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Discussion Starter #1
Thought I would start a thread for this because it is a major grab for Apple TV with a big name/budget movie.

Tom Hanks film Greyhound makes surprise move to Apple TV+

The film was meant to open in theaters this June. Now, it's Apple's biggest get.

In another drastic shift to Hollywood's theatrical calendar this year, Tom Hanks' World War II film Greyhound has just been acquired by Apple TV+ for a streaming premiere, EW has learned.
Directed by Aaron Schneider (Get Low) based off a screenplay written by Hanks, the title was planned to hit theaters in June through Sony Pictures. It now becomes Hanks' first movie to get a streaming premiere and Apple TV+'s biggest cinematic get so far.

Greyhound stars Hanks as Ernest Krause, a first-time captain who leads allied ships across the "Black Pit" to the front lines of WWII, dodging Nazi U-boats along the way. Elisabeth Shue, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Stephen Graham, and Rob Morgan costar.

Hanks was already developing Masters of the Air, a WWII-set miniseries, with Steven Spielberg for Apple TV+ before the news of Greyhound's streaming move came to light. The entire industry continues to shift — at times, by the day — as its post-coronavirus future remains murky. Productions halted and movie theaters worldwide largely shuttered in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Studios have had to shift theatrical releases to much later in the year, though a few — namely Christopher Nolan's Tenet and Niki Caro's live-action Mulan — remain on the docket for July... for now. Other films, including Artemis Fowl and the filmed version of Hamilton, canceled their theatrical plans to hit streaming or VOD platforms.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also changed its eligibility rules for films in light of the changing theatrical environment. The two-time Oscar-winning Hanks, who's routinely eyed during awards season, already made Greyhound one to watch.

Deadline was the first to report the news.

https://ew.com/movies/tom-hanks-greyhound-apple-tv/
 

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In another drastic shift to Hollywood's theatrical calendar this year, Tom Hanks' World War II film Greyhound......based off a screenplay written by Hanks
Based, in turn, on a book by C.S. Forester, The Good Shepard.
 

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This looks good. Is this free for Apple+ subscribers or is it a rental from iTunes? When in June is the release?
 

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Release July 10th. I'm looking forward to watching it.
 

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Is there any way to watch an Apple TV+ show without an Apple TV? Wife has an iPhone and iPad, but would like to watch it on the big screen. Bummed, as I was really looking forward to seeing this in theaters!
 

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Apple TV+ is a TV service (confusing name I know) and it can be watched with the Apple TV app on a smart TV or Roku, etc so long as you have an active Apple TV+ subscription. I'm on a free year trial that was offered when purchasing any Apple product, but I think it's 6.99 per month MSRP.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is looking really good. I am still surprised Apple got this, I think it would have done great in the theaters but with all that is going on who knows when that would be. Surprised Netflix or Amazon didn't bid higher to get this, especially with how huge Extraction was/is for Netflix - they know the appetite is there for higher quality movies. Not that Extraction was an A quality movie, just that it is a higher caliber than its Adam Sandler movies and Extraction has a current popular star.
 

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"CAN'T WAIT."

Peace and blessings,

Azeke
 

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This is looking really good. I am still surprised Apple got this, I think it would have done great in the theaters but with all that is going on who knows when that would be. Surprised Netflix or Amazon didn't bid higher to get this, especially with how huge Extraction was/is for Netflix - they know the appetite is there for higher quality movies. Not that Extraction was an A quality movie, just that it is a higher caliber than its Adam Sandler movies and Extraction has a current popular star.

I think I saw Apple paid $100 Million for this movie, though I can't seem to find the source again, but perhaps Amazon or Netflix didn't have that appetite. They seem to have a lot of content all ready compared to Apple TV+ and my guess is they need to find some ways to get people to subscribe.
 

