Monday, August 13, 2012

New Releases (16/08/12)

There are three new films in cinemas this week - Bernie, The Bourne Legacy and Storm Surfers 3D.

BernieIn the tiny, rural town of Carthage, TX, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) was one of the town's most beloved residents. He taught Sunday school, sang in the church choir and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Everyone loved and appreciated Bernie, so it came as no surprise when he befriended Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine), an affluent widow who was as well known for her sour attitude as her fortune. Bernie frequently traveled with Marjorie and even managed her banking affairs. Marjorie quickly became fully dependent on Bernie and his generosity and Bernie struggled to meet her increasing demands. Bernie continued to handle her affairs, and the townspeople went months without seeing Marjorie. The people of Carthage were shocked when it was reported that Marjorie Nugent had been dead for some time, and Bernie Tiede was being charged with the murder. This black comedy is undoubtedly exploitative, but remains sincere and respectful. One of the funniest films I have seen in some time. Jack Black is excellent and Matthew McConaughey continues his strong recent stretch with more great work.

The Bourne LegacyThe narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. Renner joins fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles. I haven't heard very many positive things about this new instalment, with many claiming it to be significantly inferior to Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum. Still, with Renner headlining, it still should be worth a watch.

Weekly Recommendation: Bernie. Without a doubt.

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