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Burn After Reading [Blu-ray]
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An all-star cast, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and John Malkovich, come together in this outrageous spy comedy about murder, blackmail, sex addiction and physical fitness!When a disc filled with some of the CIA’s most irrelevant secrets gets in the hands of two determined, but dim-witted, gym employees, the duo are intent on exploiting their find. But since blackmail is a trade better left for the experts, events soon spiral out of everyone’s and anyone’s control, resulting in a non-stop series of hilarious encounters!From Joel and Ethan Coen, the Academy Award-winning directors of No Country For Old Men and The Big Lebowski, comes this brilliantly clever and endlessly entertaining movie that critics are calling, “smart, funny, and original” (Ben Lyons, E!).
After the dark brilliance of No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading may seem like a trifle, but few filmmakers elevate the trivial to art quite like Joel and Ethan Coen. Inspired by Stansfield Turner's Burn Before Reading, the comically convoluted plot clicks into gear when the CIA gives analyst Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) the boot. Little does Cox know his wife, Katie (Tilda Swinton, riffing on her Michael Clayton character), is seeing married federal marshal Harry (George Clooney, Swinton's Clayton co-star, playing off his Syriana role). To get back at the Agency, Cox works on his memoirs. Through a twist of fate, fitness club workers Linda (Frances McDormand) and Chad (Brad Pitt in a pompadour that recalls Johnny Suede) find the disc and try to wrangle a "Samaratin tax" out of the surly alcoholic. An avid Internet dater, Linda plans to use the money for plastic surgery, oblivious that her manager, Ted (The Visitor's Richard Jenkins), likes her just the way she is. Though it sounds like a Beltway remake of The Big Lebowski, the Coen entry it most closely resembles, this time the brothers concentrate their energies on the myriad insecurities endemic to the mid-life crisis--with the exception of Chad, who's too dense to share such concerns, leading to the funniest performance of Pitt's career. If Lebowski represented the Coen's unique approach to film noir, Burn sees them putting their irresistibly absurdist stamp on paranoid thrillers from Enemy of the State to The Bourne Identity. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Stills from Burn After Reading (Click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
THE LACK OF A PLOT WAS PART OF THE POINT!
THE POINT OF THE MOVIE WAS HOW TRULY POINTLESS MOST THINGS ARE!
In their brilliance, the coens were MAKING A POINT BY MAKING A MOVIE WITH NO POINT!
This film is true genius and one of the funniest films I have ever seen. Clooney was a perverted mess and Pitt was genius as a mindless but fun good samaritan. If you know anything about comedy, you will love this film.
In Burn After Reading, they tie together such diverse subjects as liposuction,spies and gym instructors. Frances McDormand, who is a favorite of the Coens, once again shines in this movie. She is a favorite of mine and I have to watch closely to see the art behind her work. She is simply believable to me in nearly every role.
George Clooney and Brad Pitt both get to be awkward and clownish. Pitt plays a gym instructor who discovers a disc created by Osborne Cox (played by John Malkovich) Cox is not having a good year, having been demoted as a spy and also about to have his marriage implode.
When Pitt and McDormand (both gym instructors) discover the tape, it sets into motion a whole sequences of plot twists and turns that kept me hooked. I foresaw some of them but was surprised by many other scenes....and some moments were simply laugh out loud funny. Others were horrifying. Mostly, it was a very weird movie, in the best sense of the word "weird".
I also felt that there was something poignant about this film. In the ending scene, when there is musing about what happened and the lessons learned, I felt the Coens were coming as close to delivering an overall message - or warning - as they ever do, perhaps hinting at the dangers about being too complacent about security and safety and depending on the government to provide that. The movie left me wanting more, so I went back and looked at key scenes again.
Also recommended? The shooting script for this movie.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the movie was not funny the previews were better than the movie
I recently saw other great secret agent movies:
- The Debt
- a foreign movie with secret agents named THE KILLER...Read more
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