Movie Review: Hancock

posted at 9:47 am on July 5, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Will Smith has one of the best qualities that a leading man can possess: innate likability.  Few leading men have this in as much abundance; perhaps only Tom Hanks gets close.  No matter what role Smith plays, audiences feel compelled to like him, and for the most part Smith has played likable characters.  In Hancock, Smith challenges the audience to stick with him while we find anything likable about an alcoholic superhero that shows nothing but contempt for the people and the city he protects.  The bigger challenge, though, is in finding anything funny about Hancock, and unfortunately there isn’t much comedy to be found.

It’s a great concept for a comedy, especially in this era of comic-book filmmaking  What if a superhero was a real jerk? (In Hancock, a seven-letter pungent euphemism for jerk gets used repeatedly, and at least twice by children who would get their mouths washed out with soap for using it.)  What if he created so much damage through his boozy heroism that he actually got booed by crowds and sued by the people he rescued?  All sorts of comic possibilities present themselves, almost all of which get abandoned in the first 30 minutes of a blessedly short 92-minute film.

Instead, the film opts for pathos as it sends us through a tiresome sequence of rehabilitation and the uncovering of the backstory for Hancock, who suffers from amnesia.  After saving the life of a PR specialist — a man who actually thanks him for saving his life — Hancock allows him to help remake his image, which also should have presented a wide range of hilarious options.  Instead, we get Lost Weekend Lite with a dash of The Greatest American Hero, without the latter’s wit and charm.

Even then, the film would have been worth a viewing, except for the self-important and melodramatic directing of Peter Berg.  Moviegoers have suffered through three decades of directors who believe that shaking cameras somehow makes the cinematic experience more authentic — but why use it with a superhero movie?  Berg also apparently belongs to that group of auteurs who eschew the focus while shooting rapid-cut ultra-close-ups.  A little of that goes a long way, but Berg goes overboard, giving this the feel of The Constant Gardener or Any Given Sunday, two movies that Hancock nonetheless surpasses — but that’s damning with faint praise.

Call this one a missed opportunity.  In the hands of another director and set of writers, it could have been a classic satire of a movie form that has threatened to engulf Hollywood.  It’s still worth a watch when it hits HBO, and I wouldn’t expect it to take long to get there.


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children who should get their mouths washed out with soap for using it

Only children should not use profanity?

jgapinoy on July 5, 2008 at 9:53 AM

…if it’s wrong for kids, why is OK for us?

jgapinoy on July 5, 2008 at 9:53 AM

I heard it was utter crap with sadistic backdrops for humor.

Amy Proctor on July 5, 2008 at 9:54 AM

If you want a real super hero comedy, with inept superheros. It better have “The Tick” in the title to be a sure thing.

Well, maybe not a sure thing

Micheal on July 5, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Old advice from Hollywood producer Sam Goldwyn: “If you’ve got a message, send a telegram.”

RBMN on July 5, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Haven’t seen it, but the scene in the trailer where he flings the beached whale into the ocean as concerned animal lovers stand aghast looks priceless.

Potfry on July 5, 2008 at 10:08 AM

How come Hot Air is reviewing a movie starring Will Smith when just a week or two ago everyone here took a pledge to never watch WIll Smith movies ever again? Is the boycott on or not?

Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 10:09 AM

I never said I’d boycott a Will Smith movie. “Everyone here” said that? Really?

Ed Morrissey on July 5, 2008 at 10:16 AM

The “Incredibles” handled the superheroes case damage and get sued theme and even threw in the now overweight out of shape aspect. When I first saw the trailer for Hancock I though it could be great because it would deal with all the problems superheroes have living around non-super people. Lets face it, Superman had to be super ethical not too x-ray the girls or heat vision someone in anger. Absolute control of your abilities would be required every second you were around non-supers. Hancock could have shown some of this in a very amusing way but apparently didn’t want to.

jmarcure on July 5, 2008 at 10:16 AM

jgapinoy on July 5, 2008 at 9:53 AM

There’s nothing wrong with cussing and 3/4 of the points on your blog are asinine.

Darth Executor on July 5, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 10:09 AM

It’s the ears. We love the ears.

Micheal on July 5, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Don’t laugh. We went to Kit Kittredge and I was thrilled that my kids saw that movie instead of Hancock.

moughon on July 5, 2008 at 10:24 AM

Re cussing: I object when filmmakers have pre-pubescent children using gutter language in movies. I don’t think it’s cute or funny, but rather wonder at the arrested development of the writers and the directors who find it humorous.

