Tom Hanks

The Money Pit house

Houses famously used as movie locations are often up for sale, and usually their listings make the rounds on movie blogs. Yeah, it’s neat when Cameron’s home from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or the farmhouse from Field of Dreams or the Home Alone home hit the real estate market, but it’s not funny. But the idea of buying “the money pit” from The Money Pit is pretty hilarious, right? After all, the mansion was one of the few non-horror-movie abodes to make our list of cinematic houses you don’t want to live in a while back. What makes the news of its actual listing, via the New York Times, even funnier is that the price is a whopping $12.5m. No, actually the funny part is that the current owners of the Long Island home — which goes by the name The Northway House — bought the thing as, yep, a money pit. Back in 2002, Rich and Christina Makowsky paid $2.125m, which was low for the area. That’s because it was falling apart. “We definitely could have done the sequel,” Rich is quoted as saying to the Times (he’s kinda joking, but I’d have watched that doc option). If only they’d paid more attention to the rumors at the time. Or read the New York Post article from 2001 (when it was listed at $2.95m) warning that “if life does imitate art, you may want to avoid buying this house” and referencing brokers who disputed Sotheby’s claim that it had been renovated to “aesthetically and technically […]

read more...

The Wedding Singer

Much has already been devoted to talking about how Blended is Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler’s third romantic comedy together. The duo began as an unlikely pair in 1998’s The Wedding Singer, the 80s centric flick in which Sandler played an aspiring rock star paying the bills through wedding gigs and attempting to win the heart of the beautiful Julia. They entered their thirties by portraying Hawaii’s cutest amnesiac and the world’s most determined reformed womanizer in 50 First Dates in 2004. And with this year’s entry into their romcom resume, they’ll slip into the shoes of divorcee parents who happen to get stuck on the same wild vacation together, even though they hate each other. Don’t you hate when that happens? Sandler and Barrymore have this great trend of starring in a romantic comedy together about once every 10 years, and it’s working out well in their favor; how much more publicity have you seen being thrown toward Blended because it’s reuniting everyone’s favorite couple and not because of the content of the film itself? We’re all too aware of what’s probably going to happen in a modern day Sandler comedy, thanks. Their chemistry, likeability and the sheer nostalgia of bringing the two back together for another love story has made audiences wistful about these crazy kids; they remember rooting for them alongside Billy Idol almost 20 years ago, and now, they get that chance again. Of course, Sandler and Barrymore are far from the first couple to pair […]

read more...

Fox

I’m sitting here with Elizabeth Perkins, who starred in 1988’s Big, to talk about the making of the beloved movie now that we’re almost at its 26th anniversary. Elizabeth, thanks for meeting with me. Well, thank you. I’m a little confused why we’re talking about the film in time for the 26th anniversary instead of last year for the 25th. Right, right. Well, this didn’t occur to me last year. Oh. Okay, then.

read more...

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in

This weekend schlock-master Paul WS Anderson (Resident Evil, Death Race) is bringing us his latest over the top action extravaganza, a story about adventure and romance set against the backdrop of maybe the most famous volcanic eruption in history, Pompeii. If you watch the trailer, it seems like the movie’s going to be pretty bad, but bad in that way that you’re going to end up watching and enjoying it regardless. Or maybe that’s just my crushes on Emily Browning and Kit Harington talking. Pompeii won’t be the first time a couple of attractive young kids have fallen in love against the backdrop of a volcano decimating an entire group of people, however. Back in 1990, writer/director John Patrick Shanley took a couple of actors who hardcore movie fans may have heard of, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, and used their one-of-a-kind chemistry to tell a unique tale that was part romance, part comedy, part adventure, and part genocidal disaster movie where an entire race of orange soda-loving Polynesian Jews called the Waponis got decimated by the eruption of a volcano known as The Big Woo. The movie was called Joe Versus the Volcano, and despite everything it has to offer, it still hasn’t received a high definition release of any sort.

read more...

