Saturday, January 3, 2009

Burn After Reading....a random joyful must see

Burn After Reading
Directors: The Coen Brothers
Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malcovich, Frances McDormand, Tilde Swinton
Rated: R
Tagline: Intelligence is Relative

I enjoy movie taglines, because they usually are a great way to see what you are getting before watching. In this case, it just made me laugh, because truly it is a very witty film, about seemingly stupid people, or rather smart people acting stupid.

The movie has several small story lines, that all intertwine in some way. Without fail, the Gym trainer story line is the most entertaining and held my interest the most. Played by Brad Pitt and Frances McDormad -these two seemingly smart gym trainers stumble upon the memoirs of a retired/fired CIA agent (played brilliantly by John Malcovich). McDormand, who is under the impression she needs several major plastic surgeries in order to be a good trainer - sees this as a profitable situation. Along with her flamboyant and hilarious partner in crime, "Chad" (Brad) they begin to ignorantly try to blackmail Malcovich.

Meanwhile - alcoholic CIA agent "Osbourne Cox" (Malcovich) is struggling with loosing his job and his wife (played convincingly coldly by Tilde Swinton) who is having an affair with the awkward, impulsively allergic and pornographic inventor, "Harry" (played by George Clooney). Cox then is contacted by the obviously idiotic duo who plan to blackmail him for his memoirs, that they found on a CD in the gym locker room. In between these various battles in his life, we see Cox passed out in a whiskey induced coma in various hilarious positions.

"Harry" seems to be somewhat of a sex addict, who has his wife on the side, (a traveling author), this cold English bitch as an affair - AND frequents online personal sites to find more dates. Which is where he meets McDormands character "Linda".

So as you can see, these hilarious characters all get tangled up together in a mess of drama, full of blackmail, sex, lies and memoirs.

Malcovich's consistently outraged character is wonderful, you want to feel bad for him, but he is SUCH an asshole, you just can't bring yourself to. McDormand is SO convincingly clueless but so convinced she is brilliant, and you realize most of the characters are like this.

Clooney has hilarious food allergies that cause him to gag, clear his throat with his tongue and fake anaphylactic shock throughout the movie. But by far, the show is stolen by Pitt - who's flamboyant, gal pal, gym trainer role is perfect if you have EVER met an over the top trainer at your local Gold's Gym. Down to how he takes drinks from his water bottle, to his training tactics in the background of shots....he kept me laughing.

Sadly - Pitt exits the movie too early, but alas that is one of the many "random" moments that make you continue watching the movie.

On a side note - JK Simmons plays a hilarious CIA superior. His oblivious attitude to corpses, unexplained deaths and murders is not only hilarious but I have a feeling eerily realistic.

Rating - **** (a great movie - SEE IT!!)

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