The Stainless Steel Rat (stainsteelrat) wrote,
The Stainless Steel Rat

Film Reviews: Take Shelter (2011) & Bernie (2011)

Take Shelter (2011). Written and directed by Jeff Nichols. The film opens with a man (Michael Shannon) looking into the sky, where a huge storm is gathering. It begins to rain, but when he looks at his hand the rain is yellow. The bulk of Take Shelter is a slow build up to a crescendo of events, and ultimately it's how those final events unfold that will bring the satisfaction to watching it, or not. Not in my case, with a series of twists that ultimately left me just frustrated. I'm not enormously taken by Shannon as I have him typecast in my mind as working for the mob, albeit he does show some reasonable range in this. For those who like slow supernatural thrillers, with the emphasis mostly on the slow and the thriller, if that's not an oxymoron. 3/5 (Average)

Bernie (2011). Based on a true story from a magazine article by Skip Hollandsworth and directed by Richard Linklater. The film opens at the start of a lecture, being given by Bernie Tiede (Jack Black), an assistant mortician. Bernie is a curious film, in part because it's purportedly an accurate reflection of a true story. Jack Black is somewhat unusually cast as the effeminate central character, but he does a good job. Much like Take Shelter it's a slow build story, but a bit too slow for me. The film is peppered with interviews, seemingly with non-actors, talking about how they like Bernie. I'm not quite sure how to classify Bernie, perhaps a twee drama with a dash of thriller. If that sounds like your thing then go for it. 3/5 (Average)
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