Saw a super-secret advance screening of Hancock yesterday at the Bridge in L.A. Both producer Akiva Goldsman and Sony head Amy Pascal were in attendance. Akiva was looking mighty nervous as the movie was about to unspool... you see, this was a surprise screening for the common folks and not an industry event. No one in the audience knew which film they were seeing as they filed into the room...but everyone was secretly hoping it was the THE DARK KNIGHT. When one of the studio lackeys announced that the film we were seeing was Hancock the reaction was, to say the least, subdued. The usual pre-amble followed about how the effects were not totally rendered, some shots were not color corrected, etc. Well, Mr. Goldman was right to be nervous... the film is an unmitigated mess... SPOILERS AHEAD-- I mean it. If you want to stay pure and not know a thing about slick Willie's Hancock then now's the time to go back to GTA4. All right, for those of us still interested: It opens with slick Willie on the roof of an LA building drunk as a skunk while a radio voice-over tells us in an obvious heavy exposition sequence what an asshole Hancock is... more public nuissance than hero, blah-blah... Hancock walks off the building and slams into the asphalt below destroying the pavement and several cars... he causes lots of property damage throughout the film (it kinda gets redundant, we get it he's a drunk, move on)... as Hancock lays on the smashed concrete while he's smashed from the all the alcohol consumption, a homeless guy walks up to him and calls him an asshole (I can't remember the last time I heard that expletive so often in a big budget summer film)... basically the film spends the next 30 minutes showing us what an asshole Will smith can be... We cut to the scene in the trailer when he lands in the back of car being chased by cops on Highway, the asian robbers shoot Hancock, bullets bounce off him and Hancock pulls a Fred Flinstone, punching his feet through the floor of the car and bringing it to a halt. He lifts the car into the sky and impales it on the Capitol Records building... what an asshole. Then Hancock goes to a bar and gets even more drunk, it kinda reminded me of the scene in the excrable Superman 3 when Supes got wasted and started flicking peanuts at the mirrored wall. Anyhow, he's approached by a gorgeous African American girl who comes onto him hard core. Hancock brings her back to his lair-- two nasty, dilapidated motor homes that were stuck together and Hancock precedes to show her his... well, you're not gonna believe this part but he tells the chick that she has to get away from him when he's about to blow his load (the actual quote was "when I climb the mountain")... and then we cut to the exterior shot of the two motor homes rocking like crazy. Willie was giving her his Hancock (I know I couldn't resist). Then we cut back inside and the girl flies across the room. Then three large baseball-sized holes are poked through the ceiling of the motor home like gunshots. Yup, this is a first in cinematic history. We get to see the results of super-ejaculate. I never thought I would see super-semen on the big screen... then again, the movie was at one time supposed to be called TONIGHT HE COMES. It all kinda makes sense now. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry... this was preposterous... it was at this point that I knew this was a debacle in the making... the conversation that Jason Lee spoke about in Mallrats which was intended to poke fun at a Superman type hero was actually committed to film. This was definitely a "what the fuck were they thinking moment" if ever I saw one. The problem with this film is that it doesn't know if it wants to be a comedy or a serious action film. Maybe they never knew. But the film only got worse as it went along. The only bright spot was Jason Bateman. God bless Bateman for actually being the grouding force of goodness and smart humor in this mess... although, the way Hancock meets Bateman is cliched. Bateman's car is stuck on the train tracks while a train is careening toward him. A drunken Hancock saves Bateman but not before causing yet more property damage, which upsets the folks at the scene of the accident. Bateman invites Hancock to his house to meet his wife Charlize Theron and his adorable kid (the kid was great, Charlize did the best with her very underdeveloped role). There's an immediate weirdness and wariness between Charlize and Hancock (more on that later). Bateman is a publicist with big kind heart... the kind of PR schlub that only exist in movies but you buy it because Bateman's so good. He offers to polish Hancock's image. Hancock ultimately takes the offer. Batemen tells Hancock that step 1 is to turn yourself in to the cops. Let the world miss you and then they will come begging for your services. Hancock reluctantly agrees. The whole thing about sending a superbeing to jail was a stupid idea... he can bust out at any moment but I digress. In jail, Hancock encounters many old enemies that he actually put there and then in an altercation, Hancock actually shoves an inmates head into another inmates ass... you actually see this!!! You actually see a guy's head in another guys ass! And hilarity ensues. I just could not believe what I was seeing. Later, a bank robbery occurs with many hostages and a massive shootout. The mayor calls on Hancock for help. In jail, Hancock rises, shaves his scruffy beard with his fingernails and puts on his nifty new supersuit (which looks like a leftover from the X-men franchise). Way to be original, costume design team. Hancock confronts the redneck madman who has a pressure bomb trigger in his hand. If he let's go of the trigger everyone goes boom!. Hancock severs the bomber's hand saving everyone. The city is grateful, the cops are grateful and so begins Hancock's road to redemption and public image glory. Also, throughout the film we see FLASHBACKS that show Hancock running thorough a rainy forest with a child in his arms. We always see the same flashback multiple times in the film with a voice-over by Smith about dying vs immortality but get this-- the Flashbacks are never resolved or explained. i almost felt like I missed something. Like there was a reel missing (hell, maybe there is). It was exactly like the Flashbacks in BATMAN Forever (another Akiva masterpiece) in which little Bruce Wayne keeps seeing