Thursday, October 30, 2008

Burn After Reading (2008)


This film tried so very hard to be awesome and it almost was. They had the cast, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, John Malkovich to name just a few. They had the quirky storyline and they had some classic situations throughout the film. So what happened? They tried too hard!

This film was pushing so hard to hit so many characters that even some great performances from the all-star cast couldn't cover the fact that every character was far and away too cliche to keep me interested! Brad Pitt's dumb gym jock was just too dumb, George Clooney's Needy playboy was just too cool and then too desperate, and Malkovich was just there to get pissed off and look beaten down! I can't wait til this film gets remade, by a director with a little more sense of subtlety! (Sorry I do like the Bros other work)

The Plot:

Burn After Reading, is a new comedy thriller from Academy Award winners, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, Fargo, The Big Lebowski).

At the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in Arlington, Virginia, analyst Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) arrives for a top-secret meeting. Unfortunately for Cox, the secret is soon out: he is being ousted. Cox does not take the news particularly well and returns to his Georgetown home to work on his memoirs and his drinking, not necessarily in that order. His wife Katie (Tilda Swinton) is dismayed, though not particularly surprised; she is already well into an illicit affair with Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney), a married federal marshal, and sets about making plans to leave Cox for Harry.

Elsewhere in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, and seemingly worlds apart, Hardbodies Fitness Centers employee Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) can barely concentrate on her work. She is consumed with her life plan for extensive cosmetic surgery, and confides her mission to can-do colleague Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt). Linda is all but oblivious to the fact that the gym's manager Ted Treffon (Richard Jenkins) pines for her even as she arranges dates via the Internet with other men.

When a computer disc containing material for the CIA analyst's memoirs accidentally falls into the hands of Linda and Chad, the duo are intent on exploiting their find. As Ted frets, "No good can come of this," events spiral out of everyone's and anyone's control, in a cascading series of darkly hilarious encounters.

The Cast:

George Clooney ... Harry Pfarrer

Frances McDormand ... Linda Litzke

John Malkovich ... Osbourne Cox

Tilda Swinton ... Katie Cox

Brad Pitt ... Chad Fieldhiemer

Richard Jenkins ... Ted Teffron

Elizabeth Marvel ... Sandy Pfarrer

David Rasche ... C.I.A Officer

J.K. Simmons ... C.I.A Superior

Olek Krupa ... Krapotkin

Michael Countryman ... Alan

Kevin Sussman ... Divorce Lawyer #1

J.R. Horne ... Divorce Lawyer #2

Hamilton Clancy ... Peck

Armand Schultz ... Olson

The Trailer


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