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Hancock: master thread


MissAshley

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New review:

Based on the early test screening reviews of Hancock... reviews of a film that is different in many ways from the one being released into theaters... I kind of understand the general negativity surrounding the film.

But that’s why test screening reviews are a load of ****.

I’m not going to review the movie now, but while there are still some shaving bumps, this is easily the most ambitious action script of the summer to date, solid in ways that none of the failed movies that some are amusing themselves by comparing it to never were, and while it’s probably not a good bet to surpass I Am Legend at the box office, it is not only a likely hit, but it is likely to be one of those films that grows in importance (as important as action movies can be) in retrospect.

The thing that is odd, from this seat, is that the film is, once again, so Peter Berg. For me, Berg has become one of the great genre directors of his generation. His films embrace the silliness and the over-the-top of genre, but he goes to a darker place in the characters he makes films about and in that, delivers films that have all the action but speak to an adult, thoughtful sensibility.

So yes, it is possible that I am reading this wrong commercially. It would be par for the course in my experience with Berg. Will Smith assures a big opening. So it will be Berg’s biggest film. But will it be commensurate with Smith’s recent history?

I really don’t know.

The film is mouthy enough to become a sweetheart for the teens. It’s not a superhero movie in a conventional geek-wetting way. By the end, you realize, that they are really doing a different genre altogether, using superheroism as background metaphor. But Hancock is a superhero who does what a real human being might expect to do with these powers… far more honestly than, say, Iron Man. That said, a big part of the appeal of Iron Man was the hero fantasy that audiences identified with. If you want to identify with Hancock, you are going to have to put yourself through a bit of self-examination.

By the end, the closing conventions of superhero movies like Spider-Man and Batman are very much intact. But the road to that end is far more demanding of the audience.

But this is no Wild Wild West. Not even close.

And if you want to see the movie the way you should, be very, very, very careful of reviews because one major spoiler is significant enough to the story that critics will have a very hard time not giving it away. And for me, that moment when you realize that you don’t know what they are going to do with the third act is one of the great movie experiences… especially in a genre film. (I knew exactly what would happen in the late second act before the movie was 10 minutes old... and was pleased to anticipate it.)

Of course, that complexity and the pre-release negativity will probably lead to a phalanx of mixed reviews. Rise above. Clean your mind. The movie may be better than you expect or worse, but do try to embrace the experience of having that experience for yourself. If you want to know what’s going to happen before you see a movie, there is always episodic television.

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Here's a positive one (spoilers):

In a world where directors of even the shallowest, most popcorn-munching summer action flick feel obliged to keep you in the cinema for at least two bladder-testing hours, Will Smith's new superhero comedy Hancock is a breath of fresh air. It clocks in at a tight, unpretentious 90 minutes. It feels like longer though – in a good way. The expected ‘drunken superhero in Miles Davis sunnies gets a makeover’ arc is wrapped up in the first hour, giving way to a darker second section in which the invulnerable, almost immortal protagonist gets a taste of what it means to be truly human.

Indeed, the movie only really returns to its early light action comedy tone with the now-obligatory post-credits skit, in which the costume-designers own up to having plagiarised their own Wolverine costume.

The movie achieves its refreshing brevity by dispensing with the usual origin sequence, delivering the hero to us as an already washed-up, but still eminently likeable force of nature. We get an insight into the hero’s background later in the film as it’s revealed that he’s part of a lost race of supermen who were once revered as gods but who died out because of one fatal flaw. Their power is diminished whenever they come close to one of their own kind. It’s a good thing that Hancock is all alone in the world. Or is he?

It’s worth noting that the movie’s title makes a lot more sense in the US, where John Hancock’s ebullient penmanship on the declaration of independence gives rise to the expression ‘John Hancock’ meaning signature. We’re more likely to think of Anthony Aloysius Hancock, and whereas the movie has, especially in its opening section, some very funny moments it’s got nothing to do with Blood Donors or Radio Hams.

It may not be one of the Big Three superhero movies this summer, but Hancock shouldn’t be overlooked. Despite its slightly uneven tone it has great action, great comedy, and even (unusually for a movie of its kind) some actual acting.