a diary beside his parents two coffins... but we never found out what was in the damn diary that so traumatized little Brucie! Anyway, Bateman and his wife Charlize take Hancock to a fancy restaurant to celebrate his rehabilitated image. At the restaurant, hancock explains that he's not an alien, he's human... the last thing he remembers was waking up in hospital 80 years ago with two tickets to the movie Frankenstein in his pocket, but no other memory. More weirdness between Charlize and Willcock. Later that night, they all return to Bateman's home. Bateman is passed out drunk. Charlize is alone in the kitchen with Hancock. Hancock is about to kiss her when she suddenly picks him up and throws Hancock out the window with vicious force. OH MY GOD, Charlize is a superhero too!!! This is the big twist. Charlize later reveals that she and Will are descendants of Gods or Angels... she was at one time Isis. She also reveals that they were once husband and wife! We also find out that they are each others respective kryptonites. The more time they spend together, the weaker and more mortal they become... so they need to stay apart. She was at the movies with Willcock 80 years ago. They were on the road to mortality when Will saw a man getting mugged. Will intervened and got clocked in the skull. He lost his memory and Charlize decided to disappear from his life because the world needs one hero-- Hancock! Willcock wants his wife (Charlize) back and vows to destroy every living thing to get her (this is never really explored or developes but could have been very cool). It leads to a huge showdown between Will and Charlize... more needless property damage. Charlize is stronger than him. Bateman finds out that his wife is a superbeing. He's pissed. Bateman accuses Willcock of being selfish because he wants Bateman's life. Depressed, Hancock goes to a liquor store and buys more booze only to thwart a robbery in progress, except this time the bullets don't bounce off him. He's gunned down and bleeding. He's rushed to the hospital. Bateman and Charlize show up to. This is the climax of the film, so the mad bomber from the bank with the severed hand escapes from Jail and heads to the hospital. Hancock is in a hospital bed, Charlize by his side when the Bomber and his cronies show up and shoot Charlize. She's bleeding and dying. Willcock suddenly gets his suprestregnt back (I have no idea how since they're supposed to be each others kryptonite... I'm still not sure about the rules in this movie). The doctor's are trying to rescusitate Charlize while Willcock fights the baddies... but the closer Charlize is to death the stronger Will gets... but if she gets better Will gets weaker... to be honest, it was all very muddy and needs to be better explained or edited... I was confused. Anyway, Will throws all the baddies out the windows except for the big villain who is knocked out by an angry Bateman who in turn saves Willcock. Willcock sees that Charlize is dying and he jumps out of the hospital trying to get as far away from her as possible so she can regain her strenght/immortality/whatever. In the end, bateman and Charlize are together and happy while Hancock is in New York sitting atop the Chrysler building saving lives in the big apple. In my humble opinion, if the filmmakers want to save this film, drop all the silly stuff, like the super-ejaculation, the inmates head in the ass, and the lousy opening sequence and just stick to a straight forward action film... otherwise this will be Will Smith's first box office dud since WILD WILD WEST. But what really infuriates me is that with all the resources at their disposal, no one knew what film they were making. This film is the equivalent of being tone deaf. Don't get me wrong, I think Will Smith is an entertaning actor but this film, as is, does not work. Hence, the panic I was reading on the executives faces after the screening. This film is not as dark as it thinks it is and not as funny as it thinks it is. It's right down the middle and that's a dangerous place to be. IRON MAN got the tone right. The DARK KNIGHT knows exactly what it wants to be. HANCOCK is going into the most competitve summer season since the glorious summer of 1989 Half-Cocked. You may call me, MARLOWE
May 8, 2008, 8:51 a.m. CST
May 8, 2008, 8:55 a.m. CST
by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet
do the AICN talkbacker typical "awww hell nah" for anything Will Smith related?
May 8, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST
by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet
i just did it.
May 8, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST
Because Batman Begins didn't.<br> But I hope that neither Hancock or TDK will suck. AND I hope that if the movies are good, people won't talk about them like they would suck.<br> I seriously began to hate other people's opinion on movies, but that's a different topic...
May 8, 2008, 9:03 a.m. CST
i see the word spoiler and i immediately page down to the talk back.<p> Hows the weather, guys?
May 8, 2008, 9:03 a.m. CST
by Rollo Tomasi
Marlowe's the first person to make positive suggestions for how this film could possibly suck less than it sounds like. I just don't see it happening. Goldsman is totally overated.
May 8, 2008, 9:13 a.m. CST
that is describing the exact events in the movie, not a review The movie was actually fun to watch and I was pleasantly surprised. I was at that bridge screening and the audience cheered and clapped when they said it was Hancock. I guessed that it was Hancock before I arrived. Only the 15 year olds thought it was batman, some even thought it was speed racer. That said, the opening sequence was very funny, minus the trailer sex scene (which I am sure they will cut). Will Smith is a hell of an actor. The action scenes are intense and filled with guilty superpowers. There is indeed a nice twist and a decent ending for a summer blockbuster. All in all you should go watch this film if you like fun summer popcorn. It's about 20x better than fantastic four...
May 8, 2008, 9:15 a.m. CST
Let's see, it's some of what we hated about SUPERMAN III combined with Akiva (BATMAN AND ROBIN) Goldsman and Will Smith throwing whales back into the ocean. Thank Jebus we have IRON MAN, THE DARK KNIGHT and HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY this summer or HANCOCK would probably kill the superhero genre.
