a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Saturday, July 05, 2008


So I saw this yesterday, and it's an odd movie.

*** No Real Spoilers here, but there will be in the comments ***

The first half is sort of a comedy/superhero/drama, and is pretty much the movie they are selling in the commercials. In fact, I wish I'd never seen a commercial, because they give a lot away.

But then in the middle, when they basically resolve the first-half storyline and need to take the story in another direction, there's really a huge tone shift. Suddenly it's a lot more of an adult film, much more of a drama, more violent, and not very light any more.

I thought a lot of it worked, but aside from the tone shift, what really didn't work for me is the fact that it feels like they rush through it. They introduce an interesting idea that they could spend a whole movie really exploring, but here they rush through it in about a half hour, all the way up to the somewhat-flat, lame-villain climax, and then the movie is over.

Overall, I'd recommend the movie, because a lot here works, but there are a lot of good talking points about what they did in the second half of the film here.

If you've seen the movie, let's talk about it in the comments section. If you haven't, you probably don't want to read the comments, because that's where all the spoilers are going to be.


After HANCOCK, the wife and I went to see WANTED (we dropped $19.50 on the snack bar in between, so it wasn't really like sneaking in), and I was surprised at what a solid action movie it is, including an eye-popping sequence on a train. The tale hangs together well, and is well worth checking out.


At 11:42 AM, Blogger David said...

I completely agree with the tone shift and pacing of the second half being jarring, but the tone shift is softened a bit by the more grown up portrayal Will Smith puts into it. While his antics are a bit juvenile early in the movie, his one-liners and interactions with people are a bit more heavy than the joking would imply at first blush.

At 11:51 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Just saw "Hancock." Best movie of the year to see--if you're a screenwriter. This movie plays with some very interesting concepts. Overall, not the best movie of '08 ("Iron Man" gets that honor from me), but "Hancock" and "Definatley, Maybe" were the best, fresh original twists on established well-traveled genres this year.

Totally agree with you, Scott on your viewpoint on the 2nd half of the movie, though I liked it for the most part untill Charlie Theron's character was near death at the hospital. That scene kinda ruined "Hancock" for me me. It needed to be better, or better yet be replaced with something more satisfying.

LOVED Charile Theron. Gorgeous babe--and she can act too! Hope to see more of her in the near future.

Just went through some screenwriting heartbreak today. Tried to read my new rom-com to my mom, but she stopped me after ACT I saying it was too sexually latent for her tastes. So you've been warned. NEVER been censored by my mom before. This has me really doubting myself... Don't know if anyone else has been through having your story thrown-out by your mother before. I'm in a new world now. BUT the story does say what I want it to, AND the characters do speak to me--I can feel their joy and their heartbreak, so I'm going to send the story to you, and see what you have to say. But in all honesty I'm in a very sureal place emotionally right now.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

P.S. the reason for the late-night post is I wanted to get this off my chest before I thought to much about it.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Christian M. Howell said...

I loved it. The dialog was snappy. The story was plausible. The arc was clear. Some say he sacrificed for her, but I say she wanted him to be a hero, rather than for them to be together and die.

I'd say there is a lot left for two more movies. Their burgeoning mortality was a great twist. It was reminiscent of Superman Returns when the normal people beat on him.

It had the minimal sexual tension like Iron Man. It had the message of family like Spiderman. It even had excellent tongue-in-cheek humor.

I just read a good bit of "Tonight, He Comes" and it was the most boring start to a superhero movie I could imagine.

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think sneaking into a movie is dishonest and see no difference between that and shoplifting or pirating DVDs. Especially after the recent strike, it's pretty messed up that an aspiring screenwriter would do such a thing.

And yes, shoplifters and carjackers for that matter, can justify what they do, too. Makes little difference to the honest part of society.

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous peter said...

I have to agree with Anon:

I'm pretty shocked everytime you've mentioned you had "stolen" into a movie.


At 6:21 PM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

I loved Tonight, He Comes so much that I was kind of bound to be disappointed by this film. IT was okay, but I miss the original story.

There were a lot of themes introduced that were not explored and I really wish they had been.

At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

EC is going to open fire on a large group of people one of these days.

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck off, Anon 1. Tickets are $14. Wanted has made millions.

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I did a whole post about sneaking into movies a few years back. I was a theater manager for 6 years, so I have that angle on it as well.

I suppose it is stealing, but then again if I hadn't snuck into it, I wouldn't have gone to see it. While my doing so didn't deprive them of anything, like stealing a DVD would; I didn't take the seat of a person that would have paid.

And as an aspiring screenwriter, I have to say that if you really think the guy who wrote Wanted would have seen a penny of my $10, then you are sadly mistaken.

At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stealing is stealing. Lots of thieves don't feel bad about it.

To the vulgar anonymous commenter, if you don't have $14, make more money or stay home.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger Christian M. Howell said...

Hancock had a part about sneaking into a movie? Crap, where the hell was I?

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

diamonds are also way over priced, and besides, since they carry insurance, no one is really out anything.

At 6:44 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

EC - I think we'll be seeing more of this Charlize Theron.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Also, to the pissed-off Anon:

If I wrote a movie and someone snuck into it, I'd be cool with that. That'd mean I wrote a movie that actually got made!!

At 1:10 AM, Blogger The Acrobatic Flea said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:12 AM, Blogger The Acrobatic Flea said...

I'd rank Hanock the third best superhero/comic book movie of the summer so far - with Iron Man the best, followed by Incredible Hulk, and Wanted waaaaaaaay below it.

It really was a movie of two halves - only the second half had a lot of mumbo-jumbo talk and no substance.

They should have stuck to comedy routines and given him a decent supervillain to fight :-)

Full review:

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