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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Mark Mylod
Cast:
Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Gambon, Charles Dance, Kellie Bright, Martin Freeman, Rhona Mitra, Barbara New, Emilio Rivera
Writing Credits:
Sacha Baron Cohen, Dan Mazer

Tagline:
Guess Who's In Da House?

Synopsis:
Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen), HBO’s hottest comedy sensation, stars in his side-splitting, outrageously funny feature film debut - Ali G Indahouse!

The hip-hopping, white gangsta-rapper wannabe gets entangled in the evil Chancellor’s plot to overthrow the Prime Minister of Great Britain (Michael Gambon). But, instead of bringing him down, Ali G is embraced by the nation as the voice of youth and “realness,” making the Prime Minister and his government more popular than ever.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.85:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Japanese
Spanish
Korean
Portuguese
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 87 min.
Price: $27.98
Release Date: 11/2/2004

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Ali G and Ricky C
• Deleted Scenes
• Video Diary
• “Talking the Talk” Featurette
• Photo Gallery
• Trailers


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EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Ali G Indahouse (2002)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 23, 2004)

For Americans, I expect our first real exposure to the character of Ali G came from Madonna’s Music video. Made in 2000, it featured Ali - played by Sasha Baron Cohen - as a limo driver. The character came to greater prominence in the US via Da Ali G Show.

Released in 2002 – though not in the US, where it never played on the big screen - Ali G Indahouse offers the character’s big-screen debut. We meet Ali as a suburban Brit gangsta wannabe whose Westside crew has rivals with the city’s Eastside gang. Not that anything violent occurs, as these wimps talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Ali teaches a “Keep It Real” club at the local leisure center in an attempt to make youngsters understand the ways of “the street”.

Ali’s life goes upside-down when he learns they plan to close the center. He stages a hunger strike that doesn’t last very long, but it attracts the attention of the Prime Minister (Michael Gambon). He needs a young, ethnic candidate to carry a risky district, and Deputy PM David Carlton (Charles Dance) goes with his sexy assistant Kate Hedges (Rhona Mitra) to recruit Ali. Our hero thinks little of Parliament, but he agrees to run when he learns he can help save the leisure center.

Why does Carlton pursue such a clear bonehead? Because he wants to subvert the PM’s government so he’ll end up in the position. Of course, Ali runs an inept campaign, but he wins the seat when his main candidate admits to having sex with a horse. Against all odds, Ali’s “keep it real” philosophy wins friends and influences people, and he soon becomes a big shot. This causes strains with his girlfriend Julie (Kellie Bright) and all his pals back in Staines. Will Ali keep it real and still ensure the proper administration of the government?

Sure - who cares? The plot to Indahouse exists to create a slew of “fish out of water” circumstances and nothing more. It stretches credulity to an insane extreme, but no one watches flicks like this with an expectation of reality. Coarse wackiness rules the day in this gross-out comedy.

This makes Indahouse completely predictable but not without its charms. Cohen’s character doesn’t try to be likable, and that’s part of his charm. He’s a delusional phony without many redeeming elements, and perversely, that makes us like him. Or at least we enjoy his antics, as easily anticipated as they may be.

Indahouse mixes clever spoofs with gross gags. I mean, the movie essentially opens with shots in which Ali’s dog licks our lead’s genitals. Plenty of coarse bits show up during the movie, but they present moderate levels of cleverness. Some fare well, some sink, but the flick presents a reasonable amount of humor.

Really, Indahouse will be the kind of movie that either gains big fans or totally turns off the viewer. Granted, I thought it was somewhere in between those extremes; it occasionally made me laugh, but it also provoked more than a few groans. It’s a sporadically funny flick but not consistent enough to become a classic.


The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

Ali G Indahouse appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The picture didn’t seem immaculate, but it came across as consistently positive.

Sharpness was good most of the time. Some wide shots displayed a slight amount of softness, but those examples occurred rarely. Most of the movie looked distinct and detailed. No issues related to jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, but I did see a bit of edge enhancement at times. Print flaws looked minor. I noticed a few small specks, but otherwise the flick was clean and fresh.

Indahouse featured a bright and somewhat cartoony palette that seemed well reproduced here. The colors came across as rich and full at all times, and I noticed no problems connected to bleeding, noise or other issues. Black levels were deep and tight, while low-light situations appeared well defined and accurate. Overall, Indahouse presented a consistently attractive image.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Indahouse lacked great ambition but consistently satisfied. The soundfield maintained a pretty firm balance toward the forward speakers. Music showed solid stereo imaging, and the effects provided a fairly involving sense of atmosphere. However, the track occasionally expanded beyond general environment. Some directional elements popped up, especially at the film’s start. The fantasy gunfight used the spectrum well. Otherwise, the track stayed with fairly ambient audio, which allowed it to feel natural.

Audio quality was quite good. Speech mostly sounded distinct and accurate, and the lines always remained intelligible with no edginess. Music seemed reasonably bright and bold. The score was rich, and the hip-hop tunes bounced with nice low-end. Effects came across as accurate and full. This wasn’t a great mix, but it worked surprisingly well for the material.

The set of extras starts with an audio commentary from Ali G and Ricky C (Martin Freeman), both of whom sit together for a running, screen-specific piece. Yup, this is an “in-character” chat. This means you’ll learn very little about the making of the movie, though the pair discuss themselves as actors in the flick; they pretend they played themselves. Mostly they slag on each other and what they watch. This offers some moments of amusement but doesn’t go much of anywhere. Essentially, the more you like Ali G, the more you’ll enjoy this track. It’s not a particularly good character commentary, though.

After this comes a collection of deleted scenes. We get 12 of these plus a reel with outtakes and mistakes. All together, this package lasts 22 minutes and 12 seconds. An Ali G intro tells us they didn’t make the cut because they were “shitty”, but that’s not true. Some of them are actually pretty good, so I’d guess most got the boot for time concerns.

In the Video Diary, we find an 11-minute and 49-second featurette. It follows Ali G on various sets and locations. It’s all tongue in cheek, of course, and it’s moderately amusing.

The two-minute and 18-second Talking the Talk deciphers Ali G’s dialogue. After an Ali G intro, we see movie clips followed by very literal translations of his words. It’s another cute feature.

A Photo Gallery presents a running montage of pictures. It lasts 74 seconds and includes 12 publicity shots. We find one full trailer for Indahouse plus two teasers. The DVD opens with some Previews. These include ads for Shaun of the Dead, Drunken Jackasses - the Quest, and the new DVDs of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused, Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore.

Too smart to be a truly puerile flick, but too dumb to strongly appeal to that side of things, Ali G Indahouse suffers from the lack of consistency. It has its funny moments but can’t quite mesh well enough to become a strong movie. The DVD presents pretty strong picture and audio plus a reasonably good roster of extras. Ali G fans will likely enjoy this movie, but I doubt it’ll win over too many newbies.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.4242 Stars Number of Votes: 33
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