I would say I’ve been a pretty big supporter and follower of Sacha Baron Cohen since his Ali G Show days. I loved all his characters when I watched it on HBO and to see them grow into full length movie characters is wonderful. Borat was a wonderful undercover comedy film. Then he followed that up with Bruno, my favorite of his alternate egos. And then, from all this talk about Hussein, Kim Jong-Il, and Gaddafi comes Admiral General Hafez Aladeen. His ability to focus in on one idea that plagues people’s prejudices and preconceived notions on the world around them is spot on as usual. But this one comes with a twist.
Aladeen (Cohen) is a dictator from the North of Africa. In the sweltering heat and tossing sands (a la Hussein), Aladeen lives his life as dictator in luxury. His WMD’s are coming
Aladeen and his majestic hawk, in luxury.
along, he has an all female amazonian entourage and guard, and his palace is so gigantic and wonderful, especially with his fleet of golden Hummers. He’s had sex with everyone (including the great Schwarzenegger. Megan Fox makes an appearance. I wasn’t surprised.) and he is an unforgiving ruler. He sends so many people to death that it’s expected.
As I expected Megan Fox to be in a situation like this…
And then, with the U.N. meeting in NYC looming, Aladeen is kidnapped and tortured. Clayton (John C. Reilly) is a forgiving CIA operative and lets Aladeen off with a shaven face (and then he accidentally burns to death). Stuck in America with only his wits and nobody who believes he’s the real thing, Aladeen’s uncle Tamir (Ben Kingsley) is planning on making Wadiya into a democratic country with the ability to sell their oil. Aladeen must stop them and keep Wadiya a dictatorship. This is the only time you’ll see a dictator as the hero/protagonist (unless you’re watching a film in their country, then probably you will).
This movie is full of a bunch of funny satirized stereotypes and Middle Eastern humor. As usual, Cohen self deprecatingly attacks his Jewish heritage once again. The Chinese law of one child per family is attacked with the baby birthing scene (as seen in the trailer) and masturbation has never been so patriotic. Sacha Baron Cohen is rather tame in this film in
comparison to others, only one or two penises on screen and a handful of sexual references (unless you mention the Saw like birthing canal scene).
I really hoped this happened on the streets of NYC.
There’s a great supporting cast of cultural ecclesiastics in this film. There’s Ben Kingsley, using his darker complexion to play a Middle Eastern man in this film. I’m always surprised when he pops up in comedies. Jason Mantzoukas plays Nadal, the weapons expert and friend to Aladeen in this movie. This man of Greek descent has been doing comedies for a while now and this is just another one. Bobby Lee rears his freaky head in this movie as a U.N. representative who can get a B.J. from whatever celebrity he wants (insert Ed Norton cameo here). His outrageous nature is made for this movie, and that dude will do anything to strip down into a thong. And one of my favorite appearances was Adeel Akhtar as one of Aladeen’s posse, Maroush. Throw in Fred Armisen and the revitalization of Anna Faris’s career as the love interest hippy, Zoe, and you got yourself a satirical comedy.
The best scene.
I really don’t think there’s anywhere that Sacha Baron Cohen won’t go. His terrorist attack scene in the tours helicopter is hilarious. Ironically, he and Jason Mantzoukas are speaking Hebrew. This points out the fact that a lot of languages, although all different may sound similar to an American audience. And all the iconic songs that he turned into an Aladeen medley! Everybody Hurts, 9 to 5, Let’s Get it On, how much that the way the songs were sung alone made me laugh! Cohen even goes to a black man’s funeral in order to procure a beard from a severed head that reappears constantly in the movie. With no bounds and no forgiveness, Sacha Baron Cohen delivers on all cylinders. 8.1 out of 10.
2 Comments | tags: 9 to 5, actual plot, Adeel Akhtar, Admiral General Hafez Aladeen, Ali G Show, alter ego, America, American audience, Anna Faris, baby birth scene, beard, Ben Kingsley, BJ, black man funeral, Bobby Lee, Borat, Bruno, burned to death, cameo, characters, Chinese law, CIA operative, Clayton, comedy film, cultural range, dark complexion, death, democratic country, dictator, dictatorship, Ed Norton, Everybody Hurts, executions, female guard, follower, freaky, Fred Armisen, full length movies, Gaddafi, golden Hummers, great supporting cast, Greek descent, HBO, Hebrew, helicopter tour, Hero, hilarious, hippy, humorous, Hussein, iconic songs, Jason Mantzoukas, Jewish heritage, John C. Reilly, kidnapping, Kim Jong-Il, languages, Let's Get it On, love interest, luxurious, Maroush, masturbation, Megan Fox, Middle East, Nadal, no boundaries, no limits, North Africa, NYC, oil, one child per family, outrageous nature, palace, patriotic, penises, posse, preconceived notions, prejudices, protagonist, Sacha Baron Cohen, satirical, Saw, Schwarzenegger, self deprecation, severed head, sex, sexual references, shave, spot on, stereotypes, supporter, tame, Tamir, terrorist attack scene, The Dictator, thong, torture, trailer, twist, UN, UN representative, uncle, undercover comedy, unforgiving ruler, Wadiya, weapons expert, witty, WMD's, world around them, Zoe | posted in Movies
I’m a huge sucker for anime that involves martial arts. Heck, for anything that involves martial arts. I dream about one day becoming a disciple of a certain martial arts form, but that day may be behind me (my only training was trying lethal moves out on my sister, in a joking manner of course). But the adrenaline and inspiration that martial arts injects into me makes me feel like I can do anything. And a character like Kenichi: History’s Mightiest Disciple proves it.
