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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Uncle Buck (1989)
(2020 Reissue)


Starring: John Candy, Jean Louisa Kelly, Macaulay Culkin, Gaby Hoffmann, Garrett M. Brown, Elaine Bromka and Amy Madigan
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £14.99


Certificate: 12
Release Date: 28 September 2020

When an emergency forces Bob and Cindy Russell to try to find a babysitter at short notice for a few days... as a last resort they ask Bob's jobless, directionless brother, Buck, to help out. Accustomed to suburban life, fun-loving Uncle Buck soon charms his younger relatives Miles and Maizy with his hefty cooking and his new way of doing the laundry. But his carefree style doesn’t impress everyone, including Tia, his rebellious teenage niece, and Chanice, his impatient girlfriend...

Despite being a big John Hughes fan at the time (I mean, who back then didn't love Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science and Ferris Bueller's Day Off?) I never managed to get around to seeing Uncle Buck on its original release and over the years it's a film I managed to catch only the once on TV in the '90s.

I couldn't really remember much about the film other than the basic premise of a crazy uncle babysitting his nieces and nephew. John Candy is on top form here. He could have played Buck as sleazy or uncouth, but he portrays him as just an average, big hearted guy, who is a little late in growing up and taking on adult responsibilities. He does, however, know how to relate to kids and bring more unruly teenagers into line.

The movie's opening was a little confusing. It wasn't clear whether Cindy was the mother to all of the kids, or their stepmother. Also, we learn that the Russells have recently moved but there's never any indication how far they live from their old house. It's implied that they are a long way from their previous address, but then Buck seems to be able to easily drive back and forth between the two locations, so it can't be that far.

While it's very much a product of its time, with a plot that is paper thin, it still stands up well. Candy's Buck comes across as the well meaning and honest black sheep of the family. Overall, a good solid family movie that has nothing offensive or controversial in its runtime.

The disc has no extras other than optional subtitles.


Darren Rea

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