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That Thing You Do (Widescreen) [Import]
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Tom Hanks's debut as a writer and director is a lively, affectionate account of the shooting-star career of a forgotten (fictional) '60s pop-rock band called The Wonders--as in "one-hit wonders." Hanks plays the manager of the group, which includes drummer Guy "Sticks" Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) who works the floor at his parents' appliance store in Erie, Pennsylvania; Jimmy (Johnathon Schaech), the talented and temperamental lead singer and songwriter; Lenny (Steve Zahn), the goofy guitarist; and Ethan Embry as a geeky little fellow identified in the cast list only as "The Bass Player." The movie traces their meteoric rise and fall, from cutting their first record, to going on tour with a Phil Spector/Motown-type revue, to the internal tensions that lead to the band's disintegration, which comes when they fail to follow up their smash hit single, "That Thing You Do!" And that song, by the way, is so catchy it would definitely have been a hit in 1964--and deserves to be one today. This delightful movie would make a great double-bill with Allison Anders's wonderful "Grace of My Heart". "--Jim Emerson"
Tom Hanks's debut as a writer and director is a lively, affectionate account of the shooting-star career of a forgotten (fictional) '60s pop-rock band called The Wonders--as in "one-hit wonders." Hanks plays the manager of the group, which includes drummer Guy "Sticks" Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) who works the floor at his parents' appliance store in Erie, Pennsylvania; Jimmy (Johnathon Schaech), the talented and temperamental lead singer and songwriter; Lenny (Steve Zahn), the goofy guitarist; and Ethan Embry as a geeky little fellow identified in the cast list only as "The Bass Player." The movie traces their meteoric rise and fall, from cutting their first record, to going on tour with a Phil Spector/Motown-type revue, to the internal tensions that lead to the band's disintegration, which comes when they fail to follow up their smash hit single, "That Thing You Do!" And that song, by the way, is so catchy it would definitely have been a hit in 1964--and deserves to be one today. This delightful movie would make a great double-bill with Allison Anders's wonderful Grace of My Heart. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Written, directed, and starring Tom Hanks, 'That Thing You Do!' tells the charming story of a small town band hitting the big times. It starts with the find of a perfect drum player and ends in a wonder.
Guy Patterson is helping run the family appliance store, something he could live without doing, Jimmy is the lead singer to a newly started rock band with one problem: his band has its first gig and no drum player!
That's when Guy comes in, with his amazing fast drum playing skills, which turns the band's best song, "That Thing You Do", from good to great!!! They recieve a standing ovation and are asked to perform another gig! After making a single recording of "That Thing You Do!" on a record, they get a manager, who leads them to their new manager, Mr. White (Hanks).
After making the radio and hitting a state fair tour, the band fly to California where they are given a chance to perform live on TV!
As the worst would happen, something dramatic with Jimmy and his girlfriend, who is also their costume mistress, and the band break up. Giving the song "That Thing You Do!" a lable as a One-Hit Wonder.
The movie is awesome, all in all. It delivers fast, fun comedic jokes and has very snappy and catchy music. The ending is very sweet, giving a brief on all the main characters and where they are today. This movie will touch your heart, if not through the story, then the music.
My husband came of age in the 60's and he finds it immensely entertaining. He always laughs at the all-girl band Tom Hanks cleverly creates to showcase local 60's mediocrity -- and he's laughing at himself, remembering some of his own mediocre music ensembles from the same decade. But he only laughs during that one song; the rest of the music in this movie is excellent. Every time he hears the alterative version of the main song (during the end credits) he wishes that his own garage band would have had access to music like that.
1964 was an interesting time for pop music; it included 50's type genres as well as rock and roll (which is usually associated with the 60's, although it began earlier), and this movie (and soundtrack) capture it beautifully. The "Playtone Galaxy of Stars" (Playtone being the fictitious recording lable featured in the movie) includes a black girl's group, a glamourous blond pop singer and a tall, dark, handsome guy, reminiscent of a certain "look" from the late 50's/early 60's who sings a song hummorously reminiscent of "Secret Agent Man." Even jazz is featured: when the group falls apart, the drummer gets to jam with a black Jazz pianist that he's admired for years.
Not only do the Wonders sing the phenominally catchy and immensely listenable title tune (and the actors are really playing and singing, which is quite an achievement) but several others: my personal favorite is the jazzy "Dance With Me.Read more ›
Hanks does a tremendous job bringing together some unknowns to develop a great idea. This band, the Oneders - then the Wonders - goes through changes and the movie seems to be like the life of both the early Beatles and the Monkees combined. There is a 60s quality to the movie that gives it a very pleasant charm. Innocence is really shown in the movie, then characters develop and become a little more experienced in life.
The life of the bands working on a cross country trip as part of a record label as they track their meteoric rise to the top is especially interesting.
There is one scene in the movie that actually can give you the chills, you really get a kick out of the joy the band feels as Liv Tyler and friends run down a busy Erie street, probably State Street, screaming and yelling and jumping up and down when their new song has hit the airwaves for the first time. If there was ever a scene showing immense joy, this is possibly it.
Well casted, well produced, the movie is a fun romp through the development of a Wonder. The extras in the DVD are fun as well. This is a must for families and is watchable for any age.
Before radio music became a commercially diluted and corporate industry there were "garage-bands" galore and many of the little-remembered names of the genre started out as such. The Wonders in "That Thing You Do!" could easily be a number of bands that were a one-hit-wonder (or two or three) and then just disappeared from the scene. Nevertheless, they all helped shape some of the best music of that era, and Tom Hanks perfectly represents that phenomena in this movie.
If you remember the early 60's fondly, you should truly enjoy this film and it will probably bring back fond memories. The depiction of Erie, PA during this timeframe is probably representative of many small to medium size American towns and certainly brought back great memories for me of better times gone by.
The music rocks, the dialogue is hip, and the love story rounds it out perfectly.
Buy this movie and then by the CD soundtrack; you won't be sorry!
(**TRIVIA: another Tom Hanks produced movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", has a "That Thing You Do!" song played during the wedding reception - do you know which one?**)
Most recent customer reviews
A fantastic blu-ray release of a fantastic film about the rise and fall of a one hit wonder band! Amazing flick, don't miss it.Published 4 months ago by Connor
Just the funniest and cleanest movie we have seen for a while. Just loved it and have watched it a couple of times now.Published 14 months ago by jan
Decided to update from my dvd to BluRay when I saw this item was at a decent price and I'm glad I did as this has the extended version of the movie. Read morePublished 15 months ago by David W. Wildeboer
This movie is probably the only one of Tom Hank's movies from the past that I actually like. It's a fun story about a group of teenagers who actually make it big with their music... Read morePublished on Dec 1 2013 by George Jones
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