Untimely Reviews – Borat

One of the best facets of untimely reviewing movies is the cost savings. Untimely moves are much, much, cheaper than timely movies. For examples, last November I saw the timely James Bond movies, "Casino Royale". With a bottle of water the whole experience cost about $10.00. Last week I saw "Borat". With soda and popcorn, the whole experience cost exactly $5.00. In retail parlance, this is called half-off. So what do I get for my bargain, a movie that everyone has been talking about for many, many months.

"Borat" was a controversial film before it was released. I freshly remember all of the pre-release hype for the candid-camera style comedy. The main actor in the film, Sacha Boran Cohen, had angered Jews, Kazahkstan, his "victims", and various educated peoples who decry the fall of our culture. In fact, fresh before my viewing of "Borat" at a second run theater, I read the headline "Judge to Borat Frat Boys, No Suit for You". This lightning rod of controversy would have been great to bring up in cross cultural conversation . . . months ago! Alas, untimely viewing has its drawbacks. The horse has been beaten to death and further beating shan't bring the horse back to life, or something like that.

With the timely controversy of "Borat" behind us, all that is left is a mockumentary/reality show movie classified as a comedy. Reviewed as such, "Borat" is funny, but not "that" funny. In terms of funniness, I estimate that "Borat" is less funny than "Best in Show" style mockumentaries, less engaging that the reality television show "Survivor", but much funnier than an Adam Sandler movie. Perhaps the best of "Borat" is its true to life depiction of real people at their worst, especially when the on-camera victims may think they are at their best. The rest is fairly crude and insulting. A veteran of two star movies, I have developed a rather thick skin. The thin skinned should just go ahead and pay the full $10.00 for something newer.

As a side note, "Borat" is the first untimely review from a movie seen in a real, albeit run-down, theater. I enjoy movies through my cable service and on DVD, but you cannot beat the real big-screen audience filled experience. Like that time my brother and I saw "Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Rings" in New Jersey: someone in the audience kept yelling "Go Frodo!", after the first few hours someone else started repeating every line, and at the end of the film all rose in cheers when that orc's head was chopped off. You can't get that on DVD!

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