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Mr. Beaks's Inner Skeptic Tries To Ruin BRUNO!

For those of you who don't want your BRUNO experience spoiled, here's my capsule review: BRUNO is a relentlessly funny movie. It is also far more polished than BORAT - and this, in my opinion, is both a blessing and a curse. For those of you who don't mind knowing some of the big jokes going in, feel free to read on. For everyone else, feel free to check back on July 10th.

Remember when EYES WIDE SHUT needed cloaked naughty blockers during the orgy scene to avoid an NC-17 rating in the U.S.? Things done changed, my friends. Three-quarters of the way through BRUNO, Sacha Baron Cohen and director Larry Charles infiltrate a redneck swingers party because... well, it's a redneck swingers party, and they evidently want to find out if The Clap is airborne nowadays. Since we've already seen such dizzyingly debauched sights as a man slingshotting himself backward onto a fully erect penis, and the attempted, bare-naked seduction of an armed-and-pissed-off hunter, we're prepared for something perfectly awful as Cohen's confrontationally homosexual Austrian talk show host, Bruno, acquaints himself with the gaudily-attired participants (seriously, the men look like they wandered in out of this scuzzy Dave LaChapelle collage; the women aren't that much more attractive, but at least they're younger). Initially, Bruno corners one of the men outside and goads him into a fully-cloathed demonstration of different sexual positions. The guy is taken aback at first, but he finally relents and air humps Bruno as he simulates "doggystyle", "reverse cowgirl" and so on. It's kind of funny, but it's far too innocuous. And this is frightening because we know this scene isn't even close to peaking. How far are Cohen and Charles willing to take this? A few seconds later, we're watching these people fuck. For real. And the black bars aren't thick enough to leave open the possibility that they're faking it. (Take that, Kubrick!) For a moment, you feel sorry for the revelers. The joke seems to be "Hey, look at these rubes rut!" Then Bruno attempts to negotiate a three-way, and suddenly he's the heathen. And there's your punch line: these folks may be down with group sex, but they'll be damned if they're going to let a homosexual into the mix. Whereas Borat was often utilized as a sneaky sort of anti-Semite detector, Bruno immediately forces his subjects/prey to either make peace with his sexual orientation or let loose their inner homophobe. Since there are cameras running, those who might have a problem with Bruno's lifestyle generally keep their opinions to themselves. But Charles and Cohen are very skilled at finding ways to whip folks into a frenzy, and when they chum the waters with, say, a little race baiting (as they do when they drop in on THE RICHARD BEY SHOW), the results are uproarious and unnerving. Most comedians would be careful to strike an even balance between laughs and winces in a movie like this, but Cohen, to his credit, has no use for such moderation. For this reason, some viewers will find BRUNO far too ugly to take. Though it's all well and good when Cohen is victimizing clueless Hollywood publicists and oblivious celebrities like Paula Abdul, La Toya Jackson and Harrison Ford, the film starts drawing blood when he attempts to recruit infants for a remarkably tasteless photo shoot starring his adopted African child O.J. This is a classic, "I can't believe what I'm hearing" Sacha Baron Cohen sequence in which his character's inappropriateness is continually upstaged by the casual, real-life amorality of his subjects. For those of you who've never witnessed the awfulness of aspiring showbiz parents desperate to exploit their children for fame and fortune, this scene may very well drive you from the theater - and I say this because I saw a group of people bolt for the exit right around the time a mother was assuring Bruno that her child would be comfortable working around "lit phosphorous". And that's hardly the worst concession these monsters are willing to make. Even more disconcerting is the visit to THE RICHARD BEY SHOW, where layers of intolerance are peeled back as Bruno flaunts O.J. in front of an apoplectic African-American audience. At first, it's just Bruno and the crowd - and while they seem slightly put off by his demeanor, they're at least sympathetic to his single-parent plight. Then he starts talking about how he has to find a good man to help his raise his child, and, suddenly, he's on shaky ground with a fairly significant chunk of the group. Then he brings out O.J., and it is fucking bedlam. And while Bruno certainly does his part to stoke their ire by discussing his non-traditional child rearing notions (which includes showing off those aforementioned photographs), you can't help but acknowledge the fact that the trouble started when he outed himself. And yet the most discomfiting aspect of the scene is this: I can't convince myself it wasn't completely staged. It's obviously rigged in that a) the producers had to dig up Richard Bey, whose show has been off the air for over a decade, and b) Charles can emphasize the most heated reactions thanks to the black magic of film editing. But there's something too perfect about certain audience members' reactions; very often, they feel scripted or performed. The same is true of the climactic "Straight Dave's Man-Slammin' Maxout" set piece, where Bruno bait-and-swtiches a bloodthirsty crowd of Arkansas good ol' boys who think they're about to check out some bone-snapping, teeth-rattling ultimate fighting. On one hand, I have no trouble buying the idea of that crowd responding with that degree of outrage to what they get in lieu of actual combat. On the other hand, how do you film that scene and not get killed? And this goes quadruple for Bruno's trip to the Middle East, which includes an interview with the alleged leader of a terrorist organization. Again, remarkable if real; ho-hum if faked. While I understand that there's no such thing as truth in even the most scrupulously edited documentary, there's something incredibly distasteful about acting out stereotypes when you're purporting to capture "real" reactions to a fictitious provocateur. Interestingly, the scenes I'm least dubious about are those involving actual celebrities. For instance, the failed seduction of former Presidential candidate Ron Paul couldn't be anything but legit; ditto Abdul discussing her humanitarianism while sitting on a Mexican day laborer. But there does seem to be an element of trickery to many sequences in BRUNO. And since this is satire, not magic, I can't help but temper my enthusiasm - which was palpable immediately following the movie. I have no hesitation believing the hypocrisy and bigotry depicted (and perhaps "captured) by Cohen and Charles, but where's the fun - and what's the point of getting outraged - if some of these people are in on the joke (or saying anything just to make the final cut)? Here's the best I can do for now: BRUNO is a masterpiece of cognitive dissonance! It's a movie that challenges our preconceived notions of documentary truth! It's the most formally audacious comedy of the summer! It sucks being a skeptic. I want to be wrong. Faithfully submitted, Mr. Beaks Update: According to the production notes (which hit my inbox minutes after posting this review), "Straight Dave's Man-Slammin' Maxout" was every bit as perilous as it looks on screen. They had to shoot the scene twice - once in Texarkana and another time in Fort Smith. The first attempt was a complete debacle (helped along by the sale of cheap beer), while the second attempt is what you see in the movie. What you don't see is the hours-long standoff that occurred outside the arena as the crew tried to hightail it out of there. The interview with the leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade took place in Bethlehem, and his agitation (as well as the danger faced by the crew) is very real. The swingers party and the Richard Bay episode are not addressed in the notes. I've fired off a couple of follow-up questions.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 29, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST


    by Stallion_Cornell


  • June 29, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Hope it's better than Borat

    by chuffsterUK

    A massive letdown,the tv sketches were better.

  • June 29, 2009, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Of course it's scripted trash.

    by JackPumpkinhead

    If not, then it's this: Ah, he's so funny! <p> <p> At least these guys don't fake it. And they're actually entertaining:

  • June 29, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST


    by idrinkyourmilkshake

    is the opposite of how i feel.must see.after crying myself to sleep after watching trasnformers 2-i need this!

  • June 29, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST


    by mrbeaks

    BRUNO is much closer to the spirit of the TV show. Which is a great thing - if most of what we're seeing is the genuine article.

  • June 29, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Looks like shit

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Borat is fine on talk shows, but not as a two hour movie.

  • June 29, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    no one ever

    by idrinkyourmilkshake

    reazleid how stged borat was.If you saw the season1 and 2 on HBO-you'dve seen alot of "reused' jokes.I wa pretty dissapointed with BORAT-as I was a HUUUUGE fan of the show

  • June 29, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Cohen, Farrelly Bros, Mel Brooks, Howard Stern -

    by Professor_Monster

    All get away with pushing the envelope or displaying tasteless subject matter to then being called innovative or groundbreaking - Hollywood supports these people - while Kubrick and others are censored or just outright not allowed to do certain things - remember that old interview with Kevin Smith where he said Mallrates had the cum in the hair joke in it long before There's Something About Mary but he was forced to take it out - Parker and Stone do WORSE than that every week. For some reason - there are some that Hollywood let get by while they slap the hand of other more out of the circle directors, actors, producers -- Paul Mooney once said "If a black man were to say the things that Howard Stern says they would burn that radio station to the ground" Too true my good man.

  • June 29, 2009, 4:21 p.m. CST

    sounds like 2 hours of gay jokes.

    by BMacSmith

    and ass ramming

  • June 29, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    They're all jewish Professor_Monster.

    by whothefuckcares

    Jews looking out for jews, whoda thunk it? The one guy you mention, Kevin Smith, is NOT Jewish. Of COURSE he can't get away with it. Kevin Smith isn't the one guy, because you mention Parker and Stone afterwards, I'm not sure of there ethnicity as of this typing. Jewish wives?

  • June 29, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST

    1 thing bothered me about his Tonight Show appereance...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...last week: He said where he came from (Austria) and then made a shoutout to Schleswig-Holstein. But Schleswig-Holstein isn't in Austria, it's in Germany. Get your facts, straight. Worst film ever. WORST FILM EVER!

  • June 29, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Borat was fucking hilarious...

    by Banzai Rootskibango

    I'm kind of sick and tired of all this Hollywood gaystapo bullshit, but the Bruno segments on Ali G were always funny. <P> I'm sure this will be great.

  • June 29, 2009, 4:35 p.m. CST


    by Thrillhouse77

    I think that might be part of the joke. Far too few people are even going to know that he is being inaccurate, which is part of his whole "uneducated American" thesis of comedy.

