Tag Archives: tom hanks

The Post Trailer #1 (2017) “If The Government Wins, The Washington Post Will Cease to Exist.”

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.”

My Favorite Scene: Toy Story 2 (1999) “Jessie’s Story”

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!
Woody and Jessie in Toy Story 2

Top 5: Scenes from Forrest Gump (IMDB Top 250 #13)

Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks, Robert Zemeckis

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)

My Favorite Scene: Sully (2016) “The Human Factor”

Sully was one of last year’s best films (and in a weaker year would have received a lot more awards attention).  Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks teamed to bring one of the most astounding true life stories in recent memory to life by doing a very un-Hollywood thing: they didn’t glamorize it.  If you watch the documentaries and compare it to the film, there’s only embellishment to make it believable.  Sully was actually CALMER than Hanks, who only amped it up a slight notch.  The crash scene is meticulously recreated.  Eastwood knew he didn’t have to give the story any more glitz, because “The Miracle on the Hudson” was already a miracle.  It didn’t need a pounding score or extra complications.

Sully, Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart

My favorite scene is where you really understand how extraordinary Sully’s quick decision-making and piloting skills are: during the NTSB hearing when he challenged results showing he could have done anything other than what he did.  We all know the range of Hanks.  He can literally do anything onscreen, but it takes a seasoned actor to mimic the restraint of the real hero and let that power carry the scene.  As a bonus, if you missed Hanks reprising his role on Sully on Saturday Night Live , I’m including that as well because 1) it’s hilarious and 2) it shows the massive Hanksian range I just mentioned when compared to the film.

 

 

Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Sully (2016) “The Human Factor”

Tom Hanks’ 10 Best Movies

tom-hanks-im-kinda-amaz-009

Tom Hanks is the biggest star in Hollywood and has been for over two decades.  From a start as a comedian, first on TV in Bosom Buddies and then in film with movies like Bachelor Party, Hanks got his big break, first in 1984’s Splash, then exploding into popularity in 1988 with his first Oscar nomination for Big.  Since then, he has gone on to win two Oscars, four Golden Globes, and his work with HBO on miniseries like From the Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers, and The Pacific has won him six Emmys.

Tom Hanks, Robert Loggia, Big

Hanks is often called the “Jimmy Stewart of our generation” in that despite being the star he is, he’s a genuine person; the everyman who becomes someone with whom the audience can instantly relate.  Many actors, especially comic actors, really just play a heightened version of themselves in film.  Hanks began his career doing this, but soon disappeared into his roles and those roles defined some of the finest cinema of the last 30 years.  Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, the Toy Story Trilogy, Cast Away, Road to Perdition, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, Charlie’s Wilson’s War, and the list goes on and on.  Hanks’ #11-20 films are of a quality that most actors would kill to have them as their top 10 (and I cheated and combined the Toy Stories to get two more films on the list; perks of making the rules).  Hanks turned 60 in 2016, hard as that is to believe, but he’s still Hollywood’s leading man.

Jim Lovell, Apollo 13, Tom Hanks, Ron Howard

PS – If you find yourself in a movie and Tom Hanks is the captain of whatever vessel you’re traveling on (Captain Phillips, Sully, Apollo 13)…..buckle up.  Things are going to be ok, but you’re in for a bumpy ride.  If he’s the captain of your platoon, that is another story altogether.
Continue reading Tom Hanks’ 10 Best Movies