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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Weekend at Bernie's
Weekend at Bernie's
MGM // PG-13 // July 12, 2005
List Price: $14.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted July 7, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

Weekend at Bernie's is a delightful and fun comedy, well, at least to a certain degree. On several occasions I have found myself channel surfing only to find this movie on. I sat, I watched, I laughed, and afterwards I forgot all about it. The movie itself is pretty ridiculous and it is definitely not one to be considered a great movie. Still both the main characters and the odd situations they get into are worth a few laughs.

For those not familiar with this 1989 movie, Weekend at Bernie's is the tale of two friends who get caught in the middle of a bad situation. Richard (Jonathan Silverman) and Larry (Andrew McCarthy) work for a large insurance company. They are small fish within their company and have very little in terms of wealth or success in life. Richard is very goal oriented and he is convinced if he works hard he will be rewarded in life. Larry is a little more carefree and less determined. He's interested in the now, getting babes, and enjoying life. Both are quite jealous of their boss Bernie Lomax (Terry Kiser), who has wealth, power, and women. He is who they want to be.

In the beginning of the movie, Richard and Larry find a two million dollar mistake. Someone received a claim of five hundred thousand dollars on a life insurance policy four times... for the same death! They report their findings to their boss Bernie in hope of gaining his respect and better statuses within the company. Bernie receives the news well and invites them to his beach house in the Hampton's. Excited for a weekend of partying, Richard and Larry go to the Hampton's. Unfortunately when they get there, they find their boss dead and their dream weekend ruined. In an effort to keep the dream alive, Larry convinces Richard to help him make Bernie appear alive. Soon into the weekend they realize why Bernie was killed and that they may be the next targets!

The approach used in this movie to make you laugh is purely absurd situations. Richard and Larry are constantly doing odd things with Bernie to make everyone around them think he is alive. After a couple of minutes it gets pretty ridiculous that no one would realize he is dead... especially the hit man who kills him several times. What I think works for the movie isn't the dumb and obviously fake situations created to make Bernie look alive (it's a big part of the movie), but rather Silverman and McCarthy's reactions to the situations and each other. I think they are two funny guys, especially Silverman. I loved his show The Single Guy. All in all, the movie is pretty dumb, but there are enough comical moments between Silverman and McCarthy to keep you entertained.

Weekend at Bernie's is a good movie for an occasional watch, but far from something that should be in your collection. The movie is pretty lighthearted and requires you to take in the unrealistic to enjoy it. The situations generated are pretty ridiculous, but still fun.

The DVD
The format of this DVD is dual-sided single-layered. In other words, it's a flipper. On one side you can watch the movie in widescreen and full frame on the other side.

Video:
The video for this release is given in two formats: 1.78:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color and 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The video transfer looks pretty clean. There are a few apparent visual defects, which are due to the source transfer more than from compression artifacts.

Audio:
The audio in this release is given in 2.0 Dolby digital stereo surround. It has two language options: English and French. The track is pretty average. There isn't anything really impressive about it. It is dialogue driven and sounds pretty good. This release also supports subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.

Extras:
There is a theatrical trailer included.

Final Thoughts:
Weekend at Bernie's is not a great movie, but it isn't a terrible movie either. The story is quite ridiculous and at the same time a little bit funny. I think the movie has a few good laughs and as such, it is worth renting.

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