Throwback Thursday Pick of the Week: Raising Arizona

Movie Review: By Jonathan Wilson

As far as I’ve seen in my short time on this planet, any great “cerebral” movie has 3 elements:

1) Rock solid main character. You feel like you know this character, you’re inside his head, whether you can relate to him or not.

2) Internal Conflict. While the main character is making poor decisions, you’re staring at the screen asking, “CAN’T YOU TELL THIS IS A BAD IDEA!?”

3) Intriguing Sub-Plot. This device gives you a break while the story builds, and acts as the “clutch” to the “transmission” that is the main plot.

The abundance of these elements make Raising Arizona a great movie.

Nicolas Cage plays H.I. McDunnough, a down on his luck convict who is in and out of jail. He’s a hopeless romantic, and an all around nice guy…with a penchant for armed robbery. Holly Hunter plays his wife, Edwina. They meet and fall in love while Edwina, a police officer, books H.I. for a crime he just committed.

H.I. gives up his life of crime to settle down with Edwina. He gets a real job, and is enjoying “the salad days” of his new marriage. The salad wilts though, when Edwina finds out she’s barren, and H.I. goes from a small time convenience store robber, to something much more criminal… A BABY THIEF!

With a supporting cast including John Goodman, William Forsythe, and Frances McDormand, this movie is enthralling. I find myself really touched by H.I.’s heartfelt narration and his want to do bad things for the betterment of his family. He is a man at war with his own inner “outlaw”.

From the salad days to the big heist. This is truly a complete movie.


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