Saturday, 18 October 2008

George Clooney and his unfeasible sex-machine (Thanet Extra October 17 2008)

Apparently one of the tell-tale signs of a recession is a rise in cinema attendances as folk go for relatively inexpensive nights out.

Well, we have seen the highest ticket sales since 1974 in this country. That could have less to do with economics mind and more with singalong with Mamma Mia!

What with Abba-based musicals cleaning up and the global economic meltdown we need something to cheer us up.

The new Coen brothers' outing, Burn After Reading, is a start. It revolves around a disgruntled CIA operative, Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich), who loses a computer disc containing his confidential memoirs.

When this falls into the hands of two gym employees (Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand), the two dummies try to blackmail money out of Cox. They are clearly in over their heads against this tough (and sweary) operator.

Throw in a bemused treasury agent (George Clooney), with a penchant for running and bouts of adultery, and you get a very slight, but oh-so-drole caper about double-crosses and human stupidity.

With character names like Linda Litzke (McDormand) and a Russian consulate official called Krapotkin, you can tell the Coens are just having fun after the heavy, death-centric, No Country For Old Men.

Not much happens in Burn After Reading but it happens quickly and there is fun along the way, with a goofy performance from Brad Pitt and a loveable loser role for Clooney. Look out for his character's mechanical invention too.

The Rocker
is a comedy vehicle for Rainn Wilson (the nerdy Dwight Schrute in The American Office) as Robert "Fish" Fishman, a back-in-the-day guitarist who was thrown out of a rock band before they became super-famous.

Twenty years later, now bitter and the black sheep of his family, he gets a second chance at living the dream when his nephew's high school band need a new drummer.

Before you can say "hang on a minute isn't this a bit like School of Rock with a poor man's Jack Black", the movie turns into a road trip with Wilson the centre of the comic pratfalls.

Unoriginal, but funny enough when it needs to be. If you've already seen Tropic Thunder, this one is a half decent, silly comedy that not once mentions the words credit or crunch.

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