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Rated PG · 90 minutes · 2008

Comedy, Drama
In spite of the fact that this movie stars Colin Hanks, it's pretty awesome. John Malkovich plays the titular Great Buck Howard, a professional "mentalist" whose heyday was in the '60s and '70s when he made 61 appearances on the Tonight Show. Then, as often happens to those whose egos require tuxedos, he began to fade from public consciousness. Young Troy Gable (Colin Hanks), in need of work, becomes Buck’s road assistant and learns about life and love and how amazing John Malkovich can be when the role is just right for him. While Colin Hanks is incredibly replaceable in the part of Troy, Malkovich takes over the film as the egomaniacal, George Takei-obsessed showman. There are great cameos by lots of forgotten B-listers, some really thoughtful set design for the secondary-market venues where Howard makes his living (he’s huge in Cincinnati!) and a script that, while bowing to the requisite schmaltz, still manages to be mean and real and somehow touching. Oh, and Tom Hanks plays Troy Gable’s asshole father; it becomes clear that Hanks should be playing villains, because he has a real knack for it. I can only hope that some casting director realizes that Hanks would be the perfect Nazi or rapist or terrorist.
Official Site: greatbuckhowardmovie.com
Director: Sean McGinly
Producer: Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Steve Shareshian and Marvin V. Acuna
Cast: John Malkovich, Colin Hanks, Emily Blunt, Steve Zahn, Tom Hanks, B.J. Hendricks, Jacquie Barnbrook, Griffin Dunne, Ricky Jay, Patrick Fischler, Wallace Langham, Debra Monk, Matt Hoey and George Takei

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The Great Buck Howard

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Portland Mercury Old Dogs, Old Tricks The Great Buck Howard isn't all that great. by Ned Lannamann 03/19/2009

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