the burbs femur

Joe Dante‘s The ‘burbs, which turns 25 tomorrow, was a nice way to end a decade filled with a nostalgia for the simple 1950s idea of suburbia as well as a trend towards uncovering terrible things amidst the modern ideal of perfection of the new suburbia of tract house developments. In the latter camp, there’s Poltergeist and Gremlins, both produced by Steven Spielberg (whose own E.T. nearly fits) with the latter helmed by Dante (who’d go on to make another suburbia tale almost 10 years later with Small Soldiers). The ‘burbs is, more than its ’80s brethren, a satirical leveling of the former camp, particularly the early TV sitcoms re-introduced to a new generation through Nick at Nite and update spin-offs like Still the Beaver/The New Leave It to Beaver. The movie, fittingly, was shot on the same cul-de-sac neighborhood lot at Universal Studios as that Leave It to Beaver sitcom sequel and co-stars Corey Feldman, who’d played the Beaver’s son in the pilot TV movie of Still the Beaver. The ‘burbs also features TV sitcom staple Gale Gordon, a regular fixture in Lucille Ball series including The Lucy Show (there are photos of him and Ball in the movie) and a main cast member on Dennis the Menace as the second Mr. Wilson. That the movie’s plot revolves around Gordon’s character going missing, seemingly murdered by the new neighbors, is a great metaphor for the loss, again, of that era. At the hands of the unknown strangeness of the Klopeks, […]

read more...

Mary Poppins author DL Travers with Walt Disney and Julie Andrews

There’s a scene late in John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks in which author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) barges into Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) office, livid about the fact that the company’s proposed adaptation of her intellectual property “Mary Poppins” may contain a moment of animation integrated into live action, which Disney promised her would not occur. Travers catches Disney putting a cigarette out into an ashtray, blindsided that she caught him in this uncouth moment. Disney says something out loud about not wanting to be seen with a cigarette in his hand, and the scene moves on. We never see the cigarette touch Disney’s lips. There is no still image that exists of Hanks-as-Disney smoking. Yet the Disney-produced film acknowledges that Disney himself smoked and hid that fact from the public eye during the 1960s. Saving Mr. Banks admits openly that there is a distance between the man and the myth, the everyday Walt Disney and his heavily regulated public image. The film makes a gesture of transparency in this direction, yet not enough to actually show the contradiction between the myth and the man. We never see that cigarette hit his mouth. This moment isn’t really all that important on its own, but it is in terms of what it represents: that Saving Mr. Banks is a film which acknowledges the negotiations and compromises that go into making and reinforcing the image of “Disney,” while also exercising careful maintenance of the identity of the Disney brand.

read more...

SAVING MR. BANKS

Clint Eastwood’s influence on John Lee Hancock’s work is pretty clear. Hancock wrote one of Eastwood’s best movies, A Perfect World , and one of his lesser pictures, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Since then Hancock has gone on to direct The Rookie, The Blindside, The Alamo, and Saving Mr. Banks. All of his movies have a workmanlike approach. The camerawork is never showy, always with its focus on character and story. The same goes for Eastwood’s films, so it’s no surprise that Hancock learned a few lessons from working with him. One important takeaway for Hancock was to keep a calm set. Saving Mr. Banks shows a very heated creative process, and when we asked Hancock what’s the best way to deal with those conditions, he discussed a lesson from the zen daddy himself, Mr. Eastwood: “Clint Eastwood was my film school. I didn’t go to film school. I was a lawyer and a writer, but I started to get movies made. I did two movies with Clint Eastwood, and he is the zen daddy. I’m not saying I’ve done it successfully, but I like that model of trying to stay as zen as possible, being upbeat, and enjoying the work. You want a creative workspace like that where everyone can do their best work. I don’t like a lot of yelling or running. There are some directors who like chaos and want to be the eye of the storm, but that just confuses me.”

read more...

banks

Shooting one quaint room with only four inhabitants doesn’t exactly scream “cinematic,” at least not in the conventional sense of the word. For a considerable portion of Saving Mr. Banks, we’re watching creative sessions involving P.L. Travers (Emma Thomspon), screenwriter Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford), and songwriters Richard (Jason Schwartzman) and Bob Sherman (B.J. Novak) attempting to adapt Mary Poppins. Generally absent from those scenes is Tom Hanks, an actor with no shortage of charisma. Not having Hanks’s Walt Disney participating is fine though as the others happily match his charm. Director John Lee Hancock (The Blindside) cast these roles based on the energy needs of that room. Discussing those scenes with Hancock, it’s apparent how much those moments standout for him as well:

read more...

Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison has never been one to mince words, and thankfully he’s not about to start now at the age of 79. The legendary writer and notoriously cantankerous personality recently attended a hoity-toity Los Angeles dinner party at the home of some friends of a friend, and the evening included a screening of Saving Mr. Banks. Ellison’s response to the film is a bit, shall we say, lukewarm. Variety may or may not have passed on the opportunity to print his review, so Ellison has taken to his YouTube channel to offer up his verbal appreciation. The video starts off pleasant enough with the famous and infamous author reminding us that he’s both of those things, sharing some kind words for his hosts, and complimenting this “well made movie” and its stars. Emma Thompson in particular “is absolutely breathtakingly brilliant… blows everybody off the screen,” and Tom Hanks “is equally as good.” And then Ellison calls the film “a refurbishing of Walt Disney’s godlike image which he spent his entire life creating, and it is so fucking manipulative.” Lend Mr. Ellison your ear for ten minutes and watch his whole video below.

read more...

2013 Performer of the Year

When it came time to pick our 2013 Performer of the Year it would have been easy enough to use last year’s entry as a template and simply give it to Matthew McConaughey again. His tremendous 2012 rolled seamlessly into an equally fantastic 2013 with a stand-out lead performance in Dallas Buyers Club, an equally impressive supporting role in Mud, and a scene-stealing turn in The Wolf of Wall Street. The acclaim is likely to continue through 2014 with Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and HBO’s True Detective series both ready to thrill fans and critics alike. But we’re not in the business of being easy, so we decided to go a bit more obscure with our pick. Our 2013 Performer of the Year is a five-time Academy Award nominee and two-time winner whose films have grossed over $8.5 billion worldwide, and his name is Tom Hanks. (I don’t actually know what “obscure” means.) Hanks had two films released this year, Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks, and after more than a decade out of Oscar’s limelight he’s back in a big way. Not only is he winning accolades for his performances, but he’s also seen his first live-action film to pass the $100 million mark at the box-office in over four years (eleven years if you ignore Dan Brown adaptations). The number one reason we’ve chosen him, though, is that regardless of awards or box office, Hanks’ performance in the final ten minutes of Captain Phillips is as good as acting gets […]

read more...

youve-got-mail-end

The rom-com pairing of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks is the stuff of fluffy dreams — we dare you to name another pairing that is even remotely close to usurping their royal hold over the genre, at least within a modern context — and it’s one that has spawned three charming features. The duo has, quite memorably, starred together in a fizzy romance trifecta: 1990’s Joe Versus the Volcano, 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle and 1998’s You’ve Got Mail, and while it’s the second title that often gets all the big buzz and affection, we’ve got a big soft spot for the unrelenting sweetness and strange humor of Nora Ephron’s other Ryan/Hanks feature. You’ve Got Mail is celebrating its 15th anniversary this week (yes, 15th, also, you’re old, I’m old, we’re all old, but nothing is as old as that dial-up buzzing we hear about 20 times within the film itself). It is stylized as a modern take on the Miklos Laszlo play Pafumerie, which was also the inspiration for the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner. It’s “modern” because it involves the Internet or, more specifically, AOL chat rooms, early email and the then-wacky possibility that someone could fall in love with a stranger over the net. Ephron, Ryan, and Hanks had previously explored a similar idea with Sleepless — that two strangers could be so destined to be together that they could fall in love via various types of correspondence — but You’ve Got Mail dove right into the burgeoning […]

read more...

Into Silence Header

Captivity/survivor narratives are hardly unfamiliar to our movie screens, and such films tend to come in bunches. Three years ago, for instance, both Buried and 127 Hours boasted solo or near-solo performances from two rising Hollywood stars who spent the duration of their films as the solitary face we see. But last month brought a prominent and concentrated group of such films, all met with overwhelmingly good reviews, promising major performances from their leading survivor types, and coasting on significant awards buzz. While each film explores near misses, false moments of possible redemption, the necessary instance of despair, and ultimately an incredible optimism in the possibility for human beings to survive a conflagration of elements that work overwhelmingly against them, each of these films go about this differently. Yet the major factor connecting J.C. Chandor’s All is Lost, Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips, and Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is that they all stage humans’ fraught relationship to nature through the problems and failures of human commerce and its attendant production of waste. Their respective fights with or on the landscape of nature, in other words, are inaugurated by the failure of humans to wield their own devices.

read more...

