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Tag: Tom Hanks

A Man Called Otto–A Warm Kiss for the Soul

In this Netflix movie we see a retelling of the bestselling Frederick Backman novel, A Man Called Ove,  set in Pittsburgh instead of Sweden and with cultural shifts in narrative. Themes of aging,  loneliness and depression from  the loss of one’s soulmate,  isolation and feelings of irrelevance from forced retirement all play front and center […]

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Elvis–Rocket Man of the 60’s?

In Baz Luhrmann’s Academy-award nominated 2022 biopic of Elvis Presley (an extraordinary performance by newcomer Austin Butler), we see the journey back in time to the  1940’s through 70’s with historically accurate fashions, scenes, and most of all, politics through the civil rights movement.  Elvis’s life is told from the perspective of his manager Colonel Tom Parker (played solidly by Tom Hanks). Portraying the King is not an easy road to travel.  The memories and hagiography of perhaps the first white rock star before the advent of the Beatles who stole much of Elvis’s...

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“News of the World”–A Gift for the Heart

News of the World is based on the Paulette Jiles’s bestseller by the same name. The story follows a sixty-something curmudgeonly widower,   Captain  Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks), a traveling newspaper reader. Captain Kidd  entertains and informs townspeople–some of whom are illiterate– in small communities all over  Texas:  for the price of a silver dime. The year is 1870, five years after Reconstruction, and Texans still are disgruntled by their defeat after the end of the Civil War. In the opening scene a Black man has been lynched and a ten-year-old...

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood  is a dramatization of the real-life friendship between the beloved Fred Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003) and the investigative reporter,  Lloyd Vogel (a pseudonym for Tom Junod.). Vogel (played by Emmy winner Matthew Rhys of “The Americans”), is a journalist known for being cynical and abrasive. He is given the assignment to profile the beloved PBS television host of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood: Fred Rogers (the incomparable Tom Hanks), But he is determined to reveal that no one can have such a good and warm-hearted...

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“The Post”–High Stakes

  Perhaps no other film this year captures two important political moments of our time: the issue of fake news and “me too”, the invisibility of women’s voices, until they were not. The Post is high-stakes filmmaking. Released this month, The Post is already receiving wide-ranging, intensely opposing reviews. The Post opens with a scene of an American military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg shocked by the depths of continued deceit in hiding the loss of American lives in the Vietnam War, under four successive presidents (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson). Ellsberg photocopies...

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The Circle– A Cautionary Tale

  [David Spiselman is guest blogger for this review and author of CypherGhost, Book 7 of the Spies Lie series, an  Amazon bestseller, under his pen name D.S. Kane]. The Circle, based upon the 2013 bestselling novel by Dave Eggers, is a flawed movie but an important one. The Circle is the first movie to explore the balance between openness and privacy of technology in a way that delivers an indecisive conclusion for its viewers. It’s a polemic against technology and the Silicon Valley lifestyle, startup companies and how easy it is to assume easy answers to difficult questions. You can draw...

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