Best of all, it’ll only cost you an hour and a half. With England out of Euro 2008, it’s the best ninety minutes of the Summer.

http://timesonline.typepad.com/blockbuster...buster-rev.html

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And another positive one:

Rating: ********''**

Summary:

"Hancock" is a fantastic superhero movie… despite never having had a comic book. Will Smith is great as the misguided hero while Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron make an excellent supporting cast. It has some hilarious comedy, some great action, and a few surprises that fortunately haven't been ruined by the commercials and trailers. But keep the kiddies at home – this is a grown-up's comic book movie.

Story:

"Hancock" is not your typical superhero. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to call him a hero at all. He's more like a bum with an attitude that is super strong, invulnerable, and can fly. And though he occasionally helps people out, it usually ends in mass destruction and public outrage. Fortunately, he's the only one of his kind.

But when he saves the life of publicist Ray Embrey, he finds a new ally. Ray makes it his mission to turn public opinion in Hancock's favor and transform him into the hero that he has the potential to be. The first step? Allow the law to lock him up in prison so the public can see just how much they need a hero. But how much will Hancock be willing to put up with in order to change his ways?

"Hancock" is rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language.

What Worked:

Some of you may be aware that I'm co-publisher of Red 5 Comics. So far we've discovered that superhero comics are some of the most challenging to create for three reasons – it's hard to find a take on superheroes that hasn't been done already, it's hard to find a superhero story that's interesting, and it's hard to get the public to pick up a superhero comic after they've had their fix of Marvel and DC superheroes. Yet somehow the creators of "Hancock" have managed to find a superhero story that's original, entertaining, and stands well on its own against any Marvel or DC superhero.

Will Smith's Hancock is a great character. I mean, how often do you get to see a superhero flying with a bottle of booze, running into seagulls, and telling off the people he saves? It's so satisfying to see a superhero doing very un-heroic things with his powers. And while he's very funny, he definitely has a serious side. He goes through an internal struggle as he voluntarily sits in jail. You can see the conflict on his face as he chooses to stay in prison despite being able to walk out at any moment. It's a whole different take on the theme of "with great power comes great responsibility." When Hancock inevitably does the right thing, his debut as a true hero is one of the best scenes in any movie this summer.

Another great aspect of Hancock is his back-story. Unfortunately, I can't get into it without ruining the plot. In fact the less you know about it going in, the more you're going to enjoy the movie. But I will say that it hearkens back to the roots of what comics are all about. The origin of Hancock is so in line with what Siegel and Shuster would have done or what Lee and Kirby would have done. This is one of the best comic book movies that never had a comic book.

Smith is excellent as Hancock, but his supporting cast helps tremendously. Jason Bateman is fantastic as Ray Embrey. He's so hopelessly optimistic and idealistic that he's a great contrast to Hancock. His reactions to Hancock's over-the-top antics are priceless. You can't help but love him. Charlize Theron is also impressive as Mary Embrey. Her love for Ray and disgust with Hancock is equally believable. When the story takes its surprise twist, she really begins to shine. Hancock also makes great use of the extras and minor background characters as they react to Hancock, too. You'll find more than one throwaway line by a kid or spectator that will make you laugh.

I also have to commend the creators and Sony marketing – they kept a number of Hancock's surprises hidden. There's one major revelation in the film and it's quite a turning point for the story. It takes it to another level and if you go in with minimal knowledge of the story, you'll find it a lot more entertaining.

What Didn't Work:

If Randy Jackson were reviewing "Hancock," he'd say it was a little "pitchy". "Hancock" varies dramatically in tone and almost seems like three different movies in one. The first third of the movie where Hancock is a hated bum is very much a comedy. From physical gags to jokes, it's a superhero comedy. The middle third has some humor, but it's heavily action-oriented and filled with a lot of serious character moments mixed with big special effects. It's more of a superhero action-adventure. The final third of the film is very dark and very dramatic. There's some heavy material there to the point that you're wondering if you're watching the same movie. Don't get me wrong… it's all quite good. You just might find yourself in the last 15 minutes saying, "Man, this is a lot darker than I was expecting." Don't worry… the movie ends on a high note. (In fact, don't get up when the credits start rolling or you'll end up standing in the aisle to watch the final scene.)

