Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with 3 reviews of the BORAT movie that screened during Comic-Con. I somehow managed to get my hands on a few tickets to the screening at Comic-Con and after seeing the footage, BORAT became my #1 most anticipated film left in the year. However, I could not miss the SNAKES ON A PLANE panel. I just couldn't and by the time I got out of that panel the screening was 20 minutes from starting. If there was no line and empty seats and no chance of being turned away I would have pushed through the 100,000 plus people and ran my ass off to the theater, but that wasn't going to happen. Thankfully more than a few spies did get in and they wrote in about it.
These reviews mirror the word I heard at the Con from people who attended. As funny as the clip I saw was, I was worried they just showed us the funniest part. The word I heard said that the film keeps up that level of hilarity through the entire runtime. And now these reviews confirm that. I'm dying to see this one!!! Enjoy the first!
So I went to Comic Con on Friday and stumbled into the 20th Century Fox presentation only to be bombarded with hilarious imagery from the BORAT movie. Being a pretty big Ali G fan, I was immediately transfixed and laughing my ass off at Sacha Baron Cohen’s character in a naked no holds barred brawl with an overweight fellow. An announcement was made that tickets were available for a screening across the street next to Borat’s ice cream truck. So, without much hesitation I went across the street and picked up a pair.
At the screening, T shirts were handed out with KAZAKHSTAN (the country where BORAT hails from.) printed on the front. This seemed to make the audience pretty stoked even though the crazy chick at the entrance refused to give anyone the size they requested. I mean my buddy where’s an XXL and they clearly had XXL but I guess they weren’t paying her enough cause’ she handed my buddy who where’s the XXL a medium. And when he asked for a larger size she just shrugged and said,’Take it or leave it.’ It’s no secret they need to hire better help in Hollywood sometimes.
The screening kicked off with an intro from Larry Charles, the film’s director who stated this was the first film that needed to have an entire legal team on hand at all times to insure things did not get too ugly. Larry Charles sat in the theatre with everyone else to enjoy the mayhem. And when the screening started with Borat introducing his hometown of Kazakhstan, the mayhem did in fact begin. Right away we witness Borat walking through his small village and introducing an innocent looking townsperson as a rapist. And then he makes out with a girl who seconds later he tells us is his sister.
This is all quite ridiculous of course, yet so damn hilarious you can’t help but to fall immediatley in love with Borat and his clueless ways. The film eventually introduces us to Borat’s TV producer who is going to travel with him to the USA so that they may learn how to be a great country and bring some of America’s ways back to Kazakhstan.
The whole movie acts as a kind of Public Service Announcement to Kazakhstan. Those familiar with Da’ Ali G Show will feel as though they are watching a longer version of the Borat sketches. However in this case, they have weaved a story into the mix.
The style of the film is much like Man Bites Dog (Comedy Central Show ) where Sacha Baron Cohen stays in character while interacting with people who are NOT acting and become part of Borat’s adventure through the U.S. From New York to the South-Borat finds himself in a Bed and Breakfast run by a Jewish couple to a rodeo with a homophobic racist giving him advice on how to eradicate homosexuals.
And in a way that has always been part of the fun in watching Sacha do his work. He finds a way to make a statement about the world through other people’s ignorance. Borat’s clueless ways lead to many close minded individuals showcasing their stupidity to the camera and making themselves look even dumber than Borat himself. I can only hope people watch the racists and narrow minded citizens in BORAT and see just how horrible ignorance looks from the outside in.
The film takes us through the South in an ice cream truck and on Borat’s travels he stops at a yard sale where he continuosly calls the woman selling items a gypsy. Here he steals a BAYWATCH fan book and falls in love with Pamela Anderson. He decides he must marry her after finding out his wife has died and convinces his producer to head out to Los Angeles to meet her. Further craziness occurs when Borat picks up the Tommy Lee DVD and plays it in front of a group of traveling college kids from South Carolina on a motorhome and sees her doing XXX things. This breaks his heart. All of this again leading to a shitload of laughter from everyone in the auditorium.
