I went to see the film half-expecting a mix of Sacha Baron Cohen’s eponymous characters Borat and Bruno but I thought it was tamer and more solid. The Dictator tells the story of Admiral General Aladeen ruling the North African country of “Wadiya” with an iron fist. He was invited to travel to New York to address the United Nations that led to his kidnapping plotted by his right hand (Ben Kingsley.) Replaced by a dim-witted impostor, the deposed leader device a plan to reclaim his power through the help of Zoe (Anna Faris), a very liberal militant whose appearance in the film balanced out the gross hilarity of Baron Cohen’s character.
The film isn’t as vulgar as Bruno but it has some cringe-worthy scenes that may offend the sensibility of some people but ninety percent of it was hella funny. The direct hit towards the American culture and politics made it even funnier that it almost feel like an intelligent film, only it is not. It was slapstick but relevant, fearless but not jaw dropping at all. With a very touchy topic such as democracy, you might think that Sacha and director Larry Charles went a bit too far as to make fun of a lot of relevant issues that recently transpired but they were able to transition everything into something that is too hilarious to even get a serious thought from its audience.
The Dictator may have pushed the limit as it conquered the reality that is happening now but it gave a solid comedy that we’d all be laughing about from wherever we’ll be watching it. Like democracy, we have a choice to watch it or not. To laugh at it or laugh with it – at the end of the day, laughter’s still there and The Dictator may not be that great of a film but it’s definitely one that is to watch out for – NOW!
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Jason Mantzoukas, Ben Kingsley
Director: Larry Charles
Distributed by United International Pictures and Solar Entertainment Corporation
Hugo has got to be one of those films I have been waiting to see since I first read about it and surely enough, it didn’t disappoint. The film takes on a different era introducing us to Hugo, a young boy who lives in a Parisian train station setting its clocks and trying to fix a robot (automaton) that may carry a final message from his dad who died earlier.
Martin Scorsese is one of my favorite filmmakers and learning that he’ll direct this film got me all curious. What’s he going to do with this one? Remember Raging Bull, Goodfellas or perhaps the The Departed? These are not ‘family’ flicks so with that in mind – the idea of creating this magical world of “Hugo” got me all pumped-up. I’ve not read the book where it’s based from but the approach of the film itself gave me that incredible feeling of reminiscing Scorsese’s masterpieces that it’s just right. Everything feels good about this film.
There was also a strong cast that includes Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield (Hugo) and Chloe Moretz who made each scene extremely moving that would warmed your heart to the core! Plus the 3D made it more fun to watch all the “wizardry” that it’s sometimes hard to catch up with it. Its cinematography is pure perfection that every detail of the film is just breathtaking. I am also in love with the original score provided by the genius Howard Shore that made each poignant moment so thrilling!
Hugo is one of those films that would make you re-enter the cinema to watch its grandeur and will leave you amazed all over again. There’s just the perfect balance of magic and realism that would make you feel good about just anything. This is yet another Scorsese’s work of art and kids from “one to 92” must really get some time to watch this!
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Chloe Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jude Law
Based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
This film review was first posted at Pinoy Exchange. Read all my film reviews at Pinoy Exchange Official PEx Movie Reviews.
Posted in Books, Movies
Tagged Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Brian Selznick, Chloe Moretz, Film Review, Howard Shore, Hugo, Jude Law, Martin Scorsese, Sacha Baron Cohen, The Invention of Hugo Cabret