Adults cussing is a separate issue for me.

Ed Morrissey on July 5, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Somewhat OT: Just saw Wall-E last night. Yes, those subtexts are there, and they are subtle enough to be eclipsed by a hilarious and touching film. Highly recommended.

MadisonConservative on July 5, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Ed, from this article:

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/06/23/quote-of-the-day-296/comment-page-1/#comments

A sampling:

Well, this Yahoo does boycott movies of actorsactresses I do not agree with. It’s real easy. I prefer to spend my money on other things that benefit my family or myself.
-chrisknits on June 23, 2008 at 11:25 PM

Yeah, another actor to boycott…
-Vntnrse on June 23, 2008 at 11:01 PM

what a good little european socialist.
as a good little capitalist, i will spend my money else where.
-AZ_Redneck on June 23, 2008 at 10:55 PM

Thanks Will. You just saved me ten bucks on your movie.
-MagicalPat on June 23, 2008 at 10:48 PM

Another move I won’t see.
Another actor added to the list of morons and fools.
-georgej on June 24, 2008 at 6:36 AM

Another hollywood moron rears his tiny little head.
-Viper1 on June 24, 2008 at 6:58 AM

Anyway, it’s Will opinion and he’s entitled to have it instead of my patronage.
-Dusty on June 24, 2008 at 7:19 AM

So much for going to see Hancock…
Screw you, Will.
-SuperCool on June 24, 2008 at 1:46 AM

I guess I figured that Smith was a Democrat, but he always seemed reasonable and seemed to love his country. Until no that is. I won’t waste any more of my money on his movies.
-echosyst on June 24, 2008 at 1:50 AM

Will,
I’m sorry, but I won’t be seeing buying a ticket to your movie.
-Tim Burton on June 24, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 10:38 AM

The title could have been funnier too.

Sounds like an insurance drama.

profitsbeard on July 5, 2008 at 10:40 AM

Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 10:38 AM

When they write reviews of Hancock, then I’d say you have a point. A handful of comments on a thread does not mean “everyone” at Hot Air agreed to boycott Will Smith, especially since none of them were myself or Allahpundit.

Ed Morrissey on July 5, 2008 at 10:47 AM

Just a personal opinion, but I think you all should see the movie and make up your own minds. I’m thinking Ed must have been on the wrong meds. Took my kid to see it on Thursday and we both loved it. And yes, there were plenty of scenes where the audience was laughing out loud. I doubt there was a single person in the theater who would agree with Ed’s take.

To each his own. Reminds me of an old Sacramento Bee writer who once wrote that Raiders of the Lost Ark was the “worst movie ever made.”

Stick to writing about politics.

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Darth Executor on July 5, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Between the censorship and the boycott I thought this site had totally gone over to the neocons (who are neither new nor conservative, ain’t that ironic). Is will Smith gonna play Obama in an upcoming movie and will it use cuss words?

Buzzy on July 5, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Just calling out the fact that the general consensus of the site seems to be that Will Smith’s politics make his movies far less attractive to the like-minded folks here, and therefore it seems odd to me that his movie would be reviewed here at all.

Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 11:02 AM

Re cussing: I object when filmmakers have pre-pubescent children using gutter language in movies. I don’t think it’s cute or funny, but rather wonder at the arrested development of the writers and the directors who find it humorous.

Adults cussing is a separate issue for me.

Ed Morrissey on July 5, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Adults in Hollywood who think children cursing is funny and/or cute are like the people who thought giving little Drew Barrymore swigs of champagne at parties was cute.

A curse word out of a child’s mouth is a travesty and paying a kid to curse is akin to child abuse.

Mrs. Happy Housewife on July 5, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Kyle Smith had an interesting take on Hancock.

Summary:

The film is a witty defense of America as an imperfect, sometimes blundering but ultimately invaluable and benevolent force, although Berg, who took a lot of heat (mainly for being infuriatingly patriotic) for “The Kingdom,” doesn’t press the message so hard that everyone is going to notice it. And anyway he seems to drop it in the second half.

I haven’t seen the movie, and probably won’t (saving all the pennies for Dark Knight). Just passing Smith’s review along as something to consider.

jrl on July 5, 2008 at 11:04 AM

There’s a social critic named James Bowman who writes the most intelligent movie reviews I’ve read. Most movies get the lowest of his three ratings: “same old crap”–but he always provides critical insights that go well beyond the typical dime-a-dozen reviews that say the same things at different intensity levels. You can find all his reviews online.

