Isn’t as funny as I was told it was.
Burn After Reading isn’t funny at all. Burn after filming would have been a better idea.
Talk about some bad movie picks on my part.
I would link to both of these movies, but some prick would tell me in the comments I have gone commercial and am just trying to make a buck off Amazon, so you all can just google them your own damned selves.
Also, I thought I told you all to get off my grass?
The Ladykillers was bloody awful too, and Irreconcilable differences not much better. I no longer trust the Coen brothers to make comedies worth seeing. I’m still looking forward to The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, because of what they’ve shown they can do with adaptations.
Pineapple Express had a series of good moments, but it didn’t hold together very well. My cousin-in-law loved it, but I suspect he was stoned when he watched it.
I’m not sure the Coen brothers have had anywhere to go but down since The Big Lebowski.
i guess you have to live in dc to get burn after reading
Loved "Burn After Reading", but I’d watch Frances McDormand read the phone book, so there’s that.
Check out Fleet Foxes on SNL tonight. Their debut album is one of my favorites from last year.
Mike in NC
As soon as he gets bored with being a war correspondent, Joe the Plumber’s next career move will make him Joe the Movie Star.
So… what’s the consensus on BSG’s return last night?
Somehow I think you might like Gran Torino.
Polish the Guillotines
Aw, come on, Cole. Rather than excoriate you for being so very wrong, I simply ask you to employ my "Coen Brothers Rule": Even if you don’t like it the first time, watch it at least one more time. I formulated this rule with Raising Arizona, and employed it dutifully with The Big Lebowski, which I didn’t like the first time I saw it. Now I can quote damn near all of it.
John S.: Yeah, I can understand your sentiment. The Big Lebowski is one of those rare, perfect movies.
Seriously, one of the best performances I’ve seen in a long time.
We have Tropic Thunder from Netflix for tonight after dinner. I hope I like it!
I don’t get the hate for Burn After Reading. I loved it. Much better than that piece of crap No Country For Old Men the year before.
A Differenrt Matt
Loved burn After reading as well. A perfect movie for its time: a bunch of people who ascribe conspiracy to their own device while the authorities cluelessly watch on. Nobody knows what the fuck is going on while it’s going on. And isn’t that how it is?
@Simone: It was better paced than the last season and a half has been, and the revelation of the identity of the last Cylon seemed a bit forced, though not as forced as I expect the explanation will be.
South of I-10
Still haven’t seen Burn After Reading. Raising Arizona is a classic. Loved The Big Lebowski and O Brother, Where Art Thou? too.
Has anyone else noticed the weird fascination that the Coen Brothers have for gruesome head wounds?
Think about it: Finney shooting the guy through the top of the head in Miller’s Crossing; same thing with the poor state patrolman in Fargo; Chigurh and the cattle prod; and then Malkovich with the hatchet in, I agree, the rather disappointing "Burn."
Wile E. Quixote
Oh for fuck’s sake. Link to Amazon and go commercial. Jesus fuck. Anyone who doesn’t understand that bloggers use affiliate programs to keep things going in 2009 or who objects to this is a complete and utter retard. It’s not as if you’re doing it seventeen times in every single post you put online and it’s not as if anyone is having a gun put to their heads to force them to click through to the Amazon link and then buy whatever you’re referencing.
I didn’t see either movie. I recommend that everyone watch all 65 episodes of “The Wire” before renting any movies. You won’t regret it.
I agree with Wile up there, John. I would’ve loved to have thrown some pennies into Tunch’s food bowl this morn with my teevee purchase. I am shopping for DVDs and music this moment. I buy so much shit on amazon, someone should get a tiny slice of the pie if they are willing to give it up. Geez…donate the money to charity if you don’t want it. Haven’t seen any charity thermometers go up yet.
Wile E. Quixote
I loved Burn After Reading. The scene between Malkovich and Brad Pitt is hilarious. And the scene where George Clooney discovers Brad Pitt in the closet, and, right after Pitt flashes his goofy grin, shoots him in the face. Fucking priceless! I might have to go to the store this evening and buy the movie so I can go through that scene frame by frame. Hell, I might even have to get a Blu-Ray player and a big screen TV so I can see it in its full glory. And J.K. Simmons. How can you not love, absolutely love, J.K. Simmons as the perplexed CIA official?
@DougJ: Seconded. Best thing I’ve ever seen on television. Nothing else is even close. Watch it just for the scene in season one where Bunk and McNulty work through a crime scene saying little other than various versions of the word "fuck."