May 8, 2008, 9:19 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
DerLanghaarige called it - BATMAN BEGINS took one of the most interesting Batman graphic novels (BATMAN: YEAR ONE) and removed the most interesting part of it (the Gordon storyline - yes, I know it's a Batman movie, not a Gordon movie, so why go back to Year One? Fuckers!), then spent the rest of the movie trying to sell us the new realistic Batman franchise ('cos making a movie about a vigilante dressed as a FUCKING BAT needs realism!) on the back of Christian Bale's intensity - kinda hard when he speaks in that ridiculous voice every time he's Batman. They criminally wasted Gary Oldman, who could've been MUCH more interesting, they settled for Liam Neeson phoning in a half-assed Qui-Gon impression for Ra's Al Ghul, and over-egged the pudding with a second villain, who was great but surplus to requirements. The car chase was boring - with the coolest fucking Batmobile yet, the chase was boring!!! - and a fucking stupid L-train fight to round off that confusing fucking movie. Add Michael Caine as the worst fucking Alfred you could imagine, and garnish with a tepi Katie Holmes as Rachel. Where's this fucking epic everyone refers to as BATMAN BEGINS? All I see is a schizo mess of a movie that doesn't know what the fuck it is.<P> No-one's saying it doesn't have iconic moments - particularly the scene where Bruce Wayne stands in the Batsuit for the first time in the cave, controlling his fear as the bats swarm around him, BECOMING Batman in that glorious moment - but they are way too infrequent to merit this classic status that movie has. There are great moments in SUPERMAN RETURNS too, but it ain't no classic either.<P> DARK KNIGHT? It's saving grace looks to be the incredible performance by Heath Ledger, which eradicates the Jack Nicholson shite, and solid support from Aaron Eckhart, who looks awesome as Two-Face. Otherwise, in the first trailer we have a Bruce Wayne who can't hack it any more, who wants to quit, then fucking Michael "Miscast" Caine telling him to "endure" or whatever, then a brief montage of Joker villainy, a brief Batman intro shot, then Morgan Freeman giving it "That's more like it, Mr Wayne"... FUCK!!! So in this movie Bats is so fucking WEAK he has to have stawart old farts Cai ne and Freeman throwing cliches at him to get him back to fucking work? Didn't take much for the vendetta over his parents' death to fade, did it? And we all know how well a Batman with no stomach for vengeance goes, don't we, Mr Clooney?<P> Admit it - cool production values and barnstorming Heath performance aside, THE DARK KNIGHT looks fucking stale. Same old, same old. Tim Burton got it right in the first two movies - fucking let it die. Along with Bale's "intensity", which is fast becoming the most boring fucking thing in movies these days.<P> As for HANCOCK... I'll watch it. If only because I enjoyed MALLRATS, and also wonder what super-ejaculation looks like...
May 8, 2008, 9:22 a.m. CST
May 8, 2008, 9:23 a.m. CST
"This film is not as dark as it thinks it is and not as funny as it thinks it is". That makes me think of LAST ACTION HERO. Is that what this is? Last Action Hero for the new millennium. I read a piece recently where Goldsman and Pascal were going off about how edgy this movie is... whenever I hear executives and pampered rich guys talk like that it gives me the fear.
May 8, 2008, 9:23 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Sorry. Just really didn't see the greatness everyone keeps attributing to BATMAN BEGINS. All it needed was Sir Ian McKellen as some random villain going "The waaaaaaaaaaaaar has beguuuuuuuuuuuuun" to complete the set of Most Boring Cliches In SuperHero Movies This Century. God, BEGINS is over-rated. And changing Maggie Gyllenhaal for Holmes, while a worthwhile move, is not going to save this movie. It's like putting a half-carat diamond atop a steaming turd. Yeah, I said "atop". This sunny weather in England must be getting to me.
May 8, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Along with GLOBAL FREQUENCY, the other greatest comics idea of all time that has criminally NOT become a movie yet. Yes I know GF was a pilot show (and fucking AWESOME it was too - Michelle Forbes IS Miranda Zero!) but DAMAGE CONTROL was a fantastic idea. Until Garth Ennis pinched it, changed it and turned it into a shit joke in THE BOYS...
May 8, 2008, 9:26 a.m. CST
If so either the super-ejaculate has to go or the MPAA has REALLY loosened up.
May 8, 2008, 9:27 a.m. CST
Super Sperm... A guys head in another guys ass... Oh dear God!
May 8, 2008, 9:28 a.m. CST
at least these moment that shocked our poor sensitive reporter here sound like we're seeing something new.
May 8, 2008, 9:28 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
DAMAGE CONTROL - the one I'm thinking of was a concept by some writer where Damage Control was the name of a company who specialises in clearing up the wreckage left after superbattles. Not the SHIELD operation series Marvel did in the very early 1990s.<P> I've got the wrong DAMAGE CONTROL, haven't I?
May 8, 2008, 9:32 a.m. CST
when you cross every cliche from superhero movies with every cliche of romantic comedies? My Super Ex Girlfriend. What do you get when you cross every superhero cliche with every cliche from a Martin Lawrence movie? Hancock.
May 8, 2008, 9:37 a.m. CST
by Stupendous Man
this looked poopy from the first trailer...
May 8, 2008, 9:44 a.m. CST
wild, wild west.
May 8, 2008, 9:45 a.m. CST
AICN is supposed to be a place where geeks come together who have a love for movies. I appreciate the "heads up" that Harry and co. give us in regard to spoilers, but i really think that there should be a bit of discretion shown when someone sends in A COMPLETE AND DETAILED AUTOPSY OF THE ENTIRE FUCKING PLOT FROM START TO FINISH. I feel this somehow eclsipses "spoilers", as there is usually a reason to still see the film after most AICN stories. Can we get a little bit of thought towards people who actually still love cinema and prefer not to just read about it?
May 8, 2008, 9:51 a.m. CST
Arrested Development wins!
May 8, 2008, 9:52 a.m. CST
It can mean it reveals one thing to it reveals everything. You were warned. Got nothing to complain about.
May 8, 2008, 9:55 a.m. CST
The plot sounded pretty different and interesting to me. Just because the 'reviewer' says it in a negative tone, do you have to think the same? You could do that with anything: "Oh my god, how crap is Empire Strikes back? Get this they have lightsabers - I'm not kidding! SABRES MADE OF LIGHT?! HOW FUCKING RETARDED?!!" etc..
May 8, 2008, 10:12 a.m. CST
Will Smith is as entertaining as irritable bowel syndrome.
May 8, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST
by Herb West
I don't even know what to say.