Oh. He’s a well respected but not mass market conservative commentator.

horatio on July 5, 2008 at 11:08 AM

Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 10:38 AM

: to engage in a concerted refusal to have dealings with (as a person, store, or organization) usually to express disapproval or to force acceptance of certain conditions

Yo, dave, where is the concerted effort?

Once again, a liberal changes the definition of a word to fit his position.

Liberal, noun; A dysfunctional individual who refuses to understand that the world and reality exists outside of their own perception of themselves.

peacenprosperity on July 5, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Stick to writing about politics.

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Allow me to retort.

Ed writes the articles we read on this site. If he wants to write a movie review, then he can do that if he wants.

Pundits reviewing movies is nothing new. I wish more of them did it. Medved reviews movies on a regular basis. It works well to inform our mostly conservative audience here (folks who may or may not watch with zeal the stuff of liberal minded Hollywood types) that some films may appeal to them (or not).

In a political context, I think Ed’s review of “Hancock” is relevant because of the recent bonehead comments from Will Smith. Hear the actor open his mouth and speak his political views, then watch his new movie either flop or succeed at the box office.

Et tu Brute on July 5, 2008 at 11:16 AM

Just a personal opinion, but I think you all should see the movie and make up your own minds.

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 10:49 AM

I HATE this line of thought. I don’t have any strong feelings either way about this particular movie or actor…but this is a completely asinine way to judge whether or not to see a movie…by the time you get enough information to make your decision, it’s too late.

1. You’ve already seen the movie, making the question you’re trying to solve a moot one.

2. They already have your money.

3. They count your ticket purchases toward the movie’s popularity.

4. There’s no refund available, nor any way to reverse your addition to the movie’s overall success.

It’s the publicity surrounding a movie that’s supposed to make us want to see it, not the movie itself. A movie called Two Yaks Pooping on a Pane of Glass might be the best movie ever made, but one feature of the publicity for it, the title, makes it highly unlikely for me to want to buy a ticket.

Likewise, if the star of a movie gives an interview near release time, no matter what they talk about, it’s intended to be publicity for that movie. The intention is for me to identify with the actor and make me want to go see his movie. But if an interview or the title or any other piece of publicity about a movie turns me off about seeing it, I’m simply not going to see it.

The entertainment industry, whether it involves movies, music, or literature, doesn’t deserve a free pass from market forces. Market your product to me and what I like, and I’ll support you. Market it against my sensibilities, and you’ll have to have someone else pay your bills.

James on July 5, 2008 at 11:17 AM

Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 11:02 AM

OK ! ME, Texyank hearby confirm that I Texyank
will boycott all movies that Will Smith stars in.

I promise.

Texyank on July 5, 2008 at 11:32 AM

Allow me to retort.

Ed writes the articles we read on this site. If he wants to write a movie review, then he can do that if he wants.

Et tu Brute on July 5, 2008 at 11:16 AM

I’m sure you’re aware that my suggestion that he “stick to writing about politics” was advice based on my own opinion that it was a crappy movie review, and not a belief that he’s not allowed to write movie reviews due to some sort of law against it. Right? I thought so.

In a political context, I think Ed’s review of “Hancock” is relevant because of the recent bonehead comments from Will Smith. Hear the actor open his mouth and speak his political views, then watch his new movie either flop or succeed at the box office.

I wasn’t aware that a person’s comments in real life had the slightest thing to do with whether or not a movie is entertaining.

In reading the comments above mine, it seems to be that Ed is the only person who’s actually seen the movie, other than myself. Go figure how it is that there are so many people ripping the quality of a movie they haven’t even seen.

It’s feeling an awful lot like Kos land in here.

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 11:35 AM

There’s nothing wrong with cussing and 3/4 of the points on your blog are asinine.

Darth Executor on July 5, 2008 at 10:19 AM

It’s times like these that I wish I had kids so I could forbid them from playing with your kids. /Arthur Dent

- The Cat

MirCat on July 5, 2008 at 11:36 AM

I HATE this line of thought. I don’t have any strong feelings either way about this particular movie or actor…but this is a completely asinine way to judge whether or not to see a movie…by the time you get enough information to make your decision, it’s too late.