I also recommend that parents heed the PG-13 rating. Just because this is a Will Smith superhero movie doesn't mean it's kid-friendly. There's a lot of language, some graphic violence, and more. This is an adult's superhero movie.

The Bottom Line:

Bring on "Hancock 2"!

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/reviewsnews.php?id=46284

Edited by viber_91
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somebody's got entirely too much time on their hands, anybody seen this? lol

it's a lot to copy and paste, so i'll link

http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/40/willsmith.htm

Unintentional Camp and the Image of Will Smith

Camp — and coded queerness — finds a surprisingly happy home

in the films of Will Smith

By Seth Nesenholtz

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All the reviews are saying the same thing.. The reshoots obviously didn't work. I wonder what the tomatometer is gonna be. I'm expecting less than 50%

Now thats not true, did you even read the reviews posted here? Apart from the variety and hollywoodreporter, the last 5 reviews has been more positive than negative (comingsoon.com gave it: 8,5/10 and hollywoodtoday.net gavet it 4/5)...

the tomatoemeter is about 40% right now, but it only has 5 reviews.

I think that about 50% will think this movie was bad, and the rest will think it was ok or good, just hoping I'm one of those people who will think it's good.

I'm posting this one again cause I think that this is the best "review" yet, no spoilers, and he knows that movies are all about what YOU as a moviegoer thinks of it. The critics can say what they want, but It's you'r own review that's the most important.

Based on the early test screening reviews of Hancock... reviews of a film that is different in many ways from the one being released into theaters... I kind of understand the general negativity surrounding the film.

But that’s why test screening reviews are a load of ****.

I’m not going to review the movie now, but while there are still some shaving bumps, this is easily the most ambitious action script of the summer to date, solid in ways that none of the failed movies that some are amusing themselves by comparing it to never were, and while it’s probably not a good bet to surpass I Am Legend at the box office, it is not only a likely hit, but it is likely to be one of those films that grows in importance (as important as action movies can be) in retrospect.

The thing that is odd, from this seat, is that the film is, once again, so Peter Berg. For me, Berg has become one of the great genre directors of his generation. His films embrace the silliness and the over-the-top of genre, but he goes to a darker place in the characters he makes films about and in that, delivers films that have all the action but speak to an adult, thoughtful sensibility.

So yes, it is possible that I am reading this wrong commercially. It would be par for the course in my experience with Berg. Will Smith assures a big opening. So it will be Berg’s biggest film. But will it be commensurate with Smith’s recent history?

I really don’t know.

The film is mouthy enough to become a sweetheart for the teens. It’s not a superhero movie in a conventional geek-wetting way. By the end, you realize, that they are really doing a different genre altogether, using superheroism as background metaphor. But Hancock is a superhero who does what a real human being might expect to do with these powers… far more honestly than, say, Iron Man. That said, a big part of the appeal of Iron Man was the hero fantasy that audiences identified with. If you want to identify with Hancock, you are going to have to put yourself through a bit of self-examination.

By the end, the closing conventions of superhero movies like Spider-Man and Batman are very much intact. But the road to that end is far more demanding of the audience.

But this is no Wild Wild West. Not even close.

And if you want to see the movie the way you should, be very, very, very careful of reviews because one major spoiler is significant enough to the story that critics will have a very hard time not giving it away. And for me, that moment when you realize that you don’t know what they are going to do with the third act is one of the great movie experiences… especially in a genre film. (I knew exactly what would happen in the late second act before the movie was 10 minutes old... and was pleased to anticipate it.)

Of course, that complexity and the pre-release negativity will probably lead to a phalanx of mixed reviews. Rise above. Clean your mind. The movie may be better than you expect or worse, but do try to embrace the experience of having that experience for yourself. If you want to know what’s going to happen before you see a movie, there is always episodic television.

