Bobby Garfield (David Morse) returns to his small hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend and remembers the fateful summer in 1960 when his whole world changed. The story flashes back to when 11-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his best friends Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully-John (Will Rothhaar) capture the pure joy of youthfulness. When a mysterious stranger named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moves upstairs and starts to pay attention to Bobby the boy suddenly realizes what's truly missing from his life--the love of a parent. Bobby's mother Liz (Hope Davis) is embittered by the death of Bobby's father and shows little compassion for her son's growing needs. Ted fills a void with the boy opening his eyes to the world around him and helps Bobby come to terms with his real feelings for Carol--and his mother. But Ted also has some deep dark secrets of his own and Bobby tries hard to stop danger from reaching the old man.
The performances make the film especially in the genuine camaraderie of the kids. Yelchin Boorem and Rothhaar never deliver a false move with an easiness that makes us believe we are simply watching three 11-year-old children grow up together. Yelchin in particular is able to get right to the heart of this young boy who misses his father and clings to the only adult who will listen. And his scenes with Boorem simply break your heart. (Davis) does an admirable job playing a part none too sympathetic. She manages to show a woman whose been beaten down but who does truly love her son in her own way. Morse too is one of those character actors you can plug in any movie and get a performance worth noting. In Hearts you want to see more of him. Of course the film shines brightest when Hopkins is on the screen. It may not be an Oscar-caliber performance but the actor is unparalleled in bringing a character to life--showing the subtleties of an old man looking for some peace in his life.
If you are expecting the Stephen King novel you may be disappointed. Screenwriter William Goldman and director Scott Hicks (Shine) deftly extracted the King formula of telling a story through a child's eye and explaining how the relationships formed as a child shaped the adult later. Hicks did an amazing job with his young actors especially Yelchin and Boorem. But where the novel continued into a supernatural theme explaining Brautigan's fear of being captured by "low men in yellow coats" (a reference to King's The Dark Tower series) the movie downplayed the mystical elements instead giving real explanations for Brautigan's man-on-the-run. That was the one problem with Hearts--we needed more danger. Introducing men from another dimension may not have been the way to go but had there been more tension the film would have resonated more especially when Bobby risked his own safety to save Ted.
Edward Furlong, the kid who first uttered legendary action-movie cliches such as "Hasta la vista, baby," "Eat me, dickwad" and "no problemo," is returning to his roots. Daily Variety says the 23-year-old actor will reprise his role as John Conner in the James Cameron-less "Terminator 3," which is now in the works.
Furlong -- at the fertile age of just 12 -- blasted into Hollywood in his maiden role in "Terminator 2: Judgement Day." With no previous acting experience whatsoever, the Southern California kid was literally plucked off the streets of Los Angeles and put in the 1991 sci-fi blockbuster.
Furlong now has 13 films under his belt, and he has been pretty indie-minded during his career, shunning big-budget beasts in favor of smaller projects such as campmeister John Waters' "Pecker" (1998), "American History X" (1998) and the 1970s proto-metal homage "Detroit Rock City" (1999).
"American History X" But even though Furlong hasn't exactly set the world on fire as an actor , he has nonetheless amassed a dedicated following. Ray Gun magazine says he's among the 20 actors "who matter" in the year 2000, and Vanity Fair bestowed a similar honor upon him in 1998.
Meanwhile, Furlong can be seen this year in "The Animal Factor," playing an inmate opposite Steve Buscemi and Willem Dafoe.
And for anyone who cares about the latest "T3" goings-on, it's been widely reported that Ah-nuld is all game and ready, even though directorJames Cameron has declined.
Linda Hamilton, who played Furlong's psycho-badass mom in the last film, won't reprise the part unless Cameron returns.
Slated for a 2002 release, "T3" is reportedly about the world's first battle with Skynet, the evil corporation responsible for the invention of the terminator cyborgs. There are rumors that Schwarzenegger will battle a female villain, but no other details of the plot are available yet.
But the burning question is: Will Furlong get a set of newly minted action-movie cliches to spout? We can only hope.