James on July 5, 2008 at 11:17 AM

You’re welcome to that opinion. So, instead of watching the trailer, deciding on whether or not the movie looks entertaining, and making up your OWN mind … you go ahead and only see the movies Ed tells you are worth seeing. Good luck with that. Meanwhile, myself and the majority of the public who have actually seen the movie, will base our opinion on the movie itself instead. Hope you don’t allow critics to make the rest of your choices in life as well. You might just find yourself voting for Obama.

1. You’ve already seen the movie, making the question you’re trying to solve a moot one.

Brilliant. We’ve got someone who can judge a movie without seeing it.

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Am I the only one annoyed by Will Smith’s “angry lips”. Google the image for Hancock, lots of pix of him scrunching up his lips into this “eww something smells” pose. Toward the end he starts to look normal, but man….that was irritating.

jjjen on July 5, 2008 at 11:54 AM

First of all:

Will Smith has one of the best qualities…: innate likability. Few leading men have this in as much abundance; perhaps only Tom Hanks gets close.

Are you really suggesting that Tom Hanks merely approaches Smith on a level of likability? Have you seen Turner and Hooch? Good Lord man.

Second:

The Constant Gardener or Any Given Sunday, two movies that Hancock nonetheless surpasses

Again, you’re suggesting Hancock is a superior film to The Constant Gardener? I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but, I say again, Good Lord man.

SouthernDem on July 5, 2008 at 11:59 AM

A movie called Two Yaks Pooping on a Pane of Glass
James on July 5, 2008 at 11:17 AM

I couldn’t find the trailer on YouTube. Could you point me in the right direction?

Knuckledragger on July 5, 2008 at 12:02 PM

It’s feeling an awful lot like Kos land in here.

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 11:35 AM

Is that also an opinion? I think you are jumping to alot of conclusions, my friend. If you feel like it’s Kosland here, I’m thinking that has more to do with your feelings than with the comments you’ve been reading here.

That’s the cool thing about opinions. You made yours, now you get to hear the response, even if you don’t like it.

You brought the heat on yourself with your “opinion”. Now you have to deal with the backlash. You criticized Ed for writing a movie review that didn’t agree with you or your kid (the two of you “loved it”). Then you “advised” Ed by telling him to “stick to writing about politics”.

You can try to spin your way out of this, but it’s too late. Clearly, your “advice” was less a criticism of Ed’s freedom to write movie reviews (or “stick to politics”) as it was a knee-jerk reaction to a negative critique of a movie that you thought was pretty decent entertainment. Given your admission that you and your kid both “loved” the movie, Ed’s “crappy” review flew directly in the face of your own opinion of the movie.

Too bad. Suck it up. Stop whining.

How’s that for “advice”?

Et tu Brute on July 5, 2008 at 12:03 PM

Adults in Hollywood who think children cursing is funny and/or cute are like the people who thought giving little Drew Barrymore swigs of champagne at parties was cute.

A curse word out of a child’s mouth is a travesty and paying a kid to curse is akin to child abuse.

Mrs. Happy Housewife on July 5, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Um … I understand the point and I agree, but that isn’t the case in this movie. The “curse word out of a child’s mouth” was clearly made out to be a “travesty” and was supposed to show the kid as completely obnoxious. The comedy came with Hancock doing exactly what needed to be done to such an obnoxious little thug. I have no problem with this, and I actually wish Hollywood would do more of this. Low-life losers should be shown to be exactly what they are. Movies should show them to be the losers that they are, and it would be nice to have the good guys win most of the time.

An opposite example would be the remake of The Bad News Bears, where the entire movie relied on glamorizing obnoxious losers.

There are times when it’s necessary to make a point, that a child actor who happens to be playing the part of a low-life scum-sucking loser will need to use bad language. I would just hope that the point is made that the kid is a loser, rather than the hero of the movie.

If we’re living in the real world, we know there are many gang-banging, drug-dealing, bullying, low-life 12 year-olds in our worst inner cities. So how do you dramatize this in a movie? Or are you suggesting that all movies should only consist of upper-class, preppy, well educated, privately schooled children, or not be made at all?

How do you make a movie with the intent on showing how horrible gangs can be, while making bad language off-limits to the child actors playing the gang members? Let’s be real.

