Movie Review – Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading is a Coen Brothers comedy about the intersection of several story lines.

This hilarious farce gets a strong 8.

John Malkovich is outstanding as a CIA analyst who has been demoted and chooses to quit instead. His character is full of righteous outrage. Malkovich plays it to the hilt. He is quirky and all over the place. Malkovich is a delight to watch. Malkovich’s character is fairly goofy, partly explaining why his wife, Tilda Swinton, is having an affair with George Clooney. Swinton is also outstanding as a hard, demanding, bitch of a wife. Her character is cold and calculating – a delightful bit of acting. Clooney’s character is also a bit of a goof, but kind of endearing as well. He really gets into the character. It always seems that someone is following him when he goes for a run. Are they? Brad Pitt seems right at home playing a doofus gym trainer. He is crazy and all over the place. He finds a disc of CIA information at the gym and tries to sell it back to John Malkovich. His partner in crime is another trainer, Frances McDormand. She was also delightful in her role. She is obsessed with getting some plastic surgeries and internet dating. It was an outstanding cast, and all of the actors played their roles well. It was truly enjoyable watching them interact and strut their stuff.

The plot can be summed up by the movie’s tagline, “Intelligence is relative.” Few of the characters have many redeeming qualities and deserve the bad things that happen to them. And things do go round and round. I almost want to use the word “zany” to describe the plot. It twists and turns, intersecting everyone in the most bizarre or hilarious twists. I laughed quite a bit during the movie. The Coen Brothers have a real knack for putting together great casts with great scripts that are executed well.

Q-Branch Update: Ex-CIA chief Tenet joins “James Bond” research firm

Q-Branch Update: Ex-CIA chief Tenet joins “James Bond” research firm

ImageLONDON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet has joined the British research firm thought to have provided the inspiration for ‘Q’, the character who creates spy gadgets for James Bond. Tenet has been appointed an independent non-executive director of QinetiQ, the company said on Tuesday….

I thought this was an interesting article for those fond of the espionage gaming genre. I find it interesting that the “Q Branch” is now traded on the London Stock Exchange. I’ve added a header photo of Desmond Llewelyn, famous for his portrayal of “Q” in nearly every James Bond film until his death in 1999. Though I do like John Cleese quite a bit, Mr. Llewelyn will always hold the distinction in my mind as the original “Q”.

Whether an exploding watch, retractable machineguns built into a Lotus Convertible, or a full-out jetpack, gadgets are one of the key elements of many spy games. To me they have always been a fun element for the GM to tinker with. I’ll have to look for my brother’s old character Tom Davidson who drove a suped up version of our father’s car (an Acura). I’m sure I have all the stats somewhere….I’ll add them if I find them (there’ll be some ransacking involved).

I’ve been a longtime enthusiast for games of this sort and am somewhat of a collector. Back in the day, we played a lot of Top Secret SI (by TSR), but have used material from the original Top Secret Game, James Bond 007 RPG, MISSION, Spycraft, and others. For fans of espoinage games (whether in print or out), I recommend the Modus Operandi website. It is an excellent resource.

Other Sites that may be of interest include:

~Adaen of Bridgewater

Tuesday October 24, 2006 – 09:27pm (EDT)

Entry for October 20, 2006

Entry for October 20, 2006

As an avid gamer and collector of classic role-playing games, I often end up with “doubles” in my collection. As such, I’ve listed a couple of lots of these extra items on ebay. Here’s your chance to acquire one of two (or both) interesting lots of games/accessories.

LOT A: The Fantasy Lot – Some old favorties that are out of print now.


1) Powers & Perils Fantasy Roleplaying Game (Boxed): Box is a little battered, but the rules are in worn, but intact condition. Four rules booklets + One scenario (County Mordara); no dice or other accessories included). This groundbreaking game from Avalon Hill (1983) has a lot of crunch and is an old favorite of mine. Though it leans towards the complex side of the gaming spectrum, it is a lot of fun. Perfect for Swords & Sorcery. Lots of good bits to extract into whatever fantasy game you are using now.

2) CB2 Conan – Against Darkness: This adventure scenario (module) from TSR (1984) is for AD&D Levels 10-14 (with some optional modifications to better emulate the Hyborian World of Conan). It includes some characters from the Hyborian world, including Conan. I’m a big fan of Hyboria/Atlantean themed Sword & Sorcery games, and this plays right into that. Easily adaptable to an ongoing campaign or for the OGL Conan Game currently produced by Mongoose. d20/Dungeons and Dragons 3E, Morrigan’s Atlantis: The Second Age, Rolemaster, HARP, Palladium, GURPS, Earthdawn, Masterbook, RuneQuest, Burning Wheel, Aega Mythea, The Riddle of Steel, etc. would also work well here.

3) The Chronicles of Talislanta: This volume by Stephan Michael Sechi (creator of Talislanta and the Atlantean Trilogy) was penned in 1987. It is a narrative account by Tamerlin the Explorer and Wizard of the lands of Talislanta (famous for its “No Elves” tag-line). This is truly an alien world with strong influences by Vance (the fiction author). Nice black and white artwork throughout. Might make a really neat “other world” for your d20/GURPS/HERO/Rolemaster characters to visit. The cover is a bit dinged by the spine (see photo), but the pages are clean.

4) SFKH1 Dramune Run: This adventure module for the Star Frontiers Knight Hawks game (1984) is one of my favorites. It is a SciFi game accessory that is very “Star Wars” in flavor, complete with smugglers, organized crime, and all sorts of political situations. This is one of my favorites. It would work well for d20 Future, Star Wars, Traveler, Other Suns, Star Trek, GURPS. It is in worn, but good condition.

Will ship to US. Others please email me prior to bidding. Please ask all questions prior to bidding. Those using personal checks will have to wait for them to clear before I ship. Paypal accepted.

LOT B -0 The Espionage Lot:

All of the items in this lot could be adapted to any game system in a modern setting such as: GURPS Espionage, Top Secret, Top Secret SI, Spies, Indiana Jones, Spygame, Ronin, Spy, Secret Agent, Daredevils, James Bond 007-Roleplaying in Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Victory), MISSION, HERO, Palladium, Sprycraft, d20 Modern, d20 Future, etc. All items are out of print. Included in this lot:

1) Goldfinger II: The Man with the Midas Touch(Boxed): Box is a new, in shrinkwrap. This is an adventure for the James Bond 007 Roleplaying Game from Victory Games (1984). Based on Ian Flemmings classic tales of James Bond.

2) You Only Live Twice (Boxed): Box is a new, in shrinkwrap. This is an adventure for the James Bond 007 Roleplaying Game from Victory Games (1985). Based on Ian Flemmings classic tales of James Bond.

3) TSE3 – Web Wars: New, in shrinkwrap. This is an adventure for the Top Secret SI game (from TSR 1989, not the Top Secret Game listed below, but adaptation should be rather easy).

4) Top Secret: The original Top Secret role-playing game from TSR (1981, Second Edition). This is the rulebook (no dice included) + two copies of the classic Administrator File 001 (adventure module) – Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle (Code Name: Pisces). The rule book is a bit battered and the cover has separated from the pages, but the pages are pretty clean still. The modules are still in pretty good shape (especially considering they’re 25 years old). This game is an old favorite. I still have my copy and a spare. This is my third copy. (See the picture for condition)

Will ship to US. Others please email me prior to bidding. Please ask all questions prior to bidding. Those using personal checks will have to wait for them to clear before I ship. Paypal accepted.

Please check my other auctions.

~Adaen of Bridgewater

Friday October 20, 2006 – 01:49pm (EDT) Edit | Delete | Permanent Link | 1 Comment