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I think I saw Apple paid $100 Million for this movie, though I can't seem to find the source again, but perhaps Amazon or Netflix didn't have that appetite. They seem to have a lot of content all ready compared to Apple TV+ and my guess is they need to find some ways to get people to subscribe.
This claims around $70 million:



https://deadline.com/2020/05/tom-hanks-greyhound-apple-tv-wwii-action-film-apple-wins-auction-1202938467/


At around a $50 million budget, that means the studio is barely making a profit on this (no theater share to take the usual 50%). I can only assume they have other distribution deals in the pipeline after Apple has their run at it, otherwise, it hardly seems worth the effort to throw it out there like this.


Of course, I'm not sure Apple is going to see any benefit from this unless subscriptions increase a lot - and stay for a while.
 

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Reduced picture and sound quality?

In a recent interview, Tom Hanks expressed disappointment about the picture and sound quality of the AppleTV+ release. Was the theatrical release going to be in iMax?
 

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In a recent interview, Tom Hanks expressed disappointment about the picture and sound quality of the AppleTV+ release. Was the theatrical release going to be in iMax?
“I don’t mean to make angry my Apple overlords, but there is a difference in picture and sound quality.”

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/jul/06/tom-hanks-on-surviving-coronavirus-i-had-crippling-body-aches-fatigue-and-couldnt-concentrate

I’m certain there will be nothing wrong with the ATV+ release that isn’t inherent to it being streaming media, and I’m certain that’s all he means. He’s disappointed that people aren’t seeing it in theaters instead of on a 42” screen with a sound bar, which is high-end for the average viewer.

He’s not thinking about us HT types who generally stay home because we have better AV quality there than the average theater does. And better popcorn, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
'Greyhound': Film Review

Tom Hanks wrote and stars in this World War II nautical action drama about an Allied convoy crossing the North Atlantic under attack from Nazi U-boats, streaming on Apple TV+.
As a producer, actor, writer and director, Tom Hanks has shown deep admiration for the courage of World War II Armed Forces, in work encompassing Saving Private Ryan, TV projects Band of Brothers, The Pacific and the upcoming Masters of the Air, as well as the documentaries He Has Seen War and Beyond All Boundaries. The theme of American valor and heroism also has been a thread through many of his roles. So it's no surprise that Hanks was drawn to adapt and star in a screen version of C.S. Forester's 1955 historical maritime novel, The Good Shepherd.

Roll your eyes about the return to familiar territory if you must, but Greyhound is a taut action thriller that exerts a sustained grip. Originally scheduled for theatrical release from Sony in June, the project is one of a handful of star vehicles sidelined by the COVID-19 shutdown that have bounced to Apple TV+, where it should find an appreciative audience.

Director Aaron Schneider, like Hanks, is not new to WWII-related material, having won an Oscar for his 2003 short film Two Soldiers, a home-front drama adapted from William Faulkner's story about Mississippi brothers whose patriotic spirit is stirred by the shock of Pearl Harbor. Schneider and Hanks have fashioned a robust, old-fashioned entertainment infused with sufficient integrity to counter its inevitable turn into sentimental nobility in the concluding act.

Hanks milks that familiar moment to a movie-ish excess slightly out of step with the economy of the rest of the film, accompanied by the requisite orchestral swell. But unimpeachable sincerity has long been a signature of the veteran actor's career, and that quality prevents Greyhound from ever slipping into the vanity-project trap. This is one of Hanks' more subdued recent performances, unlike his galvanizing work in, say, Captain Phillips or The Post. But playing Captain Ernest Krause, he embodies the selfless, clenched-jaw purposefulness of the Greatest Generation with persuasive conviction and moving humility.

As screenwriter, Hanks strips down the story to its essence, largely dispensing with both preamble and post-ordeal exhalation, focusing almost entirely on the nail-biting experience of the hellish voyage. The movie fully immerses the audience in battle, owing something to the intensity of both the D-Day landing in Saving Private Ryan and the combat sequences in Dunkirk. I confess I approached it with a certain weariness, expecting Sully on a boat, but found myself swiftly reeled in.

