Monday, July 13, 2009


The ladyfriend and I went to see Bruno this past Saturday. Has anyone else seen it yet? I knew it was going to be pretty outrageous, a "Hard R" as Ebert called it. Well I was pleasantly surprised to find out what a hard R meant. There are penises within the first five minutes of the film. I thought that was NC-17 stuff. Anyways, I was already familiar with the character of Bruno from Da Ali G show days. Back then Bruno was there to satirize the vacuousness of the fashion industry - like the one interview where he asks some employee at a high-end Rodeo Drive clothing store what celebrities shop there. When the employee can't name anyone terribly interesting Bruno stops filming and asks the guy to mention some bigger names, like Britney or J-Lo. They begin filming again and the employee changes his story, stating that Britney, etc. are all regular patrons. Funny stuff.

Unfortunately the film "Brüno" wants to deal more with (homo) sexuality. While I'm not against exposing people's bigotry and ignorance towards the subject, I was hoping for more of the old Bruno. Besides a slight bit at the beginning where Bruno hilariously manages to make it onto a fashion runway in Milan, there's really not much about fashion at all. Instead it's all sex-sex-sex. There's funny bits at the beginning where there's some obviously faux sexual acts going on, but later there's a few scenes with some very real sex going on, with just the tiniest bit of black censor bars editing out the naughty bits. While none of this made me feel uncomfortable, I was just more pretty astounded that they could get away with this with just an R. It was like watching the end of the Brown Bunny all over again.

There are a few fairly memorable bits, like when Bruno is naming a bunch of celebrities and Germanizing their names (my favorite - Will Smith becomes "Wilhelm Schmidt"), or when Bruno brings out his adopted black baby on a talk show dominated by an all black audience. Then the movie ends with a closing song wherein somehow Sascha Baron Cohen, I mean Bruno, has managed to wrangle up the biggest talents from the British and Emerald isles to sing a song with him, somehow even getting one of LE's favorite artists to sing a line about "anal bleaching". How they got that poor man to do that I have no idea. All in all, not as good as Borat, but it still has its moments.


Jason said...

Film critic rating?
Herr Zbo rating?

Herr Zrbo said...

3/5 Zrbo points. Collect 100 and send a self-addressed stamped envelope to receive your very own Rad Racer Micro Machine!

Little Earl said...

Yeah, and you're supposed to put the director's name in parenthesis.

Anyway, very informative and unique review - much better than all the other Bruno reviews I've read, which all seem pre-canned, and where the reviewers' only familiarity with Cohen is Borat.

The fellow who sings "anal bleaching": it's not Elton John, is it?

Herr Zrbo said...

Well, I wasn't really intending this to be a review, more of a discussion, that's why I didn't include a director's name.

I completely forgot to mention how I'm astounded how Cohen manages to score interviews with big name people. Not only does Bruno have a run-in with Ron Paul, but he somehow manages to get representatives from Hamas and Israel to sit down and chat(with delightful results).

THEN he manages to find some terrorist leader and tries to goad him into kidnapping him (and is almost successful). Now how and the hell did he get an interview with a terrorist leader?? Do you just look them up in the phonebook?

Herr Zrbo said...

Whoops, sorry, yes, it is Sir Elton.

Herr Zrbo said...

Well folks, this is apparently how you get an interview with a terrorist.

ninquelote said...

The reason Cohan gets away with so much sexual misconduct in this movie and still makes an R rating is because it's gay sex. Plain and simple. The MPAA is much more acceptable of gay sex than it is of lesbian sex or heterosexual sex regardless of how lewd it is. I've seen several documentaries on the MPAA and how sex is dealt with in cinema and they all corroborate the same thing.

As for anal bleaching, well, that's just common courtesy as far I see it.

Herr Zrbo said...

Well, those later sex scenes I mentioned are actually comprised of straight people having sex, and there's not much besides a little black bar covering the crotch and another over the va-jay-jay. If anything it just goes to show how silly and inconsistent the MPAA is.

"Hey hey, MPAA, how many movies did you ban today?"

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