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Movie Review: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is a giant middle finger to the right and an exploration of the spiral into insanity the United States has fallen into since the previous movie. Continuing the same gonzo style filming, the movie puts Borat on a mission to deliver a gift to Donald Trump so that the leader of Kazakhstan can become his friend. That gift? Borat’s daughter. Yes, Borat has a partner in crime, his daughter Sandra Jessica Parker Sagdiyev.

Borat is the creation of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who has perfected the use of characters to skewer his topics. This film is no exception. With the first film being such a success, the character has been ruined in a way. Cohen comes up with the brilliant alternative of having Borat play other characters as he makes his way around on his mission. Of course, things don’t go right and each character allows him to explore and create commentary about each of his targets. They range from QAnon conspiracists to the Christian Right, to Mike Pence and Rudy Guiliani. The film has a target and it’s the regressive, racist, and backward aspects of America.

The inclusion of the daughter adds new few layers to Cohen and Borat’s usual schtick. Played by “Irina Novak,” (really Maria Bakalova) Tutar, aka Sarah Jessica Parker, gives as good as she gets in the film. She also forces Borat to be more than a one-note character while also exploring and skewering aspects of society that he wouldn’t be able to touch. Abortion, misogyny, masturbation, and more are explored through the character. She also creates a new layer of jokes that are amazing.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is an amazing exploration of America. Of course, what Borat and Sarah Jessica Parker say is shocking but it’s the lack of response and shock from those around them that’s the point. They expose the underbelly of rot that exists throughout the nation. Racism, antisemitism, misogyny, are in their crosshairs. Through their, and especially Sarah Jessica Parker’s journey, they expose the lies not of Kazakhstan but of America. They spotlight the ugly underneath and the acceptance of it by so many in so many different positions.

Through the offensiveness, there’s a lot of heart. We see the character grow as he interacts with his daughter and the film spotlights reason and sanity. A segment in a Jewish Temple and another with an African American women deliver the voices of reason. Though there’s many jokes made out of each segment, they give a break from the hate and ignorance spewed by so many others. Their focus in this film is clearly the white right, especially the privileged.

What’s more interesting in the film is that many more of the moments feel like pre-planned segments. There’s either complete random luck in the subjects, a lot of throwing darts to see what works, or it’s pre-planned sketches. No matter the method, the results are amazing and create a narrative that’s perfectly timed for the election. There’s also something that makes you appreciate what is pulled off, even more, when you attempt to figure out the logistics of it all. There are also such amazing lapses in security… it’s just baffling.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is the movie we need for the November election. Not only does it skewer the right, but it also shows the left’s heart. It weaves together topics like COVID and politics with a clear goal and points to make. It does so with humor and a no-fear attitude. It’s gonzo journalism wrapped up as sketch comedy. It’s not the same schtick as the original, it pulls off its brilliance and takes it to another level by adding in more of a plot and story.

There’s no way that Borat can go on as a character after these two films. He’s too well known. The film almost feels like it wanted to take everything so many found offensive about the character and show that he’s what America has let fully loose. The conspiracies, the misogyny, the antisemitism. And then take Borat and show he can grow. That you don’t need to be that way. There’s such a subversive flip in the film compared to the first. The original film had Borat highlighting horrid beliefs and actions while this film has that but growth and uncomfortableness on full display in its two main characters. The United States and its citizens are who we should be offended by is the point of the film.

It’s the rare sequel that might surpass the original. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm takes its weaknesses, a known schtick, and makes it its strength. It also shows that Cohen can make his characters more than simple jokes and he, and they, have so much room for growth and hopefully so much more to say.

Overall Rating: 9.0


Borat Subsequent Moviefilm will be released through Amazon Studios on Amazon Prime on October 23.

Robert Kirkman and Skybound’s Invincible Gets its First Trailer

After a lot of anticipation, the first trailer for the animated Invincible series is here!

Based on the comic series created by Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker, the series revolves around 17-year-old Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun), who’s just like every other guy his age — except his father is the most powerful superhero on the planet, Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons). But as Mark develops powers of his own, he discovers his father’s legacy may not be as heroic as it seems.

Invincible comes to Prime Video in 2021.

Around the Tubes

New Mutants #12

We’ll have a relatively abbreviated Monday due to Labor Day here at GP but that doesn’t mean we don’t have lots of articles coming at you. Stay tuned throughout the day! And while you hopefully have a relaxing day, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Deadline – Amazon In Talks For Sony’s Suite Of TV Series Featuring Marvel Characters, Led By ‘Silk’ – Intriguing.

The Mary Sue – Warner Bros. and Ray Fisher Clash Over Justice League Investigation – A good rundown of where things are at.

