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Baron Cohen, Kutcher want to make you laugh

Sacha Baron Cohen is ready to offend with his latest film, and British comedy, “In the Loop,” could sneak up on those hunting for the theaters for laughs.
/ Source: msnbc.com

We’re strangely light on laugh-out-loud comedies, which seems odd for summer, but there could be some gems out there if you’re willing to take a chance. Sacha Baron Cohen is ready to offend with his latest film, and the British comedy “In the Loop,” could sneak up on those hunting for laughs. So if you’re willing to keep an open mind, jump in and try something you normally wouldn’t.

“Brüno”
Starring:
Sacha Baron Cohen, Alice Evans, Trishelle Cannatella, Sandra Seeling, Ben Youcef Director: Dan Mazer Story: Baron Cohen brings yet another one of his “Ali G Show” characters to life in this new film about gay Austrian fashion reporter Bruno. As with “Borat,” the film shows Bruno mixing with real people. Scenes include Bruno adopting an African-American baby and naming it O.J., Bruno making out with another man in front of Ultimate Fighting fans, and Bruno going to see a dominatrix. Worth seeing? Yes. Baron Cohen is fearless. You will be offended. That’s the point. The movie hasn’t even opened yet and there’s already one lawsuit. Considering how many lawsuits “Borat” generated, it won’t be the last. As with Baron Cohen’s recent MTV Movie Awards stunt, it’s hard not to wonder what’s real and what’s staged. Here’s one thing that is real: The Smoking Gun reported that the Ultimate Fighting scene actually caused a riot among the duped extras. Baron Cohen also reportedly had a little problem with an allergic reaction to hydrogen peroxide. “It was so severe around a certain part of his anatomy that he couldn’t sit down for three days,” a source told the Sun. Strange? Yes. Intriguing. Most definitely. Web site: http://www.meinspace.com/bruno Release date: July 10

Image: Spread

“The Boat That Rocked”
Starring:
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Sturridge, Jack Davenport Director: Richard Curtis Story: Inspired by real events that took place in 1966 Britain, this musical dramedy tells the story of a pirate radio station called Radio Rock that broadcasts rock music 24 hours a day from a boat anchored in international waters. The pirate radio station outrages the British government. Nighy plays the ship’s captain, while Philip Seymour Hoffman is an American DJ called The Count. Worth seeing? No. The U.K. Telegraph called it “a muddled and only fitfully brilliant film.” Time Out was harsher, deeming it “cripplingly self-conscious and self-satisfied.” Screen Daily was even harsher, writing that the film “lurches and leaks its way through a series of flimsy setpieces before gracelessly coming to a watery grave.” Curtis is best known for ensemble films, such as “Love Actually.” Web site: http://www.theboatthatrocked.net/ Release date: Aug. 28

“In the Loop”
Starring:
Tom Hollander, James Gandolfini, Anna Chlumsky, Steve Coogan, Chris Addison, Peter Capaldi, Paul Higgins Director: Armando Iannucci Story: In this satirical comedy, when British government official Simon Foster (Hollander) accidentally says that a war in the Middle East is “unforeseeable,” his boss (Capaldi) explodes. But not everyone is unhappy. It gets the attention of some U.S. and U.K. officials who would like to see war break out. Worth seeing? Yes. Inspired by Iannucci’s BBC series “The Thick of It,” the film drew praise when it played at Sundance. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw wrote, “The acting is superb, and the writing is relentlessly funny — vicious and delicious.” Cinematical.com’s James Rocchi wrote, “It's achingly, wrenchingly, dizzyingly funny, with a bleak, bitter sense of humor.” Web site: NA Release date: July 24

“The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard.”
Starring:
Jeremy Piven, Ving Rhames, James Brolin, David Koechner, Kathryn Hahn Director: Neal Brennan Story: A man with an ailing car dealership calls on salesman Don Ready (Piven) and his crew to save him from bankruptcy. The gang gets to work selling, going to strip clubs, and selling some more. And maybe Don Ready will even find love. Worth seeing? Maybe. Will Ferrell’s production company is behind this film, and when MTV.com talked to Piven, he told them that Ferrell does have an unbilled role in the film. “It’s well beyond a cameo,” Piven said. “He has the second or third most lines in the whole film.” Director Brennan is best known for his work on “Chappelle’s Show.” Web site: http://www.livehardsellhard.com/ Release date: Aug. 14