Friday, November 23, 2012

DVD Reviews: Bernie, The Innkeepers, Lockout

These are all 2012 releases now available on Netflix.

BERNIE (★★★) Starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey. Directed by Richard Linklater.  Black does his best acting job in years as Bernie, a mild-mannered mortician who befriends all the old ladies of his small town, but finds himself the object of affection of one rich spinster (MacLaine).  The Texas humor is gentle, and it's another great turn by Linklater alum McConaughey, doing a new twist on his Southern lawman character.

THE INNKEEPERS (★★½) Starring Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis.  Directed by Ti West.  I'm enjoying West's continuing contribution to old-school style horror movies.  This one suffers from being just a little too slow and a little too willing to get its heroine out of danger as soon as she's put in it.  But it is a great lesson how much more effective a thriller can be when we get to know and care about the characters.

LOCKOUT (★★) Starring Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace and Peter Stormare.  Directed by James Mather & Stephen St. Leger.  Here's an example of an old-school style action movie but it feels more like a retread than a revisiting.  Pearce's wiseguy antihero deserves a better movie than this Escape from New York ripoff, where he must rescue the President's daughter, being held hostage in the world's first supermax prison in outer space. Most of it takes place in hallways and corridors, and it kept making me wish a xenomorph would show up and start picking off everyone.

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