Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Boring Borat

I have thought long and hard about whether to admit this or not, but I wasted 80 minutes of my life (not to mention £12.99) on watching the DVD of BORAT. I like to think I have a reasonably well developed sense of the ridiculous and am not very PC, but I'm afraid I just didn't get the joke.

Some of the slapstick moments were worth a titter but the jewish scenes were a disgrace. There is enough anti-semitism in the world at the moment without providing the excuse for more. I do realise it is meant to be a comedy, but it really wasn't funny. Discuss.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

wasnt the point to undermine the anti semites by showing how thick and gullible they are.
A la Alf Garnett and racism.

daily mail reader said...

So you think you're "not very PC" do you Iain? So how come you're getting your politically correct knickers in a twist yet again?

Maggie Thatcher Fan said...

Anything that is hyped/discussed in the media such as Borat is an immediate no no for me.. History teaches me that such stuff is a huge letdown/rubbish.

uk-events said...

>wasnt the point to undermine the anti semites by showing how thick and gullible they are.
A la Alf Garnett and racism.

Yes. And for the record, Sacha Baron Cohen is Jewish.

I don't go for PCism but everyone can be ridiculed for something.

As for taking the mickey out of a religion, big deal! Religion is a personal choice not a genetic trait.

As for the movie.. take it or leave it, was ok but nothing special.

David Anthony said...

I generally trust the opinion of Dr. Kermode, and if memory serves me well, he wasn't too taken with it either. That is, the jokes and anti-americanism of it. I haven't seen it, so I couldn't comment.

...But Iain, haven't you ever heard of rental?

phil macavity said...

David Anthony said...
...But Iain, haven't you ever heard of rental?

Isn't that what led to Lord Browne's downfall?

Observer said...

How much are you selling it for on EBay Iain ?

£1.99-£4.00 seems to be the going price.

Did you wear the body thong when you watched it ?

Fred Bobb said...

'...but the jewish scenes were a disgrace'

I'm not sure Iain appreciated that Sacha Baron Cohen is a devout Jew himself. The Jewish scenes were jokes at the expense of anti-semites, not anti-semitic jokes.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

It's fashionable on the Blogosphere to bash Borat...

Anonymous said...

You do know Sacha Baron Cohen (that's "Borat", Iain) is Jewish don't you? and that his Jewish brother wrote the music? and that the film is full of Jewish humour?

Humour is impossible to explain, because it then ceases to be funny and thereby telling. If people don't get the joke there's little that can be done for them. But c'mon Iain, lighten up. Even the Kazakhstani ambassador eventually admitted he laughed.

Anonymous said...

I had this quaint idea that you only watched re-runs of election nights.

spongebob said...

uk-events said...
"Yes. And for the record, Sacha Baron Cohen is Jewish."

You are feckin' kidding me here. Oh my goodness, does the world know about this???? I thought he was a mormon.

Theodore Dalrymple said...

You poor thing wasting 80 mins of your valuable life.You either found it funny or not. Spare us the moralising.

Anonymous said...

But what an add on he would make for Dave's team.A nice counter balance to Dave's best friend Gove.

Aaron said...

I laughed, it was good. Not brilliant, but good.

And yes, SBC is Jewish.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

given your previous posts outlining your (piss poor) taste in films, I suggest you keep quiet...

Arthurian Legend said...

I found it tear-streamingly hilarious; The Office to the power of ten.

Anonymous said...

He's a boring smartarse, Melissa Kite on the other hand is really funny.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree that having a go at Borat for being anti-semitic is rather like having a go at Rob Brydon for being anti-welsh.

My suggestion, Iain, would be to view the episode of Annually Retentive where he goes drinking with Rhys Ifans. You won't even have to pay..

Anonymous said...

On paper this could have been an excellent film. Just one problem, which the majority of films all suffer from... it is made for the American market, not global market. The American sense of humour is different to the english sense of humour so our expectations are different and the result is disappointing.

Harry Haddock said...

I think you might have been having a bit of a Daily Mail moment there, Iain, I don't think the film was that funny, but if it contained any bigotry, it wasn't anti-Semitism. Watch it again, mate.

no longer anonymous said...

Was hilarious the first time round but not so funny after that.

And I think the charges of antisemitism are absurd.

Anonymous said...

Iain given you list Airplane as one of your favorite films can you really pass comment on other films??

molesworth1 said...

Look, seeing as there's a vague comedy thread on the go, can I point anyone who's interested to watch Jeremy Paxman being interviewed on tonight's 'Daily Show' (More4+1 @ 9.30pm - get a move on...).
Paxo is somewhat out of his depth on the other side of the desk and watching him flounder was something of a delight.
I can only hope he ends up in a drunkrn brawl with Hitchens minor somewhere in NYC. Seems they both have books to publicise at the minute...

Anonymous said...

Roger Roger!

Airplane is a classic.

Macca said...

Plain and simply a poor film, hugely over-rated nonsensical drivel! It just was not funny…

forthurst said...

I['m beginning to wonder how bright Iain really is.

If you want to know whether it was ant-jewish or not, ask yourself this: when the film was either in pre-production or after it was premiered, did a screeching sound rend the air? No? Well then it is not anti-jewish. ok?

Richard Patient said...

Yup, it was crap. I agree.

Paul Burgin said...

