Patterico's Pontifications

11/19/2006

Borat Movie

Filed under: General,Movies — Patterico @ 12:27 pm



We saw the Borat movie last night.

Although I was a fan of the Ali G. show, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the movie. I had heard mixed reviews, with some people saying it wasn’t as good as the shows.

I don’t think I ever laughed so hard in a movie in my life.

I don’t want to give anything away if you haven’t seen it. But if you liked the show, don’t be discouraged by the people who say the movie wasn’t great.

Great success!

50 Responses to “Borat Movie”

  1. I know you are probably getting tired of hearing this from me Patterico, but you are going to keep hearing it until you either explain yourself or ban me.

    I’m going to go watch Borat just so I can make a list of all the scenes that are as bad as anything Ann Coulter ever said and ask you to justify why Borat is funny but Ann Coulter is a harridan.

    Doc Rampage (4a07eb)

  2. Ann Coulter is not a comedienne. If Borat stands in front of a crowd and states his wish that we kill every man, woman, and child in Iraq, you know Sacha Cohen doesn’t believe that. If Ann Coulter said it, I’d wonder.

    Patterico (de0616)

  3. Borat is beyond funny. He’s absolutely hilarious.

    Ali G was actually funnier in the UK when he first came out, but obviously he became so well-known that he couldn’t dupe anybody…and had to come to the US and get people like Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich.

    I think Andy Rooney took it worst, the grumpy old sod.

    Martin (d3775f)

  4. Since you guys went there: Ann Coulter is a comedienne who has an audience which doesn’t know that she is one. She adopted the Rush Limbaugh formula of choosing a preselected audience and telling them things they want to hear. Very successfully as well. In exactly the same manner as Charles Bronson, in the movie “The Mechanic”, paid his call-girl, played by Jill Ireland, extra for writing him a love letter. Except that Coulter’s clients are such morons that they take her seriously. Call her an ideological prostitute or demagoguing panderer and you will be right both times.

    nk (06f5d0)

  5. P.S. Kind of like Kosmas Moulitsas-Zulinga?

    nk (06f5d0)

  6. P2:

    You should seek out the older DVDs of Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G and Borat from the UK before he did the HBO show. There are probably 6+ hours of interviews and specials that are even better than the HBO series, imo. I bought them in London 3 or 4 years ago when I was there for a wedding.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  7. Awesome. Any links to where I could buy them?

    Patterico (de0616)

  8. I know that Amazon.co.uk carried them at one point.

    If you have a fat external hard drive you could mail it to me and I could “loan” you the files.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  9. I piss on Borat.

    RJN (e12f22)

  10. If you have a fat external hard drive you could mail it to me and I could “loan” you the files.

    No, thanks.

    Patterico (de0616)

  11. I’ll bet Sacha Baron Cohen could replicate Ann Coulter perfectly.

    David Ehrenstein (dea91c)

  12. P2:

    The DVDs are called:

    Ali G – Innit
    Ali G – Blind Bling
    Ali G – Aiii

    If you could only get one, Innit is the best one.

    There is also a fairly amusing hardcover book by “Ali G” – The Gospel According to Ali G.

    I just checked Amazon.co.uk and see that the DVDs are there.

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  13. “Ali G – Blind Bling” should have read “Ali G – Bling Bling”

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  14. Oh – a lot of them are on eBay!

    The Liberal Avenger (c93dac)

  15. I’m going to go watch Borat just so I can make a list of all the scenes that are as bad as anything Ann Coulter ever said and ask you to justify why Borat is funny but Ann Coulter is a harridan.

    Because Borat is funny on purpose.

    Jim Treacher (c4006e)

  16. Overall, the film is exceptionally vulgar and ludicrous. As such, it comes across as mean-spirited. I don’t know much about Khazakstan, but I expect they know how to use the toilet there. I am anything but politically correct. To my surprise, however, I left the film thinking the Khazakstanis had a point.

    There are some genuinely funny moments: the squawking suitcase, and the ice cream bear scaring the kids. But these are hardly worth the scenes featuring excretions, masturbation, and naked wrestling.

