Early Web Buzz: Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno

Last night we posted some of the early Twitter Buzz that emerged from Universal's 22-minute SXSW screening of footage from Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat follow-up Bruno. But there is only so much that can be said in 140 characters from your mobile phone. Today we bring you clippings from some of the website and blog reactions to the three scenes screened at Austin. I have tried not to include any plot points or spoilers. Overall, it seems like everyone really liked it. One outlet seemed to have a problem with the possible usage of staged participants. Read the excerpts after the jump.

FirstShowing: "To the say the material was funny is a laughable insult itself. This brief look at Bruno quite possibly promises a more raucous laugh than Borat, which is no small feat." ... "From what I saw, Bruno may just redefine outrageous and will probably outdo Borat."FilmSchoolRejects: "If you're a Borat fan and were worried that Cohen had lost the anonymity necessary to dupe stereotypical Americans with humorous results, rest assured Bruno is f***ing hilarious. And if you're someone (like me) who thought Borat wasn't nearly as good as the hype led you to believe, again, rest assured that Bruno is still f***ing hilarious." ... "Hilarious. Eye-opening. Depressing. And at the very least, expect to see people walking around this summer with T-shirts proclaiming that "My a**hole's just for s***ting." Americans are a proud people...MTV: "A jaw-on-the-floor wow. Sacha Baron Cohen has done it again, delivering another WMD slam dunk of hysterically subversive mocku-comedy." ... "The stakes are higher, and Cohen seems to be flirting with a more dangerous powder keg of humor, the likes of which we've never seen before." ... "The film's take-no-prisoners approach was breathlessly funny, but no doubt some will ask: Has Sacha Baron Cohen gone too far?"AICN: "Yes, the footage was hilarious and yes, I think what was shown to us is every bit as funny as what was in BORAT or his original series DA ALI G SHOW." ... I don't think I laughed at anything harder than I did the first time I saw the naked fight scene in BORAT, but what really impressed me with the Bruno footage was the consistency of greatness. It was hilarious, envelope-pushing as always, but with Cohen's talent to layer it with some real hard looks at who we are as a people and a commentary on how people really act."Cinematical: "I don't know that I've ever heard an audience so completely lost in loud, helpless paroxysms of laughter. It was the equivalent of doing 20 minutes of cardio." ... "Hilarious and appalling." ... "Hysterically, chokingly, pants-wettingly funny." ... "What we saw was brilliant. I can't wait to see the rest."THR: "By showing both his own outrageousness and the foibles of the American public, Carlson says, the pic had the feel of Borat redux. Funny, in other words, but familiar. "You'll laugh and groan in all the right places, but it will never not feel familiar," he said. "It's funny deja vu, but it's still deja vu.""HitFix: "It appears that he has dramatically upped the stakes from "Borat," and I truly expect that this will be THE social conversation of July. If you do not see "Bruno," you will be on the outside of that conversation, and it's one that will encompass thoughts on race, religion, and (of course) sexuality."Spout: "From casting to trashy talk shows to filmed athletainment, Bruno is traveling through situations that have a certain artificiality built-in. Stage parents are desperate to sell their children into a fantasy; the Richard Beys of the world preceded reality TV producers in manipulating pathetic lives until they looked like entertainment; wrestling and its variants always include an element of theater. If Cohen had to amp up the element of staging in order to get his job done in a post-Borat world, it's interesting that he seems to be doing it within realms that rely on the construction of reality. What remains to be seen is whether or not that construction will make for the unrestrained comedy that we've come to expect from him."Austin Movie Blog: "The movie is bound to stir up just as much controversy as Borat. And that's the point." ... "Security was tight, the footage was rough and the crowd was howling."