Actually I agree with Iain here. I saw the film at the cinema and felt like walking out when I saw the Jewish jokes, what stopped me was that Sasha Baron Cohen is himself Jewish and I appreciate he was trying to be postmodern, but I just felt very uncomfortable and bothered by what he was doing. It still was not a film I particually liked

tory boys never grow up said...

I agree that the movie was not very funny if only because it was incredibly predictable - it did parody racism/sexism/anti-semitism, it just didn't do it very well.

My real problem is that it has in effect diverted serious attention away from Nazarbayev's very nasty and corrupt regime in Kazakhstan - perhaps some a more telling (and humourous) tale about Kazakhstan is how Nazabayev is reported to have ordered a new bigger 747 when after a visit to the US he found that he had a smaller 747 than Clinton or how the Central Bank staff car park had 20+ Mercedes even though no employee was officially earning more than $200 per month.

The treatment of ethnic Russians and Germans (sent there by Stalin) in Kazakhstan has been nothing short of deplorable.

dearieme said...

What is a "DVD"?

Jonny Wright said...

Ironically Iain, Mark Kermode thought pretty much the same as you did - except that he loved the Jewish jokes and thought they were the only artistically noteworthy thing in the film.

As you're a Germanist, I'd recommend watching the German-dubbed version. (I was in Dresden when it was released so I didn't have much choice.) It's hilarious listening to the bloke trying to do Borat's accent in German, even if the film itself is awful.

Anonymous said...

david cameron went to see it and thought it was hilarious

Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised!

Anonymous said...

Just a second run that past me again Borat's jewish so therefore he can't be anti-jewish?

Um so what about all those English Guardianistas who really despise just about everything to do with England and the English.

Now I don't know if Borat is anti-jewish or not as I've never seen more than a couple of minutes of his show but to say that someone with a jewish background can't be anti-jewish just strikes me as being absurd.

javelin said...

You're not the only one, but I only wasted 15 minutes before I hit the eject button.

Newmania said...

I thought it was mediocre but still vastkly better than most of the mantable comedy output

Desperate Dan said...

Films are good in inverse proportion to the amount of publicity they receive. Borat must have had the largest publicity budget of any film this decade so it was bound to be bad. I believe the same same applies to books and reality tv stars.

antifrank said...

Iain, I thought it was one of the funniest (and scariest) films I can recall seeing. I am amazed that you can apparently have watched it without appreciating that its main theme was not Borat but the reactions of many Americans to him. It is a profoundly anti-racist (anti-anti-Semitic) film.

Anonymous said...

Im never sure what to make of you Iain. Your mother/son relationship with Ann Widdecombe worries me, but I have overlooked it.

But this: 'the jewish scenes were a disgrace.'

You really are 'disgusted' of Tunbridge Wells.

What a ridiculous comment.

Pogo said...

Maybe I'm getting old but I find "Borat" like "Seinfeld" and "The Office" about as funny as an open grave.

machiavelli said...

Way off the mark Iain - the man's Jewish! The whole point was to expose and undermine the anti-semitism that does exist.

Iain Dale said...

I fully realise that he is jewish. That doesn't mean that I can't disagree with what he did.

Snafu said...

Just shows how out of touch the Political elites are with the common riff-raff.

When I watched the film at a full cinema, there was a lot of laughter throughout.

The "Jewish scenes" mocked the shallowness of anti-semites and showed them up for what they are.

As for being PC Iain, you questioned whether you should "out" yourself as having seen Borat, such self-censorship suggests you are already totally PC...

Borat Sagdiyev said...

Jagshemash!

My movie film is great sucess. I like!

Tomorrow I go to the Running of the Jew. Great!

Desperate Dan said...

The state of Israel has come to an agreement with the UN - the same UN that ignores Israel's non-compliance with UN resolutions - that the state of Israel must remain racially pure. For that reason, any black refugees who turn up in Israel from Darfur or Somalia or anywhere else will be turned over to the UN who will redistribute them to non-racially pure countries who, at the instigation of their resident Jewish communities, are condemned to be multicultural. Multiculturalism is a fate that must be avoided by Israel at all costs. With Borat, as with most other laboured points made by the Jewish community, its a case of 'it takes one to know one'.

Anonymous said...

I sympathise Iain. It sounds just like the rest of his stuff. Looks funny when you see a 10 second clip but dire when you watch the whole thing.

nobby said...

Seems a shame two people have quoted that pretentious, ugly fool Mark Kermode.
Incidentally, he and another Mark, Viduka, were surely separated at birth.

Anonymous said...

Dear dear Iain, lighten up! The whole thing was designed to show how stupid anti-Semites are. And why did you pay to watch it? Haven't you heard of Bittorrent?

The Remittance Man said...

Remittance Movie Rule Of Thumb No94: British tv comedy does not translate well to the big screen (even the good stuff).

Remittance Personal Opinion: Mr Baron-Cohen is not really that funny, though he does have the odd moment.

Andy said...

Was the humour a bit complex Iain? maybe some good old fashioned slapstick would be better, rather than clever parodies of anti-semitism...oh dear.

The Surly Beaver said...

I think the problem with the anti-semitic scenes is that they are too "safe". Like ooooooh, lets get some dumb American frat boys to make dumb anti-semitic comments. Neither daring, nor challenging, nor funny. All it would do is allow too many people in the UK where anti-semitism is much more common than in the US to feel smug and superior to those stupid racist yanks.

Those scenes would have been much more daring if Cohen had gone to Cairo, or Gaza, or Riyadh, and hoodwinked some real anti-semites into making asses of themselves.