Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ricky Bobby

Talladega Nights:  The Ballad of Ricky BobbyJust Watched:
Talladega Nights:
      The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Rating: 4½ Stars

Sometimes you wonder if a movie can't possibly live up to the hype. I mean, Will Ferrell was showing up to the Oscar's, Golden Globe's, & ESPY's in his Wonderbread race suit. The ESPY's ran a special comedic "SportsCentury" bit on Ricky Bobby. Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly even went and did an hour on Larry King Live acting like their persona's (Ricky Bobby & Cal Naughton, Jr. -- "SHAKE & BAKE!") for the entire episode! There's no way the movie can live up to this kind of hype, right?

Well, Will Ferrell delivered. Enjoy it folks, because he is absolutely in his prime. It's sad to say, but as the Sports Guy pointed out in his review, comedians don't have that long of a shelf life. Jim Carey just isn't as funny as he was when he was pumping out Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber. Adam Sandler still delivers funny moments now & then, but he hasn't really delivered since Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. Well, we now have two certifiable, high-grade comedic hits from Ferrell -- Anchorman & Talladega Nights -- and even a mild hit with Elf. The guy is comedic gold right now. I hope he can keep it up.

I *totally* want one!
I'm seriously considering wasting $21.99 on this hat.
The movie did have some vulgar humor. Some of it was funny, and some of it was like, "Woah! A big line was crossed here. I'm not sure I can dignify that with a laugh." And yet, it probably won't keep me from seeing it again. In fact, I'll probably be buying this movie on video. Sometime soon, I'm going to give my treatise on Christians & secular media. Look for it. Also, there's a scene in the movie where Will Ferrell & company sort of make fun with prayer -- not necessarily of prayer, if you can recognize the difference. And yet, I know that there are going to be Christians who find that scene highly offensive. Yet I found it highly humorous -- right up there with the Meet the Parents prayer ("[...] Oh Lord, three things we ask of thee: to know thee more dearly, to see thee more clearly, and to walk with thee more nearly. Amen. Amen!").

Other random thoughts:

  • This is going to go down as one of the most quote-able movies of all time. Up there with Dumb & Dumber and Napolean Dynamite. It will be a cultural phenomenon for years to come.

  • I really want a Ricky Bobby #26 Wonderbread hat. And, yes, I do know that it is a complete waste of $21.99. But think of the laughs I'll get EVERYWHERE whenever I wear that hat!

  • Awesome soundtrack. Whether they wanted you to laugh or to get you pumped up, the music was well-placed.

  • Car racing & movies just go together. It works. The sound of the engines & the cars really gets your blood pumping. Good stuff.

  • The acting was PHENOMENAL. Will Ferrell really pulled off the cocky redneck (with a little embellishment, of course, for comedy's sake). John C. Reilly nailed the role of country bumpkin. And there's this excellent scene with Ferrell, Reilly, & Michael Clarke Duncan (the big black guy from The Green Mile) that had me ROLLING with laughter. Duncan didn't contribute a whole lot to the film comedy-wise, but his delivery in that scene is perfect. The kids who play Ricky Bobby's sons were good -- it's just that the younger one was funny while the older one seemed more perverse. And the guy who played Ricky Bobby's father (who was also the boss from Office Space .... "Yeahhhhhhhh ...") nailed his role. There wasn't any slacking in this film like there can be sometimes in comedies -- everyone's acting was on the mark.

All in all, you can probably tell that I enjoyed the experience. I highly recommend that you go enjoy Ricky Bobby.


RC said...

good stuff and funny comments...

i didn't realize all the spots prior to the movie where Will Ferrell and John C. made appearances, etc.

I agree John C. nailed his role (i blogged about him today)

and Ali G was hillarious as well.

You really should buy a wonderbread hat :-)

Reel Fanatic said...

I thought they all performed great (though the movie dragged for me in the middle when it was just Ferrell and his dad doing the rehab) .. Sasha Baron Cohen just stole every scene he was in .. the moment he walked in and announced he was a driver for "Formula Un" .. I nearly spit my Coke all over the poor people in front of me