The Post (2017)

The Post
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Liz Hannah, Josh Singer
Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons, David Cross, Zach Woods, Pat Healy
Seen on: 1.3.2018
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Plot:
Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) has anonymously leaked documents to the New York Times that prove the atrocities of the USA in Vietnam. The Post, newly managed by Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) who took over after the death of her husband, doesn’t want to fall behind and finds Ellsberg for more information. Soon The Post finds itself under big pressure from the government not to publish and Kay has to make big decisions.

The Post is a film full of pathos. There’s nothing wrong with that and it works emotionally. It’s just a little too safe in its choices, making it feel a little dusty. But (unfortunately) not out of date.

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A Hologram for the King (2016)

A Hologram for the King
Director: Tom Tykwer
Writer: Tom Tykwer
Based on: Dave Eggersnovel
Cast: Tom Hanks, Alexander Black, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Tom Skerritt, Ben Whishaw
Seen on: 9.5.2016

Plot:
Alan’s (Tom Hanks) life has fallen apart quite quickly. He and his wife separated, there’s a weird growth on his back, and his position in his company is being called into question. To at least keep his job, Alan has to go to Saudi Arabia to convince the king to invest in the company’s holographic conference software. When he gets there, though, the king is nowhere to be seen and Alan is completely overwhelmed by the way business is being done. But with the help of driver Yousef (Alexander Black) he starts to find his way, literally and figuratively.

A Hologram for the King feels completely inconsequential. It’s nice enough that I could have liked it, it’s problematic enough that I could have gotten angry about it, but instead it simply didn’t seem to affect me at all.

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Bridge of Spies (2015)

Bridge of Spies
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, John Rue, Billy Magnussen, Amy Ryan, Austin Stowell, Jesse Plemons
Seen on: 28.12.2015

Plot:
When Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) gets arrested for being a Russian spy in the USA, the FBI want to make really sure that his conviction sticks. So they ask lawyer James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) to defend Abel. Donovan is well known for being scrupulous and correct. Even though Donovan knows how much hatred will come his way if he defends a known spy, he accepts Abel as a client. A decision that has far-reaching consequences as it leads to Donovan being asked to handle the negotiations about the release of an USAmerican soldier who was captured by the Russians.

It fells like Bridge of Spies went almost completely unnoticed, despite the fact that it’s the newest Spielberg film with Tom Hanks. There was barely any marketing and nobody seemed to show much interest in the film at all. I myself almost didn’t watch it. This obscurity (well, obscurity for a Spielberg movie) is a fate the film certainly doesn’t deserve.

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Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Saving Mr. Banks
Director: John Lee Hancock
Writer: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin FarrellRuth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman, Kathy Baker, Rachel Griffiths

Plot:
Despite her trepidations about it, P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson) agrees to work on a screen version of her Mary Poppins novel for Walt Disney (Tom Hanks). She just really needs the money. But Mary Poppins is more to her than just a fictional character and she wants to make certain that Disney does justice to that. So she flies to L.A. to try and ensure that, while at the same time working through her own family history.

There are many things to enjoy about Saving Mr. Banks and some things that I didn’t enjoy very much. But it’s certainly a film that I liked watching.

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Captain Phillips (2013)

Captain Phillips
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Billy Ray
Based on: Richard Phillips and Stephan Talty’s book
Cast: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Michael Chernus, Catherine Keener, Max Martini

Plot:
Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) has been a container ship captain for a while. But during his recent trip, things start to go wrong when their ship is being followed by a group of Somali pirates, led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Phillips can thwart their first attack, but then he finds his ship taken over. And that’s just the beginning.

Captain Phillips starts off very well but then it all got a bit much for me. But Greengrass never lets it get boring and Tom Hanks hasn’t impressed me as much since about forever.

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Re-Watch: The ‘Burbs (1989)

The ‘Burbs
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Dana Olsen
Cast: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman, Wendy Schaal, Henry Gibson, Brother Theodore, Courtney Gains, Gale Gordon, Dick Miller, Robert Picardo
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
A typical suburban cul-de-sac is disrupted when a new family moves in. A mysterious family that seems to be only awake at night, making loud noises then, a family that doesn’t take care of its lawn or sticks to any of the usual suburban behavior. Their direct neighbor Ray (Tom Hanks) just got some time off. Time he spends starting to obsess about them and trying to find out more, egged on by the other inhabitants on the street.

