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The Big Bounce
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The Big Bounce More at IMDbPro »

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54 out of 73 people found the following review useful:

Forget the Critics...

8/10
Author: Nic T from United States
20 March 2006

Whether it was intended to be viewed this way or not, this movie was exactly that, a movie(which are supposed to be fun). It didn't make you think too hard(or at all), It had a beautiful cast in a beautiful location, a great soundtrack, and a quirky fun story. Sometimes these type of movies are just what the doctor ordered. So what that it has no deep and meaningful theme, or that there are spots in the movie that make absolutely no sense!!!! It suffered severely in the box office due to very poor marketing prior to its release as well as a nation full of people suffering from groupthink, and the critics are the ones pulling the strings. I found the movie extremely refreshing, a nice break from deep thought, and i chance where i could just sit down, fix my eyes on the TV, and smile :D

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43 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

The Big Bore

3/10
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City
9 February 2005

Jack Ryan (Owen Wilson) has a tendency for bad decisions and bad luck, including ending up on the wrong side of the law, so he's fled to Hawaii. Unfortunately, his luck is going just as badly there. He hits his boss, loses his job, and is thrown in jail. After he gets out, he sees Nancy Hayes (Sara Foster) and falls for her, even though she's the mistress of an island bigwig, Ray Ritchie (Gary Sinise), and then some. Together they hatch a scheme to rip-off Ritchie, but how many people are involved, and how?

Was it that this large, talented cast was just looking for a paid vacation in Hawaii? I've liked most of the cast's previous films--I've seen tens of them from each principal cast member, and think there have only been a few I would pan. I've liked all of the adaptations of writer Elmore Leonard's work that I've seen so far (although admittedly, I haven't seen anywhere near the majority). But The Big Bounce is just a big, boring mess. I haven't seen any of screenwriter Sebastian Guiterrez or director George Armitage's previous work, so maybe we can blame them.

The biggest problem is that nothing much happens in the film for over half of its length, and when something does happen (primarily at the very end of the film), it is so poorly constructed that it's not very clear what's going on. Most of the film is more of a realist drama about, well, nothing, where Armitage seems to have directed his cast to say all of their lines with bizarre pauses, like they're severe asthmatics, and where Guiterrez' dialogue seems to primarily consist of banalities and non-sequiturs. There were a few moderately funny bits (the break-in at the cop's house, Bob Jr. (Charlie Sheen) visiting Nancy at an awkward time), but even those weren't laugh-out-loud hilarious when they should have been, and more often than not the script's attempts at humor fell flat, as did its attempts at realistic dialogue, intrigue, and just about everything else.

The large cast is primarily wasted. The only person not cruelly underused is Owen Wilson, and Wilson seems to be at a loss with the material. There are some nice shots of scenery, even if a lot of them are composites. I also thought the soundtrack songs were okay to good.

I haven't read Leonard's book yet, but I can't imagine that it's as uneventful, dull and ultimately confusing as this film. Even if it were, surely a script could be constructed out of the material that gradually weaves the various main characters' threads in a compelling and humorous way, leading up to an exciting twist ending. But such a script isn't to be found here.

Even if you're a big fan of the cast or Leonard, The Big Bounce is only worth watching to demonstrate that talented ingredients will not necessarily produce a successful film.

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33 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

A Shaggy Dog?

7/10
Author: bbishop37
19 July 2004

This is one of those movies that will slip through the cracks, but it's really not "bad". It's actually pretty GOOD, right up until... it doesn't have an ending. The ending seems to imply yet another twist - but it makes NO sense, and leaves more questions than it answers. The ending seems like they ran over-budget or over-time, and just stopped. The ending, it must be warned, SUCKS.

Maybe they couldn't afford a real ending; but the movie is pretty good up until then. It's a fun ride to a dead-end. Morgan Freeman settles into his part like he'd been waiting for it. Gary Sinise has a stifled role, but delivers his lines beautifully. Charlie Sheen is very nearly perfect as a slightly-dim, slightly confused henchman, and playing subtly against-type. Bebe Neuwerth appears as a boozy wife and gives far more to the part than is on the page, also against type, and perfectly-acted. Vinnie Jones stands-out too...

This movie could NOT fail - but it does. When it ends, you want to kick someone - the director or producers or studio financiers - for stopping what COULD have been so great! This movie has a painfully tiny scene with Willie Nelson and Harry Dean Stanton playing dominoes... I'm only a fan and don't know him personally, but I just KNOW that Elmore Leonard himself would stop any plot just to listen-in and watch to listen to those two guys play dominoes!

Owen Wilson is actually quite brilliant with the intricacies of the Elmore-dialogue that survive in the script! Don't say I'm wrong until you watch his scenes with Morgan Freeman in this movie. NOBODY was carrying anyone, and that's the truth. See the scenes with Charlie Sheen too - and there's a bouncing something there they keep between them. Someone on IMDb wrote "Charlie Sheen looks fat and stupid and like an ass" or something equally blind. What he DOES is play a different kind of self-effacing part, a *character* a bit of a boob - but also good and a bit "whipped" - do yourself a favor, and watch how NOT "Charlie-Sheen" he plays it - you might recognize a thing they call "acting".

