|INTERACTIVE (Rate the Review)|
|Cinema Signal: Numerous flaws & weaknesses which may be forgiven or ignored by the right audience.|
Sing Like an American Idol, Women's Edition
Everything You Need to Sing the Hits!
(Discounted Paperback (with CD) from Amazon)
Sacha Baron Cohen is back... with a new name for a character whose resemblance to the old one calls for an 80% change in the letters of his handle and a 20% change in personality. Meaning that he's still outlandish, broad and distasteful in farcical behavior and more than capable of ambushing the unsuspecting for a laugh at their expense. This new guy is a gay Austrian fashionista who just wants fame and adulation. He clearly thinks that making a spectacle of himself is the way to do it with the gifts he has.
When we pick up on him he's managed to get a show on Austrian TV but his antics in bizarre costumery fouls up his burgeoning career. Giving up on finding his niche in Austria, he heads west where he might be better received in a place that has a reputation for extremes and is, therefore, bound to provide opportunities. He heads to Hollywood.
Cohen aims his character toward the taboos in society, and the weaknesses. He makes great sport of a guy who imagines he can turn a gay person straight, and then, in a rather telling sequence, tests a series of stage mothers to see how far they're willing to have their children go for the promise of a role. Much of it, as in the hit that gave him the idea that he can repeat his success, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" is either distasteful or dangerous.
The taste of success with Borat hasn't focused or tempered his goal of making hit movies with his sex-crazed characters, and his work shows signs of going over the edge for the sake of surprise and shock. Wherever he imagined he could hit pay dirt by pretending to be the father of a charming little tyke with dark skin color is beyond the mostly black audience that reacts to it in the show appearance using the boy as a prop. It's beyond me. And, it illustrates that he creates situations to see what may come of it when the better approach might be to think ahead.
There are more consequences of his situations than there are laughs derived from them. Not everyone around here is a Howard Stern.
My favorite of his film performances is still "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," wherein he played the scripted role of Signor Adolfo Pirelli. Maybe it's because he had to keep his cape on and his ebullience in check.
~~ Jules Brenner