My Films of the Week #6: Borat 2, Office Space and More

As a lifelong cinephile, I have always consumed a copious amount of films. In this new feature, I keep track of the films I watch during the week.

Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm
(Jason Woliner, 2020, USA)

Probably better than it deserved to be. Yet, despite its best intentions, its a pale imitation of the incendiary original Borat movie, complete with a forced conclusion.

Up in the Air
(Jason Reitman, 2009, USA)

Despite its contemporary aspects, some of which feel directly inspired by early 21st-century American recession, this is a standard revisitation of traditional mid-life romance narrative tropes. However, its standards are considerably elevated by George Clooney’s charming lead performance.

Bare
(Aleksandr M. Vinogradov, 2020, Belgium)

A documentation of eleven naked dancer working on an ambitious choreography. Remains a visually stimulating document of the link between observation and voyeurism, though it lacks narrative focus and generally doesn’t dare enough.

The Last Hillbilly
(Diane Sara Bouzgarrou, Thomas Jenkoe, 2020, France/Qatar)

A poetic insight on the American hillbilly culture driven by a charismatic protagonist, who acts as his community’s spokesperson and dictates the energy of the documentary. Almost inadvertedly becomes a profound portrayal of Trump-era stereotypes.

Office Space
(Mike Judge, 1999, USA)

Cartoonish satire on life as an office worker. Inspired by male frustration an aware of an underlying societal repression, the film certainly benefits from its surrealist vein though it lacks big-hearted laughs. It has most likely picked up vintage bonus points as a document of the immediate pre-internet era.

Idiocracy
(Mike Judge, 2006, USA)

Interesting satirical spin on the time travel movie, also partly recalling zombie movies. Fun, despite its inconsistencies and imperfections, and definitely not as sharp as it probably thinks.

Extract
(Mike Judge, 2009, USA)

Mike Judge continues to draw inspiration on societal repressions in this story about a middle class small company owner. As usual, he does it without enough bite. As such, the entire affair appears as severely lacking in energy.

Bad Words
(Jason Bateman, 2013, United States)

Popular funnyman Jason Bateman’s directorial effort about an obnoxious adult entering a children’s spelling bee contest. Suffers from general lack of intention and finally disappoints despite its interesting original subject.

Horrible Bosses
(Seth Gordon, 2011, United States)

A famous addition to the childish, repressed average white men, who come up with a plan to murder their abusive bosses. The leading trio’s chemistry and Kevin Spacey’s turn as the obnoxious baddie is worth the price of the ticket.

Ziyara
(Simone Bitton, 2020, France/Morocco)

A documentary celebrating Muslim’s guarding of Jewish culture in Morocco. As well as its historical and political importance, Ziyara is enhanced by the pure aesthetic delight of its documentation of older religious artifacts and places.

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