Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) - Unrated Widescreen Edition

Genre(s): Comedy / Sports
Sony || Unrated - 121 minutes - $28.95 || December 12, 2006
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2006-12-22


Buy this DVD from Amazon.com!
.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Adam McKay
Writer(s): Will Ferrell & Adam McKay (written by)
Cast: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Clarke Duncan, Leslie Bibb, Amy Adams, Gary Cole


Theatrical Release Date: August 4, 2006


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Commentary with Director & Friends
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Line-O-Rama
  • Walker & Texas Ranger
  • Ricky & Cal's Commercials
  • Ricky & Cal's Service Announcements
  • Interviews
  • Will Ferrell Returns to Talladega
  • Bonus Race Footage
  • NASCAR Page
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!


.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Plot Outline: Lifelong friends and national idols Ricky Bobby (Ferrell) and Cal Naughton Jr. (Reilly) have earned their NASCAR stripes with their uncanny knack of finishing races in the first and second slots, respectively. But when rival French driver Jean Girard (Cohen) coasts onto the track to challenge the duo, theyíll have to floor it to retain their status as top dogs.

Up front, I have to say I havenít seen the theatrical version, so my first impression of Will Ferrellís Talladega Nights is based upon the extended version that runs around 15-minutes longer. So I canít tell you what has been added or taken out. There are moments that did seem tacked on, like a run of lines between Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) that starts and then ends with the first line to bring things back on track.

With that said, my thought on this, simply put, is this is a dumb movie. And thatís fine, IF the it was actually funny. The film has itís moments but much like director Adam McKay and Ferrellís first collaboration, Anchorman, it felt more like a bunch of ďSNLĒ skits put together rather than a cohesive comedy. What also might be my problem is a lack (or even love) for NASCAR racing. This ďsportĒ galvanizes people with a majority of the South being fans and other parts wondering why itís so popular. Talladega Nights manages to bring these two factions together but as someone who doesnít give a damn, I guess Iím left out of the joke. The film sprinkles in plenty of NASCAR cameos, although the only one I ever heard of was Dale Earnhardt Jr.

I think Will Ferrell is very funny -- and does a great George W. impression -- and he has certainly established himself as a movie star with this, as well as the rat pack comedies like Old School. However, I find that when heís the star, the movies donít stack up on the comedy. He has several funny scenes here and even the supporting actors are good, but I the laughs were rare, and when they did come, instead of laugh out loud funny, it was a few chuckles. One scene I did love (SPOILER), though, has Bobbyís long lost father (played by the underused Gary Cole) finally coming to see his son race. He picks up the tickets Ricky always leaves at the booth, turns around and proceeds to scalp Ďem. (END SPOILER)

Talladega Nights is an OK comedy but one I donít plan on seeing again. Now, maybe those extra 15-minutes really skewed things (kind of like The 40-Year Old Virgin), so one day perhaps Iíll catch the theatrical version on HBO.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Director & Friends - Director Adam McKay is joined by actor Ian Roberts (Kyle). Like Anchorman, this commentary is basically a long running joke as the two do some role playing culminating with the police going after one of them. Not only isnít this funny but itís just dull without Ferrell there.

Deleted & Extended Scenes (25:12) - There are nine, four extended, scenes totaling just over 25-minutes. Some are just extended takes like when Rickyís friends come to the hospital and talk to him while heís in a coma or Ricky coming home to find Carl has taken over his life. There are some mildly funny moments but thankfully they didnít get put back in for this cut.

Gag Reel (2:20) - I expected more from a Ferrell gag reel and even though some of it is funny, most is the typical flubbed lines.

Line-O-Rama (5:22) - I consider this to be a part of the deleted and extended scenes. These are a hodge-podge of scenes, some with multiple takes and different lines while others are one takes. I did like the bit with Rickyís kids taunting their parents.

Walker & Texas Ranger (5:37) - More multiple lines from the kids at different moments in the film from the dinner table yelling at the grandfather to at the racetrack. Couldíve been tacked on to the ďLine-O-RamaĒ segment.

Iím combining the next set of features since theyíre all basically extended takes not included in the film: First are Ricky & Calís Commercials (1:30) which oddly only include Ricky plugging various products. Next is Ricky & Calís Service Announcements (2:33) where the duo tell the warnings of coming across stray dogs and other dangers. Last are three interviews with the characters: Ricky & Cal (5:23), Jean & Gregory (3:39) and Cal & Carley (4:10). I didnít find any of them that funny, but if you liked the film, you might get something out of it.

The rest of the disc rounds out with Will Ferrellís Return to Talladega (5:18) to promote the film and do interviews with the NASCAR circuit, Bonus Race Footage (1:12), a NASCAR Page where you can see promos for races and a theatrical trailer.

There are plenty of features but none of it really was that great. Some of the deleted/extended scenes were funny at times but I the extended footage which adds up to over 20-minutes, didnít impress me.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen, 2.40 OAR, and looks perfect. The red, white and blue colors come across nicely on the small screen. I have no complaints on this end.

Basic Dolby Digital 5.1 mix (and a French track) that brings the noise of NASCAR racing into your living room. Since itís a comedy, the dialogue is more important and this mix is just fine for the material.



.::OVERALL::.

Although I didnít like Talladega Nights I had hoped the features wouldíve made this a worthwhile viewing, but on that front, it still had a long way to go. Sony loaded the disc with plenty of features but it didnít amount to much in terms of entertainment OR information.