Monday, January 3, 2011

Movie Delight Monday - Tom Hanks Edition

"There's no crying in baseball!"

One of my favorite lines from any movie.  Ever.

Tom Hanks is the epitome of great actor.  He can do it all - drama, comedy, suspense, thriller.  I've never seen a movie of his that I didn't like.  A few months ago I put up a video on here of Tom doing the dance from Big, which is an excellent example of one of the reasons I like him so much.  He's so exhuberant and forceful and RIGHT THERE in your face.  I love it.  With the assumption that y'all love him as much as I do, I'm going to share my most favorite films of this totally awesome dude. 


Young Joshua finds an ancient fortune telling machine at a fair, makes a wish to be big and BAM - he's big.  Tom Hanks was amazing playing a twelve-year-old stuck in a grown man's body.  He was so believable.  Everyone's favorite scene is the big piano scene, but mine is in the stairwell at school when Josh is trying to prove to Billy that he's really Josh, so he does the little handshake song/dance.  Love it.

A League of Their Own

This movie has been a favorite of mine since it came out in 1992.  With a cast like Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell, who wouldn't love it?  Former pro baseball star Jimmy Dugan is drinking his retirement away, and while the men are all away at war, the baseball bigwigs decide to start a women's league.  Dugan is basically forced to coach, and on his team are the constantly bickering Dottie (Davis) and Kit (Lori Petty), loudmouth Doris (O'Donnell) and sexy party girl Mae (Madonna).  As the girls all come together and start winning games, Dugan starts paying attention.  He and Dottie butt heads a bit since she had taken over leadership while Dugan initially refused to take an active part in coaching.  The two eventually form a friendship, and we follow the team through the season. 

There are an abundance of one-liners in this film that crack me up no matter how many times I watch it.  A surprisingly funny character is Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh), the shy, really not pretty, really good player.

The Money Pit

Although this film came out in the 80s, I didn't see it until about five years ago after a friend had quoted it several times.  I figured, Tom Hanks, Shelly Long. Can't be bad.  I loved it!  Walter and Anna, after taking their relationship to the next level (and after Anna's rich boyfriend comes back to take over his apartment) and buy a "fixer upper."  From first glance the house seems to only have a few small problems.  Once the papers are signed and they move in, however, the house starts to fall apart - literally - piece by piece. 

The best scene is when Walter falls through the floor but is caught by the rug and ends up stuck in the hole for hours.  When Anna comes home, he shouts for her but when she's standing in the doorway she can't see him in the floor because a chair is blocking her view.  He keeps yelling, she keeps looking.  It's really a simple scene, but Hanks is hilarious. 

That Thing You Do!

I think even if I weren't a music lover, I'd still love this film (although the soundtrack is awesome.)  Many people don't care for this one at all, though I've never been given a specific reason why.   

Guy Patterson is stuck:  he's a grown man (20s), fought in the war, came home and started working for his father's appliance store.  He's dating a hottie (Charlise Theron) who is as superficial as you can get.  He's acquainted with some former classmates who have a band, although they haven't decided on a name yet.  Guy used to be a drummer for a band, but it had broken up.  This band, made up of Jimmy (Jonathan Schaech) the lead singer, Lenny (Steve Zahn) the guitar and backup vocals, Chad (Giovanni Ribsi) the drummer and the bass player (Ethan Embry - his character was given no name other than T.B. Player), along with Jimmy's girlfriend Faye (Liv Tyler), not in the band but always around. 

The day before a big talent show, Chad falls and breaks his arm, leaving the band without a drummer.  They ask Guy to help, and while practicing they come up with the name The One-ders.  The song they're planning to play is a ballad, but when he starts to play, Guy decides to pick up the tempo.  The song is "That Thing You Do" and it becomes an instant hit, catapulting the band to fame.  Enter Mr. White (Hanks), agent for Playtone Records.  White coaches the guys on how to look and act like stars, and leads them through the craze that follows. 

Zahn has the best lines in this film.  They're hilarious and sarcastic, and he delivers them perfectly. 

Forrest Gump

I know I was a Hanks fan early on, because for my 10th birthday instead of asking my mom for makeup or other 10-year-old fare, I asked for Forrest Gump.  On VHS.  I remember it exactly:  I was having my first ever boy-girl party, and I opened those presents eagerly, saving Mom's for last.  When I got to it, it was a medium-sized box, obviously too large to be a movie.  I unwrapped it dejectedly, opened the box and was shocked to see Forrest Gump nestled inside.  She bought it!  I made everyone stop what they were doing, and essentially put the party on hold, until we had all sat down and watched it.

If you've never seen this film, you either hate Tom Hanks or have been living under a rock.  Forrest (Hanks), from a very young age, was different from everyone else.  He walked funny, so he had to wear braces on his legs.  "Them was my magic shoes. Momma said they'd take me anywhere."  Only one person was his true friend, and that was pretty little Jenny from down the road. 

I love how Forrest, as a grown man, sits on a bench at the bus stop, just telling his story to anyone who comes along.  His story is funny, compelling, sad, embarrassing and romantic, all at the same time.  The supporting cast is excellent as well, with Robin Wright as Jenny,  Sally Fields as Momma (Mrs. Gump), Gary Sinise as Lt. Dan and Mykelti Williamson as Bubba.  It's a fairly long film, but you're captivated for the entirety of it, so you don't really care.  Hanks definitely deserved the Oscar he won for this role.

Hon. Mentions: You've Got Mail, The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story and Sleepless in Seattle

 Did I miss any of your favorite Hanks films?


  1. That Thing You Do is one of my all time favorite movies, ever. So, so good.

  2. I have seen all of these except The Money Pit. LOVE Big. I have watched that movie soooo many times.

  3. Philadelphia! It's SO SAD! But he's amazing in it!

    And the Money Pit is gold. Every time I hear the name Brad I have to go "Brad Brad bo Brad..."


  4. Way to go Jess...pick all the girlie movies!!! Saving Private Ryan is my manly pick :-) The one with the soccer ball was just wierd! JM and I did the piano thing at F.A.O. Schwarz in NYC!

  5. There was this one time, when we stayed up way past midnight...

    I love Steve Zahn, and That Thing You Do is a big part of my undying love.

  6. *yay* I love Tom Hanks. Forrest Gump is my favorite of his. Joe vs the Volcano is one of those fun and quirky films he did too.

  7. Happy New Years to you too Jess! :)


  8. Castaway and Philadelphia. I am a blubbering idiot by then end of Philadelphia. And how a person can act that well while not talking for 90 percent of a movie is amazing.

    What is so funny about this post [just found your blog] is when I came downstairs today my hubs was watching "A League of their Own" and the first thing I said was "There is no crying in baseball." We both cracked up. Great line. Glad I am not the only one that loves that line.