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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Borat – Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Kazakhstan (Widescreen DVD-Video)

Borat – Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation Kazakhstan (Widescreen DVD-Video)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Film: B



Wuba Woo Woo! HELLO!  And welcome to my review.  Some have laughed.  Some have cried.  And some have sued.  But no matter who you are, if you have seen the character Borat, met Borat, or even heard of Borat chances are you have already developed an opinion about him.  Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Borat Sagdiyev has recently appeared in his first feature-length film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation Kazakhstan.  The film follows the character Borat as he travels from his native land of Kazakhstan to America (or as he calls it ‘the US & A) to make a documentary on the American Dream.  In the documentary Borat is creating he travels across the US meeting a variety of different people to help him understand America.  Borat speaks with the upper class, the lower, and those with no class; but no matter who he speaks with he seems to have a dimwitted, charismatic way of pulling them into his web of confusion.


The atmosphere of controlled chaos that Cohen sets up is so blissful that even if you are not laughing your jaw is on the floor.  Not to ruin the film, but there is one scene in particular that is …well…gratuitously vulgar, but nevertheless well played.  Somewhere along the lines Borat falls in love with Pamela Anderson (Baywatch) and decides to quest to California to profess his love.  Right from the start Borat’s efforts spell trouble.  In the end, one must watch it to believe it.  It may not be an Oscar winner (though Cohen did get a Golden Globe), but it sure as hell is something else.


The technical aspects of this recent DVD release are surprisingly great.  The picture is presented in a clear and crisp 1.85 X 1 Anamorphic Widescreen.  The film seems to have been shot mostly shot in HD, but a hand-cam was obviously used on occasion to obtain a certain cinematic effect.  The DVD transfer is quite nice overall.  The sound is presented in an excellent 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround that is balanced and clear.  The sound is also surprisingly presented in not 1 or 2 but four languages (English, Spanish, French, and Russian).  The extras, where as they are not plentiful, are impressive in that they are extremely humorous.  There are two major extras on this DVD, one feature is deleted scenes and the other “Global P.R. Tour,” which is a comedic compilation of all the appearances Sacha Baron Cohen made as Borat.  This ‘P.R. Tour’ also includes two hilarious segments on Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien.


Borat is nothing new.  People have been tricking people into saying things forever and people have been creating characters forever, Borat is just the creative flavor of the week.  Though Borat may not be anything new, Sacha Baron Cohen does a wonderful job of putting the character together and dedicating himself to the craft.  Cohen does an excellent job of judging people and knowing how to push their buttons.  There are those out there that say Cohen took advantage of the people portrayed in the film by passing him self off as the foreigner ‘Borat;’ the fact of the matter is if you don’t want people to hear what you have to say, don’t say it.  In the end, Borat was well made and a fun time.  Is nice, yes!



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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