Burn After Reading (2008)
Stuart i'm recording. Hello everybody welcome. Back to a bold move prestige podcast. Today we're talking about the two thousand and aids Political farce burn after reading written and directed by joel coen and ethan cohen. The brothers go on a stars. George clooney frances. Mcdormand john malkovich tilda swinton richard jenkins brad pitt fantastic cast. They all do a really good job. The film that looks like a million bucks What did you think of jim. This is my first time seeing it. It's one of those few coen movies. I haven't seen yet and yeah look into star power co. boy there's just there's more acting talent in this movie than any movie has a right to have some familiar stuff from cohen's riley he got the george clooney francis gorman's and so i was pretty excited. I went into it though knowing that you didn't particularly like this on your i watch way back when i was a little hesitant thinking okay. We'll see we'll see what to make of this. And i think there are definitely like some really funny moments in this movie. Yes and i was happy when those came along because for the most part i didn't like this movie very much Any kind of started right away. I think for me starting with this dinner party him getting fired and going right into this dinner party and the scene with his wife. We're talking about john malkovich's character cox None of that hit for me like all. These people are just like bad people. Like i would hate to be at that party. There's there's no redeeming quality there and so to start off with that. It kinda started on a sour note and then sort of continued with what i think is. Maybe you know intentional. But sporadic like heading here and there. It's like they're they're costly cutting back and forth between all these different characters because there are a ton of characters right and they all have their own piano vs and they'll have backstories that they're trying to get to And i just found like between the pacing of this thing taking a while to get into the stuff that i think of as like coen films and that editing style and it not being super funny most of the time or the humor being way more subtle than i was expecting from cohen brothers film. It just wasn't clicking for me. Yeah so this is. The i agree largely everything he said. This is the third time. I seen it ir. The first time. I saw a went to see the movie theater i was. You know this is very early on to my being free of my religious things. And i was really. I've i've always admired the coen brothers films. And i think it's the first opportunity for me to see one in theater and looked amazing. You know is a big fan of what brother where where art over there. Whereas thank you thank you i was trying to put trip and fargo so of and seeing george and francis back together and you know all these other characters i was very excited to the commercials trailers look very funny and i remember watching it in like three pretty good belly. Laugh so yeah in. It's like there's one in particular that is just just the setup and the juxtaposition of what you were expecting versus what you actually got really brings down the house but just left me really cold. Yeah and i think we know when i think of The other cohen screwball. Films like the big lebowski raising arizona raising arizona even fargo which is kind of in this kind of black comedy lane. There's always a person or two. That i am really pulling for you know that. They are very charismatic. they're innocent. they're not up to anything. they just. They have a very simple desire to get back with their family or to have a child or hill alone. Get the rug back. You know be left alone and get the damn rug back and go back to the you know enjoying the rest of their life stuff that like you naked root for and it's kind of like you know warm and fuzzy characters and this it's a very Always sunny sensibility and that everyone is kind of some version of a selfish oblivious aseholders elements of them that are sympathetic like i sympathize with you know seven going through a life and realizing that their bodies on the back half of where it used to be and you know. They're losing their desirability. They've put a lot of stock and data empathize with someone who feels lonely in a relationship and neglected and and board and and it goes. I kind of you know frustrations of someone who is smarter than he thinks. Everybody else in the crowd is and has never appreciated but like the goals that they all individually have and the way they're going about it is all like everyone in this is essentially You know The the the william h mesa character from fargo. Yeah they're all going about some petty crime and treason to get ultimately very vain glorious things to happen and you know there wasn't a i. Guess there is a cared. Richard jenkins the. The hard bodies manager is that guy but he's introduced so late in the film and he's such a a slip of a a wisp of performance that leg imagine if france mcdormand was that in fargo. Right right leg like she's like she's gene. She's the j. k. simmons parachutes in the end of the movie to kind of like. This is a student you know. She just gives a speech in the back in the squad car. Lovely day it is pointless and steve but it is no that she was the