News Of The World ⭐️⭐️

News Of The World – PG-13 – 1 hr 58 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Monday February 15, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
5th new movie seen in theater in 2021

Tom Hanks plays Captain. Kidd, a walking, talking Google News of the 1870s. He travels from town to town reading newspapers to groups of people. After one of his news readings, he runs into a hanged black man in the woods and a young, scared girl left alone.

He takes the girl who speaks a foreign language into town, along with her papers, trying to figure out the plan. He learns from the officials that he must wait three months for the emissary to return and “pick up the strays.” He thinks about waiting it out and then ultimately decides he’ll take her to family some 400 miles away through unfriendly territory.

This is one of those stories about a trip from one place to another with obstacles thrown at the main characters along the way. These range from violent dust storms, to conflicts to a pedophile cowboy and his clan to a town fixated around one dominant owner.

Through it all, we’re reminded that if it wasn’t for Tom Hanks, this movie would be kind of predictable and boring. As stated in our video below, it’s almost like the screenwriter just threw ideas at the wall until somebody said, “hey, that might be cool to do”

Originally released in theaters on Christmas day, we finally had a chance to see this in theaters this week. Underwhelmed by the story, but it was a different period piece than Hanks normally does anyway. He is playing the same good guy with almost zero flaws character. Last time I saw him, he was in Greyhound and before that Mister Rogers. This role isn’t stretching Hanks very far from his familiar zone, but it’s something to see him in the wild, wild west.

The ending is one of the better parts. If you can hold out that long through the adventure, there is a worthwhile payoff. Sadly, we have to wait this long to learn more about Captain Kidd to take him out of being a fairly one-dimensional character. The rest of the movie has suspect pacing, a mostly forgettable score and a few WTF moments. The dust scene where they need a horse and the girl just gets them one induces an immediate eyeroll.

Kara didn’t agree with me about Tom Hanks making this movie more entertaining. If it had been a lesser actor, I’d have rated this at least a half star lower.

Even so, neither of us were that thrilled with this one. These remain challenging times for new movies in theaters. Not recommended.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️ (Kara)

Greyhound somewhat predictably sets record for AppleTV+ for biggest weekend ever to date

Greyhound ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kudos to Tom Hank and company for breaking the top weekend debut record at AppleTV+.

Apple’s WWII drama Greyhound, starring and written by Tom Hanks, has become the largest opening-weekend release ever for Apple TV+, including series that have bowed on the service, sources close to Apple tell Deadline. The streamer is loathe in giving up exact numbers, but I’m told the film turned in a viewing audience commensurate with a summer theatrical box office big hit,

Tom Hanks-Starrer Greyhound Torpedoes Apple TV+ Opening Weekend Record – Deadline

I don’t mean to dismiss this record setting event in any way, but really, what has been the competition at AppleTV+? There’s been the Amazing Stories reboot, which hasn’t generated that much excitement. I’ve heard a little bit of fanfare over the Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon TV series The Morning Show. There have been no other big movies or TV shows I’m aware of on this film’s level.

This will bolster Apple’s desire to buy more exclusive films. That’s a win for AppleTV+ subscribers. Good job all around!

22+ Greyhound Reviews – Tense, Terse WWII Naval Combat, Tom Hanks Shines

Greyhound ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s a steal being able to watch Greyhound for $4.99 or a free week trial, if eligible, for AppleTV+.

Hanks adapted Greyhound from the 1955 C.S. Forester novel The Good Shepherd, which is set during the Battle of the Atlantic. The book tells a fictional story about a WWII captain, George Krause, who is leading his first war convoy later in his life. This leads him to have doubts about whether he’s fit for the job since those around him are younger but have more war experience.

What Is Real & Imagined In America’s Dad’s Latest WWII Movie Greyhound?

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Simplistic WWII Tale similar in purpose to 1917

When the Oscar-winning 1917 starts, we follow behind the camera of two soldiers with a mission to deliver orders across enemy lines. In a very similar fashion, Greyhound starts with Hanks’ character Captain Krause eating breakfast and taking command of the protector ship for a convoy heading through a zone without any air cover. Along with his crew, they must execute at a fever pace, reacting to German U-boat sightings, with the concerns being ammunition level, avoiding torpedos and trying to ignore taunting from the Grey Wolf, a U-Boat with a commanding officer that tells them repeatedly they are going to die.

