Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “The Wendell Baker Story”

(ThinkFilm/Lionsgate. 2007. Color. Rated PG-13. 100 minutes. 1 Disc. Directed by Andrew & Luke Wilson.) Luke Wilson, Eva Mendes, Jacob Vargas, Seymour Cassel, Eddie Griffin, Harry Dean Stanton, Kris Kristofferson, Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson. Music by Aaron Zigman.

Texas ne’er-do-well Baker (Luke Wilson) is a dreamer and schemer whose latest scam, selling fake IDs to Mexican immigrants (“I’m a venture capitalist,” he claims to girlfriend Mendes), lands him in jail. When paroled, he lands a job at the Shady Grove retirement home, run by the evil head nurse (Owen Wilson) and his less-evil sidekick (Griffin). Crusty-yet-lovable inmates – I mean patients (Stanton, Kristofferson, Cassel), round out the goofy mix. It all plays like a home movie the Wilson brothers should have done when they were teenagers, and not foisted upon the public as adults. The uncredited Ferrell, who I usually dislike, almost saves his scenes as a grocery store clerk/Mendes’ new boyfriend. Maybe because he beats up Baker. One funny scene with acting vets Stanton and Cassel trying their rusty pickup lines on a couple of young chicks. All involved have done far better work than this; Austin-centric soundtrack doesn’t save it. Typical extras included.