  • June 29, 2009, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Which black rap star is his sidekick?

    by brock landers baby

  • June 29, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    I'll just go see PUBLIC ENEMIES twice.

    by Ash0k

  • June 29, 2009, 4:48 p.m. CST

    whothefuckcares , you anti- semitic twat.....

    by Ace of Knaves

    The Farrelly Brothers are not Jews. what kind of uncultured idiot can not recognize Farrelly as an Irish name? yes there are a few Irish Jews, but peter and bobby arent among them. You know i usually find the kind of people who are offended by Borat and Bruno usually happen to fit the criteria of their targets, racists and homophobes. Its not that they find the humor tasteless, they just sympathize with all those backwards hicks and morons made to look as the fools they are on camera.

  • June 29, 2009, 4:50 p.m. CST

    IN-YOUR-FACE-GAY is funny for two hours?

    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

    Borat created a stereotype- and that is why it is so brilliant. Bruno is regurgitating a stereotype. I get it. It's funny to be really really gay in front of people who find being gay offensive.

  • June 29, 2009, 4:50 p.m. CST

    I'm sure it is scripted

    by Toonol

    It's like professional wrestling, on more than one level. I find everything Borat/Bruno/whatever to be terribly unfunny.

  • June 29, 2009, 4:51 p.m. CST


    by DerLanghaarige

    I suspect something similar, although my theory goes more like "Schleswig-Holstein sounds funny, so I use it."

  • June 29, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Cross Over With New HBO Show

    by Blast_Hardcheese

    They should of done a cross over with "Hung" that ends just as you would expect it to.

  • June 29, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    That's so gay.

    by Sal_Bando

    Sorry hadda say it.

  • June 29, 2009, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Ummm so is it good?

    by Han Cholo

    Yes or no

  • June 29, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Two things...

    by midgarddragon

    1) Being homophobic and being a heterosexual who does not wish to have sex with a gay man are two different things. I won't be seeing the movie so I'll have no way to tell if the orgy where he tries to inject himself, without pre-arranging anything like a mature adult, is truly homophobic or "Bruno" just plays it up to try and mock these people, but hey just throwing it out there. 2) Sacha Boren Cohat is not funny, period. Borat was not funny. Bruno is not funny. The man needs to go away, quickly.

  • June 29, 2009, 5:05 p.m. CST

    wait, not wanting to have gay sex is homophobic now?

    by BMacSmith

    btw homophobia is the worst term ever invented. call it anti-homosexual.

  • June 29, 2009, 5:07 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    So are you saying that John Waters and Johnny Knoxville must be Jewish, because they have pulled off some gross out humor in the past. <p> Oh wait, they're not Jewish. Maybe you should think out an argument before you make it.

  • June 29, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Borat has its moments.

    by Azlam Orlandu

    And I I understand the scrutiny, but overall I laughed my ass off.

  • June 29, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Leave Kubrick alone!

    by TheDudeinLA

    The concealing of sex from Eyes Wide Shut was done by the "Producers" after his death. A huge disservice to one of the greatest film makers.

  • June 29, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    "I'm sure it is scripted"

    by Ash0k

    I'm 100% sure that Bruno is NOT scripted. <p><p> Unless you really think Dr. Ron Paul agreed to participate in a scripted scene with Sacha Baron Cohen? I mean... really? Honestly?

  • June 29, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    2 things, Beaks.

    by V'Shael

    First, please tell us the details of the cut Michael Jackson joke if you have it. <p> Second, I don't know about the interview with the terrorist leader or whatever, but the Straight Dave's Man-Slammin' wasn't staged. It was covered in the news in a big way when it happened, because it very nearly degenerated beyond the ability to get any footage. I don't know if it's mentioned in the movie, but they were selling cheap (one dollar) beer to the redneck audience before the filming began. They got the audience well oiled first.

  • June 29, 2009, 5:17 p.m. CST

    just please dont try to convince me Cohen has a message

    by BMacSmith

    he embarasses people for laughs, thats it. there is no deep critique of mankind here. he's the adult equivalent of making fun of the kids on the short bus. I think intellectual movie critics who love him are the least in on the joke.

  • June 29, 2009, 5:20 p.m. CST

    holy shit

    by supercowbell5THECOWBELLHASSPOKEN

    i dont wanna see a gay porno. pass.

  • June 29, 2009, 5:23 p.m. CST


    by animas

    the word used to mean when a straight guy wouldn't sit next to another straight guy such as at the movies or in a pool etc... But the faggots hijacked the meaning to be anyone opposed to gayness, which cheapens the "phobia" aspect of it. oh and fuck bruno.

  • June 29, 2009, 5:24 p.m. CST

    you're a homophobe if you hate watching gay porno

    by BMacSmith

    you hateful bastard!

  • June 29, 2009, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Most of you guys are in the closet you have made this clear

    by andrew coleman

    These over the top statements about how gay the movie is and how you'll avoid it. The movie is funny that's it. And don't worry guys if you sat through and enjoyed Transformers 2 you obviously love dick because all that movie is really about is male on male action and sticking shit in each other just with robots. So don't try and hide it just go see the movie because no one believes you.

  • June 29, 2009, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Whic movie is gayer?

    by jaysin420

    Bruno or transformers 2?

  • June 29, 2009, 5:36 p.m. CST

    a couple of gay sex scenes doesnt make a movie gay?

    by BMacSmith

    if a movie about a stereotypically flaming gay guy trying to have gay sex isnt gay, then what is?

  • June 29, 2009, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Fucking Figures

    by mrbeaks

    The official production notes hit my inbox minutes after I posted this review. Some of my concerns are addressed. Might be revising.

  • June 29, 2009, 5:52 p.m. CST

    did they threaten you beaks

    by animas

    was it universal studios or the production company?

  • June 29, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    It looks too scripted to me

    by ThrowMeTheIdol

    Such as for example that bit in the commercials with the military guy and the remarks about alleys and fingers. It gave the impression of something they did many takes of.

  • June 29, 2009, 6:03 p.m. CST

    People who say BORAT is a one joke movie or...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...think it's just fart humor seem to be missing the point. First of all, the guy's timing in live, improv type situations is pure genius. Second, all the real humor is in the reactions of the regular a way Cohen is like the straight man...I could sit and watch his victim's faces as they struggle in vain all's like a symphony.

  • June 29, 2009, 6:13 p.m. CST

    No Threats

    by mrbeaks

    Pure coincidence that the notes arrived right after I posted. Universal's cool. The embargo date was moved up last week, so it's possible the notes just weren't ready yet.

  • June 29, 2009, 6:15 p.m. CST

    In a completely unrelated note.......

    by RobotKing

    Clive Barker will be the next to die, not in a Jeff Goldblum hoax kind of way, but in a Mikey Jackson kind of way, only because Hellraiser was the worst movie I've ever fucking seen. I want my fucking 1 hour 40 minutes back you cunt

  • June 29, 2009, 6:29 p.m. CST

    "remarkable if real, ho-hum if faked"

    by one_guy_from_andromeda

    Haha, you crack me up, Beaks, little buddy - what a douchebag!<p> You people have quaint morals, it's fun to watch!

  • June 29, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Uhm... gay?

    by Mennen

  • June 29, 2009, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Wait, he fucks with Harrison Ford in this?

    by SubliminalJones

    In what respect? I'm all for screwing with c-list idiots like paula Abdul and LaToya Jackson, but when you start gunning for my man Harry, look out sucka!

  • June 29, 2009, 6:46 p.m. CST

    What, no complaints about the vulgarity?

    by Logan_1973

    Fucking hypocrites around here and their double-standards.

  • June 29, 2009, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Sacha's pointing out the obvious as a career

    by GhostofIndy

    There are gay people everywhere. You go to the fucking obscure most fucking part of Mongolia, 10% of the people anywhere you see are fucking homos. get over it sacha you cocksucker. what kind of arrangement do you have with isla fisher. i will take her from you and fuck her in a way you never could you gay cunt. she is mine you pos.

  • June 29, 2009, 7:03 p.m. CST

    you know how when a crazy asks you for change

    by ironic_name

    and you just go along with it, then they tell you about how sum yung moon has declared in five minutes the apocalypse will begin, and you just agree to get ride of them? <P> that was borat. they revealed no 'anti semitism', they revealed people will pretend to agree with idiots to get them to go away. <P> now they are saying if you don't want to have sex with someone of the same gender, you are a homophobe? <P> sasha just isn't that funny, or that bright.

  • June 29, 2009, 7:08 p.m. CST

    you just agree to get rid of them

    by ironic_name

  • June 29, 2009, 7:21 p.m. CST

    My brain hurts

    by DeadPanWalking

    This is seriously one of the most achingly stupid talkbacks I've seen on this site. Straight people are complaining about the perception of them as homophobic because they don't sign waivers to have gay sex (aren't you just sooo persecuted!) People arguing about the nuances of the type of comedy performed by Sacha Baron Coen (ha, really?) People arguing that this movie (before seeing it, no less) is either a step down from Borat, the Ali G series, or both. Honestly, though, there's nothing funnier than white-bread, middle-income heterosexual (but apparently scared of other sexual orientations? Other ways of thinking? I'm not even sure.) people get offended.

  • June 29, 2009, 7:36 p.m. CST

    This is why I don't watch "professional" wrestling

    by YackBacker

    Everything about this rings phony- and if this was a Christopher Guest film I'd be pleased with it because it never tries to be anything sincerely real. Cohen bores me.

  • June 29, 2009, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Gay panic!

    by RedCricketChase

    I'm one of The Gays, and I'm kinda dreading seeing this movie feeding off/ displaying gay panic (that's just the sense I got from the trailers I've seen) that Bruno sets off in real people. I kind of disapprove of gay people doing the big freaky parades, and just don't want to squirm/occasionally laugh thru an hour+ of Bruno doing a one-man freakshow/Pride parade in the middle of a crowd of Missouri moviegoers. Awkward!

  • June 29, 2009, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Sasha Coen is CORNY!

    by zcapcomkid

    Making fun of yourself and pretending you're serious isn't funny.

  • June 29, 2009, 8:22 p.m. CST

    It's like funny home videos the movie

    by lockesbrokenleg

    That's all it is. There's no real trick behind it. He's just trying to go for shock value on what he can get himself into.

  • June 29, 2009, 8:29 p.m. CST

    he interviews a terrorist leader???

    by SylarTheCylon

    a real one!!??? you mean, like a terrorist leader that may be plotting to kill americans, to bomb new york or some such hideous act? And instead or getting the cops to arrest that piece of shit, he interviews him and puts the interview in a movie that he expects Americans to pay for... And you guys advertise this movie? How about you boycott this piece of shit? how about you start by, i don't know... NOT POSTING ARTICLES ABOUT IT?

  • June 29, 2009, 8:30 p.m. CST

    your homophobic if you dont wanna watch 2 men have sex

    by supercowbell5THECOWBELLHASSPOKEN

    god!! grow up!! its 2009 people! we have a black president!! so now men have to watch other men have sex!!

  • June 29, 2009, 8:35 p.m. CST

    I'm with SubliminalJones! Don't fuck with Harrison Ford!

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    Harrison is a professional actor who just wants to do his job and go home. He's not some media whore who's just asking for an ass kicking. What in the Hell do they do to him?

  • June 29, 2009, 8:39 p.m. CST

    a 2 hour movie about fag jokes

    by WardE

    call me crazy but this sounds like 1-note quirky shit.

  • June 29, 2009, 8:41 p.m. CST

    I'm so cool, I hate fags

    by Touche_Douche

    Yes, we get it. You are so manly. You have to voice that you are NOT gay. We believe you. Now go away and take your hate with you.

  • June 29, 2009, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Thing about it is

    by Mockingbuddha

    In the USA it's still okay to just say something like, "Gays make me sick." I have heard it myself. It is the only socially acceptable hate speech left in America. Even more common is, "That's so gay." You never hear, "That's so black," or "That's so Jewey." Good for Cohen for showing it. Funny or not people need to realize that hate speech is hate speech, whether it's gays, jews, blacks, women, crackers whatever.

  • June 29, 2009, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Plus I'm pretty sure

    by Mockingbuddha

    this talkback will be full of anti-gay hate speech before it's all over.

  • June 29, 2009, 8:44 p.m. CST

    Isn't this about the movie? Shutup T_Douche

    by Touche_Douche

    Yeah...sorry. I don't "get" his type of comedy but I respect it. Not sure I will see this movie. Not because of the homos...It's just not my type of summer movie.

  • June 29, 2009, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Hours-long standoff

    by kafka07

    maybe it'll be on the dvd

  • June 29, 2009, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the updates

    by ballyhoo

    I'm probably gonna catch this.

  • June 29, 2009, 10 p.m. CST

    Turn the tables

    by whiskey_dick

    <P>So in this movie people agree to have heterosexual sex on camera then apparently react badly when "Bruno" tries to join. The result is apparently hilarious and shocking and might be hate speech (and maybe it really is, I haven't seen the movie). <P> <P>What if, hypothetically, some filmmakers found a couple of men who agreed to have sex on camera, then they send in a woman to try and join them? Are we still supposed the laugh at the shockingly hateful response when the close-minded, prejudiced men don't appreciate it? In that situation I think it far more likely that the filmmakers would be condemned for not accepting homosexuality and for trying to turn the gay men straight.<P> <P>As I said, I haven't seen the movie. Maybe the reaction is a little too extreme. But if it's just some form of "Hey, buddy, I'm not ok with that", I don't see that as the slightest bit homophobic or anti-gay or intolerant.

  • June 29, 2009, 10:04 p.m. CST


    by one_guy_from_andromeda

    That was a very stupid post.

  • June 29, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST


    by frank cotton

    what do you like? horror film-wise?

  • June 29, 2009, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Beaks, I am so with on this one!

    by BadMrWonka

    I LOVED Borat, but I was one of the doofuses afterwards going, "I think that one scene was staged. it seemed like they were editing 2 takes together. they had too many camera angles for it to be shot on the fly, etc."<p>I think the vast majority of it is sort of half-staged, in the way the show was. where they'd give people enough info beforehand that they'd sign waivers, etc. but then Cohen would just sort of keep pushing the envelope further and further.<p>I do agree though about the Bey show. I mean, if you're invited to a show that's been off the air for 10 years, and they somehow get the audience to be like 90% african american, nd then this guy comes out with "OJ", come no one going to figure it out? and not ONE of these people saw Borat or Da Ali G show? not ONE of them?<p>I'm dubious. I agree that the real stuff is funny AND shocking, whereas the staged stuff is saw the Ali G movie, yeah?

  • June 29, 2009, 10:20 p.m. CST

    one guy

    by SylarTheCylon

    maybe, but your post is like totally gay

  • June 29, 2009, 10:24 p.m. CST

    SBC is our gen's Lenny Bruce, A. Kaufman and Bill Hicks

    by ZombieHeathLedger

    All rolled into one. Pesonally, I think he's a comedic genius. However, I am not crazy about him when he's playing other roles like in TALADEGA NIGHTS or SWEENEY TODD but SBC is a brillian satirist.

