Tom Hanks Project – “Philadelphia” Review

17 Apr


Let me explain this to you like you’re a six year-old*. Philadelphia is a tough watch. You’re going to feel all the feels watching Tom slowly die from AIDS. You’re probably going to cry**. You’re probably going to shake your head at the homophobia. Especially coming from Denzel. You may get a bit of a happy ending, but not really. Emotional weight aside, this is a damn good movie and Tom rightfully earns his first Oscar for it. We’d been dreading this viewing for quite some time***, but a great sad movie doesn’t make me as sad as a terrible funny movie. I felt better after this than I did after “Volunteers.” 

*UNGH! Brilliant film reference opener. I just have to call this out because UNGH!!

**Check your pulse. Is it there? OK, you’re going to cry.

***Hence the late posting here. We couldn’t bring ourselves to watch this over the weekend. Continue reading

Dusting off our Win & Regine Costumes for Arcade Fire

14 Apr


A month after we dressed up as our favorite living rock couple for Halloween, we purchased pit tickets for their April show. We had five months to get hyped up about our 4th Arcade Fire show together*, with three hours of build-up to get our expectations sky-high. Maybe too high. Sure, my hair looked more like Macklemore than Win. And yes, songs that moved us to tears last time got us jumping**, but didn’t stir up that magic feeling inside us. But it was still a special night. We had extensive conversations about “Six Feet Under” with new friends we met before the show. We were two arms lengths away from Win again. We saw our favorite songs off our favorite non-Beyonce album of 2013 performed so brilliantly that we fell even deeper in love with them. We heard some deep cuts we never thought we’d hear live. It wasn’t the perfect show, but with a Funeral heavy set-list, two sweet covers and everything from Rick Perry TV heads to a Disco Ball man and getting to see Caitlin be Regine’s Reflektor shaking her ribbons, it was pretty darn close to perfect in my book.

*Individually, I’ve seen the band 7 times now, and Zack has seen them 5 times. We’re fans, to say the least.

**More like shuffling, really, given the amount of room we had to move. Continue reading

Tom Hanks Project – “Sleepless in Seattle” Review

8 Apr

sleepless_in_seattleYou know those movies that seem so classic, whose endings you can reference so easily, that you think you know front to back…and then you turn it on and realize you remember hardly any of it*? That was our experience with “Sleepless in Seattle.” Sort of like dusting off a fossil until the whole picture starts to really emerge for you, such was the experience of watching this sweet film. The best of Meg & Tom**? Not quite. The best movie featuring Meg & Tom***? Bingo. It was like magic.

*We literally only remembered the final scene on top of the Empire State Building and enjoyed the rest like it was our first time watching.

**Sam and Annie could be a better couple than Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly, but we don’t see them together until the very end, so hard to know.

***I guess we won’t know for sure until we rank both, but I found myself loving “Sleepless” more then Mail as we watched. Joe is a distant third.

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Tom Hanks Project – “A League of Their Own” Review

1 Apr

???????????????????????????????????????????????????This movie is a pure joy to watch. Expertly paced, funny and sweet with tons of great performances. Hanks is pitch perfect, but we get just as strong a performance from all everyone from Geena Davis to Madonna and especially Rosie O’Donnell, believe it or not. In the A&E Biography of Tom’s life, he says, “OK, I’m not gonna play pussies anymore” in regards to this role. Thankfully he has a great set of strong women to provide a foible to his Jimmy Dugan. 

Tom Hanks is absolutely brilliant in this film, and I think he breaks down his own acting barriers in many ways. This is the first movie where we experience his ability to fake pee, and the first movie where his characters dies in the end (from old age, but still. It feels unnatural.) This movie is a classic, so if you have somehow missed out on it, watch it IMMEDIATELY and then read on for our analysis. Continue reading

HIMYM Finale – The Playbook: How to Disappoint Your Fan Base in 5 Steps

1 Apr

how-i-met-your-mother-series-finale-one-last-surprise-04Robin, Marshall and Lily’s faces in this picture capture a few of the reactions Caitlin and I had as we watched the de … wait for it … pressingly awful HIMYM finale. We winced. We cringed. We half covered our faces with balled up fists of fury. Going in, we’d hoped the finale could pull off what “The Office” did in their brilliant finale and undo a couple of misguided, meandering seasons by letting us love our beloved characters one last time as they head off to satisfying conclusions. This episode failed on every level. It was a major disappointment (Major Disappointment). So, what went wrong? In the words of Judge Fudge, describing what went down in MacLaren’s, “All kinds of stuff.” They got the actual meeting of the mother scene right, but by that point we were so infuriated by the rest of the episode that we could barely appreciate it*. Here’s the 5 biggest ways the finale messed up.

*I want to point out that I don’t expect or even want a show’s creator to explicitly cater to the fans’ desires. I think writers and creators should have complete control over their characters and stories, because isn’t that the point? I feel the need to put this here because my brother, a brilliant writer and animator, pointed out that fans really shouldn’t be expecting that writers write FOR THEM, that they write with the fans’ desires in mind, and I 100% agree with this sentiment. I just felt that this was awful writing. Let’s talk about why.
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Tom Hanks Project – “A League of Their Own” Preview

30 Mar


We’ve now entered Tom Hanks’ absolute prime. 12 great films from 1992 to 2000 for which he earned five best actor Academy Award nominations and two wins. We want to give these greats as much coverage as possible, so we’re bringing back the Thursday preview* along with the Tuesday review for the next dozen films. “A League of Their Own” was the first Tom Hanks movie I ever saw. I vividly remember an extended family trip to the theater in 1992 and loving every minute of it. I don’t think I fully appreciated the genius of Hanks’ comedic performance, but I do remember thinking he was especially great at peeing. We’ll go through the special features on the Blu-Ray and get into our personal memories of this movie that used to play on cable three times a week in our adolescence** in this week’s preview of the instant classic.

*Sadly, my schedule delayed the posting of this preview — we’ll (read: I’ll) try to get timely with this.

**I don’t remember this happening for me, but I do remember our family sitting down together to watch this gem of a film on video (probably VHS).

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Tom Hanks Project – “Radio Flyer” Review

25 Mar


I was very excited to share this Tom Hanks film with Zack*Radio Flyer was a film I grew up with — I’d guess my mom screened this film with my brother and I four or five times. I hadn’t seen it since I was fairly young, but I remembered Elijah Wood played young Tom Hanks, a horrible song that haunts me to this day, and a little bit of magic in the retelling of a tragic tale.

*I had slightly higher hopes for this one than I did for “One Magic Christmas” and I ended up loving that, and even though this had lots of sappy potential, I was curious.

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