Archive for July, 2009

Brüno

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul

I found Sacha Baron Cohen’s first movie “Borat” to be hilarious and original. Likewise for Brüno.

Nowadays many movies are remakes or uses a standard plot without surprises. This is not so of Sacha Baron Cohen‘s movies.

The general format is similar to Borat. This is the story of a foreigner, an Austrian man, who goes to America in search of,…, fame. The footage is reality TV like, and this movie could have been filmed with a budget of one million or less. This just shows that great movies do not need great budgets.

It seems that a lot of the scenes are not rehearsed and that some of the people in the footage are not aware that they are part of the movie. Like when Paula Abdul is invited to an interview and asked to sit on Mexican gardeners acting like chairs during the interview. She reluctantly obliges.

But when Sacha Cohen offers her some food which comes served on a naked Mexican man wearing a condom and acting like the food tray, she runs away in a heartbeat.

Or does Harrison Ford know that he is in the movie for about five seconds when he politely refuses an interview request from Brüno with the short answer “f..k you”.

So this time Sacha Baron Cohen portrays Brüno, a male homosexual who is into fashion shows. He used to have his own TV show in Austria about fashion,but as was fired from it for making a mess in a Milan fashion show, so he decides to go to the USA to become a celebrity.

The movie is about Brüno’s impromptu adventures in the United States and in the Middle East where he attempts to establish a peace treaty. We see Brüno attending a swingers party, acting as an extra on NBC’s show medium, enrolling in the National Guards or being taken to the police station in bondage gear with his friend Lutz.

This is a highly provocative movie that portrays gay men in the least flattering light. As Brüno is “ultra-gay”, with all his pores screaming that he is gay every second of the movie. Sexual allusions and images abound. I am not sure if I would like the movie as much if I were gay, but I am not. So excuse me, but I enjoyed every moment of this movie, not because it is about gay people, but because it is so hilarious.

The message of the movie: Originality still exists in show business.

Year One

Juno Temple

Juno Temple

To be honest, this is not the type of movie that I normally go out watching, and the low IMDB rating of 5.1/10 confirms the general opinion about the quality level of  “Year One”.

Nevertheless I love Jack Black‘s humor. And I was depressed.

But let me relate to you what I saw, as this movie is not that bad after all, and it has some good moments overall, keeping a good tempo all along. This is what I call “light entertainment”, so if you have two hours to kill and if you do not want to sit at a bar drinking beer, then you might as well see this movie.

It will cost you less, you will intake less calories, and you may even have some fun.

The storyline is about the adventures of Zed, a man of the year one, which here means the beginning of history as it was recorded in the Bible. This is the time of Abraham, comically portrayed by Hank Azaria, who also recently played another hilarious role from Antiquity in Night at the Museum.

This is the time when Cain (David Cross) kills Abel, when Abraham attempts to sacrifice his son Isaac to God (saved in extremis by Zed) and when Sodom and Gomorrah are still standing Cities, where lust and depravation are the norm.

Zed and is friend Oh (Michael Cera) are exiled from their village after Zed ate an apple from the “Tree of Knowledge”. Then starts an escapade that will lead them to Sodom in their attempt to rescue two enslaved girls from their village, Eema (Juno Temple ) and Maia (June Diane Raphael).

“Year One” is a big farce with a lot of comical scenes. For instance when Zed and Oh are captured, Oh is tied head down and he cannot avoid peeing on himself and on his face. Or when Jack Black tastes an excrement found on their way in order to determine who their enemies are.

A large part of the movie takes place in the City of Sodom. One colorful character is the effeminate High Priest played by Oliver Platt, who likes oily massages on his hairy torso. And the beautiful Olivia Wilde plays Princess Inanna who captivates Zed at first sight.

We also learn how Abraham invented circumcision and started by trying it on his son and friends. Bigots of the judeo-christian faith will not laugh much and may leave before the end, cursing and cussing. Why so serious? Let us just put things in place for once.

The message of the movie: Do not take stories from the Bible too seriously.