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|Index||423 reviews in total|
168 out of 293 people found the following review useful:
Pure Funny!, 17 July 2006
Author: osusullins from United States
I was lucky enough to be at a premiere in Chicago for this movie and it was pure fun entertainment. I am not a nascar fan and I love this movie. First off let me say that most of the scenes that they show in the previews are not in the movie, or are at least altered from the trailer version. The characters are extremely funny. John C. Reily and Will Farrell make a perfect red-neck match in this comedy. They play off each other and you can tell that they must have had a blast making this movie. The scene where they are saying grace around the table will, in my opinion, go down as one of the funniest scenes ever. I rank this movie right up there with other will Farrell greats like Old School, Wedding Crashers and Anchorman. So, whether you are a will Farrell fan or not, if you just enjoy fun movies that will have you laughing out loud from start to finish, than you should definitely go check this movie out when it comes out. I will be the guy in the front of the line waiting to get my ticket to see this movie again. A+
116 out of 194 people found the following review useful:
Sharp & Stupid, 3 August 2006
Author: tonyleonardo from United States
It's a pretty funny movie. You could tell Will Ferrell and Sacha Cohen
(aka Ali G) and John C. Reilly all had the opportunity to improvise
lines and riff on one another, and all three were pretty good.
Ricky Bobby's kids were given some choice lines and nailed home some great (albeit loud and aggro) deliveries. Amy Adams is totally hot. The dad role was well-played. The car action was money and you couldn't quite tell when it was CG and when it was recreated action, so that was good. They did it right.
The overabundance of seeded advertising was acknowledged in the film's dialogue and concretely addressed at the end of the movie (when Ricky Bobby goes sponsorless0 but it was still kind of annoying. I just can't understand how Hollywood blockbusters need more money. They could do the same movie without the extra $$ I think, but in this particular movie, set as it is with NASCAR, it certainly fits in the world we see on screen if there is rampant, colorful advertising.
So it's a good movie, a lot of gut laughs, and not unlike Dodgeball or Anchorman or the like...
77 out of 120 people found the following review useful:
The "Anchorman" of the Nascar movies!, 30 May 2006
Author: Doodadmagic from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Here is the review my wife and I wrote for cincity2000.com
Talladega Superspeedway. For those unfamiliar, it is NASCAR's biggest and fastest race track, and the setting for the latest Will Ferrell comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. I'm no fan of professional racing, but I do know funny. Put Will Ferrell in the driver's seat of a stock car, cast John C. Reilly (so wonderful in Chicago) as his best friend, and pit Sacha Baron Cohen (best known as Ali G.) as his rival and you can be almost guaranteed a good movie.
Here's the deal Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is born in the backseat of a souped-up Chevelle. His motivation in life is given to him when he is ten years old by his alcoholic father: "If you ain't first, you're last." This mantra carries him to the pit crew of a losing race team. When he's given the chance to finish a race, Ricky shows that there isn't much he won't do to win. Teamed with his best friend Cal Naughton, Jr. (Reilly) they become 'Shake and Bake' and go on to NASCAR super-stardom. Ricky has the perfect life. A sexy wife, a family, riches. Enter Jean Girard (Cohen), a flamboyant Frenchman who begins to unravel Ricky's perfect world by beating him on and off the track. Ricky is forced to deal with his own fears. And a cougar.
What's this, you say? A Comedy? Sounds more like the 'feel good' movie of the summer! Perhaps I failed to mention that Jean Girard is a gay married man (Andy Richter plays his husband in a decidedly underwritten role) who sips espresso while he races. Or that Ricky and his wife Carley (the hot Leslie Bibb) have two delinquent sons named Walker and Texas Ranger. And how about the cougar? Oh, I know I mentioned the cougar! All this and more mixes together very well under the comedic eye of Adam McKay, who wrote (along with Ferrell) and directed.
Talladega Nights takes the whole All-American-Dream concept and makes it funny. It's Rudy with belly laughs. Better yet, it's the Anchorman of car racing, which makes sense since McKay did that movie, too. A lot of the scenes felt improvised, but by seasoned professionals. And with a great cast that included Gary Cole and Amy Adams, the jokes were constant and seamless. From an extended dinner grace addressed to 'tiny, baby, Christmas Jesus' to Molly Shannon's portrayal of the drunken wife of the team owner, the movie never failed to make you laugh. As an added bonus, this movie also has some great action. The race sequences were very believable and the crashes were amazing.
To be completely fair, there were moments when some of the scenes dragged a little. And some characters you will not like as much as others. But all in all, an enjoyable, laugh out loud experience for anyone 13 years and up. Shake and Bake, baby!
75 out of 124 people found the following review useful:
Long Overdue NASCAR Parody, 4 August 2006
Author: WasteBot from U.S.A.
