Chico kindly arrived with a gift basket full of Japanese goodies and not less than 5 bottles of different sake. Is that the kind of house guest you’d all love or what?
On Friday night we invited Blee over to assist in sake consumption and we all discovered that we prefer ‘regular’ sake over the ‘creme’ varieties.
For satirical social commentary to work, it has to be done exceptionally well. Sacha Baron Cohen hit that mark with Borat but misses the target dramatically with this latest venture. In this version Cohen stars as Bruno, a gay Austrian Jeanne Becker-wannabe with visions of grandeur. Kicked off his show and several fashion stages in Europe, he heads to America to seek his fame and fortune. Accompanied by his faithful assistant, the much abused, Lutz (Gustaf Hammarsten), the two tour the US shock interviewing Paula Abdul, Ron Paul and others who seem oblivious to their motives, and laying a trail of commentary on the absurdity that is fashion and fame, and on the rank prejudice existent in America that should be noticed if it weren’t for such a piecemeal effort. While Bruno may have worked well on Cohen’s television show, this version directed by Larry Charles is flat and dull, and worse, seems endlessly long even at its brisk 80 minute running time. Shame on Cohen for giving us a half effort. My rating 2 out of 10.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
The title of the movie ought to give you a fair heads-up about what to expect. Directed by Steve Carr, it starts ever so slowly as State Police wannabe Paul Blart (Kevin James) fails his entrance tests due to his hypoglycemia. Relegated to working as a mall cop, a job he takes very seriously, he spends his hours finding the courage to woo Amy (Jayma Mays), a hair extensions’ saleswoman and training new mall cops like rookie Veck Sims (Keir O’Donnell). This dryness continues until about the halfway point of the movie when there is a sudden (and dumb) plot shift that has our rookie mall cop (and his gang) taking over the mall and taking hostages in order to get credit card machine identification numbers (or something like that). Frankly at this point, while I was awakened from the sleepiness of the first half of the film, I was beyond caring. Essentially filmed as an excuse for placement advertisements, Paul Blart: Mall Cop is not worth the trip to any mall to rent or buy. My rating 2 out of 10.