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John Wells
Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Daniel Bruhl, Alicia Vikander, Uma Thurman, Emma Thompson
Writing Credits:
Steven Knight

When a rockstar chef’s bad attitude destroys his career, he finds a crew to help him battle the odds and open a new restaurant that could earn him a third Michelin Star.

Box Office:
$20 million.
Opening Weekend
$5,002,521 on 3,003 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 1/26/2016

• Audio Commentary with Director John Wells and Executive Chef Consultant Marcus Wareing
• Deleted Scenes
• “In the Kitchen With Bradley Cooper” Featurette
• Q&A Highlights
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Burnt [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 21, 2016)

For Bradley Cooper, 2015 started really well. American Sniper cleaned up at the box office and earned Cooper an Oscar nomination as Best Actor.

Alas, the rest of the year didn’t go as smoothly. Cooper ended 2015 on a fairly good note, as he played a supporting role in the reasonably well-received Joy, but in between, Cooper starred in two duds: Aloha and Burnt.

I didn’t see Aloha, but I figured I’d give Burnt a look. Chef Adam Jones (Cooper) loved to create exciting new dishes and became a celebrity in the Paris restaurant scene. However, his obnoxious and abusive behavior eventually rubbed too many people the wrong way and put him out of a job.

Not willing to concede defeat, Adam strikes out on his own – albeit after he abandons his vices and suffers self-imposed exile. Adam goes to London and takes on a hotel restaurant, all with the goal of earning a three-star rating from Michelin. We follow his endeavors as well as aspects of his interpersonal relationships.

Because we don’t get a lot of movies in this genre, it becomes inevitable that Burnt finds itself compared to 2014’s Chef. While Jon Favreau’s flick wasn’t a box office hit, its low budget meant it turned a profit, and it received consistently good reviews – much better than the bad notices that greeted Burnt.

I didn’t care for Chef at all, so it seemed unlikely that I’d like Burnt even less. Indeed, I did prefer Burnt - while it doesn’t offer a great film, I think it works better than Favreau’s fantasy.

The lead actore make a big difference. Both films require us to accept caustic, arrogant chefs who inspire love and loyalty despite their terrible behavior. Oh, and stunning ladies flock to them.

I find this notion much easier to swallow with the handsome Cooper in the lead than with the flabby, average-looking Favreau. Actually, part of my complaint about Chef came from Favreau’s ego; he wrote and directed the film, so all the scenes in which hot women threw themselves at his character felt like self-praise.

I think it’s much less of a stretch to see Cooper with babes than Favreau – though ironically, Burnt doesn’t emphasize that side of the tale. It alludes to his earlier womanizing ways and develops a relationship between Adam and assistant chef Helene (Sienna Miller), but it doesn’t posit Adam as the super-desirable figure seen in Chef. That gives the character more depth in the end.

Burnt also avoids the persistent “food porn” of Chef. Most of Favreau’s movie felt like it consisted of little more than shots of food as cooked and eaten. Obviously Burnt includes some of that, but not to the excessive degree of Chef; we see the dishes we need to see and nothing more.

While Burnt corrects some of the flaws found in Chef, that doesn’t make it an especially strong movie. Burnt comes laden with so many clichés and predictable story/character lines that it fails to bring us anything especially new.

Not that “tried and true” is automatically a bad thing, but I think Burnt lacks much creativity. From Adam’s redemption story to Adam’s romance to Adam’s pursuit of culinary greatness, we find an awful lot here that seems trite. Cooper manages to elevate the material to a degree, but there’s only so much he can do with such an overcooked role.

None of this makes Burnt a genuinely bad movie – it just seems mediocre. My disdain for Chef probably makes me like Burnt more than it deserves on its own merits, and even then, I lack enthusiasm for the end result. It manages to maintain viewer interest and that’s about it.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Burnt appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a positive presentation.

Sharpness was solid. Only a smidgen of softness ever occurred, so the majority of the flick offered strong delineation. No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and the presentation lacked edge haloes. In terms of source defects, I witnessed no specks, marks or other issues; the Blu-ray gave us a clean transfer.

In terms of palette, Burnt went with Hollywood Standard teal and orange – with a heavier emphasis on blue-green. That seemed like a lackluster choice, but I couldn’t complain about the execution of the tones, as they seemed fine. Blacks appeared dark and dense, while shadows showed nice clarity. No notable issues occurred here, so we got a quality presentation.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it remained pretty low-key. General ambience ruled the day, as little more exciting than that appeared. Kitchen shots offered decent breadth, and music spread well to the side speakers. Nonetheless, nothing especially lively popped up here.

Audio quality seemed acceptable. Speech appeared natural and concise, as the lines always remained intelligible. Music seemed full and rich, while effects showed good accuracy. Nothing here stood out as particularly memorable, but the track was fine for a film of this sort.

As we shift to extras, we find an audio commentary from director John Wells and executive chef consultant Marcus Wareing. Both sit together for this running, semi-screen-specific chat. While Wells occasionally touches on filmmaking areas, mostly he and Wareing talk about cooking and the restaurant business.

That becomes both good and bad. On the positive side, I learned a lot about the realities of the high-end chefs and fancy establishments, so those parts became interesting. That said, I’d like to hear more about the movie itself, as we get only sporadic tidbits in that realm. I still think this turns into a good piece, but it’s not as broad as I’d like.

Five Deleted Scenes run a total of nine minutes, 59 seconds. The most substantial clip gives us more about Helene and her daughter Lily; a second sequence adds to this. These seem interesting but they also feel tangential for the main plot.

In addition, we see more goings-on at the restaurant. These are fun but inconsequential. A final clip depicts more of the Adam/Helene relationship and makes their situation explicit. It’s also decent but unnecessary.

We can view the deleted scenes with or without commentary from Wells. He tells us basics about the scenes and why he cut them. He gives us good notes.

In the Kitchen With Bradley Cooper lasts 23 minutes, 51 seconds and includes notes from Wells, Wareing, executive producer Kris Thykier, and actors Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl, Omar Sy, Riccardo Scamarcio, Matthew Rhys and Sam Keeley. “Kitchen” covers story/characters, cast and performances, and shooting the cooking scenes. A few minor production-related insights emerge, but this remains a fluffy promo piece.

Next we find Q&A Highlights. Taken from a few different sessions, this 23-minute, 45-second compilation features Cooper for the first 11:25. We get panels with Cooper, Wells, Miller, Bruhl and/or Keeley. We hear about cast, characters and performances, and cooking research/reproduction. More informative than “Kitchen”, the Q&A elements offer useful notes. I especially like Cooper’s discussion of how he approaches memorization and his roles.

The disc opens with ads for Carol and Southpaw. No trailer for Burnt appears here.

While Bradley Cooper does his best to redeem the film, Burnt winds up as a fairly lackluster tale. Though it remains watchable, it never overcomes all the clichés that it embraces. The Blu-ray provides satisfying picture and audio along with a decent set of bonus materials. Burnt winds up as a fairly average movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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