The minimal prelude is a single San Francisco scene in December, 1941, in which Krause suggests it's time he and his late-in-life sweetheart Evelyn (Elisabeth Shue, in what's virtually a cameo) became engaged. She puts him off until his return, quietly conveying the steep odds against him surviving the dangerous journey. His long-stalled first commission to command a ship is one of a wave of such hurried elevations in rank after Pearl Harbor for veteran U.S. Navy officers who have never seen combat. An early shot of Krause praying in his cabin signals both his faith and his fear.

Krause is captain of the Fletcher-class destroyer code-named Greyhound, leader of three other light warships assigned to protect a convoy of 37 merchant vessels carrying troops and crucial supplies across the North Atlantic to England. The action is concentrated on the middle stretch of the journey known as the "Black Pit," where surveillance aircraft from both sides are out of range, putting the zig-zagging boats at the mercy of German submarines that lurk in a wolf-pack blockade.

The movie charts that treacherous crossing over three days, broken down according to watch hours, at a time when the stealthy U-boats were more sophisticated than the Navy sonar equipment used to detect them. The elimination of almost all the standard scenes of reprieve or personal backstories — aside from Krause's brief memory flashes of his last encounter with Evelyn — makes for an exciting open-sea combat experience.

Director Schneider and nimble cinematographer Shelly Johnson shot the film on a decommissioned, fully restored WWII-era destroyer that serves as a museum in the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge. But the bulk of the action unfolds in the close quarters of the boat's pilothouse and bridge, recreated on a soundstage set, which fits the claustrophobic nature of the drama. The seascapes and battle scenes rely on solidly convincing CGI, with frequent panoramic and overhead drone shots expanding the visual scope. Aside from the warm tones of the Evelyn scene, the color palette is heavy on grays, muted blues and greens, appropriate to a voyage in which the menace is deadliest at night.

The film is essentially a character study of the stern but fair-minded Krause, so while other men register in his orbit — including executive officer Cole (Stephen Cole), gunnery officer Lopez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and sonar operator Bushnell (the lead's son Chet Hanks) — this is very much a portrait of a first-time captain wrestling with self-doubt over his ability to keep his crew alive. From the moment the Greyhound first encounters the enemy, the men on board become a rattled collective rather than a group of individuals, but shortage of character definition is somehow never a drawback.

The one character other than Krause who makes a lingering impression is Cleveland (Rob Morgan), one of the Black messmates in the segregated crew. His constant concern that the captain needs sustenance becomes a recurring motif as he delivers tray after tray of food, all of them sent back with only the coffee consumed. There's no attempt at revisionist, period-inauthentic racial attitudes here. But both Hanks and Morgan skillfully underplay the mutual respect between the two men at opposite ends of the rank chain, yielding a solemnly affecting interlude midway through the action.

The combat sequences come thick and fast in the hands of editors Sidney Wolinsky and Mark Czyzewski. These cover the Greyhound running down a U-boat; the confusion of friendly fire under the cloak of darkness; the momentary elation of a successful hit on a German vessel; and dodging torpedoes with some frantic swerves and panicked "Hard rudder left!"-type commands — the alarming tilt of the ship at one point makes you hold your breath.

One hairy moment involves a near collision with a merchant ship from the convoy. Another intense sequence results when the sonar picks up a German decoy designed to eat up the U.S. boat's limited supply of depth charges and monopolize the Americans' attention while the German fleet targets another ship. Terrific underwater footage follows the accelerated path of torpedoes and bomb drops. A heavy exchange of deck gunfire results in casualties (the terror of bullets slicing through the air is rendered with vivid force in the expert sound design), and Krause insists on a full-company funeral service at sea in dress uniforms.

The sense of navigating infested waters in near blindness is periodically underlined by communications between the Greyhound and the other Allied Forces boats, with each break in radio silence at risk of being picked up by the Germans. While it's doubtless true to military history, the one element that comes off a little hammy is the psychological-warfare transmissions of a German submarine commander identified as Grey Wolf (voiced by Thomas Kretschmann), gloating over the death count and snarling taunts like "The Grey Wolf is so very hungry," or "The sea favors the Grey Wolf on the hunt, not the Hound on the run."

By contrast, the use of Blake Neely's ominous score shows admirable restraint for the most part, its subtle strains blending with the ping of sonar equipment and using drumming to inject urgency as the situation grows more perilous.

To Hanks' credit, his screenplay mostly downplays the heroics while fully acknowledging the bravery and sacrifice of the men who fought in the Battle of the Atlantic, a WWII campaign relatively underrepresented in movies. (The Oscar-nominated 1981 feature that put director Wolfgang Petersen on the map, Das Boot, viewed the conflict from the German side.) With thorough verisimilitude, Greyhound depicts just one crossing among countless over a six-year period in which 3,500 ships carrying millions of tons of cargo were sunk and 72,200 souls were lost.

The film closes with archival footage of real convoy ships and troops over the end credits, summoning a dignified patriotism that should play well to domestic audiences presently starved for moral uplift.

Rated PG-13, 92 minutes

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/greyhound-1301909
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Tom Hanks and Greyhound director on ensuring authenticity in the World War II drama
Inspired by historical events, the Second World War drama takes us aboard the fictional USS Keeling via AppleTV+, Friday, July 10.

By Ruth Kinane

If you're making a World War II movie with Tom Hanks, you'd better do your research.

With a screenplay written by the Oscar-winning actor, Greyhound (out Friday, July 10 on AppleTV+) is inspired by historical events and adapted from C.S. Forester’s 1955 novel The Good Shepherd. The tense story follows a US Navy Commander (played by Hanks) under attack from Nazi U-boats in early 1942, right after America entered the Second World War. Since Hanks admits he reads history books for pleasure, and has starred in multiple World War II projects by this point, director Aaron Schneider (Get Low) had to make sure he was up to speed when signing on to helm the movie.

After sitting down with Hanks for a few hours to discuss the film, Schneider put together a website to share all the research he had compiled with the crew, including images and YouTube links on uniforms, procedure, onboard analog computers and more that ensured he was immersed in the project's authenticity. "I just submerged myself in that whole world so that I could find interesting ways, not only to tell the story on the page, but also to tell the story of the destroyer and the equipment they use, which is a big part of understanding and appreciating the dedication and the hard work that goes into these sailors' lives," he says. "I got pretty in-depth with it."

In order to ensure that authenticity reached the audience, Schneider and his crew used the USS Kidd in Louisiana to act as the movie's fictional USS Keeling (call sign Greyhound) and the main location for the shoot. "It's a highly preserved World War II ship," says the director. "It's the only World War II Destroyer still in its World War II configuration which was important because a lot of them got modified in the Vietnam War and the wars that followed." For the many scenes that take place in and around the navigating bridge outside the pilot house, the filmmaker built a set on a gimbal and matched it to the real ship down in Baton Rouge.

Adding more realness to the tense drama is the Navy jargon that is introduced immediately, without any easing in for the viewer. Naturally, it takes a moment for the audience to tune its ear to that level of highly specific vernacular but, as Schneider explains, that was fully intentional.

"That veracity lends a drama to it," he says. "The audience is submerged in the culture of this emergency situation in a radio control tower. There's all this dialogue — maybe some of which you don't fully understand — but it doesn't take long to figure out something's going on. The drama lives underneath the procedural dialogue. If you don't understand what he's saying yet and you don't understand what that thing does yet, that's fine with us because that's part of the experience. From the beginning, this was Tom's goal as a screenwriter. This was what fascinated him: the idea of throwing the audience into this world right off the shoulder of this man we haven't met yet. From the get-go, you're behind and you've got to catch up and it's up to you to engage and try to make some sense of what it means."

Once caught up and fully immersed in the movie, Hanks hopes the audience — like him — will see the parallels to present times. "As a guy who goes back to World War II again and again, I see a direct correlation to life as it's lived right now," he says. "I see the same questions being asked and I see the same solutions being pursued in stories of World War II, despite them being period pieces, despite them being museum pieces that recreate a world. To me, it's always been about: What would we do if we were in those same circumstances? And guess what? We are in many of those circumstances right now."

Greyhound arrives on Apple TV+ July 10.

https://ew.com/movies/greyhound-tom-hanks-and-director-interview/
 
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