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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • Additional footage - Xmas message and a hidden extra

Ali G - Aiii

Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 98 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Should there be anyone reading this who does not know of Ali G, a brief biography and reading a review or two is not going to be sufficient to get to know the character. For those that count themselves fans - respect. Ali G is the creation of Sacha Baren Cohen, and he's found great success in his home country of England, and is starting to make the same sort of inroads into popular culture here in Australia.

The first series of Da Ali G Show is soon to be rerun on Australian television and will almost certainly attract more viewers than it did the first time around. It is a comedy show, hosted by the character that is Ali G. He is a white boy wanna-be gangsta rapper, and is renowned for his unique interviewing techniques, his short sketches usually based on his sexual prowess and his bad boy image. He comes from the ghetto of Staines, and is extremely proud of his roots. He is heavily influenced by the rap culture, and dresses and speaks appropriately. In fact, there is almost a whole new language based on Ali-speak, and don't be surprised if you hear more and more kids talking like Ali as his exposure increases. Ali G: Aiii is a 98 minute collection of sketches, studio interviews, and location reports from such varied places as the Pornography Festival in Cannes, to the USA where he is the guest of both the FBI (FB - Aiii?) and NASA.

The funniest moments are when the interviewer is not in on the joke (a la Norman Gunston). The line of questioning is deliberately provocative, sexist, homophobic, or racist, and even though the character of Ali G is genuine, the actor behind the character must be having a ball. Like all good comedy, it uses parody as a weapon and those laughing at Ali G often don't realise they are, in essence, laughing at themselves. The in-studio stuff is not quite as funny, as the invited guests mostly know what is happening, though there are still some amusing moments.

The Ali G selections are augmented by another character named Borat, a 'reporter' from Kazakhstan television who presents several feature pieces on what it is to be British. Apparently Ali G intercepted his work while surfing cable television. This character is just as funny as Ali G and again the joke works best when the interviewee is unaware of the 'joke'.

The bonus of having this on DVD is the extra footage that you won't see on television. It is not necessarily funnier, just a little more adult in content. If you have only seen the television show, then there will be a few moments that should be new to you. For those that have not yet been caught up in the Ali G thing, then I suggest you do so quickly. You are bound to get a few good laughs, but for how long is anyone's guess. As amusing as this is, one-joke phenomena have a way of fading away quickly.

  Video
Contract

Ali G: Aiii is presented mostly in the aspect ratio 1.78:1, although there are several segments that are as wide as 2.35:1, however none are full frame or anamorphically enhanced. I suspect the cover may say this is anamorphically enhanced, but no cover was supplied with the review copy. Having been recorded on videotape for television, this is generally of good quality, though the reports from Borat are deliberately inferior (to give the impression it was filmed for Kazakhstani television). There is the very occasional shimmer on certain objects in the location filming, but grain is at a bare minimum. The general sharpness of the image is good, and the footage filmed in the studio is very detailed and sharp.

Colours too are very good, and Ali's brightly coloured outfits look fantastic. Black levels are also very good, and shadow detail is generally excellent. There is no evidence of noise or colour bleeding or cross colouration. Neither are there any problems with marks or specks. There are the occasional moments when a boom mike can be seen during Borat's segments, but there is every likelihood that this was intentional.

  Audio
Contract

Being a comedy television show, the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo is both acceptable and unremarkable. The few musical pieces show that the low-level sounds are rich, and clarity is never a problem. Vocals are clear at all times, though Ali-speak can be a bit tough to follow at first. The audio is well synchronised. There is little to no noticeable separation, but neither is there any need for it. The emphasis is on the dialogue, after all.

The only gripe is the incorrectly coded subtitles. The option "Off" is actually one of the foreign language subtitles, and the no subtitle option is labeled as subtitle track "7". There is no layer change.

  Extras
Contract

There are two genuinely amusing extras, though one is a hidden Easter egg that is not particularly hard to find and is accessed from the main menu. See our Easter egg page for instructions. The second extra is Ali G's Christmas Message to the Nation. At just over ten minutes it is quite amusing, but dates itself by making references to the year 1999. It was first shown in Britain at the same time as the Queen's Christmas message, but I suspect she was less funny.

  Overall  
Contract

Check dis! Ali G on DVD is good fa a laugh, as long as you is not scared of being politiclalaly incorrect. If you is a batty boy, then yous might get down. For real. If not, den dis is da wickedest way to waste a couple of hours. Aiii.


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      And I quote...
    "Check dis. Ali G is on DVD for da new millelium and is well wicked. Boyakasha! "
    - Terry Kemp
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Akai
    • TV:
          TEAC CT-F803 80cm Super Flat Screen
    • Receiver:
          Pioneer VSX-D409
    • Speakers:
          Wellings
    • Centre Speaker:
          Wellings
    • Surrounds:
          Wellings
    • Subwoofer:
          Sherwood SP 210W
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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