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Author Topic: Hancock
Puffy Treat
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Here's an extended look at the upcoming Will Smith super-hero comedy: Some more details on the actual plot, more action, more jokes.
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brojack17
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This is another movie I am really looking forward to. It looks fun.
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Enigmatic
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I'm definitely looking forward to this one. New trailer looks cool.
On a side note, last weekend at the theater they had a fake Entertainment Tonight featurette about Hancock (set in the world of the movie). It was incredibly annoying. I don't think the sets of people who want to see a superhero comedy and people who enjoy Mary Hart's screeching intersect all that much, you know?

--Enigmatic

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Lyrhawn
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Heh, I love this extra look. I wasn't sure exactly what it was going to be but I suspected it'd be some sort of redemption story.

It looks even better now.

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Lyrhawn
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Funny, surprising, action packed, has some depth.

I'll expand on that later. But I really liked it.

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Shanna
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That's good to hear. So far the reviews I've heard have been less than positive. "Great premise left to spoil" and so forth...
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Lyrhawn
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I'm not sure how much to say without spoiling anything, but I'll certainly leave the bigger plot points out, so mildly spoilery but not the big stuff.
.
.
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It starts off pretty much like you'd expect from the trailer. Hancock is a total jerk, he meets Jason Bateman, and starts to turn around under Bateman's direction. It's funny, has some great action scenes, and Bateman has a lot of heart, really it's almost like you're waiting for him to snap or show his true colors during parts of it but the guy is just 100% GOODNESS.

I was surprised by how much language there was, but given the character I guess it isn't totally out of left field. It was just a little jarring to hear both the swearing and the crudeness so often in the beginning. That's what turned my friend off that I saw it with, and I'd say between that and the violence, it's not really kid friendly.

About halfway through the movie has a big turn. Things are going Hancock's way, but then the bottom drops out of the whole thing and a couple big twists are introduced. The twists add a lot of depth, even if they felt somewhat half explained by the end. For once I found myself actually not minding that fact though. They explained enough to know what was going on, but didn't really flesh it all out. One of the twists was really quite tragic, and it really stops being a comedy and turns into something far more dramatic.

I think the one twist was really, really easy to figure out, to the point where I really don't even think it was that much of a twist, though the backstory certainly was. I think they wanted you to expect it.

All in all I think it was really funny, and halfway through turns from superhero comedy to superhero drama that added a lot of depth to an otherwise very run of the mill redemption story. Zero to hero isn't new, but the twists they put into it gives it a different flavor.

I'll talk more openly about it once we start letting the spoilers fly, but I did really like it, I think it had a lot more than the trailers implied, though I wouldn't have minded it being 20 minutes longer to let things play out slower.

I wouldn't mind seeing a Hancock II, and given the backstory to Hancock, I can already imagine a dozen different possibilities.

Edit to add: Theron, Bateman and Smith all showed some fantastic acting in this movie, I just wanted to add that.

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Puffy Treat
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Yeah, the last third of the movie...is a completely different movie. Not saying that's a bad thing, just that it goes from being a slightly salty super-hero comedy...to something extremely dark, violent, and strange.
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TL
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It's not a very good movie, in my opinion. All the pieces of the puzzle are there.... but they got put together wrong. It definitely feels like a collage of several different movies.

The things you think will be important end up not being important (I guess the guy just really likes eagles.)

And the things that end fueling the story are crazily impossible coincidences.

I did like the performances, particularly Will Smith's -- he did such a great job of being this vulnerable guy... But the writers and director kind of killed his performance by sucking any semblence of subtlety out of what he was trying to do.

I just.... yeah. You know, it's a pretty entertaining film to sit and watch, but it is not, in the end, a very substantive film.

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anti_maven
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Anyone else think "Hhhhancock's Hhhalf 'our" or was it just me?


Probably just me...

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Lisa
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The video has been removed.

Edit: Is this the same one?

[ July 02, 2008, 08:00 AM: Message edited by: Lisa ]

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Puffy Treat
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Nope, Lisa. This was a clip of a single scene from the movie. I didn't expect a thread I posted back in April to return, so I hadn't really kept up on the status of the link. [Smile]
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Lisa
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Oh, wow. I didn't notice the original date of the thread.
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T:man
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oooooo that movie was good!!!
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manji
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Who ever was holding the camera needs to be fired. Too many close-ups, too many shots that spun around the actors, too much shaky-cam. Just, too much camera trickery.
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BlackBlade
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I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, I was very happy with it. More thoughts to come later perhaps.
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Corwin
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I saw it yesterday and I liked it a lot. Definitely darker and more serious than the trailers. I wouldn't have minded a comedy, but I think this was the better choice.