May 8, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST
I liked Marlowes style and was fairly imformative. 'At one point this movie was going to be called TONIGHT HE COMES'. Lol. <p> Theres an amazing superhero flick crying out to be made along the lines of this kind of plot but it sounds like they've dropped the ball in quite a few areas according to quite a few sources. Iron Man (despite its quibbles) proved that less is more in terms of portraying an anti-hero. You didn't need people calling Tony Stark 'an asshole' or him graphically banging women - it's subtlety in that area was a major strength in that it credited the audience with a bit of imagination. Also the lack of a earnest angsty teen lead was SO refreshing in a major movie - I hope they don't stick in an annoying sidekick for IM2. <p> As for Hancock, maybe give it try but not a must-see for me.
May 8, 2008, 10:26 a.m. CST
by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet
this dude gets to make a new Dune movie. for that reason alone i hope Hancock does well. <p>maybe he will blow us all away with a decent rendition of the book on film, and there is no way that will happen without a giant budget. so, i hope Hancock does well and he has all the money he needs.
May 8, 2008, 10:27 a.m. CST
Go watch X3, it seems more up your alley. I saw it too and thought it was great. The whole point of the film is to de-construct a superhero movie. Hence the 'super ejaculate' scene - do superheroes not ever fuck? And there was never a single point where I was confused. Sure, it would have been nice to see Will's rage at wanting Charlize back, but that was not the point of the movie, either. I hope AICN runs a better review, because the crowd was laughing and cheering at all the right times, so Marlowe was in the majority.
May 8, 2008, 10:30 a.m. CST
My rage after reading this alleged review got the better of me. Christ, this makes Mirajeff's Grudge 2 review look well written.
May 8, 2008, 10:36 a.m. CST
Some of the ideas sound good and some sounds like they're from crazy Japanese movie by Takashi Miike. And then they try to knit it together into a summer blockbuster. You'd wonder about the mindset of some people in Hollywood. How did anyone think that a Transformer effectively pissing on a guy, combined with a reference to lubricant wouldn't fuck up the tone of the film? It's not far from a "horse hung" joke in a live action My Little Pony film. Anyway...
May 8, 2008, 10:36 a.m. CST
by Mr Gorilla
Well, 2005 had quite a lot going on.
May 8, 2008, 10:38 a.m. CST
by Frat Boy
on the reaction of the audience. i went to a test screening of "the whole ten yards" and the audience was laughing their asses of at it. can we agree the general public is mostly comprised of idiots?
May 8, 2008, 10:39 a.m. CST
I'm always up for more Gordon and I do think his character was underutilized in the first movie but that looks to change in TDK. Regardless, he was a prominent figure in the first film and he was fully realized by Oldman. As for Caine being the "worst Alfred", good luck with that because I thought he was spot on; a combination of surrogate father, loyal friend, and just an ounce of humble servant. You’re also on your own with those silly attacks on Bale’s acting skills, which frankly are not in question by anyone but Burton-lovers who think Keaton is Batman. Bale not only possesses the physical capacity necessary for the character but also the ability to convey the conflicting dualities of Batman’s mind. That said, I’m curious why Bruce’s doubts in TDK trailer has you up in arms, as Batman often feels guilt and concern that his presence in Gotham escalated the criminal response. I don’t think he’s afraid or looking to puss out; I think he probably sees the carnage left in the wake of the Joker and wonders if he is partially to blame. It’s no wonder he turns to his surrogate father looking for advice (something he does quite a bit in the comics) and I also think it reinforces the notion that we are dealing with a young, sometimes naïve Batman who is still learning. Of course, as I reach the end of your post, you make the ridiculous claim that “Tim Burton got it right in the first two movies - fucking let it die.” Did you even bother to examine the fact that such a statement completely invalidates the rest of your flimsy arguments? You take Nolan to task for not using Gordon enough then venerate Burton’s flicks, which contained a Gordon that had literally no resemblance to the character from the comics? And why so indignant about Ras Al Ghul considering how badly Burton butchered all the villains in his films? And Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne; do I even need to point out how fucking lame that casting was? What about the fact that Burton never explored Bruce’s relationship with his father? Or Batman’s willingness to kill, which violates the ethos of the character completely? If anybody needs to let it die, it’s the staunch Burton defenders who try to validate his indefensible butchery of the Batman mythos. Nolan got so much right that I can forgive a few flaws where by contrast Burton got just about everything wrong, including an overrated aesthetic that looked more like a sound stage than a viable city. You can claim Batman Begins isn’t worthy of the iconic status it’s garnered but as somebody who’s read more comics than Year One I’ll take Nolan’s vision over Burton’s every time.
May 8, 2008, 10:54 a.m. CST
"do the AICN talkbacker typical "awww hell nah" for anything Will Smith related?" AWWW HELL NAW!!!
May 8, 2008, 10:55 a.m. CST
Will Smith should skip the acting and save us all from his two hour commercials. barf.
May 8, 2008, 11:31 a.m. CST
May I call you, asshole?
May 8, 2008, 11:41 a.m. CST
Apparently this film is indeed a dark R rated film, but apparently they keep cutting out things and dumbing it down and basically fucking it all up just to get a PG-13. Hey studios how about just giving us the version that it was intended to be and stop marketing it as a hit comedy if it is indeed a dark film with moments of satire and humor huh?