The emotion of 1917 is very similar in that I was fearful for the soldiers and in this case worried that the good ship Greyhound would become torpedoed and sunk. Would they make it to air cover before running out of ammunition?

There is no time for Captain Krause to even eat, as we are reminded multiple times. No time for sleep, no time for doing anything but focusing on protecting the fleet. Getting across and into friendly waters where air cover exists.

For those who are looking for more plot or story than that, there really isn’t any. There is characterization, but it’s not done with exposition, it’s done with facial expressions, character actions and all the ways good films and acting performances.

What Good Guy Character Can’t Tom Hanks Do?

After seeing Tom Hanks here, I’m beginning to think there is no good guy character Tom Hanks can’t play. It would be interesting to see him writing himself into a really bad, bad guy role. Could he pull that off? I think he might be typecast at a perennial good guy. Just Hanks showing up on screen and you feel for the guy. That makes films with him starring like this one stand out.

Reviews by Others

What do others think about Greyhound?


  1. tensecondsfromnow / “Chris Nolan’s Dunkirk aside, WWII has been something of a cinematic dead-end of late, with film-makers too keen to view the past through the prism of today’s issues. Focusing on deep blue heroics, Hanks earns his chops as a writer, but also reminds audiences worldwide that America once led the free world.”
  2. After Misery: “…it’s a dad movie. Last year we got something similar in ‘Midway’ and even if I usually avoid comparing movies within reviews, now there’s a good reason for it. Greyhound isn’t getting torpedoed by a lengthy runtime or messy editing like Midway, in fact the solid editing keeps the sea battles tense and interesting. Splashy visual effects are used here more carefully and cinematography is using a lot less to deliver more”
  3. Andy Meek / BGR: “For much of it, you experience the fog of war right alongside the commanding officer — with an additional obstacle being that we don’t always understand what the orders that have been barked out mean, since we’re not fluent in Navy-speak. But that only adds to the verisimilitude”
  4. badblokebob (4/5): “This isn’t some stately drama about men at sea who are occasionally forced to take potshots at an unseen enemy, but an action movie; only instead of men clashing with kung fu or guns, its boats and subs fighting with torpedos and, um, trigonometry. The result is tight, tense, and thrilling.”
  5. Cinema Trace: “It’s focus is the action and skill it took to avoid being hit, and one excruciating moment when the Greyhound is put as a target of two triangulated torpedoes, shows the inevitability of warfare and the near impossibility of maneuvering the floating tonnage of a war ship on the rough open waters of the Atlantic. Whether or not they are successful, you’ll have to see the film. It’s spectacular.”
  6. Darren / The M0vie Blog: “The movie runs a brisk ninety-one minutes, which makes it surprisingly lean as summer blockbusters go. That brevity helps to underscore the movie’s core strengths. It is a movie that relies on adrenaline and tension, and maintaining those sensations for longer than an hour-and-a-half is a big ask for even the most skilled filmmakers. Instead, Greyhound gets in, gets out and gets the job done.”
  7. Doc / EYG / Embrace Your Geekness: “If you are a fan of war movies, Greyhound is an effective story that is a quick and enjoyable watch.  Tom Hanks is great as always and the visuals are stunning.”
  8. Doug Jamieson / The Jam Report (3.5/5): “…it doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel of war movies and there’s very little here we haven’t seen in countless other films. It’s a classic war film that showcases the anarchy of battle and the toll responsibility can take on those in charge. If the film stopped to take a breath and allow us to more intimately understand its key players, the end result may have been more compelling.”
  9. Keith / Keith & The Movies (4.5/5): “For a taut 90 minutes the film sticks to that focus, carrying its viewers across the enemy-infested North Atlantic and putting us into the heads of the men navigating it. It could have done more with its characters or built more of a backstory. But it’s the willingness to stick to its guns (no pun intended) that makes the movie such a thrilling war-time experience.”
  10. luisreviewer / World Of Entertainment: “Great film, really a tense film that I think keeps you interested and on the edge of your seat.”
  11. POPCORN ENTERTAINMENT REVIEWS: “The movie is fast-paced with no rest for the captain or the audience. This is not a character-driven movie or an in-depth analysis of the crew members. It’s non-stop torpedos, attempts to save ships being sunk, flying bullets, blasting battery cannons, and depth-charges blowing up U-boats. The seas are rough, the air is freezing cold, and the nights are dark and frightening.”
  12. Rob’s Movie Vault: “…a taut, exciting, no-nonsense war movie that weighs in, less the end credits, at one hour and twenty-three minutes. The film’s brevity is true to the virtues it respects: clear, coolheaded professionalism, all egos checked, a well-oiled machine of well-trained men getting the job done.”
  13. Sarah Cartland / Caution Spoilers: “…is a study in the on-the-spot mechanics of sea battle pretending to be an examination of character (it was interesting to watch it just after The Old Guard, a character study and love story pretending to be a fantasy about immortals).”
  14. The Interstellar Valley / jlambright: “Get it, watch it. Become part of this messed up experiment in keeping Hollywood afloat during these turbulent, fraught times.”
  15. tomburkhalter: “…don’t expect this story to tell you what is happening. It’s going to bloody well show you. My advice? Hang on and pay attention.”
  16. Vague Visages / Peter Bell: “The biggest factor that keeps Greyhound from being a genre standout is the predictable nature of Schneider’s direction and Shelly Johnson’s cinematography. The establishing shots are rather generic and better suited for a television series than a dramatic film.”

