Category Archives: Entertainment

Music, Television, Movies, Gaming, the Internet

TV Review: “The T.O. Show”

For newly signed Buffalo Bills wide reciever, Terrell Owens, this has been an extremely eventful off-season. He was released from the Dallas Cowboys, signed with the Bills, moved to Los Angeles, and filmed an entire season of his very own reality show. While it may be too early to tell what this will do for his career, the first episode didn’t set the bar very high.

The format of the show reminds me of every other beefed up  “reality show” on Vh1 and Mtv right now including ‘Runs House’ and ‘Gotti’s Way’. . The show follows Owens, his two female publicists, and his bodyguard and best friend Pablo. His publicists believe that he needs some time to rediscover “Terrell and not T.O.” What better place to just lay low and soul search than Los Angeles!?

4

It doesn’t take much to realize that anything resembling an intriguing story-line is going to involve Owens struggles with himself. It’s clear that he has some real personal demons he is fighting. He’s in his mid-thirties, single, coming to the end of his football career and is looking toward the future.

T.O. has said many times that he feels he has been misrepresented in the media. He wants people to get a true glimpse into his life and who he is. The normalize_jpeg.jhtmlproblem is that this medium and format doesn’t feel authentic. The show itself feels less like a documentary about his journey to find himself and more as a giant publicity stunt to give him a boost before he starts his “post-sports” career somewhere in the entertainment industry.

The previews at the end of the first episode show a variety of clips involving his friends and issues that in no way involve Owens. While following one of the most interesting athletes in the world is intriguing, I could honestly care less about the trials and tribulations of his “entourage”.

Viewers spend the majority of the hour-long show watching Owens “act a fool”, usually shirtless, while his publicists do their best to ruin his fun. As a side note, Owens is a ridiculous physical specimen, though it is hard to believe he got his rock-hard physique by working out in the pool with those $20 colored bands my Mom uses.

The single shining star in the show is Terrell Owens ex-fiance, actress Felisha Terrell. To put it plain, she is smoking hot. I wouldn’t be surprised if this show has a more positive impact on her career then it does Owens. We are told thatp1_to_terrelll they dated for several years and were engaged. Owens couldn’t remain faithful and the relationship ended. I found myself wanting to throw something through the television screen as I watched Owens hookup with his real-estate agent and dance with a girl at a club who looked like she just walked off the set after being denied a clock by Flavor Flav.

This could be a great opportunity for T.O. to show his true colors and set the stage for whatever comes next in his life. Unfortunately, from the first episode, it doesn’t feel as though Owens fully-embraced the opportunity. It comes off as a semi-scripted and forced trashy reality show. Funny enough I find myself rooting for Owens, as he really is a likeable guy. Who will win out in the battle between Terrell and T.O.? Perhaps the real question is, will anybody be watching when he figures it out?

Share

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Film Review: Bruno

bruno

Director – Larry Charles

Writers – Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines

Starring – Sacha Baron Cohen

English comedian, actor, and writer,  Sacha Baron Cohen, responsible for the the 2006 box office hit and cultural phenomenon, ‘Borat’, is back this summer for round 2. This time he plays Bruno, a flamboyantly gay Austrian fashionista and TV personality. During the filming of an episode of his fashion-talk show Funkyzeit at a fashion show in Milan, Bruno has a major wardrobe malfunction as his cutting-edge “Velcro Suit” gets stuck on the clothes hanging in the back for the models. Bruno fights with the rack, covered in clothes, and stumbles onto the runway. He tries to stand up and play it off but is quickly escorted away by security. Bruno is shunned by the international fashion community and fired from his job on Funkyzeit. In a desperate career move, Bruno decides to venture to America, where he will seek to become “The most uber-famous gay Austrian since Schwarzenegger”.

sachabaroncohen_wideweb__470x352,0

Lets start by getting the obvious out of the way. Everyone wants to know how this film is stacking up against it’s predecessor, ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.’ While it does fall far short of the ideal followup, the likelihood of Cohen striking gold twice in this manner is simply impossible.  The idea of an out-of-this-world character traveling across America, making a mockery of people can only work so many times before people start to recognize him and suspect something is up. While following the same general “mockumentary” format as ‘Borat’, ‘Bruno’ feels much more scripted. The editing is tighter, the story seems much more structured, and often times it feels like the “unsuspecting victims” may be in on the joke.

