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The Dictator
BLU-RAY disk
08.29.2012 By: Stephanie Cooke
The Dictator order download
Director:
Larry Charles

Actors:
Sacha Baron Cohen
Anna Faris
Ben Kingsley

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A North African dictator, while on a visit to New York, is tripped of his power and forced to get a real job at a Brooklyn health food store.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I happen to think that Sacha Baron Cohen is a pretty decent actor. He was great in Sweeney Todd. He was great in Hugo. He was great in Borat and even though I didn’t make it through all of Brüno, despite my meh-ness about the film, he was great in that too. When I first saw the trailer for THE DICTATOR, I chuckled at the silliness displayed before me (or maybe I was chuckling solely at the whole Megan Fox as a prostitute thing). I made a mental note to check out the film a little bit later. A little bit later led to waiting until it showed up on my doorstep on Blu-ray, but at least it eventually happened.

Maybe as I get older, I get less and less amused by ridiculous films like this, but THE DICTATOR just didn’t hit any notes with me. With the exception of the odd chuckle or two, I mostly felt that THE DICTATOR was a film that was created around the jokes. It just seemed like Cohen had all these great ideas for funny terrorist jokes and just built a film around them. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was actually the case and for some films, that works, but for THE DICTATOR, there just wasn’t enough substance to really enjoy it.

There are some actors that I think just give up after they’ve won an Oscar. It’s kind of like they say to themselves “I’ve validated my existence in the acting world, f*ck that sh*t!” Halle Berry and Ben Kingsley are seemingly two such people. Halle Berry is kind of irrelevant to this film (although there is a random photo of her and Aladeen implying they slept together), so I won’t carry on about her. Ben Kingsley on the other hand… what the hell were you thinking? I guess technically this is a step up for him since he did take a role in a Uwe Boll film, but still. Kingsley plays Aladeen’s treacherous advisor and does pretty well the bare minimum required for him to be in the film.

Anna Faris was an actress that I was surprised to see show up in the film. I really thought at first that this was going to be a mockumentary and as THE DICTATOR carried on, I realized that they were actually trying to present us with a story. Anna Faris plays the weird feminist, activist that gives Aladeen a job and later becomes his love interest… And I gotta say, this doesn’t help my rather poor opinion of her as an actress.
THE EXTRAS
Deleted and Extended Scenes: A lot of the trailer footage is from this set of scenes. These scenes, as mentioned, are also extended/alternate versions of scenes that were shown.

Music Video – Best Love Song: Your Money Is On The Dresser: Aladeen has a Grammy’s rip-off show where he nominates himself for all kinds of different categories. They’ve included the video for the “winner” of Best Love Song, “Your Money Is On The Dresser”, which features Cohen’s actress wife, Isla Fisher.

Larry King Interview: This was more what I was expecting the whole film to be like. Interviews with people like Larry King and Cohen interacting with people who assumed he was actually someone important from the Middle East.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
By the end of the movie, it felt like the only joke Cohen really wanted to put out there was that the USA has been and will continue to be a subtle dictatorship. I expected THE DICTATOR to be like Borat and Brüno, in a mockumentary sense. The impression that I was left with was much more along the lines of You Don’t Mess With The Zohan.

Is it worth picking up for the price of a brand-new Blu-ray? Definitely not.
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