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PCR #485 (Vol. 10, No. 28). This edition is for the week of July 6--12, 2009.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Bruno"  by Mike Smith
Movies and The Mob: part 1  by Terence Nuzum
The Stuff of Legend: 2009 Film Florida Legends Awards  by ED Tucker
R.I.P. Farrah Fawcett, 1947--2009  by Lisa Scherer Ciurro
A Date With Disney .... Toy Story Ride & Frenzy .... Mgm Staples .... .... .... .... ....  by Brandon Jones
The Jackson Distraction .... Btw Palin Resigned .... Win Win 4 Palin .... The Best Offense Is No Defense? .... Cap & Trade Warning One .... Another Stimulus .... In God We Trust Missing? ....  by Brandon Jones
Air Mcnair .... Movie Notes .... Another Voice Of My Youth Moving On .... .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2...  by Mike Smith
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Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen and Gustaf Hammarstan
Directed by: Larry Charles
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hour 22 mins

Reviewer's note: Not only are my reviews carried here at Crazedfanboy.com, but also in the Leavenworth (Kansas) Times. In this review of "Bruno" I refer to "that wacky bunch over in Topeka." The group I'm refering to are the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, which is comprised mostly of family members of a wack job named Fred Phelps. You may have seen footage of the funerals of US soldiers with people picketing outside them, holding signs that state God killed the soldiers because of rampant homosexuality being tolerated in America. These bastards even planned to picket at the funerals of the Amish school girls that were killed a few years back. Only the offer of an hour of radio time kept them away. I once dated a woman who lived in Topeka and was outraged to find this group picketing the church we attended. It took every fibre of my being to keep from verbally, and possibly physically, attacking them. To show that these people have no souls, they often have their 7 and 8-year-old neices, nephews and grandchildren holding up picket signs reading "GOD HATES FAGS" and the like. I apologize if I've gotten political here. Not my intention. Just an explanation.

It was only three years ago that Sacha Baron Cohen traveled the country pretending to be a foreign television commentator named Borat, quietly (and hilariously) revealing that most people, when they don’t think they’re going to get caught, have no trouble voicing their prejudices. In spite a series of lawsuits filed by those that got caught, the $18 million film went on to earn $128 million in the U.S. alone. Now Cohen is back with another character from his old “Da Ali G” program, the Austrian fashionista Bruno.

The story finds Bruno (Baron Cohen) in America in search of worldwide fame. With only his assistant Lutz (Hammarstan) to guide him, he tries every angle available, from finding an agent for acting parts to producing his own pop culture television program. But the cards are not stacked as well for Bruno as they were for Borat. Where Borat was looked upon by those he came in contact with as a pleasant foreigner, Bruno has one strike against him in most of his interactions because he is flamboyantly gay. Whether he’s hunting in the woods with a few good old boys or taking part in Officer Candidate School, he already is looked upon with quiet disgust. Still, he manages to unearth the prejudices still lurking in society as well as proving that, like Bruno, most people will do ANYTHING for fame.

Let me begin by saying this is not a film for those easily offended. The most talked about scene in “Borat” was the naked wrestling match between Borat and his greatly overweight producer. There are shots in “Bruno” that make that scene seem almost tame by comparison. I really can’t go into detail in a family publication so let’s just say you may never look at a dustbuster the same way again. That being said, I have nothing but praise for Baron Cohen. Not since Lenny Bruce has a comedian pointed a spotlight on people with such observational precision. And the fact that he does not break character at any time is a true testament to his talent. Convinced that he will find fame if he helps bring peace to the middle east, Bruno soon finds himself interviewing a high terrorist official. When he tells the man that “your king, Osama, looks like a dirty wizard” the rage on the man’s face burns right through the screen, so much so that I kept waiting for the man to shoot him. Other attempts at fame, including adopting an African baby and appearing on the television program “Medium” are just as funny, but they don’t carry the undertone of true danger that others do. And speaking of fame, is there no shame at what stage parents will do to get their children in front of a camera. While interviewing parents for a video project, Bruno asks various parents if their kids can work around hot phosphorous or antiquated heavy machinery. Mom and dad don’t even bat an eye when they say yes.

Again, this is not a film for everyone. There are some very graphic scenes and some groups, including that wacky bunch over in Topeka, don’t particularly come out smelling like roses. And while I found it funny you may not. And believe me when I say Mel Gibson won’t. That being said, with both Borat and Bruno now revealed, I hope somebody convinces Baron Cohen to do a Freddie Mercury bio pic soon. I have no doubt he can pull it off.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give “Bruno”  

This week's movie review of "Bruno" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2009, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.