Bruno (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

If you’ve ever wondered exactly how far someone can push the envelope, well then you’ve undoubtedly heard of Sacha Baron Cohen. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, well then how about “Borat?” Cohen created a series of characters for his television show “Da Ali G Show” a few years back and is now bringing them to the big screen and seeing how many people (and countries) he can offend. Make no doubt about it, his brand of humor isn’t for everyone, but if you go in knowing what to expect you’ll most likely have to pause the movie several times just so you can catch your breath from laughing so hard. Admittedly there wasn’t as much of a driving force behind “Bruno” as there was with “Borat”, but following up something that’s nothing short of a phenomenon is rather hard to do, no? If Borat was the lighter and more lovable side of Cohen then Bruno is a bit more of a harder and driven side to him. Does “Bruno” offend? Most certainly. Will everyone like it? I doubt it. Was it funny? Why of course.

Bruno (Sacha Baron Cohen) is the host of a popular Austrian television show. He’s the king of the fashion world until one of his interviews goes awry. Bruno is sacked and left wit his assistant’s assistant Lutz (Gustaf Hammarsten). Bruno will stop at nothing to achieve fame and fortune and after finding him on the outside looking in, he decides to head to America (Los Angeles, more specifically) to become the biggest star in the world. After a series of failures, Bruno finds that his funds are nearly depleted. And he turns to some desperate measures. He adopts a black child, which he lovingly calls “Gayby”, only to get outed on a television show in Texas and they reclaim him. This is one of many uncomfortable moments in the film. The rest of these moments step from Bruno’s sexuality. You see, Bruno might be best described as the “gayest man alive” and these escapades are shown in full graphic detail. Bear in mind the MPAA did give “Bruno” a rating, but as I mentioned in the first sentence of this review – the movie pushes the envelope nearly as much as it’s been pushed before.

For true fans of Cohen, this is a must-see and for those who enjoyed “Borat”, but aren’t sure they’d be comfortable with some of the subject matter – well then my advice would be to watch “Borat” again. “Bruno” seems to only try to offend and see what it can get away with whereas “Borat” seemed to have a little more fun along the way. Yes, the same documentary-style of format is followed and I do remember hearing about the final scene in an Arkansas-based wrestling arena. I do have to say that you’ve got to give Cohen credit, he’s willing to take risks for pure entertainment. As with “Borat” look for some cameos by some stars that you wouldn’t think would be in a film like this. Again, “Bruno” isn’t for the feign of heart and if you’re like some of the unsuspecting folks in the movie, don’t say you weren’t warned.

Video: How does it look?

When you’ve got a movie that features an exercise bike with a certain “attachment” at the end of it, you want to make sure that you’re watching it in the clearest picture ever. Well “Bruno” is shown in a 1.85:1 AVC HD transfer that doesn’t disappoint. I have to say that wit this film, it was a bit harder to tell where the “unsuspecting” folks were since the “documentary” interludes were shot with the same cameras. With “Borat” it was much easier to spot these. Still, “Bruno” looks great in all his HD glory and I’m sure he’d have it no other way.

Audio: How does it sound?

The DTS HD Master Audio track is good, though it’s nothing that really left me nodding my head in amazement. It’s a strong and consistent track with some fairly good moments, but a majority of the sound is “actual” sound. Dialogue is clear, though as Bruno narrates the film, it’s a bit hard to tell what he’s saying and he’s taking several liberties with the English and Austrian language as well. Much like “Borat” the audio serves only to get the punch lines across, but I doubt it’ll be something you want to use to demo your system off. In fact, yeah, don’t use this movie for any sort of demonstration unless you want to lose some friends.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Cohen and director Larry Charles do a video commentary and are very matter-of-fact about the film. I have to give them credit, it’s actually not a bad track. They’ve both very tongue in cheek about the whole thing and have several laughs along the way. There are a few deleted and extended scenes as well as an interview with talent agent Lloyd Robinson, who gives us the skinny on his part in the film. There’s also a second disc which contains a digital copy of the film.

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