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Movie Reviews

Film Review: “The Great Buck Howard”

(Magnolia Pictures. 1 hour, 30 minutes. Rated PG for some language including suggestive remarks, and a drug reference. Directed by Sean McGinly.) John Malkovich (The Great Buck Howard), Colin Hanks (Troy Gable), Emily Blunt (Valerie Brennan), Tom Hanks (Mr. Gable). Music by Blake Neely.


Troy (Hanks the younger), a recent law school dropout, becomes the road manager for washed-up mentalist The Great Buck Howard (Malkovich), best known for his “61 appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.” Howard’s big comeback in Cincinnati is overshadowed by a traffic accident involving Jerry Springer, and his subsequent freak-out catapults him back into the limelight before it all falls apart.

Movie is cute and funny at times, but overall insubstantial. Hanks is charmingly befuddled, but lacks some of his father’s charisma (made more evident by Tom’s appearance as Troy’s father). Blunt is sarcastic and cute per usual. Also, it’s nice seeing Malkovich show some of his range, getting a role that doesn’t involve him being constantly angry. My big problem with the movie is that, with as much as Troy is supposed to learn from Howard, Troy never really gets involved in Howard’s life. Troy narrates the movie, and that same detachedness seems to apply to his interactions with the mentalist, making it just ring hollow. Incidental music is provided by indie rockers Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. A somewhat charming but disappointing movie.

Jared Counts

Jared Counts he/him

Digital Technology Manager

A UH alum, Jared Counts was hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, bouncing between departments until being hired full-time as a web developer in February 2007. He currently manages the front- and back-end of this website (including the WordPress plugin that runs this staff directory), as well as...

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