Since the beginning of Hollywood, war movies have become standard fare for filmmakers and audiences.
But there are only a few that are as hard hitting, educational and remind audiences of the true nature of war like Saving Private Ryan (1998).
Private Ryan (Matt Damon) is one of four brothers fighting in World War II. His brothers have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It is up to Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) to lead his team who have survived the Invasion of Normandy, to find Private Ryan and make sure that he returns home.
This is not your parent’s John Wayne era World War II movie. This movie does not spare the horrors and the damage that war creates. It is a brutal, in your face and reminds audiences of the sacrifices that our military men and women make for our freedom and safety.
I recommend it.
When we are kids, there is mystique about being a grownup. We think that we will be wealthy, carefree and have no one to tell us what to do.
Then we grow up and the fantasy is quickly shattered.
In Big (1988), Josh (David Moscow) is a young boy who is tired of being a kid. He wants to be an adult. Josh makes a wish to grow up at a magical wish machine. He wakes up the next day in the form of Tom Hanks. Josh begins to enjoy the perks of adulthood, but he will also learn about the grey areas and the not so carefree aspects of being an adult.
This movie is a very interesting because it appeals to a wide range of audience members. The adults will remember what is was to be a kid (and sometimes wish they could be a kid again) and the kids might begin to understand that being an adult is not as cracked up as it seems.
I recommend it.
Tom Hanks is one of those actors. He has a Jimmy Stewart/Henry Fonda aww shucks all American image and has played a variety of characters over the years. One of his most famous and award winning roles was in the 1994 movie, Forrest Gump.
Intellectually, Forrest Gump is not the brightest bulb in the box. But, he has a good heart and good intentions. Always following the advice of his mother (Sally Field), Forrest lives through and experiences some of the most tumultuous events of the second half of the 2oth century. But in the end, he can only think of Jenny (Robin Wright), his childhood sweetheart, who goes through her own tumultuous journey.
This movie deserved any and all praise that it received. It is a story of hope over adversity, believing in yourself and being positive, even in the worst circumstances.
And can forget a movie that not only has two unforgettable lines (run, Forrest, run and life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get), but also was the inspiration for a seafood restaurant?
I recommend it.
Every few years, Hollywood reaches into it’s vault and tries to reintroduce audiences to a story or genre that they may not be familiar with.
Down With Love (2003) is an homage to the early 1960’s sex comedies that starred Doris Day and Rock Hudson, the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks of their day.
Barbara Novak (Renee Zellweger) is a feminist author whose book has hit the best seller list. Catcher Block (Ewan MacGregor) is playboy journalist who is convinced that underneath the feminist mask, Barbara wants what every woman wants: love and marriage. But he knows that she would sniff him out in an instant if he was himself. Pretending to be a shy out of towner, Catcher attracts Barbara’s attention, but will he be able to find what he is looking for?
While this movie is not as funny or subversive as Pillow Talk, it’s a nice homage and a reminder of how far women have come.
Do I recommend it? Sure, it’s decent.
Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogey And Lauren Bacall, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Every era has it’s favorite pairings. Actors who work on several projects over the years and just work on screen together in their respective characters.
In the 90’s rom com’s were defined by one movie couple: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
They made three movies together. The third, You’ve Got Mail , premiered in 1998.
At the dawn of the internet age, Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) are rivals in the book selling business. She owns a small, independent book shop. He works in the family business, owning Fox Books, a huge Barnes and Noble like chain bookstore. They are also falling in love over the internet. Joe finds out who his internet pen pal is in in real life. He tries to win her over, but Kathleen still does not know that her internet pen pal and her business rival are one and the same.
Written and directed by the late rom com queen, Nora Ephron, You’ve Got Mail is not as cliche or as sappy and rom com movies have become since then. It’s got a zing, a life, an twist that is fun while still retaining the standards of a romantic comedy. And of course, the subtle nod to Pride and Prejudice never hurts.
Today it’s very common to see women and girls involved in sports, as both a professional and an amateur.
Women in sports, as part of normal American life, is a relatively new idea. Thanks to Title IX and the AAGBPL, women have been more prevalent and respected in sports.
In 1992, A League Of Their Own, brought the story of the AAGBPL to the movie going audience.
Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and Kit Keller (Lori Petty) are sisters who play on local baseball teams in their spare time during World War II. With the men away, Walter Harvey (Gary Marshall) bankrolls a women’s baseball league. Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) is the former ball player chosen to coach the team that Dottie and Kit are playing with. Their teammates include Mae Mordabito (Madonna), Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell) and Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh).
The drama of the story is not just the women fighting for respect as ball players, but also the tension between the sisters.
After 22 years, this movie still holds up and is still an inspiration to girls who have been told no because they are girls.
I recommend this movie.
Tonight I saw Saving Mr. Banks, the biopic of how Mary Poppins was transferred from the page to the screen.
The film has two alternating, but equal story lines. PL Travers (Emma Thompson) is the author of Mary Poppins. Sales have dried up and she is in need of an income. For the past twenty years, Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) has been asking her for the rights to make a film based on the book. She has finally agreed to travel to Los Angeles to discuss the possibility of making the movie, but she is determined that it does not become too Hollywoodized.
The other story line is the flashbacks of her childhood in Australia. Her father (Colin Farrell) loves his family, but has flaws that prevents him from being the father and husband that he needs to be. Her mother (Ruth Wilson) does her best to be a good mother, but finds herself hindered by her husband’s actions.
We all know Mary Poppins, the movie has been part of our lives since it premiered. It’s like any classic, sometimes when you know the details and experiences of the author’s life, the story takes on a different meaning.
The movie clocks in at 2 hours. It’s a little long, but enjoyable.