Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

What is lupus? Selena Gomez diagnosis prompts questions...
Maksim Chmerkovskiy Will Return to 'Dancing With The St...
'The Good Wife' Cush Jumbo Tackles Comparisons...
'Class': 'Doctor Who' Spinoff Series Coming to BBC Thre...
'The Revenant' Trailer: Leonardo DiCaprio Seeks Revenge...
Will Trevor Noah Live Up To The Hype During Monday's 'D...
Watch Eddie Vedder, Beyonce Duet on Bob Marley's 'Redem...
'CSI' being laid to rest after 15 years ...
Big Brother Season 17 Finale Recap: Super Fan & Trombon...
Dancing With the Stars Recap: Bindi Irwin and Derek Hou...

Microsoft Store

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

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
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

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

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

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


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


Microsoft Store


music, selena gomez, lupus, chemotherapy, estrogen, lupus foundation of america, television, dancing with the stars, maksim chmerkovskiy, carrie ann inaba, bruno tonioli, julianne hough, the good wife, cush jumbo, archie panjabi, julianna margulies, bbc3, class, doctor who, buffy the vampire slayer, hunger games, steven moffat, brian minchin, movie, the revenant, leonardo dicaprio, tom hardy, alejandro g. inarritu, christmas day release, comedy channel, trevor noah, daily show, jon stewart, global citizen festival, pearl jam, byonce, ed sheeran, eddie vedder, cbs, csi, ted danson, elisabeth shue, elisabeth harnois, william petersen, marg helgenberger, big brother, abc, liz, steve, vanessa, julia chen, dr. will, bindi irwin, derek, hough, chaka khan, emmys 2015, laurence fishburne, tracee ellis ross, anthony anderson, will forte, jeffrey tambor, kym johnson, shark tank, robert herjavec, jungle book, cgi, scarlet johansson, bill murray, ben kingsley, idris elba, christopher walken, drama, celebrity apprentice, arnold schwarzenegger, donald trump, nbc, taylor swift, bad blood, emmy award, original interactive program, the late show, stephen colbert, ashley madison, horror, silent, epcot international food & wine festival, walt disney world, the chew, october, celebrity, jimmy fallon, tonight show, dj khaled, all i do is win, country music awards, eric church, little big town, miranda lambert, kenny chesney, sam hunt, maddie & tae, kacey musgraves, chris stapleton, late night, jeb bush, george clooney, war room, straight outta compton, faith-based drama, a walk in the woods, robert redford, september 8, documentary, history, movies, steven spielberg, the bfg, dreamworks, walt disney company, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store