DH and I watched August Rush today, based entirely on the recommendation of his musician students. What a delightful movie, I mean truly delightful (and I don’t think you have to be a music lover to appreciate it) I had a bit of an issue with the ending, and I will leave that to other watchers, but really Freddie Highmore is absolutely perfect (as he was in Willie Wonka) and the supporting cast are absolutely stellar. Watch it. It will make you smile.
Why the hell have you gone so commercial? You’re just chasing some scratch off the internetz, anyways. You’re such a fucking sellout.
So have you seen Milk? Saw it the other night, it was pretty powerful stuff.
And The Ladykillers was head and shoulders above Burn After Reading.
I thought Intolerable Cruelty was funny though, which is what I assume you meant by Irreconcilable Differences. But then again, I think Clooney is the best comic actor of our generation, no snark.
If I recall correctly, Lebowski got horrible reviews, but I thought it was funny when it first came out. I think when all is said and done, a hundred years from now, The Big Lebowski will be the movie the Coen Bros are remembered for, Fargo (weird), Barton Fink (weird and boring), Millers Crossing (done better elsewhere) and No Country (ultimately pointless) not withstanding.
I think the best stuff is the stuff about D’Angelo Barksdale and the things with the kids in Season 1, 4, and 5. It fucking breaks your heart.
Burn after reading isn’t Shaun of the Dead funny or Hot Fuzz funny, if it’s a comedy it’s more of the Dante’s Inferno variety. Everyone get’s their sleaze on and discomfort ensues.
Put it away in a time capsule and it will be a way to revisit the G. Dubya Bush years without the hit to the wallet.
And this is why DougJ is on the front page and I am a lowly, irregular commenter.
@DougJ: It’s all brilliant stuff in my opinion, in large part because the writers expect you as a viewer to keep up with the story. They don’t coddle you, they hit you with big themes and big issues and don’t give any pat answers, which is really surprising.
But in terms of individual scenes, where you tell a small story in a really compelling way, that scene is about as good as it gets for me.
The scene that kicks off season five, where Bunk interrogates a suspect by hooking him up to a "polygraph" is great too.
Made all the greater by its grounding in reality/lore as recounted in the book "Homicide".
JNFR – I thought Tropic Thunder was outstanding, one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a very long time.
I find that people either love it or hate it. Those who tend to hate it think "Don’t Mess with the Zohan" is comic genius.
Pineapple Express was good, but of course I was on some PE at the time.
I agree. Great scene.
Another truly great scene is the one where Bunk yells at Omar for fucking up the community.
"Also, I thought I told you all to get off my grass?"
Is that a question or a statement?
Agree re: Pineapple Express – some good laughs (the protags trying to untie each others’ bound hands & looking/sounding for all the world like they’re making love), but not consistently. Pretty gory for a comedy, too.
As was Burn After Reading, but I found it to be less of a ‘spy spoof’ than a pretty damn bitter reflection on W’s reign: vain, stupid, greedy, self-absorbed people killing other people accidentally on purpose, with the guileless being the first to die. I liked this one, but it’s harsh.
And yeah, The Wire: soon. Gonna watch it all from start to finish, after BSG wraps up. After the weeping stops, anyway.
Coen brothers comedies are always lame the first time around. Watch it again with friends and you’ll laugh your ass off, that’s just the way it’s always worked with them…. not sure why. Burn after reading is one of my favorites from last year upon second viewing.
On the other hand "Taken" with Liam Neeson was pretty damn good the first time I watched it.
So, watch Raising Arizona again. That film was so fucking brilliant. I’ve watched it a million times, sober even, and always catch something I missed the first 8 elentymillion times. I suspect Burn After Reading is to subtle for me … I’m a literal person, the humor has to be right up front.
Speaking of The Wire, check this Obamicon out.
No love for The Hudsucker Proxy?
I love it.
kommrade reproductive vigor
I liked the movie (especially for sticking a big pin in the CIA’s overblown mythos), but that’s pretty damn funny.
I cannot believe people waste time on the Coens. They are so unrealistic. Nobody ever uses the small denomination stamps. Seeds cannot make purchases. Only Sam Raimi can direct Frances.
As for The Wire, the scene where the nail gun is purchased is beyond belief wonderful.
God forbid the Stillers lose tomorrow. I wonder what cheery expressions will await us if that happens.
Ed in NJ
Since we’re talking about the Wire, I’m excited to see Idris Elba (the dearly departed Stringer Bell) turn up this season on The Office, along with the return of Amy Ryan.
