Tag Archives: Tom Hanks

Castaway is easily the worst movie of all time

Remember the part in that movie Castaway where it takes Tom Hanks something like five days to get that fire going? Talk about baloney. You give me two sticks and twenty minutes and I’ll give you a roaring fire in just five minutes. And then I’ll use those other fifteen minutes to really start enjoying myself. So by the time you come up to me when those twenty minutes are over, you’ll see the fire, you’ll see me fully relaxed, and you’ll be like, “Rob, how long did it take you to get this fire going? Because it looks like you’ve been relaxing for at least fifteen minutes.”


Or that part where he catches the crab and kills it, and then he just cracks it open, uncooked, and lets all of that raw crab stuff ooze all out of the shell? I’m calling hogwash on that also. First of all, everybody knows that you have to cook crab. And didn’t he already have the fire going at this point? How hard would it have been to at least heat it up a little? Secondly, it took that guy way too long to catch one crab. And what does he do as soon as he catches it? He destroys it. Me, I would have captured it, made a little crab house, lured in another crab of the opposite sex, and I would’ve started a little crab farm. It’s something about giving a man a crab for a day or teaching him how to eat crabs for a lifetime. Jesus used to say stuff like that all the time.

You know what else bugged me about Castaway? His beard should have been much longer. If you told me not to shave for four years, I’d be more facial hair than man after just two. But Tom Hanks’s mustache wasn’t even really in the way of his upper lip. Not much. One time I tried to grow a beard and that’s exactly the type of unexpected growth I wasn’t prepared for, the upper lip. It was getting in the way of my eating, always picking up a little mayonnaise from every bite of sandwich, stuff like that.

And the volleyball, come on. I would have been playing with that volleyball, not turning it into an imaginary best friend. Think of how boring every day must have been. I would have found some wall and tried to see how many times I could bounce it off the wall without it hitting the ground. But Hanks didn’t do anything. Oh yeah, I guess he learned how to paint, like he cave painted that painting of Helen Hunt on the wall of his bedroom. Or bedcave. Caveroom, whatever. But again, that’s probably a little unrealistic also. Where were all of his practice paintings? There’s no way you go from being an illustration novice to all of the sudden busting out photorealistic Helen Hunts. It’s just not plausible. Maybe they could have added some obvious flaws, just for narrative’s sake.

Four years sounds like a long time, but Helen Hunt seemed to have moved on pretty quickly. I get it, you’re lonely, you don’t want to wallow in your own misery for forever, but let’s just assume four months maybe hoping they’d find something. Another two months coming to terms with the likelihood that he died, people saying, “Helen, you have to move on. You’ve got to meet someone else.” Best case scenario, you go on a few blind dates, set some stuff up on an Internet site, you meet someone, there’s an awkward adult going-out phase, dating, moving in together. And then an engagement, a marriage. What I’m getting at here is, by the time Tom Hanks comes back, Helen Hunt already has a new husband and like two kids. It just seems very rushed, like she would had to have hit the ground running maybe two weeks after the plane went down.

Finally, I’m calling bullshit on Tom Hanks not opening up that final package. The man figured out how to make a boat out of a port-a-potty door. You’re telling me he never figured out how to open and then reseal a stupid box? This man worked for FedEx. He could have probably set those boxes up in his sleep. Look, I understand, something to live for, that one delivery. But I would have been thinking, antibiotics? Maybe something potentially lifesaving? Maybe a zippo lighter? Of course he opened that box up. It probably turned out to be nothing, like a decorative scarf, something useless. And then he’s dropping it off at the end, like, here you go miss. Again, bullshit.

In conclusion, I hate to say that Castaway just isn’t very realistic. And I haven’t even gotten into how unlikely it would have been for him to survive that plane crash in the first place. I’m totally not buying it.

A bunch of movie reviews

I really don’t like Forrest Gump. I think it’s such a cheap trick, making basically this giant nostalgia video montage of pop culture and Americana. Look everybody, it’s the sixties! And now over here, it’s the seventies! And the eighties! Remember that? Remember the Beatles? Yeah? Remember Vietnam?

