Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including Amazon Prime’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” the Netflix animated movie “Over the Moon) and Crave’s joyful concert film “American Utopia.”
Richard and “CP24 Breakfast” host Pooja Handa have a look at some special streaming opportunities and television shows to watch over the weekend including “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Prime Video), the Nicole Kidman drama “The Undoing” on HBO and the Bruce Springsteen documentary “Letter to You” on Apple TV+.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Prime Video), “Over the Moon” (Netflix) and “American Utopia” (Crave).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Prime Video), “Over the Moon” (Netflix), “American Utopia” (Crave), “The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw” (VOD), “Rebecca” (Netflix) and “The Haunting of The Mary Celeste (VOD).
Anyone who ever said, “Is nice,” in a broad unidentifiable accent, or wore a bushy fake moustache or, horror of horrors, donned a fluorescent Mankini Swimsuit Thong for a day at the beach will need no introduction to Borat Sagdiyev. Fourteen years ago Kazakhstan’s most famous reporter, the comic creation of Sacha Baron Cohen, spawned a million Halloween costumes and ten times that in bad, inappropriate impressions.
Now, into a world of fake Borats, the real deal returns. “Borat Subsequent MovieFilm,” streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, once again blurs the line between comedy and tragedy, reality and fiction.
The new movie begins with a chance for redemption. After the events of the first movie Borat was thrown into prison, an embarrassment to his country and family. His son is so ashamed he changed his name from Sagdiyev to Jeffrey Epstein. Only his daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova) still talks with the family patriarch.
The action begins with Borat being released from prison, cleaned up and once again sent to “Yankeeland” on a mission. His job is to earn the respect of Donald Trump by giving the gift of a monkey to “Vice Premier Pence.” When Borat arrives though, the monkey is gone from its packing crate. In its place is Tutar. “My daughter is here,” Borat reports back to Kazakhstan. “Should I give her as a gift?”
Thus, begins the journey that will see Borat and Tutar meet with a real-life cast of characters that offers cringe worthy insight into Western culture. There’s an Instagram influencer who teaches Tutar to be submissive to increase her appeal to men. “You want them to like you so you can get money from them.” Then two MAGA men take Borat to a rally where he performs a country song—“Journalists! Who wants to inject them with the Wuhan flu? \ Chop them up like the Saudis do.”—that elicits cheers and straight-armed salutes from the crowd. And then there’s a debutant ball “fertility dance” that redefines the term OMG.
Those scenes are as nervy and squirmy as humour gets but the sequence everyone will be talking about sees a sit-down interview with Donald Trump’s handsy personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. It begins with Rudy asking, “Did you ever eat a bat?” and goes downhill from there. It is the most outrageous of the film’s several must-be-seen-to-be-believed moments.
It’s not often you can describe a comedy as nerve wracking but “Borat Subsequent MovieFilm” is that film. Baron Cohen’s audacious work is often hilarious but it is the danger that comes along with his stunts that pushes the material from funny to fearless. His work is “Candid Camera” with a sharp edge; a cutting satire that mixes real life undercover reporting with aggressive and often tasteless humour. It is both a high brow exposé of the dark underbelly of this American election year and a low brow comedy that will anything to make you laugh.
Just like the year it is being released “Borat Subsequent MovieFilm” is a chaotic, uncomfortable experience. It will make you laugh but is geared to also make you think.
Richard and “CP24 Breakfast” host Pooja Handa have a look at some special streaming opportunities and television shows to watch over the weekend including the nature documentary series “Tiny World” on Apple TV+, the Aaron Sorkin written and directed drama “The Trail of the Chicago 7,” and Rihanna’s music and fashion hybrid “Savage “X” Fenty Show Vol. 2″ on Amazon Prime Video.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the timely period piece “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “On the Rocks,” the re-teaming of Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola, the cerebral sci fi of “Possessor Uncut” and the unusual Gloria Steinem biopic “The Glorias.”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” now playing in theatres, sees Aaron Sorkin return to the courtroom twenty-eight years after he put the words “You can’t handle the truth,” into Jack Nicholson’s mouth. This time around he’s re-enacting one of the most famous trials of the 1960s, using transcripts from the actual proceedings as a basis for the script. There is no one moment as powerful of Nicholson’s “truth” declaration but there is no denying the timeliness of the film’s fifty-two-year-old story.
Here’s the basic story for anyone too young to know the difference between Yippies and Yuppies.
The trial, which was originally the Chicago Eight until Black Panther leader Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) had his case severed from the others, saw 60s counterculture icons Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong) of the Youth International Party (the aforementioned Yippies), and assorted radicals David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch), Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp), John Froines (Daniel Flaherty), and Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins) charged with conspiracy and inciting to riot stemming from their actions at the anti-Vietnam War protests in Chicago, Illinois, during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Behind the prosecution desk is the young and meticulous Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) acting as assistant to the truculent chief prosecutor Tom Foran (J. C. MacKenzie). On the defense is lawyer William Kunstler (Mark Rylance), a boldfaced name in civil rights litigation. On the bench is Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella), a conservative judge who once presided over an obscenity case against Lenny Bruce.
Those are the players and to a person they deliver solid performances, making the most of Sorkin’s snappy, rapid-fire dialogue. Of the ensemble cast Baron Cohen stands out, handing in a straight dramatic role; there’s no Mankini in sight. He’s too old by half to play the character who once famously urged kids to, “Never trust anyone over thirty,” but maintains the edge that make his comedic characters so memorable.
Sorkin, who also directs, has made a period piece that reverberates for today. A bridge that spans the five decades from the actual events, it’s a bit of history that comments on contemporary hot button topics like protest, civil rights and police brutality. The sight of Seale, the lone African American defendant, bound and gagged at the judge’s order, is a potent reminder of racial injustice in the penal system. Re-enactments of police brutality during the riots and the consequent discussion of who is to blame for the violence, the protestors or the bill club swinging cops could be ripped from today’s headlines.
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” isn’t perfect. Gordon-Levitt’s character is a cypher, a prosecutor who breaks with his colleagues at a crucial moment and Hoffman is played as a pantomime villain, but as a reminder of how history is repeated, it is a compelling watch.