Currently browsing the "Sacha Baron Cohen" tag.

Review: Borat Subsequent MovieFilm

I’m just not that into Borat. I wasn’t in 2006 when Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan put Sacha Baron Cohen’s unique brand of political satire on the cinematic map, nor now, 14 years later, with his admittedly timely “sequel”, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Fortunately for the British actor and comedian (who I thoroughly enjoyed as Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7 and “Master of the House” in Les Miserables), he does not need me to like his Borat character. Enough others do. And they will surely lap this up – in all its crude glory. Ironically, I was about to dump out of the movie – until Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani began firing off obnoxious preemptive tweets about Giuliani’s rather embarrassing “cameo” and how the film surely manipulated his actions. So of course I had to keep watching! Sure it’s a set-up, but hey, you reap what you sow. Ick.

Review: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Seems like a ton of movies coming out in the midst of this pandemic are trying very hard to tell us something critically important about our past, present… and future. Count among them: The Trial of the Chicago 7. The film occasionally teeters on a high horse, as each member of the A-list cast gets a turn to shine in the Aaron Sorkin spotlight of zippy dialogue imbued with a mix of cynical and serious political and philosophical debate. But overall, it’s an interesting and important story to revisit, as it is based on true events eerily similar to current ones. And Sorkin does have a knack for transforming a courtroom drama into a crowd-pleasing spectacle.

Les Misérables

I’ve been somewhat obsessed with Les Misérables ever since I saw the show on Broadway circa 1987. And again in London. And Chicago. And Atlanta. So to say I was looking forward to a big-screen version starring one of my favorite performers, Hugh Jackman, would be a major understatement. In other words, I was an easy sell on this one. It may not be the greatest movie musical of all time, but it is the best in recent memory, despite a few flaws in casting (more on that in a moment).

The Les Miz story, based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo, is a long one, but here’s the gist: It’s the early 1800s in France and a prisoner named Jean Valjean (aka “24601”) is finally being released on parole after 19 years. His crime: stealing a loaf of bread for starving relatives and then trying to escape.

Hugo

Martin Scorsese’s new child friendly adaptation of “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” called simply Hugo is the second film I’ve seen this month that is a paean to the world of silent film. Unlike The Artist, however, this one is neither silent nor is it in black and white. It is full, glorious color and even available in 3D. (I opted for the 2D version.) It is the story of an orphaned boy (Asa Butterfield) who lives in the secret chambers of a Paris train station keeping all the clocks running on time, while hiding from the over-zealous station master (Sacha Baron Cohen) who has it in for unaccompanied children.