles) has a wife who has been on fertility treatment and has given birth to quintuplets, so Ed reasons that if they have that many infants then they won't miss one of them, sending Hi over to their mansion to liberate Nathan Jr.

As if that were not complicated enough, two of Hi's prison friends - brothers Gale (John Goodman) and Evelle (William Forsythe) - have just broken out and show up at his trailer home expecting to be welcomed in, though they reckon without Ed. The point to this appears to be that poor Hi is in the thrall of his wife and her hormones, which means that there's nothing he can do when swept away by her tidal wave of desperation: as is too often, he cannot bring in a measure of sense to his life. Thereafter, the implications of being a family man begin to prey on his mind and he wonders if he was not better off before he was hitched, leading to a craving to pack in his new job and return to robbing those stores. There's an inspired chase that results from this, which sees Hi despatched to buy nappies and ends up hounded through the night by various pursuers, some of them actual hounds. But if Raising Arizona is about one man facing up to his responsibilities and limitations, what you'll most recall is the invention and silliness which does exhaust, but doesn't wear out its welcome. Music by Carrter Burwell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5248 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: