Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Joel Smith & r & & r & Borat & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & H & lt;/span & ow did Sacha Baron Cohen not bring home an acting Oscar for this picture? Granted, it's hard to stack Baron Cohen's befuddled, na & iuml;ve Kazakhstani news reporter against Forest Whitaker's Idi Amin. But Borat is one of the best-developed, most surprising comedic characters in years. What's more, the film's experimentation with format (the show within the show, blending the real with the staged) made Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan one of the freshest films of 2006.





For a project this progressive, it's surprising not to find it on the cutting edge of DVD production. Released last week, this edition has no audio commentary, no "making of," no blooper reel. Most lamentably, it lacks the long-awaited footage of Baron Cohen's first siege on Pamela Anderson -- in which he washed ashore on an inflatable turtle in Malibu and tackled her to the sand.


It does include a featurette on Baron Cohen's many in-character press junket appearances (in Cannes, on Conan, trying to bed Martha Stewart on The Tonight Show), a Kazakhstani soundtrack commercial, a Baywatch spoof and a handful of deleted scenes.





The deleted scenes, though spotty, supply some of the character's finest moments. Borat seeks advice on how to cook a dog from the proprietor of an animal shelter. He asks a plastic surgeon if he can make Borat's penis the same size as Tommy Lee's ("So you cannot reduce my penis to this size?"). And he channels Andy Kaufman during an excruciating four-minute scene in which he tours the cheese case at a grocery store, pointing at each and every bag, block and tub of cheese -- one by one -- and asking, "And what is thee-is? And what about thee-is? This is coffee? And thee-is one?" The grocer puts up with it, as the bit goes from funny to irritating to wildly funny to stupid to hysterical.





Baron Cohen never breaks character on this DVD, never offering a glimpse behind the curtain. It's frustrating, but it's fitting. That the man can keep up the shtick while the rest of us squirm and avert our eyes is surely Oscar-worthy. (Rated R)

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Game Changer
  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • In Contempt
  • In Contempt

    A Spokane judge rules that the mental health system has willfully failed to follow evaluation deadlines
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Never Again
  • Never Again

    Washington state lawmakers push reforms after last July's murder-suicide; plus, Spokane's police ombudsman is leaving
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Campbell House Holidays

Campbell House Holidays @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 4

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation