Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Further Viewing: Cryin' Time With Tom Hanks

Here at Battle of the Network Shows, we love Tom "There's no crying in baseball" Hanks, but we also love us some Tom "I hit Alex" Hanks, so if we have the chance to celebrate some more Hanks crying, we'll take it...even if it means watching a kind of lame TV movie.

In 1982, post Bosom Buddies, Hanks starred in Mazes and Monsters, a CBS TV movie based on a novel based on an erroneous real-life story about a game of Dungeons & Dragons gone wrong. Hanks plays Robbie, who transfers to Grant University after flunking out of Tufts for playing too much Mazes and Monsters (he also has some dark stuff in his past, but his parents blame the game). After, oh, possibly a day or two, he joins a group of gamers made up of Jay Jay (Chris Makepeace from Meatballs and My Bodyguard), Daniel (David Wallace, AKA Todd Chandler #3 from Days of Our Lives), and Kate (Wendy Crewson, Harrison Ford's first lady in Air Force One).

Teen genius Jay Jay comes from an eccentric family and wears funny hats. Pretty boy Daniel bemoans a life of one-night stands. Kate feels she can't be herself with guys (until she meets Robbie and they play Mazes and Monsters, jog, eat, make out, and study in a duet-scored montage). A few other recognizable faces show up in smaller parts: Clark Johnson (Meldrick Lewis from Homicide: Life on the Street), Murray Hamilton (the mayor from Jaws), and Kevin Peter Hall (the Predator from Predator) playing a monster.

Anyway, the Mazes and Monsters game soon gets out of hand when Jay Jay tries to take it up a notch by staging a new version in some mysterious caverns. No crying in this one but plenty of yelling.

Robbie's emotional/psychological troubles reemerge, and he starts to role-play his character from the game, a monk called Pardieu...all the time. He disappears on a quest (given to him, he thinks, by his god Hall, voiced by Hanks), and, well, all this gives Hanks ample opportunity for some crying.

In Manhattan on his quest, Robbie gets mugged and fends for himself.

This leads to a tearful phone call to Kate (who he dumped so he could practice celibacy--she moved on to Daniel). Unfortunately, the audio cuts off near the end of this clip, but you can find the full movie on Amazon Prime or, um, other places.

Finally, the gang finds Robbie atop one of the Two Towers of his quest, in fact one of the World Trade Center towers,and we get this...

While we can't really recommend Mazes and Monsters, it does have some cheesy music, Jay Jay's hats, and of course Tom Hanks giving it his tearful all.

1 comment:

  1. A nice reminder of Hanks' true skills he displayed before he went chasing Oscars.