Smoking is bad. Chances are, you’re already aware of this fact. If you’ve spent time in the civilized world, you’ve doubtless seen at least one billboard, TV commercial, or warning label announcing this very fact. The reasons are obvious, of course; cigarette smoking is known to cause lung cancer, birth defects and, in rare cases, dangerously funky bad breath. So add this article to the ever-expanding list of products that contain a warning about the dangers of smoking. One product not on the list, however, is Saving Mr. Banks. Odd, considering that Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks in the film), was a lifelong chain smoker and passed away from lung cancer in 1966. But Disney (the company, that is) and their ironclad policies on cigarette smoking have dissipated the thick grey fumes that were the Mickey Mouse creator’s constant companion. After a screening of the film at the 2013, Napa Valley Film Festival, director John Lee Hancock and producer Alison Owen spoke about the restrictions the House of Mouse placed on Saving Mr. Banks. The two anticipated a lengthy set of guidelines for the first major portrayal of Walt Disney in a mainstream film, but in the end, the media giant asked only one thing of the filmmakers. Says Owen, “They told us there could be no smoking.”

read more...

banks

Director John Lee Hancock won the hearts of much of North America with 2009’s The Blind Side. Whether the movie was enjoyable or not, there’s no denying the impact it had that year. Come December there’s a chance Hancock’s newest film, Saving Mr. Banks, will strike the same chord with audiences. It’s certainly deserving of that same success. Author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the woman behind Mary Poppins, has been turning down Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) advances for over twenty years. It’s the book rights he’s interested in, but she’s afraid he’ll turn it into another one of his goofy animated movies instead of appreciating the personal story Travers wrote it as. After discovering that she’s running out of money, Travers begins to change her tune. From that point on, we see plenty of back and forth between her and Walt, screenwriter Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford), and the two men behind the picture’s music, Richard Sherman (Jason Schwartzman) and Robert Sherman (B.J. Novak). The scenes with Travers, the Sherman brothers, and DaGradi sum up the movie. During their creative meetings with Travers, they have to win her over with costume designs, songs, and every nut and bolt of the script. All of their scenes are in a small contained room, and each one of them is a delight. They’re funny and sharp. There’s nothing grand about these moments but they’re naturally charismatic, thanks to the actors’ collective charm.

read more...

Captain Phillips

A boat at sea is a pretty rich place to explore ideology. Bear with me here. The sea, by assumption, bears no visible national borders, no unified language, no tactile culture for human beings. Yet humans travel the sea, conquer it, capitalize on it. Our use of the sea is in no way apolitical, yet an endless horizon subject to the laws of nature conveys something essential, a visage that suggests a false, elusive neutrality. The sea simultaneously erases and amplifies the distinctions we’ve made between ourselves on land. Much has been already discussed about the ideological implications Paul Greengrass’s Captain Phillips. What to make of a popular piece of entertainment that is, at least in part, about global inequality? Are the systemic factors that motivate Somali piracy ignored? If not, might audiences still interpret the film in a simplistic hero v. villain binary de rigueur of Hollywood entertainment? Is the film, as Dana Stevens observes, “a tragedy about the ruinous consequences of global capitalism” or is it, as Andrew O’Hehir argues, “a disturbing celebration of American military power”? Perhaps a film like Captain Phillips, by virtue of its setting and narrative, can be seen as a vessel of ideology that, at the same time, investigates the core processes by which our political identities and assumptions come into realization.

read more...

Tom Hanks

Editor’s note: Kate’s review of Captain Phillips originally ran during this year’s NYFF, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens in theatrical release today. Side note, it’s the best film currently playing in wide release. Go see it. Early on in Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips, the eponymous Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) reads an email advisory from Maersk, the multinational business conglomerate that owns his vessel, that includes detailed information about incidents of high seas piracy in the exact area his Maersk Alabama happens to be sailing through on its way to Kenya. Phillips is already aware of the risks, and he’s taken precautions – later that day, he’ll even request his crew perform a series of safety drills – but all the warnings in the world won’t change his fate, and they certainly won’t remove the audience’s knowledge of what is coming. Based on the true story of the Maersk Alabama hijacking and the real Captain Phillips’ book on the subject, “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea,” Greengrass’ film is tasked with delivering a moderately fictionalized portrayal of a highly publicized event, and the final product is a wonderfully tension-filled and surprisingly even-handed version of events. Hanks excels in the leading role, effectively portraying an everyman trapped in extraordinary circumstances, and Greengrass’ action-savvy direction pairs perfectly with both his story and his lead actor.

read more...

