Brüno (Blu-ray)

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Rating: R

Starring:
Sacha Baron Cohen as Brüno
Gustaf Hammarsten as Lutz
Clifford Bañagale as Diesel
Chibundu and Chigozie Orukwowu as O.J.
Josh Meyers as Kookus
Toby Hoguin as Mexican Gardener #1
Robert Huerta as Mexican Gardener #2
Gilbert Rosales as Mexican Gardener #3
Thomas Rosales Jr. as Mexican Gardener #4
Marco Xavier as Mexican Gardener #5

Directed by Larry Charles

Special Features:
Deleted, Alternate And Extended Scenes

An Interview with Lloyd Robinson

Enhanced Video Commentary with Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles

BD Live Features

Digital Copy Of Bruno For Portable Media Players

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital Stereo Sound
DTS-HD MA 5.1
French and Spanish Language
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 82 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“Oscar® nominee and Golden Globe® winner Sacha Baron Cohen (‘Borat,’ ‘Da Ali G Show’ and ‘Talladega Nights’) brings you the comedy that has started more conversations, generated more controversy and dared to go further than ever before!

As Brüno travels the world in search of fame, everyone he encounters – celebrities, politicians, Hasidic Jews, terrorists and cage fighters – becomes a stepping-stone to stardom, with hilarious results!

So prepare yourself for nonstop laughs.”

“Brüno” is rated R for pervasive strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity and language.

Mini-Review:
“Brüno” pretty much follows the formula of Sacha Baron Cohen’s other film, “Borat.” He creates an outrageous, offensive character then throws him into situations where he either shocks groups of unsuspecting onlookers, puts unsuspecting interviewees into uncomfortable situations, or simply lets unsuspecting interviewees talk freely and hang themselves with their own stupidity. This may involve racism, sex, homophobia, full frontal male nudity, or all of the above.

I expected “Brüno” to be 82 minutes of homophobia jokes. That’s certainly a part of the film and it is funny at times. We see Brüno camping with a group of redneck hunters, nearly inciting a riot at “Straight Dave’s” cage match in Arkansas, and more. There are also some funny scenes of Brüno being berated by a drill sergeant at an Army basic training camp. He takes it even farther by interviewing an actual terrorist and saying Bin Laden looks like a “dirty wizard.” These scenes are amusing because of the rather predictable results. But I found the scenes where they skewer Hollywood and the cult of celebrity to be the most amusing. We see Brüno get an agent and then get a job as an extra on the TV show “Medium.” It doesn’t take him long to screw things up and exasperate the cast. Then we see Brüno do his best to create a celebrity gossip show. Amazingly, he gets Paula Abdul to sit on the back of a Mexican laborer as they conduct the interview. He also takes shots at charity causes and the rather shallow people behind them. Then he takes aim at the trend of celebrities adopting African children. It’s quite funny to see him face an audience of indignant African Americans who aren’t OK with him using a child as a fashion accessory.

But the celebrity potshots do take some shocking turns. We see a mother of a baby model agree to get liposuction to remove 10 lbs from a 30 lb baby. She then says she’s OK with Brüno dressing the baby up as a Nazi and wheeling another baby dressed as a Jew into an oven. Then a former reality show star critiques a celebrity mother and her unborn baby, eventually telling Brüno that the baby should be aborted. It’s stunning to see what people will do for celebrity and how easily they are manipulated when there’s a camera pointed in front of them. It’s just mind boggling.

But as fun and pointed as those scenes are, Brüno danced way over the line for me in a few other scenes. Early in the film we get to see pretty explicit scenes of Brüno having sex with his boy toy. They take it way over the top, but it’s still pretty gross. In another scene showing a pilot for Brüno’s TV show, we see numerous shots of him waving his penis around. Again… no thanks. Late in the film Brüno attends a swinger’s party and even with big black bars blocking things out, it’s still pretty explicit… and creepy. “Brüno” walks a fine line between being a standard theatrical movie release and porn. I think they could have cut a lot of that stuff out and the movie would still have been funny.

I’d only recommend “Brüno” to people that watched “Borat.” If you watched that film, then there’s nothing in “Brüno” that will offend you. It will also be the same style of comedy, so you know exactly what to expect.

Among the bonus features is the Enhanced Video Commentary with Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles. This is one of those rare commentaries that you really have to check out after watching the film. Cohen and Charles talk about everything they had to do to accomplish the shots and surprises in the movie. You learn Harrison Ford was the only celebrity that was in on the joke in the movie. You find out how Cohen was almost arrested at the military base and how all the soldiers knew who he was… except the drill sergeant shown with Brüno. You also discover that Paula Abdul wasn’t the only celebrity that sat on the Mexicans. They also got Pete Rose, Latoya Jackson, and Tara Reid. Learning about how they filmed the movie is actually more interesting than the movie itself.

Also among the bonus features are some deleted, alternate, and extended scenes. In them we actually see Latoya Jackson being interviewed while eating sushi off of a naked Mexican. We also see Brüno interviewing a white supremacist and later the Dallas Cowboys. There’s so much footage here it’s almost a Brüno sequel. Rounding things out is an interview with Lloyd Robinson, the unsuspecting agent shown in the film. It’s interesting to hear how he eventually discovered he had been conned and his reaction to it.

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