Some *SPOILERS* ahead.


There were some things that I didn't quite get. The first one was the talk about a divorce the first time Hancock meets Mary. Was that Ray & Mary's divorce? They didn't really look like they were divorcing... Dunno, it just struck me as an odd comment. The other thing was already posted by TL: what's with the eagle anyway?

I was also waiting for the villain to become more villainy, and show some super powers, otherwise it would have been a bit dumb to go after someone you knew was way too powerful for you. That's a problem in most superhero movies I guess: ordinary dumb bad guys that can't quite grasp the fact that there's no chance they'd beat the superhero.

And wow, Charlize Theron is beautiful! I mean, I knew that, but still... The last movie I saw her in was Aeon Flux (bleah) and I wasn't struck by her beauty in that one.

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MEC
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quote:
Originally posted by manji:
Who ever was holding the camera needs to be fired. Too many close-ups, too many shots that spun around the actors, too much shaky-cam. Just, too much camera trickery.

That wouldn't be the camera man's fault, the blame would rest on the editor and director.
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Amanecer
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I was not impressed by this film. I'd recommend going to see Wall-E again rather than watching this.


*****SPOILERS******


The plot twist was ridiculous. Greek Gods? Wha...? And then Theron's character couldn't seem to get straight how she felt about Hancock. She went from sounding like she genuinely hated him and they had a very unstable relationship to having always loved him but having to be parted because it was "for the best." And why is he the only one that's a hero while she gets to have a happy little family?

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El JT de Spang
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I liked it, but thought it was monumentally disappointing for reasons already listed.

The DP needs to be slapped for all the shaky cam work.

The plot got all goofy towards Act III, and I really wish more had been done with the excellent performances by all the leads.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
And why is he the only one that's a hero while she gets to have a happy little family?
Why are those necessarily different? Near as I could tell she "saved" her husband and his son's lives.
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Corwin
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanecer:

*****SPOILERS******


The plot twist was ridiculous. Greek Gods? Wha...?

Meh, techno- or God-created superheroes, most of the time it's ridiculous.

quote:

*****SPOILERS******


And then Theron's character couldn't seem to get straight how she felt about Hancock.

That I can easily get. There's no simple way to feel about a person with all that history between them. Knowing you like each other, also knowing what happens when you get together, while for Hancock saving people is such an important part of his life, so being mortal will go against that... There's no easy solution, there are no clear feelings. Maybe it wasn't easy for her to live with him when he was trying to deal with his competing needs. And now that she has a family, it can't be easy to accept him back into her life, knowing all the secrets he'd unearth, that it will probably mean the end of the life she lived. After typing all that my head's already spinning; try actually living it. [Smile]

quote:
*****SPOILERS******


And why is he the only one that's a hero while she gets to have a happy little family?



Different people have different priorities. Apparently so do different angels.

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IanO
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***SPOILERS AHEAD***

I really really liked it. I think was telling that there was no clear bad guy (aside from the stock bad guys who just were used to move the plot along. And I too wondered why these morons couldn't figure out that they couldn't hurt him. They had no idea about his weakness. That scene in the prison yard, as funny as it was, didn't make sense. They had personally experiences his invulnerability. What did they THINK was gonna happen?) But that made it clear the movie wasn't going to be a superhero defeats his enemies movie. It was going to be a guy struggling to deal with his demons. And Will Smith did that so well. His speech about how much of a jerk he had to have been to have no one come for him when he was in that hospital opened his character and the actions up.

I'm not gonna fall into the trap of over-analyzing the film. It wasn't THAT deep at all. But I think Theron's reaction to him is realistic. She loves him but everytime theyre together he gets hurt. She leaves him so that doesn't happen anymore and he heals. But now he becomes a big jerk (well the movie repeatedly used another word). She doesnt know he has amnesia. She is surprised. After all that time, is this who he is? He doesn't grow out of it, move past the rage of her leaving, or whatever. He just wants people to dislike him.