You still get plenty of fast paced action, muscle cars, and massive car
crashes. You just get to laugh a lot too.
Will Ferrell really doesn't get enough credit for his acting. As mindless as it seems, he still manages to make it believable. You have to keep in mind it's usually during over-the-top parodies, so it's supposed to be carefree and with complete disdain, yet he still manages to make it intelligent most of the time (at least in this film), so the result is far more than simple fart and gross-out type jokes.
He also had the benefit of writing this film, cast members like John C. Reilly and Sasha Baron Cohen, and a focus for the film in deep need of parody. NASCAR has been long overdue.
52 out of 82 people found the following review useful:
"I wanna go fast!", 4 August 2006
Author: Ryan from King of Prussia, PA
When looking at the merits of a movie and decide whether it is good or not, one must think of the goal of the picture. Is it a serious film, designed to comment on society, or is the movie's job to merely entertain? I think we all know the answer to this one when it comes to Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. This movie's goal is to entertain the audience, make them laugh, make them spend an hour and a half rejoicing in talented comedians doing their job well. And this movie reached its goal. Not only is this movie an above-average sports movie (it even concludes with a big race and a warm and fuzzy winner!), but is also a very funny movie. All I had to do was listen to the reaction of the sold out theater I was in and I knew that most people will find this movie to be very funny. Will Ferrell is Ricky Bobby, a NASCAR driver who makes up one half of "Shake and Bake," with John C. Reilly's Cal Naughton, Jr. being the "Bake" half of the duo. They are childhood friends who have now become teammates on the top NASCAR level, where Cal sets up the play that lets Ricky win almost every race--that is, unless Ricky has already crashed out of it. Talladega Nights follows the same story arc that Days of Thunder did, but is far more entertaining, as Ferrell and Reilly work together to bring humor to all parts of the racer's lives, including a bizarre dinner ritual that includes corporate sponsorship. Sure, the movie slows down for about 20 minutes in the middle to develop plot, but that may have been designed to give us, the audience, a break, allowing us to get ready for the final scenes of the movie. Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G, Borat) plays the French Formula 1 driver who threatens to oust Ricky Bobby as the best driver on the track, perhaps the funniest overall character in the movie. There is not one scene with Cohen in it that isn't funny. After watching this movie, it is clear why Will Ferrell takes his comedies so seriously (watch the extras on the Elf DVD to see Ferrell between scenes, he's not always "on" playing the clown on set)--he gets the results he's looking for. This movie is laugh-out-loud funny pretty much from start to finish, and seeing Gary Cole return to comedy as Ricky Bobby's father will bring back memories of Office Space for a moment, then this new character will win you over.
48 out of 78 people found the following review useful:
"Shake and Bake!" :), 2 August 2006
Author: kelseyr-2 from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you are a fan of Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen (from Da Ali G Show), you will love this movie. I saw it for free at a screening in LA, and I must say that I expected it to be a rental-worthy "dumb comedy"... one of those so-stupid-it's-funny flicks that I wouldn't have paid to see at the theater. However, after seeing this film, let me tell you that I can't wait to see it again and I'd definitely say it's worth the 10 bucks to enjoy this film at the theater with a group of friends! I very rarely laugh out loud during movies (and the friend that I was with says the same thing), but we were both cracking up almost the whole time!!! You definitely don't need to be into Nascar to like this movie (I'm not). In addition to the hilarious red-neck "dynamic duo" of Ferrell and John C. Reily, you'll love Sacha Cohen's character, the gay French racer Jean Girard. And there are subtle social & political commentaries on America throughout the movie that made me smile! Go see for yourself when it opens in the theaters!
59 out of 100 people found the following review useful:
Could have (should have) been much, much better., 7 August 2006
Author: bloodpuppy11 from Vermont
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really wanted to like this movie.
It's obvious that Will Ferrell is a talented comedian; his work on Saturday Night Live, his supporting roles in Old School and Wedding Crashers and portions of Anchorman are all very funny. However, Ferrell often seems to be playing the same character over and over, and with Talladega Nights, Ferrell has taken this a step further, essentially grafting the plot of Anchorman onto NASCAR Racing.
In theory, this should be hilarious, but in reality Talladega Nights just doesn't hold up. The problems with the film are myriad: inconsistent tone (too absurd one moment, too serious the next), unlikable characters, and a general sense that you've seen this all before. As in Anchorman, here Ferrell plays a boorish, unlikable protagonist who has ascended to the top of his game and conducts himself with varying degrees of arrogance, narcissism and idiocy; as far as I could tell, the only reason one would care about the Ricky Bobby character was because 1)you're supposed to because he is the main character of the film or 2) he was played by Will Ferrell. While Ferrell can be a charismatic guy, this charisma failed to carry over to his portrayal of Ricky Bobby, to the point that I found myself actively rooting against the Bobby character.
