Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

oompah oompah oompah oompah

So we ended up going to see Borat (still no Marie Antoinette) after dinner at Zyng (Chinese/Korean/Thai, good times). I... I don't quite know what I think of Borat. We laughed pretty hard, and I was relieved to see that the Alabama Dining Society or whatever didn't come off half as badly as it could have--like, oh, say, the Traveling Assfrats of South Carolina. But I'm one of those people who experiences something very near to physical pain when I have to watch people embarrass themselves, so... yeah. The, uh, climactic fight in the hotel room? Yeah. I "watched" most of that with my hand over my eyes. Every now and then I'd peek and really, really wish I hadn't.

Speaking of which: Borat makes benefit with No. 1 debut. Wow. I did not see that coming. Apparently no one else did, either: "'This picture was playing to full houses,' said Bruce Snyder, head of distribution at 20th Century Fox. 'The planets aligned, the moons aligned, the stars aligned, and everything came together perfectly for us on this weekend.' Borat played in only 837 theaters, fewer than one-fourth the count for The Santa Clause 3 and Flushed Away. Averaging a whopping $31,511 a theater, Borat easily outdistanced The Santa Clause 3, which averaged $5,784 in 3,458 cinemas and Flushed Away, which averaged $5,152 in 3,707 theaters." To which I can add that there was a relatively huge line outside the Patton Creek Rave on a Sunday night.

(Deep irony, October 26: "British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's controversial new comedy movie has been cut from more than half the 2,000 US cinemas it was supposed to debut in this weekend over fears film fans won't get the comic's Borat character." An article the day previous: "The Times noted that industry analysts could not recall a similar action by a studio taking place just two weeks before a film's opening. Fox indicated that it hopes that by opening Borat in 800 theaters, the resulting word of mouth will propel it into a stronger position the following week when it will be expanded to 2,200 screens.")

What I want to know is, who (in the movie) knew what when? Who was in on the joke and who wasn't? Because I have to believe that the object(s) of Borat's affections were in on it--Luenell, for that matter, had to have been an actress. The antique shop owner, I'm not sure. The rodeo crowd, I'm pretty sure not, because I remember the ire that whole incident generated hitting the news when it was filmed. Oh, and Crazy Terrorist Hater Guy, that was too awful not to be real. And apparently the Dining Society was in the papers saying that they'd been told they were filming something about an immigrant trying to learn etiquette and American ways (hence the redhead's very earnest speech about how Borat could probably adjust very quickly, with a little work--right before he brought the bundle of poo downstairs), so they had no idea what was coming. Whereas I have to think that the car dealer was in on it, in the sense that the producers probably told him, "Look, he's going to ask you some really offensive questions. Just play along and answer him like nothing's wrong." The sweet little Jewish couple with the B&B? I kind of actually think they were in on it, because the wife looked like she was about to crack up at any moment when she brought up the sandwiches. (That whole part, Blair Witch homage and all, was just about my favorite in the whole movie. "They have shapeshifted! THROW MONEY AT THEM!" That, and "Gypsy, I HAVE COME TO TAKE YOUR TEARS." I have come to realize that my sense of humor relies largely on a sense of the absurd. Like when he drops his suitcase in despair, and it clucks.) Anything that could have been considered criminal activity, I have to think people were either forewarned or the scene itself was somehow staged. Like smashing up the antique shop, or the children running away from the bear; that looked fairly staged.


But anyway. It was funny, and horrifying, and again, funny but not necessarily in a fun way. Funny in a cringeworthy way, although "Another fine mess you've gotten us into!" in front of Mann's Chinese Theater was genuinely awesome. More than anything, though, what I find so funny about this is that the movie was marketed, per Entertainment Weekly's headline, as "The Most Offensive Movie Ever, or Just the Most Hilarious?" And how many guys wanted to see the movie on that basis alone? So you get all these guys--the kind of guys who would actually want to see the stupid frat-humor movies they showed in the previews (and yes, Balls of Fury, I don't care if you have Christopher Walken, I'm looking at you)--to see "the most offensive movie ever," and they're treated to... ten solid minutes of hairy, barely censored, naked wrestling. Which... doesn't even begin to cover the... horrors... involved... in that scene. Because, you know, there's gross-out comedy and then there's... that. And yet Sacha Baron Cohen somehow hoodwinked twenty-six million dollars' worth of Americans into paying to see it. I love that.

Also, since we were trying to figure out what movies are coming out when, here's what I looked up:

11/17: Casino Royale, a week before I thought it came out, plus Happy Feet
11/22: The Fountain and Déjà Vu, so at least we have time to see Casino Royale before we try to deal with that twofer
12/1: Turistas, some kind of horror movie, which explains the TURISTAS GO HOME stickers on the front doors of the theater
12/8: Blood Diamond and Apocalypto, and I'm curious to see exactly how many people in America will actually pay to go see a movie in Ancient Mayan
12/15: Eragon and The Pursuit of Happyness. It's my birthday weekend, and I am not impressed
12/20: Charlotte's Web, the Lovely Emily's birthday, and I am still not impressed
12/22: The Good Shepherd, Night at the Museum, We Are Marshall, and--good God, Rocky Balboa? Are they still going through with this?
12/25: Black Christmas (har), Children of Men (FINALLY), and Notes on a Scandal (probably won't be here, though)
12/27 Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (YAY)

And I always try to go to a good movie for my birthday, so... I'm thinking it's not gonna happen this year. Particularly since Eragon will get my money when it pries it from my cold, grinchy fingers.

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