Watched Jul 21, 2012
Karl von Randow’s review:
I like Jack Black, but he has such a strong personality of his own that when I see him pretending so hard to be someone else I am constantly distracted. I loved him in School Of Rock, and that is where I am most comfortable with him. It would be interesting to see Black in a different, not-OTT role, to see if the problem is typecasting or trying too hard. Matthew McConaughey is also always obviously, and desperately hilariously, pretending to be someone else.
The film is a juxtaposition of actors and the actual citizens of Carthage; in sound bites and short interview clips. The citizens are absolutely brilliant; brilliantly directed and used. Not knowing that they were real people, I had assumed they were actors and marvelled at their genuine honesty and self-knowing expressions; and the surprised reactions in the pair interviews.
My favourite part of the film, from the "outtakes" over the end credits, is the real Bernie over the table from Jack Black as he studies for the role. Seeing that helps me to appreciate the film for its special (unique?) undertaking of telling a serious story, mixing actors and interviews, and weaving it together seamlessly. It really is very well done.