Apollo 13 (1995)

apolo-13Director: Ron Howard

Writer: William Broyles Jr, Al Reinert (Screenplay) Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Kluger (Book)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan

 

Plot: NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intensely Brilliant Drama

 

Story: Apollo 13 starts on 20th July 1969, the date Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, Jim Lovell (Hanks) a fellow astronaut who missed out on the moon landing on Apollo 8 is hosting a landing party with fellow astronauts Fred Haise (Paxton), Jack Swigert (Bacon), Ken Mattingly (Sinise) who are scheduled to work together on the Apollo 14 mission.

When the team who are planned for Apollo 13 lose their place Jim, Fred and Ken are placed in for Apollo 13 with Jack part of the backup team. This does mean moving the preparation forward 6 months but an astronaut with Jim’s experience is trust to lead this mission.

With the world seeing this mission as curse because of the number 13 the team does have to make a last-minute crew change with Jack replacing Ken who is according to medical records going to become sick on the mission, with two days to prepare with Jack the mission is a go with mission commander Gene Kranz (Harris) controlling the mission back at NASA.

With the mission going well, it turns out the television networks just don’t want to show the mission because they see no excitement from just going to the moon once again, but the astronauts don’t know this.

When disaster strikes, the astronauts must use their skills to survive while the NASA puts together a rescue solutions for the men who could be lost in space forever. With the disaster potentially happen the television networks pick up the story with the nation watching on to see if the crew of Apollo 13 will make it home.

 

Thoughts on Apollo 13

 

Characters/PerformanceAll the characters are based on the real people, with Jim Lovell being the experienced astronaut leading the team of first timers in space. The characters are all real and made to all be heroes through this story, unlike most films of similar nature we don’t have anyone remotely like a villain in this film.

Performance wise Tom Hanks shines in the decade where he just didn’t seem to put a foot wrong. We also get brilliant performance from the whole cast playing the characters perfectly throughout the film.stars

StoryThe story is one that even Hollywood couldn’t write, this is one if not the most famous story in space history that could rival the actual Moon landing. It shows how NASA could work in limited time to prevent disaster. You are drawn into this story for the whole film which is part history lesson and part edge of your seat thriller.

Adventure/HistorySpace travel became one of the most interesting parts of history in the late 60’s with the moon landing stealing the headlines, this story captures the idea to become one of the most important moments in history for NASA.

SettingsOutside the space shuttle all the settings including mission command all fit the time perfectly with the space shuttle being the highlight of the film because it shows how the men had nowhere to go to survive.

Special EffectsThe special effects for this film are brilliant as the film doesn’t turn to them too often but when it is needed we are left believing everything that is happening.genre

Final ThoughtsIf you want to learn about one of the most amazing stories of survival in human history this is the one for you to see.

 

Overall: Breath-takingly brilliant movie about one moment in human history.

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You’ve Got Mail (1998)

youveDirector: Nora Ephron

Writer: Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron (Screenplay) Miklos Laszlo (Play)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey, Jean Stapleton, Steve Zahn, Heather Burns

 

Plot: Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love over the Internet.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Romantic Comedy

 

Story: You’ve Got Mail starts as we see two complete strangers Joe Fox (Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly (Ryan) who chat online every night even though they are both involved in relationships with Patricia (Posey) and Frank (Kinnear). The two set up the rule of not knowing anything about the personal lives of each other and remain friends in New York City.

Kathleen owns a small book shop that is going to have a giant book shop open around the corner from it, Fox Books which just so happens to be run by Joe. When the two business rivals meet the tension between begins but when the two mail each other they still think they are talking to just any stranger.

When the truth comes out the love they feel towards each other online must go against the hatred they have for each other in real life.

 

Thoughts on You’ve Got Mail

 

StoryThe old story of falling in love with someone you have never met through conversation. The idea of not knowing who you are chatting to makes this story have this extra spark. We do get a smaller story about business how small family businesses can be closed by dominating force. I will say this story has now become outdated because of the next level of technology but the fantasy idea still works wonders for this film.