  • June 29, 2009, 10:25 p.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    you and a lot of the rest of you are really missing the point. Borat's anti-semitism was only part of the character. and in the movie, it was WAY less than in the show. 95% of the funny comes from his inability to acclimate to american culture, and seeing how far people will believe that he DOESN'T know. it was much more about how americans know nothing about the rest of the world, and are willing to accept the ridiculous things Cohen says.<p>and saying Cohen is an idiot, just because you don't care for his humor, well, that's asinine. the man has a degree in history from Cambridge, and he wrote his thesis on the civil rights movement in america.<p>does that trump the junior college you went to?<p>and to the people whining about "I'm not homophobic just because I don't want to watch 2 men fucking", you are so far off the map, it's ridiculous. of COURSE you don't. hell, neither do I, and I'm the most liberal accepting guy on the planet. of COURSE he's baiting them. it's all about shock and hilarity. if instead of laughing at something like that, you're driven to anger like the redneck morons in the movie, well...maybe you shouldn't buy a ticket.<p>either way, stop fucking whining, jesus christ.

  • June 29, 2009, 10:35 p.m. CST


    by one_guy_from_andromeda

    I misunderestimated you.

  • June 29, 2009, 10:46 p.m. CST

    Thanks Beaks...

    by DrMorbius

    for the "spoilers". I'd rather spend my money on that gay Transformers Movie than this POS!!!

  • June 29, 2009, 10:47 p.m. CST

    "traded the baby for what?!"

    by NutritiousLove

    that line has to be scripted. the woman's delivery feels contrived. also, why did the us army agree to let him film himself going through boot camp? that seems fake also.

  • June 29, 2009, 10:48 p.m. CST


    by Ash0k

    Uh... unlike African Americans and Jews, g*ys aren't even a race.

  • June 29, 2009, 11 p.m. CST

    we all thought half of Borat was a sham too

    by smackfu

    until these same people came out in droves after the film's opening to sue him for being duped. People are way more willing to allow themselves to be depicted foolishly if they think the content is for some low budget cable access show in another country. One only has to look at the foolish shit Japan is able to coax out of our celebrities when shilling in commercials they believe will never be seen by american eyes.

  • June 29, 2009, 11:15 p.m. CST


    by CharlesThomasMathews1978

    Remember to remove spaces...

  • June 29, 2009, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Gay Vs Fag

    by ThePilgrim

    There really is a difference. I can see why some Gay people get pissed when people call them Fags. Fags are so not Gay. Do you get what I'm saying. I can't tell a Gay Guy from a Straight Guy, but I know a Fag when I see one. They love pushing straight peoples buttons and getting reactions out of them. Why? Why????

  • June 29, 2009, 11:45 p.m. CST


    by Toonol

    My quick count seemed to indicate a lot more insults at how intolerant 'middle-class white heterosexuals' are, than insults directed at homosexuals. You know, the reverse bigotry that certain people can't even see?

  • June 29, 2009, 11:54 p.m. CST

    The swingers

    by filmcans

    It doesn't sound like the comedy in the swingers scene comes from Bruno making these people look like homophobes. It sounds like it comes from someone enthusiastically inserting themselves into a situation where they aren't wanted, and then pushing and pushing despite being told "no". That can be funny. All this weird quasi-soap-boxing about whether he "forces" people to look like homophobes is a load of crap. IT'S A COMEDY. Bottom Line: If it's funny; it's funny. If it isn't; it isn't. Discomfort can be funny, and Cohen is masterful at creating discomfort.

  • June 30, 2009, 12:05 a.m. CST

    What is this revisionist horse crap?!?

    by Manatee

    People saying 'Borat' wasn't funny? Are you serious? I don't care if the movie made a butt-load of money and gained widespread popularity, it was still a riot. Cohen is one of the few interesting satirists working today.

  • June 30, 2009, 12:24 a.m. CST

    WRONG ZombieHeathLedger, Cohen is this generations

    by Watching_Teri_Hatcher_Take_A_Shit

    Cohen is this generation's Alan Funt (Candid Camera). He's that lame.

  • June 30, 2009, 12:51 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    have you noticed that the people who odn't find Borat and Cohen funny always have retarded 12-year-old names?<p>but hey, you have the anti-semite that got banned on your side.

  • June 30, 2009, 12:52 a.m. CST



    She says they taste like twiglets when she eats them.

  • June 30, 2009, 1:15 a.m. CST

    So if I want to see the funny parts in Bruno....

    by Grievey

    ....first I have to suffer through seeing rednecks fuck and guys swinging their dicks around at each other?<BR><BR> No thanks.

  • June 30, 2009, 1:27 a.m. CST

    When the EMP goes off

    by SmokingRobot

    And there is nothing left of this country...we can remember that we wasted our last days talking about crap like this. Good Christ, people. Go listen to Mozart. Read a book. Talk to your neighbors. Get a life.

