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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Tag Archives: Bruno

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

Never has dementia been so hilarious.

After years and years of being stuck in a rut with a marriage he didn’t much care for, Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) is finally let loose after his wife dies. But just as Irving’s about to go out on the prowl and begin the hunt for all sorts of female tail, his grandson (Jackson Nicoll) gets thrown onto him after his daughter gets shipped off to jail. Irving obviously doesn’t want this, all because it ruins his plans of bagging some sweet honeys, so he makes the date to drive his grandson all the way to meet up with his daddy. However, the main problem is that not only is the daddy a total deadbeat, but he’s also far as hell which means it’s just a road trip for Irving and his grandson, resulting in some seriously wacky hi-jinx that, at first, start off mean, but eventually, as the two begin to bond more and more, begins to get more in touch with the heart as if they were like your average grand-pop-grandson duo.

Except that it’s all fake, filmed in front of real people, who have no idea what the hell is going on.

With the whole Jackass franchise, we’ve all come to expect the same types of stunts and pranks being performed, by the same types of numskulls that never seem to tire of them. Plenty of testicles get hit; public places defecated in; cars broken; rectums bleeding; and a whole lotta of brain cells being lost. However, as mind-numbing as that may be to not only perform in, but to actually watch, they’re always enjoyable to watch, especially since you know that they’re doing this all for you, and also for the pot of Benjamins that’s at the end of the rainbow, but you get my drift. The Jackass franchise may never get old, even if the people who apart of it do, which is why I wasn’t too opposed to a Bad Grandpa movie, but then again, I wasn’t totally rooting for it to come back either.

Those things still exist and function?

Those things still exist and function?

Most of these hidden-camera movies work wonders (Borat), and sometimes, they don’t (Bruno). The problem with most of them is that it’s sometimes too hard to believe that any of the people that are getting tooled around with aren’t at least somewhat in on the joke. Because honestly, you have to think about it: In the year 2013, where we’ve had Sacha Baron Cohen doing his act more than a few times and all sorts of impersonators up on YouTube, that you’d think at least one person, or maybe even a few more, would catch onto the joke and spoil the whole act for everyone. However, the rest of society ceases to amaze me as not only did it seem like nobody had a single clue that this was all Johnny Knoxville underneath the prosthetic make-up, testicles and wigs, but that everything he did in front of them, was an ACTUAL REALISTIC ACTION FROM A REAL-LIFE HUMAN-BEING.

People amaze me, they really do, which is why this movie is probably one of the funnier hidden-camera movies (if you want to call it that) of some time. But there’s more to it than just a few pranks the movie plays on people to hilarious effect, it’s the whole idea surrounding it. In Borat, we had this one character going all around the country, showing the inner-most racist feelings of society, and broadcasting it for the whole world to see. Yes, there were a whole bunch of pranks behind it that benefited off of how over-the-top some of these people’s reactions were, but there was still a political agenda behind it all that really drove the thing home. As for Bruno, the political agenda was there in how this one obvious, openly homosexual character would go around from person-to-person, wearing all sorts of tight clothing, and practically waving his penis in front of their face, all to get a reaction out of them that was the least bit negative so that they could show it off as “being homophobic”. I don’t know how that sounds to you, but if a dude comes up to me and starts touching me and invading my private-space, I feel like any negative reaction out of my system would be reasonable, if not totally supported. However, as obvious as that movie was with what it was trying to get across, there were still pranks in it that fed off the reactions of the people they were messing with the most.

But that’s where this movie is separated from those two, because while there are plenty of times the movie does go towards a certain demographic that they want to poke fun at and get reactions out of, the movie still never feels like it’s wholly against them in a type of way that’s mean-spirited. Because, need I remind you, this is a Jackass movie and those guys aren’t really known for digging any deeper than ground-level surface, which is perfect for a movie as funny and as crazy as this. Most of the gags hit, and while some don’t, they’re still mildly enjoyable because there’s just such a nice feel surrounding it. When you pull a prank on a person, it’s always fun to see their reactions and best of all, to get their reactions when the joke itself is finally revealed to them, which is exactly what you’ll get during the end credits. So definitely do stick around for them, as they are more than likely going to give you a couple of giggles and chuckles as well.

Easiest trick in the book.

Illegally stuffing goods down your pants: Just another sign you’re in Jackass world, kid.

While most of the humor does come from the outrageous pranks this grandpa and grandson pull on people, the charm of it all mainly comes from Johnny Knoxville and Jackson Nicoll who, together, give us one of the best screen-pairings I’ve seen for a comedy in awhile. And while I do recognize that there have been many others in the past not too long ago, the fact that this is between such a youngster and old guy, and they are both acting in some relatively real material, I have to give them more of the benefit of the doubt because there’s just such a naturalism between them both that works like gangbusters for the movie, as well as for the reactions from the peeps they interact with throughout the whole movie.

They both seem to be on the same page when it comes to what to say to a person on the spot, how to say it and when the right time is to start acting like total nut-balls, which shows just how much fun they have working together. Knoxville is on fire the whole time, just throwing out wise-cracks left-and-right, and never letting you forget that while this guy definitely does specialize in getting running over by bulls, he still has the comedic-talent to carry a movie on his own weight. But Knoxville certainly isn’t alone in this matter with Nicoll stealing the show by not only being the cutest kid in the world to ever call some girl a “hooker”, but that he’s also willing to do anything, regardless of how risky or dirty it may be. I want to know who his parents are so I can shake their hand and let them know that they’re some cool mofos for letting their little Jackson partake in a Jackass movie with none other than Mr. Knoxville himself. Wish my parents were that rad.

Consensus: Though it doesn’t go any deeper than just “messing with people in public places is fun”, Bad Grandpa is still a laugh-out-loud good time with plenty of hilarious pranks made better by the fact that Knoxville and Nicoll are dedicated to these characters the whole damn time, no matter what stands in their way of breaking character.

8 / 10 = Matinee!!

Reminds me of what my grandpa used to do to me. Now, look at me!!!

Reminds me of what my grandpa used to do to me. Now, look at me!!!

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net

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Borat (2006)

I have to take a trip to Kazakhstan at least once in my life.

Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) travels from his primitive home in Kazakhstan to the USA to make a documentary. On his cross-country road-trip, Borat meets real people in real situations.

I’ll never, ever forget the first time I checked out this flick way back when it first came out and laughed my ass off by almost everything that was going on here. Take it for granted, I saw this when it first came out and I was probably around 12, so of course everything is a lot funnier then, but I checked up on it again to see if I was wrong but what I got was that it only gets funnier, as you get older.

The funniest aspect of this whole flick is that you can’t script stuff like this. Yeah, it’s another mockumentary but it’s all real except for everything Borat is talking about and that actually makes it funnier to see how these people react to this guy. I was really surprised by how producers were able to get all of the people they did for this movie, because some of them look like some real assholes, while others just look like they are terribly uncomfortable being around this dude. Although I think I would be too if I was near a guy that kept trying to kiss me and trying to ask me about my sister, and if she has sex with lots of men or not. May not sound that funny on paper, but when you play it all out to real people, who have no exact idea as to what the hell is really going on, then it’s comedy gold.

However, I don’t think I’ve explained just how funny this damn movie is! Everything here, pretty much from start to finish is absolutely hilarious because it never stops with the uncomfortable situations, the politically incorrect jokes, and the people they actually grab from the streets to do this movie. It’s a very offensive flick, that makes so many harsh jokes towards every type of person from America (Jewish, Pentecostals, African Americans, Gays, Feminists, New Yorkers, Southerners and college students, to name a few) but it never seems like overkill. Instead, it just gets funnier and funnier with each and every situation these guys pull off and just when you think they won’t do it, trust me, they do it alright. If you don’t laugh at this movie, then the joke is on you and you don’t deserve to watch something like this. Me, on the other hand, had to actually hold my side because of how hard I was laughing. This is my 3rd viewing too people!

