Tag Archives: Tom Hanks

One Direction—This Is Us: Summoned From The Blackest Pits of Canada

One Direction—This Is Us: Summoned From The Blackest Pits of Canada

Few people outside of conspiracy-theory circles know this, but Justin Bieber was created by a certain pop singer in an attempt to bring about world peace. After all, who better to usher in an era of harmony than, well, Usher, known for his soulful, harmonious crooning? Just like Ozymandias at the end of Watchmen, Usher knew that to save the world, he had to give it a common enemy. And so, wielding the dark studio arts, he summoned from the blackest pits of Canada a sprightly young chipmunk of a lad.

“Here world,” Usher cackled. “Here is your naked Doctor Manhattan! Look upon my works, ye ladies, and despair!” Lil Jon laid an infectious groove over it, Ludacris contributed a guest rap, and “Naked Doctor Manhattan” went to the top of the charts. [Ed note: Meanwhile, the single “Girl, I’m Not Locked In Here With You, You’re Locked In Here With ME” by “Naked Rorschach” failed to sell a single copy.]

Vice Versa

Vice Versa

In which Jason and Kate Sweeney review the trailer for Vice Versa. Part of a series of trailer reviews for body-switching comedies of the 70′s, 80′s, and 90′s. 

JASON

You know how I can tell this is going to be a good movie? The trailer starts off with a young Fred Savage holding a skull and sassing his dad. It really adds emphasis to your sass when you’re holding a skull. A lot of people don’t know this, but Hamlet’s famous soliloquy in which he’s holding a skull is supposed to be performed in a sassy voice. Hamlet was the Jackée of his time. And Macbeth was the Marla Gibbs. In fact, Shakespeare’s entire body of work was essentially the 227 of the 1600’s.

Even the skull has a sassy expression on its face as it vomits body-swapping magic all over Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage. It’s all like, “Gotcha’, bitches!” Much like Jackée, it has a complete inability to understand context when you’re holding it and making wishes. “Figure of speech? Figure this speech—you need to go out and get new shoes! I can see your rapidly aging toes, you body-switching dummies.”

Another way I know this is going to be a good movie? The trailer describes Judge Reinhold as a “successful businessman and self-professed workaholic” inside of whom “beats the heart of a little boy.” Yikes!

KATE

So, they swapped hearts? That’s what’s going on? Because I’m no medical expert here, but I’m unconvinced that the heart of a little boy could adequately power the body of a 36-year old man. Their souls switching: Sure. But if it’s literal heart-swapping hijinks, then I’m not prepared to believe this. Because, look at this: We’re led to believe that Fred-as-Judge’s first move in his father’s grown body is to go all wild on a skateboard—as it must be, because this is an ’80s movie, in which skateboarding must necessarily be the ultimate shorthand for rascally joie de vivre (See also, most notably: Marty McFly.) In this case, though, he’d better watch it, because the heart of a little boy shall not beat inside him for long if he doesn’t take a breather.

The Magic of Belle Isle

The Magic of Belle Isle

In which Atlanta writer and performer Johnny Drago and Kate Sweeney of the True Story Reading Series discuss the trailer for The Magic of Belle Isle.

K: Hi there, Johnny.

On this preview’s splash page, Morgan Freeman is just the picture of enlightenment. Did you notice that? It’s how he looks in every movie lately, and, frankly, that’s fine with me. I really think that’s how we long to see him: messiah-like and full of joy. Oh yes, he was wronged; he went through hardship in his formative years (see also AtticaStreet Smart,) but those experiences burned him clean and touched him with some holy light. He is smiling; we don’t know why. We can’t know why. And of course, to complete this cliché, because a beautiful, clean cliché is what we so desire: We don’t want to. What Morgan Freeman knows is for Morgan Freeman to know. We can only hope he speaks. Prithee, say something, Mr. Freeman. Recite the phonebook, and arrive at my name. Speak to us.

Cast Away

Tom Hanks wears a big Christmas sweater. He works for FedEx motivating Russians. Hey Russians move those packages faster, nyet! Nyet! He gets on a FedEx plane and it crashes on an island. Ain’t gonna need that sweater now, Tom Hanks.

Tom Hanks makes fire. Tom Hanks steals a dead man’s shoes. Tom Hanks makes a spear out of a stick. Tom Hanks is now an island man. He finds a volleyball in a Fedex package, puts a bloody hand-print on it and names it Wilson. Now he has a best friend.

Four years go by and Tom Hanks grows a beard and dreadlocky-hippie hair. Look who’s ready to go to Bonnaroo! He gets really good at spearfishing. He stuffs Wilson with sticks. Now Wilson has a new hairstyle made out of sticks. I wish I could get a haircut with sticks in it. Oh my, look at my edgy summer do’!

When I was a kid my grandmother would take me to get my hair cut by a chain-smoking woman named Dean in a Southern ladies’ beauty parlor in the back of a house. I’ll never forget the Georgia heat baking the pavement outside the screen door as we walked into the velveteen darkness of the front hall, inhaling the scent of baby powder and hair products, antique furniture still and silent as a tomb in the main parlor. Whoops, I accidentally started writing my memoirs there for a minute. Dean refused to give me a rat-tail, no matter how cool it looked.

A big chunk of a port-a-potty floats up on the beach and Tom Hanks says that would make a good sail so he makes a little raft and sails away from the island. One thing I liked about the island is there were no smoke monsters or time traveling or caves of light. Mostly fish and coconuts, like the inside of Aquaman’s walk-in closet.

I’ll tell you what Tom Hanks’ situation reminds me of— the Tori Amos song Cool on Your Island. Prepare to have chills run down your spine as I quote a Tori Amos lyric like a 1994 college feminist studies major:

We could buy an airplane/Build a home in the sand/You could tell your secrets/I could understand/But then by the morning/Comes crumblin’ down/And as your leavin’/Wait

If you changed “buy an airplane” to “crash in an airplane” and “tell your secrets” to “tell your secrets to a volleyball”, you’d practically be reading the script for Cast Away. I say they should change the title of the movie to Cool On Your Island.

When he gets back to the real world he delivers a package to a lady who makes art with wings on it. She kind of looks like Tori Amos a little bit. You know they are going to get together, but then again he did just buy a new volleyball so only time will tell if he cuts his hand open to make a new friend. Oh, who is the best man at your wedding? A blood caked volleyball with some sticks coming out of it. Who is the Maid of Honor? A Lady Speed Stick deodorant tube stuffed with flowers and rocks.