Playing a role in Hugo has paid off in an unexpected way for Sacha Baron Cohen. The actor had a big role in Martin Scorsese‘s most recent film, playing the over-enthusiastic watchman who patrolled the Paris train station in which Hugo was hiding. And now Cohen has his own movie, The Dictator, opening next week. To promote the picture, Cohen enlisted his Hugo director to round out a skit on SNL. The results are… weird. Check out the Weekend Update interview segment below. Read More »

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I can’t really think of anyone more perfect to poke fun at vile tyranny than Sacha Baron Cohen, the guy who brought us Borat, Ali G, and Bruno. While plenty of comedians play at edginess, Cohen’s material feels genuinely daring and fresh — not to mention very, very funny.

So I’m a bit sad to admit that none of the clips or trailers we’ve seen for The Dictator so far have done all that much for me. Still, I’ve got my fingers crossed that my first impressions will wind up being dead wrong, and this amusing clip of the opening sequence offers a glimmer of hope. Watch it after the jump.

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Monday at CinemaCon, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation presented footage from their upcoming 2012 slate to a room full of theater exhibitors (and a few press). After the jump you will find a video blog I recorded with Frosty from Collider reacting to 25 minutes of Madagascar 3, 15 minutes of Rise of the Guardians, three scenes from Christopher McQuarrie‘s One Shot starring Tom Cruise and a sequence from Sacha Baron Cohen‘s The Dictator. You may be surprised at what we liked and we we didn’t care for.¬†We previously covered the GI Joe: Retaliation sizzle reel in a previous video blog elsewhere on the site, so we won’t repeat our reactions here.

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Even if you’ve long since outgrown summer vacation, there’s just something about warmer weather that makes it tempting to put aside the heavy, thought-provoking stuff and look for a good, lighthearted laugh instead. If you’re curious what the upcoming season has in store for you on that front, hit the jump to check out new posters for The Dictator, Rock of Ages, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and Neighborhood Watch.

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This weekend’s The Three Stooges doesn’t look too promising (though there are a handful of positive reviews), and last week’s American Reunion was only okay. Fortunately, there are a couple of much more enticing comedies on the horizon. The latest project from producer Judd Apatow‘s laugh factory, The Five-Year Engagement, is due out later this month, followed a few weeks later by the opening of Sacha Baron Cohen‘s newest exercise in politically incorrect insanity, The Dictator.

Because we know that not a one of you feel like working on a Friday afternoon (otherwise, you’d be actually working instead of checking /Film), we’ve got new clips from both. For the less humorously inclined, there’s also another new scene from The Avengers. Hit the jump to watch.

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The Dictator, the new film from Borat creator and star Sacha Baron Cohen and director Larry Charles, hasn’t had the easiest PR swing so far. The first teaser and trailers for the film were fairly limp, and the best bit of promo we’ve seen for the film was when Cohen spoke out, in character, against his supposed ban from the Oscars.

Now there is a French trailer for the movie, and it is actually quite funny. Or I thought so, at least. There’s a trade-off, however, in that this trailer also reveals a plot point that was obscured in the earlier materials. I think it’s a fair trade, as I’ll take the laughs over the preservation of plot secrets for a film like this. But if you want to avoid spoilers, click away from this one for now. Read More »

While the Madagascar franchise has never drawn Pixar levels of respect (what does, really?), for kid-oriented entertainment you could do a lot worse that these films. The series has generally been cute, mildly amusing, and totally inoffensive — which may not sound like glowing praise, but that’s a lot more than I can say for Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked — and the newest entry, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted seems to be along the same lines.

Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith are on board once again as a quartet of Central Park Zoo animals just trying to get back to New York. Unfortunately, they wind up in Europe instead, where they’re chased by a ruthless animal control squad led by Capitaine Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand). In an effort to escape their clutches, they take up with a circus traveling across the continent, meeting new friends like Vitaly the tiger (Bryan Cranston), Gia the jaguar (Jessica Chastain), and Stefano the sea lion (Martin Short) along the way. Watch the first full trailer after the jump.

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The best possible marketing push for Paramount’s The Dictator has been a free bit of publicity from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. When Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as General Aladeen from the great Republic Of Wadiya, discussed showing up at the Oscars this weekend, AMPAS took swift action, and banned him.

Or, if you want to be really accurate about it, he wasn’t quite banned. But “Sacha Baron Cohen Banned From Oscars!” is a much better headline than “AMPAS Suggests Sacha Baron Cohen Appearance in Character as Dictator Would Taint Oscar Proceedings, Hopes He’ll Just Wear a Tux Like Everyone Else.”

So, naturally, Cohen and Paramount are running with the idea that he has been prohibited from attending. Er, sorry, that General Aladeen has been prevented from attending. Now the General has responded to AMPAS, and you can watch his statement below. Read More »

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