Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (Amazon Prime)

Do not let anyone spoil any of the pranks that Sacha Baron Cohen pulls on people (mainly Republicans) in BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM, the new follow up to the 2006 comedy classic. The title is much longer than that, and goes through several hilarious changes throughout the sequel, but this is what Amazon Prime is calling the movie in order to market and promote it successfully. I also know that the Rudy Giuliani bit was spoiled for a lot of us a couple of days ago, but I assure you, that wasn’t even close to the funniest or shocking thing to happen in this movie. BORAT 2, for 96 minutes, made me forget what year it was. I also assure you that I will not spoil any of the pranks or the ending to the actual narrative thread this movie surprisingly has. I’m just going to let you know, in some obscure details, whether I:

A. Laughed my ass off

B. Laughed my fucking ass off

C. Laughed my motherfucking ass off


D. All of the motherfucking above.

This is a simple test. If you don’t correctly answer, you are as dumb as some of the people that pranks are pulled on in this movie.

IMDB describes Borat Subsequent Movie film perfectly: “A follow-up film to the 2006 comedy centering on the real-life adventures of a fictional Kazakh television journalist named Borat.” However, while the first one was mainly just a bunch of skits tied together with an “okay I guess” Borat wanting to bed and marry Pamela Anderson plot thread, the narrative here is so much more satisfying. Turns out Borat has a daughter, who he reluctantly takes along with him on his journey in America in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections. Borat’s mission? To deliver a famous smart Kazakstan monkey to Republican Vice President Mike Pence. If he has ‘GREAT SUCCESS’ in his mission, than his country will no longer see him as a disgrace for making their nation look embarrassing back in 2006. While the pranks on unsuspecting real life people is the main draw to watch most of Cohen’s films, the whole father/daughter heart of this movies’ plot was actually really satisfying here, and was an improvement over the unfocused, but still funny as fuck way the first movie was tied together. Funny wise, I say that both films are on par with each other, and make a great double feature…but a fantastic triple feature if paired with Bruno, still my favorite film of Cohen’s. Why is Bruno still my favorite? Because there is no way that 2009 film could be made today with how overly sensitive and pussified this nation has become. No way. And that’s why it still makes me laugh, no matter if its the 10th or 20th time I’ve seen it, because it’s offensive as hell. These Borat films won’t make me laugh as hard the 10th or 20th times I watch them, but they will at least get many a chuckle and one big guffaw.

Look, my review isn’t going to sway you one way or the other whether you are going to watch this film or not. You can’t be on the fence, because there is no fence. You’ve already decided. You are either going to watch it and laugh your ass off, or you aren’t going to watch it and be a pussy, then bitch and moan in a deep dark corner of your pathetic soul while the rest of us laughingly discuss it. Even though this movie is really one sided politically, a lot of die hard Republicans are not going to like it and possibly be offended, I still think that even if you are a conservative, and have a sense of humor in most things, that you’ll be able to get through it with ease. Yes, Jeremy, that was aimed at you. The young woman who plays Borat’s daughter in this, the actresses’ name is Maria Bakalova, is excellent in this and almost steals scenes out from under him. She was so funny and a delight to watch. I also liked that the way the movie handles the obvious elephant in the room: how do you prank unsuspecting people when Borat has become a famous household name? Simple, as Borat, Cohen dresses up in a disguise that already is already a disguise itself! What was also really amusing was that, from some of the stuff that happens in this movie (and calendars on the walls), that the movie was planned and was filming BEFORE the pandemic hit back in January. The COVID-19 massive spread mid filming just seemed to be a lucky happenstance for Cohen and company to get more out of the premise and story. It makes you wonder what other things would’ve been in it if COVID-19 and the pandemic had never come to pass. ESPECIALLY THE ENDING. Maybe Sacha could shed some light on it in future interviews or maybe even do a commentary for the film and add it to Amazon Prime later. Who knows? In the meantime, the answer to my multiple choice test question was D. as Borat 2 was…VERY NICE! But can we not wait so long next time for a third Borat…or (crossing fingers) a 2nd Bruno? Jak si mas!


Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: GREYHOUND (Apple TV+)

Even though I’m a huge fan of Star Wars The Last Jedi, when describing Apple TV+’s new original film GREYHOUND to my friends, who commented that the 1 hr and 23 minute runtime was “a little short” for a World War II sea battle movie, I had to make a slight joke toward 2017’s very divisive franchise film. I told them, “it’s basically only the chase parts in The Last Jedi, but with shit actually going down.” To describe it for those who haven’t seen or refuse to see The Last Jedi, Greyhound is almost 90 minutes of Tom Hanks going around his battle boat, which is the lead in an Allied convoy trying to bring food and supplies to the British during World War II, and barking commands and orders to try to defend and fight against Nazi U-Boat wolf packs. That’s all it is. There is no character development, there are no long, dragging scenes of little moments between the crew to try and humanize them, no long uplifting speeches from Hanks before the climax of the film, you don’t see any of the Nazi’s in the flesh. It’s simply a “we got to take this important food and shit from point A to point B without being killed by Hitler’s goons, short, sea battle chase” movie. Oh, and there is a overused joke of Hanks being so busy he never ends up eating the meals that are brought to him. That’s it. That’s all you need to know.

This movie was made for the theater, especially with its loud war action designed to make you rumble in your seat and almost destroy your ear drums. It was even supposed to come out the week before Father’s Day weekend. Alas, COVID-19 said to Tom Hanks, “fuck you, I’m going to make you and your wife sick, and then I’m making the film that you wrote and acted in go straight to streaming.” If anyone has gotten the shaft other than those that have gotten sick and died, and the families of those victims by this butt fucking cock sucking virus, it is definitely Tom Hanks. There is a short scene between Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Shue near the beginning of him saying they’ll get married when he gets back, designed to show how war is tragic and separates loved ones, but then this film is off to the races and never really lets up until Hanks and his crew successfully or unsuccessfully make the journey. Other than the sea, missiles, boat action, what have you being completely CGI (don’t worry, it looks impressive), the movie was filmed on an actual boat, the USS Kidd in Baton Rouge. Which is good because it made the claustrophobic atmosphere of the tight quarters seem real and anybody who is anybody wouldn’t have believed for a second if it had been a studio stage made up to look like a real navy ship.

The action of the film, which is basically the whole run time, is very intense, and the climax is very well done and tight, where it comes down to Tom Hands and two U-Boats surrounding the USS Greyhound, firing missiles and then just straight coming at ’em. Hanks can act his way out of a paper bag so no problems in that area whatsoever. Hanks also wrote the screenplay, based on the novel The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester, and even though I was never in any part of the Navy, all the lingo and orders he commands to his crew sounded legit and well researched. The director, Aaron Schneider, directed one other feature length film, called Get Low that I have seen but don’t quite remember being all that memorable. He does a good job here, his work on 1998’s squid monster movie Deep Rising giving him the most experience to be able to direct a sea war adventure. The film is a solid, decent one time watch. Nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately its forced premiere into being an Apple TV Plus exclusive instead of the theater because of COVID-19 might be the ultimate nail in the film’s memorable re-watchablility coffin. Then that coffin will have a burial at sea…a sea filled with so much streaming content right now, it will probably be “lost in time…like tears…in rain.”