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review by Zach B.



Rated PG-13

Studio: Disney

Running Time: 106 minutes

Starring Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow, Joe Morton, Natasha Henstridge, Tony Goldwyn, Johnny Galecki, David Paymer, Alex D. Linz, Jennifer Grey

Written and Directed by Don Roos

Retail Price: $29.99

Disc One: Commentary With Director/Writer Don Roos and Co-Producer Bobby Cohen, Sneak Peeks, Soundtrack Spot

Disc Two: Selected Scene Commentary With Don Roos, Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow, Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary, Gag Reel, "Need To Be Next To You" Music Video, "All About Bounce" featurette, Ben and Gwyneth Go Behind The Scenes, Theatrical Teaser

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Search (18 Chapters), Two-Disc Set

Ben Affleck is Buddy Amaral, a charming and enthusiastic ad executive based in Los Angeles. After closing a deal with the mega Infinity Airlines, he's headed right back to L.A. courtesty of Infinity. However, due to bad winter weather, he's stranded at the airport in Chicago. There he meets up with an "organ" girl and a TV writer/struggling playwright by the name of Greg. Buddy crashes into Greg and invites him for a drink at the airport bar, where the three chat it up. Buddy and Greg are both headed back to Los Angeles, however, Buddy decides to stay back to hook up with his new "organ" friend, and graciously gives Greg his ticket back to L.A. for free. Greg, who does seem to be a bit of the nervous and un-confident type, takes the ticket with much appreciation. But then tragedy strikes. An hour and eight minutes into the flight, the plane crashes (sounds kind of like the book/movie "Random Hearts", but not really so much). Feeling guilty and mixed up, Buddy sinks into a deep depression filled with drinking. Buddy knows it should have been him dead, and that the nice family man should have had been back to his life. But that's the way fate is, and after recovery from his depression, Buddy decides to seek out Greg's widow, Abby (Gwyneth Paltrow). When they meet, there is some chemistry between them and their lives end up intertwining. What happens? Just what happens? I won't give any more away, but if you're interested (and you should be), you should definently check out the excellent romantic film, "Bounce".

"Bounce" was a movie that really, really surprised me. Don Roos, who brought us the excellent and critically acclaimed comedy "The Opposite Of Sex" brings us this one too. The film, which opened in November 2000, recieved some mixed reviews. Many thought the film was good, but they took points off because it was flawed in some key areas and that the film didn't take full potential of what it really had. I remember reading one review headline saying that the film was "neither a ball nor a bore". I was wondering - did we see the same movie?

I can see where people may have had problems with this movie. Maybe the film moved too slow for them and that there was too much exchange betwee the characters. Personally, it went too fast for me and I didn't want it to end. I guess I'll have to begin with Roos. As he's shown before, he's quite a strong writer and director, and with "Bounce" he just shows more of his skills and what he is capable of. Roos makes some good choices as a director, as he does establish some really nice shots (like early on the film where Buddy gets off a flight and we see Abby going up the stairs) and there is some excellent editing all throughout the movie, it's really well laid out. Many can argue that Roos is one of those director who's a stronger writer. In my book, he's pretty equal. He really, and I mean really develops his characters well. We care for them, we develop many emotions for them. And to top it off, the movie flows at a great pace and there's some wonderful scenes and a ton of great dialogue between characters.

The film is even stronger by the fact that Roos has a top notch cast to give off his vision and to bring his characters to life. The cast is headed by real life romantics Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow (who are now broken up of course). I'm not sure if it is because they one dated, but there is some real, genuine chemistry between them. They really take on their roles and bring so much to them. Even if they didn't date, I have this feeling the chemistry would be just as good. Paltrow is perfect as Abby. As a woman who has two kids and who loses her husband and a whole part of her life. She is insecure and nervous about everything that's coming her way, and Paltrow perfectly shows that. It's a pretty complex role and Paltrow, like usual, does a fine job. And Affleck, man, he's the real winner here. I think Affleck is quite a good actor, and I've seen him in a lot of films, but this is definently the best I've seen him so far, and probably it will be one of the top highlights of his career. Affleck shows so much range as Buddy, as a man with so much guilt and who's life spins out of control. And then he meets Abby, the widow, and it's right out of left field, what happens is so unexpected. Affleck's character is also pretty complex, and he handles it so well with so much dignity and life. You really have to watch this movie to believe it. The supporting cast is also excellent and a lot of fun to watch. This is a terrific ensemble and it's pretty sad that performances in this movie were not noticed for some major awards.

