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“Da Ali G Show: Da Compleet Seereez”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Season 1 DVD:

Going back to where it all began, well for the U.S. at least, Sacha Baron Cohen shows us just how great he can be. If you’ve never seen “Da Ali G Show,” I highly recommend picking up this DVD set. Originally airing here in the states on HBO, this six episode series would have made Andy Kaufman proud. Baron Cohen uses his three alter egos: Ali G, Borat, and Brüno, to travel cross America to interview unsuspecting politicians and celebrities. Now this is as real as it gets. I truly wonder how many agents and managers were fired for setting up these interviews. If you watch closely, at times you can see Sacha trying to hold it together, as even he can’t believe just how far the interview has managed to go. Ali G’s interviews with Buzz Aldrin and Boutros Boutros-Ghali in this season are instant classics.

Rating:

4 Little People

 

Season 1 DVD Special Features:

  • The unedited ‘Spyz’ Movie that Ali G pitches in Hollywood

This ten minute short is hilarious and I would love to know the longest it played before being turned off by a Hollywood executive.

  • Unseen footage of Borat at the Hampton’s Horse Show and the American Patriotism Event

This is just uncut footage from the show.

Sadly it’s only on the first episode, but it’s better than nothing. The nice thing is that even though it’s only the one commentary, you do get a real insight into the making of one of these episodes. They talk about the planning of one of these interviews; from how they write a list of things they would like to happen, to a list of crazy things they could only hope to happen. And more often than not they make it to the crazy list.

  • Glossary of Ali G jargon

Not really needed, but there if you want to look at it. It’s just an on screen list of words and phrases. I didn’t really look at all of it.

DVD Special Feature Rating:

2 Little People

 

Season 2 DVD:

Ali G, Borat, and Brüno are back for another six episodes of interview hijinks. The one bad thing about this series is that there are not nearly enough episodes. It’s basically more of the same as season one. But let’s be honest, is that really such a bad thing? This series could also be called a collection of the most awkward, whitest fist pumps ever. One of the best interviews of this season has to be Ali G’s chat with Pat Buchanan. Repeatedly in this interview Ali G asks Mr. Buchanan about B.L.T.’s in Iraq. At no point does Buchanan correct him that they are W.M.D.’s, and not B.L.T’s, but he even repeats it back to him. This is one of those moments that you can clearly see Sacha trying to push it as far as he can. After talking about the possibility of B.L.T.’s in Iraq, with or without mustard (gas), Ali then asks, “Is it ever worth fighting a war over sandwiches?” This is why this show is so great. Where else can you see a man be interviewed, that has no idea of what’s really going on… besides Fox News that is. And this series truly does save the best for last. On the credits of the last episode, Ali G interviews, well tries to interview, Andy Rooney. Offended. Confused. Pissed off. These are only a few words that could possibly describe Mr. Rooney’s mood. You really have to see it to appreciate it.

Rating:

4 Little People

 

Season 2 DVD Special Features:

  • Ali G gives a commencement speech to the graduating class at Harvard

This is the whole speech, which runs a little long, but funny none-the-less. The best part of watching this, is watching the uptight kid sitting behind Ali G sweat and scan the audience as Ali delivers his raunchy speech.

  • Ali G holds an educational summit, interviews linguistics professor Noam Chomsky, and visits an historic naval vessel.
  • Borat learns American football in Texas, gets a hunting lesson at an exclusive ranch, and lunches with the Arizona Republican Party.
  • Brüno dishes gossip with a Hollywood stylist, and visits a psychic to speak to his late boyfriend, and much more. (Well not really. These four things are the only special features on the DVD. I really hate when they pull this shit.)

This is just unused footage, it runs just under forty minutes, and has some nice moments in it. One of the best is when Borat is hunting in Texas and outs a hunter’s dislike for Jews. Little does the hunter know that he is talking to a Jew.

DVD Special Feature Rating:

2 Little People

 

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“Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Hello, my name a Darby. I review movie for you… nice.

In the spirit of comedy legends such as Andy Kaufman, and the boys of Spinal Tap, comes Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” In “Borat,” Baron Cohen brings one of his beloved characters from the HBO TV series “Da Ali G Show,” to the big screen. This mocumentary follows the journey of Kazakhstan’s fourth most famous celebrity, Borat Sagdiyev, as he travels to the US and A to document our nation’s culture for Kazakhstan. But when Borat catches a late night marathon of “Baywatch,” he quickly falls in love with its star C.J. Parker, a.k.a. Pamela Anderson, and high jacks the documentary in a cross country trip to California to wed her. The character of Borat has always lent himself to awkward interviews, so it was of no big surprise that he would also lend himself to awkward situations. Now, I don’t want to ruin the magic of Hollywood for you, but there is no such thing as “reality,” be it television or film, unless it’s a true documentary, which “Borat” is not. I don’t think the movie was ever meant to be seen as real, but some of the situations set-up in the film are clearly produced. Meaning, people pretend to not be in on the joke, when clearly they are. This doesn’t ruin the film, it just takes you out of the spirit of the movie every once in a while, and you can’t help but feel lied to because they try to pass it off as real. The best example I can think of is “jackass: the movie,” at no point in that film does anyone being, for lack of a better word, punked, seem to be in on the joke. It’s a perfect example of what “reality” entertainment should be. I don’t mean to paint a poor picture of the film, because it really is a good movie. I would say about 80% of the people being interviewed or talked to by Borat, believe he’s a real person, and have no idea their reaction to him is the joke, which is pretty good. Sacha Baron Cohen is a brilliant comedian; his commitment to the character is truly a testament of his skill. He never seems to brake character, which just makes the character that much more believable to the unsuspecting victim. Overall the movie is truly entertaining and surely secures Borat Sagdiyev a much deserved place among beloved comic characters.

Rating:

4 Little People

 

DVD Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes
  •  Global P.R. Tour
  •  Music Infomercial

I wish the special features on this DVD were better. The deleted scenes are great. There are eight in all. But the thing I hate is there is no play all button. You have to push play for all eight. It really sucks. However, the deleted scene in the grocery store is just a testament to Baron Cohen’s talent to manipulate situations. You have to see it to believe it. The other thing I would have liked on here is a commentary track. Whether it be Sacha Baron Cohen talking about creating the character and the making of the film; or as Borat commenting on the making of his documentary, a commentary is desperately needed on this DVD.

DVD Special Feature Rating:

1.5 Little People