Bounce Blu-ray Review

I remember adamantly disliking BOUNCE when it first hit theaters in 2000.  Now twelve years later after revisiting the film with the new Blu-ray release, I can safely say that I still adamantly dislike the film BOUNCE starring Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow in Bounce

After three strangers are stuck in an airport due to weather delays, Buddy (Affleck) generously offers his ticket to Greg (Tony Goldwyn) so he might get back home to his family.  His good deed was not without some selfish motive as Buddy proceeds to sleep with the third person of the newly found acquaintances Mimi (Natasha Henstridge).  Fortunately for carefree Buddy but unfortunately for innocent Greg, the plane crashes, killing everyone on board.  So Greg is dead leaving behind a wife and two kids.  Buddy feels guilty and after a year of drunkenness he sobers up and checks in on Greg’s widowed wife Abby (Paltrow).  But rather than confess how he knows who she is, Buddy decides to help her out financially by buying real estate from her.  They spark up a relationship and the audience waits to see in what fashion his lie or absence of information will be exposed.

Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow in Bounce

I’m surprised how this is passed off as a likeable drama when I think by changing the happy go lucky music to a creepier tone, BOUNCE would transition into a much better fit as a dark psychotic film.  For some reason by following the perspective of Buddy, the audience is suppose to overlook his selfish actions and lies because he has good intentions.  But lets take a gander through the eyes of poor Abby.  She loses the father of her children leaving her as a single mother.  A kind handsome gentleman comes to her door and displays great generosity for a stranger.  After dating a long time, allowing her kids to get close to him and even allowing herself to sleep with the first man since her husband, Abby discovers that very man was aware of her pain, knew her husband had passed away and was actually a contributing reason of said tragic event. Without even mentioning a few more details that involve more lies, deceit and despicable appearance, I have a hard time believing a romantic relationship is still possible.

Ben Affleck in Bounce

Man gives up seat on plane then plane crashes.  While this specific scenario is hard to believe in a post 9/11 world, this is an interesting concept and a great jumping point to head in many different directions.  The beginning character introductions between the three strangers contain some excellent performances by Affleck, Henstridge and Goldwyn with natural dialogue.  We like these people and immediately feel invested.  Despite the initial setup, BOUNCE falls into cliché movie making tactics with a gay sidekick employee (Johnny Galecki) who I suppose is there for a little comic relief but his character’s direct approach probably wouldn’t fly in a business setting.

Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow in Bounce

In fact, most of the character reactions seem to only make sense to further the story rather than be natural human responses.  The acting is solid though and Affleck and Paltrow have magnetic chemistry, which is possibly explained by a real life attraction from a short dating stint the two had.  Both have blossomed into even more talented actors and Affleck into a masterful director.   However great acting doesn’t mean anything if the premise doesn’t work.  And BOUNCE manages to do just that with a lack of respect towards characters that is both boring and insulting.

BLU-RAY REVIEW 

Video:  (1080P High Definition Widescreen) MGM’S transfer of BOUNCE does look better than the original but compared to today’s standard still looks a little dated.

Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) The sound is also decent.

Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Don Roos and Co-Producer Bobby Cohen:  Right away there is conflicting info from the commentary with the actors.  It’s kind of odd.  This is a technical commentary but they keep the info interesting for the most part.

Deleted Scenes with Commentary (47:13):  Fourteen deleted scenes with optional commentary by the director and co-producer.  The first cut of BOUNCE was nearly an hour long and apparently it was tough for them to cut it down.  There are some real bad scenes in here that clearly and rightfully don’t belong.

“Need To Be Next To You” Music Video (3:33): This song is very prominent throughout the movie.  At no point do they give credit to Leigh Nash singing in the video.  I had to look it up.

Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow in Bounce 

All About Bounce (22:55):  This is one of those “On The Set” features interviewing everyone involved giving explanations about the film and how wonderful it is. 

Ben and Gwyneth Go Behind the Scenes (22:06):  The two actors interview different crewmembers from the director to the sound guys about how they came to get involved with the film and their job.

Gag Reel (5:41):  I don’t think sad dramas should have gag reels.  It comes off uncomfortable.  I’ve made jokes about waiting for the bloopers afterwards on serious movies and here BOUNCE actually did it.

Selected Scenes and Audio Commentary with Director Don Roos and Actors Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow (44:19):  Eight scenes with commentary.  These are much lighter and fun mostly due to Affleck.  This along with nearly all these special features were just transferred from the original 2 disc DVD BOUNCE release.

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OVERALL 1.5
VERDICT:
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