Salutations fellow movie goers from across the globe. Today’s review focuses on one of Tom Hanks’ filmography as a comedic actor before he worked on dramatic roles in “Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Cast Away” among many other critically acclaimed works. Back in The 80’s, he starred in hit comedies like “Splash,” Bachelor Party,” “The Money Pit,” “Turner & Hooch” & “The ‘Burbs.” One film in particular earned him his very first Academy Award in a fantasy comedy about a boy who grants his wish to become an adult from a fortune telling machine which really actually worked and he has to learn the ways of being a grown up. The premise I’m referring to is none other than “Big.”
Big was released in 1988. (the exact same year Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” came out) It received critical acclaim from critics and movie goers alike. Plus, it made a lot of money at the box office. Big went on to earn two Oscar nominations at “The 61st Academy Awards” for “Best Actor” Tom Hanks) & “Best Original Screenplay.” (Gary Ross & Anne Spielberg)
Now that “Shazam” (set in the DC Extended Universe) is earning warm reception from critics and fans, I want to share my thoughts on Big before I see Zachary Levi’s take of a kid in an adult superhero’s body inspired by Tom Hanks’ Oscar nominated performance. One more thing, Tom’s coming back as Sheriff Woody in Pixar’s upcoming Toy Story 4 scheduled to come out in June 21st. Don’t forget to mark your calendars!
Today’s review does not contain any big (no pun intended) fat SPOILERS whatsoever. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article if you’ve never ever ever seen this movie.
Huge & Tiny Qualities
Huge: Tom Hanks did an excellent job for his laugh out loud yet adorable performance as Josh.
Fun Fact: Before Tom won the part as Josh, famous faces including John Goodman, Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, John Travolta, Harrison Ford, Bill Murray, Michael Keaton & John Lithgow were all considered for the main lead. They all turned down the part, due to their busy schedules.
Other Cast Members such as Robert Loggia, Elizabeth Perkins, John Heard & former SNL cast member Jon Lovitz all did a decent job for their respective performances.
The late Penny Marshall (also Gary Marshall’s real life sister) did a great job directing the film.
Filmmaker, James L. Brooks (co-creator of The Simpsons) produced the film & his production company “Gracie Films.”
Gary Ross (Pleasantville, The Hunger Games, Ocean’s 8) & Steven Spielberg’s real life Anne, both wrote the screenplay together. Tom went on to collaborate with Steven in “Saving Private Ryan,” “The Terminal,” “Bridge Of Spies,” & “The Post.”
Cinematographer & future filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld (The Addams Family, Get Shorty, Men In Black & it’s first two sequels) shot the movie on camera.
Howard Shore (The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy) orchestrated music for the movie.
The film contains “fish-out-of-water” moments which were effectively funny for a kid in a man’s body trying to be a grown up, but at the same time behaves like a kid who’s not used to being an adult.
The Pacing didn’t feel slow at all. The Opening Scene quickly establishes who Josh really is & what motivated him to unintentionally become a grown up.
Chemistry between Josh & his best friend Billy, served as one of the main highlights other than Josh’s childlike antics.
Josh also becomes closer to his co-worker Susan. Their chemistry felt fine.
Memorable moments aren’t forgettable like Josh & Billy’s secret rap, Josh’s Elvis lookin’ tuxedo & don’t forget the infamous piano scene which is arguably the best scene in the whole movie.
The Tone for the film is sweet & cute at the same time. You can really tell that Tom is really playing a kid in a man’s body.
Character Development involving Josh as he learns to adapt as a grown up and without giving too much away, he also learns a heartwarming moral.
Josh’s best friend is named, Billy. Shazam’s real name is also Billy. Ironically, he turns big.
Josh works for a toy company. Seven Years Later, Tom later voiced Woody in Toy Story & it’s sequels.
In one scene, Josh pretends to ride on horse. Does Bullseye from Toy Story 2 ring any bells?
Josh’s idea for a new type of toy predicts Lego’s “Bionicle” toyline. First Lego, now Forrest Gump shares a percentage from Apple. Tom’s characters are actually the richest people in fiction!
Tiny: Product Placement featuring brands such as Oreo’s, Lay’s, Toshiba, Sony & Pepsi. I’ll let this con slide because I couldn’t find any other brand to shove down my throat.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
In my opinion, Big is one of Tom Hanks’ best films next to The Toy Story films, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away just to name a few. To this day, Tom remains as one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors. If you’re excited to see Shazam or Toy Story 4, I highly recommend Big for you and your family.