pillar of the movie the pillar of goodness that we wanted to see succeed. This movie doesn't have that. Except for richard jenkins. And he's he's subservient to the the vain arrogant selfish assholes of the movie. So i i think that's what it is like i. It's only recently that i've learned a like things like always sunny. And i guess i like them more. When they're hyper absurd like this is trying to be very. I mean it again. I studied this. Because it's one of those things where it's like. I'm out of step with a lot of the cohen fans. I love the coen measures Like this and hail. Caesar i just don't think are very funny. What they are like instances like that funny seedlings but they're not connected into a cohesive. Whole is a story that actually care about. And i wanna watch again. That's the thing about like the cohen's formula right because they do have a formula and it's all over this move you see it. You see the far issue. See the the fools like kind of sealing their own doom in certain ways like speeches that are right out of big lebowski like down lawyer. Who's advising tilda swinton. I don't surname. Misses her divorce is giving a speech. Freight out of big lebowski we with cadence and it's positive elements there. It's just remixed in a way. That doesn't quite work for me. This really brilliant dialogue like You know tilda swinton george. Clooney makes a crass joke and she goes. Are you know it makes kind of like a suggestive sexually. Suggestive remark to her and she sees like. Oh god you're so crass and she looks wash fuck. I'm late like one of those things. Where like someone will like. The pot will immediately call the kettle black. And that's the but it's a concept that i think should work for me like imagine tinker tailor soldier spy okay except for nothing matters. They're all delusional. And ultimately there is. There's no fate really to for for any of these guys that you've gotta care about and is going to be directed by cohen's going to storrow these megawatt very charming people can do comedy and are doing comedy. This thing like brad pitt is amazing. This film George clooney is as good as i've ever seen him in wages mugging for the camera and doing whatever the cohen brothers ask him. Princess storm is awesome. Yeah she's just playing a character that i don't like yeah and i'm not saying that you're a bad person if you've got this movie i'm just saying that you have different like i don't know what that sense of humor looks like i suspect. Here's what i suspect. I suspect that this is made for type of people who like. npr humor. That like if you think that You know wait wait. Don't tell me is like the funniest fucking thing on the radio. And you like that kind of more sly playful naughty sensibility in in your humor This is like a really really hilarious thing. And i just. I always struggle with that Because i was find people talking around adult issues rather than about them as kind of like you know. I don't know. Just something. I i guess i don't get And i always find like I listen to npr. Because it's it's good information. And i'm interested in topics like i often find the humor like distracting from that so like that doesn't mean you're you know it doesn't mean you know that's not funny. It just means that it's not my kind of funny and you know the people that like. That probably really hate some of the other stuff that i like. So but it's a bummer. Because i do. Every time. I watch it. I see a little bit more of the big. Repeat the bigger picture. And i do think the j. k. Simmons stuff is hilarious and some of the visual gags are very very funny. I just wish that george clooney was more of a hero. Maybe frances mcdormand was more of a hero in their own mind. Even i mean the more. I'm sitting here thinking about and going over the scenes my head like oh i remember when You know cleans it. That or mcdormand did that. All of those things are funny. It's just like as a whole. It doesn't quite come together for me. I want to talk to specific yet. But yeah i mean i. It's hilarious that you're like calling this. npr humor. Because i get where you're coming from with that. It's certainly does have that feel to it. Like sort of you know higher. Class less crass high-society You know that sort of thing but then also it has george clooney in some of the crudest most ridiculous scenes. I've seen him ever perform a serious to me. That's the humor that really clicks for me. Because i'm a child. And i'd i'd alone that that's fine yeah. This was like a series of youtube videos posted with like some of the scenes in it. Like i think it. I think it would be a work of art but like it's all the connecting stuff just doesn't really work for me and it takes a long time to really get to the plot of this baby They're doing a lot of setup and by the time that the plot really kicks off a plot by the time it really kicks into gear with the inciting incident that you think of in like a co and movie right where somebody is killed in dramatic fashion. That happens so late in this movie that it's kind of not the point. It's not kicking off the story. It's like a turning point in the story and it feels weird to me. Because i wasn't that's i don't think it's actually inciting incident inciting exactly normally win going the use that as an inciting it's fargo. You think of these other movies that they've done that would be the inciting incident in. This is an hour into an hour and a half film and it sorta just like starting to wrap things up bright and just off to me. Yeah yeah arabia. I have so many expectations coming in from colin film. About like what they do and in how they do it that the remix here is what is throwing me off. And i'm just not like i think francis mcdormand is the hero because she's the one that actually gets what she wants by the end of this but it's also weird because we never get her reaction to that like there's not the shot of her like not be with her new boobs like there. Is you know in like you. Know like like a shot that everything has returned back to status quo normal alike shifts into like this omniscient world. Where're you know. This stuff is literally a hill of beans that they just want to go away. Because we're talking to pre podcasts. Like j. k. Simmons plays the cia. Deputy director with like the intensity of a walmart manager who an employee is talked telling him about a toilet. Backed up like okay. Well let's just clean up the shit get to shooter flush and because this ain't making me money the you know so. Let's get back to them. You know the moneymaker and it is funny. But like it's not about him or that or anything brian. The point i s. But i mean that works. Like seinfeld is famously movie of a television show about nothing. And it's really funny because the characters like that's weird that's a weird zone because like they are kind of like the the antithesis of always sunny because like they're all terrible people doing shitty things but yet still kind of liked them. They're they're more likable. They're not nearly psychopathic as the always shirker oils take a quick break. We'll be right back. But yeah i dunno i. It's it's one of those things where it's like. I just got a little blind. I've got a little bit of color blindness. That this this thing this thing of humor. And i feel like it's something that Because all you say that the thing about the editing being stilted a jumping around here there and being like trying to be too too much. I do think they're really going for that. Kind of like ultra slick mature spy thriller. They're going for a tinker tailor soldier. Going for a frosty phoenix and going for that kind level of seriousness. To make the humor all that much. Funnier and i get that says this thing. I don't understand why don't like this more. Yeah i mean in spy thriller like you'd the plot is the entire point in this. I felt like. I wanted some characters that i could latch onto and they just never give us and this this jump the jumping around cutting between character so fast never gives me a moment to sit with these characters and really get in their heads. I'm more like being setup for characters that i should care about. Don't but that's just how i felt. I don't know a lot of people are going to be on the other side of the fence with this and say oh yeah identified with all these characters might even be because like the other movies like Raising arizona and The big lebowski have a layer of magical realism. they can escape to delight. Kinda walk it up. Yeah like as the plot is building to this intensity they can always have a dream sequence involving Satanic biker or you know bowling in heaven with let ingela viking late and that kind of stuff. They can always do that whereas this movie. I felt like needed kind of hijinks music around some of the swirling building action but then that runs against tinker tailor soldier staying that they're trying to do everything that the extremely blue washed color treatment. So that it's like you get. This is a cold a cold. War like ultra grady. Realistic does but it does work for a ton of people like again But that's the other thing i wondered. The people like this are. This is me Work both sides of the the the chessboard here. But i wonder if the people who really do appreciate this this is so criminally underappreciated as a movie of. I don't know what it feels like. that like. They have to build it up like multiple people saying this isn't a top five colorado's movie that's top three someone said on read it and i'm like really like fargo no country biggest battlefront seriously like and then you're talking. Oh brother you're talking Shit what is the other one. That's that's really funny raising your. I mean challenges. That i mentioned that one already but i don't think so. No no i feel like there's six or seven movies that are in this conversation before you get to this. This is just a you know. This isn't the worst coen brothers film i've ever seen Because this is like the one. What's the one that i yeah. Okay like all it simple Okay i thought it was good. The one is is my least favourite cohen film. That i've seen. I've only seen it once. I've seen the big lebowski dozens of times. I've seen fargo probably more than five times. So it's not a cohen film that i would choose to go back to i. I don't think it's awful. I think it just didn't work for me man. I'm thinking like true grits better than this. Sorry barton barton. Fink is better than this This they've made a lot of good. I like hudsucker proxy. Better than this Just in terms of kind of screwball comedies But this isn't screwball comedy. It's a black comedy. Yeah i said i. Everything on their on. Paper looks amazing. it just it just kind of left me a little cold Before we get into talk. Because i imagine a most of our conversation from here will probably be the bombs at the movie does connect with. Yeah big big. There are a couple of scenes. Have some big laughs so this movie. is about as much as about anything a cia analyst who gets professionally insulted because they want to transfer him from cia to the state department And who quits enraged and goes home and has is His wife immediately play by tilda swinton immediately. Instigates develops proceedings. The lawyer advises her to get a complete financial picture of him before he knows about the divorce. So burn all the information get from his computer about as fai everything. Get it all this cd. Then because of the lawyers secretary goes missing at a gym. I think. And he gets picked up by francis. Mcdermott who needs fifty thousand dollars to buy fake tits and some some some liposuction and some face fixing and she decides try to blackmail and extort this money and sell it to the russian government which brings in more cia involvement. Which somehow spirals into george clooney. Who's kind of a low level slash failing. Us marshall the whole gym crew gets involved. The it's this. Yeah like i said. I even as i'm telling you this. This seems like a very funny setup for a very very good black comedy And then that's it the that that those events spiral out of everyone's control to everyone's consternation including the highest levels of the cia. And that's the movie. I mean if you're a cohen fan. You probably already seen this movie. If you're not a coen fan is yeah like how much of a nocco and fan are you. not cohen. Fantasy haven't seen enough to be a fan or have seen abundance and didn't like any of arriving is like yeah all maybe you do because this is like to me so unlike what they normally make this also could be like the beginning of late cohen brothers that i don't really because like i don't like I don't like inside and davis. I don't like hail caesar. I did like the bus. The ballot buster scruggs How much. Yeah i did. True grit was before that Yeah so i guess. But they've had a lot more misses than hits in the the latter half of their career. But of course there are only like an early sixties to So yeah see it if you want to see We will tell you we're not going to talk about the idea. The funniest stuff in the movie or the things that work correctly Yeah the one of the things that really works for me is all the acting like i think across the board. Everybody is great in this movie. Oh yeah that's why the scenes are so funny. I mean clooney is is excellent either. He or frances. Mcdormand are the best in this movie. I don't know. Brad pitt is so fucking good to brad. Pitt is very funny. And john malkovich as the you know like incredulity dealing with the jackasses. Like that part where. He's in a sailboat. And he's doing poorly doing calisthenics while he's like trying to incorporate like pep talk and you know affirmations in with like you know i'm back you fuckers back is it only works because he john malkovich right do shit like that. Like his best human accent and he's close. He's close to human accent. He doesn't quite get there. I know what john malkovich israel accent is. He's done so many and he always has this way of speaking that kelvin. It's an accident or it's a cadence. Yeah there's something strange about the way he talks. And i love it yeah. He's he's kind of underrated Christopher walken type. He does a very distinct way of enunciating cadence to delivery. And all that. Yeah yeah for sure. But everybody's so good. I i mean brad pitt is a very annoying character. But he's also playing extremely. Well this this jim. Jim rat doofus kind of character. His name's chad right to know does this is did this. Start the meam. Chad's got to be known as like these kind of bubble headed but very good with women in faulk idiots because there is something hilarious about this. Fuck boy put on a suit and like gets into malkovich's car and like immediately of like he wants a serious face look like i just narrow my eyes like even phone. Call the first phone call. They make to malkovich and they're like trying to say. Hey we got your data and and money out of him. And and brad pitt's like i thought you might be concerned about the security of your shit. It's delivery so good just all this stuff like yeah when they're talking about well. We should leave a note in the ladies locker bell. What about like what if you lost your secrets. Shit laws your top secret. Cia shit yeah. The new like you know Shades of new should has come to light. He's he's very funny Even just like the Select his whole conversation with the malkovich and a car is very funny. Him hiding like his reaction to hiding from george clooney and like the look on his face right before he gets his brains blown out is also hilarious Good the shower to me was the probably the funniest thing because he's like okay. Dudes do get in the shower. Let me escape here. And it's like a three second shower. It's the fastest shower on earth which just cracked me up. He's off his undercarriage clearly. There and just like get the the twigs and berries rinsed. He's good to go I read because. I read a lot. Because i'm like what am i going to say about this film. I was really hoping because it's it's been about ten years since i've seen this movie. I was really hoping that. Like when i saw it. I'd be like oh of cour- yeah. I was just obey before and i was in a bad place my life and now i see it and is so clearly now with all we've been through as a country and all the stupid stuff in politics stuff is just going to hit me re. Nope still still didn't really hit me. But i i read. Someone said something. I thought was pretty amazing. And that it's brad pitt. Is a character actor. That was born in a leading man's body. Because yeah i feel like he does more work at doing like absurd weird and very particular characters in about any one of his good-looking caliber like leo. Kinda like leonardo di caprio and everything. He's amazing at and he's very good at certain things and stuff. But like i don't know brad pitt is a leading man who has chosen to be a character actor. 'cause it's all comes down to like the roles he picks right you think fight club you think this movie. Think the only thing. I've seen him be like a leading man i think as ocean's eleven or the ocean. He's been in a lot that he's done a lot of leading man work but but but yeah he does do like once upon a time in hollywood is i don't know is that a leading man role like he got it but you know he convincingly plays kind of like down on his luck stuntman which is a character. Actor roll He's but he's he's good because he's like I don't think brad pitt is a dummy. But he's playing just like the stupidest that the most moronic type of character Who's like not even like him. And frances mcdormand are like this particular taibbi idiot. That are like a smart enough that can go for such a crazy brass ring but not give any thought about the implications of like betraying your government to the russians going against the c. i. a. blackmailing a officer. Like none of these things. Like there's not even a conversation about like what would happen if you know they just arrest us like of it says like do you understand that you're committing a felony and that if you and and the funniest part is like if you go through with the leverage of the black male which is already felony. You are then giving away classified information which is like a super felony and like the look on brad. Pitt's faces dislike. No i'm good. I'm a good samaritan like not a single thought given to what if that ruse doesn't work you know and he's really funny. He's not at these not the he's not this he's not the character that you why build the movie around right you know. It's an element of something. That's working right And there are a lot of those a lot of elements of something. That's working here but the stew is not coming together for me. Because clooney is great and his character is really funny right. This kind of like as you said sort of sort of failing a marshall who like sleeps around constantly. he's he's cheating on his wife with two different people in this movie is also very happily married. That's the other thing that's interesting here. No because it isn't he okay. So this movie is very twisty. It has like a million different twists and a million different ways of characters are interacting in ways. You think they were before and those reveals and might be confused here. But i was under the impression that both couples in this are getting divorced right or are investigating each other with the prospect of divorce yet but clooney didn't know like obviously he thought he was happily married and he's on his wife all the time he doesn't want to leave her no she wants to leave him. She wants to leave him because of course she does because she knows about all the philandering and the fact that she's got her own boy toy that you know she's become rich and famous as a and he's just like excuse her okay another question because i can't recognize this man's face because it's a white wall of nothing the guy that she is hooking up with france france mcdormand dermott dermott mall rooney is that she's hooking up with because he's in the television like five times you're right he is But his face has nothing right. His face is like just setting one in a video game yet because at one point where the movie kind of freeze frames on him. And i like wait is did did did is justin throw in this movie. And i've i've never known it and it's like but yeah i couldn't pick this guy out of a lineup if you bet at roni and and mcdermott dumb. They'll mooney and justin throw on said gun gun to my head. Pick which of these three guys is in the movie. I on you'd have to blow my brains out the brad pitt. May but he yeah. He plays this kind of like he's twitchy for some reason he's neurotic because he claims to have all these like allergies but like i don't know that might just be kind of like a a neurotic thing He's a then this is. This is the movies about this too about people that have very impressive sounding jobs. I'm a us agent. Oh sounds like. But i've never had to shoot anybody and i've mostly done like court working really brag about private protection when i'm trying to make condom jokes. Do