Edited by viber_91
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Hey Variety and Hollywood Reporter are the serious reviews by real critics.. I wouldn't take much notice of the others..

Hey guys... haven't posted in a while but, Hero, Variety gave Speed Racer a pretty good review and look what everyone else said about that film... I think Hancock might do okay. Don't know though

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Jeff Otto

ReelzChannel.com, June 25, 2008

Will Smith sheds his nice guy image to portray the alcoholic, mean-spirited Hancock.

I have to say, it's a refreshing change to see Will Smith hated.

It was beginning to seem like no matter what Will did, he was always "such a great guy." Sure, Smith's new superhero character, Hancock, comes around by the movie's end as one would expect, but the depth to which this hero sinks beforehand is occasionally startling and pretty great.

Hancock opens with a police chase on the L.A. freeways. The cops are pursuing a group of thugs that are riddling the police cruisers with automatic weapon fire. Meanwhile, Hancock is drunk on a bench. A kid tries to wake him up, but the soused superhero only shoves the boy away. HancockFinally, the wobbly Hancock makes a half-hearted attempt to rectify the situation, ultimately causing more damage than the thugs ever could have and further demolishing his public image.

During another questionable rescue attempt, Hancock saves the life of do-gooder PR agent Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman). Despite the public outcry for Hancock's arrest, Embrey sees an opportunity to help out Hancock and his own stalled career in the process. He welcomes the liquor-scented hero into his home to meet his lovely wife Mary (Charlize Theron) and little boy (Jae Head), who is quite enamored with the prospect of dining with a real live superhero. With more than a little difficulty, Embrey talks Hancock into turning himself in to authorities for a brief prison stint as the first step towards reforming his ways and becoming the kind of beloved, respected superhero everyone wants Hancock to become.

Peter Berg's transition from actor to blockbuster Hollywood director has been impressive. While Berg was always been a reliable actor, he has found his true calling directing big-ticket movies starring Hollywood A-listers like Billy Bob Thornton, The Rock and now Will Smith. Hancock is Berg's largest directorial undertaking thus far and he demonstrates an exceptional command of the material. Hancock is funny and edgy -- nearly straying into R-rated territory in the early going -- and yet still manages to stick to a conventional enough storyline for traditional blockbuster audiences to come along for the ride. For one, Berg resists the temptation to throw everything and the kitchen sink into the movie -- this one is just over an hour and a half rather than the recent two hour-plus wannabe epics of the summer season. There are even some very unexpected surprises (one is a big reveal that I commend Sony for not letting out of the bag in their marketing campaign) to keep audiences on their toes. Hancock is also a near-perfect blending of laughs, action and brisk, popcorn movie storytelling.

HancockCredit Will Smith with the guts to send up his great guy persona and play a genuinely flawed character, even if he does happen to be one with super powers. Hancock is the kind of flawed, superhero send-up tale Mystery Men was supposed to be and Smith is the perfect guy to pull it off. Audiences will even siding with Smith the jerk and there aren't too many actors that can pull that off so effortlessly. Will Smith is Hollywood's biggest star with good reason. Put him in your movie and it turns to gold.

Arrested Development has resuscitated the career of Jason Bateman and thank God for that. The Ray Embrey character could have easily come off as smarmy, but Bateman infuses him with intelligence and humor. He has chemistry with anyone who can step up to his level of sardonic wit. Luckily, Smith and Theron are no slouches for the task.

Hancock is just good, clean, summer popcorn fun. It's a little gritty, a little over-the-top and more than a little silly. The CG is overdone here and there and doesn't always look top-notch, but most should be willing to overlook that in exchange for the next laugh. Smith clearly has fun sending up his image and the rest of the cast plays off him beautifully. The only thing missing is a worthy villain, but maybe that will come in Hancock 2. If you set your expectations to the right level (and if you buy a ticket to a movie about a drunk superhero, what are you really expecting anyway?) you should have a lot of fun at Hancock.

ReelzChannel Rating: 8

http://www.reelzchannel.com/movie/243360/hancock?tab=review

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