Unlike most of humanity, I don’t love Forrest Gump. CALM DOWN! I respect the film for the performances and for breakthroughs in the craft of filmmaking, but in no way do I think the film is one of the greatest motion pictures of all-time. “Gumpmania” swept the country in 1994, denying what should have been the most critically recognized film of the year, The Shawshank Redemption, the acclaim it has since received in the two decades since both were released. Likewise, Tom Hanks has given at least three to five performances that were stronger Oscar candidates than Forrest Gump. I will give the film credit, though, for some incredibly powerful, authentic scenes of types of emotion we don’t often see in film. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Forrest Gump (1994) “Jenny’s Grave”
The Post has everything going for it. It has the best actor and actress of the last 40 years in Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The best composer of all-time in John Williams. A veteran director of serious subjects and blockbusters in the legendary Steven Spielberg. All coming together around an issue that is more relevant today than it has been at any time since the Pentagon Papers incident. Since the beginning of the current administration the issue of news, fake news, “alternative facts”, and what the media can publish and who can publish it has been front and center nightly. So how, with all this going for it, is The Post is a dull, muddled mess?
Continue reading Movie Review: The Post (2017) *Spielberg Fumbles a Golden Opportunity*
Before The Washington Post and Watergate brought the Nixon administration down, they faced an issue just as daunting when, in 1971, they found themselves in possession of thousands of classified documents on the Vietnam War. If the name Ben Bradlee sounds familiar to you, its because Jason Robards won an Oscar for playing the Post’s editor in the classic All the President’s Men. Stepping into his shoes would be daunting, but if you’re going to have an actor do it, you want Tom Hanks. He’ll be teaming with director Steven Spielberg for the fifth time, and while I’ve had my issues with Spielberg in the last 15 years, none of his collaborations with Hanks have ever been less than stellar. If that weren’t enough, Meryl Streep will be playing the Post’s owner Katharine Graham. In a time where the media has never been more important as the nation’s Fourth Estate, this film and the issues it will examine feel worthy of bringing together arguably the greatest actor, actress, and director of our age. The Post will open December 22, 2017. For the official synopsis, read below. Continue reading The Post Trailer #1 (2017) “If The Government Wins, The Washington Post Will Cease to Exist.”
Disney recently announced that Toy Story 4 is set for release in 2019. That sparks in me the immediate reaction that we don’t NEED another Toy Story, because we already have three perfect ones. Granted, I had this reaction when Toy Story 2 was announced AND when Toy Story 3 was announced, and while it’s hard to differentiate between how perfect these films are, the sequels are probably both better than the original. I hope the same kind of care to the legacy of these characters (much more recognizable to the children of the world today than Mickey, Minnie, or Pluto) is upheld.
Toy Story 2 introduced a number of new characters to the gang, most notably, Jessie the Cowgirl (voiced by Joan Cusack). Unlike the toys of Andy’s room, Jessie had lead a much more tumultuous life. She preferred life as a collectible, because being loved by a child hurt too much (as all the toys would learn in the next installment) when that child outgrows them. Woody finally gets her to open up and tell her story, which is sad enough, but oh no, no, Pixar wasn’t satisfied with jumping up and down on your heart strings. They wantonly deployed Sarah McLachlan, the master of vocal tear generation, to sing the beautiful “When She Loved Me” over Jessie’s tale.
Pixar’s been in a rut for the most part over the last few years. It is heartening to hear the sequels are stopping after Toy Story 2, and we have had a few gems like Inside Out and Finding Dory, but when you watch a scene like this, you remember what Pixar was and should be again. There isn’t a demographic on Earth not moved by some part of this scene. They didn’t make films for kids, they made them for all ages in a way that never pandered to any age. This is the bar they face in Toy Story 4. So….good luck with that!
Every other month, we take a look at a movie on the Internet Movie Database’s List of the TOP 250 FILMS OF ALL-TIME. These are movies that transcend a simple “My Favorite Scene” column. These are movies that are hard to just pry five gems from, but we do and examine the film overall. We’re on our thirteenth installment in this series. Click on the links for The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Dark Knight, Pulp Fiction , Schindler’s List, 12 Angry Men, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, The Return of the King, Fight Club, and The Empire Strikes Back to check out previous installments.
At #13, we come to 1995’s Best Picture: Forrest Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis. These columns usually come out faster, and for that I’m sorry, but I’ve hit a road block with this one that I haven’t encountered since we did Pulp Fiction: I really don’t like Forrest Gump. CALM DOWN! I respect the film for the performances and for breakthroughs in the craft of film making, but in no way do I think the film is one of the greatest motion pictures of all-time. “Gumpmania” swept the country in 1994, denying what should have been the most critically recognized film of the year, The Shawshank Redemption, the acclaim it has since received in the two decades since both were released. Likewise, Tom Hanks has given at least three to five performances that were stronger Oscar candidates than Forrest Gump. It is, however, undeniably a hugely popular film, and like Pulp Fiction, it does have scenes (most involving my favorite character) that are worthy of recognition and examination. Continue reading Top 5: Scenes from Forrest Gump (IMDB Top 250 #13)