Arts + Culture » Film + TV

The Great Buck Howard

Directed by Sean McGinly (Magnolia)

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The Great Buck Howard--a former Tonight Show fixture and mentalist in the vein of The Amazing Kreskin--plugs away at maintaining the fading pulse of his former glory. As played by John Malkovich, Buck is the kind of showman that interprets a half-empty auditorium as half-full. Buck continues to dazzle the audience that does show up. Buck's regurgitation by popular culture, as told from his road manager Troy's (Colin Hanks) point of view, is the plot of this slight film, while Buck's delicious cluelessness is the real treat. Ordering Troy to "toss my [Cobb] salad when you get back to the hotel," and promoting a cookbook called Mentally Cooked are indicative of the gags The Great Buck Howard excels at.

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