Ahem, Sara Foster was the femme fatal, and the camera followed her far too much. She's gorgeous and who can blame the camera, and she gave a perfectly creditable performance; really, she was fine. Given something over a dozen better actors constantly on-hand (and the seeming final plot!) her time could have been cut a bit... but with this cast, and the first 80 minutes, this really could have been GREAT. Ignore it as the Sara Foster swimsuit video. There are some great performances hidden here. See this movie, and pretend the sequel is coming - or something.

Or don't see it - because you'll just wish it ended better.

As a shaggy-dog-story, this should end with a punchline. I'll end it the way movie ends instead, with build-up and seeming logic and then just stopping.

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34 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Big waste of time and talent

3/10
Author: christian123
1 December 2004

Based on an Elmore Leonard novel, Owen Wilson plays Jack Ryan, an affable surfer who gets pulled into a crime caper by Nancy (Sara Foster), the beautiful mistress of a wealthy developer in Oahu, Hawaii. Soon, he and a judge, played by Morgan Freeman, are plotting against the developer, but Jack finds that he got more than he bargained for with Nancy.

I have never read the novel so I can't compare the movie to the book but I doubt the book is this bad. If Elmore Leonard doesn't like it then it's probably a disgrace to the book. The story itself isn't very fresh or new though the film does have an impressive cast. Unfortunately, the cast did little to help this very poor film. It ended up being a big waste of time and talent. The movie is just very dull and stupid. There really isn't a very clear idea of what type of genre this movie is supposed to be in. It wasn't a comedy because it wasn't funny at all. It wasn't a thriller because it offered no surprises. It was a crime caper except it wasn't very exciting and it offered no intrigue at all.

The acting is surprisingly flat and dull. Most of the actors seem to be more interested in a paycheck than anything else. This is Owen Wilson's worst film to date and it's also his worst performance. He just didn't seem to be trying at all. Gary Sinise wasn't used much which is a good thing because his performance was pretty mundane. Charlie Sheen tried way too hard to be funny and he ended up just being annoying. Morgan Freeman just gave a dull performance and Sara Foster was pretty weak but she is beautiful.

I blame director George Armitage for this garbage. He had the right actors and the right story, he just couldn't keep a good focus on it. There were a bunch of ideas going all over the place and the film was just so messy. He doesn't keep the audience guessing because they most likely won't care. He doesn't keep the audience entertained because there are very few engaging scenes. He really has nothing important to say either and The Big Bounce is just a very unnecessary movie. In the end, The Big Bounce is simply not worth watching. Rating 3/10

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30 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Elvis lives, number nine

3/10
Author: David Ferguson (fergusontx@gmail.com) from Dallas, Texas
1 February 2004

Greetings again from the darkness. What a total waste of a cool cast. Having never read Elmore Leonard's novel, I can't say whether the movie butchered the book or not. I can say that this is an extremely unfunny, poorly made movie with a ridiculous story that had me flashing back to those Elvis in Hawaii movies ... only without the charm and music! Director George Armitage ("Miami Blues", "Grosse Point Blank") either hated the story or called in sick everyday. Supermodel Sara Foster lacks the acting chops for her vital role in this triple-crossing fiasco. Talented screen veterans Morgan Freeman and Gary Sinise are totally wasted in this and comics Owen Wilson, Bebe Neuwirth and Charlie Sheen require some funny material to work their magic. Have I mentioned that the script was awful? Everytime I got my hopes up, I was left feeling empty. The domino game with Freeman, Wilson, Willie Nelson and Harry Dean Stanton could have been a classic scene, but instead fell flat. Even an early scene with football heroes Tony Dorsett, Mike Renfro and Pete Johnson goes nowhere because they are just treated as window dressing. When a movie wastes Vinnie Jones ("Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels") we know it has nothing going for it. The scenes of Hawaii and the beautiful shoreline and water are the only good things to be taken from this.

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37 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Who's scamming who?

Author: QuingQuongQuang from Cambridge, UK
16 September 2004

I tell you who, they are scamming us, that's for sure.

After reading on the back of the DVD case in Blockbuster the words 'A comedy', 'Get Shorty' and 'Based on the Novel' and seeing the all star cast line up, I thought this looks like a potentially great movie, but when I got it home, got myself all comfortable by sitting down with Pizza, Wine and friends, and then switched it on, I felt like I had been given the wrong movie. Our night was ruined because of this, it just put us all on downers, and everyone left early.

This was a flat stale piece of un-funny junk, no wonder people take to downloading movies, they feel they don't want to risk parting with their money.

I could direct and write a much funnier movie than this dribble with my eyes closed. I feel really sorry for these great actors who were dragged into this mush. Although I am sure they had a great vacation together in Hawaii and enjoyed the pay cheque, it did not do their reputations to great.

This film was painfully dull to watch, so much it hurt, and now to add insult to injury I have got to go all the way back to the video shop to take the damn thing back.