the mini women and. I'm dating just like john malkovich. He's a cia agent but he also doesn't matter like that sounds impressive. Oh you're analyst working at langley. Oh my god you must be james bond. He's not no he's he's the janitor right. Yeah and they another like the fact that Frances mcdormand a mcdormand is a physical fitness expert who hates her body and thinks she's flabby and and going Her body is Going over down the hill and all that stuff like there are doing this thing but like that's not what the movie's about just like they're doing a thing about like how The central intelligence is kind of organized. And don't know anything and kind of makes things worse all the time but like that's not what the movie is also about the closest thing to what the movie is about. I think it's thesis. That's a damn fine question. And i don't have an answer but that's kind of the thesis is like this movie is showing just how silly all of it is. It's hard to put your finger on. What is the point of this movie because it is such a farce in every aspect of it is a forest right. There is no like grounding element where you do this in fargo. The tv show to right like a lot of the casey mafia stuff that happens in like season to think is probably directly based on this stuff. Because they've got a lot of the mafia organisations just kind of nut necessarily being buffoons but seeing things play out and not doing too much about it. Because it's such a minor thing. Then they like in fargo. It's deadly important but the kansas city. It's just one region you know it's like get it. It's it's it's you care about as much as you know The as bitten arkansas world headquarters walmart cares about that. One backed up toilet. You know like yeah. It's like not. Yeah and the season of argo is not about that either right. It's just an element of it. And i feel like this has several different elements. None of which the movie is about right. Yeah this movie is also made in that weird kind of point of his time where we were still fooling ourselves with the history of into history like we're not a unipol our world and you know there's not going to you know when i say that because like this movie treats turning like since classified information or if the russians is like a joke wouldn't it be a joke in nineteen sixty nine shrike. Even this level of information being disclosed wouldn't be. it wouldn't be a joke today But in two thousand eight. It's a joke that you can take a dossier of information and give it to the russians and the cia is literally like just. Don't get in their way. just you know. Make sure this person gets away. Make sure his body gets buried. Make sure this because like whatever were. I think the movie is like what is the site. I actually even doing anymore. If america's running everything and there is no one on the world stage it could possibly challenging us and like what the hell what is the. What is the important thing that they're working on. You know that kind of like that's the thing to right like there are several elements in the movie like that. And if you're asking the question like what the hell is the important thing that the cia is working on. You're also asking the same question about george clooney building. Something in the basement in the movie then takes the heading direction that says hey there is nothing important that he's working on right. It's this sex chair right because the movie really builds it up. They want you to think oh man tilda swinton to get out of this relationship. He doesn't want to be a long term by his hardware. He's got the secret project. It's all gated off. His wife can't even see lake. Yeah behind lock and key literally and then the reveal is such a fars. It's so ridiculous pointless that like like they're comparing the two right but in is a real minutes like at least i remember when he's bring until the Went when he's bringing frances mcdormand down there and like you see this a steel chair. Like it's like she's gonna torture this lady right and then he rocks to chair and there's a there's a brief beat then wong. It's it's is hilarious. It like even like up until that point. I don't think i'd really cracked a smile in the movie. When i was i wanted to but that was like oh okay and it's not even the big buildup happens at like a one third of the way through the movie yeah But yeah they do that thing where it's like. Yeah he's like what the hell is he building. What is he working on. He's just frustrated. Cia us marshal. Who's in love with the cia offered his wife blah blah blah oils. Take a quick break and we'll be right back and shot shot. Shot shot shots for talk about the fun kind. We're talking about the needles. 