Again, I was really surprised how good "Bounce" was. It's one of the best romantic movies I've seen in a very long time. Hell, it's one of the best movies I've seen in a very long time. And no, it's not some "chick flick". I guess I'm a sap for movies that deal with fate, choices, destiny and characters intertwining as well as coming together. I love that kind of stuff. But this movie makes some excellent points, and it's just great to watch. Even without the fate thing, it still holds up really, really well. Do yourself a favor and don't miss "Bounce".

"Bounce" is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, and the result is another striking Disney transfer. It starts out pretty soft, but it really clears up. Colors are *perfectly* saturated, black level is dead on and detail is very, very good. The day time scenes look excellent in particular. There is a tiny bit of shimmering now and then, as well as a rare scratch, piece of dirt or a piece of grain, but other than that, it doesn't get much better than this. However, I will mention that a layer change is notciable (toward the start of chapter 14). There's nothing to really complain about with this transfer.

*Gasp*! This is one of the few new Disney titles I've experienced that doesn't have a DTS track. I've noticed that a majority Miramax films that Disney distributes as of late (keyword there) don't. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but if I'm not, is it some kind of conisidence? Anyhow, "Bounce" features a Dolby Digitial 5.1 mix. I wasn't expected much since this movie is pretty dialogue driven, but it is pretty good and better than I originally expected. Dialogue is clear and easy to understand, nothing overlaps it. Music sounds very sharp and there's some nice surrounds with that (espcially with Mycahel Danna's touching score), and there are some other nice surrounds when it comes to the airline announcing things and the airplane flying overhead in the first few seconds in the film. Also, a bit into thirty three minutes into the film there's some nice dog action and the baseball game has a nice effect with the Dido music and crowd cheering. A pretty dyamic and driven Dolby Digital track right here for your enjoyment.

Once again, Disney is really making up for their shameful DVD past, and over the past year they've really improved, and have really started to put out a lot of two disc sets (and a lot of single discs with a load of features). "Bounce" is a two-disc set, and there's an excellent amount of material on the movie on it.

The first disc has a Commentary With Don Roos and Bobby Cohen. Roos contributed a commentary for "The Opposite Of Sex" and I'm glad he's quite involved with this DVD release. He's joined with CO-producer Bobby Cohen (the DVD box says he's a producer... technically yes and technically no. But the menu says he's a co-producer, but Roos says he's "a producer"). Anyhow, the men make a few jokes along the way and seem very relaxed as well as soft spoken. They're pretty insightful and share some stories, and if you liked the movie as much as I did, you'll want to listen to this. Don't miss it, there's a lot to absorb. There's hardly any gaps and they do a lot of talking. An excellent track, though pretty dry.

Rounding out the first disc is a load of Sneak Peaks (the most I've seen yet on a Disney DVD). You got a good amount of Paltrow films... "The Pallbearer", "Emma", "Shakespeare In Love" as well as "Music Of The Heart", "Boys and Girls", "The Crew", "Unbreakable" plus a "Bounce" Soundtrack Spot and "Miramax Movies To Remember", which simply plugs nearly every Miramax movie on DVD, as well as their awards plus nominations. Ech, and the load of sneak peaks weren't enough to plug? Please.

