In a story that proves life can be stranger than fiction, Bernie is based on the true story of assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede (Black), one of the most beloved citizens of small rural town Carthage, Texas, who befriends widow Marjorie Nugent (MacLaine), the town's least popular citizen. When Marjorie disappears, things take a turn for the bizarre as the townspeople rally around Bernie when he is tried for her murder. Adapted from an article in Texas Monthly by famed true crime journalist Skip Hollandsworth. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the featurettes True Story To Film (HD 09:27) and The Gossips (HD 12:59), a special performance of "Amazing Grace" by Jack Black (HD 07:16), 11 deleted scenes (HD 10:44), and upfront previews.
The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture is superb with a vibrant, colorful appearance, yet naturally rendered. Hues are rich and warm with perfect balance and tone. Fleshtones are naturally hued with impressive nuance. Contrast is well balanced with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail exhibited in both medium and long shots, and especially during close-ups of facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. This is a bright, refreshing picture with vivid color and realistic dimension that is effectively portrayed. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack is mostly dialogue focused, which sounds impressively natural and generally integrated spatially. Atmospherics are naturally realistic, with subtle surround envelopment. Sound effects are limited. The real sonic joy is the music score, and the singing and dance numbers performed by Jack Black. The music provides an immersive surround experience, though, is generally subtle. Overall, this is a well-produced soundtrack that delivers light and fun sonic support to a very unusual story. (Gary Reber)