Comedy/RomanceThe romantic side of this story is all good showing how you could fall in love with someone you least expect. We do get small laughs throughout the film without them overshadowing the romantic story.

Characters/PerformanceJoe was the new age business man, he does care about people outside of work but is happy to squash them when it comes to business. Kathleen was one of the dying breed of shopkeepers who cares about their customers offering them the best service in New York. We do have supporting characters who are mostly all involved to advise our Joe and Kathleen.

This film has two brilliant performance from Hanks and Ryan who showed they have excellent chemistry together and you can see that in the romantic or the arguing scenes. I do think everyone else does everything they need to do working with the leads.actors

SettingsLooking in the settings we are have New York which is perfect choice because we get to see how small business would suffer next to the big store, it also plays into the effects of meeting someone even in the busy streets.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most enjoyable romantic comedies you will have seen, it is accessible for all and will bring a smile to your face.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy this sweet charming love story.

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Inferno (2016)

infernoDirector: Ron Howard

Writer: David Koepp (Screenplay) Dan Brown (Novel)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster, Ana Ularu, Ida Darvish

 

Plot: When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Addition to the Franchise

 

Story: Inferno starts as we follow the charismatic preacher Bertrand Zobrist (Foster) who has been preaching about how the human race has been over populating the world and that ‘Inferno’ is the cure but his beliefs have got him in trouble leading him to have only one way out suicide.

We move to meet Robert Langdon (Hanks) who has been through a traumatic experience which has left him with amnesia waking up in hospital. Suffering nightmare visions Robert discovers he was being in hospital because of a gunshot and people are still trying to kill him, teaming up with his doctor Sienna Brooks (Jones) the two must unlock his mind.

On the run from the police, World Health Organisation and an organisation run by Harry Sims (Khan) with both Christoph Bouchard (Sy) and Vayentha (Uaru) both looking to cover up what looks like a potential viral outbreak. Can Langdon remember why he is in Florence before it is too late and save the world from the Inferno that could kill half the world’s population.

Inferno is the latest chapter of the Robert Langdon adventure in which he must use ancient clues to solve a mystery that could cull half the world’s population. This is a brilliant choice for a villain’s motivation because the world is suffering from an overpopulation problem and using this gives us the situation which would have people to support his motivation. The story keeps us guessing as to which side of the choice everyone who is hunting Langdon is on and this moves between characters a lot through the film.

Tom Hanks is as always is a good lead without truly excelling like other films this year as he is a good narrator style character which Langdon comes off as. Felicity Jones gets to have the trademark fun sidekick whose characters gets to live her dream of working with Langdon on a puzzle solving mission even with an extra dimension to her decisions. The rest of the characters hunting Langdon come off average with the film jumping between who is good or bad too often. Ben Foster is the shining light of this film even with most of his scenes being flashbacks or video recordings but his character is one of the most interesting villains in years.

This is the first of the instalment that I haven’t read first and while it does keep changing who we are meant look at as the good characters it is the step towards a much bigger threat which makes this film all the more interesting.

 

Overall: Twist filled addition to the complex historical charged mystery thriller

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Sully (2016)

sullyDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Todd Kmoarnicki (Screenplay) Chesley Sullenberger, Jeffrey Zaslow (Book)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Valerie Mahaffey, Delphi Harrington, Mike O’Malley, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Holt McCallany

 

Plot: The story of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight’s passengers and crew.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simply Brilliant

 

Story: Sully: Miracle on the Hudson starts as we see the dramatic flight through New York haunting the dreams of Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberg (Hanks) as he reflects on what could have been a true disaster. Sully and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Eckhart) must go through investigation process to decide whether landing in Sully terms crash in other people terms.

Dubbed a hero at first Sully gets question through the investigation as the investigation starts to look at how dangerous the manoeuvre was as they believe they could have made it back to the airport for a safer landing. As the investigation continues we get to see how Sully’s personal life is becoming difficult as his wife Lorraine (Linney) is struggling to make ends meet.

We get to follow how Sully is considered a hero by the people of America but must clear himself from becoming the villain in the eyes of the airline.