OT: Musical notation Mnemonics for a Nu Era:
Georgie Boy Did For America
And Cheney Enabled Georgie
Sorry, No Country is a brilliant adaptation of McCarthy’s novel. It’s a masterful film. Sure, I’d rather watch Lebowski with friends and beer, but by that criterion Caddyshack is better than Citizen Kane (and it isn’t).
As for head wounds, doesn’t John Goodman as the Polyphemous character get it pretty bad in the head area in O Brother?
"Burn after reading" is about assumptions and taking yourself a wee bit too seriously. When you get a bunch of people doing that, you get Iraq, Constitutional protections abrogated and sometimes funny movies about the emotional set up for that.
Sorry you didnt enjoy it. Its funny in a backhand bitter kind of way —
Interesting that you don’t like it having gotten over Bush. Maybe its just too much like what you thought life was seriously supposed to be about. Prob not since I respect you and think you see stuff pretty clearly…
Still — too bad you didnt enjoy it. My Mom who is 86 enjoyed it from the human dimension. We just know too many f____ ups just like this….
Yeah, great scene.
No idea what your taste is in music, but for me the best album of 2008 was "Moss," a one-off project by five A-list jazz vocalists. It includes a setting of the e.e.cummings poem "I Carry Your Heart" this is the best single jazz performance of the decade.
@Wile E. Quixote:
I loved those scenes. Just loved them.
I’M THE PRICK!!!
It’s me! It’s me he’s talking about! I’M the prick!
Thank you, thank you, John. You really, really LIKE me.
I completely agree about Burn After Watching. What a fucking waste of time and effort.
The Coen brothers famously run a very tight set, shutting down each and every day at 6:00 so they can spend time with their families. They treat making a movie like a 9 to 5 job. (They wrapped their last film 4 days ahead of sked.)
Good for them.
But their films are starting to suck huge dicks. Bad for us.
They should go back to making films for the right reasons. Not the right schedules.
Couldn’t agree with you more, John, about Burn After Reading. Reminded me of watching a train wreck. Excruciating but interesting; ultimately horrible.
Spent the last two nights at two highly recommended movies: Slumdog Millionaire and Revolutionary Road. Both more than worth the time.
@Jen R: I’m in, and I don’t even like Tim Robbins that much. Now, am I the only Coen fan who didn’t like Fargo? Great performances, but meh. Maybe I should rewatch that one.
Get ready for the Sunday Patriotic Fervor Storm…
FLAG DESECRATION (insert 3 exclamations here)
This should be good for the next 24 hours…
@burnspbesq: Hey, thanks for that. I would never in a zillion years find that or pick it for myself, but after doing the amazon preview on all of the songs and reading the reviews, I think I’ll snag it. Pretty haunting and a bit melancholy, but I’m tired.
I’m doing a lot more driving this year than in the past two and all of it is up and down very narrow and winding mountain roads. That is some good terrain for melodic tunes and mindless reveries.
Agreed on both Pineapple Express and Burn After Reading. A movie that I recently saw and was beyond surprised to enjoy was Hamlet II. It’s just… odd. And I’m not quite sure why I enjoyed it. Yet, there it is.
@jen 37: Yes! I love that movie.
The Tim Channel
This group would probably like Frost-Nixon.
Pineapple Express was certainly no Rolling Kansas, but was tolerable.
Burn After Reading was pretty good. Better than I had been led to believe.
The Big Lebowski was confusing at first, but made total sense the next time you watched it and realized that it wasn’t so much a plot, as it was an excuse to string together a nigh infinite number of amazing one-liners.
Hubby and I literally just finished watching Pineapple Express. It took us three times to try to start the thing because we just couldn’t get into it. There’s some really funny moments, mostly in the form of throwaway lines, but other than James Franco totally disappearing into his role, I wasn’t that impressed.
Hudsucker Proxy? Love, love, love that movie. Jennifer Jason Lee is wonderful in that movie. She really brings in that touch of the old school screwball comedies. "Why I’d bet my Pulitzer on it!"
My second favorite Coen Bros. movie, next to Raising Arizona. ("Son, you got a panty on yer head.")
Wile E. Quixote
@ Jen R.
The Hudsucker Proxy is my favorite Coen Brothers movie, I love it even more than I love The Big Lebowski or Raising Arizona. I realize that I stand alone in feeling this way, but while I may stand alone I do not stand ashamed.
I just saw Pineapple Express the other day. I thought it was very funny. My daughters and I cannot talk about the foot through the windshield without laughing.
How about the movie In Bruges , now that is a film.
