Burn After Reading, The Reader, Milk In Theatres Everywhere Thursday

Burn After Reading


Directed by: The Coen brothers

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, John Malkovitch

Release Date: March 26

“Burn After Reading” is one of few black-comedies that directly tackles the post-911 era – “Team America: World Police” (2004) is the only other one that comes to mind. And who better to make fun of the folly of our troubled times than the devious Coen brothers?



Directed by: Gus Van Sant

Starring: Sean Penn, James Franco, Josh Brolin

Release Date: March 26

If you’re already an avid reader of this blog, you’ll know that I thoroughly disliked this biopic about the first openly gay man elected to office in the United States. Gus Van Sant returns to the generic filmmaking style he adopted in “Good Will Hunting (1997) and “Finding Forrester” (2000) after making a handful of artsier movies – “Gerry,” (2002) “Elephant,” (2003) “Last Days,” (2005) and “Paranoid Park” (2007).  Though the latter films weren’t necessarily good, they were at least significantly more interesting in terms of technique. “Milk” is just so bland, like a regular glass without a spoonful of cocoa or a cookie to go with it.

The Reader


Directed by: Stephen Daldry

Starring: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes

Release Date: March 26

I know what you’re thinking: “Ugh! Another movie about Nazis and the horrible things they did during World War II.” Someone really needs to declare a moratorium on these kinds of dramas, but for now let’s just look at what “The Reader” has to offer – two stellar actors in the male and female leads, and a capable filmmaker (I’m a sucker for Stephen Daldry’s previous film, “The Hours”). Still, by broaching this subject, movies like these have the added challenge of saying something new or different in an original way. And that’s never easy.


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3 Responses to “Burn After Reading, The Reader, Milk In Theatres Everywhere Thursday”

  1. Kneel Says:

    Did you see the clip on youtube from the Extras episode where Kate explained what you need to do to win an Oscar? How right and funny she was.

  2. bravo Says:

    I strongly disagree with a vengence. Milk was one of the greatest biopics ever made. No other film I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot, has woven together film with newsreel footage so seamlessly. Walter Cronkite and Anita Bryant could’ve been actors shot with and grainy camera.

    Milk was my pic for best picture. I’ve seen it like 6 times and it gets better everytime.

    The montage with Bowie’s Queen Bitch — bland? Emile Hirsch as Cleve Jones — bland? I don’t know if you were alive during the 70’s but he brought me back there. And the last scene with the “where are they now” fading from the actor to the real person — I’d never seen that before and it was quite powerful.

    It’s too bad that Korea waited so long to release these movies. I was checking the theaters weekly cuz I wanted to see BURN on a big screen. Finally I just downloaded it. Same with Milk. I would’ve loved to have seen them both for the first time on a big screen.

  3. Jacob Worrel Says:

    KNEEL – you should post a link to the video here. i wanna see it.

    BRAVO – i’m sorry i just really didn’t care about any of the characters because none of them were really fleshed out. it was basically harvey milk interacting with people who were more or less unrelated. his romance with james franco. his fling with diego luna. his beef with josh brolin. then he’s killed. there was no coherence or focus. ok so it’s a biopic and it’s supposed to tell the story of his life. but the film felt unsure of what larger story it wanted to tell. was it about love? political activism? discrimination against minority groups? by taking on all these topics at once it sort of whitewashes them all. the relationship subplots were the most distracting (especially the one with diego luna who shows up for a little while, and kills himself only to be forgotten moments later). sean penn (who i actually don’t really like) felt like the only professional actor amongst a group of little boys who were in way over their heads. but he didn’t deserve the oscar. emile hirsch? are you kidding me? all he does in every movie is say his lines and occasionally give a little smirk. he has NO range. i don’t mean to rant but these movies annoy me because they totally exploit people’s sympathy for the person they’re about. if you want to see an engaging biopic, watch CHOPPER (2000).

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