Reviews

Batman News – Batman: Three Jokers #1
Talking Comics – Empyre #6
Monkeys Fighting Robots – New Mutants #12

The Boys Season 2 Gets a Trailer

In a more intense, more desperate Season 2 of The Boys, Butcher, Hughie, and the team reel from their losses in Season 1. On the run from the law, they struggle to fight back against the Superheroes. As Vought, the company that manages the heroes, cashes in on the panic over the threat of Supervillains, and a new hero, Stormfront, shakes up the company and challenges an already unstable Homelander.

You can watch the first and upcoming second season Amazon Prime.

The Boys Season 2 Gets a Teaser Trailer

Amazon Prime Video has released the official teaser trailer for the second season of The Boys, the first three episodes of which will premiere on Prime Video on Friday, September 4, 2020. New episodes will be available each Friday following, culminating in an epic season finale on October 9. The second season features eight brand new episodes.

The even more intense, more insane Season 2 finds The Boys on the run from the law, hunted by the Supes, and desperately trying to regroup and fight back against Vought. In hiding, Hughie (Jack Quaid), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Capon) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) try to adjust to a new normal, with Butcher (Karl Urban) nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Starlight (Erin Moriarty) must navigate her place in The Seven as Homelander (Antony Starr) sets his sights on taking complete control. His power is threatened with the addition of Stormfront (Aya Cash), a social media-savvy new Supe, who has an agenda of her own. On top of that, the Supervillain threat takes center stage and makes waves as Vought seeks to capitalize on the nation’s paranoia.

The Supes of The Seven also include Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), The Deep (Chace Crawford) and Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell). Recurring stars in season two include Claudia Doumit, Goran Visnijc, Malcolm Barrett, Colby Minifie, Shantel VanSanten, Cameron Crovetti, PJ Byrne, Laila Robbins and Giancarlo Esposito returning as Vought boss Stan Edgar, among others.

The Boys is based on the comic series created by Garth Ennis and Darrick Robertson.

Rumors of Amazon Acquiring AMC Entertainment Causes Shares to Spike

AMC Theaters

Could Amazon buy AMC Entertainment? A rumor is going around that may be the case which caused AMC’s shares to spike on Monday. The shares were up over 34% based as of this post on the rumor driven by The Daily Mail, so take it with a grain of salt.

Of course neither company has a comment.

The rumors have met heavy doubts but would be an intriguing move.

Amazon is investing in its own original series with Amazon Studios releasing films and television shows. It would create an integration harkening back to movie studio ownership which ended due to the 1948 court case United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. which affirmed the ownership of theaters by studios violated antitrust law.

There has been talk of allowing such ownership to resume.

What it also provides is a possible avenue for Amazon to further integrate selling related merchandise for releases creating pop up shops.

For now, chalk this one up to a rumor, but an intriguing one.

(via Deadline)

Around the Tubes

Swamp Thing: New Roots #2

We’re gearing up for comics to really get going but teasing us with what will be is new DC Comics today! While you check that out and wait for more to come, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Newsarama – Other Publishers in Talks with Lunar for Comic Shop Distribution Following DC – This isn’t surprising. There’s likely many discussions going on between publishers and other distributors.

Gizmodo – Amazon VP Rips Company’s ‘Chickenshit’ Labor Practices in Scathing Resignation Letter – Relevant to comics as Amazon sells a lot of comics through their site and owns comiXology.

Reviews

Newsarama – Aquaman: Deep Dives #2
Newsarama – My Video Game Ate My Homework
Newsarama – Swamp Thing: New Roots #2

Theaters Take on Premiere Video on Demand as Universal’s Trolls World is a Hit

Trolls World Tour

Things are getting testy between theaters and studios as the opening of theaters looms on the horizon and studios are rethinking releases. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous studios pulled their films choosing instead to release them video on demand or shrinking the release windows from theaters to digital.

The most high profile release so far was Universal‘s Trolls World Tour. Things escalated after a Wall Street Journal report says the film earned $95 million domestically in its first 19 days. The original film earned $153.7 million domestically for its entire run and $120.9 million after 19 days.

The National Association of Theatre Owners sent out a statement:

This performance is indicative of hundreds of millions of people isolated in their homes seeking entertainment, not a shift in consumer movie viewing preferences. It is not surprising that people under shelter-in-home ordinances for weeks on end with increasingly limited entertainment options would take advantage of the movie’s direct-to-VOD move to keep children entertained, even at a premium price.

We’ll ignore the blatant falacy of “increasingly limited entertainment options.”

They also emphasized:

Universal heavily marketed the title as a theatrical release, in theaters and elsewhere, for weeks on end. That is unlikely to recur in normal times, and those costs haven’t been disclosed. While Universal may be pleased with the PVOD results of Trolls World Tour, this outcome should not be interpreted as a sign of a ‘new normal’ for Hollywood.

We’ll also ignore the weird tangent about marketing. As marketing is marketing and there might be a stronger marketing plan to be made emphasizing its exclusiveness to video on demand.

After the success of Trolls World Tour, Universal decided to release the Judd Apatow/Pete Davidson comedy The King of Staten Island in homes June 12, skipping its original June 19 theatrical release.

Warner Bros. is skipping theaters as well with Scoob! going digital on May 15, STX is taking My Spy to Amazon, Paramount/MRC‘s The Lovebirds is going to Netflix, and Artemis Fowl is releasing on Disney+. None of these films would likely have been blockbusters and will likely play well to their niche audiences on demand.

NATO also argued that the optimum price point for movie rentals are $5-$8 with $6 being the sweet spot and transactional video has been declining since 2004 with sales and rentals of individual titles at home dropping from $24.9 billion to $9.3 billion in 2019.

What’s interesting is, that $6 rental isn’t that much different from what studios get currently. With an $10 ticket at the American box office, they’d get about 60% or $6. Overseas it can be 20% to 40% depending on the arrangement. Movies begin with fees up to 90% and the fees go down. This article from The Week has an excellent explanation. So, NATO has shown studios would potentially make the same and possibly more with video on demand.

Things have ramped up further with AMC Theatres saying they will no longer play any Universal Pictures after NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell promising to “open titles on premium and in theaters at the same time.”

AMC Theaters chairman-CEO Adam Aron went on the attack in a letter to Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley saying:

It is disappointing to us, but Jeff’s comments as to Universal’s unilateral actions and intentions have left us with no choice. Therefore, effectively immediately AMC will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theaters in the United States, Europe or the Middle East.

This policy affects any and all Universal movies per se, goes into effect today and as our theaters reopen, and is not some hollow or ill-considered threat. Incidentally, this policy is not aimed solely at Universal out of pique or to be punitive in any way, it also extends to any movie maker who unilaterally abandons current windowing practices absent good faith negotiations between us, so that they as distributor and we as exhibitor both benefit and neither are hurt from such changes. Currently, with the press comment today, Universal is the only studio contemplating a wholesale change to the status quo. Hence, this immediate communication in response.

Universal’s unilateral pronouncements on this issue are unpalatable to us, as has always been the case, AMC is willing to sit down with Universal to discuss different windows strategies and different economic models between your company and ours. However, in the absence of such discussions, and an acceptable conclusion thereto, our decades of incredibly successful business activity together has sadly come to an end.

Theaters are in a tough position as they need studios more than studios need them. With months of revenue lost, they need guaranteed blockbusters like Universal’s Fast and Furious 9 which has been pushed back to April 2, 2021 and Disney’s Mulan which is currently set to open July 24, 2020. Both of which would be billion-dollar films in normal environments. With more digital services being released with “captive audiences,” studios will need theaters less and less. Disney+ has over 50 million subscribers already as an example and at $7(ish) a month, that’s over 350 million reasons a month and 4.2 billion reasons yearly.

(via Wall Street Journal, Variety, Deadline)

Load Up on Kodansha First Volumes with the 99 Cent Manga Sale

Kodansha

If you’re looking for something new to read, Amazon Kindle and comiXology have you covered!

The two digital comic platforms are selling the first volumes of numerous Kodansha series for just 99 cents.

You can check out series such as Battle Angel Alita, Attack on Titan, and more.

Get yours from Amazon or comiXology.

ComiXology is also running a “Kodansha Fabric, Runways & Fashionistas Sale” and “Kodansha Blast from the Past Sale” as well.


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

The Boys Gets 2XLP from Mondo

Mondo Music and Madison Gate Records have announced they’ll be releasing the vinyl record of the original soundtrack to Amazon‘s The Boys. The soundtrack is by Christopher Lennertz. The vinyl goes on sale at noon on Wednesday.

Based on the graphic novel of the same name, The Boys tackles our modern obsession with superheroes in media with a biting satire of modern politics and the abuse of power from a fictional League of Heroes who may need to be taken down a peg. Christopher Lennertz has composed a blistering, propulsive score for the darkly comedic series that adeptly parodies the musical landscape of propoganda, all while being a terrific soundtrack to the ensuing action drama that unfolds when the “Supes” collide with the titular anti-heroes tasked with being their checks and balances.

The album feature osriginal artwork by Jack Hughes, liner notes by composer Christopher Lennertz, series creators Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, and showrunner Eric Kripke, and pressed on 2X 180 Gram “Compound V” colored vinyl (also available on 2X 180 Gram Black vinyl).

They also are offering free vinyl shipping domestically with a flat $10 fee for international. That runs until 11:59 PM on Wednesday.

THE BOYS – Music From The Amazon Original Series 2XLP. Music by Christopher Lennertz. Artwork by Jack Hughes. Featuring liner notes by composer Christopher Lennerts, series creators Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, and showrunner Eric Kripke. Pressed on 2X 180 Gram “Compound V” colored vinyl. Also available on 2X 180 Gram Black vinyl. Expected to Ship in November 2019. Ships Worldwide. $35

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