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on: February 29, 2012, 09:16:36 PM

Release date: April 27, 2012

Starring: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey, Rip Torn, Brady Coleman, Richard Robichaux

Directed by: Richard Linklater

Premise: A Renaissance man, a community leader, a mortician who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a wealthy widow that leads to fatal consequences.
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Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 10:06:22 PM
Some dude kills an old lady, so what?

That trailer did nothing to make this look not boring.

Is the twist that he gets acquitted cos he's a nice guy and she deserved it? Well it's America, murderers have been acquitted for stupider reasons than that.
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Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 05:08:34 PM
I haven't seen the movie yet, but that trailer is clearly miscommunicating the tone with that stupid fucking music.


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Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 06:45:02 PM
Wow, finally a trailer.
I agree with you on the music. It sounds like generic music I would have seen in the Previews on a VHS in the 90's.
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Reply #4 on: March 02, 2012, 07:06:59 PM
id still fuck MacLaine
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Reply #5 on: June 04, 2012, 12:03:30 PM
Finally got to see this and I really enjoyed it. It was especially fun seeing it with an East Texas audience, since this movie is very true to this region. And, being so close to the location of the story, there were several instances of places and people mentioned that the audience knows.

Linklater did a charity screening really close that I wanted to attend so badly, but it was $50 to see the movie with a Linklater intro, or $150 to attend a get together with Linklater, the screenwriter, local cast, and a Q&A. It opened "wide" here this weekend (playing in most of the theaters in this area), so I decided to wait.

One thing I noticed was that it was not set in the 80's/90's when the events took place - there were iPhones and flat screen computer monitors - but the time period wouldn't really add anything to the movie and it would just have been an unnecessary burden to the filmmakers.
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Reply #6 on: September 27, 2012, 11:32:00 PM
This was really great.
It's deeply rooted in the place where the story came from and that adds a lot of enjoyment to the whole thing. Pretty interesting how the actors and the real people could blend together so well, particularly Jack Black who completely nails this. I've met a couple of "really nice" dudes like Bernie in my time and they always creep the shit out of me, there's a dark undercurrent that's very interesting and Black takes full advantage of that. He gets this character right even to the way he walks, and yet he never goes "full Jack Black" on us and turn this dude into a cartoon. Probably his best performance to date.

McConaughey is hilarious when he talks about Bernie's alleged gayness. There's a couple of moments with him that could be left out because he goes a little over the top but, if we are going to compare, this works a lot better than what he did in Tropic Thunder.

The story gets weirder and weirder, it certainly is more than just about how a nice guy kills an old lady. It's equally interested in the community and the perception this guy and his victim cultivated among them.

But mainly the thing that stands is how darkly funny and enjoyable it is, you just savor the absurdity of everything as it develops.

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Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 12:42:05 PM
For me, this was just like The Informant... fairly interesting, but not exactly funny, not exactly dramatic, and not particularly exciting because I was familiar with the story.

But it was well done, and Jack Black is superb.

I did not like McConaughey, but there were a couple of townspeople I absolutely loved.
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Reply #8 on: March 26, 2013, 12:52:30 PM
Almost forgot...

Every time Bernie breaks into song (which is ALL THE TIME), he suddenly turns into Jack Black, with the same tone, cadence, and everything. This almost ruined the movie for me. His performance was so excellent in every other respect... he couldn't manage to sing a bit differently as Bernie?
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Reply #9 on: February 06, 2014, 05:32:06 AM
Backdrop for this film is great and deserve a praise. Town folk comes alive on the screen, there is real sense of community. Mixing professional and amateur actors works to film's advantage. We are introduced to main character by gossip and community serves as a narrator for whole story. This makes main character believable - it doesn't feel like film is forcing you to like Bernie.

I don't like Jack Black, but he nailed it. There was a danger of him going over the top, but here it makes Bernie look more like a creep than comic book character. In the end it is a dark comedy without overt silliness.

It is much better film than I expected to be. Interview as a bonus (looks like someone is a bit stoned):

« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 09:13:00 AM by Mel »
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Reply #10 on: February 06, 2014, 11:49:31 AM
Agree with Mel, Alexandro and the like.  I really enjoyed this as well.  There's a very funny break down of Texas in the film that's worth watching, if only for that.  I agree that Jack Black nailed it, in a way I wouldn't have expected from him.  Also, i think this is a very interesting story about the justice system and how being tried before "a jury of your peers," can become problematic
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Reply #11 on: February 06, 2014, 10:29:42 PM
i liked this movie a lot, but its incredibly forgettable. its one of the few dvds i still own, and i dont think i've ever actually watched the copy i have. my problem with it, and i think im alone on this, is that mcconaughey and maclaine seem to be acting in a different movie than jack black is. its hard to describe, but his performance was amazing and the tone and personality of the other two didnt seem to even be in the same language as him. ill have to watch it again, but i remember feeling like somebody served me a beer in a coffee cup or something.


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Reply #12 on: February 07, 2014, 01:04:41 AM
I think I said it was kinda light but generally enjoyable.

And 03, I exactly agree with you! The movie seems kinda confused with its sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic nature as well as the acting. I though McC did a great job but he was so cartooony/theatrical/comedic.


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Reply #13 on: February 07, 2014, 01:29:39 PM
The real life Bernie has been on the news lately. He has been moved back to the area. I think it is something along the lines of representing in hopes of release or shorter sentence.
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Reply #14 on: May 06, 2014, 10:29:35 PM
This is bizarre.

via The Dissolve:

The Bernie of Richard Linklater’s Bernie may be released from prison, on the condition that he live with Richard Linklater
by Matt Singer

Richard Linklater’s 2011 film Bernie told the true story of mortician and murderer Bernie Tiede (played by Jack Black), who, in 1996, killed his employer Marge Nugent (Shirley MacLaine) and then hid her body in a freezer for months. Linklater’s film mixed a fictionalized account of the events with talking-head interviews (some staged, some genuine) with the residents of Tiede’s hometown of Carthage, Texas, many of whom were sympathetic to the convict’s plight, and expressed as much or more sympathy for him (a respected member of the community and avid churchgoer) than his victim (who was wealthy but cruel).

Tiede was convicted of Nugent’s murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1999, where’s he’s stayed for more than 15 years. But in a new and Richard Linklater-movie-worthy twist to the story, the Bernie of Bernie may be released from jail as early as next week, on the condition that he lives with Richard Linklater.

The Texas Tribune has an extensive report on the latest details of this unique case. The new wrinkle centers around a revelation about Tiede and his past: As a young man, he was “repeatedly sexually abused from ages 12 to 18.” Had this information come to light during his first trial…

“[The jury] would have handed down a lighter sentence. On Tuesday, state district Judge Diane DeVasto is set to hear testimony from psychiatrists who have evaluated Tiede, and from Linklater, who has agreed to allow the former funeral director to live with him in Austin, among others.”

The psychiatrists who’ve examined Tiede now believe his actions could have been the result of a “dissociative episode” brought about by his past trauma, which would qualify the murder as a crime of “sudden passion.” Such murders come with less harsh penalties than those that are deemed to be premeditated. That’s why, according to the Texas Tribune report, Tiede is expected to be granted a release on bond on Tuesday, “under the condition that he live in Austin with Linklater and that he seek psychological help to cope with the abuse.” And in yet another twist, the Tribune claims the town of Carthage has turned its back on the man they once supported just in time for his release. This whole scenario practically begs for a Bernie sequel, perhaps this time as a documentary.