I'm not going to defend every movie Richard Linklater's ever made, but Dazed and Confused is one of my all-time favorites. Suburbia came out when I was 14 and in high school in the boring suburbs, so that was a no-brainer, and I can't disagree with Mercury Film Editor Erik Henriksen's favorite pick-up line: "Hey ladies, don't you think School of Rock is criminally underrated?" (And yes, I used to get high and watch Waking Life. Shut up.) Point being, I was interested to see Bernie, Linklater's new film starring Jack Black as convicted old-lady murderer Bernie Tiede. AND I LOVED IT. It's about a sweet, maybe-gay, devoutly Christian mortician in a small Texas town, who becomes the non-sexual companion of a mean old rich lady who pushes him around until one day he snaps and murders her. The story is told largely through the gossipy accounts of real-life Texas townspeople from the area, some of whom actually knew the real Bernie; it's uncondescending and funny and thought-provoking and awesome.

Here's a goofy trailer:

It's at the Hollywood now, through at least next Thursday. Go see it!