Burn After Reading

Featured In Issue 138, January/February 2009

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Pervasive language, some sexual content and violence
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1, DTS 5.1
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Burn After Reading is an outrageous spy comedy about murder, blackmail, sex addiction, and physical fitness. When a disc filled with some of the CIA's most irrelevant secrets gets in the hands of two determined, but dim-witted gym employees, the duo are intent on exploiting their find, resulting in a non-stop series of hilarious encounters. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the following featurettes: Finding The Burn—the making of Burn After Reading (HD 5:31); DC Insiders Run Amuck—the cast creates the world of Washington, D.C. insiders, all trying to get ahead or find true love (HD 12:24); and Welcome Back, George, a comedy piece featuring George Clooney as he returns for his third collaboration with the Coen brothers (HD 2:51).

The 1080p VC-1 1.85:1 picture quality overall is pleasing, with a natural color pallette, good contrast and shadow delineation, and deep blacks. But scene quality is variable. Fleshtones are generally naturally rendered, with excellent detail on close-up shots. Noise is noticeable throughout but is generally not objectionable. Overall, this is a pleasing picture for the most part but exhibits scenes that degrade the overall experience. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is a typical production with dialogue not supported beyond monaural. Effects fill out the stereo front channels and the surround channels nicely, though. Surround envelopment is heavily dependent on the music score. The music is recorded well, with good fidelity and a wide and deep soundstage that extends into the surrounds and provides occasional surround envelopment. While nicely recorded, this is a conventional soundtrack. (Gary Reber)