Watched Tropic Thunder. It had some wonderful stuff, and was without a doubt the absolute weirdest movie I’ve ever seen, ‘Surf Nazis Must Die’ notwithstanding.
Methinks you’re being too harsh. I LOVED Burn After Reading and saw it as a hilarious take on stupid Americans, folks like McDormand and Pitt’s characters who take their cues on spy stuff with what they’ve learned from pop culture (which is why they take the "spy s__t" to the Russians). I loved the J.K. Simmons scenes, Pitt’s stupidity and especially Malkovich, who got pretty much all the good lines. Especially this one at the opening:
Malkovich: I am a great f___ing analyst!
CIA Boss: Ozzie, it’s…things are not going well.
Other CIA Guy: You have a drinking problem.
Malkovich: I have a drinking problem? Okay, I consider this a personal assault. I have a drinking problem? F__k you, Peck, you’re a Mormon! Next to you, we ALL have a drinking problem!!!
I agree, though, the Coen’s brand of humor is not for everyone, as they really love the dark stuff.
This shit I am smoking is MY grass d00d, and I like being on it. Wanna hit? Don’t bogart it. ;)
My feeling is that if you don’t like "Burn After Reading", you may just not be cynical enough as a person. I feel the same way about "Fargo". I saw that one in a theater when it came out and I swear I was the only person roaring with laughter throughout the movie. Other people were staring at me by the time the end credits rolled.
"You’re a Mormon. Compared to you, we all have a drinking problem." That didn’t make you laugh? Or Malkovich wandering around his house with his gun in one hand and a drink in the other? Well, ok then. To each his own, I suppose.
Rent The Visitor. Highly underseen flick starring the dad from Six Feet Under.
As much as I detest the torture angle, the new season of 24 is off to a good start.
Season three of Friday Night Lights premiered last night, and it was great. Rent the previous DVDs.
SNL tonight was really, really bad. Kristen Wiig (sp?) and her great weirdness ability are really being overused. Only funny bit was the Mexican police show written by the 4th grade Spanish class, which was totally stolen from some segment from a 90s TV show that I watched in Spanish class a few years back:
I loved Burn After Reading, especially for Brad Pitt getting shot in the face (and his role generally), and the reveal of what Clooney was working on the whole time. But it’s the Coens, who have a very definite flavour that you tend to love or hate. Malkovitch was weakest, I thought, and I love him as an actor; he’s the only one who didn’t have a chance to puncture his own mythos, more’s the pity.
The Other Steve
Pineapple Express had some good moments, but largely was a sucky movie.
Burn after Reading was just creepy. The best seens were the ones in the FBI offices with the chief.
Baby Mama turned out to be sort of funny, but not great.
Run, Fatboy, Run was actually pretty damn funny and I would recommend it. It was not Hot Fuzz funny, but it was enough to be worth watching. Besides Thandie Newton is HOT!
Yeah, that’ll teach me to be too lazy to look things up. But I loved Miller’s Crossing. What’s better than:
It was okay, but Tom Cruise’s role was fucking terrible and it aggravates me when people swoon. I just tend to assume that anyone who does so online is a viral marketer.
OT but I was bored and decided to check out RedNeckState. This time the name fits…lol! Josh Painter has a front page post about what a great man good ol’ General Lee was and that he was born 202 years ago. I had to read the comments and I wasn’t disappointed one bit. mbecker gets in to a hissy fight about Shrub with another poster there who meant to insult Shrub. mbecker missed it but not another commenter who agrees (that Shrub is a failure) caught it, stupidity ensues. Comments about how we need a leader like Lee (of course), how Lee never owned slaves and other kinds of fun trivia.
I wonder if they will do the same for Grant? ;)
RedNeckState. If the foo shits, wear it.
Funny, watched "Burn After Reading" tonight. Richard Jenkins (makes me miss the first couple seasons of Six Feet Under) and J.K. Simmons ("The Russians?") were outstanding.
It wasn’t surprising to hear this and "No Country" were written at the same time as they had a lot in common, if approached from completely different angles.
And I thought "Pineapple" was hysterical. Driving with a foot sticking through the windshield — high stoner comedy, indeed.
Agreed. I buy EVERYTHING on Amazon. I have my own Web page set up elsewhere so that I get a slice of everything I buy!
Thanks, Michael. Didn’t even think to do that. My cats would happily host my associate program on their blog if John’s not gonna take my money.
(How’s the smoking cessation program? Haven’t seen you brag in a while. Can we assume the best?)
