Thursday, December 21, 2006

Borat - A Review by the Five Paragraph Bitter Film Critic

I watched this movie in sheer disbelief. Much like that poor son of a bitch who had to announce the Hindenberg tragedy, or even Al Michaels during the Miracle on Ice, I can't believe what I just saw.

Once upon a time, the 5PBFC thought he was a funny dude, and did a variety of small jobs in the entertainment industry - deejay, photographer, comedian, screenwriter - and the fact that you're reading this blog and not my award-winning novel "How to Get Stinkin' Rich and Hotties by Being Silly and Moderately Talented" should show how far I got on that plan.

Why did I fail? Good question. No doubt I was funny, and I still am. I'm as entertaining now as ever, and certainly better than many comics and writers on TV and movies. Was I not good-looking enough? Perhaps. I have yet to get my beer gut into a six-pack in the ten years since it's inception. Not connected with the industry enough? Perhaps as well, but I've got friends with more HBO specials than brain cells, and been on Comedy Central more times than "Mo' Money."

Perhaps the real reason was that I couldn't go all the way. I couldn't commit to the lifestyle. Driving 500 miles for a gig, performing in Kinhump, Arkansas in front of 18 beer-drinkin' rednecks just looking to beat the hell out of a city slicker. I needed the comfort of a full-time day job, health benefits, and the knowledge that I could walk away at any time. And I sure as hell couldn't commit to a bit, to a character, to a point-of-view. I tried to be the cute wise aleck that Dane Cook is hogging right now. I can't be more bitter and jaded than Doug Stanhope - I tried, and I wasn't funny; simply bitter and jaded. I can't rant like Lewis Black, I can't do impersonations as well as Darryl Hammond, or Jimmy Fallon, or even Gilbert Godfried. I could be funny, but I couldn't find a character that I wanted to wear, day in, and day out. Something that came from the soul, an extenstion of my subconscious, but also not so close that every joke became a mini-autobiography, each laugh a catharsis.

Why is my review so self-introspective? Because I know that if I had a million monkeys in front of a million typewriters, I could never write something half as funny as Borat. Sasha Baron Cohen has created a character of epic stupidity, chauvasnistic, anti-Semetic views and an undeniable inner sweetness, and he plays it to perfection. Such an incredible dichotomy, and he nailed it. Out of the park, home run, game over. His committment to the character and the story is so great that he risked his health and his jaw more than a few times, and ended up making the funniest movie of the decade (sorry, Team America, you've been bumped, catch the next flight). How committed? All I need to say is "nude wrestling with a hairy dude with bigger bitchtits than the guy in Fight Club."

9 out of 9.5 Whammies! It's not the perfect movie, but it's damned, damned close. It's done in the same mockumentary style as Waiting for Huffman and A Mighty Wind, yet so much funnier than those two great films. I deducted half a Whammy! for making me see the bitch tits.

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