3 Stars
Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 106 minutes
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In his fairly short time as a major Hollywood star, Ben Affleck has somehow already managed to carve out a prototypical screen persona for himself: the affable, cocksure, All-American guy. Two of his more recent films, Bounce and Reindeer Games , found Affleck attempting to break public perception free of those constraints only to be constricted again by some unadventurous filmmaking, as their respective DVD editions illustrate.
In the romantic drama Bounce and Watching Miramax’s two-disc DVD edition is an alternately intriguing and infuriating. In his commentary (with producer Bobby Cohen) accompanying the feature and the numerous deleted scenes, Roos reveals that he substantially–and quite willingly–watered down the movie he initially shot, which followed through on the idea of this story being about an especially, for lack of a better term, “difficult” love. Roos shouldn’t have allowed himself to be so easily second-guessed by the studio, test scores, and the need to please the lowest common denominator, for a number of the cut scenes reveal a darker and hence more emotionally satisfying and true film. Among the unfortunate losses are a more ambiguous, less sunny, and far superior ending (another ending that’s worse than the release cut’s OK finale is also included) and some beefier scenes with supporting players Natasha Henstridge and Jennifer Grey, whose parts were substantially reduced in the release version.
However, the one actor whose work was most diminished in the reedits was indeed Affleck. While his turn as it stands in the final cut is still counts as some of his best acting work, some interesting shadings to his character and performance were sacrificed in the name of making the film “easier” on the audience and more commercial. His most impressive work comes in a courtroom scene (which is considerably hacked down in the theatrical cut) where a contrite Buddy confesses that he in a way hoped that Greg’s plane would go down in flames. Alas, Roos in the end wasn’t as brave as Affleck was in this scene.
Affleck also gets the short shrift in one of the disc’s extras, “Ben and Gwyneth Go Behind the Scenes,” where the two stars interview various crew members during the shoot. Paltrow gets most of the screen time here, which is a shame since in his brief segments, Affleck actually shows signs of interviewing ability–unlike his leading lady, whose approach is as cutesy and fawning as one would expect from a non-professional. As disappointing as this bit is, it is still one of the more interesting supplements aside from the deleted scenes. The rest are strictly more conventional–gag reel, music video, an infomercial-ish “making of” featurette–and as such this package feels really padded out at two discs.
Specifications: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen; English 5.1 Surround; French Dolby Surround; English and Spanish subtitles; English closed captioning.

Posted on July 9, 2000 in
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