May 16, 2012 |
Like its creator and star Sacha Baron Cohen, the comedy of "The Dictator" is mercurial to the extreme and as crude as the massive oil reserves of Wadiya, the fictional North African nation where his latest movie prank begins. By turns hysterical, heretical, guilty, innocent, silly, sophisticated, teasing and tedious, the film follows the power-mad leader Admiral General Haffaz Aladeen as he loses his bearings, his beard and his heart in New York City. "The Dictator" underscores both Baron Cohen's genius and his folly, and delivers the actor's signature blend of scatological outrage, sagacity and at least one full-frontal assault with a flaccid unmentionable.
April 15, 2010 |
A 7-by-4-foot American flag comprised of hand grenades and M-14 rifles cast in rubber. A monolithic Chanel logo constructed from more than 5,000 Lego pieces — in Gucci colors. Caravaggio's masterpiece, "The Incredulity of St. Thomas," remade with the apostles apparently questioning the authenticity of Jesus' Louis Vuitton robe. Artist Jason Alper, the co-creator of Sacha Baron Cohen's infamous characters Ali G, Borat and Bruno, is obviously not interested in playing it straight.
June 11, 2011 |
— Say "Kazakhstan" to most filmgoers and their minds will jump to "Borat," Sacha Baron Cohen's mockumentary about a plow-driving, shower-averse horndog that took the U.S. box office by storm in 2006. The film put the vast but obscure oil-rich nation of 16 million, wedged between Russia and China, on the map for many Americans but left Kazakh officials objecting that Cohen had misrepresented the country: For starters, many of its inhabitants are not Eastern European-sounding people with bushy mustaches but Koran-reading Central Asians.
July 13, 2009 |
Friday brought a dose of both good and worrisome news for Universal Pictures, the studio behind "Bruno." The good news: The second feature comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen of "Borat" fame had sold $14.4 million worth of tickets on its opening day, a strong start that, under most circumstances, would mean the film was on its way to grossing close to $40 million in the U.S. and Canada for the three-day weekend.
April 3, 2008 |
A judge in New York has tossed out a defamation lawsuit brought by a businessman shown in the movie "Borat" as he is chased down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Federal Judge Loretta Preska says the term "newsworthy" -- defined in its most liberal and far-reaching terms -- can be applied to the 2006 hit movie. The lawsuit had sought unspecified damages for Jeffrey Lemerond, a Dartmouth College graduate and financial analyst. In the movie, Lemerond is shown running and yelling "Go away!"
May 24, 2007 |
Fictional Kazakh reporter Borat Sagdiyev, who made movie audiences laugh and cringe as he toured the United States, is going into print with a book of travel advice. Borat, the creation of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, has signed a book deal with Flying Dolphin Press, an imprint of Random House Inc.'s Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group. The book, due this fall, will be two texts in one -- one half a guide to the U.S. for Kazakhs, the other a guide to Kazakhstan for Westerners.
November 19, 2006
I watched "Borat" on opening night in a packed movie theater ["Borat, a Truth Serum in Our Midst," Oct. 15]. The majority of the audience was comprised of minorities, mostly Asians and Armenians. The audience was so in tune with the movie that everyone responded cohesively to each scene, almost on cue, as if we were a part of the movie's soundtrack. The reaction was also cohesive in the scene in which college students made racial remarks. The audience abruptly became quiet -- so quiet, all you could hear was the hum of the movie projector.