Disc two holds a majority of the supplements. First up are no less than fourteen Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary From Don Roos and Bobby Cohen. Actually, some of them are alternative scenes (as well as endings) and extended scenes. These scenes are in two channel sound and in non-anamorphic widescreen. They are fully edited, but are still kind of rough (with the markers at the top and bottom bars). Too bad they're not fully cleaned up and remixed in 5.1 (like another Disney release, Remember The Titans), but hey, it's better than nothing. A lot of these scenes are quite good, and in total, they add up to about forty-six minutes. It's pretty obvious why they were cut, but the two do explain their reasons, and they are pretty correct as far as timing and subplots go. They're not as talkative in some scenes, but they do offer very good input that I really enjoyed. Do not miss these scenes.

All About Bounce is a "On The Set" promo sorta deal that has clips from the trailer and the film itself, but it lasts a hearty twenty-three minutes in length. It features some pretty fluffy but nice interviews from Affleck, Paltrow and some of the production team. It's supposed to be pretty promo, but it in the end, it doesn't come off that way, but it still is sort of. An above-average making-of featurette.

Ben and Gwyneth Go Behind The Scenes is a very interesting and pretty candid look behind-the scenes. It begins with Affleck interviewing Roos with some nice questions about creating the movie, and then it shifts to Paltrow talking with some sound guys. Bobby Cohen is then interviewed by Affleck who asks some more nice questions about getting a movie made, and then we hear from the best boy electric and gaffer where we learn some technical stuff. We then meet Roos' sister, who's actually his assistant (aw!). We then hear from Eric Lee, who explains what a unit photographer does and then a make-up artist. Gwyneth then talks to Mark Fattenberg, a production assistant. Gwyneth then talks to Director of Photography Robert Elswit and then finally, Barbra Lorenz, a hairstylist. This behind the scenes doesn't seem forced or promo-like, it's pretty natural and it seems to be a friendly atmospheres behind the set, and a very good look at it. Nice job here. It lasts a good twenty-two minutes. If you're interested in various jobs that deal with working on the movie and what they do, you have to watch this.

A Gag Reel that is pretty rough in quality and in non-anamorphic widescreen is presented, and what's presented here is quite enjoyable, so check it out. It all lasts six minutes.

What's next isn't a whole commentary, but one of those selected scenes commentary. There are Eight Selected Scenes With Commentary From Don Roos, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck. It's a shame that it's not a whole commentary, I would have loved that, because they are all pretty talkative and pretty insightful on their parts. As they're eating lunch (you can hear some munching sounds for the opening scene), they compliment one another and you learn a good deal about their thoughts on the scenes as well. It's pretty light in all, but it's a really fun commentary. It seems like three old chums just remembering their work and having a good time with it. The scenes are in anamorphic widescreen. Watch the movie, watch the movie with the whole commentary, and then watch these. The scenes with commentary in total last forty-five minutes.

"Need To Be Next To You" Music Video is in full frame and 2.0, and it looks and sounds pretty nice. It features clips from the films. It's a good video, but it doesn't even mention who directs it or who even sings out. A promo that cancels itself out in the end? Sort of. The soundtrack spot on the first disc mentions that it's sung by Leigh Nash from the band "Sixpence None The Richer". But if you don't watch the spot, don't know music... then you don't know.

Finally, there's the really nice Theatrical Teaser (what about the theatrical trailer? I thought this was the only trailer actually) in full frame and two channel sound. This trailer even has clips that aren't in the film, but those scenes be found in the deleted scenes section (and in rougher form).

I also really like the animated menus. They're easy to navigate and really well designed with the clouds and images of the characters. They really fit with the film.

"Bounce" is a terrific film about fate and love. Disney has delivered quite a two disc set for the film, and there's some excellent supplements that go into the making of the movie, all topped with a great presentation. This movie really deserves a release like this and I'm happy about that tremendously. Considering you can get all this for about twenty dollars on sale, "Bounce" is a movie that you should not miss and is a worthy investment for your DVD library.

(4.5/5 - NOT included in final score)




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