Sunday, March 11, 2007

Throw 'Borat' down the well

I am nonplussed at the thought of writing a review about "Borat." I guess the thing to do is to get some choice words out of the way.

Vile, sophomoric, lewd, disgusting, soporific, pathetic, lowbrow, worthless and unbelievable.
Whew. That feels better.

My friend Dean brought Sacha Baron Cohen's "documentary" over to other buddy Drew's house in Maryville for us to screen this weekend. The film was released on DVD last Tuesday. I objected at first. Really wanted to watch "True Grit," given that next Tuesday is my birthday.

Dean insists and I relent. That may go down as the biggest mistake I've made since the time I went out with that girl named --- OK, better not get into anymore trouble than I'm about to with this review.

I mildly laughed at the film a couple of times early on. Dean belly-laughed at scenes that were anything but funny. I knew we were in for a long night when Borat and tag-a-long buddy Azamat stopped at a bed and breakfast ran by two sweet Jewish folks. Later, when Azamat began overtly admiring a "Baywatch" book (I'm cleaning up the scene because this is a family blog), I walked out of the room.

Cohen's "Borat" (subtitled "Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan") is a ruse. Cohen made up the Borat character on a cable TV show. (In one scene, he shows up at a redneck bar and leads the crowd in a rendition of a song called "Throw the Jew Down the Well.") In the film, he pretends to be a Kazakhstan native wandering America, exploiting cultural differences.

"Waterworld" and "Joe Vs. The Volcano" can rest easy. This is the worst movie I have ever seen.

The gag is that Cohen, who is Jewish, is attempting to show that racism, and anti-Semites, are still prevalent in America, particularly --- wait for it --- down South. I'm refraining from calling this train wreck satire because satire is an artistic term and "Borat" is nowhere near worth calling art.

Thirty-five years ago, Norman Lear's "All in the Family" accomplished what this film can't by using sophistication, wit and good writing. Imagine that.

This worthless pile of celluloid is intended to shock. If you like unspeakably bad jokes, humor that wouldn't do in a frat house, full-frontal male nudity and content that should make anyone with a brain blush, by all means this film is for you. I sincerely hope I never hear of Cohen again.

At their best, movies have the power to raise us up, to comment on the human condition and make us better people. Less lofty films at least can entertain and offer 90 minutes of mindless humor. ("Wild Hogs" appears to do just that.)

"Borat" is none of this. It is an amazingly unfunny, poorly done, offensive, worthless piece of garbage. And all those other adjectives I used at the beginning of this piece.

That's it. I'm done. Can't believe I wasted this much of my life.

Pardon me while I grab the remote. "True Grit" is coming on...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got a MYSpace comment from Dean, raving about how much you liked Borat. I KNEW if I checked your blog there would be a ranting about it. I, too, watched it this weekend - and was less than impressed. Much like the Jackass episode, or perhaps School of Rock...

I'm sorry you wasted 2 hours of your life this weekend. :)


8:54 AM  

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