I don’t know how many times I saw this film when I was a child. It was my brother’s favorite film for a while and he did a perfect impression of the “sardines” scene and to this day I can’t look at Tom Hanks without thinking of my brother a bit. So seeing this film for the first time in probably a decade, for the first time in English and without my brother present just wasn’t quite the same thing. It was still very entertaining though.

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Cloud Atlas (2012)

Cloud Atlas
Director: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Writer: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Based on: David Mitchell’s novel
Cast: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, Keith David, James D’Arcy, Xun Zhuo, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Robert Fyfe, Götz Otto

Plot:
Cloud Atlas tells six interlocking stories where the same set of souls cross paths over and over again. In The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing, we follow the young notary Adam (Jim Sturgess) on his way back to the US on a ship in the mid 19th century where he meets a doctor (Tom Hanks) and a slave (David Gyasi) who both greatly influence his fate. In Letters from Zedelghem, the young composer Robert Frobisher (Ben Whishaw), who finds himself in financial difficulties, comes to Belgium to work with Vyvyan Ayrs (Jim Broadbent), a famous but ill composer. In Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery, we read about the journalist Luisa Rey (Halle Berry) who uncovers a conspiracy regarding a power plant which puts her in grave danger. In The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish, Cavendish (Jim Broadbent) is a publisher who asks his brother (Hugh Grant) for help to get out of his debts. When the quiet getaway turns out to be a senior home, he seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place. In An Orison of Sonmi~451, the clone Sonmi~451 (Doona Bae) tells an archivist (James D’Arcy) her life story from the fast food joint Papa Song where she worked as a waitress until her life took a turn in a very different direction. In Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After, Zachry (Tom Hanks) is one of the few people in the world who survived The Fall. His life with his family gets disrupted when one of the Prescients, who still have technology from the Old Uns, called Meronym (Halle Berry) comes to stay with them.

I didn’t love the book, but I liked it overall. I thought that I would probably feel the same way about the film, with the added advantage that the film would provide me with the stunning visuals the trailer promised. Unfortunately the movie did not work for me at all.

[SPOILERS]

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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Director: Stephen Daldry
Writer: Eric Roth
Based on: Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel
Cast: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow, Zoe Caldwell, John Goodman, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright

Plot:
Oskar’s (Thomas Horn) father (Tom Hanks) recently died in the 9/11 attack. Oskar has a hard time coping with it, when he stumbles upon a mysterious key in an envelope with the name “Black” on it in his father’s closet. Oskar decides that he has to find out more and the only logical way to go about it is to talk to every person called Black in New York. So he takes the phone book and starts to visit all of them.

The film is one of the most emotionally manipulative movies I have ever seen. Ever. And I still would have liked it a whole lot, if I hadn’t read the book. But in comparison, the film just leaves a small taste of disappointment.

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Larry Crowne (2011)

Larry Crowne is the newest film directed by Tom Hanks, written by him and Nia Vardalos, starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Pam Grier, Taraji P. Henson, Cedric the Enterainer, Bryan Cranston and George Takei.

Plot:
Larry (Tom Hanks) has been working at a supermarket every since he left the navy and he loves his job. But then he gets fired and decides to reinvent himself. He starts a college course, gets a scooter and finds new friends, especially Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who helps him re-arrange his life. And to top it all off, Larry falls in love with his teacher Mercedes (Julia Roberts) who is unhappy with her own life.

Larry Crowne is a sweet film. It’s not great, it’s not brilliant, it’s not awesome but it’s nice and fun and gives you an entertaining couple of hourse.

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Toy Story 3 (2010)

Toy Story 3 is the sequel to Toy Story and Toy Story 2. It was directed by Lee Unkrich and stars the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack and Michael Keaton.

Plot:
Andy (John Morris) is almost ready for college, which makes his toys a little insecure. Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) have their hands full trying to keep everybody calm, telling them that they won’t be thrown out, but they will come to the attic, where they’ll spend a nice retirement together. Unfortunately, by accident, they end up in a day care center, which at first seems to be the perfect place to be but soon turns out to be a place of ruin and despair, ruled by an evil bear who smells of strawberries.

I am a big fan of Toy Story 1 & 2, so I was waiting for this with a lot of trepidation: Would it be a good addition to the series or would it ruin the previous two movies? Would it be able to be as charming as the first two films, which are also laced with nostalgia? Thankfully, my fear was for naught, because Toy Story 3 is completely awesome.

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