May 8, 2008, 11:46 a.m. CST
May 8, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST
then they woulda gotten rave reviews, same as speed racer
May 8, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Good points, well made, and thanks for not at least frothing at the mouth and ranting at me (I get that a lot in the Who TBs). I've got no probs with others who enjoy movies that I don't - it's just that most people hang this "classic" movie status around the neck of BATMAN BEGINS, and I genuinely don't get why it has that status. Then again, I enjoyed X3 over X1 AND X2, and still think Jackman is completely wrong as Wolverine, so maybe I'm on my own.<P> Agreed, Oldman WAS Gordon in BB, but for how long? Five minutes? Why have such a great and accomplished actor as Oldman in a role that l;iterally required him to (a) look worried and (b) drive the Batmobile at the end? That is the definition of wasting a character, right there. And like yourself, I've read an awful lot of BATMAN comics and GNs, so I'm well aware of the background, but YEAR ONE (which the basis of BB clearly is) is a story centered as much on Gordon and his introduction to the GCPD as it is about Bruce Wayne becoming Batman. The core of that story is the symbiosis of the two men on their parallel journeys: Gordon as he discovers, roots out and finally triumphs (sort of) over corruption in the GCPD force, and Bruce as he tests out his new identity, comes to terms with it, and at the end realises that he must be in some sort of contact with GCPD so they know he isn't the threat they believe him to be - where the two characters we've followed throughout the GN finally come together in an uneasy truce. Compare the simple beauty of that narrative with the overcomplicated, pointless everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach of BEGINS - and the constant hammering of the overall theme - OKAY. IT'S ABOUT DUALITY. WE GET IT NOLAN! BB was simply too much for one movie, it got rushed and ultimately disrespected its original source.<P> Caine is simply preference: most English butlers from the era Alfred is from aren't anywhere near as informal, colloquial or confrontational as Alfred is. Alfred in the GNs never came across to me as a father-substitute: part of wayne's problem is that he has NO father substitute, so he - in effect - makes himself feel safe by becoming the Batman: putting to rest his own fears for rising crime in Gotham by being the solution to it. He, in effect, takes the place of his own deceased father as primary giver of security. In the comics, I always though Alfred was a dry, very English butler who occasionally voiced his displeasure or disagreement with a well-placed short dry witticism: Caine goes straight in there with why Bruce shouldn't do this or that, and what would his father have said - there's no way an aristocrat would take that from a servant, even one in the family as long as Alfred. Which is why I think Michael Gough absooutely nailed it - he'd be as at home in REMAINS OF THE DAY as in BATMAN for his portrayal of a typical butler. He inhabited that role, and I think Caine is as far from the truth of who Alfred is as it's possible to get. But this is a preference or opinion, and like arseholes, everyone has one. I guess ours just differ.<P> Keaton's physicality was probably more hampered by bad suit design than anything. But he at least was believable as a playboy AND crimefighter - does anyone really think Bale has any kind of fun in these roles? He didn't come across as a playboy in BB; more as someone PLAYING a playboy. A question to ask about Bale's acting: does anyone see him in a light, Matt McConaughey / Dermot Mulroney role in a romcom? No? What about a pratfaller a la Jim Carrey? No? Can you name any lighthearted role Bale has ever played? One that doesn't have him either starve to the point of death or act so intensely he's on the brink of sanity? I mean, Batman is a billionaire with all the toys in the world who fucks supermodels as his cover, then fights crime at night - surely he'd ENJOY IT, at least a little bit? Bale does only one thing in his movies well: brooding. It's hat he's known for. That's not acting. Unless in reality he IS like Will Ferrell or Jim Carrey, in which case he's the best actor on the planet.<P> As for the villains, it's about interpretation: no two Jokers in the comics are ever alike - Alan Moore's differed from Grant Morrison's, for example - and the movies have that room for interpretation. But each villain at least should have some semblance of its origin: the Joker should be insane; Two-Face should be obsessed with duality and the possibil.ity of doing good AND evil; the Penguin should be indignant, and repulsive, and manipulative; Catwoman should be untrustworthy; the Riddler should be almost insane, but driven by the need to pose puzzles, to confuse his targets, to use trickery; Freeze should be implacable, cold and unfeeling. Ra's Al Ghul is an almost-immortal megalomaniac, whi believes he alone can judge what kind of man should walk the Earth, and is insane enoug hto believe that he alone has the right to remake Earth how he sees fit. Did you honestly think Liam Neeson gave that performance? Between napping, I mean? <P> Our opinion on Keaton is also personal, I suspect: but looking at his movie CV versus Bale's, it's Keaton who can go from alcoholic cop to superhero, from harried father and husband who gets cloned to bio-exorcist, from stressed reporter to Lohan's mechanic father. Sci-fi romcoms, Goth fantasy, superhero movie, drama, thriller, and Disney kids movie: can Bale show range like that? Has he so far? I prefer Keaton to Bale any day; argue all you want about the relevance of Bale's intensity, but he hasn't got the range of Keaton.<P> The over-rated aesthetic of Burton's vision was the main thing he got right! Gotham City - it's called GOTHam City. the clue's in the title! Where the hell's the gothic architecture in Nolan's Gotham? In this obsession to make it real, why doesn't anyone notice that the concept of a vigilante dressing as a bat is more realistic if put against a more comic-based background - in this case, a more stylised, Gothic Gotham City - than running the whole story in a real city? What's the point? It makes Batman look more lame more being real! Batman ISN'T real: it IS a comic book, and realism isn't always a good thing for comics - see IRON MAN for the exception to that rule. Again, it's opinions, and mine differ greatly to yours. I just think that in a real city, a guy dressed as a bat to fight crime is going to get his ass kicked, no matter how great a ninja he was in the first half of the movie. And he'll look stupid, as opposed to cool. This is why 300 looked better done as was rather than filmed on location, where such asskickery would just look dumb.<P> Real doesn't work for Batman. At least, not in my opinion...
May 8, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST
This movie had me at super spooge. How can the reviewer possibly have a negative spin on quite possibly the most awesome moment in super hero cinematic history? How can anyone not find that hilarious?
May 8, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST
by spud mcspud
I still want to watch HANCOCK. Sounds like a blast to me.