I didn’t lake Saving Private Ryan either. Come on. And then what, he’s an old man at the end? Like the whole thing was a dream? Please. How do I know that it ever really happened? Old people have notoriously bad memories. You don’t think that he didn’t spice it up over the years for dramatic effect? I do stuff like that all the time. I think about something that happened to me two years ago, and then I’ll think of it again, and I’ll be bored. It’s like watching the same episode of TV over and over again. So I add new stuff. That’s what’s going on in Saving Private Ryan. Or he could have been crazy.

I hated Toy Story. What kind of a parent gets their kid some lame-o cowboy action figure? When I was a little kid, it was WWF action figures, or Ghostbusters action figures, or superheroes. Not just some generic cowboy. And then you pull that rope and he’s like “Yee-haw!” right? What kind of a name is Woody? At least Buzz Lightyear had some sort of a back story, a cool marketing trick that made me believe kids would actually want to own one. But a cowboy? I already said it. Lame.

You know which other three hours of my life I’ll never get back? That time I went to see Castaway. Honestly, I thought the volleyball was the best part of that whole movie. It was definitely the best actor. You could actually see the pain on its face as it was forced to endure all of those mind numbingly boring years stranded on the island. It got to the point where the ball finally killed itself, drifted off to the sea, just to get away from that wacko. I actually would have much preferred a movie with just the volleyball, sitting there, no other actors, no dialogue, nothing. That would have been better than Castaway.

Hold on. I just started thinking about Apollo 13 and I had to suppress the vomit sensation growing in the back of my mouth. It’s just lazy, you’re going to make a movie about space, about space travel, about the moon, and you pick the one mission where they screw it up so badly they don’t even get to land. What’s next, a movie about the Challenger explosion? Way to applaud failure. It’s like that whole film should have been condensed to a blooper reel that played at the end of a real movie about a space flight that actually succeeded. And why go historical? What’s wrong with sci-fi? I probably would’ve much rather just seen another Star Trek movie. Is it too late to call up the movie theater and demand a refund?

You ever see that movie Big? Do me a favor. Do yourself a favor. If you haven’t seen it, don’t. It’s two hours of a grown man acting like he’s a little kid. Talk about boring. It’s just encouraging everyone to act like an idiot. They should make movies about little kids that act like adults. That way there’s no screaming or crying or throwing temper tantrums or being spoiled little babies. And we should force our children to watch this movie, so they learn how to behave.

The other day I was channel surfing, and this one channel was playing Splash. Mermaid movies? Give me a break. So I flipped the channel. The Money Pit. Fantastic. Let’s watch some stupid married couple bicker over home-improvement projects gone bad. Flipped the channel again. I didn’t even wait for the image to pop up. The cable box told me it was some movie called Joe vs. the Volcano. Nice try cable TV. Trying to get me to watch the unwatchable.

I thought, forget it, I’ll just watch a sitcom, something classic, a sure thing. I turned on one of those repeat channels and Taxi was on. Perfect. The episode had some larger story, but this one scene revolved around Jim, the coked out bum that … well, did that guy drive taxis? That seems a little dangerous. Anyway, they did a flashback to his college days, how he was really smart, a genius, but then some idiot roommate made him eat a pot brownie and he instantly turned into a junkie. It was the worst. Not the story, but the actor, the nobody that they got to play the roommate. What a terrible casting decision. I know it was only a one minute role, if that, but come on, have some respect for the show. That no talent hack ruined an otherwise great episode.

Al Trautwig: You’re my hero

My brother was telling me this story about how a while back, he and a group of his friends found themselves sitting next to a local television sports broadcaster at a bar. It was the guy who covers everything for New York’s MSG channel, providing commentary for the Knicks and the Rangers. I don’t even know who he is. I guess I could look it up. Hold on a second.

OK, that was a lot more complicated than I thought it would be, and I’m usually so good at the Internet. I typed in “MSG talent” into Google and was redirected to MSG’s Wikipedia page. I realized that, out of the twenty or so people on the list, I had no idea how I was going to figure out which one could be the guy my brother was talking about. So I just wound up texting my brother. OK, the guy’s name is Al Trautwig. I don’t know, I guess I’ve never heard of him either.

