Skip to main content

The Vault: Raising Arizona

H.I. McDunnough is a feckless criminal who in the opening sequence is incarcerated for robbing a convenience store. There he meets Ed (Holly Hunter) a policewoman  who is currently engaged, but she clearly takes a liking to him.

Once "rehabilitated" HI is released, robs the same convenience store that he was arrested for before and is sent back to prison. This time Ed and her fiancee are having problems and HI sees this as an opportunity. After being released for the second time and then arrested for the third time for robbing the same convenience store HI proposes to her and they are married. Life is etting steadily better for the frequent convict: he's working a steady job drilling holes at the plant (a very similar scene in Drugstore Cowboys in which Bob (Matt Dillon) gives up drugs and works at a plant drilling holes into metal) and comes home to his loving wife in the evening.

With all this beauty surrounding him, Ed feels compelled to bring a baby into the world to share it with. Sadly, Ed is incapable of bearing children, but as luck would have it the Arizona family of the Unpainted Arizona furniture conglomerate  just had quintuplets and they just feel overwhelmed by all the children. HI and Ed kidnap Nathan Jr. and take him home to raise him as their own.

As with all Coen Bros. films bumbling criminals introduce themselves to the story in the forms of Gale and Evelle Snoats (John Goodman and William Forsythe) who intrude on the family and eventually figure out that Nathan Jr. is kidnapped and steal him from HI and Ed. Unbeknownst to Hi, Ed, Gale and Evelle a bounty hunter is also chasing Nathan Jr. With a myriad of Arizonans chasing after one baby, it's only a matter of time before HI ends up in prison again.

Raising Arizona was not met very favorably upon it release, but now it lives on as a cult-comedy classic. And it is a well-deserved reputation. Don't believe me? Watch below for yourself.



Popular posts from this blog

Hulk vs. The Incredible Hulk vs. The Avengers

There are two movies about the Hulk and one that features the green monster as a major player. One was made in 2003 by an auteur, starring a little-known Aussie. Five years later The Incredible Hulk came out to the same tepid reaction as Ang Lee's Hulk did. This weekend, The Avengers made the Hulk as popular as he has been in a long time. So it comes down to this: Hulk vs. Hulk vs. Hulk. Who will smash whom?

Round One: Acting
Edward Norton outshines Eric Bana as the dual persona of the meek Bruce Banner and the rage-induced Hulk. Eric Bana was given little to do but run and fight and often the audience was just waiting for him to transform. With the Incredible Hulk, Norton's Banner is fully fleshed-out and we are given a reason to care about him. Being allowed to go a little dark with Banner's scenes questioning what is left of his life provided emotional resonance to the character that Hulk lacked. Yet even with the capable performance that Norton gives there was something …

Review: The Salvation

Westerns have never recovered from the oversaturation that killed off viewer interest decades ago, but every now and then a gem pops up. Recent successes like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma and the Coen brothers adaptation of True Grit all did well because they tweaked the genre slightly, but director Kristian Levring goes with an old school approach. A faithful recreation of those revenge Westerns made so popular in the 1970s, The Salvation envelopes many elements of previous Clint Eastwood classics and wraps it into a tidy package.

The Salvation starts in on the central dilemma, joining Jon (Hannibal‘s Mad Mikkelsen) at the train station where he awaits the arrival of his wife and son. Jon and his brother, Peter (Mikael Persbrandt), have lived in the United States long enough to build a hospitable life for their family back in Denmark. This homecoming should be a sweet moment to establish the family important to Jon, but fate plays out…

Review: The Voices

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) spends his days working the nine-to-five shift at his new job at the Milton Bathtub Factory. Jerry is chipper to the point that he may turn some people off, but he never stops trying to make friends. Friends are something that Jerry could use because the only other conversation he has is with his dog Bosco and his cat Mr. Whiskers. Things are looking up though, Jerry has been tasked with planning the company picnic and he’s asked a girl (Gemma Arterton) out on a date. Jerry is so excited to share the news he rushes home to tell his pets about Fiona. Oddly enough, both Bosco and Mr. Whiskers start talking back.

No need to go back and re-read that last sentence, yes, Ryan Reynolds has pets who talk back to him. His dog, Bosco, is quite affable, however, his cat, Mr. Whiskers, would feel right at home curled in the lap of Blofeld. Unfortunately for everyone around him, it’s the advice of the evil cat that Jerry heeds more often than not. For all of Jerry’s pleasant…