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Burn After Reading [Blu-ray]
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CIA Officer: Um... I don't know.
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):
1. CIA analyst Cox (John Malkovich) has a falling out with the agency, and decides to write a tell-all memoir.
2. His wife (Tilda Swinton) wants a divorce, and to make sure she's forearmed with his finances, she burns a copy of some of his computer files
3. Said files fall into the incapable hands of clueless gym employees Chad (Brad Pitt) and Linda (Frances McDormand), who decide to try extortion as a fund raising exercise.
4. No prizes for guessing that it doesn't quite work as planned
5. Meanwhile, Mrs. Cox is having an affair, Linda is looking for both love and cosmetic surgery, and Treasury agent Harry (George Clooney) is sleeping around.
6. Black comedy of errors follows with some rather unpredictable twists.
Fans of black comedy will thoroughly enjoy this movie, which is well directed, brilliantly acted and immensely entertaining. Kudos go to Malkovich, Pitt, Swinton and Clooney, but the top award definitely goes to McDormand, who will have you sharing her pain.
Four and a half stars go to the Coen Brothers for this bleak look at life, adultery, blackmail and people behaving badly.
The movie is directed by the Coen brothers and stars Clooney, Pitt, McDormand, Malkovich and Swinton. What's not to like?
I'm hard to please when it comes to humor, but several Coen brothers films hit the spot. It's clever dialogue rather than slapstick physical humor, and some of it is unpredictable. I can't laugh when I see a joke coming from a mile away wearing a T-shirt with "This is funny, laugh now" written on it. I like to be surprised.
So what is surprising about Burn After Reading?
Harry Pfarrer (Clooney) has no redeeming features. He's married, but sees other women at every opportunity. He's having an affair with Katie Cox (Swinton). Harry is shallow, paranoid and somewhat stupid and Clooney plays the character with his usual charm and good humor.
If there is anyone dumber than Harry, it has to be Chad Feldheimer (Pitt), who works in a gym. Chad is a complete idiot in every way. His friend at the gym is Linda Litzke (McDormand), who is obsessed with undergoing cosmetic surgery to improve her appearance.
Osborne Cox (Malkovich) is married to Katie and works as an analyst for the CIA. Most of his sentences include at least one profanity and he's borderline alcoholic. The story begins with a meeting in which Osborne is told that he will be demoted, but instead of accepting the situation, he quits. Katie is not pleased, even though she's on the verge of leaving him for Harry.
There's not much of a plot.Read more ›
This film has all the delightful earmarks of a typical Coen Brothers film: It's full of ordinary, somewhat dim characters, greed has a major role, the dialogue is often hysterically funny, and things get quickly out of hand and disaster ensues. The casting is typically odd; Clooney is made out to be a pretentious and rather unsavory guy despite his charisma and Pitt is a foolish simpleton. McDormand is wonderful as the naive middle-ager who gets mixed up in international affairs, and Malkovich is manic and off-kilter as usual.
It's all chaotic and weird, silliness gone wild that is fun to watch but soon forgotten.
Most recent customer reviews
Big name stars. Brad Pitt back to his zany role. If you liked him in "12 Monkeys", here he is again. Read morePublished 10 months ago by The Movie Guy
Whenever I need a laugh - this movie will deliver. It's crazy funny.Published 16 months ago by Mac 007
I finished it ... barely... don't expect a typical Coen brothers movie...Published 23 months ago by RAMBOSMITH