Sigh!

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16 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

The Big Snooze

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
21 October 2007

Considering the cast and the fact that it was an Elmore Leonard adaptation, I wanted to see this flick. However, it was disappointing. The film (though very small) moved at an extremely lethargic pace with hardly anything happening (except in the last 5 minutes or something). I haven't read Leonard's book so I can't comment on how fair it was to the script. There isn't much of a story as pretty much nothing happens in more than half the movie. The non-compelling ending is very badly written and we are left to figure out the plot holes. Why just the ending, the whole film is boring. The dialogues are, now I don't use this word often but, lame. A few funny moments include the breaking in the cops house, the fight between Sheen and Wilson while the girl watches.

Sadly, the cast has been wasted. Wilson and Foster have no chemistry. Being a talented actor, Wilson deserves a better movie. Poor Morgan Freeman hardly has anything to do except utter a few wise (not really) words. Sheen and Sinise have insignificant roles. Newarth springs a surprise but is hardly there. Foster is alright.

On the flip side, the cinematography gives us a wonderful tour through exotic Hawaii. It makes me want to go there and at times, I thought maybe the director and cast just happened to be there on holiday and decided to make a film. The soundtracks quite okay too. Thankfully it's a short film too so one not need to suffer too much. Even to fans of the cast and Leonard, this will be a disappointment.

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22 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

the con that makes no sense

2/10
Author: MLDinTN from TN
23 January 2005

I really like movies that center around some impossible con with twists thrown in. But, this movie, which advertises itself as a funny con, was terrible. The final five minutes which explains who was setting who up was dumb. Plus, the whole con was to only get $200,000. I want someone to try to steal a priceless neckless or gold bars like in Heist. As for the funny part, there are no laughs. And even Morgan Freeman is bad in this. They show surfers as a transition between scenes; what does that tell you about a film.

FINAL VERDICT: It is short, only 80 minutes long, but it is not worth a viewing.

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25 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Garbage Like This Gives Modern Films A Bad Name

2/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
3 July 2007

It's movies like this that give modern-day films a reputation as "garbage," especially among classic-film lovers. I try to defend today's movies to them when they tell me today's movies are all morally bankrupt. Well, in this case, I have no rebuttal. I agree, this is another example of a modern effort that puts too much stock on the sleaze and winds up on the weak side of being classy. It's also another good example of a PG-13 movie that should have been rated "R." There are tons of examples of that in the last 15 years. Parents: be more leery of PG-13 than another rating.

Usually, a movie that features crime and comedy is going to be either really good or really bad, depending on the quality of the jokes. Here, very little was funny and by halfway, I could care less about the crime angle. If you are to inject humor into a heist story, make sure it works, or you are going to wind up with a mess like this. Also, the movie seemed to be more of an environmental propaganda piece than anything else. Did Al Gore have a hand in this? It would explain how boring this wound up and all the bias. It just looks as if the filmmakers didn't know what direction go to and wound up with a sub-par performance in all the categories.

Owen Wilson plays a smart-ass surfer dude. If his character "Jack Ryan" is the hero of this film, it's no wonder I got turned off in a hurry. I didn't find him a "likable guy," as some others did: just a wise guy who had the cute answers to everything. I have found Wilson to be similar to the crime-comedy genre: he's either very entertaining or very annoying.

Speaking of actors, I was very disappointed to see two of my favorites - Gary Sinise and Morgan Freeman - involved with this turkey.

I don't blame Wilson for everything. He didn't write the dialog. He didn't cast Sara Foster as the lead female. He didn't write a screenplay in which none of the characters are likable enough for us to care about them. At least I have company as I see most other reviewers here thought this movie stunk, too.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I called this one, VERY FUNNY!

7/10
Author: Brian T. Whitlock (GOWBTW) from WILMINGTON, NC
29 March 2005

What a way to solve a problem for a drifter whose boss is making hotels and he doesn't like where he's building them at. Owen Wilson is at his best playing Jack Ryan, the drifter/thief and reluctant avenger who tries to stop his scheming boss Ray Ritchie(Gary Sinise, Forrest Gump, CSI:NY) for building his hotel. Ryan who has his run ins with the law gives himself a chance to find redemption, but the judge (Morgan Freeman) is also fair game as well. He hates Ritchie just as much as anyone else on the islands. Especially, his own wife (Bebe Neuwirth) who seems to drink way too much and is some clueless on who's who on this island. Nancy(Sara Foster), who happens to be Ray's mistress, and Jack's lover seems to know the dirt on Ray Ritchie. Including the one of the law enforcement officers who happens to be a "homo"! That would definitely tarnish his reputation. Jack's real lover is #9, who is she really? One will never know. Willie Nelson has never lost his touch as an actor since "Barbarosa", and I'm surprised that Judge Walter Crews got Ritchie's yacht and his wife, so I think everyone got what they wanted except for Ray Ritchie whom I don't feel sorry for. It was a real funny movie and the cast were great all the way. It proves a point there. Rating 3 out of 5 stars.

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