One of the funniest moments which was already touched upon in this site, is the moment when Borat gets into a brawl with his traveling partner and has a 350 pound+ naked man sit on his face and swivel in happy victory. Shocking...and hilarious all at once. Definitely something I have not seen before. This was the clip that Fox chose to play at Comic Con to get people interested-and I think it makes you laugh enough to want to see what else Borat has to offer. Which is actually quite a lot.
Yes, Borat gets to LA- and what happens there may be the funniest part of the movie. Bottom line here is that Borat is a great comedy. I laughed from start to finish. And when I wasn’t lauging I was smiling. The film may not be for everybody but it was definitely for this reviewer.
If there is any problem with Borat, it is that there should have been more characters than just the producer and Borat.
It worked fine the way they had it, but more could have been done with Borat’s backstory and what Kazakhstan is all about. In an age with lame remake comedies like The Pink Panther and fairly mediocre laughers like DATE MOVIE, Borat brings something totally unique to the comedy genre.
I can honestly say I have never seen anything like this before. Borat pushes the limits of comedy which results in a no holds barred flick which keeps you wondering what is going to happen next!
And I guess that?s why the film is so fun to watch! It is suspenseful to watch Borat move from awkward moment to awkward moment. You just never know what the character/movie is going to throw at you next. Pun...definitely intended...how could you hate a movie that climaxes with Pamela Anderson!
I had no idea Jay Roach (Ausin Powers) and Todd Phillips (Old School) had something to do with this, but their names were right there in the end credits. Good comedic directors who obviosly knew that jumping into this project could lead to something interesting.
Call this a far too glowing review if you will. I just dug the hell out of it. It delivered. And I can?t say that for too much of the summer fare I have seen lately.
If you print this call me:
This next bit comes from someone who writes over at Zboneman, but decided to send us in his thoughts on the screenings at the Con this year. You get a double feature here. Up first is BORAT, then his thoughts on DESCENT! Enjoy!
Quint and the rest of the Aint-it-cool crew,
Actually the full title of the film is Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (say that five times fast) and it’s quite simply the unniest film of the year. In fact, I don't think there will be a funnier movie in 2006 (perhaps Talladega Nights, but I doubt it). There have been other flicks in the past few months that made me laugh (Thank You For Smoking is a top fiver if ever there was one) but in terms of sheer hilarity, nothing touches Borat. I laughed so hard during the first half of this insane road trip movie, that I nearly fainted from exhaustion.
Firstly, I'd like to comment on the title of the movie. The film is being referred to as simply Borat, but the entire title-Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan-- is more appropriate because it speaks 1000 words.
Borat Sagdiyev (Sasha Baron Cohen) is the title character, a sort of dimwitted representative of Kazakhstan with the libido of a rabbit. Faster than you can say Crocodile Dundee, Borat, along with fellow countryman Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian), makes the long journey to the United States where he hopes to document average Americans in their vast habitat. With this useful information, he hopes to return to his native land with many helpful pointers that will better the lifestyle of his countrymen. Hence the long version of the title.
Those who think this picture is simply making fun of foreigners are missing the point altogether. The movie is really making fun of us. No, that's not even an accurate assessment. Actually, Borat pushes our buttons in a way that brings out our true colors. He's like human litmus paper capable of revealing our underlying nature. Very seldom do we get side splitting comedies that are so laced with social commentary, and that's one of the things I love about this movie. Mostly though, I loved it because it made me laugh my fucking ass off! Even the dude I was with claims that he pissed blood for two days afterward. He thinks he might have ruptured something.
Sasha Baron Cohen (known to many as the zany Ali G) is a comedic force to be reckoned with in this film. He's simply fearless. He'll do absolutely anything to get the laugh. This includes rolling around naked with the rather large Ken Davitian in what is perhaps one of the most nauseating, audacious, hilarious sequences in comedy history. What's more, a funny thing happens in Borat. By the end of the picture, I found this clueless man-child kind of endearing - something I never thought would happen upon viewing the first reel.
