I have been go-go-going lately, so the idea of movie night was just what I needed this past Saturday. Quiet and relaxing! I had heard (and read) about the movie Bernie quite a bit lately, and our luck would have it playing downtown at the moderately new Violet Crown Cinema. I'm a big fan of Alamo Drafthouse, so I was slightly reluctant to try this place. It almost felt like cheating a little bit. But with ticket and food prices what they are there, this will be a special occasion only place from here on out.
The good news is that a) there is free parking and b) it's a pretty cool place. There is a nice lounge and bar area when you first walk in the door where you can order/eat/drink. They don't have servers in the actual theater, so I definitely recommend eating in the lounge. You can take a drink in with you, but it's a lot easier to deal with that than having a plate of food in front of you the whole time.
We shared the veggie sliders and spring rolls, I had a cocktail and a glass of wine, and Hunk had a beer. I think the total for the night was around $83 (including tickets). That's one expensive movie night if you ask me. Next time, we'll eat in advance and just order a drink for the movie. The theaters are small inside, only about 8-10 rows, so I also recommend ordering your tickets online well in advance. It's reserved seating, so the earlier you get them, the better place you have to sit. And just to note- the front row is a little farther back than most places, and you get a foot rest with your seat. So if that's the only option you see, it's really not that bad!
Now on to the movie, because really that was the best part of the night. Bernie is based on a true story that took place in the small town of Carthage, TX in 1996, about a mortician who befriended (and later killed) a wealthy older widow. The casting could not have been more perfect, with Jack Black playing the slightly effeminate Bernie, and Matthew McConaughey playing a true East Texas lawyer. Part of the movie was filmed at my old high school, and in and around Austin. It's a dark comedy, and the focus on the townspeople is really where the story is at. It was hard to tell if they were actors, or true people from the town. I've seen mixed responses about it, but there is no question that there was some superior casting done for the movie. Even Matthew's mom was cast as one of the gossips. It was a truly great movie, and you should go see it if you get the chance.