The ReelzChannel 100 began when we asked Leonard Maltin for his favorite Hidden Gems of the decade. His list led the web team into a general discussion about the best movies of the decade and — after no small amount of debate, arguing, and (we're not proud to say) some petty name-calling — we decided we'd better bring it to an end with a company-wide vote. Then it was just a matter of tallying up the votes and hoping for the best. Lucky for us, ReelzChannel is filled with a staff ranging from movie lovers to movie fanatics. What turned out isn't what you'll find on a critic's best of list — instead it's what movie fans really enjoyed.
In day seven of the ReelzChannel 100, we highlight the 10 Biggest Movie Disappointments of the Decade. Posted 12.29.09 by reelz
We wouldn't call Borat and Bruno full-fledged documentaries, since the title characters were fictional extensions of Sacha Baron Cohen's twisted psyche. Nevertheless, the movies' antics were steeped in reality, creating a kind of pseudo-vérité.
But now, it appears that Cohen has decided to abandon the candid-camera shtick altogether. Variety writes that the 38-year-old British comedian has founded his own production company, Four By Two Films, and will go to work producing a new fictional project scripted by Peter Baynham.
Accidentes will tell the story of an "ambulance-chasing personal injury attorney of Latin descent" (played by Cohen) who helps a poor immigrant with a case against his wealthy employer. Ambulance-chasing, huh? We'll be interested to see what that means.
Cohen struck a deal with Universal for Accidentes and also got Columbia to commit to another starring vehicle. Cohen will script that project, as yet untitled, with Baynham, Anthony Hines, and Dan Mazer, the trio who collaborated with Cohen on Borat and Bruno. Posted 11.06.09 by reelz
Just because Bruno is out in the theaters now doesn't mean that the controversy surrounding it is going to end any time soon. The latest: a "terrorist" who was interviewed by Bruno is looking for damages. Legal damages, that is.
It's a scenario that Sacha Baron Cohen had anticipated with some trepidation on his rare out-of-character appearance with David Letterman last week. After describing all the hoops he had to jump through to set up the first ever real interview between a comedian and a terrorist, he commented that this was one victim he really didn't want to see his movie.
Whether Ayman Abu Aita, labeled as a terrorist from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Bruno, has actually seen the movie is still unclear. But he has definitely heard about it now, and he's furious at the way he was depicted. Apparently part of his complaint is that he is not, as Bruno implies, a terrorist. At least, not anymore. He says he quit that group a couple of years ago.
To be fair, if he really were the terrorist he's made out to be, would Bruno have survived suggesting that "... your King Osama looks like a kind of dirty wizard or a homeless Santa"? Posted 07.13.09 by reelz
|Title ||Weekend ||Total ||Analysis |
|Bruno ||$30.4M ||$30.4M ||Probably no surprise that a movie featuring a gay Austrian fashionista fell far short of Borat's per-screen numbers. Still von za veek! |
|Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ||$28.5M ||$120.6M ||After last week's close loss to Transormers 2, animated sequel never made #1 but still rakes in the dough. |
|Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ||$24.2M ||$339.2M ||In just 3rd week, epic robot sequel already bigger than last year's Iron Man, and 2007's Spider-Man 3, though The Dark Knight looks out of reach. |
|Public Enemies ||$14.1M ||$66.5M ||Moderate Week 2 drop-off keeps Johnny Depp movie in Top 5. |
|The Proposal ||$10.5M ||$113.7M ||Chick-flick quietly turning into one of the 2009's biggest succcess stories. |
Bomb of the Week: I Love You Beth Cooper is one of the year's most critically divisive movies -- they either love it or hate it -- and it's safe to say most movie fans are in the "hate" camp: The movie only grossed $5M, about half of The Hangover, which has been in release for 6 weeks. Posted 07.12.09 by reelz
Even before the movie opens, it's clear that the penultimate scene in Brüno will continue to be one of its most controversial. Designed to very graphically bring out the homophobia in a small southern town, the cage-match-turned-same-sex-make-out scene ended in violence and a narrow escape for Sacha Baron Cohen and his crew.
Some people from the town of Ft. Smith, Arkansas, where the filming took place, are calling foul though, claiming that the the whole thing was just a set up. The crowd, they say, was plied with cheap beer and cheap tickets, frustrated by long delays, and provoked in other ways to elicit an exaggerated reaction. Filmmakers allegedly even threw T-shirts with homophobic phrases and profane images out into the crowd to get things going.
