Friday, September 12, 2014

A Bloggers' Film Society: September 2014: Burn After Reading

Has a month come and gone already?  The start of the school year has meant a dearth of posts from yours truly.  Either way it is time for another installment of A Bloggers' Film Society hosted by The Armchair Squid and yours truly.

Our Society is just starting out.  Please consider checking out the other folks who have signed up to review this month's offering by clicking HERE!  And perhaps YOU will join us next month?

Currently #812 on my flickchart list

As you may or may not know, The Squid and I are friends in real life.  I love the man like a brother.  The Venn diagram of us has more in the middle than not.  That being said, our entertainment tastes do not always line up.  From the outside looking in, one might consider him a great many ways.  I like that we do line up enough so that when we are not in sync, we can have intelligent conversations none-the-less.

I really wanted to like this movie.  But I did not.

I am not a Focus Film fan.  For awhile, Nan and I used it as our buzzword to dismiss a movie out of hand.  And like most Focus Films, this one seemed to be trying too hard, Frances McDormand and George Clooney especially.  I kept expecting one of them to pull out the old Jon Lovitz as Master Thespian "ACTING!" line.  And like Clooney's overall performance, I felt the movie couldn't pick a style and stick with it.  Serious drama?  Wacky comedy?  Spy flick? Comedy of errors?  If it wanted any or all of them, I do not feel it succeeded.

Looking over the Coen brothers' body of work, I realize that I have seen many of their films but have liked few.

But there were parts I liked in here.  Some of the dialog and scenes really crackled, especially early on.  John Malkovich was a hoot.  JK Simmons' world-weary, semi-clueless CIA boss was a delight (though, to be honest, I don't think I've ever seen him in a role I didn't like).  And whereas some actors (like Clooney, Bruce Willis or Tom Cruise) often have a hard time convincing me they are playing a character that is NOT them, Brad Pitt usually surprises me.  This time was no different.  I think I just like the guy as an actor.

Overall, the movie started out intriguing.  I was hooked and interested,  but at some point it just sort of lost its way.  Perhaps it was intentional.  I do not know.  But at that point I no longer cared.


Please consider joining us next month.  Squid will reveal our next installment on his blog.  He and I are planning on watching the movie together with our Third Musketeer.  I am looking forward to the movie and the company!


  1. I look forward to UNBREAKABLE. I have a like of M Night Shyamalan and comics, so...

    Likewise, I wasn't won over by BURN. In fact, apart from Simmons and a few scenes with Pitt, I thought the best thing about it was its brevity. I pretty much hated every character. And, I'm not a hater.

  2. I love you, too, bud.

    I don't know if I expected you to like this movie but I'm glad to have provided an excuse for you to watch it. The Brothers are hit or miss for me but the pure absurdity of this one keeps me going.

    Pitt is nearly always stronger in support than he is in the lead.

    Looking forward to the next one!

  3. I think you have to already be a tad cynical to get a movie like this. You are pure, Mock! Stay that way!

  4. Sorry you didn't like this movie. The Coen Brothers, and apparently Focus Films, isn't for everyone. At least you liked Pitt and Simmons. If you hadn't I'd wonder about you. ;)


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