04/24/2014  
One Direction: Reaching for the Stars Part 2 - The Next Chapter on DVD/VOD May 13Shelter Island on DVD May 13Pennsylvania Ballet at 50 on DVD May 13Flying Tigers & Home of the Brave on Blu-ray & DVD May 13Stalingrad on Two-Disc Blu-ray with 3D, DVD & Digital May 13The Dave Clark Five And Beyond: Glad All Over on DVD & Blu-ray May 13Longmire: Season 2 on DVD May 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'The Voice' Recap: Bottom Three Plead for Viewers' Save...
Stephen Colbert visits David Letterman and new 'Late Sh...
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o named People's most beautif...
One Direction: Reaching for the Stars Part 2 - The Next...
Shelter Island on DVD May 13...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (2005)

"How come there's no Halloween in India? Because they took away all the Gandhi!"
- Albert Brooks, bombing before a New Delhi audience

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: September 21, 2006

Stars: Albert Brooks, John Carroll Lynch, Sheetal Sheth, Jon Tenney, Fred Dalton Thompson, Penny Marshall
Director: Albert Brooks

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for drug content and brief strong language
Run Time: 01h:38m:16s
Release Date: August 29, 2006
UPC: 012569402829
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- C+BB+ D+

DVD Review

Sure, things are testy on the geopolitical stage, and yes, there are huge cultural chasms that separate America from the rest of the world, particularly those nations in which a majority of citizens practice Islam. But does that make it a comedy gold mine, or are we all just a bit too touchy to laugh at this sort of subject matter? That's a question that doesn't get the full-fledged answer it deserves from Albert Brooks' movie, which bears much of the trademark wit of the man who wrote, directed and stars in it, but it's really pretty thin, a hopeful premise that doesn't bear much fruit.

The action starts in L.A., with Brooks playing an on-screen incarnation of himself, outfitted with the perfectly decorated colonial house, accessorized with a lovely wife and adorable child, but professionally, things aren't exactly breaking Albert's way. Penny Marshall is forced to take a meeting with him, though she's got absolutely no interest in casting him in her remake of Harvey; professional salvation comes in the form of a registered letter from Washington, D.C. Brooks flies there to meet with a Presidential committee headed by former Senator and Law and Order regular Fred Dalton Thompson: will Brooks become a sort of ambassador at large to the Muslim world, in an effort to understand what makes Muslims laugh, and to forge a better cultural connection with them? All he'll have to do is turn in a 500-page report.

So Albert packs off to India and Pakistan, where he's chaperoned by a Mutt-and-Jeff duo from the State Department, and hires a capable Indian assistant with a jealous Iranian boyfriend. Certainly much of the joke is on Brooks, and the Indians react to him as anybody in any country would, some random foreigner accosting them in the street and asking them what they find funny. Add to that the fact that Brooks touts his bona fides as a representative of the U.S. Government, and it's no surprise to see the Indians fleeing in the other direction. Brooks decides to offer his hosts an evening of standup, to see what sort of material they respond to; the answer, of course, is none of it.

It's endearing to see Brooks have lots of fun at his own expense; he's best known on the streets of New Delhi as the voice of an animated fish. And the movie haphazardly builds toward the necessary international incident, involving Brooks, Al-Jazeera, the Pakistani border, and no small amount of hashish. But there's just not enough that's funny enough to push us through, and the whole thing feels sort of wispy; also—and this is part of the joke—Brooks comes away with not a scintilla of insight. And though India's Muslim population is significant, it's far from a majority—you can't help but think that the reason that Brooks doesn't find comedy in the Muslim world is because he never actually makes it there. It's like going to Buffalo to learn about Canada—close, maybe, but not close enough. (You've got to suspect that Brooks saw setting the movie in a country with a huge English-speaking population as a major advantage, but it's sort of at cross-purposes with his title.)

There's some nice interplay between Brooks and his doofy sidekicks, at least— John Carroll Lynch and Jon Tenney are deadpan funny as the guys from Foggy Bottom, and Sheetal Sheth is game and endearing as Maya, Albert's girl Friday. But you come away wishing that Brooks had set his sights a little higher, and been a bit more rigorous, because these days especially, whatever your faith, we could all use a good laugh.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: A nice enough transfer, preserving many of the picture-postcard images of the Indian landscape, but nothing spectacular.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Maybe a little overmixed on the 5.1 track, but some of the funniest stuff is here, actually, including more than a few bars of There's No Business Like Show Business played on a sitar.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 25 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Other than an original trailer, the only extra is a short package (04m:31s) of four deleted scenes, the best of which features Brooks desperately looking for validation by trying to find one of his own movies at a New Delhi video store—the clerk helpfully provides him with copies of Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

An effort from Albert Brooks that's only modestly funny—he's smart enough that it's not insufferably solipsistic, but it doesn't really follow through on its promise.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 





Covered California

Keywords

television, the voice, vocal competition, carson daly, twitter, usher, t.j. wilkins, shakira, tess boyer, dani moz, late show, david letterman, stephen colbert, cbs, comedy central, the colbert report, celebrity, lupita nyong'o, people mangazine, academy award, 12 years a slave, steve mcqueen, biography, documentary, box office, movies, good morning america, abc, lara spencer, josh elliot, nbc sports, george stephanopolous, robin roberts, movie, heaven is for real, connor corum, greg kinnear, thomas haden, books, gabriel garcia marquez, nobel laureate, one hundred years of solitude, war, cannes film festival, grace of monaco, nicole kidman, kristen stewart, robert pattinson, maps to the stars, julianne moore, foxcatcher, the homesman, tommy lee jones, hilary swank, mrs. doubtfire, robin williams, fox 2000, chris columbus, david berenhaum, drama, brad pitt, general stanley mcchrystal, the operators, afghanistan war film, david michod, gone girl gillian flynn, ben affleck, rosamund pike, elvis costello, she, nine inch nails, trent reznor, atticus ross, gone girl's score, ultimate warrior, james hellwig, wrestler, heart disease, world wrestling entertainment hall of fame, animation, hbo, game of thrones, jack gleeson, king joffrey baratheon, the purple wedding, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, shailene wookley, veronica roth, allegiant, divergent, insurgent, the croods, nicolas cage, joe, david gordon green, tye sheridan

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact