Curb Your Enthusiasm guy who shittily-directed Bob Dylan's Masked and Anonymous and then effortlessly directed Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat.
Masked and Anonymous (2003) -- A bunch of misogynists get together and make an offensively bad movie. Even Bob Dylan fans should avoid this.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) -- Not only is this one of the most hilarious movies of all time (there's never a minute when you're not laughing out loud), it's a brand new kind of movie altogether. The character Borat (and friends) is a fictional character who lives in a fictionalized world and is part of his own fictional narrative, but the movie blends this with the absolute reality of the United States of America in the early 21st Century. Almost everything in this movie is real, and that's important to know. Sacha Baron Cohen isn't simply creating caricatures to point out the flaws of our nation: he's showing the problems as they exist in real-life people by disarming them with his own backwardness and allowing them to say (in a huge movie) what they really think, in ways that they might otherwise only say in private. So we get ridiculous-yet-genuine examples of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and repressed homosexuality, misdirected religion, and you name it -- all of it pointing to the the glorious US and A and its bloated sense of self... and not just with politicians. This movie lets us see why these politicians win. Note how, instead of being interested in Borat's culture, everyone simply tries to Americanize him. "We don't do that here, buddy." The best example of this might be Borat attempting to learn manners in order to be more civilized for a dinner. He, of course, screws up and, of course, he makes everyone uncomfortable. But the people at the table don't freak out too much (considering) when he brings a bag of his own turds to the dinner table; they do, however, get downright mean (and I'd even say evil) when he brings a fat, black woman into the house. As funny as this movie is, lots of it just makes me sad. And the movie certainly does have its touching moments, like the end of his date with the prostitute or when his producer has left him. It's these real bits of emotion in the fiction that give more power to the funny moments and the movie as a whole. But I've been talking about the serious stuff too much. I don't want to give you the wrong idea. This is a hilarious movie and will be hilarious even if you don't give two shits about the sad state of our country. Cohen is one of the boldest comedians I've ever seen, doing stuff that Lenny Bruce could only dream about and in many ways surpassing Tom Green and Andy Kaufman. So unless you're a racist, sexist, or whatever yourself (including those who are so much so that they can't distinguish parody), my guess is the movie will have you ROTFL throughout.
Copyright (c) Apr 2004 - Nov 2006 by Rusty Likes Movies