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Under the weather

Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2009

If you have one of those friends that are always on, always in full-throttle entertainment mode, there are times when you just don't feel like being around him, right? That is kind of how I look at Sacha Baron Cohen.

Funny dude. "Borat" was side-splittingly funny and Cohen is so committed to his various personas that he goes on shows like "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" as Borat, or more recently as Bruno. Cohen is definitely always in performance mode. It is why "Borat" was so fantastic and it is why "Bruno" (playing downtown) is off to a good start both with critics and at the box office.

It is also why I just didn't feel like dealing with "Bruno" when it opened. I was not in the mood to see Cohen play mind games with unsuspecting people, although he probably would have won me over had I given him the chance.

So, no review for "Bruno" here. Sorry.

As for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," maybe next week. I understand the midnight showing on Tuesday sold out way ahead of time, however, so it could take a while just to get a seat! Let's be honest, though, if you like Harry Potter, you're going to see the latest movie no matter what anyone says. I could point out, for example, that the once cute and cuddly stars of the movie franchise now look like they are old enough to have kids of their own. And there are two more films already shooting. Really? Can Daniel Radcliffe still be Harry Potter when he's in his late 20's? Really? Why do I have the feeling we're going to find out?

The truth is, amidst the frenzy surrounding Sacha Baron Cohen's alter egos and the 18th "Harry Potter" movie, there is another interesting new film in town right now that will likely make a quiet exit after only a week or two.

"Away We Go" has been out for several weeks now, although it's more than understandable if you have never heard of it. The dramedy, directed by Sam Mendes, opened initially in something like six theaters (in Los Angeles and New York). It stars John Krasinski (aka Jim Halpert), Maya Rudolph, Jeff Daniels and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The story follows an expectant couple (Krasinski and Rudolph) as they are forced to prepare for all the changes in life a baby means. Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida wrote the original screenplay.

On paper, "Away We Go" is the antithesis of "Bruno." If you're looking for 90 straight minutes of jam-packed, in-your-face jokes ranging from embarrassing to crude, Cohen's gay, Austrian alter ego is your man. If you're more in the mood to see a group of 20-somethings play the kids from "Harry Potter" for the 14th time, get in line early.

Me, I think I'm still recovering from Bay-brain-melt-ius. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" was sensory overload, and Michael Bay temporarily sapped my desire for the mainstream stuff by melting my brain just a little. I've been told the remedy for Bay-brain-melt-ius is some rest and maybe a gentler movie, like "Away We Go" perhaps! Or maybe a trip to the Gold Town Nickelodeon...

I'll recover. Of course, I have a couple of weeks, because call me crazy, but I'm not ready to pencil in a digital hamster flick ("G-Force" opens on July 24) just yet.

"Funny People," starring Adam Sandler and written, directed, edited, produced, scored, and distributed by Judd Apatow on the other hand? Let's see, July 31.

Yeah, I'll be over this Bay-brain-melt-ius by then.

• Check out Carson's movie blog at www.juneaublogger.com/movies.



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