What’s probably funnier than all of the offensive jokes and uncomfortable situations here, is that all of the actual people they get to interview, tell you something about the America that we live in. America is a place that I’m glad to have been born and raised in, but I can definitely say that there is flaws to the people of our society, which is probably with all other societies in the world as well. We see people that are racists that tell Borat what type of guns are the best to kill Jews with, we see a car dealer tell him what’s the best “pussy magnet”, we see some dude from a rodeo say how Borat should change his look so he doesn’t look like “a Muslim, who would more than likely have a bomb strapped to his chest”, and we see a bunch of college kids say how all women should be slaves and bow down to what they have to say. It’s some real effed up shit we get to hear and see here, but it’s all true and that’s what is probably the most jaw-dropping thing about this flick. Some of this may actually have you think about our society and realize just how dumb we are such as whenever we see two gay guys making out, we frown upon it, but cheer on George Bush and the Army to go off and kill every single person in Iraq. Hey, I’m not saying I’m supporting or going against anything that the U.S. is going for but this film brings up a lot more questions about our society than you would expect from a dude that runs around asking ladies for “sexy time”. Comedy that makes you think, haven’t heard of that in awhile.

My only complaint about this flick is that as hard as I did laugh, after watching this one for a third time, I also didn’t laugh as much upon this viewing as I knew what was coming, and what wasn’t. The whole idea of shock value is to not expect what’s going to come up next, and I did here, but I still laughed a lot so I can’t really fault the film for that at all. Maybe if I was 12 again, I would have given this a 10/10. Maybe, just maybe.

The whole subject about this flick, is that it’s pretty anti-Semantic in how Borat despises Jews and wants to get away from them as fast as he can. However, Sacha Baron Cohen is not a racist at all, in fact, he is actually a practicing Jew. This really surprised me when I first saw it because it made me realize that this guy was in on the joke the whole time and I think because of his involvement, it wasn’t banned in every single area of the world, but also makes this character Borat, one of the funniest and most endearing racists ever caught on film.

Whenever people see Baron Cohen now, people think of him as this goofy, somewhat larger-than-life character who always plays these insane characters and never snaps out of them. The character Borat, wasn’t the first to show this, but it’s one that showed that he is a comedic genius. No matter what Cohen does in this movie, whether it be hanging out with a bunch of black people in the ghetto, taking a shit in front of Trump’s Towers, or even getting drunk with a bunch of college kids, he never drops character and always stays in character. Cohen does so many embarrassing things, most of which, he puts himself in, but the whole time you can’t help but wonder how a guy can go throughout a movie like this, and just keep on making it seem like he is really thinking this. Cohen definitely has a pair of brass balls and I wish that he continued to do more mockumentary stuff like this and Bruno, but I guess fame was too much for him and his characters. Poor guy, at least The Dictator was fine and dandy.

Consensus: Borat is not only a comedy that absolutely delivers the laughs with an offensive/mean streak unlike any other flick I have ever seen, but also shows you a side of America that will sometimes make you gasp by just how shocklingly cruel and small-minded can be and think.  It’s a comedy that makes you think, while still bust your gut. Sounds like a winner to me!

9.5/10=Full Price!!

The Dictator (2012)

“Scripts suck!” Or at least that’s what Sacha used to think.

The story centers on General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen), the deposed Repubic of Wadiya dictator who makes his first trip to the United States. Here he finds love in a very strange place and even stranger person (Anna Faris).

I guess a scripted Cohen film was pretty much inevitable, as his star has gone up in recent years and no matter how hard he tries to hide it all with a beard or funny accents, people were bound to recognize him. Still, it’s mostly the same thing this time around except for the fact that everybody knows what he’s going to say next.

Regardless of what the trailers, posters, or shocking appearances by Cohen himself may have you thinkinh, this is nowhere near as funny as Borat or even Bruno for that matter (I know I’m in the minority with the latter), but it’s not all that bad either. I was definitely a little shaky about this flick at first, but after awhile, I realized all of the comedy sticks to the usual raunchy, offensive, and mean type of humor that we always get with Cohen flicks and it still works even though all of the jokes aren’t improvised. Still, the film had me laughing a lot more than I expected just because it’s able to get lean and mean without ever saying sorry and that’s what you gotta do. Do I think they maybe pushed it to the edge a couple of times here? Of course, but then again, when doesn’t Cohen do that?  No race, gender, social class, or political figure is left unscathed and that’s pretty much all in a day’s good work when it comes to what Cohen does.

