Borat

kumare2

Is Bad Grandpa a documentary? That’s not easy to determine. There is definitely a lot of reality and real people involved in the new movie from Johnny Knoxville and the makers of Jackass (the films of which I’d say are without a doubt docs), but there’s also more fictional plot and character than truth. The documentary material is confined to a few shocked expressions in Candid Camera-type scenarios with the occasional longer moment involving genuine people. For me, the conclusion lies in what the film means to show us. If it’s a statement about truth, then it’s a documentary. If it’s just an excuse for laughs with little insight into anything real or arguable, then it’s not. Bad Grandpa is mostly a fiction with some nonfiction people roped in, not unlike Forrest Gump only with newly shot rather than archival material. To contrast it with more qualified examples, as in those with predominantly real situations, I decided to highlight some genuine documentaries centered around fictional characters devised to illustrate, provoke or prank the real world and real people. READ MORE OVER AT NONFICS

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IntroAnthem

Happy 4th of July, fellow patriots! Sorry – it’s just such an exciting day. That time every year were we can come together as Americans and watch a Jaws marathon in our basement den before screaming the national anthem on the front lawn at 3am without fear of prosecution… at least not without at least one verbal warning from the cops. And on that note, here’s a list of movie renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner” sung in the way our founding fathers intended: under great duress and during something terrible.

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Some of you may already know me by my Twitter handle: @thefilmcynic. It’s a name I’ve gone by for nearly a decade (so, before current social media outlets), because I’m very cynical about the film industry and try to keep my expectations low. I’m also very cynical about the Academy Awards and awards season in general, because we devote so much focus on them — with a wide spectrum of positive and negative angles — and they’re really a bunch of malarkey (much like the V.P. debate, which has inspired my newfound obsession with that word). So, the higher ups at FSR have asked me to write a cynical column devoted to the Oscars. The first one is inspired by the films Seven Psychopaths, Looper and Lincoln and their celebrated performances. As someone who has studied acting (I’m not very good at it), I’ve long taken issue with the way people look at film performances, because there are just so many different kinds. But there are two real distinct types that we tend to recognize while watching and writing about movies that aren’t acknowledged by the Academy: realistic and artificial. The former has been a big favorite since method acting came into play, though it doesn’t necessarily apply to that style nor does that style necessarily always mean realism. The latter could be more expressive and therefore goes back to the dawn of cinema and its silent performances or could even be more stiff, if that’s what’s intended. Directors who […]

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The next movie from progressive, freak-people -the-hell-out filmmaker Sacha Baron Cohen will see him playing the deposed dictator of a Middle Eastern country who gets repeatedly horrified with his experiences during a trip to the United States. Larry Charles, the director of both Borat and Bruno, is returning to direct this Cohen joint as well, so you have to imagine that it will retain elements of that attacking an unsuspecting public with a controversial character gimmick that Cohen has relied on for laughs so far. But interacting with Midwestern intellectuals and coercing them into saying ridiculously racist and homophobic things doesn’t seem to be all that this one has to offer, if it goes in that direction at all. Charles and Cohen are looking to fill some key roles with seasoned, recognizable actors, so this may prove to be a much more tightly scripted story than anything we’ve yet seen from the duo. While the hunt for the female lead is still ongoing (with Kristen Wiig, Anna Ferris, and Gillian Jacobs’s names being thrown around as front-runners), one of the other big roles of the film has been filled; and filled by an Oscar winner. Ben Kingsley has signed on to join Cohen and whoever the heck else in this satirical look at power-mad rulers. The details of the story are still unclear, but it is said that Kingsley will be playing one of two Middle Eastern characters. Even though he does some real crap every once in a while, […]

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It’s a seminal element of the human experience. We grab a few friends, hop into the car that has the least chance of breaking down (but will end up breaking down anyway), and go off in search of that bottle of Dom we buried/that porn tape we accidentally made/Brad Pitt and the nearest cliff. It’s the road! The appeal of the freedom promised by the very founders of this fine country themselves. Fresh air, endless pavement, and the anticipation of leaving yourself open to new experiences in towns large and small alike. Will you end up having a fireworks fight in a graveyard? Will you fall in love with the girl behind the counter at Dairy Queen? Will you go skinny dipping as the Summer sun sets in a blaze of oranges, purples and pinks? Not in these films. In these road trippers, the situations are all a bit different. Buckle up and reset the odometer for 12 Unconventional Road Trip Movies.

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The MPAA, coming under heavy fire from the media recently that will never amount to anything or change their internal policies, has had a long-standing record of inequality in their ratings. The most graphic example has been doling out or threatening NC-17 ratings for sexuality on screen between same sex couples even if the scene is far tamer than the typical man on woman sex act. In fact, looking back, it really is sex that has the MPAA’s knickers in a twist. Violence seems to get a pass alongside whatever Adult Situations are, but if someone is enjoying another person (or themselves) carnally, the MPAA picks up its ball and goes home. Speaking of balls, the MPAA is now discriminating further in their fear of sex. It’s important to give parents a guideline, sure, but it’s overkill for the MPAA to point out whether the nudity in a film is male or female. Fortunately, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

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cultwarrior_decadeinreview

This week’s Culture Warrior gives an exhaustive review of the decade that you won’t find anywhere else on the Interwebs.

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AwkwardOffice

Prepare to cover your eyes, as we reveal the kings of the awkward laugh. Don’t. Look. Away. Wimps.

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BrunoHeader

The wait is over, and that film about bleaching your Apex of Shame is finally in theaters. Did you see it? If so – we want to know what the hell you thought about it. Or if you can still form thoughts.

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews this week’s new movies: Brüno, I Love You Beth Cooper and Moon.

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Twitter

Neil’s weekend project: Identify the most entertaining fake Twitter users and deliver them in list form. Also, create a list of the must-follow real Tweeters for movie fans. Mission accomplished.

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I have been trying like crazy to stay away from news regarding Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming film, which is based on Borat’s crazy Austrian fashionista cousin Bruno, but this is just too good.

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You had the concept, the financing, and some production partners, but you were waiting to see if the Large Hadron Collider destroyed the earth by creating a black hole at its core and if Team Sacha Baron Cohen was going to survive the myriad lawsuits stemming from their sneaky interviewing malfeasance.

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For those of you looking forward to a Borat sequel, I have some deeply saddening news.

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While we love nude scenes in movies, there are some that should have been left on the cutting room floor. As George Costanza once said on Seinfeld, there’s “good naked” and “bad naked.” Here’s a list of the top “bad naked” moments in cinema history.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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