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“Ali G Indahouse”
a review by Darby O’Gill

What’s that? You didn’t know there was an Ali G movie? Well there’s a good reason for that… it’s God awful! This 100% scripted movie takes the character of Ali G and throws him into the storyline of a bad ‘90’s SNL movie. I know! “Ali G Indahouse” was released in 2002, between Season 1 & 2 of the American series of “Da Ali G Show” for HBO. It’s nice to know that something in the U.K. can get so popular, that even they will rape it for the price of a movie ticket. And here I always thought that was just an American thing. Something that shocked me even more, was when I saw some of the people they got to be in this abomination. One of my favorite actors from “The Office,” Martin Freeman, plays one of Ali’s friends. But the worst part is that he beat-boxes in it… so sad. They even got proper actors like Michael Gambon and Charles Dance to somehow agree to be seen in this film. The story in a nutshell is, Ali works at a community center; but wait, it’s going to be shutdown. Oh, no! But don’t worry, somehow Ali becomes a member of Parliament, and becomes a pawn in a plot to overthrow the Prime Minister, but then helps to return the Prime Minister to power, which he then uses to save the community center. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Wow. No, really… wow! It’s amazing we got a decent Borat movie after this bomb. Speaking of which, Borat does make a cameo appearance that is shot like a big, oh my god, but they’re the same guy, how can this be, kind of moment. I can’t even go on. I respect you, my readers, too much to subject you to this any longer. Just go back to not knowing that it ever existed and your life will be better for it. Let’s just rate this crap and move on.

Rating:

1 Little People

 

DVD Special Features:

  • Side-Splitting Commentary From Ali G
  • Hysterical Deleted Scenes & Outtakes Too Wild To Show In The Theatres
  • Go Behind The Scenes With Ali G
  • Learn To Talk Like Ali G
  • Photos From The Shoot
  • Trailers

Please let the record show that I did not name these special features, they are written that way on the back of the DVD. I would also like the record to show that I didn’t watch any of these special features, because I watched it on my Xbox’s Netflix account. But for the sake of thoroughness, I will be reviewing them once the disc arrives in the mail. So look forward to that wonderful little nugget of an update.

 

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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

 

“Brüno”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Sacha Baron Cohen is back, and this time he’s brought his flamboyantly gay Austrian fashion correspondent, Brüno, to the big screen. I wish I could say it’s a welcomed return, but sadly it just doesn’t live up to its “Borat” predecessor. I think the biggest problem here is that it seems like Baron Cohen truly didn’t try to do anything new. This is the exact same story he told in “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” The bear has been replaced with an adopted African baby, the Kazakhstan producer was replaced by a homosexual assistant in love with Brüno, and the cross country road trip replaced with… well, nothing, because it is another road trip story. I can’t for the life of me figure out why Sacha has just simply cookie cut this new film. He really didn’t have to. On the original HBO TV series, “Da Ali G Show,” Brüno was a character who would interview people in the fashion industry, which he does if only for a moment in this film. I personally would have liked a more fashion oriented story line. I can’t believe I just said that, because I would never want to watch a movie about fashion, but that’s what this character was created for and is really best at. The reason Borat works so well is because he’s a lovable, culturally challenged, misguided foreigner.The same can’t be said for Brüno, because he’s not misguided. He’s just stupid. The other problem with this film is that much like “Borat” a lot of the film seems staged and faked as real reactions, when clearly they’re not. Where as “Borat” was about 80% of real situations, sadly only 10% of “Brüno” can fit that bill. One of the reasons Brüno works so well in the fashion world, is because everyone in that industry is so self absorbed, that no one would ever question a character like Brüno being real. Once you take him out of that element, its hard to believe anyone would buy his act, which is why this movie doesn’t work. Also with the success of “Borat,” more and more people became aware of Sacha Baron Cohen’s characters, and were therefore not as easily fooled as they may have been in the past.  Is it’s funny? Yes. But in the end it’s just a scripted comedy that is not any different from a skit on “Saturday Night Live.” I really question the situations and reactions in this film, much more than I did in “Borat.” You might just be better off renting “Zoolander” and imagining Brüno in that movie.

 

I also recently found out that one of the bits, which was in the version I saw, has been cut from the film do to the untimely death of Michael Jackson. In said scene, La Toya Jackson is interview by Brüno, as Mexican men are used as chairs and furniture because there is no furniture in the house. La Toya hangs out and politely banters with Brüno, who asks if she could introduce him to her more famous brother, Michael. She kindly says, “No.” But, when Brüno asks to see her cell phone, he finds what is supposedly Michael Jackson‘s phone number, and reads it to his assistant in German. Don’t worry; this joke isn’t completely lost considering they do the same thing with Paula Abdul. I really am on the fence about this film, because parts of it were very funny; however it wants you to believe these situations are real when they’re painfully faked. I’m afraid no amount of gypsy tears is going to save “Brüno” from a low rating.

 

Rating:
2 Little People

 

“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