Posts Tagged ‘Tom Hanks’

Movie Review – Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Back in 1964, the musical fantasy Mary Poppins told the story of an English nanny and her unique style of organizing the home and bringing together a family.

The movie became one of Walt Disney’s biggest and most beloved films of all time.  From the fantastic characters to the unforgettable music, Mary Poppins continues to charm old audiences and earn new ones.

What most people don’t know is that bringing Mary Poppins to the big screen was a bit of an adventure itself.

Saving Mr. Banks (2013) - movie poster

2013’s Saving Mr. Banks tells part of the story about how Walt Disney and his movie producers worked with P. L. Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins book series, and finally managed to have her sign over the rights to make the film that we know today.  The film takes place in 1961 as well as 1907, and we learn that there’s much more to the story of Mary Poppins than we ever knew.

Directed by John Lee Hancock, Saving Mr. Banks stars Emma Thompson as Pamela “P. L.” Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.  Supporting them are Colin Farrell as Travers Robert Goff, Pamela’s father; Paul Giamatti as Ralph, Pamela’s chauffeur; Bradley Whitford as Don DaGradi, co-writer of the film; Jason Schwartzman as Richard M. Sherman, composer/lyricist of the film and brother to Robert; and B. J. Novak as Robert B. Sherman, composer/lyricist of the film and brother to Richard.

Saving Mr. Banks beings in London, England in 1961.

Saving Mr. Banks (2013) - Pamela Travers is convinced to finally sell her 'Mary Poppins' story to Walt Disney.

Saving Mr. Banks (2013) – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Pamela “P. L.” Travers (Emma Thompson) is at her home when her agent, Diarmuid Russell (Ronan Vibert), strongly encourages her to sell the rights to her Mary Poppins books to Walt Disney.  While Pamela’s funds are running low and the income from her Mary Poppins books has severely dwindled, she’s still hesitant on selling her prized books to Disney.  Especially if he intends on making it an animated film, something she severely despises.

Walt Disney has been trying to get Pamela to sign over the rights for the past twenty years.  She finally agrees to fly to Los Angeles, California and meet with Disney in person.

While Pamela is on the eleven-hour flight to Los Angeles, she has a flashback to her childhood days back in Australia. Read more…

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - December 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Categories: movie reviews   Tags: , ,

Movie Review – Captain Phillips (2013)

In April of 2009, the MV Maersk Alabama container ship was sailing off the coast of Somalia when a small crew of Somali pirates hijacked the ship.

It was an international story as Captain Richard Phillips was taken hostage by the Somali pirates.  The four pirates took Captain Phillips off the Maersk Alabama on the ship’s lifeboat.  What followed next was a rescue operation by the U.S. Navy, and then some extreme marksmanship by a team of Navy SEALs.  Three of the pirates were killed, one was taken prisoner, and Captain Phillips was successfully rescued.

The 2013 film Captain Phillips tells this story on the big screen.

Captain Phillips (2013) - movie poster

Directed by Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips stars Tom Hanks in the title role of Captain Richard Phillips.  Starring opposite him is Barkhad Abdi as Somali pirate leader Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse.

Supporting them are Catherine Keener as Andrea Phillips, Barkhad Abdirahman as Somali pirate Bilal, Faysal Ahmed as Somali pirate Najee, Mahat M. Ali as Somali pirate Elmi, Michael Chernus as Shane Murphy, First Officer of the SS Maersk Alabama, Yul Vazquez as Commander Frank Castellano, commanding officer of the USS Bainbridge, and Max Martini as the commander of the SEAL team.

Captain Phillips begins with Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), captain of the MV Maersk Alabama, driving through Vermont with his wife, Andrea (Catherine Keener), and heading to the airport.  All that really happens here is Richard talking to his wife about their family and how he needs to spend more time with their children.  That’s rather difficult though being the captain of a container ship that sails to different ports around the world.

Captain Phillips (2013) - With the crew selected, the Somalian pirates head out to sea.

Captain Phillips (2013) – (c) Columbia Pictures

Meanwhile, in the eastern African country of Somalia, we see Abduwali Abdukadir Muse (Barkhad Abdi), a person who has experience hijacking ships off the coast of Somalia, pick his next crew of hijackers.  A large crowd of men volunteer, but he only picks those who have done favors for him.  He chooses Bilal (Barkhad Abdirahman), Najee (Faysal Ahmed), and Elmi (Mahat M. Ali).  None of them are older than nineteen years old.

When then see Captain Phillips as he arrives at the MV Maersk Alabama while it’s in port in the Middle East.  The container ship is bound for the U.S. but its path involves sailing past the horn of Africa, through an area of water known for pirate attacks.  Captain Phillips seems concerned that the ship’s crew has little regard for pirate countermeasures as numerous doors and passages are unlocked.  He brings up this concern when he later meets with the crew. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - November 22, 2013 at 10:54 am

Categories: movie reviews   Tags: ,