Here's three quick shorts to bridge the gap between the and Rise the Dawn of the P.O.T.A.
Funded by 20th Century Fox and produced by Vice's Motherboard.
(dir. Ridley Scott)
SPOILER ALERT: now in space no-one can hear you ... over the sound of that BOOMING soundtrack.
(check the comments section for the rest of this SPOILERISH review as we can't be bothered to install any of that invisotext code here)Read more 2.5 star reviews
(dir. Tom Kuntz, Mike Maguire)
For 20 years now, The Onion has delivered unparalleled satire of American life in its many forms. Originally (and still) an actual newspaper, The Onion is perhaps best known for their website, and they've also successfully published a series of brilliant books which further the cause of exposing and laughing at hypocrisy on a global scale. The Onion's humour has always been sort of middle-brow. There are tons of intellectual jokes throughout their work, but it's always balanced by a well-placed and timely cock joke.
Things could have turned out quite badly for this project. It was pretty much stillborn, then resurrected, and is now being released direct to DVD. Everyone involved in the project thought the material was not strong enough for a theatre release, and therefore I had a slight worry that Onion humour might not translate to a screen format, that it might be too long-winded or spend too much time extracting every ounce of humour from a topic: but the movie delivers at a great pace and (even better) does not rely heavily on material from the website and books. It's a fresh experience, and funny as fuck. Essentially, this is Kentucky Fried Movie as done by the Onion (KFO anybody?) and notably one finds the name David Zucker (Airplane etc) in the producer credits.
It's also great to report that the movie has high production values - a super glossy look and great cast. There's some neat continuity gags, themes which are returned to from different perspectives, tight dialogue and it's beautifully edited. For a comedy film these things are often secondary, but not in this case.
You'll laugh, you'll wince, and you will nod in agreement as the movie drops smart-bombs on self-inflated idiots. No-one is safe. From the Islamic terrorist training video, through trailers for Steven Seagal's latest action movie (Steven Seagal IS Cockpuncher), and an awesome sequence which involves a hip-hop Wigger being recognised as truly black (only not in the way he wanted) - this is a work of comedic and satirical genius. Highly recommended.Read more 4.5 star reviews
(dir. Larry Charles)
Anyone familiar with Borat would no doubt agree that he is the funniest and most outregeous of Sacha Baron Cohen's 3 characters, and during his sections in the Ali G In Da USA show we were appalled and dazzled by his shameless interviews - and much like Ali G his ability to extract the truth from narrow minded middle America. This film is all that, plus a whole lot more. You get the normal encounters with people of such jaw dropping ignorance, culminating in a stadium full of Rodeo fans who cheer passionately when Borat greets them on the mic with words to the effect of "May your president drain the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq." You get livid feminists, furious commuters, angry aristocrats, man-eating Jews and Pamela Anderson.
Although his TV show was so successful, things like that often fail to translate well onto the big screen - and when stretched to 90 minutes they can become tiresome. But this got it right. The plot was good enough to sustain your attention and formed a believable platform for his comedy. It was a non-stop romp across the U.S and A and the comedy was pushed to it's absolute limit. There were moments of such shock and awe that provided images that will be burned on to my memory for ever. He got himself into situations from which most people would be hard pushed to walk away with their lives, but his masterfully acted naive charm got him through every time. The comedy was relentless and there were countless moments where the audience laughed until they had nothing left. Not all the jokes were necessary though and his constant attack on the Jewish community became too uncomfortable to snigger at towards the end - but it was the visual gags that worked so well, like the shocked faces of New Yorkers as Borat calmly masturbated on the street to a window full of lingerie-clad mannequins, or washed his underpants in Central Park, or opened a suitcase full of chickens on the subway.
It's all pretty stupid stuff and I did feel slightly embarrassed asking for two tickets to Borat when there were such heavyweights to be seen like The Departed or Romanzo Criminale, but who cares - I haven't laughed that much in years and continue to smirk to myself when images of naked male wrestling enter my mind. Pure genius. High Five.