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Title: Burnt

Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :2.5stars:

HTS Overall Score:79

SummaryMovies about cooking have become extremely prolific over the last decade and rightfully so. Food is something that is more than just taste. It is art, it is love and it is pure passion. Which makes it perfect for a visual art form such as film. The taste of the food cannot be experienced on screen, but the visual delight of seeing a wonderfully crafted dish come to life can make your tongue tingle with the anticipation of tasting such a morsel. Ok, I may have let me inner foodie slip out just a little bit. I must admit that I LOVE food. I love the way it tastes, the way it feels, and the way it smells. I once considered a career in the culinary arts but decided to decline when I realized I loved to cook for the pleasure of myself and the pleasure of others. Doing it as my “work” made the joy of cooking less prominent and I backed out of the industry once that epiphany struck me. “Burnt” tries to take on the mantle of the next great film about food, but unfortunately is a bit too generic to actually stand out amongst all of the other good food loving films out there.

Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) was once the greatest chef in Paris. He had it all. Fame, fortune and his own restaurant, but thanks to his own ego and a love of every narcotic under the sun, he forfeited that crown and ran off in disgrace. Years later Adam has returned and this time he’s going to prove to Europe that he is still the best chef out there, and this time he’s going to do it without all the vices that hampered him before. Begging (or really commanding) a position from the son of his previous restaurant owner, Adam sets himself up in London with some of the finest chef’s around him. Even if some of those hate his guts, and others happen to have been in jail up until the grand opening. The one thing he misses is a sous chef. A position that is left open for Helene (Sienna Miller), a feisty chef who doesn’t even respect, let along want to work for the arrogant chef. That is until he gets her fired from her old job and offers her triple her salary to come work for him.

While Adam has given up many of his vices, such as drugs, wine and women, he hasn’t given up the OCD nature of a fine chef. Screaming and yelling his way to the top he berates every chef under his command with the fury of tyrant in his effort to gain a third Michelin star. If you’re not aware, a Michelin star is the grading system of Europe. There is an organization that will assign 0, 1, 2 or a 3 star rating to the chef and his restaurant. As one of the protégé chef’s says (and I paraphrase). “A one star rating means you’re Luke Skywalker, and a 2 star rating means you’re…I don’t know… that guy Alec Guinness was. But if you get 3 stars, you’re YODA”! Having 2 stars means that Adam is almost there, but his life’s goal is to get that 3rd and final star. To achieve the BEST culinary rating one can possibly have.

“Burnt” is a tale of redemption and victory. Adam has lived life to the fullest, and also has to suffer the fall that comes from someone who enjoys life a LITTLE too much. He’s in debt to some drug dealers who he owes a LOT of money, and he has to go to drug counseling once a week in order to keep his financing. To top it off he has to learn to actually respect those around him. It’s a bit sad and a bit sweet, but it’s also a bit generic. The whole time I was watching the film I felt like I had seen or heard this before. I could predict what was going to happen before it even happened. Then it dawned on me. I HAD seen this before! Every bit of the film was the same pattern that we had seen in a dozen films before this. Every cooking film that comes before has an element in the film and as such “Burnt” doesn’t seem to have anything that really makes it stand out more than a dozen others.

I actually like “Burnt” a bit more than the critics, as it was LAMBASTED in its theatrical run. Raked over the coals as a boring pile of trash, I was actually really nervous about watching the film. It may be because I REALLY love food and the art of food, but it was actually rather enjoyable. Bradley Cooper owns the scenes where he’s screaming at the top of his lungs like Gordon Ramsey, and Sienna Miller is innocuously charming as Helene. Other big name actors have small bit parts throughout the film, such as the film critic played by Uma Thurman, or Emma Watson as his counselor, and even the up and coming star Alicia Vikander. “Burnt” many not have been the knockout hit some were hoping for, but it is an entertaining story of redemption and victory amongst the glorious world of creating food.


Rated R for language throughout

Video :4.5stars:
“Burnt” comes to Blu-ray with a nearly perfect video encode. One that dazzles and sparkles at every corner with brilliant whites of the European kitchen, combined with brilliant and sparkling colors of the incredibly appetizing food that they make in the film. Fine detail is excellent, allowing us to see every bit of stubble on Bradley Cooper’s face, as well as the individual stiches on the clothing and the scars and tattoos on the actor’s bodies. The contrast is ever so slightly boosted, but not so much as to cause issues, but rather to create an ambiance of glamour and brilliance of location and scenario. The blacks are deep and inky, showing off incredibly shadow detail as well as being bereft of any egregious artifacting besides a few moments of light banding. Overall an excellent transfer that leaves me with very little to nitpick over on Blu-ray disc.

Audio :4stars:
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track ensconced on the Blu-ray is nearly as good as the video encode is, but due to the extremely “drama” nature of the film isn’t as dynamic as some others. Dialog is clean and clear, with no sounds of distortion or flaws, and balanced with ease to the rest of the effects throughout the film. The surrounds are a bit light, and naturally, the film is a bit front heavy due to the genre. The front sound stage is excellent though, with the clanging and mumbling that is second nature to a busy kitchen as well as the busy sounds of London’s streets. There is certainly some solid surround usage, but as mentioned it is light, and mostly relegated to the soft score and the afore mentioned busy streets of London. LFE is tight and clean, but shows up in several surprising moments throughout the film, such as Adam roaring down the street on his “borrowed” motorcycle. An excellent track with its only “flaw” (and I use that term in jest) being that it is a drama, and as such isn’t as wildly dynamic as the latest action blockbuster.

Extras :2.5stars:

• Feature Commentary with Director John Wells and Executive Chef Consultant Marcus Wareing
• Deleted Scenes
• Burnt: In the Kitchen with Bradley Cooper

Overall: :4stars:

I actually enjoyed “Burnt” a bit more than many critics did it seems. I do admit to having a very soft spot for foodie movies that deal with the wonders and joys of culinary delights. I can certainly understand WHY many people had a problem with the film, as the plot has been worn thin with repetition by dozens of other food based films. However, there is something satisfying about watching the same tale of redemption and victory over and over. Especially when there is food involved. “Burnt’s” video scores are excellent and the audio is not far behind and despite some of the flaws I noted in the movie I would say that it is still worth checking out.

Additional Information:

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Uma Thurman, Sienna Miller
Directed by: John Wells
Written by: Steven Knight (Screenplay), Michael Kalesniko (Story)
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Starz/Anchor Bay
Rated: R
Runtime: 101 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: January 26th 2016

Buy Burnt On Blu-ray at Amazon

Recommendation: Rental

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