Friday, March 15, 2013
Snitch is a movie supposedly based on a true story about a teenager who is arrested for accepting a package full of drugs that his friend mailed to him. He is given a harsh sentence for a first time offender but the authorities are willing to cut him a deal in exchange for ratting out some drug dealers. Since this was his first exposure to the drug trade he doesn't know anyone and that is not a possibility.
His father who is played by Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) ends up making a deal that if he can help lead them to the arrest of some drug dealers then they will reduce his son's sentence. He then gets an introduction to the local drug trade and begins using his trucking company to smuggle drugs, but he discovers being an informant has more long lasting consequences than he anticipated.
This movie is more drama than action and Johnson give s a convincing performance. Some people may be surprised by that, but they need to remember he is a veteran of WWE so acting should be second nature to him. What really impressed me about his performance was the fact that he was by far the most intimidating specimen in the entire movie, yet he did not rely on his size or strength at any point. He was just a regular guy who got scared and intimidated and was even naive when it came to street smarts. This is unlike the characters we've seen him portray in other movies where he is intimidating, cocky, and in control.
Snitch reminded me that I don't want to get involved using or selling drugs or double crossing those who do. I did't even recognize Benjamin Bratt as the cartel kingpin and was surprised when I saw his name during the ending credits. Susan Sarandon does a good job of conveying a selfish, career driven politician who is hard to like. Barry Pepper and Jon Bernthal also give good performances.
This movie was actually pretty short at only one hour and 35 minutes, but I really liked it. I give Snitch 7.4 stars.
Friday, March 1, 2013
Bernie is a movie based on a true story about an undertaker who is the most liked person in the community. He befriends the widow of a recently deceased business man. He gains her friendship and trust over time, but the more time they spend together, the more possessive and demanding she becomes. She pushes Bernie to his breaking point and he eventually kills her and hides that fact from the town for 9 months before he is caught.
The brief synopsis sounds much more morbid than the movie really is. Bernie is played by Jack Black who I think is a very versatile actor. I really enjoyed his performance and he does a great job portraying Bernie as the nicest man imaginable. Shirley McClain was also great with her portrayal of the old mean and nasty victim. Matthew McConaughey plays the prosecutor, but I didn't really care for him in this movie even though he fit the casting with the Texan accent. I was impressed that he kept his shirt on the whole film.
The extras in this movie were very entertaining. Much of the film is shot in documentary style and the brief interviews with the towns folk are quite funny. I was surprised to later learn that they were not actors but were are actual friends and acquaintances of Bernie.
I give Bernie 7.2 stars, but I really had a hard time trying to define this movie. It's not really a comedy since it is more amusing than funny, but it's not serious enough to be a tragedy either. At any rate, it's worth seeing for Jack Black's performance.