We’ll probably never get another film like Talladega Nights. Maybe that's a good thing.
Fans may have made Elf and Anchorman modern classics, but Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby remains Will Farrell’s best film. It’s his funniest, most consistent and deceptively clever because it relies on much more than Ferrell’s typical schtick (though there’s plenty of that, too). In fact, without director Adam McKay to reel him in, Ferrell often flounders on the big screen. Now that The Big Short has promoted McKay to the rank of respectable director, I can’t imagine him returning to this type of stuff. What'll Ferrell do without him?
Talladega Nights, more than any of Farrell’s other films, is the most focused and funny. The script finds the sweet spot between clever humor and broad slapstick, with quotable dialogue and one-liners that hit more often than they miss. And even though this is definitely a Will Ferrell vehicle (no pun intended), he’s not the whole show here. The entire cast is allowed to shine, with Gary Cole being a particular stand-out.
|Kitties love car rides.|
Now ten years old, the theatrical cut of the film as been given a 4K restoration. The previously released unrated version is also included, but the 13 extra minutes don't improve things. Disc One also includes quite a few new bonus features which might be of interest to fans. All the supplemental material on Disc Two are holdovers from the original home video release.
I suppose if Ferrell was strapped for cash, he could do a sequel, but without McKay behind the camera, what’s the point? Hell, even with McKay, Anchorman 2 was one film too many. Talladega Nights came at the perfect time, when both Ferrell's & NASCAR's popularity were peaking and McKay knew just what to do with them. No way could lightning strike twice, and since this one is always worth revisiting from time to time, why bother trying?
NEW-TO-DISC FEATURES (All on Disc 1):
Featurettes: “Interviews with Ricky & Jean” (the three leads, in character); “Adam McKay’s Video Diaries”; “Line-O-Rama 2.0” (outtakes/alternate dialogue)
Raw Takes Reel
13 Deleted/Extended Scenes
Featurettes: “Will Ferrell Returns to Talladega”; “Walker & Texas Ranger”; “Line-O-Rama”; “Ricky & Cal’s commercials and Public Service Announcements”; Interviews
“25 Years Later” Commentary (If you haven’t heard this yet, it’s pretty funny).
Audio commentary by Director Adam McKay
Unrated & Theatrical Versions
4K Restoration (Theatrical version)
PURR-R-R...LIKE A GOOD SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS