Tag Archives: Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading

Written and directed by the Coen brothers – you know, the guys that directed Fargo, The Big Lebowski, andNo Country for Old Men. In fact, the Coen brothers placed for something like five Owl Pellets in our first annual film awards (for No Country for Old Men).

In any case, I had a free evening a couple nights back and decided to go see Burn After Reading. Let’s just say I’m glad that I only had to drop $3 to see it.

Burn After Reading is essentially a series of wacky misunderstandings (think Friends.. yeah, the TV show) which lead to lack-luster punchlines. It’s half ass humor.

You might think that the cast of this movie would save it, but even the cast disappointed. Brad Pitt and John Malkovich where easily the most enjoyable characters, but, just like every other character, there was never enough space in the film to feel invested in them.

There are a few enjoyable moments in Burn After Reading, but not enough to redeem this disappointment.

At least the Coen brothers have something like four films coming out next year. I support, in their case, prolific film making.

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Some good new red band trailers

Here’s one for the Coen’s latest, Burn After Reading:

Amazing cast, right? Plus Pitt looks pretty hilarious.

This next one’s for the new Kevin Smith project. I normally wouldn’t be too excited, but he’s got Seth Rogen in the lead:

Let’s hope Smith redeems himself with this one.


What’s Next for the Coen Brothers?

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Flying high after the huge success of No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers, who have also written and directed films such as Fargo, Raising Arizona, and The Big Lebowski, have 4, yes FOUR, new films on the way.

First we’ll get Burn After Reading, which the duo has already completed. It’ll be released this September and stars Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and John Malkovich. In Burn After Reading, Malkovich will play an ousted CIA official whose memoirs accidentally fall into the hands of two unwise D.C. gym employees (Pitt & Clooney) who intend to exploit their find.

In 2009, the Coens will release A Serious Man, which is said to be a dark comedy about a Jewish college professor. A Serious Man will be set in 1960’s Minnesota.

In 2010, the literary adaptation The Yiddish Policeman’s Union will be released. This will be the 4th film adaptation of a Michael Chabon novel. The premise is as follows:

“Set in an alternate America where Jews have taken refuge in an Alaskan district after the collapse of Israel in 1948, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is a noir which follows detective Meyer Landsman as he attempts solving a murder, untangling a conspiracy, and generally reassembling his shambled life.”

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THEN, after all that, we’ll get yet another Coen brothers film in 2011, assuming all goes to plan. This one’s untitled as of now, but the Coens have released this statement regarding the project:

“We’ve written a western with a lot of violence in it. There’s scalping and hanging … it’s good. Indians torturing people with ants, cutting their eyelids off. It’s a proper western, a real western, set in the 1870s. It’s got a scene that no one will ever forget because of one particular chicken.”

Some sources are reporting the project to be a “spaghetti western,” however this is of course false, as a true spaghetti western must be produced by an Italian studio.

In addition to the 4 films listed above, the Coen brothers also have two projects “on the backburner.” They are Hail Caesar, which is a comedy about a 1920’s theatrical troupe’s attempt to stage Julius Caesar, and an adaptation of James Dickey’s novel To the White Sea. No word on when, or if, these films will ever be completed, but here’s hoping for releases in 2012 and 2013, just after the Coen’s western.

The Coen brothers have always been prolific, but this is pretty extaordinary, especially considering the Coens write all their screenplays. Personally, I’m most excited for the upcoming western, but all 4 projects sound pretty wonderful.


Most Anticipated Movies for 2008

At the moment, 2008 looks like it could possibly top the incredible year we had for movies in 2007. There are about 20 films I already can’t wait to see. To keep this post more on the short side, I’ll refrain from writing too much about each entry, but I will post links to each film’s IMDB page, in case you want to know more. This is one of those lists that will change weekly as the year progresses, but here it is as of January 31st…

20) The Argentine/Guerrilla

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A Che Guevara biopic from Steven Soderbergh (Traffic). Guevara will be played by Benicio Del Toro, who is always fantastic.

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19) Be Kind Rewind

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Michael Gondry is directing, and his films have all been unique and moving. This looks just plain fun.

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18 ) Where the Wild Things Are

Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) has always been wonderful, and this is a great story. Plus, this is Paul Dano’s first starring role. Hopefully this actually comes out this year.

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17) Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt

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As much as I loved Borat when it first came out, I’m a little sick of it now. However, that doesn’t make me any less excited for Bruno. This should be completely over-the-top.

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16) The International

From the director of Run, Lola, Run. It’s got Clive Owen and Naomi Watts in the lead roles. That’s all I know, but I can’t wait to see it.

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15) The Wrestler

The only reason this made it on the list is because Darren Aronofsky, who made The Fountain and Requiem for a Dream, is the director. I love his past work, and so while I’m looking forward to this, I honestly don’t think it looks all that great. Hopefully I’ll be wrong.

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14) Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay

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It was either this or Seth Rogen’s Pinapple Express. Only one stoner comedy could make the list. This, in my opinion, had a much funnier trailer, so here it is.

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13) Body of Lies

This is a new Ridley Scott crime thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. All the big names give me hope.

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12) Revolutionary Road

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Stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, and is directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty). This has oscar written all over it, which means it’ll probably crash and burn, but we’ll see.

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11) Synecdoche, New York

Anything involving Charlie Kaufman is at least worth a look. He’s the mind behind films like Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Human Nature, and Being John Malkovich. This is his first time directing, and he’s got Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead role. It’ll be good.

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10) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Based on the book by F. Scott Fitgerald. Directed by David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club). Stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Mhmm.

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9) Quantum of Solace

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Casino Royale’s follow up. They’ve got a great director for this one (Marc Forster), and Daniel Craig is back as bond. I’m excited.

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8 ) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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Even if this turns out to be awful I’ll be there opening day. It’s a guaranteed fun time.

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7) The Lovely Bones

It’ll be great to see Peter Jackson directing again. This will probably be more in the vein of Heavenly Creatures, smaller budget and all. Saoirse Ronan, the incredible child actor from Atonement, is the star. Can’t wait.

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6) Wall-E

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The new Pixar film. I’ve enjoyed everything they’ve put out so far (maybe not Cars, though), and I think this looks as good, if not better, than all of them, even Ratatouille and Finding Nemo.

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5) Australia

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This is Baz Luhrmann’s follow-up to Moulin Rouge. It should be epic, beautiful, and daring, just like everything he’s done in the past.

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4) Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince

Director David Yates is back. Considering how well he did with Order of the Phoenix, despite it being my least favorite book, I can’t wait to see what he can do with Half-Blood Prince, which just happens to be my favorite of the 7 books. I actually expect this to be the best Harry Potter yet.

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3) Burn After Reading

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This is high on the list for no other reason than it’s the new Coen brothers film, and last year’s No Country for Old Men was pretty amazing.

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2) Ponyo on a Cliff

Legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki’s (Spirited Away) swan song. This, unlike most animated films, will be done with water-colors. No CGI, completely hand-drawn. It’ll be beautiful. Plus, Miyazaki’s managed to never make a bad movie.

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1) The Dark Knight

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My most anticipated for mostly obvious reasons. Batman Begins was pretty incredible, and all signs are pointing to the sequel being even better.

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