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Burn After Reading Burn After Reading
Movie Rating:
 9/10
DVD Rating:
 6/10
Overall Rating:
 9/10


Movie Details: View Here


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Starring:
George Clooney
Frances McDormand
Brad Pitt
John Malkovich
Tilda Swinton
Richard Jenkins


Special Features:
Finding The Burn (The making of Burn After Reading).
DC Insiders Run Amuck (An all-star cast creates the world of Washington, DC, insiders all trying to get ahead or find true love).
Welcome Back, George (This comedy piece features Mr. Clooney as he returns for his third collaboration with Ethan and Joel).

Other Info:
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Run Time: 96 min
Rating: R

Synopsis from DVD Cover:
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!

Quick Review:
The Coen brothers are nothing if they're not diversified. Having made a career out of creating such a wide variety of movies ("O Brother, Where Art Thou?", "Fargo," and "The Big Lebowski" all come from the same minds), award-gobbler "No Country For Old Men" still seemed like a huge departure for these guys, maybe because it was an adaptation? Anyway, after the brilliance of "No Country," everyone wondered where the Coens would go next - but I don't think anyone would have conjured up "Burn After Reading," a wacky, funny, slightly nonsensical adventure of sorts that throws in details and plots like a cinematic game of Mad Libs but still, in the end, works.

Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich) is having a hard time of it lately. He's lost his job, his wife (Tilda Swinton) is cheating on him, and now, the memoirs he was writing about his C.I.A. life have been ... misplaced. In other parts of town, Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) really just needs some cosmetic surgery to lift her out of her lonely life as a gym employee. As fate would have it, Osbourne's memoirs end up in the slightly dimwitted hands of Linda and her friend Chad (Brad Pitt), who decide to make their fortune by holding Osbourne's memoirs for ransom.

If you're looking for Coen comparison, this is more "Lebowski" with a little "Fargo" - and maybe even some "Raising Arizona." It's definitely the complete opposite of "No Country," which is probably the best move they could have made. That being said, there's no denying its Coen-acity, mainly, the convoluted plot that takes us all over the place and drops us off just about where we started. The other thing that they always get right, though, is casting. Without McDormand, Linda could come off clueless and pathetic, but in the right hands, this is a classic character full of heart and sadness. Harry Pfarrar isn't particularly likeable, but with Clooney adding desperation and paranoia in just the right spots, he is. And Brad Pitt - I prefer THIS Pitt to the Benjamin Button Pitt any day, because damn, he's funny. One of the last lines of the film, delivered by a harried C.I.A. supervisor just trying to map out the film's events in his mind, says, "Report back to me when it makes sense." It's going to be a long time before that happens, but that's why we watch.

Three Featurettes make up the selection of Extras: "Finding the Burn," a Making Of piece, "DC Insiders Run Amuck," which is basically a look at the cast, and "Welcome Back George," a funny but inconsequential look at George Clooney's continued association with the Coen brothers. They're all OK, but nothing great-the movie itself is worth buying, but not especially for the Special Features.

In Conclusion:
The perfect follow-up to the classic "No Country for Old Men," "Burn After Reading" is just a whole lot of confusing stuff going on with some memorable performances-and it's absolutely a must-see for any fan of cinema.


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