But that’s exactly the point of what I’m trying to write about here. This guy, Al Trautwig, probably has the best job on planet earth. He’s everything that I want to be in life. Not a sportscaster, no. I don’t know anything about sports. I’m just talking about job and status. He’s reached the perfect level of celebrity that a human being can ever hope to achieve. His ratio of celebrity to regular guy is so perfectly balanced that he is able to fully enjoy the very best that both worlds have to offer.

Let’s examine my brother’s run in. He and a group of friends were at a bar and they notice that they’re sitting close to Al Trautwig. Yes, the Al Trautwig. (Every time I type this guy’s name, I find myself switching back to my Web browser, just to make sure I’m getting the spelling right.) Somebody strikes up a conversation, “hey aren’t you Al Trautwig?” and Trautwig gladly takes the bait. The next thing they all know, Trautwig is holding court, fielding questions, providing off-the-record analysis. At the time, LeBron James was getting ready to leave Cleveland, and there were rumors mounting that he might come to New York. Trauwig’s alleged response, “I’m not going to start masturbating about it until I have some definitive evidence,” is probably one of the funniest answers to a question I’ve ever heard in my life. I hope it was off the cuff, but it was too spot-on. He probably had already used it like five times.

I want to be Al Trautwig. He’s got it absolutely made. He can live his life like a regular guy, but he’s also on local TV, and every now and then somebody’s going to recognize him and he’s instantly going to be elevated to the level of (minor) celebrity. He’s just famous enough that he’ll get attention to the point where it’s still flattering, and not a life-altering nuisance. Can you imagine if you wound up sitting at a bar next to Tom Hanks? It would never happen, because Hanks isn’t a regular person. If he tried to go to a bar, he’d be bombarded by hundreds of star-struck fans coming up to him and saying inane stuff like, “Wow. You’re so famous. I love your work.” And Hanks would have to politely respond, “Gee, thanks a lot. I’m glad you’re enjoying it. OK. Bye.” And, thanks to all of the commotion, there would probably be a huge line out the door, making it really inconvenient for anybody to even so much as get a drink or just enjoy the night. People would start to resent Tom Hanks, growing more and more jealous of the crowd of people clamoring to hopefully, to maybe have just one moment with him. Eventually Hanks would give up on his night out, glancing towards his cranberry and vodka, realizing that he’s already spent so much time greeting the public that he didn’t get to even take a sip of his drink, and now the ice has all melted anyway. He’d settle up his tab and have his personal assistant call his chauffer and on the way back to his mansion he’d sit in the back of the car, looking out the window at all the regular people living their lives, interacting amongst each other, and he’d think to himself, “Where did it all go so wrong?”

Trautwig, on the other hand, can go to a bar, entertain a group of people for ten minutes or so, go back to his own business, knock back a couple of drinks, and then take the subway back home. I can’t think of anything better. He gets to go out, and everything is just a little bit cooler, but not so cool where it gets distorted to the point where it isn’t cool anymore. He’s the apex of cool.

I’m reading back on what I’ve written so far, and it sure sounds as if I have this guy all figured out. But now I’m imagining Trautwig stumbling across this post one night as he stays up way too late Googling himself, a habit that started off innocently enough but has now warped into this twisted nightly compulsion. He’s reading this to himself and growing more and more enraged by each sentence. He might be thinking to himself, “Who the hell does this guy think he is? I’m just as famous as Tom Hanks! I’m not regular! I’m Al fucking Trautwig! Trautwig!” he screams as he raises his fists in the air. But I really hope that’s not the case, because I definitely prefer the first imaginary Al Trautwig that I’ve created to the second, deluded, grandiose egomaniac Al Trautwig that has crept into my imagination right now, just at the end of this post. Al, give me a call. Let’s sit down and work this all out.

Holy shit, my phone is ringing. Oh, but … never mind, it’s not Trautwig, it’s just my mom.