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Movie Review: The Great Buck Howard

Alternate Title: Do You Believe in Magic?

Story: Depending on your generation, you will either be rooting for more screen time for the anachronism known as Buck Howard or for the twenty something called Troy Gable, who is looking to find his true path in life. Me? I could not get enough of the great Buck Howard. Based on the career of the Amazing Kreskin, writer and director Sean McGinly brings one heck of a legend to the big screen.

The Great Buck Howard's claim to fame is that he appeared on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show 61 times. His career is now reduced to playing to half filled venues in towns like Bakersfield, Ca, Akron, Ohio (where they just love him) and Cincinnati. He amazes his audiences with the same magic tricks and feats of mentalism that has worked for him for the past forty years.

Enter Troy Gable, a law school drop out, who is searching for his true calling. Troy becomes Howard's road manager, coddler and general organizer. In an often annoying voice over, Troy tries to explain how he feels about this lovable, dated lunk called the Great Buck Howard.

This movie is one of those small scale gems that you can just sit back in your sit and just enjoy the ride. I was treated to many a laugh and a few surprises.

Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCbXmTdzRpQ

Watch this promo for the Amazing Kreskin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9CAM7xGDzY

Acting: John Malkovich as Buck Howard, has not been this good in years. He owns the screen nd I bought every minute of his performance. Colin Hanks as Troy Gable, did not move me at all, I found him to be moderately pleasant, but totally forgettable. Emily Blunt as Valerie Brennan is all over the place these days and is a fine actress. Steve Zahn never fails to deliver a good performance as did the hilarious Debra Monk. Tom Hanks (Colin's real life father and one of the producers of the film) appears as the disapproving father. There are some funny cameos by George Takei (Sulu of Star Trek), Gary Coleman, Jack Carter, David Blaine, Jon Stewart, Conin O'Brien, Jay Leno, Griffin Dunne, Regis and Kelly and more.

Trivia: Steve Zahn is a Harvard graduate. Colin Hanks is the son of Tom Hanks and Samantha Lewes. John Malkovich is of Croatian heritage. He has developed a great passion for Portugal, where he has filmed some movies recently. He also keeps a house here, as he co-owns a disco in Lisbon. When he was 16, he decided to get his excessive weight under control and lost 70 pounds by eating nothing but Jell-O for two months.

Predilection: None - although I do like John Malkovich.

Critters: None

Food: Cobb salad, brandy.

Opening Titles: A very clever opening sequence.

Theater Audience: Six other people.

Quirky Meter: 2

Drift Factor: I drifted a little trying to figure out who Colin Hanks reminded me of. When I finally figured it out, I relaxed. He reminds me of the guy that plays McGee on TV's NCIS.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Either would be fine.

Length: 90 minutes