Update: Scroll down for the most subtle reference in The Dictator‘s marketing.
Way, way back in the early 2000s, when media prankster Sacha Baron Cohen first began his Ali G. routine, the idea of a comedic actor who went out into the real world as his characters was ingenious. It was like Method acting meets guerrilla theater meets Improv Everywhere (with a little Andy Kaufman thrown in for good measure).
But now we’re all old and grey, and Mr. Cohen’s popularity in America after Bruno and Borat means that no one will fall for his pranks anymore, mostly because he’s too recognizable. It would be like Ashton Kutcher (or Justin Bieber, or Nick Cannon) showing up to “punk” you. And despite the fact that British comedian’s new film, The Dictator, is entirely scripted and does not necessitate any sort of “man on the street” pranks, Mr. Cohen can not, will not, let his old habits die. Even when they really, really should.
Earlier this week, I read that the Ali G movie is back in production after a brief hiatus. Director Todd Philips had pulled out of the film; according to rumor, he and the crew started to receive death threats not long after “Borat,” Ali G’s alter ego, sang an offensive version of the national anthem Read More
‘This Is the War Room!’
The 40th-anniversary special-edition DVD of Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove makes fascinating viewing in this tense post-9/11 period, not long after the political and economic collapse of the Soviet empire as a feared global nuclear threat seemed to promise a period of peace and prosperity for the world. Back in 1964, Read More
If you love laughing at cretins-and, let’s face it, who doesn’t?-you are no doubt already a devotee of Sacha Baron Cohen, the 32-year-old Brit comedian whose idiotic cast of characters fills his one-man Da Ali G. Show every Sunday at 11 p.m. on HBO. With his best-known title creation, Mr. Cohen has gone into daring Read More
The competition for the commission at Ground Zero seemed to be undergoing a late-breaking shift in momentum.
On Feb. 25, when the final two architectural candidates presented modifications of their original designs to a team of rebuilding officials and city and state representatives, the favorite was Berlin-based architect Daniel Libeskind, whose proposed crystalline structures surround Read More