Not Recommended

  1. Cait Kennedy / But Why Tho? A Geek Community: “Overall, Greyhound is…fine. Its worst sin is being simply adequate. It neither impresses nor disappoints, but it certainly does not go beyond the bare minimum. As a streaming flick, it will blend seamlessly into the ranks of its kind but will likely be forgotten. Which really is a shame.”
  2. Darren Lucas / Movie Reviews 101: “Tom Hanks is strong enough in the leading role, but he never hits the full level of his abilities, with the supporting cast not putting a foot wrong, only they just don’t get to make an impact in anyway. This does end up feeling like one of the bigger disappointments in the year, being more average, rather than a spectacle it should have been.
  3. Den Of Geek / David Crow: “…has a listless quality that cannot seem to wrap its arms around the potential for white-knuckled dread. While there are a few standout moments, like the first time a U-Boat crosses beneath Krause’s ship, or when they hear the earliest taunts from U-Boat sadists over the radio seeking to psychologically torture their prey, in the main the film moves at a perfunctory pace that better resembles an unpleasant pleasure cruise.”
  4. Orca Flotta / Thar She Blows: “A procedural small scale production of a U-boat hunt without any character. Many cheaply made effects don’t necessarily have any effect on the audience. I guess Tom Hanks is lucky his film was snatched up by AppleTV+, it wouldn’t stand a chance in the theatre.”
  5. Rachel’s Reviews (6.5/10): “I realize some will want more character development and I can understand that. There are choices in Greyhound that pushed the simplistic approach even for me. For example, the radio dispatches from the wolfpack ships are as sniveling and sleazy as we’ve ever seen from an evil German in a movie. He sounds like he is practically a villain from an Indiana Jones movie for a second.”
  6. Simon / TV and City (Grade: C-): “The film isn’t without merit, including a good Tom Hanks performance and a decent supporting cast (though Elisabeth Shue is terribly underutilized), but they can’t elevate Greyhound from being painfully generic and insipid.”
  7. The Obsessive Viewer: “…like the dialogue, the action becomes too repetitive by the end to stand apart. There are only so many ways to depict attacking enemy submarines without getting stale. Regardless, I felt everything the film wanted me to feel: despair when something goes wrong, exhilaration when victory is achieved (the sweeping score by Blake Neely surely helped contribute).”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

FIRST LOOK: Greyhound – Apple TV+

Tom Hanks’ next movie — as has been the case for several other movies during the pandemic — is skipping a theater release for AppleTV+ subscribers.