We follow Bruno as he heads to Hollywood in pursuit of fame. Along with him is his “assistants assistant”, Lutz, the only person in the world who thinks higher of Bruno than Bruno himself. It is obvious from the moment that we meet him, that he is going to be his sidekick and love interest. Together they are dedicated to traveling to America to make Bruno famous.

003655291692

Where Borat seemed to be a naive and ignorant foreigner with good intentions, Bruno is a much less-likable character. He is an arrogant diva and almost acts as the antagonist throughout. This time, the film is less about what Cohen can corner people into admitting they’re thinking, and more about the “victims” reactions to his lewd antics and over-the-top, flamboyantly gay behavior.

‘Bruno’ is meant to be a social commentary on homophobia  and the desperate lengths people are willing to go to in pursuit of fame. For the most part I think Cohen may have crossed boundaries and missed the target. Many of the scenes are so raunchy and pornographic that even the most open-minded and tolerant person can admit that at times, it’s a little much. Bruno & OJOften times the audience is laughing less at the jokes and more from being extremely uncomfortable with the fact that they are sitting in an auditorium with 200 strangers, watching a three-story closeup of Bruno’s penis (uncensored) “wagging and spinning” to techno music. This is the type of film that pushes the boundaries of the ratings system as it somehow managed an “R” rating instead of an NC-17.

While more scenes in ‘Bruno’ feel scripted than in ‘Borat’, those that aren’t are much more uncomfortable. Bruno pushes people to a point where his safety seems in question. In one such scene, he travels to the “Middle Earth” (the Middle East) in an attempt to try to get himself kidnapped by terrorists. He thinks this will get him on the news and thus make him famous. Bruno sits down with a leader of the terrorist group Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade who are responsible for countless suicidal bombings in Israel and asks him why Osama Bin Laden “looks like a homeless Santa.”

In another scene, Bruno brings his new “Gayby” (according to the infants shirt) to a “Jerry Springer-esque” show. He sits down and explains that he got his child from Africa by “swapping him” for a limited-edition U2 iPod. He only compounds his problems by explaining to the all black audience that he decided to name his child “OJ” because he wanted a “traditional African name.”

bruno_sacha_baron_cohen

Some of the funniest scenes come when Bruno comes to the realization that in order to be famous, he has to be straight. We follow him as he visits a swinger party, joins the National Guard, goes on a hunting trip with rednecks, and has a session with a “gay converter”, all in an effort to become straight “like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kevin Spacey.”

In what is probably the most shocking scene in this film, Bruno interviews parents who are auditioning their infants to be in an extremely controversial photo-shoot with “OJ”. The role will involve the infants dressing in a Nazi uniform and pretending to push another baby into an oven. Bruno asks whether the children are “ok” with “bees, wasps, and 003447669411hornets”, “dead or dying animals”, “rapid acceleration”, and “lit phosphorous”. It is incredible to watch as parent after parent explains to Bruno that their infants are perfectly comfortable with all of these things. When told that the ideal candidate will weigh 20lbs, the mother of one 30lb.  infant agrees to have the child undergo liposuction if she’s not at weight on time. This is a sickening scene, but one that drives Cohens point home more in the style of ‘Borat’. It is incredible to watch as these twisted parents show that they will go to almost any length to get their children on the path to fame. If the entire movie were this way, ‘Bruno’ would be another Grand-Slam.

For a group of people who aren’t squeamish and are extremely open-minded, there are some gut-bustingly funny scenes that make going to this movie a really good time. To those who are a bit more conservative, however, Bruno perpetuates wildly flamboyant, sexually irresponsible negative stereotypes and takes them to a whole new level. Even if a closed-minded individual makes it through the film without storming out, Bruno’s wild antics and sexually provocative scenes are likely to keep most homophobes feet planted firmly on their side of the fence.

Share

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine