Sunday, November 12, 2006

Borat:A Word in Khazakstan roughly translated as humour that...

...consistently misses the mark. Any mark.

Yeah, I saw Borat. Yesterday, in fact. Anticipation was high. Atmospherically, it was can't-breath-due-to-lack-of-oxygen high. My future happiness in life was riding on the humor of this movie.

As a gift for a special occassion, the ever-loving wife gave me a cd. She was probably getting tired of hearing, "It's only (insert a number here) days until it comes to a theatre for viewing its pleasures!!!".
She was especially getting tired of those "!!!!" I was adding to any proclamation I was making.
"I am deporting the garbage out of the doors. .......... !!!!!! It was obvious I was looking forward to the movie and was in high intensity mode in trying to coax her to accompanying me. I laugh less comfortably with strangers.
So, listening to this made it easier to oil her locked resistance. The cd is, well, it is the fantastic. Great musicians. Great reviews! Bulgarians, Romanians, Roma, Serbians, Macedonians. Sorry, no Kazakh stars. There's even a cover of "Born to be Wild", which, while minimally acoustically linked to the original version, is an earworm in its own right.

The Anticipation of the Laugh was stoked higher. The ever-loving wife, despite her unease with the gross bits she'd heard about, even agreed to come along. We went to a matinee. A post of that will wait for another day.

I knew this was not going to be a movie of subtlety. I expected some gross bits, ones meant to get the GCD's into the theatre. But, that was o.k. with me; they would at least leave the theatre knowing how to correctly pronounce "Kazakhstan".

Your high-browed folks may complain that this view is so fatalistic. I'd just point out to them that, latest election results to the contrary, over 60% of Americans still think Saddam was intimately invlolved with 9/11 events. Enough said about that.

What I wasn't ready for was the plethora of infantile, puerile, sophomoric bits. I'd put up with a few, happy enough to be polishing jewels later. But the jewels were few and far between.
The humor teacher bit.
The car buying bit.
Even the bear as protective action bit.
But the bad taste from the motel wrestling bit, the dinner bit, and all of the other bits that simply fell flat was too much. How the movie received all of the positive reviews for laughs can only be explained by our unquenched need for humor in films and the current dearth of it. The one thing I got out of the film was the need to acquire one of those dark purple light testers they use in CSI to check for dried human bodily fluids on motel/hotel sheets. I'd strongly suggest weraring shoes and slippers in a hotel/motel room all of the time. After watching this movie, you'll have doubts about sleeping overnight anywhere except on your own bed.
The country he comes from has got to be Borathstan, not Kazakhstan. Yes, Borathstan. The only other country on earth equally qualified with a person who thinks he's funny,...not is the United States, since we, most unfortunately, have the Borat-like Bill O'Reilly. Our only saving grace is that we don't have to deal with a movie by O'Reilly. Yet. He may start getting ideas based on Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Heaven help us then.

My advice. If you haven't seen the movie yet. Don't. Say your moneys for other possibilities. Instead, use your entertainment dollars for the week to buy this and this. Put the former on the cd platter. Put the latter ("Molvania: A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry") in your paws and read. And laugh, a lot. The latter activity was not readily available in the movie.


I had a feeling the laughs were few and far between. Not that I was planning on watching it anyway. That sort of humiliation humor doesn't interest me.
Not to get all high-browed or anything (God knows that's not possible), I had enough of Borat after seeing his bit with Conan O'Brien and then with Martha Stewart on one of the other late night talk shows (I actually found Martha funnier than Borat...he's just too much of a potentially good thing). But I will agree with you on the book suggestion...I found a copy of this awhile back in a used book store, in the travel section, and couldn't put it down. Hilarious.
I'm so disappointed.
I was disappointed, too (Darko, your warning came too late), though I'm generally speaking not averse to some of the things shown there. Like, when those creationists (that's what they were, weren't they) jump all around and shake like monkeys and one of them cries out "I did not descend from an ape!"...
Still thinking about the movie, well, actually thinking about the waste of time sitting in the theatre on a gorgeous (very) late Indian Summer day it was. What went wrong? Hopes too high? In dire need of a laugh?
Here's the thing. I expected the movie to be a European version (no insult to Alcessa and that temporary European, Sgazzetti) of Trading Places, a brilliant movie that doesn;t get enough credit for the poking it adoes at multiple classes. The only similarity between "Borat" and "Trading Places" is that there's a kind-hearted prostitute in both...and that's the only similarity.
That's what I'll do. Netflix "Trading Places" and see how Sasha Baron Cohen missed a chance to make a classic comedy.
After hearing my stepteens review of the flick, I will pass, too.

I am not fond of dangling participles....
I haven't seen it yet, not really sure I want to; seems just kind of too much? That said, after hearing it on the radio some weeks ago my wife (who is) and I have been singing "Throw the jew down the well" with alarming frequency. But then, we were in on the joke; unlike the unfortunate participants.

Something to be wondered at, too, is that the movie should have been funded and promoted by Fox, given its hapless victims. What are they over there - self-loathing News?
Sgazzetti, CP, FCB, Since this movie will be talked about by most everyone and references will be made to it until you'll be screaming Put a sock in it!!!, you may need to see the movie. I suggest a matinee, if only to minimize the amount of money going Cohen's way. Or simply wait to rent a dvd of it. There's nothing in the film that would look better than on the small screen. It is, in fact, suited better for the small screen as it deals with very very small ideas.
Besides, you folks may see something I completely missed and I'd be eager to hear your respective opinions.
It's simply a shame, since Cohen's initial idea was so good.

I stand firmly behind buying/borrowing the soundtrack cd. Very excellent in quantity of qualities.
Let the record show that I did in fact see this movie (and bought the CD). The movie, paid for with hard earned cash I might add, full price, was positively the WORST movie I have ever seen in my entire life. I cannot imagine what anyone was thinking when they made this but the lowest common denominator in the humor category is now a negative number. Lord, have mercy on the folks who did this.

The CD is still in the playa and I'm up to song #4, well on its way to being downloaded to the pod.
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