It’s a fictional tale set during World War II, but based on events during a long naval campaign.

Greyhound takes place at a critical moment in the Battle of the Atlantic, which began in September 1939 and only ended with the Germans’ surrender on May 8, 1945. As Blazich explains, the conflict was centered chiefly on supplies: An island nation, the United Kingdom required a steady flow of imported goods and raw materials, many of which originated in the U.S. The Soviet Union, besieged by the Nazis’ Operation Barbarossa, was also in dire need of food, oil and other essential supplies, which arrived via seaports on the Arctic Ocean.

The True Story Behind Tom Hanks’ ‘Greyhound’ Movie | History | Smithsonian Magazine

The trailer:

Not sure if it’s the fact Tom Hanks is in the film — for me, anyway, he’s single-handedly a reason to check out the movie — or the story, but this one looks promising. And I’m not much of a war film movie fan. The last WWII naval battle movie in the theaters we watched was Midway ⭐️⭐️⭐️ which we enjoyed and recommended.

Since we don’t subscribe to AppleTV+, we’ll need to subscribe for at least one month (it’s $4.99/month) to see this one. Considering we can see what else is on AppleTV at the time, that seems like a good deal to me.

Will others like us that don’t currently subscribe sign up for a month to see this? I mean, what’s the difference in paying $5-20+ USD to rent a movie on VOD vs. paying for an entire month and having access to the entire service’s library of content. Seems like a no brainer, if the movie is of interest.

Are you looking forward to seeing this one? If you aren’t an AppleTV subscriber, is this movie enough of a reason to subscribe? Or will you wait for reviews to come back first from others first?

Greyhound will premiere streaming on AppleTV+ on July 10, 2020.

22 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Reviews – More Mister Rogers, Less Neighbors

Is it wrong to want more of something a film teases you with?

The following is a deeper film discussion and critique of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. If you haven’t seen the film yet, you’ll want to do that first because there are major spoilers discussed in this post.

… You’ve been warned …

I realize this is a selfish request, but when you see someone so great on the film, an actor or actress that really shines, my reaction is: I want more! The flaw for me in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was the primary narrative wasn’t on Mister Rogers, it was on a neighbor.

Yes, this is how Fred Rogers would have wanted it. This is how the guy was in real life on and off camera, it didn’t matter. He was all about other people. A film about him that focused primarily on him is sacrilege.

But. So what. I wanted more Mister Rogers. What made him tick? Really made him tick? So, he handled his “anger” by using puppets or beating the lowest keys on the piano, but in the movie we never see Mister Rogers get mad. We must assume he does that off screen. The reverence for Mister Rogers is clear, nobody wanted to insult or disparage the man by showing him as anything other than a saint.

Just seemed a bit too placating for my taste.

Reviews by Others

Let’s see, so far, what other moviegoers think of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Keep in mind that some/many of these reviews contain spoilers.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs. Yes, even those who disagree with my reviews and vice versa.


