Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Great Buck Howard. B

'The Great Buck Howard' is not a movie I would ever pay to see. It's the sort of film that's meant for late nights on cable. Now that doesn't mean it's bad. On the contrary it's a perfectly respectable little movie, charming and funny even if it's not all that indelible. The point is that this is a small movie (despite some relatively big names in the cast-though I should mention the most prominent, Tom Hanks, only has a small supporting role) that you don't need to go out of your way to see. It's the kind of flick you find on TV or at the discount video store and watch when there's nothing else to see. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit for what it was. It's the story of Buck Howard (John Malkovich), a mentalist who's looking to make a comeback. The problem is he was never that great to begin with. But Buck Howard is the most oblivious, self-centered, egotistic man on the planet, so naturally he thinks he's the best. The movie is told from the perspective of Troy Gable (Colin Hanks), a struggling young man who becomes Howard's manager while trying to find out what he wants to do with his life. Troy has a romantic interest in a publicist played by Emily Blunt (quickly becoming my favorite faces on screen). 'The Great Buck Howard,' in its modesty, goes after so fairly steep ideas about life. But thankfully it doesn't press them. The movie is too small for that. This film is short and sweet. No need to rush and see it, but there won't be any harm done if you decide to anyway.

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