  • June 30, 2009, 1:49 a.m. CST


    by tomdolan04

    Don't worry, it's not fashionable to enjoy something. All this 'Oh Borat was cheap, I'm much to smart for it, it was lazy etc' deserve the retarded studio 'Year One' and Ben Stiller efforts that get thrown at them. <p> SBC is an intelligent film-maker and his firm desire to keep his characters and personal life separate make me respect him 100% more. I can't recall seeing or hearing any interviews in the mainstream where he isn't in character. In this age of celebrities falling out of nightclubs and flaunting their personal lives in our faces you've gotta admire his interest in maintaining a little mystique.

  • June 30, 2009, 2:13 a.m. CST


    by aikimoe

    uh...exactly like Jews and African-Americans, homosexuals are born, not made.

  • June 30, 2009, 2:15 a.m. CST


    by aikimoe're reading these comments...on the internet...and basically telling people to stop doing what you're doing. And I'm getting off your lawn, right now!

  • June 30, 2009, 2:49 a.m. CST

    Mr. Beaks- the bey scene is staged but the audience was real

    by pjvader

    the crew are all in on it including bey they just got a an audience off the street it was mentioned in either empire or total film magazine iirc

  • June 30, 2009, 4:14 a.m. CST

    Great review, Mr. Beaks

    by criticalbliss

  • June 30, 2009, 4:33 a.m. CST


    by smackfu

    do you even know what an EMP is? EMPs as weapons have extremely limited range and scope. The US would essentially need to be carpet bombed with EMP weapons in order to have a significant effect. And ultimately, we're talking about electrical damage here. I'm pretty sure in the few weeks it would take to repair critical systems we will not descend into a Mad Max society. And even if we did, the moment people notice the Power is coming back on and the traffic lights are working again, I'm sure they'll shed their home-made tire and hockey-pad armor and return to their business suits pretty rapidly. If you're talking about a natural EMP strong enough to wipe out the country, then you're talking about solar activity, in which case the 'EMP' rendering our Ipods inactive would be of little concern to us in light of the intense radiation scorching the earth.

  • June 30, 2009, 5:24 a.m. CST

    Pretty much my thoughts exactly post-BORAT

    by Wonder Man

    You can't really let yourself go and be amused by something if you're constantly thinking this has been set up. Haven't we all been here before? This flick is a ten-ton "meh" for me.

  • June 30, 2009, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Wow, the "anti-gay" crowd are hilarious

    by V'Shael

    Insisting it's not homophobia... Argument by extremes ("Now what, if I don't watch gay porn, I'm homophobic?!?") And the ever popular drag-Obama-in-to-this "We have a black president so we *must* all watch gay porn". <p> I don't know what's funnier. Your fear of liberals, your fear of black people, or your fear of homosexuals. But you fucking rednecks are pretty damn funny.

  • June 30, 2009, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Cohen just wants to get his gay on

    by alienindisguise

    I don't care that he's married to Isla Fisher, this man clearly needs to expose his gayness for some reason and some idiots give him the money to make that happen.Just awful.

  • June 30, 2009, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Mr. Beaks-

    by Chadley BeBay

    "no such thing as truth in even the most scrupulously edited documentary" Enough of the relentless skeptisism and bullshit cynicism. There are plenty of objective and utterly truthful documentaries. Sayting there is 'no such thing as truth' in any documentary just makes you sound like a conspiracy theorist.

  • June 30, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Borat sucked, so I guess Bruno will blow

    by The_Red_Knight

    I hated Borat. I don't understand why it was so popular and such a phenomenon. He was making fun of unsuspecting people. Yeah, some were prejudiced and ignorant and he was trying to show you what people are “really” like. I get it. I just don’t think it’s funny. Everyone has their own prejudices, whether that be racism, classism, ageism, homophobia, dislike of Republicans, or Democrats, everyone judges to some extent or another. Some are admittedly worse than others but our society is based on social mores and decorum. I just see this crap as a con man taking advantage of rubes for money. It’s not funny and I wouldn’t see Bruno if you paid me.

  • June 30, 2009, 8:42 a.m. CST


    by Chadley BeBay

    You gonna listen to Mozart once the EMP goes off you fucking pretentious dick? Hope you play a mean pianee.

  • June 30, 2009, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Great review Beaks

    by Freakemovie

    Well-written and reasonable. But I don't want to see this. I just don't enjoy mean-spirited humor. Hell, I turn off Daily Show remote pieces when the correspondents get too dickish, so I don't think I could get down with this.<br /><br />Speaking to the larger social messages of the movie: we already know lots of people are homophobic and stupid. Targeting stage parents is too easy, and mocking poor rednecks whose educational system has failed them is cheap.

  • June 30, 2009, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Its the Manhattan Blue Penis all over again.

    by knowthyself

    People really are insecure aren't they?

