Entries in Sasha Baron Cohen (6)


Sacha Baron Cohen Settles 'Terrorist' Lawsuit

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Palestinian man who sued Sacha Baron Cohen and others after he was labeled a terrorist in the comic actor’s 2009 movie Bruno, has settled his $110 million lawsuit, the New York Post reports.

Ayman Abu Aita claims he was duped into being interviewed by Cohen’s character and never signed a release.  In the film, abu Aita is described as a “terrorist group leader.”  In court papers, abu Aita said the movie resulted in death threats and a “lose of reputation."

The lawsuit also involved actor Jonah Hill, who was a co-producer of the film, and David Letterman, who aired a scene from Bruno featuring abu Aita on his CBS late show.  Details of the settlement are confidential.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"The Dictator" Director Denies Film Is Offensive to Arab-Americans

Paramount Pictures(NEW YORK) -- Sacha Baron Cohen's new comedy, The Dictator, has irked some Arab-American groups who feel his character, a fictional North African dictator named Adm. Gen. Aladeen, casts an unflattering light on them.

For example, Nadia Tonova, director of the National Network for Arab American Communities, tells E! News, "I have not seen the film, but based on the trailer and interviews that I have seen him do in character, it really seems to be that it's perpetuating a negative stereotype against Arabs and therefore Arab-Americans."

Tonova previously criticized Cohen after he appeared on the Oscars red carpet as Aladeen and pretended to spill the ashes of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il onto Ryan Seacrest.

The director of the film, Larry Charles, rejects the notion that the character is offensive to Arab-Americans.

He tells ABC News Radio that Aladeen was inspired by several past dictators, such as Moammar Gadhafi, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, Augusto Pinochet and Idi Amin.

"There's a wide range historically of dictators that you can draw from and they share many personality traits.  It's not an ethnic thing.  It's a personality disorder, in a sense," he says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sacha Baron Cohen Fondles Clooney’s Ex for Latest ‘Dictator’ Stunt

Mike Marsland/WireImage(CANNES, France) -- The stunts just never stop with Sacha Baron Cohen. At the Cannes Film Festival Wednesday, he paled around on a yacht with Elisabetta Canalis, the Italian model famous for once dating George Clooney.

Dressed as the star of his new movie, The Dictator, Cohen oiled up Canalis’ legs, showed her what was inside his speedo, and eventually threw her overboard in a body bag. Photos of Canalis lounging at a Cannes hotel after the playdate confirm she was not actually killed and disposed of unceremoniously.

Cohen also arrived at a Cannes press conference for The Dictator on a camel. All of this comes as The Dictator, which opens Wednesday, is getting lukewarm reviews compared to the raves showered on Borat, Cohen’s first big-screen satire.
“What’s shocking this time is how tame Sacha Baron Cohen’s newest wild man is, for all the kerfuffle the comedian can stir up on the promotional trail,” Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Movie Review: "The Dictator"

Paramount Pictures(NEW YORK) -- We're going to keep this review short and to the point because I don't want to give away The Dictator's best jokes.  And when I started writing, I realized that's what I was doing.  So let's stick to the basics.

Sacha Baron Cohen is Adm. Gen. Aladeen, the tyrannical dictator of the Wadiya, a fake North African country sitting on a hefty supply of oil Aladeen refuses to sell. On top of that, he's trying to build a nuclear weapon and the whole world knows it. Aladeen has enough money to fly movie stars to Wadiya for sex: I refuse to reveal who we see in bed with him, but trust me, it's funny.

When the United Nations demands Aladeen's presence in New York to clear the air about his nuclear energy program, he takes with him his trusted right-hand man and uncle, Tamir, played by Ben Kingsley, but it turns out Tamir really is not to be trusted. Aladeen also has a body double whose sole purpose in life is to take a bullet for his supreme leader. Of course, Baron Cohen plays his own body double, a casting decision that's kind of genius.

Once in New York, Aladeen is abducted by a rogue security guard (John C. Reilly) who shaves off Aladeen's enormous beard, making him completely unrecognizable -- so much so that once he escapes, it's impossible for him to return to his hotel or the U.N. because nobody believes he's Aladeen.  As fate would have it, Aladeen meets Zoey (Anna Farris), a left-wing feminist who manages a food co-op in Brooklyn and who's the perfect "straight man" for Baron Cohen's extremely politically incorrect humor. Then enter Nadal (Jason Mantzoukas, HBO's Enlightened), the man once in charge of Aladeen's nuclear weapons program, until Aladeen had him killed.  As it turns out...actually, I don't want to spoil things by telling you how it turns out.  I do want to tell you that Mantzoukas, an under-appreciated comedy veteran, not only holds his own against Baron Cohen, he steals entire scenes from him.

Cohen's habit is to do press as his characters.  Frankly, I consider that not only a distraction but also unnecessary, especially since Cohen often repeats some of the movie's funnier bits and jokes, spoiling them.  So, points off for that.  And while The Dictator isn't the funniest or the most shocking of Cohen's three major releases (although like Borat and Brüno, he brings the shocks and the humor), it does contain what might be one of the most intelligent scenes we see all year in any film: a satirical speech to members of the international community in which Aladeen extols the benefits of dictatorship, in the process reflecting the climate in our own country. It’s a shining moment for Sacha Baron Cohen and a nice payoff for the audience who, up until that point, will have experienced inconsistent, though spirited, fits of laughter.

Three-and-a-half out of five stars. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator" Opens Wednesday

Paramount Pictures(NEW YORK) -- Sacha Baron Cohen's latest comedy opens Wednesday. 

The Dictator stars the British comedian as Admiral General Aladeen, the cruel leader of the fictional North African country of Wadiya.

Aladeen comes to the United States to make a speech, but he's betrayed by one of his officials and is tortured by a U.S. agent.  Stripped of his thick beard, he's left to fend for himself with the help of a grocery store worker, played by Anna Faris.

Ben Kingsley and John C. Reilly also star in The Dictator, which is rated R.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


The Oscars: Five Reasons to Watch

(LOS ANGELES) -- Hollywood's biggest night of the year is upon us. Before the ceremonies start, here's what to look forward to at the 2012 Oscars:

Billy Crystal. The veteran Oscar host's head writer told that Crystal has updated his act to hold the attention of even the most text and Twitter-happy viewers. "Billy is a really smart host," Carol Leifer said. "I don't think most people realize how intensely he works on the show and how seriously he takes it. He is so in the moment and has such a good time that to the audience in the Kodak and out in TV land, it will be obvious."

Sacha Baron Cohen. Also known as, "The Dictator." Hollywood's current king of satire will be on the Oscar red carpet as the title character from his upcoming movie. On Friday, amid word that the Academy had taken away his tickets, he posted a video online as "The Dictator" warning of "unimaginable consequences" if the Academy banned him from the Oscars. Guess we'll see what he has up his sleeve tonight.

High profile presenters. The Academy is going heavy on star power at the podium. Sunday night’s presenters include Gwyneth Paltrow, Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Michael Douglas, Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis and the Muppets.

Octavia Spencer. She's been the toast of town leading up to Sunday's show, and many believe that the best supporting actress Oscar might as well be placed on top of her mantel right now. Considering her SAG and Golden Globe wins, if Spencer scores Sunday, her speech and backstage candor are sure to be memorable.

Uggie. This little guy charmed millions in The Artist and won more fans when he donned a bow tie on stage at the Globes. Here's hoping he meets the Muppets this time.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio