Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Movie Review: Bruno

I'm sorry, but this movie is brilliant. What better way to expose the shallowness, intolerance, and ignorance of our society than via a gay, foreign fashionazi who wants to be famous? It's as good as holding up a giant mirror.
The Ron Paul scene alone is priceless - here's a guy who, less than a year ago, was begging America to let him represent all Americans. And he can't handle one gay proposition with anything resembling grace. He completely lost his shit. Would he have freaked if a beautiful young woman took off her pants? Doubt it. It would have been, "No thank you, dear. I think this meeting is over." And then he would go along on his paranoid, racist way.

Bruno also tackles ex-gay ministers, a pair of vapid "charity PR consultants", exploitation talk shows, and the gayest activity in America - wrestling. Pure genius. Offensive, crude, possibly dangerous for the camera crew and Baron Cohen himself, but genius.


tweetey30 said...

I am not familiar with this one. I think I have heard of it thinking about it.. Not sure..

sp said...

Okay, maybe I'll see this one. I'll wait for the dvd or ppv though.

Laura said...

I so want to see this!!!

Courtney said...

Dan hates Sasha Baron Cohen, but I think he's great. I'll have to wait for this on DVD.

SME said...

If I'd known any better, I would've waited for the DVD too. There were a few scenes I just did not need to see on a huge screen. ;D

Al-truist said...

"And then he would go along on his paranoid, racist way."
For what reason did you feel it necessary to use this inflammatory, prejudicial attack against a septuagenarian grandfather and Vietnam war veteran you haven't even met?

SME said...

Probably because he put out a racist, redneck newsletter for two decades under his own name, then gave the standard "I didn't know what was being printed under my own name" excuse when called on it. Many people don't know about this.

Being a war vet doesn't give you a free pass in life, I'm sorry to say. I know Vietnam vets who are wife-beaters and pedophiles.

I've been pretty forgiving with Mr. Paul. I accepted his "I'm sorry that I didn't know what was in my own newsletter" excuse. I accepted his "American Free Press publishes my column of its own accord and I have no say over that" attitude. But he finally crossed a line with me. It's similar to the line Mel Gibson crossed. I actually defended that guy against accusations of anti-Semitism; I said it was OK for him to stick up for his elderly dad despite the man's Holocaust denial, and I said The Passion probably wasn't intended to defame Jews in any way. Then he gets drunk and starts mouthing off, making a fool of everyone who defended him. Well, Mr. Paul did more or less the same thing - he showed his true colors (homophobic, angry) under pressure, when his guard was down. I wouldn't blame him for being upset at the deceitful set-up, but screaming, "He's a goddamned QUEER!" in the hallway was too much for me. And he has since publicly stated that violence would have been justified in this situation, basically saying, "Go ahead and abuse gay men. They have it coming." I doubt that he would ever encourage men to physically assault women who proposition them. But it's acceptable, in his world, to treat "queers" this way.
That's how he feels. He's uncomfortable with gays. Fine. I'm uncomfortable with him. And just as Ron Paul has a right to shriek bloody murder about homosexuals, I have a right to say, "You know, I really don't appreciate that. And I'm not going to stick up for you or respect you anymore."

Al-truist said...

The thing is Sacha Cohen isn't gay. And the reason Bruno is receiving mixed reviews in the gay community is because of his "gay-face" portrayal of an extreme homosexual stereotype. If anyone has caused offense to the gay community, it is Sacha Cohen himself. Most gays have enough sense not to try to seduce a married heterosexual who had done nothing to invite such attention. That is because MEN usually don't have any compunction about punching other MEN if they have been sufficiently offended. I'm not saying that's right, its just the way it is. Sadly, Sacha Cohen (unwittingly) does a disservice to the Jewish community as well, by reinforcing racist stereotypes in his use of manipulation, exploitation and deception in making this mean-spirited film.

SME said...

"If anyone has caused offense to the gay community, it is Sacha Cohen himself."

It's not an either/or thing; they have probably both offended some gay people. But there's a great difference between exaggerating gayness for comic effect and expressing actual disgust for homosexuals, just as there is a difference between Cohen's pretend come-on and an actual homosexual overture. I don't think Ron Paul knew at the time that Cohen isn't gay, so his response is what we could expect from him in a real situation like that. But there never will be a real situation like that, because gay men are not interested in Ron Paul and would probably not try anything even if they were. Of course it's considered natural, if not acceptable, for men to get violent with each other over such things - but I think Mr. Paul was wise to keep his fists to himself. I just wish he didn't hint that it would be perfectly OK to respond with violence.

As for Cohen reinforcing any Jewish stereotypes, that's for the Jewish community to address. I'm not Jewish and I don't know how they feel about his antics. I'm guessing the reaction to his films has been mixed. But I will point out that you could say the same for any Jewish entertainer. You could say that Woody Allen reinforces the Nazi stereotype of Jewish men as sexual predators, intent on seducing as many Gentile women as possible. But anyone who actually gives any weight to these stereotypes is already too far gone - they're going to look for any excuse to apply them.