Tom Hanks has had an interesting career, not that I am an expert or even know all that much about it. However, if you look at the films that he has starred in, more often than not they are movies that are well worth your time. He is one of those actors that I find very hard not to like. Sure, there is the occasional film that he is not right for (I'm looking at you Da Vinci), but by and large they offer up great entertainment.
He began in comedies, after cutting his teeth starring in the series Bosom Buddies — you remember, the one with the guy that no one seems to remember — before jumping to the big screen in Ron Howard's hit Splash. That brings me to this collection from Universal. It contains three of Hanks' comedies in one package on two disks.
The Money Pit
I cannot recall if I have ever seen this before. I remember commercials for it when I was a kid, but do not remember seeing it. It is a one-note comedy that rests squarely on Hanks' shoulders. When it comes to Hanks, this is a winner; everything else is just sort of just there.
Imagine, if you will, buying your first home. Not having much in the way of money, and needing to find a place quickly, you buy something of a fixer-upper. A large country home, a suspiciously low price, and a seller wanted by Israeli intelligence, yes sir, everything in perfect order. So, deed in hand, Walter Fielding (Tom Hanks) and Anna Crowley (Shelly Long) move into the home, ready to make a go of their life together.
What follows is that one note, repeated over and over again. They try to do something in the house, something breaks, they do something else, something breaks, they hire someone to do something, something breaks. Sound repetitive? In a way it is. Still, there is something inherently likable about Hanks; he elevates the material beyond its thin roots. There is something about him as he slowly gets crazier and crazier about nothing working that just works for me.
The direction by Richard Benjamin is rather lackluster. The movie is filmed in a point and shoot manner. Benjamin does not help his case by adopting such a static method. Another oddity is the way it is lit. For a comedy, there are a lot of shadows and harsh light; it is kind of odd-looking as comedies tend to be a little brighter looking, or at least the slapstick style films like this usually are.