Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Great Buck Howard

Loosely based on the "amazing" Kreskin, a famous mentalist from the '60 & '70's, "Buck Howard" is a star vehicle for John Malkovich. As the fading star who's claim to fame is 61 appearances on the "Tonight Show with Johnny Carson", Mr. Malkovich brings both swagger and pathos to the character. In many ways, this film runs parallel to "The Wrestler", both portraying stars past their prime still working the circuit and looking for one more shot of glory.

Buck's much maligned road manager, Troy, is played by Colin Hanks, who also serves as the film's narrator. Also co-starring are Ricky Jay as Buck's long time manager, Emily Blunt as a publicist and in smaller roles, Deborah Monk and Steve Zahn. There are also many real life cameos of talk show hosts and fading stars of TV and film. In a bit of inspired casting, Tom Hanks plays Troy's father in a small cameo.

This "indie" film is an obvious labor of love for writer/director Sean McGinly and is a must see for any fans of Mr. Malkovich.

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