May 8, 2008, 11:57 a.m. CST
http://www.darkhorizons.com/ news08/080507m.php It sounds like they wanted to do a Super Hero film in the style of Fight Club, but the studios wanted to make it family friendly. The comparison to Last Action Hero seems accurate.
May 8, 2008, 12:02 p.m. CST
I've heard on this post the longest most incorrectly compiled list of garbage concerning Batman Begins, Will Smith, and Liam Neeson. Now i'd be naive to think that we could all agree to disagree but the ample urge of most of you to love to hate anything that the majority of us like is becoming ridiculous. I don't need to defend Batman Begins, Christian Bale, Will Smith, or Liam Neeson. These have proven that they are great in most respects and should be above this type of juvenille scrutiny, especially in a Hancock test screening review forum.
May 8, 2008, 12:06 p.m. CST
by Nice Marmot
The premise seems ok, although it sounds like it could use a better villain than a redneck bomber. But then there's the Smith, Goldsmith, stupid humor parts that will keep me far far away from this.
May 8, 2008, 12:06 p.m. CST
most of the argument coming from a guy who liked x3 over x1 anc x2. In my opinion... you have no credibility to judge comic book movies based on that criteria but it also makes me feel better about your opinions concerning good movies cause now i know they don't mean much to most of us
May 8, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST
It was definitely a PG-13 movie but with R touches (the super sperm, and i think 3 or 4 "fuck"s). I wish they'd just go with R - it didnt LOOK like it should have cost 130 million, so they overspent and now have to dull the movie down for idiots like Marlowe so they can make their money back, at the cost of audience enjoyment? Lame. Release as is and they'll be fine, any tamer and it won't work at all.
May 8, 2008, 12:23 p.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Maybe it's because I remember a time when Liam Neeson tried hard to create a distinctive character in each movie he did, rather than rehash the old, wise mentor character he plays in EVERY FUCKING MOVIE since Episode 1.<P> Maybe it's 'cos everything Bale ever plays has to be completely miserable. Except AMERICAN PSYCHO. Which would have been miserable for Bateman's victims. Either way, it ain't a family film.<P> Maybe it's 'cos I think an X-MEN movie should have, oh I don't knowm, more than maybe 10 mutants in a fight at the end. You know, more than that lame fight on the Statue of Liberty in X1, or that fucking waste of time fight between Wolvie and Deathstrike in X2, or the cardboard flat characters in both movies, and McKellen drawling "the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar has beguuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun" every so often. Maybe it's because Jackman just isn't nearly macho enough to pull off Wolverine's character, especially when you think it could've been Russell Crowe or Dougray Scott - both who would have been better. Maybe it's because, despite being Ratner, the X3 movie actually delivered a decent, epic-sized fight between rival mutant factions, something we needed from the fucking beginning.<P> Maybe it's because making a realistic movie about a vigilante who dresses like a flying rodent actually devalues the character instead of making him more heroic. I don't think SIN CITY or 300 would have benefited from a more "realistic" telling, and nor does BATMAN.<P> But for whatever reason, crashbarbarian, I really couldn't give a flying fuck into a rolling doughnut what you think of my opinions. Because (a) I can actually articulate why I think what I think about them, without resorting to this pathetically high-horsey manner you have of speaking about my opinion, as if you were the fucking ultimate authority on what does or does not suck in movies today, and (b) because if you create art and put it out there in the public forum, you will NEVER be above criticism from ANYONE, be they peasant or priest, messiah or muckraker. ANYONE who pays to see these movies has a right to be heard - which is why your opinion doesn't really matter to me. X1 and X2 sucked, and all the telling yourself you hate X3 just because AICN tells you to hate Ratner won't change that. Stop being led, and get a fucking clue on how to think for yourself, you fucking consumerist's dream of a sheepbot. Somewhere there's an obscure X-MEN variant with a different colour of Professor X's dick that you may not have bought and vacuum-sealed yet, and by God you have to have it, don't you?!?
May 8, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST
by Kid Z
... was originally postulated by Larry Niven in an essay he wrote called, "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex". Also, the millions of resultant super spermatozoa should fly all around and eventually end up impregnating every fertile woman in Metropolis (or, in this case, L.A.) since each one would be indestructible, have all of Superman's (or Hancock's) powers, and be super-intelligent (well, for a spermatozoa, anyway).
May 8, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST
by Kid Z
... is back doing his usual tedious schtick, like in every other goddamn talkback on this site. C'mon homes... we get it... you didn't like Batman Begins. No could you please just log off and go take another f***in' Zanax?
May 8, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST
I think he got a bum rap, being upstaged by Jack the Joker and de Vito and Pfiefer in Returns. The villains in Batman's world are always going to be more colorful and exaggerated to counter the Bat's stoic nature. I thought Begins did a good job of focusing on Wayne's psychological development from unbridled rage and hate to determination. That was what seperated it from the majority of superhero movies: the discussion of why someone would do such a thing as dress up like a bat was at least given more than a lick and a flashback. (Also what made Iron Man great.)<p> But the main point is that Nolan took the genre seriously and it doesn't appear Hancock does, the makers are just trying to cash in on the superhero gravy train.
May 8, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST
by Charlie Murphy
Looks shitty. That's all I got.
May 8, 2008, 12:49 p.m. CST
by spud mcspud
The Cliff Notes version:<P> Don't hate it. Just don't think it's the classic people claim that it is. Preferred the first two Tim Burton BATMAN movies. DARK KNIGHT would be vastly improved if James Spader played Gyllenhaal's boss at the DA's office, and spankings ensue. Preferably with MG nekkid.<P> That's it, in a nutshell.