However, as funny as most of the jokes may be, the film does hit the occasional dry-spot where it feels like it’s time to build up character some more. The whole love story between Aladeen and Anna Faris is pretty lame but then again, I guess you have to have to have this sort of thing in a comedy, just to give it something. They also had this same element in Cohen’s other flicks; however, they were played with more of a joking, sarcastic way rather than being so straight-up and serious. It also disappointed me that Farris wasn’t anything special or funny even as she’s some type of Vegan-type chick that Aladeen falls in love with.  This role could have definitely been played by any other actress.

Also, as much as I may say that this flick is mean and lean, sometimes it’s just too safe. There was a huge opportunity for Cohen to dive into some real, splitting political satire here but he more or less, just plays it safe with an abundance of extra raunchy jokes to show that he really has a knack for grossing people the hell out. Worked, but also seemed like Cohen was getting a tad soft on us.

Regardless of how soft his comedy may have gotten here this time around, Sacha Baron Cohen still delivers the goods when it comes to his brand of shock comedy. Cohen is  known for playing these strange, politically incorrect characters; and the despotic dictator, General Aladeen, is no different. This guy is an ass, doesn’t know what’s right in the world, and shows no signs of ever changing his ways; but hey, it’s all good as long as Cohen is able to make us laugh, and make us laugh is what he does. Can’t really say anything else that hasn’t already been said about him and his character here is definitely no different than any other he has ever played, but Cohen is still the selling-point of this flick and with good reason.

Consensus: At a swift 82 minutes (including credits), The Dictator doesn’t over-stay its welcome and shows that Cohen is still able to make his raunchy, mean, and offensive brand of comedy work despite pulling out of some very key comedy moments that would have really taken this to be more of a satire, and not just another ordinary, Hollywood comedy.

6.5/10=Rental!!

Bruno (2009)

Can it be as good as Borat or can it not?

After BORAT took over America in 2006, another Sacha Baron Cohen creation arrives on the big screen. In BRUNO, the gay Austrian model of the title brings his antics to the States.A very similar premise to Borat but instead hes gay. O the laughter!

Let me just say that this is a hilarious movie. Judging it for the movie that it is: I really don’t care if its real or if its fake I just want to know if it is funny.This film has many moments that are genuinely funny. The moments I will not name since I do not want to give the film away but trust me your gut will burst with laughter.

This is probably one of the filthiest movies I have ever seen. And I mean filthy in a good way. This film will definably test your boundaries of nudity, sex, and just homosexuality. I think in order for this film to be better than its predecessor Borat, it was looking to be more raunchy in which they succeeded in.

The acting from Baron Cohen is still great as usual. He is surely one of those great comedic geniuses that will always stay in character even with a gun up to his head. Though the one problem with this character that I didn’t have with Borat, was that Borat you felt sympathy for him cause their was this small little kindness to him that you could relate to. However, we do not see that with Bruno he comes off as a sort of snobby jerk that I didn’t care how he felt.

The last problem from this film was that it didn’t have much cultural insight as Borat did. This film was sort of used in a way to test people’s homophobia instead of speak against it. There are many things they would’ve done with this character that would’ve pushed the boundaries to beyond shocking. They could’ve shown Bruno with an anti-gay group or a group of Nazi’s or something that would’ve seemed more shocking than just scenes of intense homophobic situations.Too much ofension not enough insight was the problem.

This film though a follow-up to Borat is not bad. I feel like this will be Baron Cohen’s last shockumentary for awhile till he can find another character that not many people will notice. Hilariously gut-busting movie that is filled with a lot of sex and gay jokes and if you can’t handle seeing a penis in its own real form then this is not the movie for you.

8/10=Matinee!!