Tag Archives: Tom Hanks

The Post: Birth of a National Newspaper

Steven Spielberg felt an urgency. At a time when the United States had elected a president who made it one of his top priorities to attack the free press, to label any newspaper or TV network that had any kind of critical coverage of his administration ”fake news”, we needed a movie that stood by … Continue reading The Post: Birth of a National Newspaper

Sully

THE UNTOLD STORY BEHIND THE MIRACLE ON THE HUDSON.  After depicting a controversial ”hero” in American Sniper (2014), Clint Eastwood crafted another watchable portrait of a real-life man who struggled with his experiences of an intense life-and-death situation. In 2009, captain Sullenberger made an emergency landing on the Hudson River in New York City, instantly … Continue reading Sully

A Hologram for the King

Washed-up salesman Alan Clay (Tom Hanks) goes to Saudi Arabia to secure a major IT contract with the King, but runs into both practical and personal obstacles. Dave Eggers’s novel is a comment on life and realities after the Great Recession, but this film adaptation pays little interest in those themes, settling for well-staged but … Continue reading A Hologram for the King

A League of Their Own

A WOMAN’S PLACE IS ON HOME, FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD. When America enters World War II, Major League Baseball is forced to change; a newly formed women’s league attracts unorthodox players… and one very reluctant coach (Tom Hanks). Big (1988) director Penny Marshall reunited with the star of that film for another charming comedy, this … Continue reading A League of Their Own

Dead Wake: Lusitania and the Movies

If you’ve never read anything by Erik Larson, it is high time. I recently finished his latest, “Dead Wake”, and was as thrilled by it as the other books by him that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. The first, “The Devil in the White City” (film rights sold to Leonardo DiCaprio in 2010) followed … Continue reading Dead Wake: Lusitania and the Movies

Saving Private Ryan: Spielberg’s Hymn to the Fallen

THE MISSION IS A MAN. Steven Spielberg has directed several masterpieces over the years, but this one is the most controversial. The general sentiment expressed by snobs is that the first 20 minutes, depicting the invasion of Normandy, are outstanding, but the rest is typical Spielberg mush. It’s as if the fact that those 20 … Continue reading Saving Private Ryan: Spielberg’s Hymn to the Fallen

The Celluloid Closet

The two directors, who made the AIDS documentary Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989), reunited for another gay-themed film, one that was based on Vito Russo’s 1981 book on how homosexuals have been portrayed in Hollywood movies. Making this documentary was a long process, with Russo as an active participant right up to his … Continue reading The Celluloid Closet

Philadelphia

NO ONE WOULD TAKE HIS CASE… UNTIL ONE MAN WAS WILLING TO TAKE ON THE SYSTEM. When Philadelphia attorney Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) is suddenly fired from his law firm after the senior partners realize that he has AIDS, he enlists the support of a homophobic colleague (Denzel Washington). After the success of The Silence … Continue reading Philadelphia

Cloud Atlas

EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED. The Wachowski siblings hooked up with Tom Tykwer for this unwieldy adaptation of David Mitchell’s ambitious novel that connects several plot lines over six eras, from the 19th century to the distant, post-apocalyptic future. There is coherence in terms of details and overarching themes and it’s a treat to watch a cast … Continue reading Cloud Atlas

Road to Perdition: In Capone’s Shadow

PRAY FOR MICHAEL SULLIVAN.  There’s a deleted scene in this film where John Rooney (Paul Newman), a local Illinois mob boss, meets with the legendary Al Capone and his closest associate, Frank Nitti (Stanley Tucci). Capone is played by Anthony LaPaglia, a very capable actor. In the end, though, director Sam Mendes decided to leave … Continue reading Road to Perdition: In Capone’s Shadow

Saving Mr. Banks

WHERE HER BOOK ENDED, THEIR STORY BEGAN. In the early 1960s, P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the author of “Mary Poppins”, finally gives in to Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) relentless requests to make a movie out of her book and travels to Los Angeles, fully intent to give the tycoon a hard time… The fact … Continue reading Saving Mr. Banks