Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Troglodad's Movie Re-View: Raising Arizona (1987)

Today's Movies and TV programs might seem too much for some parents to share with impressionable children. But before you pop in a classic from years gone by, make sure it too isn't a bit rough around the edges...
Long before he tore up the highways of the southwest as flaming-headed Ghost Rider, Nicholas Cage was stealing babies. Well, one baby. Nathan Jr.
I'm talking of course about the classic Cohen Brother's flick, "Raising Arizona". If you're old enough to have kids, surely to God you have seen this movie. It's on cable all the time.
I hadn't watched the movie in about ten years, when I saw it this past weekend on my wayback machine- my Xbox 360 running Netflix.
Hey, I thought, that'd be a swell movie to watch with the kids (mine being girls ages 10 and 4). I wasn't really on the money though. I guess being in your forties means you start getting senile, cause I totally forgot some stuff that was in Raising Arizona.
Okay, from the beginning, the movie is funny, but not really in a way kids might enjoy- the irony of career criminal H.I. McDonough (Cage) marrying Officer "Ed" (Holly Hunter) was clearly lost on my kids. But the movie had 5 babies- the Arizona Quints.
The plot is simple enough, Ed and Hi, cant' have kids of their own, so they decide to steal a Quint after reading in the paper that the Arizona's (furniture magnate Nathan Arizona and his wife) have more kids than they can handle.
The hapless couple steal Nathan Jr. and a man, or rather, baby hunt begins.
Back home in their tiny trailer, Hi and Ed try to give their baby lots of love, but life gets in the way. First, some of Hi's former prison buddies break out and want to stay with the McDonoughs. Then Hi's boss from work- who has 8 or 9 kids himself- starts asking a lot of questions about how Hi was able to adopt little Junior.
Worst though, was the nightmares Hi has after the babynapping- where he sees a scummy bountyhunter (Tex Cobb) coming into town- blowing up a bunny rabbit with a handgrenade as he rides along. That didn't sit too well with my 4 year old. I was laughing my ass off at the over exxagerated, Stoogian violence, but my littlest girl was horrified about a little bunny disappearing in a ball of flame.
Later, it got worse when Hi's boss proposes Hi and he swap wives to spice up their marriages. Thankfully, I remembered this conversation about 20 seconds before it started and hit the mute button. I explained to the kids that they were having adult talk.
Okay, so it's a freaking hilarious movie. For adults. Sure, there's some slapstick- like the fight between Hi and his prison buddies in the cramped confines of a mobile home. But really, this humor isn't intended for a child. Nor is the dialogue.
Overall, your kids are better watching this than SAW, but you should stick to "Baby's Day Out" if you want to watch a hilarious, baby-centric film with your kids.

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