Although this anime boasts 50 episodes (and OVA’s to come), it is rather simple and extols the teachings and techniques of martial arts. Kenichi “Weak Knees” Shirahama (Josh Grelle) is just what his nickname suggests. Picked on all the time at school and always outcasted, Kenichi joins the school’s Karate Club in order to become stronger. After being
Kenichi and the masters of Ryozanpaku!
threatened by the biggest kid in the club, Kenichi is worried for his life. And his alien looking friend Haruo Niijima (Todd Haberkorn) confirms this.
Until one day when Kenichi’s entire life changes. Rescued by a new transfer student to the school, Miu Furinji (Carrie Savage), Kenichi discovers a way to fight back against all those bullies. Joining the Ryozanpaku dojo, Kenichi becomes the sole disciple and strongest hero by story’s end.
Miu, the boob action in the show. Pretty ridonk fighter though.
What I liked most about this show, other than the martial arts, is the sensei’s of the dojo. There’s Hayato Furinji (R. Bruce Elliott), the wizened leader of the gym who is basically unstoppable. Although he’s not around, he supports Kenichi and his granddaughter Miu. There’s Shio Sakaki (Christopher Sabat) the drunken comedy and Karate master. His punches are fierce and so is his standoffish personality. He likes Kenichi like a father (although he already has one) and pushes him to do better. Apachai Hopachai (Sonny Strait) is the dumb guy in the group. He’s lovable and friendly, but he doesn’t know his own strength. Always kicking Kenichi into the atmosphere, he loves calling out his name when he performs Muay Thai (my favorite. Period.) Shigure Kosaka (Trina Nishimura) is the weapons expert of the group. She doesn’t talk much, but makes up for it with quick sharp wit with her blade. Kensei Ma (Vic Mignogna) is an interesting old man. Bald and brazen, he brings the pervert aspect into the anime. Always taking pictures, he still finds time to teach Kenichi Chinese Kenpo (softer martial arts). And last but not least, Kenichi’s main teacher, Akisame Koetsuji (Kent Williams). His intelligence and artful technique pervade every aspect of his life. He can usually be seen forcing Kenichi to tow him around on a tire attached to a string through the city streets.
The Shinpaku alliance!
And there are far more characters than that that add spice to this show. As I mentioned before, Niijima is a wonderfully slithery character. His art of running away never fails, and his PDA never fails on recon. Todd Haberkorn brings a wildly raucous character to life with his evil alien features. And then there’s Ragnarok. Considered all to be Kenichi’s arch rivals, Kenichi must defeat them in order to keep from dying (or anything else terrible). One of my personal favorites is Hermit (Eric Vale) this solemn and quiet character has a masterful technique and an iron will. Eric Vale does a wonderful job as usual as a character who never gives up with a great dramatic voice. Jerry Jewell plays a ferociously sinister character I can’t really talk about, but he’s worth waiting for. And J. Michael Tatum does a voice I didn’t recognize at first with Ikki Takeda, the boxing beauty with shiny blue hair.
With all of these wonderful Funimation voice actors and so many characters, nothing could be better. And then you get down to all the fighting. Although some of it may be unrealistic and come with explosions of light and unheard of power with your fists, the technique is there. I’ve learned more from watching Kenichi than I have from anything else. I know moves, fluid techniques, and trick moves too. I know their names and why they’re significant, I might as well have just
Niijima and his wonderfully alien good looks.
watched a Discovery Channel show on it. And from so many different countries! China, Japan, Thailand, and any other Asian country that may have been mentioned. This show displays a sort of U.N. like congregation of the wonders and majesty of martial arts and brings them together in one wonderful show.
This show may floor you.
The plot is simple and straightforward, pulling no punches (pun-ch intended). Kenichi must systematically defeat and conquer enemies and his fears in order to become the best. What more of an archetypal story do you need? Throw in a whole lot of comedy, boobs, and amazing fighting technique, Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is one of the best shounen out there. Get some of that kick ass. 8.3 out of 10.
Leave a comment | tags: 50 episodes, action anime, add spice, adrenaline, Akisame Koetsuji, alien, Apachai Hopachai, arch rivals, archetypal story, artful, bald, become stronger, become the best, blades, blue hair, boobs, boxer, bullies, Carrie Savage, China, Chinese Kenpo, Christopher Sabat, conquer, conquer your fears, defeat, disciples, Discovery Channel, doesn't know own strength, dojo, dramatic voice, drunken comedy, dumb guy, Eric Vale, explosions of light, father figure, fierce, fighting, fists, fluid technique, friendly, Funimation, granddaughter, Haruo Niijima, Hayato Furinji, Hermit, History's Mightiest Disciple, huge sucker, Ikki Takeda, inspiring, intelligence, iron will, J. Michael Tatum, Japan, Jerry Jewell, joking, Josh Grelle, Karate Club, Karate master, Kenichi Shirahama, Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Kensei Ma, Kent Williams, kicks, lethal moves, life changing, loveable, Martial Arts, martial arts teachings, masterful, Miu Furinji, moves, Muay-Thai, names, never give up, nickname, old man, outcast, OVA, PDA, pervert, picked on, pulls no punches, pun, punches, R. Bruce Elliott, Ragnarok, raucous, runs away, Ryozanpaku, sensei, sharp wit, Shigure Kosaka, Shio Sakaki, shonen, shounen, simple plot, sinister, sister, slithery character, soft martial arts, solemn and quiet, Sonny Strait, standoffiish personality, straighforward, strong hero, systematic, takes pictures, technique, Thailand, tire, Todd Haberkorn, transfer student, trick moves, Trina Nishimura, UN, unheard of powers, unrealistic, unstoppable, Vic Mignogna, voice actors, Weak Knees, weapons expert, wise old leader | posted in Anime/ T.V.