“Sometimes love requires a simple twist of fate.” How sick and twisted is that when the “twist of fate” that leads to “love” is a horrifically tragic plane crash that kills a perfect husband leaving his two children and wife behind?? This quote I have just referenced, good people, is what is on the cover of the 2000 Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow movie, Bounce.
Everyone has heard of the storyline that goes a little something like this: a person loses their significant other in some sort of tragic accident and the person responsible for it comes into their life, (typically keeping this a secret from the survivor), and then the two fall in love. It’s not a horrible idea, but it has been overdone. Needless to say, Bounce was never off to a good start by taking on this most formulaic of sentimental plots. They make matters worse by advertising their sick agenda of, “Hey! Let’s kill off the perfect man so Ben Affleck can hook up with Gwyneth Paltrow!”
I’ve already given you all you need to know about this movie, but, for those of you who are into sappy love stories, here goes. Buddy Amaral is on top of the world running a hot advertisement business. One night while he’s waiting in an airport bar for a plane home to California, he decides to grab a drink with some strangers. One of those is a man with a family waiting at home for him, and headed for the same destination as Buddy, just on a later flight. Buddy decides to be generous by giving his ticket to this man Greg Janello’s (Tony Goldwyn) so he can take the later flight. Unfortunately for Greg, that plane crashes down killing everyone on board.
The next day of course Buddy finds out he was supposed to have been on that plane and he naturally feels responsible for Greg’s death. The guilt he experiences drives him to seek out the widow of Greg and do....I don’t know what. Anyway, as you might imagine, Buddy becomes smitten with Abby Janello (Gwyneth Paltrow) and fails to mention the fact that he’s actually responsible for her husband’s death until it’s way too deep in a relationship (naturally).
At this point in my review I would like to give a statement to Mr. Affleck:
Dear Mr. Affleck,
Please stop collaborating on films with your significant others. Your pool of talent is limited already, but when you decide to enter into a project with a person you’re in a relationship with, no one benefits. The day you decide to be in a movie with your current wife, I hope you have a divorce lawyer handy.
A concerned citizen.
There, now that that’s out of the way, I can move on to saying that you will not gain anything from watching this movie. You won’t get a life lesson, you won’t be thrilled with the suspense of the love story, and you won’t learn any great acting tips from the Academy Award winners headlining Bounce. Bottom line, this movie has very little to offer.
As much as I would love to say that the picture quality of Bounce on Blu-ray is it’s one redeeming attribute, I can’t say that it is. For that to happen I think this disc would have to be close to reference quality. The MPEG-4, 1080p transfer isn’t perfect, but it does have its positives. It has a huge amount of detail that’s a big upgrade from the DVD, but there’s so much noise that I think Miramax could have cleaned it up a the source material better. If you can look past these distractions, you’ll notice detail in faces like the smoothness on Affleck and Paltrow’s face from looking 12 years younger. The color palette is average, nothing too horrible, but nothing outstanding either. Flesh tones are natural looking but can occasionally look washed out in darker scenes, making me think these parts of the film were neglected. Altogether nothing is spectacular about Bounce on Blu-ray, it’s basically a run-of-the mill get it to Blu-ray transfer. But, if you’re a fan, you’ll like it better than the DVD at least.
Bounce’s English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is about on par with it’s video presentation. Pretty much your average upgrade to Blu-ray with a few highlights and just as many down points. If I have to adjust the volume at least once to hear the dialogue, I see that as an issue. That happens less than a handful of times though, and it’s the only major problem. Most of the sounds come through the appropriate speakers with a decent amount of clarity. When there’s a rustle in trees, car tires crunching, or a shuffling of footsteps, that’s all fine. I have a little problem with the musical score though as I noticed some distortion coming through (although I suppose that’s a source problem that couldn’t be helped). Again, if you’re a fan of Bounce, nothing should prevent you from hearing at least an upgrade on Blu-ray.
All standard definition extras from the original Bounce DVD release in 2000.
Bounce is a less than average romantic drama that should be classified more of a tragedy because it truly is sad that it was ever made. I know there are romantics out there who will gobble this up though, and I hope that they will not take offense at my great disdain for this film. The transfer to Blu-ray is certainly an upgrade from DVD but it’s not reference quality or anything better than average. For the cheap price tag, it’s worth it if you’re a die-hard fan, but otherwise, why bother?