  • June 30, 2009, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Not to mention straight guys see MORE penis

    by knowthyself

    Than most women will in a lifetime. Just add up all that porn you watch. You know where you have to see a guys dick when he fucks a chick or when he gets a blow job. Oh yeah and the "cum shot" pretty much puts all the focus on the penis shooting sperm. But a movie about gay guys is too gay for them? lol.

  • June 30, 2009, 9:34 a.m. CST


    by ass clown


  • June 30, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST


    by ass clown


  • June 30, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST


    by ass clown


  • June 30, 2009, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Rev. Ted Haggard's favourite movie of 2009

    by V'Shael

    As a SUPER-STRAIGHT man, who's wife has totally forgiven him for all those times he was with filthy male prostitutes, the Reverand Ted Haggard had this to say about the movie Bruno : "Jesus, he's cute- I mean, NO! THIS MOVIE IS AN ABOMINATION! I DON'T WANT TO SEE A MANS SCHLONG ON SCREEN!!" <p> The reporter did not ask the Reverend how many times he plans to see the movie, but we suspect the much publicised owner of the Brokeback Mountain DVD, will see this movie quite a few times.

  • June 30, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST

    BadMrWonka I appreciate what you're saying, but

    by ironic_name

    a) I watched the show when it first came out, I was talking about his terrible movie. <P> b) I know he went to cambidge, but I didn't know about the thesis, id doesn't matter, he made da ali g movie, then followed it up with 'ironically lowbrow' humour about baiting people. <P> c) re: taking shots at my education, allow me to take a shot at you: <P> aren't you like, a z list writer of terrible screenplays?

  • June 30, 2009, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Not surprised...

    by GimmeABreak

    This article reads like the people who were shocked by the (staged) Eminem stunt with Bruno. With the whole fake subplot of Lunnell the hooker in "Borat", I totally expect that some parts of the film will be staged--especially that Richard Bey scene they show in the trailer. But then they mix it with some real life stuff and that's completely fine, it's still generally hilarious and if some people think it's real, who cares?

  • June 30, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Just what we need...........

    by Yoda's Ball Sack

    another gay muslim movie......

  • June 30, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST


    by Second Try

    How much would I pay to NOT see Sasha Cohen pretending to be gay?

  • June 30, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Borat was shit

    by Second Try

    Ugly unfunny shit

  • June 30, 2009, 7:02 p.m. CST

    piss poor Pauly Shore...

    by itsjust_notcool_anymore_baby

    dickwad is trying to sue cohen over some minor bullshit. is ur account that empty, paulie? FUCK YOU BUUuuuu-DDIE.

  • June 30, 2009, 7:23 p.m. CST


    by itsjust_notcool_anymore_baby

    Good Christ? Mozart?...Who the fuck do you think you are Mister Rodgers? BTW isn't your ignorant ass wasting away on this site? YOUR MOM'S PUSSY TASTE LIKE FREEDOM.

  • July 1, 2009, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Why is nobody freaking out

    by GhostDad

    That he insults Dr. Ron Paul?

  • July 1, 2009, 1:30 a.m. CST


    by WardE


  • July 1, 2009, 1:32 a.m. CST

    This is a retread of BORAT!! More luke warm satire!

    by Watching_Teri_Hatcher_Take_A_Shit

    I mean...the world is full of homophobic people, so to point them out in a movie is just to point out how things naturally are (Oooh! How shocking!!). Having said that, all of the humor comes from him allegedly tricking "real" people with his Bruno act. I don't buy it. The character is about as believable as Pee Wee Herman. Sorry folks, this is just uninteresting, more of the same from Cohen. He seems to be a one trick pony.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:21 a.m. CST

    SBC has big brass balls.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • July 1, 2009, 4:39 a.m. CST

    On Schleswig-Holstein

    by Ill Clinton

    Austrian involvement with Schleswig-Holstein is a matter of history. A clever shoutout mixed in with lowbrow humor.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:09 a.m. CST

    "the world is full of homophobic people" NOT

    by V'Shael

    Maybe if you live in a bumfuck bible-belt red-state, you are surrounded by homophobes. But the world is a big place, and it's a lot more gay-friendly than you realise. <p> That's why this is funny.<br> Homophobia is a backward relic of a by-gone age. It's a joke. Even in a country as religious as the USA, gay rights are on the rise, and gay marriage is slowly becoming legal.<p> The ones who stand in the way of progress clutching their bibles like an old maids pearls, are sad. But the ones who start foaming at the mouth and freaking out, and crying out for the death penalty for "fags"? They're HILARIOUS.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:34 p.m. CST

    V'Shael, I wish I lived on your planet.

    by Bob Cryptonight

    Homophobia & racism are everywhere on this planet. There are only small pockets of tolerance...and being an educated human doesn't necessarily guarantee that a person or community is free of hatred. If Bible Thumpers were the only cause, then you could dismiss homophobia outright. Unfortunately, that ain't the case. Racism, which draws it's logic from the same place as homophobia, is the root cause of most so-called "political" unrest on the planet. Hell, most major wars are about that, not money. I wish I lived in your world, brother.