May 8, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST
by 300 monkeys
credit where credit is due for that crazy super-jizz idea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Man_of_Steel,_Woman_of_Kleenex
May 8, 2008, 12:58 p.m. CST
by Charlie Murphy
I don't care if someone doesn't like it, because I'm pretty confident it's a fantastic movie. It has a few missteps- Gordon drives the Batmobile; giant machine turns water to vapor (when i read the script i hoped that would get cut); Katie Holmes casting (although Rachel as a character is decent, so the actress who played her doesn't really affect my viewing)... but as a life-long Bat-fan, it was the movie I'd been waiting to see. Maybe not with that story or whatever, but the movie GOT the character of Batman. Cleric made very good points, and no offense to spud, but I very much disagree.
May 8, 2008, 1:06 p.m. CST
... that review kind of makes me want to see Handcock.
May 8, 2008, 1:07 p.m. CST
Kids are going to eat this shit. So therefore it's critic proof. This will make a gazillion dollars despite the bad reviews.
May 8, 2008, 1:08 p.m. CST
May 8, 2008, 1:17 p.m. CST
by 300 monkeys
yes, much better. good job.
May 8, 2008, 1:18 p.m. CST
prolly been said before, but i'm-a say it anyways: this concept sounds like a poor - and i mean REALLY poor - man's Watchmen.
May 8, 2008, 1:23 p.m. CST
May 8, 2008, 1:25 p.m. CST
From the get-go this looked like a ghetto version of the shit-fest that was MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND. Good to know I wasn't misjudging it.
May 8, 2008, 1:27 p.m. CST
The entire monastery is burning down, and Bruce Wayne makes sure to save the only white guy in the room.
May 8, 2008, 1:34 p.m. CST
the white guy also refused to kill an asian who might have deserved it. plus, I'm sure brucie donates to PETA and al gore so he must be okay.
May 8, 2008, 1:36 p.m. CST
Very likely died in the fire that Bruce subsequently caused. It's not that he didn't want to kill the asian farmer, he justed wanted to be more efficient with his asian killing.
May 8, 2008, 2:13 p.m. CST
He feel into the William Smith trap. Hopefully he makes it out ok. Haven't really heard much about the once promising Alex Proyas since Robot. I bet these promising directors hear that they can get Will Smith which means huge budget and think awesome! Then they realize that they have to Smithify there movies and come out with bland entertainment. <P> From what I hear about this movie sounds like the William Smith 100 million gross a year Company is worried about meeting margin, thats why all the screenings. Because usually you don't have to screen a William T. movie you just slap his name on the poster. Also sounds like The Rock would have been a better choice, him and Burg made The Rundown a lot better then it should have been, plus that was Walkens last good performence.
May 8, 2008, 2:17 p.m. CST
You may be tempted to bring up Wild Wild West, to which I reply, Wild Wild West is entertaining as shit, and a 'breast' of fresh air. Hancock will be awesome, if only to anxiously await the moments in the trailer. "Cause I been drinking Bitch!"
May 8, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST
by Fish Tank
this one should at least break even, thanks to brain-dead moviegoers.
May 8, 2008, 2:43 p.m. CST
I agree with that.
May 8, 2008, 2:46 p.m. CST
You always see those articles about "the demise of the movie star" and "the next julia roberts" etc etc. In terms of a person whose presence in a movie makes it a huge hit, there's only one star left, and it's Will Smith. He made a generic romantic comedy (Hitch) make $175 million, and now he's making My Super Ex-Girlfriend Part 2 make $200 million. More power to him.
May 8, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST
...i saw IronMan two days ago and i gotta say...what a decent, pefect, awesome superhero flick that was. Shame on you Raimi for letting spiderman jazz dance..and yes shame on you singer for letting fucking kumar beat up superman in SR. Shame on you. About Hancock...stop the hate people...just stop. Yall will going to see it anyway so just...stop.
May 8, 2008, 2:57 p.m. CST
I'm not going to hit all of your points other than to say on some things we agree and others we don't. I did however wish to address the idea that Bruce Wayne enjoys the playboy role. Personally, I think his role as party boy Bruce Wayne is tiresome for him and I don't think he enjoys it much at all. The character of Batman isn't superhuman but he has almost superhuman abilities through personal discipline and training and I think his personal war on crime, coupled with his own strict sense of justice, is all that matters to him. Like the Joker commented in Arkham Asylum, the mantle of the bat is his real face. The playboy persona is the true mask and it is probably a tedious burden to constantly keep that carefree, vacuous demeanor while simultaneously spending his evenings fighting crime. I do agree with you that at this juncture, the Batman mythos is interpreted differently by different people which is why I appreciate Burton's films even if they don't embody the true essence of Batman for me personally. I think Gordon deserves more screen time and while I liked Ras Al Ghul I think the Joker is Batman's definitive nemesis and Ledger looks to have hit that one out of the park. Personally, I think the Joker is such a large part of the Batman mythos that TDK will be elevated by his performance alone. Well see in about two months.
May 8, 2008, 3:03 p.m. CST
by John L Raiser
You could see it in the trailer where she comes shooting at him. As if the "I'm the only one of my kind" wasn't a big enough giveaway.
May 8, 2008, 3:20 p.m. CST
by Read and Shut Up
...were you trying to be funny with that, or just being stupid?
May 8, 2008, 3:42 p.m. CST
You beat me to the punch. Spud is indeed missing the entire point behind the "playboy" aspect of Bruce Wayne. The reason Christian Bale plays it like he's playing someone PLAYING a playboy is because that's how the character is written in most of the modern interpretations. And well said with the Arkham Asylum reference.
May 8, 2008, 3:49 p.m. CST
by lex romero
Impressively edited together that it manages to hide the super sperm thing and rather ridiculous sounding acient gods/angels rom com bit. Trailer makes it look like it might have been a vaguely entertaining, if predictable, superhero comedy. Review makes it sound like they tried to be something different and completely fucked it up.
May 8, 2008, 3:54 p.m. CST
by random dude
I ain't fucking seeing this shit.
