January 25, 2009

#011: Burn After Reading

This past week I was able to check out the new Coen brothers' creation. The Coen brothers really haven't registered in my mind until this past year after I saw "No Country For Old Men." I have seen a lot of their movies, but never realized who was behind them. I guess you could say that I am a luke-warm fan of theirs. I haven't even seen "Raising Arizona" which might be one of their most popular films. I think the first Coen movie I saw was "The Big Lebowski." I remember liking this movie, but didn't really see what the big deal was. I really want to see that one again because I think I would like it much better now. The next movie I saw was either "Fargo", or "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou". I liked both of those, "Oh Brother" definitely being the better of the two. While it was a decent movie, I don't think I could sit through "Fargo" again. Then there was "Intolerable Cruelty", which I didn't really like. Then "Ladykillers" which I absolutely hated. I had no clue that the same people had produced all of these movies, nor did I really make the connection going into "No Country". Right from the beginning I knew that "No Country" was going to be a great movie. By the end I was huge fan. At that point I looked to see who was behind it and realized what other movies they had made. All that being said to illustrate the point that these guys have the ability to make very good movies, but they can also put out some craptastic ones. For me "Burn After Reading" is definitely on the crappier side.
After "No Country" I had pretty high expectations for the next Coen movie. Shortly after BAR came out I was surprised to hear a lot of negative reviews. I was still holding out some hope for this one though. Right from the beginning I could tell this movie wasn't going to be up to the same level as "No Country". The story never really hooked me in. I found myself feeling bored quite a bit, and completely annoyed with the characters. I was still holding out hope for an interesting and surprising ending. I really feel like I was let down on that one too. There were some funny scenes in this movie; rather some funny lines in a few scenes. There were also some things that happened that created some situational humor. However, I don't really see how they classified this one as a straight up comedy. I realize that the Coens weren't going for a traditional comedy, but you still have to make it funny to call it a comedy. I know a lot of people hated the Brad Pitt character. I have to say that he didn't really bother me, and I actually found his mannerisms to be somewhat funny. I can see why other people hated his character, but I didn't mind him. So, I guess I can't really recommend this one to anybody. My lowered expectations were definitely not met by this film. There are a lot of better movies out there, and there are definitely much funnier ones.

~2 stars for this barely funny comedy. It is definitely watchable, but doesn't offer much more.


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