Tag Archives: Tom Hanks

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

Captain Phillips: Attack on the Alabama

OUT HERE SURVIVAL IS EVERYTHING.   In my review of Bloody Sunday (2002), I wrote that director Paul Greengrass has a knack for making reality-based dramas look like documentaries. He repeated the same feat in the overwhelming United 93 (2006). Captain Phillips lands somewhere between these excellent films, a surprisingly strong retelling of actual events … Continue reading Captain Phillips: Attack on the Alabama

Chicago in the Movies

I was recently in Chicago for the first time and fell in love with the city. The beaches along Lake Michigan, the architecture and the restaurants had a part in that, obviously, but as a movie buff I kept looking for a few other things as well. I did find the Buckingham Fountain that is … Continue reading Chicago in the Movies

Apollo 13: Lost Moon, Saved Lives

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM.   When producer Brian Grazer and director Ron Howard decided to turn the story about the ill-fated 1972 Apollo 13 mission into a movie, they found a lot of support from NASA. The space agency, likely eager to exploit the goodwill surrounding the rescue of the mission’s three astronauts, even … Continue reading Apollo 13: Lost Moon, Saved Lives

The Da Vinci Code

SEEK THE TRUTH. When American symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) arrives in Paris for a lecture, the police need his help to interpret mysterious symbols surrounding a dead body found in the Louvre. The novel and its “revelations” kicked up a storm among Christians, but this adaptation won’t. Talky and overlong, it is hardly a labor … Continue reading The Da Vinci Code

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Some time after the death of his father (Tom Hanks) at 9/11, young Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) finds a key inside an envelope marked with the word “Black”, and embarks on a quest to find the right “Black”. Considering the talent involved here, this is a huge disappointment, especially from a director who made The Hours (2002) work … Continue reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

You’ve Got Mail

AT ODDS IN LIFE… IN LOVE ON-LINE. Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) has a flirty but anonymous online relationship with Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), little dreaming that he’s actually the owner of a huge chain that’s trying to close her little children’s book store. Hanks and Ryan reunited for their third romantic film, a remake of The Shop … Continue reading You’ve Got Mail

Larry Crowne

When Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) loses his job at a big-box store, he decides to get a college education and ends up in a public-speaking class taught by the cynical Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts). Hanks’s second film as a director (after that thing you do! (1996)) is an old-fashioned romantic comedy that takes place in the shadow of … Continue reading Larry Crowne

Toy Story 3: Beyond Andy

NO TOY GETS LEFT BEHIND. It may seem strange to see the name Lee Unkrich attached to this Pixar extravaganza as director. This is his directing debut, but he’s actually no newcomer, having been part of the Pixar crew for many years and worked on several films, primarily as editor. Toy Story 3 was his chance to … Continue reading Toy Story 3: Beyond Andy

The Pacific: Slaughter in Paradise

HELL WAS AN OCEAN AWAY. After producing the successful miniseries Band of Brothers in 2001, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks knew that they were not finished with World War II. They had just portrayed the European theater of war from the perspective of the grunts – the same thing could and should be done with the Pacific. … Continue reading The Pacific: Slaughter in Paradise

Toy Story 2: Love or Immortality

THE TOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN. In the beginning, no one intended this film to be a theatrical follow-up to Toy Story (1995), the groundbreaking movie that made Pixar famous. The idea was to make a 60-minute sequel that would be released directly to video. When the project turned out to look very promising, a decision was … Continue reading Toy Story 2: Love or Immortality

Toy Story: Beginning a New Era

HANG ON FOR THE COMEDY THAT GOES TO INFINITY AND BEYOND. Who would have thought back in 1995 that computer-animated films would revolutionize the industry? After all, Disney’s hand-drawn The Lion King was still a sensational hit and most people were content to think that computer animation would only remain a technical solution for certain elaborate scenes … Continue reading Toy Story: Beginning a New Era