Although Ladykillers comes close to being a bucket of pigsloppy suck, the rest of the Coen brothers’ bad films can pretty much be placed among the best films that come out in whatever year.
Burn After Reading was a great film filled with great performances and great incidences. I think their mix of sex, violence, psychological ineptitude, black humor, and conspiracy would make a great Batman film if not for my fear that George Clooney would be somehow involved.
Wasn’t a huge fan of Pineapple Express either. If fact, I think I’ve been disappointed by every Aptow-related film since 40-Year Old Virgin.
If you want to watch a great comedy, rent Ghost Town.
In the same thread, we have red necks who’ll celebrate Lee’s birthday on Monday instead of that commie agitator’s, and nostalgia for the good old days when Georgia recognized Confederate Memorial Day instead of ZOG Memorial Day.
Oh, so that’s why I haven’t seen him in anything over this side of the Atlantic since the highly under-rated Ultraviolet back in the late 90’s (for my money still the best modern re-imaging of the vampire mythos TV has produced).
The scene where he’s checking out a tip that some foreign vampires have entered Britain by posting their coffins as air-cargo, and he finds out it’s a trap when he’s locked in a warehouse with three hi-tech, steel coffins, all of them sealed with little LCD timers counting down to sunset, still send shivers down my spine.
Elba’s performance in that scene was what sold me on the series’ concept of ‘Code Vs’ (they’re never called vampires in the programme) as death-on-wheels, even though the programme usually only ever showed them acting like creepy humans. You can smell the skin-prickling fear coming off him, and you’re left in no doubt that, once those timers hit zero, his only option is to turn the gun on himself.
"I’m afraid our free-range days are over."
Brrrrrrr. I’m spooked out just thinking about it.
I recently watched both Burn After Reading and Pineapple Express on Blu-ray. I thought Burn After Reading was moderately entertaining (it probably helps that I am a fan of much of the cast, especially Frances McDormand and George Clooney) but not great. Of course, I respect and admire the Coen brothers much more than I really like them. Their films too often lack real emotional impact or, for lack of a less trite term, heart. In their best film, and the most obvious exception to this, The Big Lebowski, the Coens’ were lucky enough to have received a giant heart transplant from the towering perfomances of Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, and a cast that is so deep and talented as to be almost laughable (just for example, the then relatively unknown Philip Seymour Hoffman in a minor role and John Turturro in a cameo, both brilliantly funny).
Still this movie was much better than Pineapple Express. Though it had a few funny moments, and some good perfomances from James Franco and the always welcome Gary Cole, it was more annoying than anything. Granted, at 55, I am not exactly in the Apatow machine’s target demographic. Nonetheless, it is the smugness of Apatow, Rogen and their usual suspects, err, collaborators that really irks me. These are guys of moderate talent (producer Judd Apatow), average or less talent (the various no-name directors of the Apatow films), or distinctly limited talent (the lox like, charisma free Seth Rogen). Nonetheless, they think they are the Charlie Chaplins, Preston Sturges, Howards Hawks, Billy Wilders, and Cary Grants of modern comedy. This is nowhere better demonstrated than in the absurdly vain plethora of extras routinely provided on the Apatow DVDs. Presenting deleted acenes, alternate scenes, extended scenes, improvised scenes, gag reels, and even raw footage (which collectively often run longer than the feature) they seem to think even their belches need to be preserved for filmic posterity.
I felt the same way about "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." Stupid.
Go rent Tropic Thunder to cure you. If you’ve already seen it, watch it again.
Tropic Thunder = bad.
It’s like a hour and a half of Robot Chicken. Generation-Xers who think they’re funny but aren’t.
Lee, the biggest traitor in American history is celebrated by the
new Dixiecrat partyerrr, rump of the Republican party? I am completely shocked. It’s rare that a man violates his sacred oath, takes up arms against his countryman, prolongs an unwinnable war through his talents, all in service of the most vile cause known to man is celebrated by half-wit tools who long for a time they had power by din of birth.
Oh, hold it, that’s not rare, it’s the entire Southern apologist/Republican movement
The Mormons have a problem. They want to become the church with the largest number of members. Since they believe that all humans had a preexistence in spirit form on a far-off (and far-out) planet they call Kolob, they are obsessed with finding the “fastest and most pleasurable ways” of transforming those Kolob “spirit” beings into human babies. Yes, the “fastest and most pleasurable ways” of creating more babies – that is, in addition to the tremendous help obtained from raunchy films, raunchy music, and raunchy dancing. Any advice you can give may help the LDS church to greatly increase its membership!