Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Reviews: Burn After Reading & Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Movies,News and Current Events,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:16 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon


Originally uploaded by Network Geek

Okay, so I saw two totally different movies this weekend.

I’m going to review them in reverse order, actually.
Sunday, at the earliest matinee, I saw Burn After Reading. Now, I have to admit, I went into this with pretty high expectations because, after all, it is a Coen Brothers’ film. Also, from the trailers, I was expecting a total comedy. Well, I’ll say this, I was certainly not sad that I went to see this film. And, it was very, very funny. But, it wasn’t really a comedy.

The story, in a nutshell, is this… Osborne Cox, a CIA analyst gets demoted, but quits in protest. His wife, a castrating bitch, is cheating on him, but also wants a divorce. He starts writing a memoir, which she copies to a disk along with a bunch of financial information to bring to her lawyer. Somehow, the disk gets, well, lost and falls into the wrong hands. In this case, the “wrong hands” is the staff at a health club, each of whom are messed up in their own way.
And, that’s just the first thirty minutes, or less, of the film! Oh, and that’s all without any of the subplots that all become hugely important later. It’s very much like Fargo, in all the best ways, even including a lot of the cast from Fargo, in fact.

Well, as always, without revealing any significant plot spoilers, let me say that this was a good movie, albeit complicated, convoluted and quirky. Of course, it is a Coen Brothers’ film, so I guess that’s to be expected.
The thing is, from the advertising and the trailers, I thought this would be mostly a comedy, but it’s not. Really, I’m not sure what it is, outside of being different and good. Well, it is funny, too, it’s just not full-out comedy. I mean, it’s better than that. It’s kind of hard to explain.
Okay, let’s just summarize and let me say that it’s worth paying full price to see this movie, and I almost never pay full price to see a movie any more.

Now, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is an entirely different animal.
As I wrote on Flickr, guys, if you take a date to see this movie and you didn’t get laid? Duder, you are doing something seriously wrong. I am not kidding.

Okay, look, I’ll admit it. I have a secret weakness for romantic comedies that are heavy on the romantic. Nick and Norah is such a film. It may not win any Oscars, but, if I had to pick a must-see movie, behind Dark Knight, of course, this would be it.
Two kids, seniors in different high schools in the greater New York area, have a mutual acquaintance in common. Nick’s ex-girlfriend and Norah’s arch-nemesis. They also share a love of music, which is featured through out the film.
Nick, the only straight member of an otherwise gay band, finds himself dragged out in search of a mythical band “Where’s Fluffy?” as he tries to recover from being dumped. Norah, a nice girl with a couple of self-image issues, gets dragged out to take care of a friend who invariably ends up drunk and, of course, by the lure of finding “Where’s Fluffy?”. Somewhere in the middle, they meet and…

Well, in my fine tradition of not ruining films I review with spoilers, I’m not going to tell you if they actually get together by the end of the film. But, let me reinforce that guys, if you are even the slightest bit nice, kind, sweet, gentlemanly, caring sort of guy that Michael Cera plays? This movie should pretty well make any normal, romantic, sweet, “bring her home to meet the parents” sort of girl you ought to be dating totally melt. As long as it’s your idea first, not hers, and you totally buy into the romance of this flick. You have GOT to believe it, brothers, or it will not fly.
But, uh, yeah, I need to find a date while this movie is still in the damn theaters. Like, pronto.

It’s been a great year for movies so far, and the rest of the year looks pretty good, too.
Stay tuned for more reviews. Oh, and another book review later in the week, too.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"There is no try. Do or do not."

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