My buddies and I incessantly quoted Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby for a good two years right after its 2006 release. It is not higher art, but may be Will Ferrell’s funniest film (sorry, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, I still like you, as well). Complete of memorable one particular-liners and playful digs at Southern NASCAR culture, Talladega Nights gives a winning cast in Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Cole, Michael Clarke Duncan, Leslie Bibb and Jane Lynch. This story of a bone-headed stock vehicle driver and his redneck loved ones has a beating heart, and supplies sufficient absurdist humor for the most inebriated viewer. Hey, if you do not chew Large Red then f**k you!
From a young age Ricky Bobby (Ferrell), the man with two 1st names, wanted to go rapidly. He ultimately graduates from the pit crew to driver and earns himself a hot NASCAR wife, Carley (Bibb), and lots of income and fame. Ricky’s two boys, Walker (Houston Tumlin) and Texas Ranger (Grayson Russell), are small assholes who consistently irritate their grandfather, Chip (Ted Manson). Carley’s idea of a home-cooked meal is a table stacked with Taco Bell, KFC, Pepsi and Pizza Hut. Ricky’s greatest buddy, Cal Naughton Jr. (Reilly), is just as dim as Ricky, but Cal quickly grows tired of sharing the spotlight. An openly gay French driver, Jean Girard (Cohen), challenges Ricky, who turns to his assistant, Susan (Amy Adams), for inspiration. Hilarity ensues.
Even though Ferrell has proved himself with dramatic roles in films like Everything Must Go and Stranger Than Fiction, comedy remains his bailiwick. What makes Talladega Nights perform is the speedy-fire, frequently ad-libbed dialogue, from Ferrell and writer/director Adam McKay. Ten years later, the film nonetheless feels fresh, and is miles funnier than far more recent Ferrell comedies Daddy’s House and Get Tough. The writing, direction and acting all click, and Talladega Nights offers repeat laughs.
NASCAR and Southern excess are ripe to lampoon, but the film does so with out malice. Ricky is dumb but loveable, and Talladega Nights wisely avoids creating him some Bible-thumping, gun-toting nutjob. Highlights of the film include Ricky’s ridiculous endorsement commercials, scenes with the late, natural and surprisingly funny Duncan, and the back-and-forth digs among Lynch and her two on-screen grandsons. The film tends to make you yearn for 2000s Ferrell. Calling this a new classic comedy is overselling the solution, but Talladega Nights is a consistently funny film with a lot of replay value.
Sony offers the theatrical cut of the film a new two.40:1/1080p/AVC-encoded image that is remastered at 4K from the original unfavorable. The extended edition retains the identical 2.40:1/1080p/MPEG-two transfer from the original Blu-ray release. The new 4K remaster is better, but neither transfer is exceptional. For the 4K image, fine-object detail and texture are enhanced, but the image has an general flat appearance and is plagued with blown-out highlights that rob the image of nuanced, refined particulars. Colors are bolder and much better saturated in the remaster, and black levels are steadier. Compression is also much better thanks to the AVC encode. This is not a negative image, but it is surely middle of the road. I noticed some minor edge enhancement and aliasing, which is toned down in the 4K remaster.
The theatrical cut gets a five.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix. The extended cut retains the same 5.1 LPCM mix, which is really slightly much more impressive. Each provide reasonably immersive listening experiences, with whizzing stock automobiles to surround the viewer. Ambient and action effects make use of the surrounds and subwoofer, and dialogue is crystal clear from all channels. The score and well-liked music soundtrack are layered appropriately, and I noticed no technical flaws. The discs offer a number of lossy dubs and subtitle options.
PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:
This two-disc “Big Hairy American Winning Edition” is packed in an Elite case that is wrapped in a slipcover. The 108-minute theatrical cut is on Disc 1 and the 121-minute extended cut is on Disc two. I feel the theatrical reduce is tighter and operates greater, but it’s nice to have the alternative to watch each. As for extras, Disc 1 involves a “25 Years Later” Commentary with Director Adam McKay, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, which is sporadically amusing Adam’s Video Diaries (11:46/HD) Line-O-Rama (4:45/HD) Raw Requires (16:44/HD) Deleted and Extended Scenes (42:36/HD) Auditions (9:16/HD) Interviews (12:28/HD) and the Teaser (two:16/HD) and Theatrical (two:32/HD) trailers. Disc 2 involves a Commentary by the Director and Close friends a lot more Deleted and Extended Scenes (25:54/HD) a Gag Reel (two:27/HD) Will Ferrell Returns to Talladega (five:26/HD) Ricky and Cal’s Commercials (1:38/HD) Ricky and Cal’s Public Service Announcement (2:38/HD) Bonus Race Footage (1:18/HD) and the Theatrical Trailer (2:32/HD).
Ricky Bobby endures. It is tough to think this Will Ferrell comedy is now ten years old. I quoted the shit out of this absurdist, improv-heavy film in 2006, and it holds up surprisingly well. Sony’s new two-disc Blu-ray offers a remastered but mediocre picture and lots of supplements. Advised.
William lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and appears forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.
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