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December 25, 2007



Nothing says a typical Maui vacation like going to a movie theatre, returning to your hotel, sitting in front of a computer and blogging about it. O-kay.


Is there any "name" actress out there that is less appealing than Julia Roberts at this point?


For more detail on this story, check out the book and also the documentary on the History channe

Barefoot Buck Short

My daughter graduated college with Tom Hanks daughter Emily. Tom was the graduation speaker. It was a relatively small college. I was looking forward to meeting him, if only to utter a dozen words I had been husbanding for years, “Sure you both looked great in pumps, but Peter Scolari could juggle.”To save tuition, our daughter pulled the rug out from under me by deciding to graduate a semester early in December -- and take a job for six months as a Vegan waitress in a steakhouse, while waiting to start grad school. Anyone so frugal as to sell out her principles for tips certainly wasn’t interested in paying for a flight up to Poughkeepsie for a lousy graduation ceremony. So there went that shoulder-rubbing op. Gee thanks, three-and-a-half years of room, board, books and tuition, and now she decides to save on college?I have not yet seen Charlie Wilson's War, but our left bank Texas crowd seems relatively oblivious to the wiggiphobia. Apparently we're still comfortable with big hair. Instead we are apoplectic that those right wing apologists Aaron Sorkin and Mike Nichols egregiously let Wilson and the CIA off the hook for 9/11 by suggesting that Wilson’s billions went only to good guy Ahmed Shah Massoud. [Who, ironically, had already been assassinated once by a couple of guys posing as a camera crew two days before the World Trade Center.]Melissa Roddy, a Texas actress now living in LA, is apparently producing an entire documentary on this single misrepresentation, 9 min. of which you can view on AlterNet: http://alternet.org/story/71286/. Perhaps someone can sample the above and help me with several of my own questions:1. Are Melissa’s clearly post-response cutaways just bad reads of questions allegedly posed to the interviewee, or bad reads of questions posed to the viewer in setting up the clips?2. All shortcomings aside, could this be one of the reason 60 Minutes does not seem to go for “adorable” as one of the qualities valued most in their on camera reporters?3. Was there any conflict of interest in Hanks agreeing to so favorably portay the father of his own wife Rita Wilson?4. Will the Academy designate a seat filler for Julia’s hair?5. Universal Pictures also makes Crocs?6. Wait, Eric Roberts is the mellow one?7. Is Phillip Seymour Hoffman what Seymour Glass could have become had the latter not committed suicide at a tropical vacation destination? (Ken?)8. Can you think of any possible reason the young lady would not have received a callback from Hanks during the press tour for this major Christmas release?That’s it for Coffeetawk, discuss.


The two-hour History Channel special mentioned above is the dog's bollocks (the half-hour one, less so) -- as it happens, Sorkin left out a lot of the craziness!Ken Turan in the LAT for one, knocked the movie for not being didactic enough -- he feels that what happened in Afghanistan after this story should be emphasized even more.I don't know -- I don't read the paper all that closely, but between that and the end of the film, I thought it was pretty clear.And I like the film a lot. Even Julia Roberts (take a look at the real person in the documentary and you might appreciate the performance more), but especially Hoffman.


Crutnaker,"working vacation" in Maui? Yeah, can't wait for the IRS to sift through those write-off receipts!

Tom Hanks

barefoot buck:# 3 Rita Wilson & Charlie Wilson = Not even related. And, by default, no conflict of interest for Mr. Hanks.You do though get 1 point for your feeble attempt at cleverness.Overall Humor Score: - 1

John Galt

I suspect the History Channel semidoc is more entertaining and informative than the move...especially if you digest it in pieces thanks to TiVo.

A.B.F.  Short

# 3 Rita Wilson & Charlie Wilson = Not even related. And, by default, no conflict of interest for Mr. Hanks.Can't say it enough, thank you Tom for clearing up that Wilson/Wilson confusion once and for all. We will all sleep better. I do apologize though, feeble is pretty much the only cleverness I ever attempt. It's kind of a niche.Just one more question. When did you start referring to yourself in the 3rd person?

Tom Hanks

ABF:As of late, whenever I enter a room, I've taken to introducing myself as: "And now ladies and gentlemen, here comes now the multiple academy award winner and uber talented Mr. Tom Hanks, friend to Julia Roberts, and lover of fine wine..."Thanks for you playing our game.T.H.


"Nothing says a typical Maui vacation like going to a movie theatre, returning to your hotel, sitting in front of a computer and blogging about it."At least Ken wore "real shoes." Tourists wear flip flops, locals wear rubbah slippahs.Ken,Check out Lahaina for New Years, it's a hoot.


Read the book, haven't seen the movie. The role of Charlie Wilson was made for the great Jim Garner, but alas, he's retired and I hope in good health. Did see the DVD of Pirates of the Carrabien. What a hopeless mess, Looked like they made it up as they went and nothing worked. Not even the Keith Richard's cameo.


Strange how "everything changed on 9/11" and this movie comes out and no one points out the flaws in our policy toward Afghanistan and the direct line from those mistakes to 9/11. St. Reagan and Charlie Wilson were determined to support the "Freedom Fighters" in Afghanistan against Soviet "tyranny" - in quotes not because I am pro-Soviet; I'm not. The war began when the Soviet puppet in Kabul issued a series of reforms, to include this horrible change to traditional Afghan culture - parents could no longer sell their daughters into marriage at any age - they had to wait until the girl was 12 to exchange her for a couple of goats.The rugged "Freedom Fighters" would have none of that, no siree bub, and they responded with weapons that Reagan and Wilson arranged for them to have. We supplied weapons directly to a group headed by one Osama bin Laden. Smart move that.The Soviets were chased out, the Northern Alliance took over and even by Afghani standards proved to be too corrupt leading to a Taliban take over.....I think you know the rest.Let's not make heroes out of the Charlie Wilson's of the world. I don't believe for a minute he really believed any of this would come to pass, but if you are going to fund wars shouldn't you at the very least have some fucking clue what kind of people you are supporting?

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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