Others in the town are not so sure how unrepresentative the scene is, though. Newsweek recounts the tale of a young gay couple in that town hounded out of a bar for the far less provocative act of slow dancing. Although they weren't physically assaulted themselves, they later found their car's fender all smashed up. For that couple at least, Brüno's depiction of Ft. Smith doesn't seem all that far from reality. They say they are planning to get out of town just as soon as they finish college. Posted 07.09.09 by reelz
The publicity tour for Bruno has been quite a carnival ride, and will no doubt help load up the eventual DVD with tons of extras. But with the movie opening this Friday, Sacha Baron Cohen has finally done something really unexpected: he appeared, not as Bruno, but as himself on Late Show with David Letterman
All of Cohen's previous interviews had been done strictly in character, recycling an entertaining but limited repertoire of one-liners designed to shock, outrage, and confuse. But for David Letterman, the comedian took off his metaphorical mask and was — or at least appeared to be — the real Sacha Baron Cohen. He was still funny though, recounting his difficulties setting up the first-ever interview between a comedian and an actual terrorist. As you might expect, Cohen says he isn't exactly looking forward to screening his finished product for this particular audience. Posted 07.08.09 by reelz
Say what you will about Sacha Baron Cohen, aka Bruno, it's clear that he'd never stoop to flattering his audience into seeing his upcoming movie. Asked his opinion of Americans in an interview with Empire, he had this to say:
The Amerikanischers come in all shapes and sizes, but mainly extra large. When I first arrived, I thought Ich was in a special airport for fatties. Also America is supposed to be ze land of freedom and opportunity, but they will close a place pretty quick if you start schtupping a guy in a public fountain.
He appears to have absolutely no fear of lawsuits – or Terminators – either. Things go really over the top, even by Bruno's standards, when talk turns to "fellow Austrian" and current governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger:
Not many people know this but me and Arnold actually were together from 1983 for almost 7 minutes. It was one of the heats for the Mr. Universe contest. And Arnold needed to lose 14 grams really quickly...
You can let your imagination take it from there, or check out the full interview over at Empire. Posted 07.07.09 by reelz
Cinema Blend has posted four new clips from Bruno, starring Sacha Baron Cohen and directed by Larry Charles (who also directed Borat). Here are a couple of samples to whet your appetite:
Posted 07.02.09 by reelz
Bruno has already gotten a lot of attention for its controversial depictions of homosexuality, and according to Movieline the movie's original ending would have made things much worse for Sacha Baron Cohen and director Larry Charles. The pair has already suffered the ire of the gay community, even though their proclaimed intention is to mock homophobia.
SPOILER ALERT!!! If you wish to see the movie without any prior knowledge, do not read on!
The movie concludes with Bruno making out with his male assistant in an Arkansas cage match, much do the dismay of the onlooking crowd (surprise, surprise). The spectators turn violent and attack the couple, resulting in serious injury. In the upcoming theatrical release, the audience is then shown Bruno and his partner, who happily reunite and decide to adopt a baby. The whole thing ends on an up note with a song supporting gay rights.
This is only part of what was seen, though, when Cohen and Charles screened the movie this past February for industry professionals. Writer-director Richard Day (Arrested Development, Ellen) – one of only two gay men at the screening, along with actor Jack Plotnick (Reno 911!, Drawn Together) – had this to say about the original ending and his subsequent comments to other viewers:
The cage-match kiss resulted in a violent attack on the couple. They then cut to a press event where they are announcing their marriage or plans to, I forget which. But the boyfriend is now drooling, seemingly brain-damaged, and in a wheelchair, played for laughs ... I started in and Jack joined with his thoughts. By the time I got to the bashing, the audience started defending the movie. They were annoyed with us for ruining the party ... I don’t know if we’re why they changed it, but if we are, I regret saying anything. It would have been better to let them expose their true point of view; thanks to us, they had a road map of the most egregious offenses and can also claim to have been responsive to our concerns.
Day also had a chance to read the script when he consulted with Cohen and Charles earlier. His response was that it read as if the authors "didn’t know much about actual gay life." Posted 07.01.09 by reelz
Want the inside scoop on what went down with Sacha Baron Cohen and his crew during the making of Brüno? Well, Cinema Blend has posted some very detailed accounts from the production notes of the movie, which opens July 10.
Among the movie moments discussed is Cohen's crashing of a European fashion show, a stunt already well-publicized in the trailer.
The producers were euphoric when Baron Cohen (as Brüno in a Velcro suitcovered with clothing) fell onto the runway. The crowd went wild in outrage while the cameras rolled. Just as the team caught the footage they needed, security shut the lights off and dragged Baron Cohen off the stage. Police cuffed the actor and hauled him to jail while his fellow crewmembers chased him down.
Another scene previewed in the trailer is Cohen's standoff with four Alabama hunters.
Once the hunters realized Brüno was gay and believed he was hitting on one of them, they readied their rifles. The production found itself in a standoff in the dark with armed men who were growing increasingly agitated by Baron Cohen’s pranks. The hunters were stewing by the time the team pulled up stakes, and their reactions were soon reaching a boiling point. During one discussion, one of the men actually pulled a weapon on a crewmember and pointed it at him. Posted 06.30.09 by reelz