Burn After Reading

Culture Warrior

The month of September is typically regarded as one of the least exciting and least eventful in the calendar year. It’s something of an interval month, a strange in-between phase sandwiched in the middle of summer Hollywood blockbusters and the “quality” flicks and holiday programming of the fall. In strictly monetary terms, it’s the most underperforming month of the year, and has even been beaten by the desolate burial ground that is January in terms of event-style opening weekends. But this may ultimately be a good thing. In fact, if future Septembers continue to exhibit the same patterns as this month, the time of the year in which schools go back in session and you can no longer wear all-white may prove to be one of the most interesting and exciting months on the wide-release calendar.

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Culture Warrior

It’s become common wisdom to say that the best remakes are those made of non-canonical, non-classic films; that is, it’s typically better to give a second go to a film that – while possibly venerated, is hardly deemed a work of perfection that can’t be improved upon – than to redo a classic. Such a rule isn’t set in stone, of course, but it can be argued through example via some of the most celebrated of remakes (like The Thing or, in a more modest and more recent example of improvement-on-imperfection, The Crazies), and are often a result of a genuine inspiration from the source material rather than a simple means of capitalizing from its name. With the Coen brothers’ quite popular and much celebrated remake of True Grit, however, the distinction of what kind of a remake it is isn’t exactly so clear, as what kind of movie the original is proves to be something of an enigma in of itself.

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As illustrated by this scene in the Coens’ latest Best Picture nominee A Serious Man, certainty – as stated in so many words by Sy Abelman – is subtle, clever, but ultimately unconvincing in an overwhelmingly uncertain world. The uncertainty principle, as articulated in this film, is evidence that even in the realm of mathematics – that discipline where logic, evidence, and patterns of order reign supreme – contains its degrees of the unknown, the indefinite, even the ambiguous.

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MattDamonTheInformant

When an employee gets the FBI involved in a price fixing investigation, a witless goon and his mustache become the keys to a governmental investigation.

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serious-man-trailer-header

The Coen Brothers forthcoming film, A Serious Man, just got a trailer that you need to watch. Yes, it is as odd as you’d expect it to be. But at least the frustration is set to a crunchy beat.

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wrestler_header2

The Wrestler spends so much of its time intimately relating the audience to The Ram’s tolling profession as a wrestler, and to his dejected life as a solitary man, that the film ultimately hinges upon the supposition that The Ram’s career and personal life are sufficiently interesting to warrant such an extremely introspective look (fortunately, they are.)

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2008review-memorable

With such a memorable year, it was hard to pick the top ten memorable scenes from all the films. Of course, to be fair, I had to choose only one scene from any given movie (otherwise, The Dark Knight would easily take five or six spots on the list).

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bdreport-deathrace

Another brief and confusing week for the Blu-ray Report, my friends. Once again I’ve been stuck waiting on review material, sifting through useless extras and pounding away at the eggnog.

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

Brian Gibson loves to buy DVDs. Come with him on his weekly journey into the depths of credit card debt as he tells you what to buy, rent and avoid.

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We’ve noticed a sudden drop in actual humans in movie posters. Are studios on the verge of sticking with a new trend in one sheets?

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The Box Office Goes to the Dogs

It was a crowded weekend at the theaters and the box office reflected it with one big winner and an awful lot of losers.

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It was another losing weekend at the box office generally and for one Mr. Dane Cook in particular. His flick My Best Friend’s Girl crashed into third place at $8.3 million, allowing Samuel L. Jackson to win his own personal box office battle with Lakeview Terrace.

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Well, welcome to what is shaping up to be a scary weekend here at the Reject Report, what with ghosts, hunchbacked mad-scientist’s assistants and everyone else.

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Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading, which was picked by a lot of people to finish well behind at the box office, ended up winning the weekend by a hair over Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys and also Righteous Kill.

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If there is one thing we can’t seem to stay away from here at FSR, it is a good discussion about what is the best or the worst movie in any particular category…

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George Clooney and Frances McDormand in Burn After Reading.

Archibald Cox is fired from the CIA because he has a drinking problem. Here’s your chance to sympathize with him while watching the movie.

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Kevin and Neil struggle to make it through the movie doldrums with some sub-par September releases and a challenge to offend those who claim they can’t be offended.

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This weekend serves as a good barometer of what is to come in the next few weeks and months. We’ll be seeing some family stuff, some dark comedy, some big stars and some action, and something for the ladies.

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Burn After Reading is not the best Coen film, or even the best Coen comedy ever made, but I’d put it up next to any other comedy released this year.

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Brad Pitt in Burn After Reading

The Coen Brothers are headed back to a more comedic place with Burn After Reading, delivering a few characters that could have you laughing your ass off.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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