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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Borat - Cultural Learnings of America...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Osadciw, Mar 10, 2007.

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  1. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor
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    It goes straight to the menu after the regular Fox FBI warnings. There's an anti-piracy ad before the movie, but it's very funny. As for the insert, it's only a flyer of other Fox comedies coming to Kazakhstan on DVD in 2028.
     
  2. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    I'm curious, where did you hear mixed reviews about it? It got almost universal acclaim. 90% at Rotten Tomatoes. Some people called it "the funniest movie ever made"

    I gave it 2 1/2 stars out of 5, and I was probably one of the few who didn't love it.
     
  3. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Almost, but not quite! I went into it with a more than open mind - I really looked forward to it. However, it wasn't nearly as funny as I'd expected. A few laughs here and there, but nothing more than that - it was more crass than funny.

    I watched it again on DVD and thought I might like it better - maybe my expectations were too high. Nope - I disliked it much more the second time. Without the shock value, the flick lacked almost any laughs - I chuckled once or twice and that was it.

    Put me in the minority, but I just don't like this flick - I think it's insanely overrated...
     
  4. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Thanks, Colin, I was beginning to worry I was the only one. My friends have been looking at me like I'm insane for months because I didn't find it to be The Most Brilliant Thing Ever Made. One very good friend went so far as to say that I simply don't like comedy and don't understand humor. I fear this is going to become one of those titles where, in conversation, if you mention you don't like it, the people you're speaking to will spend the rest of the conversation trying to convince you how you're wrong, and your opinion doesn't count because clearly you didn't get it or there's something wrong with you. Happens every time "Finding Nemo" comes up.

    That said, I didn't hate the film, nor did I miss the point of it, nor was I offended. I just didn't like it terribly. I think in a few years time the hype will die down and people might be more objective, or at least look at it again and find that it wasn't as funny as they remembered and wonder what the big deal was.
     
  5. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    You summed up my opinion as well, I got a few laughs out of it, maybe as many as I got out of the Tenacious D Movie, but it was'nt all that. My wife Checked out sometime after the Nude wrestling scene, she's not a prude but I think she was in the ain't too funny camp. It did seem like a skit that went on for a bit too long.
     
  6. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    1. It also made fun of Christians, to be fair (maybe you didn't finish watching).

    2. The first half or third rather is VERY funny, and then it gets thin. Bear in mind it is just one of 3 characters on the Ali G Show, which is VERY funny, especially Ali G. See the movie which is VERY funny (and has an actual plot, plus Rhona Mitra), and better than Borat.

    The Show really makes fun of run-of-the-mill Americans.
     
  7. Dan Buckley

    Dan Buckley Auditioning

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    I watched it on my computer with 0% over scan and definitely saw the black bars.

    Would link to picture but I'm under 10 posts.
     
  8. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    I don't think "hype" has anything to do with whether or not people find the movie funny. Either you laughed your ass off at it or you didn't, simple as that. It's just like Jackass, some people think it's the worst thing ever unleashed on society with no comedic value whatsoever and others think it's absolutely hillarious, even genius on some levels. There's no universal consensus with any of this stuff.
     
  9. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    I agree that hype wasn't a factor with Borat - it became a hit because a lot of people really liked it. I do think that it probably won't age well, though. It has something of a "flavor of the week" feel to it that will likely look much less amusing in the future. But then again, I don't like it now, so take that with a grain of salt! [​IMG]
     
  10. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Cinematographer

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    I watched BORAT recently on DVD with an open mind, and anticipated some laughs, but I found the film uniformly lame, tedious and unfunny (though I wasn't offended by it).

    It's as though some lesser writers for THE TONIGHT SHOW or SNL or CONAN O'BRIEN decided to re-cast THE HOWARD STERN SHOW'S "Stuttering John" as TAXI's "Latka Gravas", and plop him into a feature-length CANDID CAMERA episode... and then carefully pruned away what little humor resulted, leaving us with, er, BORAT.

    The fact that so many people (and here I'm referring more to folks outside of this thread, who I've encountered in daily life) have found the film "The funniest, most hysterical thing I've ever seen!", and that it has garnered several nominations (including a "Best Adapted Screenplay" Oscar nomination!) and won several critics' awards, has convinced me that I've accidentally stepped through a dimensional rift, into a reality where trees are made of bricks, fish have feathers, the Sun is cold, and Mason Reese single-handedly won WWII.