    NCC (a90377)

  17. I’ve decided that the movie “Borat” is a hilarious reminder of how hard we each work on a daily basis just to be a person who can get along with others.

    Human beings are conflicted. Every day we suppress a huge number of impulses and desires, and keep a massive number of opinions to ourselves. If we did not, society would cease to function. And we each face these desires and impulses pretty much alone; that way, we protect the rest of the world from having to deal with them. “Borat” is a warm reminder of how hard everyone in society works at getting along with each other, often without even realizing it.

    Most of the time, Borat is simply doing what most people would do if they started acting completely on impulse, without any self-control. At a formal dinner, Borat compliments two men on how attractive there wives are, and expresses sympathy for a man whose wife is less attractive. He attempts to kidnap a beautiful movie star. He pleasures himself to a window display of lingerie mannequins. He asks attractive women on the street “how much” their sexual services would cost. He chases his manager around his hotel without regard for the fact that they are both naked. He tries to drink alcohol while taking a driving lesson.

    I could go on, but the point is that these actions are rooted in various impulses that many people suppress every day, in order to get along in the world. What is offensive is that he doesn’t suppress these impulses in order to make his public life go smoothly.

    I think that we all live with this crazy person similar (if not identical) to Borat inside us, who has various impulses and desires that must be suppressed in order to survive in society. None of us have any idea how to make that person completely go away. Some days we hold back that person better than other days.

    In “Borat,” that person we’re trying to suppress is on the outside, rather than on the inside. We get to see other people deal with the crazy person we generally feel like we have to face alone. That’s one of the major things that makes Borat so funny.

    Phil (88ab5b)

  18. Most of the time, Borat is simply doing what most people would do if they started acting completely on impulse, without any self-control.

    So true. The movie works as a comedy, parody and self-analysis. Because it’s a setup, it’s very successful in that it steers us to see our own bias or hypocrisy.

    But now Michael Richards has unleashed exactly that and more at The Laugh Factory. His outburst has a lot of anger but none of the playful innocence that lets Borat get away with it. As far as the Laugh Factory bit, he’s sure not going to get the same response as Borat. But is the message really that different.

    Vermont Neighbor (cd4d85)

  19. So are we to admire Michael Richards for his lack of hypocrisy? Or the flasher in the park, who’s just showing women how attractive they are to him? Or the Borat character for not knowing how to use a toilet because…. well, you’ve lost me. I’m not sure how being potty-trained is hypocritcal.

    Even if I agreed that this all somehow made great entertainment (and I don’t), I’m not sure how slamming citizens of Kazakhstan — an actual country — as (among other things) being so backward they defecate and masturbate in public accomplishes anything.

    NCC (9f37aa)

  20. Watching the Michael Richards video is like watching someone trying to put toothpaste back into a tube.

    That said, I’m really more interested in the public interest in his comments. People in the video kept saying “that was totally uncalled for.” Sure it was. But since when does a third-rate comedian (I didn’t even know he did stand-up) engaging in “uncalled for” and offensive behaviour become national news?

    Why the interest? Is anyone really worried that Michael Richards is going to develop a white-supremacist following, and start oppressing the black race? Or is it just exciting to watch him have a career-killing meltdown on camera?

    I don’t think many people feel threatened or offended by his comments. I think it’s more of a voyeuristic thrill to watch someone make such a fool of themselves.

    Phil (88ab5b)

  21. But since when does a third-rate comedian (I didn’t even know he did stand-up) engaging in “uncalled for” and offensive behaviour become national news?

    When there’s video of Kramer yelling the n-word over and over, and then panicking as he realizes what he’s done.

    I think it’s more of a voyeuristic thrill to watch someone make such a fool of themselves.

    Well… yeah.

    Jim Treacher (c4006e)

  22. There is overlap between Borat and Michael Richards. Both push the envelope with their behavior. Richards clearly crossed the line while Borat hovers tantalizingly close to it.

