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Monster Vacations and Tom Hanks' bumper boxset: James King’s Week in Cinema

Our film expert tells us what to enjoy from the comfort of our sofas

tom hanks
James King
Film Columnist
19 June 2020
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Cinemas might be moving closer to reopening but there’s still no shortage of films for all the family on our streaming services. The most recent Hotel Transylvania drops on Netflix after success on the big screen, whilst new thriller 7500 bypasses multiplexes to make its debut on Amazon Prime Video. Sky Cinema, meanwhile, says thanks... to Hanks. 

New to Netflix

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation 

Adam Sandler returns as the voice of a charmingly exasperated Count Dracula in this animated threequel, this time taking his gang of ghouls - such as The Mummy, The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s monster - away from Transylvania and off on a holiday cruise. Hey, even the Prince of Darkness needs a break too, you know. Unfortunately for Drac, his arch nemesis - a certain vampire hunter called Van Helsing - might not be too far away.

WATCH: Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation 

The Hotel Transylvania films have been quietly keeping children happy and making millions at the box-office since 2012 (with another on the way next year) and whilst they’ve hardly hit Pixar levels of admiration, A MONSTER VACATION is actually the best yet. The cruise ship setting injects the franchise with the some new ideas and its restless inventiveness - including gross-out moments for the kids and a bit of romance for the parents - ultimately leads to a welcome message of inclusivity and diversity. An inspired final dance scene also means that things end on a high. Who knew that monsters loved to macarena? 

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation is on Netflix now

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New to Amazon Prime Video


Aeroplane-based disaster movies aren’t anything new but 7500 (named after the air traffic code for a hijack) manages to both dial down the spectacle and turbo boost the tension. How? By setting the majority of its action in a pilot’s locked cockpit. Anything else we see only via CCTV footage, with first officer Tobias (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) forced to fly the plane solo whilst helplessly watching terrorists wreak havoc in the aisles behind him. It’s a role that Gordon-Levitt - so great in The Dark Knight Rises - nails perfectly. He’s no superhero, just an everyday guy. 

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7500 is a deliberately uncomfortable watch. It’s claustrophobic and raw without even any musical score to soften its edges and it doesn’t flinch at asking awkward questions. There’s also an interesting relationship that develops between Tobias and insecure hijacker Vedat (Omid Memar). Of course, with such an intriguing concept the problem is always going to be how to reach a satisfactory conclusion and 7500 perhaps doesn’t entirely deliver on its early promise. But as a kind of anti-blockbuster, doing so much with so little, it really takes flight. 

7500 is on Amazon Prime Video now

WATCH: 7500 trailer

New to Sky Cinema and NOW TV

The Tom Hanks Collection

Rewind back to the early eighties and you’d be hard pushed to find someone who thought Tom Hanks would one day be a movie icon. Movies such as Splash and The Money Pit were great fun but hardly the stuff of a future awards favourite. Although he was Oscar-nominated for Big in 1988, it really wasn’t until 1994 that we saw the tougher side of Tom in Philadelphia, one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. It’s rightfully included in this collection to tie-in with Pride Month. 

tom hanks meg ryan

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These days it’s hard to go wrong with a Tom Hanks film. Other highlights on Sky Cinema include his harrowing 2nd World War drama Saving Private Ryan, the megabucks adaptation of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, Nora Ephron’s rom-com masterclass Sleepless in Seattle and, of course, Forrest Gump. It was as the slow-but-kind Forrest that Tom really upped his acting game, deservedly bagging himself a second Academy Award and becoming a cultural icon along the way. Forrest’s mama might have always said that life is like a box of chocolates, since you never know what you’re going to get, but at least with Tom Hanks films there’s no such uncertainty. The quality is guaranteed. 

tom hanks

This is the perfect box set of films for any Hanks fan

The Tom Hanks Collection is available on Sky Cinema from 22nd June

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