AROUND THE BEND

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Around the Bend Cover Family's huh? You can't kill them. You can't scatter their remains in the middle of nowhere. And you can't sell them on ebay either. Still. You know what you can do with your kin, don't you? You can make an 85 minute movie about them in 2004, Directed by Jordan Roberts, and Starring: Michael Caine, Christopher Walken, with Josh Lucas.


Around the Bend


THE STORY:
Christ almighty! What is wrong with the men in this family? My wayward son, Turner (Christopher Walken), in on the run from the authorities! My lovely grandson, Jason (Josh Lucas), is pissed off because his Dad has popped up out of the blue. And me -- Turner's Dad / Jason's Granddad -- Henry Lair (Michael Caine) -- suddenly dies of a heart attack.

Hey! Don't you fret though, folks. My kin can't get rid of me that easily. Just before I kick the bucket, Jason's son, Zach (Jonah Bobo), helps me organize a plan of sorts. A plan involving Turner, Jason, and Zach, having to drive around America and dispose of my ashes at location's that meant a lot to me when I was alive. Furthermore, if they don't comply with my wishes, Turner receives the contents of my will. Where as if they do comply with my wishes, Zack gets it.

Now doesn't that sound like a great plan to you, pal? Yeah? Same here. I just hope that Turner, Jason, and Zach, can all get to know each other anew during their travels. Not getting into any mischief between pit-stops.

Oh well, whatever the case may be, that's most probably why what next transpires all kicks off when the police come looking for Turner. As KFC shows the way - it's difficult to keep an illness at bay - familiar revelations come on the never-never - plus please remember, a family is only a family if they all stick together.

Amen.




THE REVIEW:
OK. I know that this may sound somewhat strange. But when I finally sat down and watched 'Around the Bend', it reminded me of a menopausal woman eating a hamburger.

Christopher Walken and Josh Lucas in Around the Bend
Hey. Wait up. This remark isn't meant as a slight by any stretch of the imagination. This is a very good film. And it has an emotionally charged core at its center, relating to family values and the unity of acceptance.

What I actually mean by this statement, folks, is that the outer crust of this movie is very emotionally challenged -- like a menopausal woman for instance -- yet it has all the ingredients needed to comprise a fairly decent package -- like a hamburger.

To start of with, you have the burger in itself: which I would say are the actors involved, all of them, with their wholesome meaty goodness. Then you'd have the bun that houses the burger: on this case, the soft and bouncy style this flick adder's to. Plus finally you have all of that additional paraphernalia that accompanies this 'meal'.  

Granted, some of which I did like -- like the lettuce of course -- or the way you could see the development of the characters throughout this story. Whilst some of which I wasn't too keen on -- like the gherkin -- or how it wasn't quite apparent that Josh's character had an impairment, until that part of the movie was eventually explained.


Michael Caine and Josh Lucas in Around the Bend


Josh Lucas in Around the Bend
Phew! Thank God. Am I glad I got that particular analogy out of my system! I thought I'd get lost along the way. So before I make myself a snack, here, check out these filmic facts. (1) 'Warner Independent Pictures' first screened this production in Argentina on the very same day a bomb exploded outside the Indonesian Embassy, in Paris -- the 8th of October, 2004. (2) The majority of this movie was shot on location throughout the American state of New Mexico. This included Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Los Lunas, Moriarty, plus Bonanza Creek Ranch, Santa Fe, and Quarai Mission Ruins, Mountainair. (3) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'Just around the Corner' in Spain; 'From Generation To Generation' in Greece, 'From Father to Son' in France, and 'Family Ties' in Argentina. (4) This was the first film that Jordan Roberts ever written and directed all by himself. The next film he directed and wrote in the same manner, was the 2012 comedy, '3, 2, 1... Frankie Go Boom', starring Ron Perlman, Chris O'Dowd, and Charlie Hunnam. (5) Although Michael Caine plays Christopher Walken's father in this flick, there is only a ten year age gap between the two of them, making it very difficult for this to be truly possible. (6) Eight years before this picture was made, the rock group, Pearl Jam, released a song that shares the same name as this movie. (7) In the scene where Katrina is watching 'Ghost Ship' on the television, you may notice that the sound does not match the visuals seen on screen. (8) According to Robert, he was inspired to create this project because it gave him the opportunity to explore his own relationship with his own criminally insane father he never knew. 


Michael Caine, Christopher Walken, and Josh Lucas in Around the Bend


Overall 'Around the Bend' was a fairly decent flick. All the actors in it were great -- especially Michael and Christopher, who just gave it that extra bit of razzmatazz. The conceptual premise worked very well within the confines of it 'road movie' structure -- as I did like the free flowing pace to this piece, that was very fresh and clean. And I have to say that the sentimentality behind this film really did drive home its 'familiar message' big time, and in someway made me think about the relationships I myself have with my own kin.

Great movie. Nuff said. Now where's a menu? I'm hungry. Ha!

THE RATING: B