Monday, October 16, 2006

nevermind the controversy, here's Borat, and he does not disappoint!

update 11/10/06 : I stand corrected, the Borat movie is more real than I thought, here are my links to TRUE stories.

I saw a screening of the Borat movie yesterday. If you check the imdb, tons of others have seen it despite the November release date. There did not seem to be any reason for the screening yesterday. It was just Borat for free on the Fox Lot, no surveys, no nothing. It was my friend's second time seeing Borat. He saw it maybe 4+ months ago and figures that this screening was just to created buzz. Of course there is a massive buzz about this movie. Good news: my friend does not believe anything was cut out of the movie since last time and in fact believes that it has gotten longer and more vulgar with an additional shot of balls if you must know. I believe these balls to be prosthetic, I mean I'd rather have prosthetic balls in my face than real ones, but my friend thinks that the balls and nudity are all real. Don't get excited about this nudity guys, I mean don't get excited about the nudity in THAT way. There is some nasty stuff in this movie and you will laugh your ass off.

The Controversy pt 1 - The Jews: I don't think there will be much controversy from Jewish groups even though there is way more Jewish material in this movie than expected. The "Throw the Jew Down the Well" controversy has long ago boiled over. The crazy thing about that situation, from the second season of the HBO TV show, is that the fictional Borat actually encouraged anti-Semitism from a real life audience. On film the Jewish jokes mostly occur in staged skits. Sure they are elaborate, but come on, by now everyone should know that Borat is ignorant and that Sacha Baron Cohen is Jewish.

Here is an example of a "controversial" moment. I don't want to put too many hard examples in print for this review as have the fun of this movie are the elements of surprise. When staying with an elderly Jewish couple, Borat and his comrade are convinced that the Jews are going to kill them and that they are shape shifters. When cockroaches come crawling under the door, they are sure that these are the Jews and that they are done for. In order to escape, they throw money at the roaches to distract them and book it out the door and out of the house to safety.

Borat's religion: Borat, we find out, is not Muslim. I could not make out what religion he claimed, but he did say that he "follow the hawk".

The Controversy pt 2 - What is real and what is fake?: On the original TV show, Borat, in character, visits with Americans who do not know that he is portrayed by and actor. Their reactions and words are real. This movie is based on many of those incidents and in fact some of them are repeated, such as a visit to an etiquette coach and a dinner with Southern members of the upper class. Fortunately no jokes are repeated, everything is fresh, but is everything real this time? I think not. For example, Borat and company have to flee the Southern mansion as the cops are on the way. Not likely the case in real life. During another encounter, Borat believes a woman having a yard sale to be a Gypsy with a junk pile, but at this yard sale he happens to find a book that is integral to the plot.

Only a handful of characters in this movie are credited as actors. Still, it is hard to believe that many of the Americans, who are playing themselves, are not in on the joke this time as the movie fits together so seamlessly. Discerning reality from the fictional plot is something that seams to disturb many imdb commentators, but I say, "let it go". Just enjoy the movie. Real or fake, valid points are being made. Even if some of the lines from rednecks, middle-Americans, and frat boys, may not be genuine, they are awfully similar to lines from Da Ali G Show that were for certain authentic. Sacha Baron Cohen appears to pull of some of his in character public stunts, but today I think a lot more people are familiar with Borat, even in middle America. In any case, everyone will be, this movie is going to be huge.

The Controversy pt 3 - Kazakhstan: I don't think anyone in American cares that the country of Kazakhstan is upset by this movie. The Kazakhstan scenes, some of the funniest in the movie, are all shot in Romania.

The Controversy pt 4 - Hollywood Street Performers: You know how I have repeatedly
trashed, in this blog, the local street performers that can be found outside of the Chinese Theater? Well a couple of them are in the movie, but do not fear, none of the ones I hate are shown. The one guy, with the wings and sickle, I respect him as his character is his own, he did not lift it from a recent super hero movie. We also get to see one of the more recent super-low-rent-Halloween-store Grim Reapers in a fight scene, and this is hilarious.

Reviews so far have been overwhelmingly positive. Here are the rare negative imdb user reviews, good for a laugh, but caution, they contain spoilers...

http://www.imdb.com/user/ur12315162/comments

http://www.imdb.com/user/ur12148799/comments

http://www.imdb.com/user/ur0824117/comments

3 Comments:

Anonymous dAvid Adsum said...

Warren!
Something weird happened tonight. I went to the movies to see The Science of Sleep, and it is Monday, tonight, so it was door prize night. I was sitting there as they were getting ready to pull the ticket, and I pulled mine out. I though to myself "I never win these." Which reminded me of how you wrote that you never win, but then you did win. So my head got all warm and I was like "I'm going to win." I thought more to myself "I'm going to win, I'm telling myself right now, I'm going to win." Usually I just think I won't and leave it at that. I was so sure I was going to win, that I began hoping I wouldn't win, because I don't believe in luck, wishing, hoping, praying, or any shifting of randomness. And if I won, while I was sitting here, so sure I was going to win, I would have to tick a point for all that stuff.

And then they called out the number on my ticket. I went "Whe-hey" and raised my arms. They gave me a book about dreams, and I said I'd read it if the movie got boring.

I still don't believe in luck, karma, wishing, praying, hoping or any of that. I'll just say it was a weird coincedence.

10:22 PM  
Blogger warrenzone said...

your website looks great!

except for the being reminded of Club 82 on that boombox.... :(

Just kidding...

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Erik said...

Borat follows the religion of Thelema (The one Aleister Crowley created). When he says he "follows the way of the Hawk", he means Horus, the hawk-headed sun god.

10:20 AM  

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