Raising Arizona (1987)

Raising Arizona (1987) – Oh those Coen Brothers and their Coen-y Coen-ness… I always love that they feel free to indulge their own idiosyncratic impulses and make some bizarre and entertaining films. The Coens have long followed series films (Fargo, No Country For Old Men) with more overt comedies (The Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading) so it’s not too much of a surprise that this is their follow-up to their debut Blood Simple (though even the “serious” Coen films have a lot of twisted humor). Raising Arizona doesn’t really make my list of my favorite Coen movies, but it has an offbeat charm to it that I found very entertaining. Holly Hunter is always great and I wish more movies would feature her talents as much as this one does. Nicolas Cage’s insane energy also serves the movie well. Reliable actors like William Forsythe and an unusually thin John Goodman (unusually thin for Goodman anyway) also do well in their roles. There is also an amazing chase scene. Raising Arizona is not a movie for everyone. No Coen movie is. This is only their second film and it is not as polished as many of their later efforts, but it’s still a Coen movie and I can’t recall that ever being a bad thing.

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