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Helix is offering up to two hundred dollars off all mattress orders and two free pillows for our listeners. At helixsleep dot com slash prestige. Thanks helix also pre snowden like i do part of the joke was just a a are now like these kind of ridiculous mill middle managers on on the scene I don't but yeah i. It's a again didn't didn't land for me Tilda swinton is like probably the least us. i guess. If you wanna make richard jenkins he might be also but tilda swinton for her name and like what is expecting she is essentially a straight man for everyone else to be ridiculous in front of you know agreed. I i think there's one funny scene. They have with her. But yes i mean ninety nine percents. What is that. One that you're It's another reveal. They're they're really good with reveals in this movie and setting your sort of expectations because tilda went in. The whole movie is acting like malkovich's failure because he's no longer a operative she's very successful she's talking about. Oh you're going to live off of my pension my retirement stuff. Now you've lost your job and then it's revealed later that she's a pediatrician. And if if you have seen the movie up to this point this woman has no business being a pediatrician. And and that is revealed with her trying to jam this stick down this kid's mouth trying to get him to open his mouth and shouting at him. You're going to open your mouth right now. i swear to god. Go out the room. And i'm going to deal with you alone. Yes she's like. There is no parent on earth. Who would have this be their pediatrician. And that revealed to me was really funny but yeah she's pretty much straight straight person in this movie and there's a lot of like really funny dialogue like You know brad pitt's chad they're going over there dating profiles and she sees one dude with like a bad haircuts and and he's like what her ideal man is and then she opens up the profile. She sees this guy because this is all very probably too early to like internet. daily internet. Dating is almost like it's referred to as a service. Yeah you know But does she's like look like he has a sense of humor. And brad pitt says optometrist does. Because he's wearing these ridiculous like you know how ship windshield sunglasses or glasses. That was pretty funny Yeah i thought that was pretty funny all but all the like and also like how related everything was there is as well as multiple nested pathetic love triangles right Like it's a practical image of those pathetic nested love triangles throughout the whole movie. Only that works for me it just. It just didn't quite connect in the end. I think it's because i didn't like any of the characters that it's gotta be brad pitt also when malkovich's like your empty if You know i brought my whatever to bear on you. you're empty. Little head would be spinning faster than the wheels on your schwinn bicycle and fraz pit laughs like can think it's a schwinn is like punches. Have been defaced. Let's larry is like brad. Brad pitt is being threatened by well. Who we think's is a highly place. Cia agent And he he gets the wrong brandon bicycle and he gets hung up on it. Yeah that's funny. I mean it is. It is yeah. It just doesn't quite connect for me because there's a li- like in this movie. That is intricate like that. This movie is kind of a clockwork farce. And it should work a lot better for me. Just doesn't in some things. Like i can tell. The line is written to be clever. Clever like after. George clooney finds out. His wife is divorcing. Him and he's sitting there with francis. Mcdermott who's very bored and just wants them to flower and get out of there. He's like oh this. This whole thing came out of nowhere. You think you've been and she's like well. Isn't this been a long time coming. And he's like well. Yeah but still like. I think that's supposed to be funny but it came across me is like too much in the sad pathetic So it's like it. It didn't feel. I don't know it didn't feel like it. Set up to be funny but as written like it's funny. Yeah but as another really funny clooney. Moment that i liked He's sex obsessed obviously and he's got he goes to till the swings house he gets he brings his sex wedge with him. And then you know. Brad pitt goes inside whatever There's a point where like. Typically i think says something to him angers him and so he storms upstairs and he grabs the only thing he brought with him which is a sex wedge and he takes all the way down it puts in the trunk of his car and leaves and i just. I don't know why that's so funny but like this grown ass man pouting about being yelled at grabbing the thing of value which is sex wedge and then storming off is hilarious to me and that's the thing like The thing that keeps it from being a good movie. I think is all those berry. Funny things are just not connected in a way that right except for like i said if this movie be hysterical if this is a bad j. k. simmons as the frantic middle-management of cia trying to make sense of the crazy world that he found himself in his certainly could be and i cared like he had a whole like you know he's just trying to get to his daughter's birthday party or something because he's a stranger mike that's like feels like a cohen film that i could get behind iran sort of thing the as a as a guy who just comes in late in the movie to kind of like 'cause like also. I think this is a pretty short movie. It's not quite two hours by by a long shot. It's like an hour and forty minutes hour and thirty five minutes get liked the movie does abruptly stops and it's almost feels like a day of sex mac in a situation where like j. k. Simmons gets lowered out of the clouds behind a desk. And just like oh all these bodies and all that stuff. Well we'll burn. It will cover up. This will hide. That will