Monday 21 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Features · ‘Buck’ stops here

‘Buck’ stops here

Horse trainer Buck Brannaman’s ordinary life is the subject of the extraordinary documentary ‘Buck.’

Rod Lott June 29th, 2011

We’ve all witnessed that one scene in a Western — or, at the very least, one iconic Del Rancho commercial for the Steak Sandwich Supreme — where the cowboy enters the room, often through swinging saloon doors.

He’s cast in silhouette, looking alien for a split-second until your brain registers the outline as a man wearing a hat. The room falls to an intimidated hush. Spurs clank menacingly as he steps purposefully inside, each boot heel hitting the wooden floor as a harbinger of crap about to hit the fan.

Only the night of June 21, it wasn’t like that at all.

When Buck Brannaman entered the theater at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24 just after a preview audience had screened the new documentary about him, “Buck,” he was unmistakably the man they had witnessed over the previous 88 minutes: a friendly vision, a tall glass of water — only this one life-sized — wearing a crooked smile and a too-short tie.

His boots bore no spurs that jingled jangled jingled, nor was his entrance accompanied by a whistle- and-harmonica lick courtesy of Ennio Morricone. Instead, AMC’s slideshow played on; theater employees had failed to kill the sound immediately, but the wave of enthusiastic applause took care of that.

The packed house wasn’t on its feet yet — perhaps they couldn’t believe that the star was actually there, as if some cruel PR stunt were being pulled — but in less than an hour, they would be.

Brannaman took one of the two chairs that had been positioned under the screen — nothing fancy, mind you, which was appropriate — with myself taking the other, to field questions from the audience.

Ask Buck a simple question, you’ll get a cowboy’s answer: wide as the day is long. With his “aw, shucks” manner and utter humility, void of ego, the audience lapped up every word, just as they did every minute of the movie (which you should see at AMC before it tumbles away). Without trying, by just being himself, the man has a magnetic pull, which has to be why director Cindy Meehl decided to follow this unassuming equine trainer for nearly three years, filming him at work  breaking horses — and sometimes their owners.

Our time up — after all, whoever attends a 10:45 p.m. screening of “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” soon would be shuffling in — I took the mike from Brannaman and told him I had one last ... well, not a question, really, but a request.

“I noticed in the film that there was some footage behind the scenes of ‘The Horse Whisperer’ where Scarlett Johansson was touching your shoulder. So, if you don’t mind, I’d just like to —” I said, reaching out to let my hand touch brush his right shoulder, leaping me but one degree away from the über-sexy ScarJo.

Brannaman exhaled a laugh and announced, “It felt better when she did it.”

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