Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Forgotten Movies: RAISING ARIZONA



I loved this movie from the Coen Brothers when I saw it in 1987. Now, not so much. What seemed clever then seems cloying now. Hi (Cage)and Ed (Hunter) steal a baby from parents who have five of them. The theft yields little happiness for them and various other people get in the way. There is too much racing around, too many alternative southern accents, too much screaming. There were so few scenes of them with their baby, it never felt real. Hunter was in it too little for it to become the screwball romance it wanted to be. This was very disappointing. Was my taste in 1987 bad or am I jaded now? It was easy to find places that better lines and better situations could have saved the day. I don't know. Maybe it's me.Have you seen it lately?
What movie did not hold up for you thirty years on?

11 comments:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Even then I thought the ending was weak, as in many Coen Brothers films. I liked it for certain scenes and people, like John Goodman saying, "We released ourselves on our own recognizance," or the "Son, you have a panty on your head" line.

But it had a nasty undertone, and Cage was basically a moron and a loser.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And he was good at playing that role. But I remembered laughing a lot at the theater and only a few times now. I would have to lower this one in my Coen Brothers schema for sure.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

It's no FARGO, that's for sure.

Yvette said...

I remember really liking this movie, Patti. So maybe I'll take your hint and not ever watch it again. :)

Mike Dennis said...

The Coen Brothers, like Nicolas Cage, appear to have played themselves out. Cage just did it faster. His style, which seemed fresh and alluring in those days, wore very thin as a result of far too many bad movies.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, Cage wore thin pretty quickly.

Mean Johnny One-Note said...

Jeff, "Fargo" was ludicrously over-rated rubbish.

Mathew Paust said...

I turned my inner adolescent loose when I saw Raising Arizona the first and only time. Laughed quite heartily. Being so much older then (and, of course, younger than that now) it was a welcome comic relief for my jaded sensibility. Not so sure how it would play with me now. I keep seeing evidence that poor Nick Cage--the beeeeez! the beeeeeez!--has tumbled terribly from popular favor. I've always enjoyed his stuff, even the consensually bad movies. Haven't seen him lately, but he's always struck me as sort of the love child of the late J-J-Jimmy Shtoowart and Jim Carrey, who I get the feeling has also crashed and burned in recent years. Oh, and Fargo, Johnny? Come now. Not sure whose rating system you're citing, but in mine own, Fargo's a minor classic.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I'm afraid Johnny is not to be taken seriously. He likes to stir the pot.

Kelly Robinson said...

I think the problem with RAISING ARIZONA is that it was very fresh at the time, but once everything else copied it, it comes off as trite when seen now. The quirkiness of the humor was very different from other comedies of the time (this was the Police Academy era), but fairly soon after, "quirky" became something that even sitcoms rushed to copy. It's the Seinfeld phenomenon. Remember how unique Seinfeld seemed when it was new? A whole episode in line at a Chinese restaurant? That's just business as usual for sitcoms these days.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Very astute. Easy to forget how unquirky most comedies were in the early 80s.