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson is one of the most incredible stories of recent memory, we get to see the hero Sully who saved all his passengers from what could have been certain death. What we follow is Sully’s side of the investigation and how he was dealing with each situation which is great to see but the film doesn’t give us a fair assessment of how everything would have been looked at by the airline side of the story. I do understand how this is meant to look from Sully’s point of view and how anyone who would have gone through this might have questioned each decision afterwards.

Tom Hanks gives one of his best performance of his career in this role and it is great to see him back at his very best. Aaron Eckhart continues to show why he is always a great supporting cast member. The rest of the cast come off like you would expect from any Eastwood movie where they all do great jobs without stealing any of the attention from leading star. This film will always be looked at as one of the most amazing stories of heroism from a pilot in modern history.

 

Overall: One of the most fascinating movies of the year, with a show of true heroism.

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Bridge of Spies (2015)

bridge of spiesDirector: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan, Austin Stowell, Billy Magnussen, Michael Gaston

 

Plot: During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Espionage Thriller

 

Story: Bridge of Spies starts by giving us the tension between US and Soviet States in 1957 over nuclear weapons and how both side deployed spies to investigate the other. We start by meeting Rudolf Abel (Rylance) living in Brooklyn an artist by nature before being arrested by the US government. James B Donovan (Hanks) is an insurance lawyer who gets requested to defend Abel to show America is willing to give anyone a fair trial.

America is running their own spy mission on the other side of the world with pilot Francis Gary Powers (Stowell) being the main pilot involved after a string of tests. When Donovan loses his case he takes a drastic idea to keep Abel alive in case they ever needed to trade if one of the American spies is captured which becomes the case when Francis Gary Powers ends captured by the Soviets. Donovan has to play the part of negotiator in the acceptance of the spy trade.

Bridge of Spies is a real life true story about one man trying to go against all the odds trying to get the spies back to the home sides. We get to see all the tension between the three side not wanting to work together as they look to find a way to make the trade happen. Yet again I found myself enjoying a film that I knew very little about the history behind it which doesn’t help and I found that this film could find people wondering more about why the tension is truly so high but is a brilliant watch.

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Hanks: James B Donovan is the insurance lawyer who ends up having to defend a potential spy against America only to find the nation turning on him as he tries to give this man an honest trial, once he loses the CIA continues to use Donovan on a mission to trade an American spy for Abel. Tom gives a brilliant performance in this role that he gives us his best without even trying.donovan

Mark Rylance: Rudolf Abel is the man living in America who is accused of being a Soviet spy, Donovan defends him against the American states. He remains calm throughout his trial and conviction. Mark gives us a stunning performance that really shows he will be a great star for future performances.

Alan Alda: Thomas Watters Jr is the boss of Donovan who puts him on the case before turning on him once he wants to defend Abel. Alan gives us a small supporting performance without really doing too much.

Austin Stowell: Francis Gary Powers is the American pilot who gets captured by the Soviet states, he is trained to be a spy but fails to destruct his plane, he becomes a pawn in the game between the two countries. Austin is good in the supporting role without getting too much screen time.

Support Cast: Bridge of Spies has a big and good supporting cast that all play their part in the story.

Director Review: Steven SpielbergSteven shows he still has the brilliant ability to show how to make the thriller that keeps you guessing from start to finish.

 

Biographical: Bridge of Spies gives us a magnificent look at the people involved and how much they had to risk to make a difference.

Thriller: Bridge of Spies keeps us on the edge of the seat from start to finish.

Settings: Bridge of Spies creates the realistic settings for the story to take part in.
Special Effects
: Bridge of Spies has good effects when needed mostly with the plane crash.

Suggestion: Bridge of Spies is one for all the film fans to watch mainly for part history lesson and part thriller. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Hanks performance.

Worst Part: If you don’t know the history it is just a thriller.

 

Believability: Based on the real events.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for one Golden Globe

Oscar Chances: Unlikely but outside shot.

Box Office: $70 Million

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

Tagline:  In a world on the brink the difference between war and peace was one honest man.

 

Overall: Thriller that has to be watched even if only for the history lesson.

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