Monday, November 27, 2006

Mini-Reviews: Borat and A Scanner Darkly

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

What a terribly offensive film! Sick and disgusting in some parts (the wrestling scene) and insulting in most others. Which isn't to say that it isn't funny. Borat has got to be one of the funniest films this year, and even one of the most accomplished. After all, it is able to do what it set out to: expose America's flaws and make an insane comedy out of it. Sacha Baron Cohen has amazing comic timing as Borat Sagdiyev. Heck, even during his more dramatic moments, he's still good and manages to keep in character. There's nothing really negative this viewer can say about how the film was made. Just a warning: if you're narrow minded, don't have a sense of humor, or just can't tolerate insults to your culture or others', then keep away from this film. Otherwise, make sure you watch it. Grade: B+

A Scanner Darkly

The rotoscoping technique undoubtedly gives Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly a mesmerizing, colorful edge, though this viewer still can't help but wonder if a stronger film would have been made had it been a simple live-action project. It is ultimately dry and trying, but the performances (the standout being, of course, Robert Downey Jr.) and the plot can have the audience fighting boredom to try to finish it. It's worth the effort. Grade: B

Images from IMDb

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