Three and a half stars (R)
Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Pamela Anderson
British comic Cohen stars as a gangly journalist from a backwards country traveling across America to make a cultural documentary, accompanied by his short, squat producer (Davitian). This is one of those deals where the performer adopts a bizarre persona and goes out in public that way, filming the reactions of real people who don’t realize they are interacting with an actor. The annoying technique works here: Cohen uses his comic creation to poke and prod at manners, the class system, prejudices, jingoism and ignorance. Squirm-inducing and pretty damn funny. 83 minutes. DVD INFO: Two separately packaged DVDs are available: One preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other hacks off nearly a third of the picture for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. Both versions include Kazakhstan Bay Watch spoof; deleted scenes; Rodeo News Report; plus a World Promotions Tour featurette.