New on DVD: Burn After Reading

New on DVD: Burn After Reading

This is top-notch Coen Brothers and will have you laughing from beginning to end. A must-see and see again flick. Osborne (John Malkovich) was a C.I.A. analyst until he quit after what he felt was an unfair demotion. Larry (George Clooney) is a U.S. Marshall and married philanderer who is sleeping with Osborne’s wife (Tilda […]

This is top-notch Coen Brothers and will have you laughing from beginning to end. A must-see and see again flick.

Osborne (John Malkovich) was a C.I.A. analyst until he quit after what he felt was an unfair demotion. Larry (George Clooney) is a U.S. Marshall and married philanderer who is sleeping with Osborne’s wife (Tilda Swinton). He is also dating Linda (Frances McDormand), who along with her can-do best friend Chad (Brad Pitt) is blackmailing Osborne over some “sensitive” information found in the locker room at Hardbodies Fitness Center, where they work.

On the surface this sounds like it could be a political drama but when all the characters are blunderers it tends to go in a different direction. Designers faced a difficult task in making two of People’s sexiest men alive into less attractive fools. For Clooney, it’s thoroughly achieved via a gold chain and high-wasted pants; Pitt has terribly bleached hair and is always bouncing to the beat of an iPod.

While many of the characters’ actions seem ridiculous, they actually have typical worries that plague the middle-aged – they’re just slightly more exaggerated than most people’s experiences.

The Coen Brothers have had their fair share of hits and misses over the years but this one is sure to be a winner. They wrote each part specifically for each actor and the players really step up to the challenge. Fortunately, they are all very strong and competent actors so no one overshadows anyone else. Nonetheless, JK Simmons has some of the best lines in the film as a C.I.A. superior.

As is habit with the Coens’ DVD releases, the bonus features feel insufficient. “Finding the Burn” is a five-minute “making of” featurette that reveals very little regarding the shooting process. “DC Insiders Run Amuck” is 12-minutes and is divided into sections dedicated to the actor and his/her character, with each relating how the costume was significant to their persona. Lastly, “Welcome Back, George” is an amusing, short featurette about the Clooney’s tendency to be cast as a fool by the Coen Brothers. With such an extraordinary and entertaining cast, the lack of special features will only leave you wanting more.