The Coen Brothers (No Country for Old Men) are back, this time on a much lighter note with Burn After Reading, a dark and funny movie depicting what happens when idiots try to smarten up and rise above their social standing. Brad Pitt (Babel) and Frances McDormand (Almost Famous) are two personal trainers who are thrust into a world of blackmail when they stumble across a confidential disc belonging to one Osborne Cox (John Malkovich, Rounders), a disgruntled recently demoted CIA operative. They contact Cox and are astounded when he is not amenable to giving them a financial reward for returning the disc. They are clearly out of their league and their attempt to muscle him is hilarious. Meanwhile Cox’ wife, played by Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) is having an affair with George Clooney’s character, who is also sleeping with Frances McDormand. Yeah, it’s a little wacky. This movie seemed like it was fun to make, and Pitt and Clooney have good comedic timing. There’s not much else I can say about it, because I really don’t think it was meant to be taken seriously. This is only the third film I’ve seen from the Coen Bros, and the first comedy. I noticed that despite the obvious humorous interpretation, there were a couple of really violent moments too. Somehow these scenes were also funny when viewed in a certain context, which was interesting, to say the least. Even a guy getting his head bashed in with a hammer is played for laughs, and it somehow works. Those crazy Coens. I wonder what their childhood was like. They probably pulled the wings off flies, but instead of growing up to be serial killers they became filmmakers. Lucky for us.