May 8, 2008, 4:15 p.m. CST
As much as the reviewer hated it. And by the way, Jason Lee's comments in Mallrats were hardly original. Larr Niven may have been the first to commit pen to paper regarding it around the time the first Superman movie was coming out, but such ideas had been discussed before. If you are going to have a superbeing have sex with a mortal, you need to account for superejaculate.
May 8, 2008, 4:34 p.m. CST
I told you fuckers this movie was shit, but you didn't listen to me.
May 8, 2008, 4:37 p.m. CST
All you little fuckers who jerked off over this movie in past talkbacks can now see EXACTLY what I've insisted on the whoel time. <p> THIS MOVIE WILL FUCKING SUCK. <P> What you you pointy-headed imbeciles need to get that through your fuckin skulls? You slugs lap this shit up in the trailers for some reasons. God, you all make me sick. <p> Anyone who still thinks this movie "looks good" needs to go KILL THEMSELVES and their ENITRE FAMILIES just to make sure none of your stupidity genes stay around.
May 8, 2008, 4:39 p.m. CST
Go back to cockmilking and let the big boys discuss films here, OKAY? YOU CAN SUCK OFF WILL SMITH ALL YOU WANT SOMEWHERE ELSE. Bet you love the semeny taste of Hitch, huh? You want nothing more than for his Black Snake to MOAN all over your face? You sick fucker.
May 8, 2008, 4:40 p.m. CST
THIS SHIT IS RETARDED.
May 8, 2008, 4:46 p.m. CST
"Kids are going to eat this shit." <p> Wrong, you're confusing "kids" with GANYMEDE3010. YOU obviously liekto eat kids' shit. This movie looks so fuckin bad, it makes me want to PUKE. Which I'm sure you'd have no objection to as long as I did it all over your back, right, fucker? <p> "This will make a gazillion dollars despite the bad reviews." <p> You have to fucking kidding me? Are you a brain damaged retard swirling in a puddle of your own drool? The trailers for this look like SHIT. Will Smith IS NOT funny or original.
May 8, 2008, 4:47 p.m. CST
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May 8, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST
We've had some good times fucking around in TBs, so I know you're not serious about this dicksucking Hancock movie shit. But, please, it'll just encourage the other fuckwipes who think Will Smith is a comedy god and that this movie is novel. Fuckin insults to humanity.
May 8, 2008, 5 p.m. CST
Of course you don't have a clue, you fucking anus smoocher! You obviously follow the crowd like the lemming you are. WAKE the FUCK up and realize this movie is a cash grab that wants to fuck you in the ass!
May 8, 2008, 5:03 p.m. CST
by Teddy Artery
Could be OK, but I'll likely wait for dee vee dee.
May 8, 2008, 5:54 p.m. CST
makes sense, Gotham. I don't think this movie looks good either. It seems only to cater to slackers and tweeners. Neither of which usually have too much money to blow.
May 8, 2008, 6:03 p.m. CST
I think Quint gave away the final scene in Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay just cause he didn't like it...<p>I'm happy they're bringing the spoiler warnings back again.
May 8, 2008, 6:07 p.m. CST
by barnaby jones
Nobody actually KNOWS jack shit about what it is and what it isn't. So enough already !
May 8, 2008, 9:09 p.m. CST
I'm not sure what you know about this project, but you nailed it's problem to a tee. It was supposed to be a smaller film, but Mann got Smith on board and the studios went apeshit with the concept, trying to make it bigger and bigger when the idea didn't need it or could carry it. Great review, especially the comparison between Iron Man and Dark Knight.
May 8, 2008, 9:16 p.m. CST
by Mr Incredible
It'll save me a few bucks. It's too bad--the trailer looked like it had some potential and thanks to the MPAA and a crappy story, it will be PG-13 crap, and not rated R superhero destruction.
May 8, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST
...when you can see Superman? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2jGyqwHuLo
May 9, 2008, 12:22 a.m. CST
Like it or not (and I'm ambivalent at best towards Mr Smith) hes a guaranteed boxoff draw - one of only a half-dozen or so who deserve a 30 mil paycheck. And btw - the MPAA has nothing to do with whether it is rated r - Punisher was the last comic book r movie and it flopped. And it was Will Smiths idea to tank the original provocative title so try shoving a bit o that blame on Mr Smith
May 9, 2008, 12:57 a.m. CST
by Bob Cryptonight
I disagree...and it has been proven many times in Superman's history (t.v., cartoons, the comics, etc). The POINT is that it's honorable to follow the LAW and stay put in jail DESPITE your powers to escape. That makes perfect sense. Although I'm sure the movie sucks, anyway.
May 9, 2008, 12:16 p.m. CST
Are you DJ Jazzy Jeff?
May 9, 2008, 2:52 p.m. CST
by Johnny California
Really, all the 'silly' stuff that the reviewer hates is what makes me interested in the movie. Anyone ever read the comic book mini, The Pro, by Garth Ennis and Amanda Connor? It's about an NYC prostitute who's given superpowers by space aliens as part of a bet to see if there is heroic potential in even the lowliest person. It also had super-ejaculation and she stopped a suicide bomber by ripping his arms off as well. The only part that makes me cringe is the Charlize Theron backstory, but even in this review, it sounds like they handled it a lot better than I expected they would.
May 13, 2008, 12:25 a.m. CST
Has anyone mentioned that? It sat around for about a decade and everyone raved about it and how it was too edgy for Hollywood. I really wonder how it turned out. <P> Of course there's no guarantee that even one of the great scripts will turn into a watchable movie. On a side note: anyone here read 'Edward Ford'? I didn't get it..
July 7, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST
thanks for this review and information. the last thing I wanna do is spend 10 bucks on a ticket for this thing and have it suck. but the question now is, did they leave in the super splooge and the head up the ass. sheesh.