Tag Archives: Tom Hanks

The Set of 400: #105 – My Favorite Ice Skate Dentristy

Today! Because I would rather take my chance out there on the ocean than to stay here and die on this shithole island, spending the rest of my life talking to a goddamn volleyball!

Cast Away (2000)

Directed by Robert Zemeckis (x3)

Starring Tom Hanks (x6), Helen Hunt, Nick Searcy, Chris Noth, Jenifer Lewis, Lari White

Tom Hanks’ shining hour, and to date his last Academy Award nomination (?!), Cast Away takes the most basic premise in the history of storytelling – stranded on a desert island – and makes it riveting, fascinating, tense business. Also, if you sit in the front few rows of the movie theater during it, the film is also terrifically nauseating. Pro tip! I wasn’t straight up vomiting (that’s only happened once from an in-theater movie, you guys), but I sure missed a bunch of the film on first viewing.

While the vomit honor belongs to this thing. Thanks a lot, Cameron!

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The Set of 400: #137 – My Favorite Crane Game

Today! Because I’m actually from a smaller company that was purchased by Mattel in a leveraged buyout –

Toy Story (1995)

Directed by John Lasseter (x2)

Starring Tom Hanks (x5), Tim Allen (x4), Don Rickles (x3), Wallace Shawn (x4), Jim Varney (x2), John Ratzenberger (x5), Laurie Metcalf (x4), R. Lee Ermey (x3), Annie Potts (x2), John Morris (x3), Erik von Detten, Penn Jillette (x2)

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I have a soft spot for the first films in movie series, even if the sequels are demonstrably better. This doesn’t extend to superhero movies for some reason, but in many other cases when people point to the superiority of a second or third film, I still feel beholden to the original as my favorite – you will see the bundle of examples of this in days to come.

I just think the degree of difficulty is so much higher when you have to tell an interesting, engaging story while also setting up your whole world and potential franchise. Sure, in many cases, the filmmakers weren’t operating under the idea that their movie needed to be the launching pad for a massive, multi-decade tale, which makes it all the more impressive when the original story can hold up and function as the solid backbone everything else stems from. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #152 – My Favorite Vending Machine Card Game

Today! Because if you want to get out of here, get rid of that monkey!

Toy Story 3 (2010)

Directed by Lee Unkrich (x2)

Starring Tom Hanks (x4), Tim Allen (x3), Joan Cusack (x3), John Ratzenberger (x4), Wallace Shawn (x3), Ned Beatty (x4), Michael Keaton (x6), Estelle Harris (x2), Don Rickles (x2), Laurie Metcalf (x3), John Morris (x2), Jodi Benson (x2), Blake Clark, Timothy Dalton, Kristen Schaal, Jeff Garlin, Bonnie Hunt, Whoopi Goldberg (x5), R. Lee Ermey (x2), Richard Kind (x3)

One of the most disconcertingly emotional movies ever made, Toy Story 3 manages to be alternatingly hilarious and heart-breaking, and forces you examine issues of loss and abandonment in ways that aren’t typical in mainstream entertainment. Hell, I would say it’s not something even esoteric filmmaking would attempt to inflict on an audience too often. If it weren’t for Buzz’s Spanish mode and hard-bitten, crime noir-ish gags from the telephone, I would say this might be the most insidiously horrifying children’s film ever created.

Oh Jesus Christ, that porch

Seriously, how do you navigate little ones through this movie? Is it possible to just separate the nightmare of Lotso’s life from all the Woody and Buzz adventures? I get that the ending is geared toward making adults cry – none of that can be anything kids will really understand – but what about the psychologically torturous aspects of this story? I would only imagine there are a million unanswerable questions raised through the middle section of this movie, straight through to Lotso’s end – which is no walk in the park either. And maybe that’s truly the genius of this film, and this whole series. We can examine the people and things we’ve lost – the parts of our lives that were left behind somewhere, by choice or just forgotten – without it killing us. Toy Story 3 sure as hell tries to rip you apart along the way, but in the end it’s okay. Like our heroes, we made it. Even if we narrowly escaped the landfill incinerator in the process.

Oh my God, that incinerator

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The Set of 400: #181 – My Favorite Barehanded Catch

Today! Because this is what it’s going to be like in the factories, too, I suppose, isn’t it? The men are back, Rosie, turn in your rivets –

A League of Their Own (1992)

Directed by Penny Marshall

Starring Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks (x3), Madonna (x3), Rosie O’Donnell, Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn (x2), Garry Marshall (x3), Megan Cavanagh (x2), Anne Ramsay, Ann Cusack (x2), Tracy Reiner, Bitty Schram, Freddie Simpson, Renee Coleman, Bill Pullman (x3), Don S. Davis, Harry Shearer (x2), Tea Leoni (x2), Joey Slotnick, Eddie Mekka, Mark Holton (x3), David L. Lander (x2)

The best baseball movie ever made (take that, The Natural!) and the funniest (suck it, Major League!), A League of Their Own gave us so much – it was a long overdue history lesson about the WWII-era women’s professional baseball organization, the AAGPBL (that is a mouthful of an acronym, too); it’s an insight into the world back home during the great war and the unbelievable pressure on the wives and girlfriends stateside; it’s a riveting sports movie with many of the typical beats but executed at a very high level; it manages to swing expertly from hilarious to heartbreaking without losing any strength or momentum. And it’s ridiculously the third Madonna movie on this list, which I’m as amazed by as you are.

Who’s That Girl did not make the list!

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The Set of 400: #234 – My Favorite Sandbox Escape

Today! Because this book doesn’t have any answers!

The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Directed by David Silverman

Starring Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright (x2), Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Yeardley Smith, Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille (x2), Albert Brooks (x3), Tom Hanks (x2), Joe Mantegna

The debt of honor we as a people owe to Tracey Ullman can never truly be assessed. Yes, without Matt Groening and James L. Brooks and Sam Simon we wouldn’t have the decades of merriment and hilarity The Simpsons has given us, but without Ullman’s terrific sketch comedy show on the relatively new FOX network in the late ’80s, they may have never gotten a foot in the door as everyone’s favorite yellow skinned family (and then by extension we never would’ve gotten Futurama, still my pick as one of the top three or four consistently funny sitcoms ever made – The Simpsons has obviously been diluted down by the many years since its heyday).

Congratulations, meat bags!

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The Set of 400: #240 – My Favorite Children’s Show Cliffhanger

Today! Because you never forget kids like Emily or Andy, but they forget you –

Toy Story 2 (1999)

Directed by John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, Lee Unkrich

Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack (x2), Kelsey Grammer, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger (x2), Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Annie Potts, Wayne Knight (x2), Laurie Metcalf (x2), Estelle Harris, John Morris, R. Lee Ermey, Andrew Stanton, Jodi Benson

The middle child of quite possibly the greatest film trilogy in history, and also the first movie I saw at the Cinemark in Moosic – a theater still open to this day (as of this writing, anyway), Toy Story 2 doesn’t have the benefit of introducing us to the toy world (even though it does add a bunch of great new characters), nor does it get to wrap things up to such devastating effect as the third film did, the first sequel is nonetheless a monumentally great film.

(Again, for your edification, as of this writing the fourth film has not been released. In fact, the first teaser trailer for that movie literally came out today – for you Set of 400 sleuths trying to determine when the hell I actually strung these drafts together.)

What the hell is the deal with this fork??

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