It's illuminating that she marries an amazingly good hearted and decent guy who so badly wants to help people. Its like he's the human version of Hancock. When he shows up at their house, she realizes he can't remember her. But she's torn between concern and profound disappointment and concern for disruption of her family. When she hears his story about the amnesia in the hospital, that's when it all changes for her. She *could* love him again. But she loves her family and doesn't want to lose that. Both men have serious and valid claims on her soul. Seems logical enough for me.

I loved that Hancock wanted to changed partly because he wanted her to respect/like him. As I said, the film is not THAT deep. Disecting the whole angels/gods/superheroes slapped on mythology is pointless. That was just a means to an end, to tell this kind of personal story. But I loved it.

I just am continually impressed with Will Smith. Saw the fresh prince last night. Funny to contrast the two.

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Corwin
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***SPOILERS AHEAD***


IanO: She does know he has amnesia. She said that she did come to get him at the hospital, but he didn't remember her. That's when she decided to leave him.

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AvidReader
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I'm also in the Love It camp. I thought it was fun and deeply human.

***Spoilers***

The explanation for the powers didn't bother me. Someone built them, and they don't know who. The rest of humanity has called them gods, angels, and now superheroes. Theron's character leaned towards the angel explanation.

I loved how I could tell immediately that she knew him and hated him, but I couldn't figure out where she knew him from. Then they had the amnesia and I thought I'd nailed it, but then it was 80 years ago and I was confused again. Then it all made sense.

In hindsight, I'd say the scene with them at the dinnertable where she keeps shoving food on her husband's plate probably had more to do with her being angry at herself and fate than at Hancock himself.

I also adored that she had more raw power than him but was less driven to use it. I find that's generally how people are.

I did find the ending very sad, though. She'll have love and a family, and he won't. She'll outlive her husband and their son and all his children and just keep going forever with no end. She might be better off than Hancock now, but she won't stay that way.

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Uprooted
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quote:
Originally posted by Corwin:

There were some things that I didn't quite get. The first one was the talk about a divorce the first time Hancock meets Mary. Was that Ray & Mary's divorce? They didn't really look like they were divorcing... Dunno, it just struck me as an odd comment.

Corwin, I was puzzled by that at the time as well. But later it clicked. I'd have to go back and see the movie again to know if this is right, but at the time they are discussing Ray's son and his being bullied by that neighborhood kid. I think Mary was saying that the bully (the French kid, who we obviously meet later) is going through some tough times w/ his parents' divorce and that they need to cut him some slack.
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IanO
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That's right. forgot that part. I think the motivation still works. All in all, loved the movie.
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Corwin
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Uprooted: Oooh, got it. That must be it, otherwise it would be too weird. Thanks! [Smile]
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Amanecer
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quote:
Why are those necessarily different? Near as I could tell she "saved" her husband and his son's lives.
I'm not saying that being a loving member of a family isn't heroic in it's own way. I think having close personal relationships is more personally rewarding than the duty of constantly saving strangers without getting close. That's why it seemed to me that Hancock got the worse deal.
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BlackBlade
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Just saw your second comment Amanecer as I wrote out an apology, obviously I misunderstood what you were getting at.


*spoilers*
I'm not sure it's a question of, "who gets what." He chose to be indiscreet and open about his abilities and try to help people. Obviously without the knowledge of who he was and to a greater extent sobriety he could not do a good job of it. She chose at some point to move and keep a low profile. Perhaps she felt that by doing so Hancock wouldn't notice her and they would both be free of the grief.

Remember she had to leave him just so he could recover from the mugging. But I also see no reason why Hancock couldn't establish his own family at the end of the movie.

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanecer:
quote:
Why are those necessarily different? Near as I could tell she "saved" her husband and his son's lives.
I'm not saying that being a loving member of a family isn't heroic in it's own way. I think having close personal relationships is more personally rewarding than the duty of constantly saving strangers without getting close. That's why it seemed to me that Hancock got the worse deal.
*SPOILER*

The reason for Hancock being a "hero" while Mary lives a normal life is pretty much summed up in one line when Mary says something to the effect of, "More than the rest of us, you were made to protect [humans]. It's who you are".

It also explains why things always went badly when they became mortal. Mary said that people always tried to hurt Hancock through her, the typical super hero loved ones problem. And it also explains why even after losing his memory and becoming an apathetic A-hole Hancock still goes out of his way to save people. Whatever force created them made Hancock to be a protector of humanity.

The one thing I didn't get was why would even prison inmates try to pick a fight with a guy who they know is invulnerable and strong enough to toss a whale? How could they have expected an outcome that wouldn't make them look pathetic?

