Burn After Reading

by Zach Oat January 5, 2009 12:48 pm
Burn After Reading

If you're a Coen brothers fan, like me, then you found absolutely nothing wrong with Burn After Reading. Maybe it didn't blow you out of the water like No Country for Old Men or The Big Lebowski, but it was pure, unfiltered Coen, with a cast most directors could only dream of. And it was frickin' funny. I had hoped for some wackier extras on the DVD, like outtakes or bloopers or deleted scenes or something, but sadly the three documentaries are all business, and two of them are kinda short. Oh, well. Maybe years from now, when fans of the movie are throwing "Readingman" festivals in D.C. and dressing up like their favorite characters (Chad Feldheimer, Osbourne Cox, the hatchet, the sex pillow), there'll be a documentary about that on the special edition.

Finding the Burn
Man, the Coen brothers are adorable. When we first see them being interviewed in this documentary about the movie, they're not looking at the camera; they're looking at their nails, picking them, cleaning them, but still answering questions. The next time they appear, they're looking in the general direction of the camera, more or less, but they still seem like they're just talking to themselves or maybe each other. I guess some people might think it's less cute and more annoying, but whatever. Anyway, this documentary is primarily about the Coens and their cast trying to explain what the movie is about, and the cast also talks about what it's like working with the Coens, considering that half of them hadn't worked with them before.

DC Insiders Run Amuck
This is mainly a guide to the characters of the movie, minus Clooney's (see next feature). Oh, and minus Richard Jenkins' gym manager (even though they interview him about his co-stars), which is a shame, since he's such a great character actor. And no J.K. Simmons, who is awesome, not that he has a huge role. So basically, it's just Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and John Malkovich. But otherwise, it's fairly comprehensive, with the actors, the Coens and even the costume designer weighing in on them and talking about how they found the character. However, they also get into sets, revealing that the Georgetown scenes were shot in Brooklyn, the boat scenes were filmed off of Long Island, and the CIA hallway location is apparently top-secret. They don't really get into why they didn't film the whole thing in Washington, D.C., considering they had to film a few exteriors there anyway, but I assume there were tax reasons.

Welcome Back George
This mini-doc is all about George Clooney, who is playing his third idiotic role for the Coens (after O Brother Where Art Thou and Intolerable Cruelty). There is a lot of info about his character here, perhaps too much, with extensive discussion of his wardrobe by the costume designer, and we find out that John Malkovich had never met him before, although they had friends in common. Also, the Coens have a couple more funny roles already planned for him, and they hope to one day give him a serious part. Which would be pretty awesome, if they did another serious, bloody piece like Miller's Crossing or No Country, and they used Clooney. I have a big ol' man-crush on Clooney. I also like saying "Clooney." Clooney Clooney Clooney.

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