ship him off to swail and boy. It wasn't this all just a waste of everyone's time which is the like if you have been catching everything on this. Movie's wave link and coming to the same conclusion. That's probably still very funny because j. k. Simmons is extremely funny extremely good at these kind of roles And all the people that we care about. John you know like if you cared about john malkovich him saying Our guy shot him good. is he dead. Lake george and these guys trying to go to the new zealand. But we don't know why because new zealand's got no extradition. Oh what should we do. We'll put him on the next flight. Venezuela mike shaky simmons born to say shit like that right. Yeah i don george clooney like these guys are all like either dead shot or you know i. It's it's i said. I'm fortunate position where like everyone agrees with. We will agree with me and everyone a dozen will be mad. So i will say that. I was kinda surprised to see this film much. Like hail caesar pulling an eighty five percent on rotten tomatoes Yeah with critics. I think critics were more in tune with it then. A lot of the public eye. I think it's got sixty something from the public. Which is it sounds about right. Because i think like that. Npr s quality. That you're talking about hits more with critics than it would with. Oh assured that the general movie going public does but the audience is sixty five percent. So it's still fresh in. I don't think anybody thinks this movie is terrible. And i don't think it's terrible. It just doesn't quite click with me in the with a lot of cohen films. Do even though it has. Its funny moments. Yeah roger he gives it three stars. Which i think is fair but it's not like the coens top. Three films are four star oscar winning films. Oh yeah. And that's where. I i guess i had the problem. And that's where i feel like maybe just maybe the people really liked this are You know feel like this movie doesn't get its do doesn't get as credit when it's like well. Maybe it's appropriately credited. It is eighty percent fresh on rotten tomatoes. It did get a three star review from roger. Ebert did this this. Did this make any discontinue awards wasn't nominated for any academy awards. It was nominated baptists and and stuff like that. But i do really well in the box office. Thirty seven million dollar budget one hundred sixty three million in the box office so over with wartime a lot of money five times its budget but i feel like that's also like that that that that speaks to the coen brothers respect that the cinema like they've had them in our powers and so much success and holy shit. See i mean brad pitt george. Clooney what this is like seven years after ocean's eleven so they were still like seen as this you know as the pinnacle of like leading men in hollywood movies and teaming backup to do this movie is it has to drive some of its successor right right. Yeah 'cause like even like. I was thinking oh brother only made seventy two. Millions is signaling. Maybe because i remember that being a real critical success and getting a lot of like oscars and whatnot But it wasn't near so maybe it was this like the moving going public like okay. We slept on. Oh brother now. We're going to go see. Burn after you know. There's no way we're going to ask so clooney in. Oh brother art. Thou is not like the the trailer. I don't give it gives you the impression that like you're gonna get clooney in this movie whereas i could see the trailer for this movie thinking okay. I'm going to get like clooney at full clini form right. Yeah that was such a weird turn for him even though he is charming in that movie. And it's like it. He is being very clooney in that movie. The setting of it. The owns the yeah. Yeah yeah yes. The quality of that movie are so different from what you think of in terms of clooney's movies. Yeah i like. I said i. I wish i liked this better. I don't i don't bury any ill will. And there are some science. Blending are some pretty pretty good gut busters here It just doesn't hang together. It feels more like a sketch. Comedy film didn't quite get all the sketches connected than it does like a cohesive cohesive Part of a all but again. I'm clearly in the minority on this. I'm not trying to talk anybody out of like in this if it's there if it is your top three cohen brothers Hey man that's cool. We have a away different top three. I mean that's the thing is like i do. Because i was really hoping that i would like i think yeah. I don't know why would ever watch this film again. Because i've given it a couple fair shakes And again i. I see what is going for. Just just maybe not for me much to go back to get another watch of big lebowski or a brother or raising arizona and that's just the funny shit you know if i wanted to go see the film. I'd much rather go and see again. You know no country or you know. Tra- true grit sure Miller's crossing which that's another that's that's a coen brothers film if we ever gonna gangster kick again we need to. We need to take that one but There you go there you go burn after reading a burn after listening. Hope you enjoyed this This this prestige podcast. We'll be back with another one next week until then i'm erin. Jim see everybody take a quick break. And we'll be right back.