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18 Thoughts On "Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby"

Movies from my childhood. Reviews of movies that I liked as a kid and seeing how I feel about them if I watch them today. This one is for the comedy "Talladega Nights"

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1. Shake N' Bake

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I honestly completely forgot that this came from this movie. I now remember in Middle School all of the kids repeating this. I mean, even I did. I also remember it made me think of my Mom's pork chops because she used shake n' bake.

2. That feeling of "That actor was in this movie?!"

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As a kid I knew some of the actors like Will Ferrell, David Koechner, Michael Clarke Duncan, and that may have been it. But now I'm like "Oh that's Amy Adams, and holy shit it's Jack Mcbrayer, it's a Will Ferrell movie so there's John C. Reily of course, and Jane Lynch." I had no memory that Jane Lynch was in it. Ian Roberts was there too. There were so many comedy legends and younger me never even knew it.

3. The product placement was everywhere but also joked about at the same time.

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The dinner scene was full of product placement. It had Coke, KFC, Dominoes, Mcdonald's, Mountain Dew, and so on. Then of course the NASCAR sponsors. But it was also poking fun of it really well at the same time. For instance, Ricky Bobby says he needs to mention Powerade in the prayer before he forgets to because they endorse him.

4. I still love the baby Jesus dialogue at dinner.

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This dialogue is one of the funniest in the entire movie. As a kid, I thought it was funny but now that I'm watching it as an adult, I think it's even funnier. Just because of how long and stretched out it is. Such a dumb joke that is repeated again and again.

5. You can tell when people are improvising or the line was just thought up by Will Ferrell or Adam Mckay

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You can sometimes notice a little stutter when Will Ferrell is saying a line that is just crazy. You can usually tell it may be improvised by the craziness of the line. Especially with the advertisements that are even shown at the end as outtakes.

6. Simply put: Sacha Baron Cohen

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He is so funny in this film as Ricky Bobby's rival. Now I'm like, "oh it's Sacha Baron Cohen!" but as a kid I had no clue who he was. He was just some other actor that may be French or something. Now, I'm like "It's Ali G, it's Borat, it's Bruno, it's the guy from Les Miserables, etc." And Andy Richter is his husband! I just had no idea of any of them as a kid.

7. Say "I love Crepes"

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When Sacha Baron Cohen has Will Ferrell pinned and says he will let him go if he just says "I love Crepes" is so funny. It just shows how stubborn and ignorant Ricky Bobby is, which is a perfect example of George W. Bush.

8. Yeah, Ricky Bobby is George W. Bush.

Or at least some variant or caricature of him. I didn't know this until recently that Mckay and Ferrell wrote Ricky Bobby to be George W. Bush. The best part is the number of conservatives and even people in the Bush administration that loved it. Which leads me to my next point...

9. This film is perfect at being commercially viable, while also being slyly subversive.

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I grew up in a small southern town. I personally know a crap ton of southern conservatives that adored this movie. People who loved George W. Bush. This film was so good at parodying the NASCAR culture, George W. Bush, and Americans in general that no one even noticed it. I know I didn't.

10. Some ways that Ricky Bobby was used to parody George W. Bush:

1) Very ignorant about anything that isn't American. 2) When Sacha says "your injury is one of ignorance and pride" seems to be a a dig at Bush during the beginning of the War on Terrorism. 3) When Ricky Bobby rear ends Jean Girard and says " Hey it's me...America!" 4) The constant need to impress his father. 5) The knife scene could be related to it as well. When they use the second knife to get the first knife out of his leg it could be related to Bush's actions in the Iraq War.

There are a lot of other references as well but I don't want to drone on.

11. They heighten the places that product placement appears.

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The product placement gets even crazier later in the film. For instance, the Wonder sponsorship on Ricky Bobby's cast or the Fig Newton logo on Ricky Bobby's windshield.

12. The jab at Tom Cruise about Scientology is great but less topical today.

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When this film came out, Tom Cruise's Scientology ramblings were at the height of insanity and jokes about him were everywhere. It's almost not even mentioned anymore. Tom Cruise is in a lot of films again and a lot of people tend to just dismiss that he's a Scientologist. It was funny to be reminded of that period of Tom Cruise jokes.

13. I wonder how many people saw Highlander because of this film.

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I never knew about Highlander as a kid and remember immediately being curious about it after this film. If the film was a favorite of McKay's or Ferrell's, then they did great by it by bringing it up in the film. It resurfaced a film forgotten about for years.

14. The Applebee's product placement and commercials are even funnier now.

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Applebee's is just such a random restaurant that stands out in no way at all. This makes it so much funnier nowadays to me because random humor is beginning to stand out in the comedy world. Nowadays, random jokes or anti-jokes are becoming huge for comedians and audiences alike.

15. In the final race, if Cal could pass Ricky for the slingshot move, then why did he wait till then?

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Cal wanted to win. He wasn't trying to do Ricky a favor but he remained behind him for most of the race. After he decides to use the slingshot move, he easily speeds past Ricky Bobby to help him. Just a random thought I had while watching the movie.

16. The bloopers/outtakes during the credits are so good.

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I'm a sucker for outtakes and bloopers so I probably laughed the hardest at these during the credits. A few of my favorite parts were the advertisement for the funeral home where Cal says "98% of people will die at some point in their lives," Cal's many different images he has of Jesus, and the way Will Ferrell breaks when Michael Clarke Duncan starts singing to him during his coma.

17. Overall Grade when I was younger: B+

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I liked it a lot as a kid and laughed a lot but remember that I thought it was a movie geared toward southern people and resented that. Growing up in a southern town and being the artsy/alternative kid that I was made me hate anything southern. Country music, trucks, deer hunting, and Talladega Nights. But I still thought it was funny and probably would have loved it even more if I didn't hold such resentment.

18. Overall grade now: A+

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I absolutely loved this movie. Now that I went in knowing the George W. Bush stuff and knew all of these comedy all-stars, I have a huge appreciation of the film. McKay and Ferrell are so smart when it comes to filmmaking. They made a film that resonated with completely different audiences. Comedy nerds and people understood the parody and loved it as a smart comedy. Conservatives and NASCAR fans loved the film because it revolved around their culture.

Overall, I strongly suggest seeing it again whenever you have a chance.

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