  • Reel Heroes: “…is one of the best films of 2019 and deserves Oscar buzz for Best Picture and Best Actor. It seems like Tom Hanks has been snubbed by the Academy in recent years, and I’m hoping he gets his due with this performance.”
  • Society Reviews (4/5): “The thing that made Rogers such a likable character was his faith and morality. Now the film doesn’t get too deep into Rogers’s ideology but does a great job of showing how he used his television show to teach valuable life lessons to kids.”
  • Mark Tan / Full Circle Cinema: “…features a screenplay that is one draft from completion, and it has an imperfect way of covering up its flaws. Yet when it gets to the scenes of major catharsis, it cannot help but feel earned. And if Heller has not mastered crafting the big picture, at least she has mastered the details of intimate interactions.”
  • Greg Carlson: “Some tear-jerking, nearly obligatory Nick Drake and Cat Stevens, going to town like a waterworks insurance policy, also makes the soundtrack. Cameo appearances by several Rogers family members, friends and collaborators will be spotted by sharp-eyed fans. Whimsical miniatures and shifting aspect ratios further evoke the oddity of the earnest Rogers and his limitless interest in the well-being of others.”
  • Bill Pence: “…a well-acted film inspired by a true story that has several positive messages, but it is also moves slowly, and is more melancholy than expected.”
  • Bookshelf Battle: “Perhaps the best tribute to Mr. R is to give us an example of how he turned a man’s life around with kindness.  However, there are times where I would have liked to have seen more Fred and less Lloyd.”
  • Chicken of Tomorrow: “…delivers all the warm, fuzzy feels of the best holiday films, but it also urges the viewer to take those good vibes a step further.”
  • jasonbleau / Cinema Spotlight: “We rarely get movies like this anymore. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is one of the year’s best dramas and a very important movie that takes an iconic figure of positivity and reminds us what made this man so special as well as what makes us all special and human.”
  • Chris Versus Hollywood: ” Fred illumined the world and changed millions of lives, And Hanks ably channels his graces, But it’s like watching Gandhi attempt to obtain Independence for make-believe places. “
  • Stan The Movie Man: “…the movie is far from straightforward in the way it tells the story, how it frames the events and what the movie is really about. There are few films that can be both simple and complex, and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” manages to pull off that trick.”
  • Mike Glyer / File770: “…a tender, sweet parable about fathers and sons, and about the absolute power of goodness. Heller’s direction of the film plays with children’s perceptions of love and strength, while softly interweaving them with the sadness, distrust, and cynicism which often, sadly, replace the innocence of youth with the jaded wisdom of maturity.”
  • Jeff Huston: “Even with the script’s occasional bromides, Heller’s film never feels corny. That’s no small achievement, especially since Heller doesn’t use a gritty edge to avoid schmaltz.”
  • Raiders of the Lost Flicks: “The problem? Mr. Rogers is a tertiary character in what should have been a story about himself. When he was there, all I could see was Tom Hanks saying things Mr. Rogers would have said, the rest of the time we’re with the reporter, Lloyd, going through his issues with his past.”
  • Inspired Bald Girl: “I generally have the patience to wait for the DVD at the public library. But, once in a while, there is a movie I absolutely cannot wait for, and this film about Mr. Rogers was one. I was a little skeptical about Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers (or really anyone for that matter) but Hanks did a great job.”
  • Brett Garten (8.2/10): “The power of imagery and the subtle act of hitting all of the lowest keys on a piano will leave you truly moved. The subtlety and comfort in silence is what really struck me about this film.”
  • Tyler Howat: “This film accomplishes something sorely lacking in today’s Vogel-like jaded world: it reminds us of a healthy way to express ourselves, to deal with our problems, to relate to one another as real human beings with feelings.”
  • Movieman32: “I can’t imagine any other living actor playing the beloved Fred Rogers a.k.a. Mister Rogers. Hanks nailed the role of Mister Rogers”
  • Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: “If Tom Hanks doesn’t at least get nominated for supporting actor for his portrayal of Fred Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD this year, I would definitely say the Academy doesn’t really care about him anymore.”

Not Recommended (or unclear/undecided)

  • Rated Fritz: “It’s admirable that A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood wants to satisfy this need. But it’s Fred Rogers, and our collective memory of and nostalgia for Mister Rogers Neighborhood, doing the work, not this narrative and not the actor doing the impersonation. If it’s Mister Rogers you miss and need, stream Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, or spend some time on YouTube watching his interviews. It’s as close as you’ll get to his light.”
  • Matthew Liedke: “Much of the movie felt unconvincing because it turns out that this really was inauthentic. It’s really a shame, too, because the movie could have been a lot more simplified and in turn, more heartfelt and relatable.”
  • marruda3: “…is a curious movie, and as much I like Mister Rogers, and the performances in this film, I’m not sure it entirely worked for me.”
  • Christopher’s Space: “The movie is about the wrong person, as far as we’re concerned, and on top of that, a story about a writer is not cinematic. Movie fans like Tom Hanks, but there’s not a pressing need to see this movie when you can see the real Mister Rogers in reruns and in last year’s documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?””

Your turn. Let’s discuss A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Do you agree/disagree with my criticism? What did you like and dislike, if anything, about the film?