Comments on watching and making films.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Burn After Reading

This is a little late, considering I saw this film almost a month ago, but, better late than never. Burn After Reading see's the Coen Brother's return to dark comedy after their cinematic adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men, and the more mainstream (but not very popular) Intolerable Cruelty and The Lady Killers. The Coen's have a bit of a reputation for a darker brand of humor, and have no problem jumping right back into it, even after the huge mainstream success of No Country.

The film stars Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt as a couple of dimwitted gym workers. McDormand, who plays Linda Litzke, is trying to get plastic surgery so that she can look younger and fitter, so that she can attract more men. Her insurance, however, won't pay for the procedure. When her doofus friend, and fellow gym employee, Chad (Pitt) finds a disk that he says holds secret government documents on it, they attempt to blackmail the owner of the disk, now ex-CIA agent Osborne Cox (played by John Malkovich) into giving them the money they need. Cox, though, isn't giving them a dime, and Linda and Chad's attempt at blackmail only leads them further down the rabbit hole.

Burn After Reading is hilarious. I mean, some of the jokes are only funny if you find off the wall, out of nowhere violence funny, but, hey, that's what the Coen's do best - make you laugh at things that shouldn't be funny. George Clooney is particularly hysterical as a sex crazed, ex-FBI agent, and JK Simmons is equally hilarious as an apathetic CIA boss.

While the film does drag a little, at times, I find that, for the most part, the Coen's always seem to deliver with something hilarious to keep you coming back for more. I really can't wait to see what they come up with next, and whether it's more serious, like No Country For Old Men, or more dark humor like Burn After Reading, I'm all for it. Or, you know, they could make a Big Lebowski 2. I know I'm not the only one who would be looking forward to that...

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