August 5, 2009

The Great Buck Howard - 2009

Director: Sean McGinly
Writer: Sean McGinly
Starring: John Malkovich, Colin Hanks, Emily Blunt

In this film, the up-and-coming Colin Hanks (son of Tom) plays a law school dropout who dreams of being a writer. Once real life hits, and he realizes he'll need to make money before landing his ideal job, he answers a want ad for a personal assistant. Thus, he meets the great John Malkovich's Buck Howard, a once-proud mentalist (who never fails to remind us he performed on Carson's Tonight Show 61 times) whose career is reduced to performing one-night shows in medium-sized towns after giving a hearty handshake to the locals.

While some consider Howard's onstage act underwhelming, this movie is far from it. McGinly's writing is dead-on, which may related to the fact the film is partially based on his own experiences as the assistant to the Amazing Kreskin. This realism, coupled with some appropriate celebrity cameos (not to mention Malkovich doing what he does best: playing a man surrounded by incompetence--at least, in his own eyes) makes for quite an enjoyable film.

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