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Glenn Arnold
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Seems to me the Villain was cast in the Super Genius villain mold. He's got a Ph.D from Stanford, and he tells Hancock that it's time to "let her go." Somehow, he knows that Hancock is vulnerable when he's near Mary. His plan hinges on that knowledge.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
The one thing I didn't get was why would even prison inmates try to pick a fight with a guy who they know is invulnerable and strong enough to toss a whale? How could they have expected an outcome that wouldn't make them look pathetic?
You're wondering why guys who end up in prison are not that smart? [Wink]

But in all seriousness my guess would be they assumed that if Hancock was willing to let himself be locked up either his powers were gone or he was choosing not to use them. And hey, in prison what else is there to do, especially when they are so many of you and all of you were put in prison by the same guy?

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manji
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
But in all seriousness my guess would be they assumed that if Hancock was willing to let himself be locked up either his powers were gone or he was choosing not to use them. And hey, in prison what else is there to do, especially when they are so many of you and all of you were put in prison by the same guy?

Yes, maybe that explanation would work when Hancock first goes to prison. The inmates surround Hancock and are about to do some real damage. Then, Hancock demonstrates that he hasn't lost his powers, that he's there by his own choice. He keeps demonstrating this (shooting the ball into the basket, flying out of prison to retrieve a ball, et cetera). But, I assume the person above was talking about the villain with the hook escaping and gunning after Hancock immediately. It should have been clear to them that Hancock retained all of his powers and potency, especially, since no one knew about Hancock's weakness.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by manji:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
But in all seriousness my guess would be they assumed that if Hancock was willing to let himself be locked up either his powers were gone or he was choosing not to use them. And hey, in prison what else is there to do, especially when they are so many of you and all of you were put in prison by the same guy?

Yes, maybe that explanation would work when Hancock first goes to prison. The inmates surround Hancock and are about to do some real damage. Then, Hancock demonstrates that he hasn't lost his powers, that he's there by his own choice. He keeps demonstrating this (shooting the ball into the basket, flying out of prison to retrieve a ball, et cetera). But, I assume the person above was talking about the villain with the hook escaping and gunning after Hancock immediately. It should have been clear to them that Hancock retained all of his powers and potency, especially, since no one knew about Hancock's weakness.
Alright take our smart geek villain. He escapes from prison and plots his revenge on Hancock. He comes up with tons of elaborate schemes to take him down, he did go to Stanford after all. Then he sees the news report that everyone else saw on TV revealing that Hancock had been hospitalized with gun shot wounds. He grabs his henchmen they pick up some guns, and head for the minimal security hospital.

After writing that I'm now surprised that nobody thought, "Hey Hancock is in a hospital, he could probably use police protection since he has so many enemies, and is clearly incapacitated."

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AvidReader
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A throwaway exchange between the police chief and the mayor would have been perfect for that.

Chief: Do you want me to send a security detail down to the hospital?

Mayor: And authorize overtime? It's just Hancock.

Problem solved.

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by manji:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
But in all seriousness my guess would be they assumed that if Hancock was willing to let himself be locked up either his powers were gone or he was choosing not to use them. And hey, in prison what else is there to do, especially when they are so many of you and all of you were put in prison by the same guy?

Yes, maybe that explanation would work when Hancock first goes to prison. The inmates surround Hancock and are about to do some real damage. Then, Hancock demonstrates that he hasn't lost his powers, that he's there by his own choice. He keeps demonstrating this (shooting the ball into the basket, flying out of prison to retrieve a ball, et cetera). But, I assume the person above was talking about the villain with the hook escaping and gunning after Hancock immediately. It should have been clear to them that Hancock retained all of his powers and potency, especially, since no one knew about Hancock's weakness.
No, actually I was talking about when he first arrived in prison and he ended up putting the one guy's... into the other guy's...

I assume that the attack headed by hook-hand was expected to succeed because it was all over the news that Hancock had been hurt and was in the hospital, so they assumed that he was vulnerable.

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akhockey
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So I know I'm really, really late on this, but I avoided the movie hearing about how bad it was but I just saw it and thought it was muuuuch better than I expected, for many of the reasons already listed.

The one thing I noticed that was hinted upon, but not fully developed (within the hatrack discussions) was the immortality of Theron's character.

She doesn't age. Bates' character does. So...she'll look like that for the rest of his life.

Awesome.

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