Monday, December 7, 2009

I Love this TOWN!!!

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I love indie movies. I don't know why but films that aren't hyped to death or have long lines going down the street and are only playing in like 50 theatres all over the US is kind of cool. And just because its indie doesn't mean big names can't be attached to it. Case in point: The Great Buck Howard.

The Great Buck Howard is the retelling of the Great Kreskin, a mentalist who appeared multiple times on the Johnny Carson show. But this movie isn't the story of his rise to fame but instead about his fall and slow rise back into the spotlight. You see when you're a minor celebrity who was only popular for a few years, people tend to forget you and you fade into obscurity. While some just accept they aren't celebrities anymore and go on with their lives, some keep going despite not being very popular not for fame sake but because its what they love to do. Sean McGinley was an up and coming writer/director who worked with Kreskin as his road manager in the later years. Tom Hanks, after seeing McGinley's first film and hearing about his exploits with Kreskin, asked McGinley to write and direct a film based off of his experiences. He agreed and The Great Buck Howard was made.

The tale of Buck Howard mostly consists of what I said but instead follows Troy Gable (Colin Hanks), a writer who left law school to pursue a career in writing full time. His dad (Tom Hanks) dissaproves but is indifferent mostly. Troy needs a job though to pay the bills so he becomes road manager for washed up celebrity Buck Howard (John Malkovich). Howard is gearing up for a big comeback tour but needs a publisist who ends up being Valerie Brennan (Emily Blunt). Its the story of a fall, rise and fall, all told from the perspective of a manager.

Its a really sweet movie in its core. Its light comedy with good laughs but it never feels cheesy. John Malkovich owns the screen as Howard mixing that 70s over the top celebrity and humble late 50s-early 60s man who still holds onto a dream. Colin Hanks is coming out of his father's shadow in this movie and provides a good main character. Blunt is good but not memorable and Tom Hanks, although his part is small, delivers a seriousness that is hard to see coming from him.

This film didn't get much attention or love (in fact some PPV people released it before it was in theatres) but was critically approved and has a niche fan base. Although its not a groundbreaking film experience its a fun hour and a half and it left me with a smile on my face. Check this movie out.


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