Sheepishly, Tom Hanks

Quick reminder that we have a new feature at the top left of the home page: Movie Matters. Next Thursday we will run the first column answering questions about things that happen in movies, things that you don't understanad, things that drive you nuts.

Now, let me tell you what I'm NOT talking about. I got an email yesterday that reads,

Compare and contrast Raiders of the lost ark and Vertigo

This looks speciously like "someone" wants me to wite a term paper for them. People, while I love deconstruction, this format is not about that. Sometimes my movie reviews touch on deeper themes, and if there is ever a movie that warrants deconstruction write and tell me about it and odds are I'll be so excited that someone cares that I'll sit right down and do it.

But MOVIE MATTERS is all about pretending the events in movies are real, and trying to figure things out therein. For example, you might write to ask me to explain the timeline in PULP FICTION (why does Travolta just show back up?), or to ask if Bruce Willis could really talk "live" to his daugther Liv Tyler in ARMAGEDDON. (Hint: It involves cool math!) Anything like that.

Also, while I'm asking you to write, the Hyperion Institute will publish a long overdue FAQ about itself. If you are somewhat new to us and find youself out of the loop on things I mention, click on the other picture on the left (the one that reads "Dear Hyperion") and tell me, and I'll try to include it.


I did have a column planned on the Imus/Rutgers controversy, but there is a possibility it will now be a joint effort, so we'll hold off for now. Instead....

Two days ago I wrote a great Top Ten List for Tom Hanks's peformances. Half way done I started to get this feeling that maybe I'd done it before, so I asked Kaida, who assured me I had not. Thus, I finished my list.

I go to post on Wednesday only to discover that I did indeed do a Tom Hanks list, ONE YEAR TO THE DAY BEFORE I DID THE NEW ONE. Weird, huh?

Anyway, while my list this time was slightly different, I bow to 2006 Hyperion, who clearly had his game on, and I'm proud to re-run it:


#10 (tie) Sleepless in Seattle & You've Got Mail – They’re basically the same performance, although both great. This picture (The Dirty Dozen conversation) is the best scene of either movie.

#9 Catch Me If You Can – Say what you will, that accent never sounded fake. He never broke character even for a second, and if we didn’t know it was Tom Hanks we would have sworn they found that guy in the ‘60s.

#8 Apollo 13 – Not my favorite movie, but Hanks is reliably good, as always.

#7 A League of Their Own – Tom Hanks makes this movie. If you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor.

#6 Forrest Gump – I’ve always wondered whether he carried the movie or the movie carried him. I like Gump, but it is overrated. Still, Hanks does a great job.

#5 Big – The first time we began to discover this dude might be able to act.

#4 Philadelphia – Most people would probably have this #1. I agree it’s a fantastic peformance. That he has three better shows how good he really is.

#3 Road To Perdition – One of the most underrated movies of the decade, Hanks plays his hit man so purely, without flash or bravado. Just awesome.

#2 Saving Private Ryan – If not for the two previous wins, there’s not a chance Hanks doesn’t win this year. His performance was crushingly nuanced. He has now moved into rarified air. Many actors can play emotional roles, but it takes special genius to play subtle.

And the number one Tom Hanks performance of all time….

#1 Cast Away – Almost single-handedly got a volleyball nominated. Once again Hanks would have won in a walk if not for the previous two wins. Carried a movie with script problems and made it one of the most compelling of the year.

[You can find many more lists (and some naked Care Bears) by going to Rank Everything]

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