THE WILD THORNTONBERRYS: A FAMILY THING

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If the whole acting thing doesn't work out, there's always the screenplay writing for Billy Bob Thornton to fall back on.  And the directing.  And the singing and drumming?  It goes on and on.  With this and The Gift, I'll bet we know quite a bit about the Thorntons, and it at least insures there's a third chapter in the offing somewhere in the future (unless One False Move is part of the Family trilogy; hope not! :)  Here, Robert Duvall plays Earl, the Billy Bob surrogate, come to the big city to find his long lost half brother Ray (James Earl Jones, a Chicago cop who does not suffer fools, or crackers, easily), but more to revel in the culture clash that's bound to ensue.  Gives one new found appreciation for the all but lost art of yodeling as well.  And just when you think the movie's over, Earl's truck gets stolen and Ray comes to his aid.  Full circle.  We then meet Ray's family which happily includes Aunt T., as portrayed by that new kid on the block Irma P. Hall of The Ladykillers fame.  She more or less ends up being the catalyst that brings Earl and Ray closer together.  ...okay, as in the Ladykillers, she starts kicking ass and taking names.  Oh yeah! Almost forgot.  Even though her character is blind here, she ends up giving a guy a good slap to the face.  (Michael Beach, who plays James Earl Jones's son here, and who was also in One False Move NOT starring Kevin Bacon.)

One test if you like a movie is if you don't jump ahead and guess what's going to happen.  I guess I didn't like it so much, but what can I say?  I blame it on the direction by Richard Pearce who gave us Leap of Faith, a film which didn't deliver too far beyond its premise.  While I could appreciate the acting here; James Earl Jones does okay and has some good lines, and Duvall is a dead ringer for Billy Bob, can you even doubt that Ray will be in Arkansas by the time this movie's over?

**1/2

Rated PG-13, but they use the 'f' word more than once.  The rule today for a PG-13 movie is you can only use it once.  That's what I hear, anyway.

Good double bill with: The Gift, The Straight Story, The Ladykillers (2004)

-so sayeth the Movie Hooligan

(c)2004 Bulk Entertainment

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