"Burn After Reading"

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Ralph
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"Burn After Reading"

Post by Ralph » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:32 pm

The Coen brothers created tense, suspenseful flicks like "Fargo" which grip the viewer from beginning to end. They've also shown a lighter side, exposing human foibles in "No Country foir Old Men" and crafting period romantic comedies like "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day." Their latest - "Read After Burning" - had the late Friday night audience laughing from beginning to end as this send-up of the CIA and officious Washington went from one absurdity to another.

Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand make an ad hoc pair of would be Top Secret-document sellers, the material on a disc lost by cashiered CIA analyst John Malkovich. McDormand needs money to have four cosmetic surgeries her insurance won't cover. Malkovich's wife, Tilda Swinton, is reunited with "Michael Clayton" co-star, George Clooney, her lover. Swinton, a fine actress, has the most laid back (sort of ) role and doesn't flash her screen power as she did in "Michael Clayton." Pitt, a gym trainer, can only be described as ridiculous and a scene stealer.

Clooney is a sometime personal protection officer at Treasury and a full-time philanderer. Malkovich bursts with loud and profane rancor, showering the scenes with the explosive release of anger triggered by being fired by the Agency after decades of service.

The story, with multiple, interlocking infidelities is plain silly but the lines are good and the pace fast. The Coens again have shown they can do just about anything well.

Don't run out until the credits have rolled - listen to the accompanying song! :)
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jserraglio
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Re: "Burn After Reading"

Post by jserraglio » Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:17 am

Thanks, Ralph. Didnt know about this one.

I'll have to see it and No Country. I enjoyed Raising Arizona and Fargo. Havent seen The Big Lebowski yet either.

Corlyss_D
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Re: "Burn After Reading"

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:19 pm

jserraglio wrote:Thanks, Ralph. Didnt know about this one.

I'll have to see No Country.
I want to see Burn - Pitt seems to me to be a greatly underrated comic actor after I saw The Mexican and I look forward to it. No Country for Old Men was one of the darkest and most depressing movies I've seen in a long time for being by the Coen Bros. and having a couple of actors I really enjoy watching like Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson and for Josh Brolin being the hottest I've ever seen him.
Corlyss
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Ralph
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Re: "Burn After Reading"

Post by Ralph » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:08 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
jserraglio wrote:Thanks, Ralph. Didnt know about this one.

I'll have to see No Country.
I want to see Burn - Pitt seems to me to be a greatly underrated comic actor after I saw The Mexican and I look forward to it. No Country for Old Men was one of the darkest and most depressing movies I've seen in a long time for being by the Coen Bros. and having a couple of actors I really enjoy watching like Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson and for Josh Brolin being the hottest I've ever seen him.
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What was depressing about "No Country for Old Men?" Didn't you have to admire the individualism of the Javier Bardem character?
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Corlyss_D
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Re: "Burn After Reading"

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:35 pm

Ralph wrote: What was depressing about "No Country for Old Men?" Didn't you have to admire the individualism of the Javier Bardem character?
Mmmmm. No. The gratuitous violence wasn't played for laffs like it was in Fargo. At least I didn't see it that way and it put me off greatly. Badem was more central than the albino in Fargo and yet didn't seem to have any more development than that character. No Country seemed to me more like the grim Blood Simple.
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Seán
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Re: "Burn After Reading"

Post by Seán » Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:12 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Ralph wrote: What was depressing about "No Country for Old Men?" Didn't you have to admire the individualism of the Javier Bardem character?
Mmmmm. No. The gratuitous violence wasn't played for laffs like it was in Fargo. At least I didn't see it that way and it put me off greatly. Badem was more central than the albino in Fargo and yet didn't seem to have any more development than that character. No Country seemed to me more like the grim Blood Simple.
The storyline is faithful to Cormac McCarthy's book of the same name, it's a great read. From my experience women don't like this story whilst men love it.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Ralph
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Re: "Burn After Reading"

Post by Ralph » Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:01 am

BBC NEWS
Coen brothers rule US box office

Oscar-winning film-makers the Coen brothers have topped the North American box office chart with their latest release, Burn After Reading.

The movie, which stars Brad Pitt, George Clooney and John Malkovich, scored the pair's best opening week takings, with sales of $19.4m (£10.7m).

The Family That Preys was beaten into second place, with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino's Righteous Kill at three.

Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country For Old Men won four Oscars this year.

Box office upturn

The film-making pair have broken into more commercial territory with the new release, according to Focus Features distribution president Jack Foley.

"They've become more of a household name," he added, citing their Oscar-winning sheen and the stellar cast of the film.

Writer-director Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys, starring Kathy Bates, gives him five films that have made their debut at number one or two in the box office ratings.

Last weekend's chart topper, Bangkok Dangerous starring Nicolas Cage, slumped to eight, behind Batman epic The Dark Knight at number seven.

Total box office takings across the weekend in North America are expected to surpass $100m (£55.4m), reversing a seven-week slide in takings.

Last weekend was the least successful in five years.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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karlhenning
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Re: "Burn After Reading"

Post by karlhenning » Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:22 am

Friend of mine who just finished a program in film-scoring at Berklee saw this, and reports most enthusiastically.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Cosima__J

Re: "Burn After Reading"

Post by Cosima__J » Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:25 pm

Not as good as some of the other Coen brothers' efforts, but still entertaining. Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand were hilarious together.

Corlyss_D
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Re: "Burn After Reading"

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:01 am

Seán wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:The gratuitous violence wasn't played for laffs like it was in Fargo. At least I didn't see it that way and it put me off greatly. Badem was more central than the albino in Fargo and yet didn't seem to have any more development than that character. No Country seemed to me more like the grim Blood Simple.
The storyline is faithful to Cormac McCarthy's book of the same name, it's a great read. From my experience women don't like this story whilst men love it.
Ugh. I'm behaving to type. :oops:
Corlyss
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Corlyss_D
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Re: "Burn After Reading"

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:44 pm

Okey dokey. I went to see it this afternoon. McDormand and Pitt were brilliant. I haven't made up my mind if I thought the movie was funny and may have to see it again. I loved David Rasche's Palmer, the CIA agent briefing J.K. Simmons' CIA chief. He was positively channeling Bob Newhart. Coen Bros. may be becoming like the 3 Stooges for me: a guy thing that I just can't get into any more.
Corlyss
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Cosima__J

Re: "Burn After Reading"

Post by Cosima__J » Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:54 am

Corlyss, David Rasche was the star of a really old TV series called "Sledge Hammer" --- something a friend of mine picked up on DVD. He was hilarious as a gun crazy police detective. He slept with his gun by his pillow and was always shooting things.

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