Larry Charles who penned the puzzling and inscrutable "Masked and Anonymous" directs with the same sort of kinetic energy that Cohen acts with. Much of the picture is shot in documentary style, and Charles himself claims that most of Borat's encounters with Americans generate actual responses. This is to say that most of the folks Borat comes into contact with, have no idea they're being filmed and that very few of the scenes were staged. This lends a surprisingly edgy quality to the film. Take for instance, a moment in which Borat tries to purchase a gun. While chatting with the owner of the shop, Borat asks if he could shoot a Jew with the weapon and the merchant's response is...rather revealing. Many will no doubt find such banter offensive, but it's also incredibly eye opening. Borat can certainly be considered a scathing indictment of the soul of the average American. Then again the film is obviously edited toward this bias, mainly because it's simply hysterical. Whether or not these really are actual responses or just merely scripted, the film gets it's point across loud and clear. It's a cynical, in-your-face experience laced with laugh out loud comedy.
Borat has a slew of comic talent behind the scenes including Larry Charles, Jay Roach (Austin Powers), Todd Phillips (Old School), and Anthony Hines (Da Ali G Show), and while some might argue there's too many hands in the cookie jar, I say the more the merrier. Particularly if the end result is going to be something this damn funny. Like the works of Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park, Team America), Borat refuses to be PC. It's edgy, go for broke, irreverent, improvisational comedy at it's very finest. And what Borat lacks in plot it more than makes up for in side splitting hilarity. Clearly, this movie isn't for everyone. It will, no doubt, offend a shit load of people, but if you're able to sit back and not take things so seriously, you'll laugh your ass completely off - just like I did.
Forget about that piece of crap "The Cave". The Descent is the definitive "spelunking crew gets terrorized by monsters living in uncharted underground caverns" flick. This British import is a breath of fresh air to those who think the horror genre is dead. This is a true monster movie in every sense of the term, and it's the most fun I've had being scared at the movies in a long time (yes, I loved Hostel, but that's an entirely different kind of horror).
Director Neil Marshall (who made the creative werewolf picture Dog Soldiers) has fashioned an extremely claustrophobic thriller that pays homage to the likes of Alien, the George Romero "Dead" series, Carrie, and the lesser known gem Dead Calm. What's more, the heroes in this film are women. Tough, beautiful women. And when they get into the nastiest of subterranean scrapes, they do a convincing job of fighting for their lives.
As The Descent opens, we are introduced to our heroines, a pack of adrenaline junkies who meet each year to satisfy their adventurous cravings. Following a white water rafting trip, a violent tragedy destroys the emotional stability of one of these woman, and as a pick me up, her buddies decide to take her on another adventure a year later so that she might get back on the horse, as it were, and hopefully be able to move on with her life.
This year's adventure? Cave diving. Only this isn't your average cave. This underground cavern has the virtue of never having been explored and in the world of horror, that can't possibly be a good thing. As these women battle against nature's harshest elements, they come face to face with something far more deadly than they ever could have imagined. Now, the cave itself is the least of their worries. If they're going to make it out alive, they must contend tooth and nail with the residents of this cavern, a strange species of carnivorous creatures whom are as quick as they are savage. Oh, and did I mention that they crave human flesh?
Neil Marshall seldom gives the audience a chance to catch their breath in this roller coaster thriller. These woman are put through the ringer and I was never quite sure if or how they might get out of this situation alive. Credit Marshall for his unlimited energy and for knowing the rules of the game.
My gripes with The Descent are minimal. I had an issue with choices made by a couple of characters in the final act of the movie and I could have done without the stupid, cheap shot, sudden shock ending (the U.K. got a different ending–one that we’ll see when the film hits DVD), but overall, this nail biting thriller is incredibly atmospheric and more importantly, it’s really scary. The Descent generates real terror and it’s a phenomenal return to the genre.
And here's the final review... I really wish I had skipped out of the very end of the SNAKES panel as he seemed to use that little bit of extra half hour to secure his seat at the film. Lucky SOB, but then again I got to hear Sam Jackson yell, "Yes they deserved to die and I hope they burn in hell!" live and in person, so... there you go. It's something to hang on to. Anyway, enjoy the last review!!!
I saw Borat on Friday at Comic-Con, skipping out after the first few minutes of the SoaP panel (one of the hardest decisions of my life, assuredly). I wanted to write in about it, but didn’t get home until much later, and I figured someone else would have beaten me to it. I haven’t seen anything on it as of Tuesday night, so what the hell.
Apart from that, I’m not going to give you a five-paragraph lead-in, covering my experiences and all that crap, which seems to be so popular around here. I’m sure there are some who would like to read that stuff, but they’ll have to look somewhere else.
Even though it’s hard to really properly convey the hilarity of certain scenes, I’m going to try to stay away from any real spoilers anyhow. Simply put, I haven’t laughed so hard and so frequently in a theater for months, maybe years. Those who don’t want anything ruined should just keep it at that, but for those who want to know more, read on.
I’m not really a fan of Ali G, mostly because I don’t have HBO and just never got around to seeing it. This has made a fan of me instantly; I found myself looking up more Borat stuff on YouTube later that night.
For those who are like I was once, Borat is the creation of the Sacha Baron Cohen, whose other, more famous alter ego is the faux-British-gangster Ali G. From the country of Kazakhstan, Borat is not played faithfully to what Kazakhstanis are, but rather what an average American probably thinks a Kazakhstani is like. Borat likes the U, S and A, sex, and you. Borat does not like Jews, Uzbekistan, and Jews.
It’s certain that some will find Borat offensive for any number of reasons, from making fun of Christian and Jewish religions to middle-eastern and mid-western people. Many who would actually be offended by such an intense and intentional stereotype probably don’t have a good sense of humor anyhow, so no worries.
The movie chronicles Borat’s trip to the US, where he’s supposed to be taking in the sights and sounds of New York with his friend Azamat, all for the sake of Kazakhstan television (the whole title of the movie: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan). But when he gets word that his wife back in Kazakhstan has died, he reacts with one of the best of the many great one-liners in the movie, and then he’s off to California to find a new wife—Pamela Anderson.
What follows is an insanely funny and insightful look at the United States and what the people there think of those from other countries. Borat can be enjoyed on a purely humorous level (and how), but it’s also an extremely effective social commentary. Look at the reactions of random New Yorkers when Borat tries to kiss them on the cheek, a common way to greet among European and Asian countries. It’s funny to hear a suit-and-tie clad Wall Street thug yell “You try to kiss me again and I’ll pop you in the balls”, but it also speaks volumes of the intolerance at the core of many everyday people. That’s not to say everyone in the US is a bastard--there are many who happily accept Borat’s cheek kisses.
The slightly clichÃ© road trip conceit serves nicely to tie up the plot and to glue together what is basically a series of fish-out-of-water skits. He visits bed and breakfasts (without researching the owners), Christian churches, the seedier parts of Atlanta, a Texas rodeo, a southern gentlemen’s club, an RV driven by a bunch of college kids, and finally Southern California. Everywhere Borat goes, though, hilarity ensues.
It’s not all thick satire, though. Those slapstick moments, such as the ones Quint mentioned, litter the film. Aside from the hairy, sweaty, ass-eating wrestling match, among the funnier moments involves the unfortunate combination of Borat’s choice of vehicle and unorthodox pet. You’ll know when you see it. And finally, the conclusion of Borat’s trip results in the most horrifying and shocking escapade in the ninety minutes of runtime. You might want to hold down your laughter towards the end though, because the best line of the film comes when Borat’s being carried away.
I loved this movie. I was instantly sorrowed by the fact that I won’t be able to see it again when it’s released in Novemberish, but I’ll see it again when it finally does come out, and everyone I saw the movie with has already sworn to own the DVD. This sounds a bit plant-y, I know, but if there’s a real uproar over it, I’ll send in a review of the Descent screening I saw later that night for proof I’m not being paid by just one movie studio.
If you post this, call me BronsonBeliever, as a fan of Mr. Majestyk himself.