phillips

If you thought the trailer for Captain Phillips looked promising, likely a large part of what sold you on it is the brief glimpses it gives us of the exciting sequence where the ship of the title character (played by Tom Hanks) is boarded by a crew of desperate and dangerous-looking Somali pirates. The whole story is based off of extraordinary real-life events, and even from those small glimpses it becomes clear that the penchant for action filmmaking director Paul Greengrass showed in his Bourne movies as well as the talent for shooting documentary-style accounts of real life danger he showed in United 93 both came in handy as he was realizing this film. Simply put, Captain Phillips looks like it’s going to be some serious shit, and now the film has just released a couple of extendo-clips of the scene where the pirates take over the ship in order to convince you that the words “based on a true story” don’t always have to lead to a movie being a melodramatic snoozefest. Sure, Captain Phillips is bound to feature some hand-wringing, but it clearly has some Under Siege flavor going on in it as well. Click through to check it out.

read more...

Tom Hanks

There’s a new trailer online for Paul Greengrass‘ Captain Phillips, so if you’ve been feeling any urges to see Tom Hanks sport a wicked goatee and a somewhat-believable Southern accent (or you just want to see him face off against a band of Somali pirates), do yourself a favor and check it out. This trailer and the previous one open more or less with the same footage (minus a shot and a line of dialogue here and there), but about halfway through, this new trailer veers off into uncharted territory. The rest of the footage is all based around Phillips’ relationship with the lead pirate, and their time together in the lifeboat where the hostage situation famously ended. Frankly, it’s exciting stuff. Every conversation has the potential to launch its characters into panicked violence, and the trailer’s last few moments tease the standoff’s end (even if some of the quicker cuts are a little incomprehensible). It doesn’t even seem to matter so much that this trailer walks us through entire story; something that’s become far too frequent nowadays. Much of this is just a continuation of what we saw in that first trailer. Yet there’s one new element here that’s absolutely, 100% brand-new, and that’s the trailer’s sympathetic eye towards its lead pirate. Captain Phillips doesn’t portray him as a bloodthirsty agent of random violence. Instead, he’s just a guy whose hand was forced a long, long time ago. He’s not a pirate by choice. It’s his only life choice. Check […]

read more...

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures

Dan Brown writes books faster than Ron Howard can make movies. The filmmaker was at one point planning — alongside a hundred other projects — to make The Lost Symbol as a third installment of the Robert Langdon Da Vinci Code series with Tom Hanks back in the lead role, but according to Deadline Hollywood, Sony is skipping over that entry in order to make an adaptation of “Inferno.” The latest novel in Brown’s series hit just two months ago, but more than simply being current, Howard had dropped out of making The Lost Symbol, wanting to produce it instead of directing, but something has enticed him to return to the helm here. The development mess that Symbol had become might be a big part of that — a desire to be back in this narrative world on his own terms. Whereas the previous project would have seen Langdon running around D.C. on a highly personal quest, Inferno will follow him in Italy (again) as he solves hidden meanings in paintings (again) and wrestles with Dante (if you couldn’t guess by the title) on the edge of a global pandemic. The script is being written by David Koepp, who adapted the repetitive string of events that was “Angels and Demons,” so he’s not new to the Langdon universe. Thus, the powers behind a relatively harmless, forgettable mystery series are back to make another.

read more...

reject recap 071313

This week I could have upped the number of stories to 20. It’s been that full of big news and hot trending topics and great original content. It helped that this week FSR brought two excellent new newswriters into the fold, Samantha Wilson and Adam Bellotto (who isn’t quoted this week but surely will be found on the Recap soon enough). It also helped that we’re a week away from Comic-Con and relevant teases and revelations are already trickling out. Plus we were excited about finally seeing Pacific Rim, suddenly excited about the idea of Sharknado and feeling good about movies again with the first looks at the Oldboy remake, the latest (scary again) sequel to Child’s Play and the Tom Hanks as Walt Disney portrayal of Saving Mr. Banks. Oh and the whole Grown Ups 2 not being too terrible thing. Wait, no, nobody feels good about (or believes) that. We’ve also gotten some great coverage of the 2013 New York Asian Film Festival from Rob. And not to ignore television ever, we posted on Bar Rescue, joke-machine sitcoms and a newbie’s viewing of The Sopranos. With all this stuff packing the pages of FSR the past seven days, you likely missed one or two posts and are in need of catching up with the following week in review. Start your weekend right after the jump.

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3