Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Large Hairy American Winning Edition) (Blu-ray)

THE FILM:

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.

THE BLU-RAY:

Picture:

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.

SOUND:

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).

FINAL THOUGHTS:

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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Blu-Ray Critiques


Arabian Nights (Blu-ray)

The Movie(s):

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Clocking in at more than six hours, Portugese director Migues Gomes’ Arabian Nights is not necessarily an epic retelling of the 1001 Arabian Nights, a series of ancient stories supposedly told by a queen to an evil king in order to stave off her execution. Gomes merely requires inspiration from this premise in order to inform the personal tale of the numerous socioeconomic troubles his nation has faced since the economic collapse in 2008, which hurt Portugal much more than most other European nations. Utilizing the framing device of Arabian Nights, Gomes weaves together stories about greed, really like, personal duty, etc… told from the point of view of the depressed and lost men and women of contemporary Portugal.

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A lot of critics who praise this ambitious and eclectic undertaking point out that Arabian Nights manages to grow to be a universal expertise, regardless of its plethora of tight-knit references about distinct events that took location during the final decade of Portugese politics and economics. My take on that is a pretty balanced “yes” and “no”. The way Gomes utilizes the universal fairy tale mold of the 1001 Nights structure lends this project a more universally relatable tone of whimsy and creativity, but there are also a lot of situations of delicate and detailed info about Portugese politics that might make non-Portugese audiences scratch their heads. I am positive there are a lot of scenes I discovered to be unnecessary or baffling that referenced crucial events in recent Portugese history.

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As unhinged and lively as Gomes is in his creativity and eclectic approach to storytelling, Arabian Nights also comes across as a bit also self-indulgent and deliberately slow-paced at times. This concern presents itself mostly for the duration of the very first twenty minutes of the initial chapter (Or film, based on how you look at it), which shows a sullen documentary about unemployed ex-shipyard workers intercut with playful scenes exactly where Gomes himself admits to the audience that he has no concept how to place collectively his story about the financial and social woes of contemporary Portugal. The scenes with the director function as a thesis for not only the existence of Arabian Nights, but also as an explanation as to why it really is so fragmented and tonally all more than the location.

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As a key art-home director who has gained the respect of the international film neighborhood, Gomes understands that he has a duty to tell the tale of his country, however this grave process also causes him enough anxiety to lose concentrate on a distinct style to bring to the table. Therefore, alternatively of giving up on the complete factor, he settles on a kitchen sink approach, mixing drama, comedy, documentary, fantasy, surrealism, etc… into one particular big six hour film. Yes, Arabian Nights was split into 3 separate volumes, but it was naturally meant to be watched as a complete, as evidenced by the way Gomes lists all of the stories, as nicely as their runtimes, for the duration of the end credits of each and every volume.

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Soon after the honestly overlong documentary introduction, the anthology’s framing device is introduced with a clever mix of actors wearing ancient middle-eastern costumes in front of contemporary settings. The very first volume, dubbed “The Restless One”, focuses on greed and miscommunication, as we watch a series of short tales about bankers who can not get rid of their permanent erections, and a trade unionist who tries to organize a swimming occasion for the unemployed. The most intriguing story right here concerns a story-inside-a-story, exactly where it turns out that a loud rooster, hated by all neighbors, has a touching tale to tell of his personal.

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The second film, named “The Desolate One”, focuses on the desperation of the Portugese men and women to hang onto any semblance of happiness and normalcy, at times at the expense of their fellow citizens. The first story tells the most delightfully absurd tale in Arabian Nights, about an entire town fully conscious of the location of a man who killed his family members, but nonetheless treats him like a local hero because they distrust the authorities far more than a murderer. The second story may be my favorite in the entire project, aided immensely by its single location and meager production design and style, generating it appear like a Greek tragedy. It shows a judge who questions an complete audience of individuals about their crimes.

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The already surreal trial setting turns into a Kafkaesque nightmare as each and every single accused refuses to take responsibility for their actions, top to the questioning of a cow of all things. The third story is extended adequate to turn into a mini-function, and is about a dog moving from a single owner to yet another, bringing every single one particular some happiness in their depressed lives, largely broken up by Portugal’s struggling economy.

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The third film, named “The Enchanted 1”, feels a lot more like a particular functions disc than a film that is straight connected to the very first two volumes. The first section focuses on the queen who tells the stories, as she tries to discover some happiness and stability in suitors that have equal amounts of good and negative traits. This part is accessible and affable, and consists of the most exotic and lovely shots of Arabian Nights, but it also does not add significantly to Gomes’ all round thesis. The final story, a feature-length documentary about a bunch of males trapping birds for a birdsong contest, is the most bizarre and out of spot addition. It could have worked far better as a separate function release.

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The Blu-ray:

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Video:

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Arabian Nights was shot in 16mm, and carries with it the somewhat faded and grainy look of the format. This fascinating selection performs for Gomes, given that it provides the film a charming and historical look. The 1080p transfer is mainly devoid of video noise, but contains a fair share of scratches and dirt. This may turn some viewers off, but I believed it added to the all round guerilla expertise.

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Audio:

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We get DTS-HD 5.1 and DTS-HD two. alternatives. There isn’t considerably distinction in between the surround and stereo alternatives in the course of documentary sequences, but the surround track comes to life during the more whimsical and imaginative parts. This is accurate especially when it comes to the gorgeous and dynamic score.

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Extras:

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Disc 1:

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A Conversation With Miguel Gomes: This 40-minute conversation, recorded following Arabian Nights’ screening at the New York Film Festival, shows Gomes openly discuss his inspirations, confusions, and frustrations with the project. A should-watch for fans of the film.

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We also get a Trailer for all three volumes.

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Disc 2:

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We only get a Trailer, the very same a single from Disc 1.

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Disc 3:

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Redemption: This is a half-hour experimental brief film from Gomes. I located it to be as well disconnected and random, as it only uses stock footage to make its points. Only for the hardcore fans of the director, I guess.

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We get the identical Trailer a third time.

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There’s also a nice Criterion-style booklet with diary entries by Gomes.

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Final Thoughts:

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I am not as head more than heels in love with Arabian Nights as a lot of other critics have been. The unhinged inventiveness and sense of humor that’s used to communicate the ongoing discomfort of an complete nation is a deft touch, and the sheer ambition is challenging not to praise. But it’s also a pretty subjective project, which may alienate some viewers not up to date on modern Portugese politics.

Oktay Ege Kozak is a film critic and screenwriter primarily based in Portland, Oregon. He also writes for The Playlist, The Oregon Herald, and Beyazperde.com&#13

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Blu-Ray Evaluations