Could a studio exec actually say no to Tom Hanks? The thought crosses the mind while taking in the near 40 minutes excised from the Oscar winner’s 1996 film directorial debut, That Thing You Do! Eleven years ago, this Trinitron-coated fable of a garage band’s rise to one-hit Wonder-dom in 1964 was a fizzy pop-rock nostalgia, built for mass consumption, and likable enough to secure Hanks’ future as a showbiz multi-hyphenate. In short, a producer’s perfect single edit. Here we have Hanks’ ambitious album version: more Charlize Theron, more backstage monkey business, a strengthened romantic through-line, and one bizarro cameo by Howie Long. Unapologetically betraying the original’s mantra to keep things ”snappy,” Hanks’ restoration job does manage to melt the heart in a few surprising ways, while giving his ”Wonders” a charming resonance previously unseen. And fortunately, the tortuously catchy title song assaults the ears only two extra times. For Hanks hard-cores, this is a One-derful must-have.
EXTRAS The original theatrical version is also included, but without a Hanks commentary, a huge piece of the puzzle is missing. Disc 2 includes a bittersweet partial cast reunion, yet, sadly, a touted ”That Thing You Do! Title Song Submissions” feature didn’t make the cut. That’s an audition reel we’re dying to see. B