    It’s like a NASCAR race where we both fear and hope there will be a spectacular crash. Whether young or old, those of us who don’t find these comedians funny are at a point in our lives where spectacular crashes just aren’t very entertaining.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  23. People laughed at Columbus: They said he would fall off the edge of the world.
    People laughed at the Wright Brothers: They said that Kitty Hawk would crash.
    People like slapstick and always will.
    (Not mine. From some cartoon I read.)

    nk (50d578)

  24. Damn, I should have come back sooner so I didn’t miss the discussion…

    Patterico, your reason for holding Coulter to a different standard than Cohen is not very convincing. Maybe the problem is that you find irony less threatening than hyperbole. For example when Cohen, a jew, makes anti-Semitic comments, you don’t find it threatening because you know he means the opposite of what he says. When Ann Coulter makes comments about blowing up the New York Times building, you find it threatening because she most certainly doesn’t mean the opposite of what she says.

    Ann Coulter is engaging in hyperbole, exaggeration, rather than irony. Maybe you find it threatening because you aren’t sure how exaggerated it really is. But really, this is your problem, not Ann Coulter’s. Coulter’s fans recognize it as hyperbole and they know that the people who work in the Times building really have nothing to fear from Ann Coulter other than the exposure of their hypocrisy.

    And even this doesn’t explain your reaction to Coulter’s comment about the Jersey Widows. You were angry at her for that comment because you thought it was offensive, not because you thought it was threatening. I’ll bet Cohen in his movie does dozens of things as offensive as that comment. But you give Cohen a pass because he calls himself a comedian? I don’t see why something offensive is less offensive just because the person who does it is a professional comedian.

    Could it be that Cohens antics are less offensive because they’re pointless? Was the Jersey-Widow comment more offensive because there was a grain of truth to it?

    Doc Rampage (4a07eb)

  25. But is the message really that different.

    Borat or Michael Richards… or Mel Gibson, all with words and intentions that cut deep. To reason that one guy’s a comedian is like saying the other guy’s an alcoholic.

    Vermont Neighbor (cd4d85)

  26. For example when Cohen, a jew, makes anti-Semitic comments, you don’t find it threatening because you know he means the opposite of what he says. When Ann Coulter makes comments about blowing up the New York Times building, you find it threatening because she most certainly doesn’t mean the opposite of what she says.

    Yeah, one’s a joke and one’s not. Is that really such a radical concept?

    Jim Treacher (c4006e)

  27. Say, I laugh when Mel Brooks makes a Hitler joke, but not so much when a neo-Nazi talks about how great the guy was. WHAT A HYPOCRITE I AM, EH

    Jim Treacher (c4006e)

  28. Could it be that Cohens antics are less offensive because they’re pointless? Was the Jersey-Widow comment more offensive because there was a grain of truth to it?

    Or because the point was spite, rather than sillyness?

    actus (10527e)

  29. Treacher’s got it.

    Joke vs. non-joke.

    Patterico (de0616)

  30. Joke vs. non-joke.

    It’s not joke versus non-joke because it’s up to the listener who will ultimately decide how to take it. How the “joke” lands is the point at which it’s interpreted. And it’s not interpreted by one definitive voice, for or against.

    Personally I’m not offended by Borat, Mel Gibson, Larry Flynt or OJ’s tv show. Many people are, though.

    A white guy could crack a perfectly funny joke using the n word, but as Paul Rodriguez said — it doesn’t work that way. Only one group can use the word, without racist results. (paraphrasing)

    Vermont Neighbor (cd4d85)

  31. When Cohen, a Jew, baits non Jews, films them and then edits the films for maximum ridicule of the non Jew it is O.K. These people are only goyim; they exist to be shorn, plucked, milked or ridiculed for profit. They should know better and not make a fuss.

    RJN (e12f22)

  32. When Cohen, a Jew, baits non Jews, films them and then edits the films for maximum ridicule of the non Jew it is O.K. These people are only goyim; they exist to be shorn, plucked, milked or ridiculed for profit. They should know better and not make a fuss.

    I think you figured out how to do the jokes. But the point is to be so outrageous as to make yourself out to be so silly that OTHERS let their guard down.

    actus (10527e)

  33. Or test the concept of a joke. Chris Rock writes it or maybe Eddie Murphy (or whoever is today’s hot talent). Does Garry Shandling get to say it with the n word? Or even the hip George Carlin? He’s always alluded to the word, even in a comedy set. Jeff Foxworthy, whew. That would end up on Drudge’s page.

    And how about if something is definitely not comedy? Passion of The Christ was a personal and serious view of one filmmaker’s connection to religion. For those who embraced it, the same story offended others. People will be narrow or broad and it will never coincide with one rigid definition. (imo)

    Vermont Neighbor (cd4d85)

  34. “When Cohen, a Jew, baits non Jews, films them and then edits the films for maximum ridicule of the non Jew it is O.K. These people are only goyim; they exist to be shorn, plucked, milked or ridiculed for profit. They should know better and not make a fuss.”

    What do your initials stand for, reviling Jews nightly?

    Jim Treacher (c4006e)

  35. I didn’t see any actual Jews being ridiculed, so I thought it must be the gentile thing; you know, we can take it.

    On second thought, of course, all bloody hell would break loose if a Jew was ridiculed, so the only way to make a buck is to use the hillbilly’s, or hicks of any stripe, or foreigners with funny accents.

    Have a nice day.

    RJN (e12f22)

  36. So it seems. Comedy is subjective.

    Vermont Neighbor (cd4d85)

  37. Jim Treacher, hyperbole is as ancient a form of comedy as irony is, and as with irony, there have always been those litera-minded people who didn’t get it.

    When Coulter suggested blowing up the New York Times building it most certainly was a joke. What else was it? Do you seriously think that Ann Coulter wants to murder a thousand people because they are political foes? If so, I’m a lot more worried about you for having the sort of mind that finds such a thing plausible than I am about Coulter.

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)

  38. Jim Treacher, hyperbole is as ancient a form of comedy as irony is, and as with irony, there have always been those litera-minded people who didn’t get it.

    No kidding.

    Jim Treacher (c4006e)

  39. The difference between Coulter’s repugnance and Cohen’s is that Coulter is trying to use her’s to influence national policy.

    Leviticus (7494e0)

  40. Cohen has said that he want to make people think that Americans are anti-Semitic, therefore he also wants to change national policy. The difference is that Ann Coulter’s jokes are surrounded by actual arguments while Cohen’s jokes have no foundation.

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)

  41. The difference is that Ann Coulter’s jokes are surrounded by actual arguments while Cohen’s jokes have no foundation.

    Coulter’s jokes are motivated out of spite to the target — the widows. Cohen’s are out of care to the target — the jews. Thats the difference.

    actus (10527e)

  42. Patterico:

    Treacher’s got it.

    Joke vs. non-joke.

    Close. A more apt description is jokepattericolikes vs. non-jokepattericolikes. Or worse, joketoldbysomeonepattericolikes vs. non-joketoldbysomeonepattericolikes.

    Xrlq (6a68a2)

  43. Could it be someone who’s no better than he should be vs. someone who acts worse than she is? Or better, a clown only one step above an organ grinder’s monkey doing tricks to amuse the crowd vs. an educated, intelligent lawyer who chooses to throw raw meat to hungry puppies who pay her $20,000.00 speaking fees?

    nk (35ba30)

  44. So Coulter’s just kidding?

    Jim Treacher (c4006e)

  45. Of course she was, at least with that comment. It was a joke in very poor taste, but a joke nonetheless.

    Xrlq (58820f)

  46. The difference between Coulter’s repugnance and Cohen’s is that Coulter is trying to use her’s to influence national policy.

    By this standard, it’s okay to do something crass as long as it’s about trivial matters or personal affairs. Very Clintonian.

    DRJ (8c00f0)

  47. It was a joke in very poor taste, but a joke nonetheless.

    Oh, okay. Ha ha!

    Jim Treacher (c4006e)

  48. I never said it was a good joke.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)


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