Saturday, September 13, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Coen

As painful as this is to say, the reviews for the new Coen brothers movie "Burn After Reading" are surprisingly bad. The follow up to the Oscar winning "No Country for Old Men" was supposed to be a return to comedy for the remarkable team that brought a litany of laughs to discriminating film goers and the odd smirk to the faces of film snobs with movies such as "Raising Arizona", "Barton Fink", "Oh Brother Where Art Thou", and my favourite, "Miller's Crossing". I am wondering what went wrong and have a small theory or two. Brad Pitt and George Clooney are accomplished actors and have proven that handsome features are no impediment to comedy. However, we see them all too frequently, whether it's the latest sequal to "Ocean's 11" (are we up to 16 now?) or as fodder for the Sarah Palin set, on the cover of terrible gossip magazines, like "The Star" and "Entertainment Weekly". It's kind of like being in a relationship for too long. The things you find adorable about your partner when you first tickle their toes under the sheets are later found to drive you crazy when you are both painting the bathroom in your underwear. There are other problems with familiarity too - how many stories featuring CIA operatives must we see on the screen? Answer-plenty. Since the Central Intelligence Agency is well, involved in clandestine activities, their very essence of mystery leaves them wide open for the creative minds of screenplay writers with a couple of espressos in them. Still, like Brad and George, the genre may be getting tiresome.

I guess I should see if first - after a long day of student advising and attempts at personal growth, I many not be all that discriminating.

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