The Big Bounce (2004)

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Released 18-Aug-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio
Featurette-The Big Bounce: A Con In The Making
Featurette-Surfing The Pipeline
Featurette-Wicked Waves
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 84:30
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (46:31) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By George Armitage

Warner Home Video
Starring Owen Wilson
Butch Helemano
Charlie Sheen
Vinnie Jones
Gregory Sporleder
Terry Ahue
Pete Johnson
Mike Renfro
Tony Dorsett
Brian L. Keaulana
Morgan Freeman
Willie Nelson
Andrew Wilson
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music George S. Clinton

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Names such as Morgan Freeman, Gary Sinise, Charlie Sheen, Owen Wilson, and Elmore Leonard (of Get Shorty fame) might suggest that you're in for a half decent movie here. Don't be fooled! What follows is what I can only describe as a dog's breakfast.

    As a bit of a disclaimer to the following, I actually found myself just being plain confused by the end of this film, without the desire or motivation to actually try and work out what I'd just seen. So forgive me if my plot synopsis seems a little confused as well.

    Owen Wilson plays Jack Ryan, a small time con-man/thief/surfer living in Hawaii (not to be confused with an intelligence agent, played by Harrison Ford), who is currently working on a construction site being protested by locals. Whilst being filmed by a local news crew, Ryan ends up hitting the foreman with a baseball bat (Vinnie Jones), in self-defence. After this incident, a local judge (Morgan Freeman), who also runs a little accommodation area near the beach, sees Ryan as the perfect guy to use for a little scam he has going.

    Meanwhile, on other parts of the island, Gary Sinise is playing Ray Ritchie, local construction mogul who everyone seems to have a grudge against, and Sara Foster is playing Nancy Hayes, his little piece on the side. Note that I use the word "playing" in its loosest possible form here, since this girl would struggle to act her way out of a paper bag.

    It seems that Freeman's character, Walter Crewes, wants to get his own back on Ritchie, and has a plan for it, which involves becoming a bit of a father figure to Jack, and even giving him a job. Jack comes into contact with Nancy, and starts to fall for her, while she seems to be using him for her own ends as well; namely a plan to scam Ritchie out of $200,000.

    Anyway, people make plans, "twists" occur, people get stung, and even killed, and by the end of it all no-one really has too much of an idea of what just happened. Will Jack get the girl? Will he get any of the promised money? Is Walter really who he says he is? Will Jack's friend get the money from him that he needs? Will it all end happily? Will it all just end?! Basically I couldn't have been more disinterested by the end of this relatively short production if I'd tried. Anyone who has read my previous reviews will know that I'm a big fan of Wilson's dry laconic humour (even if he can only ever play the one character), but even he couldn't save this movie for me.

    There are so many things going for this film on paper, but sadly in practice it just becomes a badly edited, confusing, mish-mash of boring scenes strung together in a roughly chronological manner. I really don't know how much of this movie ended up on the cutting room floor, but there is certainly enough footage in the various trailers to indicate some at least, not to mention the short runtime, and the lack of coherence to the story. I may not know enough about movie-making to ever get a job in the industry, but just a little tip to studios - don't edit out essential parts of the story!

    I don't really know what else to say about this film, except stay away. You'll be sadly disappointed if you're a fan of any of the talented participants involved.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    It seems such a waste that a non-event movie like this should receive such an excellent video transfer. Any faults on this DVD are not of a technical nature.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, 16x9 enhanced, which is the same ratio as the original theatrical release.

    Sharpness throughout is excellent. Black levels are also good, and shadow detail is excellent.

    Colours are bright and vibrant, having been shot in any movie-maker's dream location, Hawaii. The blues and greens are contrasted with bright clothing, and there isn't a hint of bleeding or chroma noise.

    Film to video artefacts were negligible, and I didn't even see a hint of a film artefact (as you'd probably expect with such a recent release).

    There are 19 subtitle streams on this DVD, including English, Hebrew, Arabic, English for the Hearing Impaired. I sampled the English stream and found it to be close to 100% accurate.

    The layer change on this DVD takes place at 46:31, and is almost invisible. With such a short film though, I'm surprised the layer change wasn't placed between the feature and featurettes.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is just the 1 audio track on the disc; English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s).

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand for the most part, despite the occasional ADR work you can see that has been used to remove coarse language (for the sake of the rating I assume).

    The music by George S. Clinton is a mixture of cheeky, caper style music such as can be found in lots of the older caper movies from the 1960s, and Hawaiian traditional music. Mostly, it's very suitable for the onscreen action, and makes a valiant attempt to add some mood to an otherwise lifeless movie.

    The surrounds get a bit of work in outdoor scenes from water, waves, wind, and so forth, and the subwoofer adds bass to booming waves and rumbling engines. Neither your surround speakers or subwoofer will be getting too much of a workout with this track though.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    Menus are 16x9 enhanced, with music looping in the background.

Featurette - Wicked Waves (8:05)

    Some of these extras make me wonder if the director was just enjoying a holiday in Hawaii instead of trying to shoot a decent movie. Or maybe he realised he had a bomb on his hands, and tried to salvage something by collecting enough wave footage to attract surfers to the film! This is basically a bunch of surfers riding waves in Hawaii, set to music. The quality of footage and surfing isn't anywhere near the standard of a decent surf movie. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, but not 16x9 enhanced, this is a very forgettable extra.

Featurette - Big Bounce: A Con in the Making (12:07)

    Standard promotional fluff that was used to get people to go and watch the movie upon its release. There's lots of talk of Elmer Leonard and the good cast that's involved (all patting each other on the back). I think they were really clutching at straws with this one, but they do manage to actually make the film look worth watching. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and with stereo sound, this is another fairly useless extra.

Featurette - Surfing the Pipeline (3:42)

    A very short extra about Don King filming the footage of pros surfing Pipeline. Was this going to be a surf movie, or a con movie? It's not that obvious from some of these extras. This featurette is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with stereo sound.

Theatrical Trailer (1:57)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, this trailer gives some indication of how much material was cut from the final product.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Both versions appear to be identical in quality and in the extras department. If you really must get this DVD at all, then there's no reason to import.


    So much potential, so much hope, so much boredom! Steer well clear of this one, unless you want to show off some lovely colours and visuals on your new projector. Even then, you could find more interesting demo material.

    The video is excellent.

    The audio is more than adequate.

    Extras are mostly of a promotional nature, combined with sub-par surf footage totally unrelated to the actual film.

Ratings (out of 5)


© David L (Only my Mum would have any interest in my bio)
Monday, January 31, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDOmni 3600, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252QM CRT Projector, 250cm custom built 16x9 matte screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS797- THX Select
SpeakersAccusound ES-55 Speaker set, Welling WS12 Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Disappointing - Cliff