    For those who enjoyed BORAT, cool. For myself, the film's phenomenal popular and critical success would make ideal fodder for an episode of IN SEARCH OF... or RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT (now that would be funny!)... [​IMG]
     
  11. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    As a writer, I'm actually a bit offended that they would nominate a film that was mainly improvised from outlines for "Best Screenplay." WHAT screenplay?!?!?!
     
  12. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    I find it funny(no pun intended) how many people are quick to criticize what someone else finds humorous. Obviously comedy is VERY subjective and what one person thinks is hillarious another won't find any humor in it at all. For example, I don't care for Monty Python films. I just don't think they're funny at all. However, I don't rip on the people that do enjoy those films or question their sense of humor for liking them. As long as they enjoy the movies that's all that matters, right? That same courtesy should extend to this movie or any other comedy for that matter IMHO.
     
  13. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Not to mention that the whole scripted storyline (driving across country to meet Pamela Anderson) was the SAME storyline as the Ben Affleck bomb GIGLI.

    GIGLI!!!!

    So few people saw GIGLI that not many picked up on that.

    But yeah, the improv stuff with Borat was great, but there wasn't enough of that. The scripted portions of the film failed, I thought.

    SBC did a scripted film based on one of his other characters, called ALI G INDAHOUSE and that was even more painful. His characters are funny in the interview sections, but in scripted situations, not so much.

    The original Borat film was all scripted (which is why there were so many writers on the film, many were part of that first version). But, then SBC realized the film was failing like INDAHOUSE, so he fired the director (the inept Todd Phillips of STARSKY AND HUTCH who ended up getting an Oscar nomination anyway) and redid the film with Larry Charles (of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM). They added more improv scenes. But, not enough. For me at least.

    Like I stated, the HBO series is brilliant.
     
  14. Message #34 of 35 Apr 14, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Second Unit

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    Just saw Borat on the old DVD after getting this @ Dollar General recently; this is only my second time seeing the film. I first saw this theatrically in Fall 2006, and laughed my head off. Hilarious film, though I know it was extremely controversial at the time.

    As has been mentioned, the DVD packaging, the Disk itself, and the menu are all designed to look like bootlegs - LOL. In fact, when I first saw the DVD I thought someone had switched this out for the original - ha ha.

    When I first saw this film years ago, I honestly thought SBC was from a non-English speaking country; he really created a convincing character in Borat - LOL.

    My favorite sequences include:

    -When the song "Everyone's Talkin' at me" from the iconic film "Midnight Cowboy" are played over the scenes when Borat is making a fool of himself on the streets of NYC - very funny "homage" here - LOL.

    -When he's chasing that one guy down the streets of NYC - ha ha.

    -When Borat is going to buy a car, and requests one with a p%$$y magnet. The salesman says, "You want a car that will attract women". And, Borat asks if any of the cars have physical magnets - the salesman has to keep telling him that the cars do not come with magnets - LOL.

    -When Borat went into the hotel with his boxers showing, and started talking like he was a street-wise tough - extremely funny - even funnier was the reaction of the hotel management - hilarious.

    -When Borat is driving through the South, and sees that woman standing outside her house selling her unwanted junk on the lawn. He keeps insisting that she's a "gypsy" and pretends not to understand that it's a garage sale - ha ha.

    Special Features:

    For the first time, I saw the deleted scenes from the film (on this DVD). Very funny:

    -Especially hilarious was when he wanted to get a dog from the pound, and when he made it clear that he wanted to get the dog in order to eat it - the woman kicked him out - ha ha.

    -Also funny was when he was in that grocery store, and asked the manager what every item was in the "cheese" area. "That's cheese", "That's cheese", etc. - though I think this could have ended a lot quicker than it did; this is probably why it was cut - LOL.

    Next, I have to watch the Da Ali G show - which I've never seen (which I probably should have watched first). Looking forward to this.
     
  15. Jeffrey D

    Jeffrey D Second Unit

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    I’ve had this film in my collection for a while- I still have never seen it. A little surprising that a film with this type of politically incorrect humor was nominated for best screenplay. I’ll have to watch it soon.
     

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