That Thing You Do! Extended Cut Tom Hanks

I had no idea that Tom Hanks’s directorial debut — a blip on the box-office radar in 1996 — was remembered well enough to merit a two-disc extended edition. Nevertheless, its peppy story of a mid-’60s garage band whose debut single burns up the charts is interesting for the comparison between the original cut and the newly-minted version. Both films contain the saga of the Wonders, who form, forge the titular song, are picked up by a major label manager (Hanks, of course) and then sadly implode. Both seem a little shallow in their depiction of the period and the characters, with the racial and sexual status quo of the pre-hippie era elided, ignored or made into a joke. Still, it’s pleasant enough in both cuts, with a couple of distinctions. That Thing You Do ’96 is by far the better edited of the two and manages to stay pace-y right up until the end. However, it’s missing a bit of the emotional heft that’s available in the ’07 extended cut. But the new version seems to be filled with every available scrap of film (a whopping 30-plus new minutes) and doesn’t trim enough of the fat. It’s an amorphous thing that seems more intent on cramming stuff in than creating a harmonious edit. Watch them both and make your own choice. Extras on the second disc include an episode of HBO’s First Look that’s typical promotional blather, two "making of” docs that seem to be made from the B-reel from First Look, an okay reunion clip with most of the cast, a funny featurette about the Japanese promotional tour, trailers and TV spots, and a video for "Feel Alright” that’s made up of clips from the movie. (Fox)