Bruno: “F***ing Awesome”

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From Ain’t It Cool News via Towleroad come the first reviews of Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen’s bigger, badder and oh-so-much-gayer followup to Borat. We’ve covered Bruno’s shenanigans as he terrorized Kansas and punked a former Mossad agent, but apparently those are only the tamest of the antics on display. The movie doesn’t come out until July 10 (with the first “official” sneak peak taking place at the upcoming SXSW), but a couple lucky ducks got into early test screenings and sent their thoughts to Ain’t It Cool. I hope they’re legit, as both reviews were filled with gushing, hyperbolic praise: the first called the film “everything I was hoping for—shocking, jaw-dropping and TOTALLY FUCKING HILARIOUS,” while the second managed to quantify Bruno as “10 times sharper, wittier and altogether ballsier” than Borat. Not bad. Apparently the plot revolves around the Austrian fashion reporter character we know and love trying to “make it big”:

He heads to the US to become a famous celebrity, but everything he tries to make himself famous – shooting a tv pilot, being an extra in a movie, bringing peace to the middle east, adopting a baby – doesn’t work, and he concludes it’s his gayness that’s holding him back. So he decides to become straight and the last third of the film revolve around his efforts to become a “normal” heterosexual male, climaxing (pun intended) with him hosting a cage fight for thousands of crazy rednecks.

So great. The film sounds like a wild ride, but more than anything, it was heartening to see two clearly (insistently!) heterosexual reviewers give the film props for its expose of anti-gay prejudice, with one saying Baron Cohen has “huge, ginormous balls” for putting himself in dangerous situations to make clear that “homophobia is alive and well in the US.” The reviews also gave away the names of some music mega-stars who contributed a song to the film, although I’ll let you decide if you want to click through for that little spoiler.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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