Sacha Baron Cohen

On the heels of the news that director Tom Hooper will likely make the cast of his upcoming Les Miserables adaptation sing “live” on camera (versus inserting vocals after they’ve been polished up in a traditional recording studio), comes news that The King’s Speech helmer may have two other vocal talents to add to his production. Twitch reports, thanks to two different exclusive scoops, that offers are out to Amanda Seyfried and Taylor Swift for a pair of key parts (and both angles on a looooove triangle!). Seyfried (who actually has a background in opera, fun trivia!) has been offered the essential role of Cosette. Cosette is the daughter of Anne Hathaway‘s Fantine (yes, Hathaway is just three years older than Seyfried), the ruined and tragic prostitute. Fantine gives baby Cosette to the rich Thénardiers, thinking they will care for her, though they mistreat her until she is eventually saved by adoptive papa Jean Valjean. And just why do the Thénardiers abuse her? Well, they’re really evil, and they’re also busy lavishing treats on their real daughters, including eldest Eponine. Swift has reportedly been offered the role of Eponine, rich girl turned street urchin. Both Cosette and Eponine are in love with second-generation baron Marius Pontmercy (to be played by Eddie Redmayne) in Victor Hugo’s classic story. The addition of Seyfried is a bit of a no-brainer, she’s well on her way to an established film career (despite some missteps like Red Riding Hood and Dear John), and her actual background in and talent for […]

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Let it never be said that director Tom Hooper doesn’t make some interesting choices when it comes to filming his projects for maximum veracity. His Oscar-winning hit The King’s Speech was shot on a former porno set (grit!), he used Colonial Williamsburg for a number of sets for his John Adams (gritty, in a different way!), and now it looks like he’s going full-hilt on his first musical feature. Hooper’s next film is a full-scale musical feature version of the done-to-starving-death Les Miserables, and while a new take on Victor Hugo’s classic material doesn’t strike most people as necessary, Hooper is going to give the project its own spin to liven it up. No, no, he’s not going to make it some sort of bizarre “reimagining,” he’s going to make its stars actually sing. No, no, it’s much more interesting than that – he’s going to make them sing live. A “source close to the production” has told the Sun UK that “the director is determined to make the project as authentic as possible.” As such, “the cast will record their vocals live on camera rather than go into a studio first then mime on film to the pre-recorded vocal…First they have to learn the complex songs, then they’ll have to get it right on set in front of the other stars and crew.” This does provide a look inside Hooper’s vision for the film, which may be much more classically theatrical than first suspected. Hooper has already lined up […]

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Sacha Baron Cohen as The Dictator

Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for The Dictator, in which Sacha Baron Cohen plays a ruthless Middle Eastern dictator, something along the lines of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, who is sent to America in exile and must live among the infidels. It’s what one might call a brave move, if this weren’t another Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles joint. It’s safe to assume that Cohen is trying to create this modern generation’s version of Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, but with far more hairy Kardashians jokes.

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It’s hard to overstate just how amazing it is to consider a big-budget, major studio-produced 3D family adventure centered on Georges Méliès. Before now, the work of the early cinematic innovator, whose movies (most famously 1903’s A Trip to the Moon) revolutionized and advanced special effects, has been relegated to film history texts and brief snippets of televised specials. If there’s one filmmaker to make Méliès matter again, to introduce him to a mass audience, it’s Martin Scorsese. After all, the Oscar-winning legend is not just one of the foremost cinematic masters, as a noted film preservationist, he’s among the chief protectors of the long, glorious and frequently threatened legacy of the motion picture. In Hugo, Scorsese transforms the trappings of a 3D holiday picture into a loving tribute to Méliès and the earliest masters of the cinematic dream factory. From the structure of its narrative, to the details of its plot, and the industrialized nature of its majestic visuals, this is a film infused with the joy and wonder of movies. Set amid the glittering magic of Paris in the early 1930s, the film follows 12-year-old orphan Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), who secretly lives in a train station. Hugo, who winds the station’s clocks, dwells inside a labyrinthine interior comprised of enormous grinding gears, rising steam currents, and other elaborate metallic concoctions. Among the latter is a non-functioning automaton brought home by Hugo’s late father (Jude Law), which the young man works on incessantly in the hope that he can bring […]

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Sacha Baron Cohen

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that would like to lend apologies to those who despise brevity. Tonight’s just not a quantity kind of night. It is, however, a quality kind of night. Quentin Tarantino is now officially on a casting binge for Django Unchained, reportedly signing up Sacha Baron Cohen to play a gambler who buys Kerry Washington as his companion, thus angering the titular slave played by Jamie Foxx. I love it when he plays the villain.

