Tuesday, April 17, 2007


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.


Matt said...

LeBoeuf has always bothered me. Nick Cannon too. And Amanda Bines/Hilary Duff. As well as those Good Burger kids. Y'know what? I dislike that entire Disney-Nickelodeon stable. Especially that fat little girl that they used to dress like Bill Clinton.

Don't get me started on 'Bug Juice'.

Abbi said...

All of those kids have graduated to movie mediocrity. Dis/Nick robs them of their childhood, and provides record deals and photo shoots as hush money. What I resent is that we’ll still have to rub elbows at Cannes.

PS: I know one Good Burger who is now on SNL.

The Wifest said...

The tag line and two sentence plot summary of Disturbia remind me of another Tom Hanks gem from 1989 The Burbs. Tom Hanks and his neighbor try to prove that the Klopek's (another neighbor) where killing people and burying their bones in the basement. They use night vision binoculars in The Burbs with hilarious results. There seem to be some binoculars in Disturbia too. The parallels just keep on coming.

Abbi said...

DisBURBSia! Thank you for that tidbit. I notice that Shia Le Boeuf has a feminine name, and Hanks played a man in drag in Bosom Buddies.

Matt said...

I hear that Shia is dating a mermaid in real life.

the mermaid's publicist said...

No no no. Shia is just a good friend. They may have been spotted in a restaurant once or twice, but it is purely platonic. I can confirm the shopping spree at Bloomingdales, but I wish to dispel the rumor of breaking televisions in a department store.

Matt said...

C'mon! The mermaid is sleeping in his bathtub and has been for weeks!!! Don't insult our intelligence.

Eugene Levy said...

Give it up, Matt. It's just not worth our time. No one's ever gonna believe us.

Matt said...

I know what I saw.