Additionally, the film follows a virtually identical plot arc as Anchorman, down to the presence of an antagonist who threatens with their "otherness" (in Anchorman a female news anchor, in Telledega Night a gay race car driver), a crew of moronic sycophants and yes-men to support the Ferrell character, and a denouement that strives to leave you feeling uplifted. Sadly, all these elements felt forced and stale (the Sacha Baron Cohen character is particularly grating, which is all the more lamentable considering its potential.)
Overall, while Telladega Nights did have some funny moments, nearly all of them were shown in the preview; it's telling when the funniest moments in the film come during the outtakes shown over the end credits. Considering the talent involved in this film, the way that it plays out should be considered a major disappointment.
49 out of 81 people found the following review useful:
Great Lampoon of NASCAR- Best Comedy of 2006, 13 August 2006
Author: DKOSTY from United States
This movie does something that is rarely done successfully done, pokes
fun at the modern NASCAR circuit. Without detailing all the gags, this
is pure fun which doesn't offend the tastes too often. Will Farrell is
patently absurd as Ricky Bobby & the support he receives in this film
from the entire cast is excellent. Gary Cole is very solid as Ricky's
dad, & so is Jane Lynch as his mom. Amy Adams is solid too. In fact,
the entire cast including John C. Reilly seems to have been fit into
their roles like gloves.
Sasha Cohen comes off better in this as Ricky Bobbys French nemesis than he does in even Borat. He is used perfectly & fits his role really well. The story line works really well as the evolution from speed too shake & bake too magic man & me helps keep the film focused on something besides the jokes. There is just enough plot to hang the jokes on.
The script is lots of fun with references to lots of things besides NASCAR & Sex (which is all too often the only thing done as comedy today). This film proves that outrageous is much better than sex when done right as comedy. Thank goodness this is much better than the ill conceived BETWITCHED Farrell did in 2005. This film is really an excellent showcase for everyone involved. If your a NASCAR fan, you should even get some extra fun out of this one.
Get ready for the checkered flag Ricky Booby, this film is a winner all the way.
38 out of 62 people found the following review useful:
an entirely solid follow-up, 29 August 2006
Author: Scott-101 from arlington, va
Two summers ago, Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay teamed up for
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, the best display of
improvisational comedy on screen since Christopher Guest (Best in Show,
A Mighty Wind) entered the scene. This summer, the pair re-teamed for a
sort of quasi-sequel as evidenced by the colon and "The Legend of" in
the title. Will Ferrell stars as moderately dim-witted race car driver
Ricky Bobby who differs from Anchorman's protagonist Ron Burgundy in
that he is a more fully-fleshed out character. His need for speed on
the track is guided by a void left by his race car driving dad's (Gary
Cole's) abandonment. Along for the ride is the ever-so-versatile John
C. Riley as perennial sidekick Cal Naughton Jr. who literally finishes
second to him in every race. He suggests to his buddy maybe, just once,
he can let him win just once to which Ricky Bobby replies, "Well I see
where you're coming from but if you win, how am I gonna win."
Talladega is more likable to its subject than a strict satire, because it firmly implants itself in the Nascar world and picks on its more absurd elements. In particular, the heavy emphasis on sponsorship in NASCAR takes a heavy beating with things like Ricky Bobby being contractually obligated to include Powerade in his grace. The ensemble of characters doesn't produce that same energy that Anchorman had, but Talladega Nights did have some priceless bits of humor and it works just as well, perhaps even better, as a feel-good movie.
22 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
Dumb but entertaining racing comedy, 7 January 2007
Author: mstomaso from Vulcan
In Talladega Nights, Will Farrell and Jon C. Reilly head a nicely
assembled cast (without a lot of star power) in a story about a fool
who happens to be a race car driver and who has based his entire life
philosophy around a phrase uttered by his alcoholic father during a
drunk - "If you ain't first, you're last". Ricky Bobby rides high in
his largely unexamined life until, predictably, he eventually crashes
hard when confronted with a gay French intellectual who just might be a
better driver than he is, and a boss who does not appreciate his
Talladega Nights uses a narrative and editing style reminiscent of the brilliant Deathrace 2000 to create an entirely different effect - unlike Deathrace 2000's intellectually challenging political and social commentary, Talladega Nights is a simple absurdist comedy played out by several stereotypes in the contemporary racing entertainment industry. The film is successful largely because of it's careful plotting and occasional substitution of slap-stick for (dumb) dialogue driven comedy. The script is nothing special, but was probably well edited in the final construction of the film in order to emphasize its occasional moments of brilliance. If you go into this without much in the way of expectations, you just might enjoy it.
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