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It’s fascinating that the director of Taxi Driver is the man who put this together. Martin Scorsese once again shows his versatility by tackling Hugo, an adaptation of the popular children’s novel “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.” Interestingly, it look like he’s channeling Chris Columbus here with a healthy dose of Lemony Snicket. Yes, it looks fun and silly, but this trailer makes it look a bit too childish (and features far, far too much of Sacha Baron Cohen falling down and smashing into things Kevin James-style).

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What’s maybe most fascinating about Sacha Baron Cohen‘s newest movie is that he won’t be playing himself via one of the characters he created for his television show, and he won’t be acting alongside people that don’t know what kind of movie they’re in. It’s a welcome change because even with its successes, the schtick had a shelf life, and Cohen is smart to move away from it before it got completely stale. The natural next step for him and director Larry Charles? Basing a narrative feature off a novel written by Saddam Hussein. They’ll be mocking Hussein in The Dictator, and a few clips from the set have already come out, but this is the first one that’s any fun to watch. At first, it’s a little jarring because the mind wants to see that crowd as a group protesting something legitimately that Cohen has wormed his way into instead of a set full of extras. It’s still a fun, quick little look into the film as Cohen protests himself.

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Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming movie The Dictator, wherein he plays a crazy, bearded zealot who finds himself adrift in the United States, just keeps on adding awesome names to its cast. Already it had names like Anna Faris, John C. Reilly, John Mantzoukas, and even Ben Kingsley set to take part, and now it’s added Larry David’s permanent houseguest Leon to the mix. If you haven’t managed to see any of David’s HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, first, shame on you, and second, you need to know that one of the biggest revelations to come out of that classic show is the powerful comedic prowess of J.B. Smoove. This guy has got the goods. Just look at that name. He showed up for about five minutes as a cab driver in Date Night, and completely stole that movie away from rock solid comedic actors like Steve Carell and Tina Fey. I can’t imagine what he’s going to do when paired up with the insanity of a Sacha Baron Cohen production. Early word is that Smoove (I love typing that) is set to play a character named Usher. No details are known about who the character is, but does there really need to be? His name is Usher, it’s going to be funny. [THR]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that finds the darndest things. Like Sacha Baron Cohen’s beard, creepy Musketeer posters, Mark Wahlberg, Simon Pegg, Paul Walker and a way to make your tweets into epic cinematic adventures. You need this and you know it. We begin tonight with Sacha Baron Cohen looking crazytown as The Dictator, his latest mockumentary prank film. Only this time, it’s got a more concise narrative. Cohen will play the dual roles of a ruthless dictator who heads to the U.S. for a meeting at the United Nations and finds that his number two has replaced him with an unsuspecting sheepherder lookalike. The big guy has sort of a Cosmo Kramer meets Mr. T vibe going on, with all the frills of the late Saddam Hussein. That feeling deep in your loins is unbridled excitement. That’s a good thing.

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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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Perhaps the most famous rendering of Saddam Hussein on-screen was as a bowling alley shoe attendant in one of The Dude’s vivid daydreams. Now, that’s about to change. Although he won’t be playing him directly, Sacha Baron Cohen will be playing a courageous dictator fighting tooth and nail to keep democracy from infiltrating the country he’s severely oppressing for The Dictator. The tongue-in-cheek treatment of the bad guy and the title are obvious callbacks to Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, which mocked Hitler with wondrous dance sequences and gibberish. Borat and Bruno director Larry Charles is back, but this is an entirely different animal. It’s great to see this kind of comedy being made, and it’ll be interesting to see how well Charles and Cohen can pull it off. According to the press release, the movie is set for release through Paramount May 11, 2012.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Going the Distance screenwriter Geoff LaTulippe (pronounced “La Tulip”) stops by to share his xenophobia, puff on his pipe a little harder, and tell his personal story of getting his first screenplay sold and produced all from the comfort of his living room couch. We also find time to review Easy A, Devil, and The Town.

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Every once in a while there’s a bit of innovative casting that fits perfectly. Queen front man Freddie Mercury, the greatest vocalist in rock history (with second place going to Steve Perry from Journey), is finally getting the biopic treatment, and he’ll be played by Sacha Baron Cohen. No word yet on whether he’ll be singing or whether old recordings of Mercury will be in use. Seeing Cohen as Borat, this seems like a strange move. Keeping in mind Cohen’s range (and general appearance), this makes more sense than it should. The project is being produced by GK Films, and they’ve hired Peter Morgan (who wrote The Queen, appropriately enough) to pen the script. [Cinema Blend]

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Try reading that headline non-metaphorically. The reviews aren’t even in yet. The man literally gets defecated on.

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No one knows what the hell they’re selling, but we’re hoping that someone’s buying.

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When I thought more and more about it, I realized that Scorsese is one director that doesn’t need 3D to add depth to his visuals.

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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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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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