Someone just sent me an article citing actor Shia LeBoeuf as "The next Tom Hanks".
As hard as it is to appreciate someone whose name is Luh Boof, let us give this prediction some consideration. After all, it was made by noneother than Stephen "Cinematic Oracle" Spielberg.
Shia's latest film is called Disturbia. I can’t think of how this title will make sense as a working word in the script. Maybe it's the town they live in (an uncreative play on Suburbia). Perhaps it's the killer’s vanity license plate...or a disease that I contract while watching the film.
Everyone's calling it a modern-day Rear Window, and I say that gives it way too much credit. At best, it is a modern-day scene from Home Alone. And the suspect in this year's movie doesn't even have a creepy beard.
Technically, the next Tom Hanks is Colin Hanks— his less charismatic son whose recognizable face passes for screen presence. They are nothing alike. The apple does not fall close to the tree here, but we won't admit it because of our willingness to keep the dream alive (the dream that almost died when Kate Hudson opted not to re-make Private Benjamin).
So if Shia is the next Tom Hanks, let's examine his predecessor's hold on us. We didn't know we needed Tom Hanks until the 1980s (Big), and then soon after we questioned our decision (Turner and Hooch), but we happily embraced him in the 1990s (Gump), and now we tolerate his fart jokes in the years after (DaVinci Code, Ladykillers, Airport Movie with inexplicable casting of Zeta Jones). He may do the backstroke in a vault filled with cash, but his only hope for another cinematic triumph is to play a SUPPORTING role as the sweet, befuddled grandpa to Shia LeBoeuf’s rugged albeit bookish janitor in a coming-of-age-meets-wrong-side-of-the-tracks love story (vehicle for Scarlett Johansson).
The Next Tom Hanks is the only thing that can save the Real Tom Hanks in a Back to the Future-esque predicament. Life imitates art.