Movie Reviews: A Hologram for the King


A Hologram for the King directed by Tom Tykwer

What do you get with Tom Hanks wants to go back to the well and recapture lost cinematic glory?

He finds a “fish out of water script” and uses his magic to get it greenlit.

Think about it.

Splash was literally a fish out of water story.

Joe vs the Volcano had him facing … a volcano.

He played a kid who grew overnight in Big and headed for NYC.

In Castaway, he talked to a volleyball on a deserted island.

In Larry Crowne, he was an downsized worker going back to college.

In The Terminal, he was a foreigner stuck in an airport for the entire damn movie.

You see, Tom Hanks believes in this trope. His career is built upon it. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to see him in the trailer for this film. An American businessman in Saudi Arabia? An eccentric taxi driver? Unknown foreign customs?

I wasn’t exactly there in the theater with a bucket full of popcorn, but I did catch this last weekend at the ol’ Redbox at the grocery store. For $1.50 I was able to see Tom Hanks in his full fish-out-of-water glory and he performed it exactly how I imagined it.

It was unremarkably boring.

If you don’t understand what that means, watch The Terminal, except on mute, and you’ll fully realize this terminology. The movie had a couple entertaining moments, but the message of business guilt and forbidden romance seemed a bit mixed to me.

Overall Rating: 4/10 underwater encounters




Movie Reviews: The Martian


The Martian directed by Ridley Scott

I had a little deja vu when I watched this. I swear I saw Tom Hanks Matt Damon who worked for FedEx NASA get stranded on an island Mars and have to figure out how to get off, not before losing a ton of weight and growing a beard.

Yes, I know, I jest a little, but the movie was totally like that. On one hand we have Matt Damon talking into a video cam so the viewer can know this thoughts. On the other, we have Tom Hanks talking to Wilson the volleyball.

I preferred the volleyball.

The producers had already made the conscience choice to deviate from the novel and focus half the story with people on earth to give it an Apollo 13 vibe. I don’t know why we had to suffer through a ton of dash cam footage of Matt Damon as he attempted to grow potatoes. They could have treated the audience as adults and not made the feel like they were in 9th grade chemistry. People didn’t give a shit about the sciences that goes into potato making before and won’t give a shit after. Just show a montage of what he was doing and fast forward.

And for this, I’ll have to say we have a decent film, but caked in a red planet for boredom. Riddle me this; why did Matt Damon want to get off of Mars? Because it was boring as hell.

The movie could have done more. Maybe they should have totally copied Apollo 13 and showed Matt Damon on Earth beforehand and the relationships he had built before the mission, and then the reaction of when everyone thought he was lost. Then we could have pulled for those people the entire film. Can you imagine the emotional reaction of his loved ones knowing he was alive instead of random scientists? I don’t know about you, but most films don’t typically rely on scientists, in this case actual rocket scientists, to be the emotional counterweight.

It’s tricky adapting books into film. Sometimes the film is better, like in The Bourne Identity, The Hunt for Red October, The Shining, 2001 Space Odyssey, Jurassic Park, and Get Shorty. Sometimes it is reverse, like in Timeline, Sphere, The Hobbit, Enders Game, and Atlas Shrugged. I don’t really know how this movie compares with the book since I’ve only read the first 30 pages or so, but based on how boring it was to watch, I am unlikely to ever finish reading the novel.

Leave a comment and let me know which category the film fits in.

Movie Rating: 7/10 Potatoes