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Ed, you’re trying way too hard here. Stick to whatever it is that you do and leave the movie reviews to Roger Ebert.

dakine on July 5, 2008 at 12:10 PM

Et tu Brute on July 5, 2008 at 12:03 PM

Good Lord. Get a life. Babel much?

I think you are jumping to alot of conclusions, my friend.

Ironic, isn’t it? This line coming from a man who wants to voice opinions on a movie he hasn’t seen.

Oh wait! I think I might have jumped to a conclusion when I assumed you’re a man.

I’m done with you.

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 12:10 PM

I saw the movie today with the wife. I liked it.

tx2654 on July 5, 2008 at 12:21 PM

Brute, c’mon man. That last take of yours is reflective of a guy who takes himself way too seriously. Lighten up…you’re not that sharp.

dakine on July 5, 2008 at 12:26 PM

It’s a great concept for a comedy, especially in this era of comic-book filmmaking What if a superhero was a real jerk?

It’s been done to death. They did it in Superman 3 and two times in the last Spiderman movie. And they did it incredibly badly every time.

The reason it was good in the Incredibles was because the guy was trying his best, but just felt (temporarily) beaten down by the system. Anyone should be able to empathize with that.

But when you make a character a COMPLETE jerk, there’s nothing interesting about that other than the vicarious rush some losers might get imagining how much fun it would be to screw the world.

logis on July 5, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll save my seven bucks and spend it on Moon Pies instead.

whitetop on July 5, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Stick to writing about politics.

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Naw, Keep writing

Reading is free to all who seek it.

I appreciate warnings about dirt mouthing. I understand where the comments are coming from

Smith projects a wholesome image. He also became a favorite son for fighting for America in Independence Day. It stuck because of the way he carries himself.

I was disappointed when I heard about this role. I never wanted to see John Wayne as a trash man either

entagor on July 5, 2008 at 12:45 PM

God everyones a critic… it was a perfectly good movie. Certainly not a great movie, but very entertaining none the less. My family all like it.

Bob on July 5, 2008 at 12:48 PM

Smith likes to take roles where he gets to act butch.
It’s like, uh, it’s like ahh, it’s like umm… Metro-machismo.

Stephen M on July 5, 2008 at 12:48 PM

I’m done with you.

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 12:10 PM

Wow. That was fast. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone beat such a hasty retreat.

Proof positive that your position (opinion?) was weak and indefensible to start. Especially proven so when your parting shots are nothing more than lame insults and a supposition intended to throw the heat off. Nice try but it didn’t work. A weak debater indeed.

I’ll give you credit though. You stuck around long enough to realize you’ve been busted by people who saw through your bull. Too bad you won’t be here to show how I’ve supposedly “voiced my opinions” on the movie “Hancock”, since nothing of the kind has been written by me.

Et tu Brute on July 5, 2008 at 12:50 PM

Adults cussing is a separate issue for me.
Ed Morrissey on July 5, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Yea, with adults you got much more latitude to punch ‘em out if they get mouthy.

eeyore on July 5, 2008 at 12:52 PM

This is a weird thread.

Moonbats galore, and Really Vicious Rants.

About a movie review.

Ed, you’re a genius.

misterpeasea on July 5, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Smith projects a wholesome image. He also became a favorite son for fighting for America in Independence Day. It stuck because of the way he carries himself.
entagor on July 5, 2008 at 12:45 PM

It’s hard to see how someone can project such a wholesome image without at least a smidgen of it being genuine. But when it comes to actors, a large portion of naivite often goes along with that package.

Will Smith has been saying in recent interviews that he was freaked out by some of the things he said, even though he was just playing the part. Smith commented that the director, Peter Berg, was a perfect role model for the character.

As for the people trying to forbid a political blogger from commenting on movies: with all due respect, screw you. Liberalism doesn’t confine itself to marginal tax rate policy. If Morrissee started blathering endlessly on about cinematography and blocking, yeah, that would be a bit frivolous. But cultural deconstructionism is an integral part of the liberal game plan, and claiming that part of their agenda is above (or below) criticism is simply asinine.

logis on July 5, 2008 at 1:07 PM

How come Hot Air is reviewing a movie starring Will Smith when just a week or two ago everyone here took a pledge to never watch WIll Smith movies ever again? Is the boycott on or not?

Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 10:09 AM

[Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 10:09 AM]

It would help the status of your comments if they weren’t juvenile and you weren’t cavalier in presentation and moronic in your certainty.

– There were scores more comments many suggesting wouldn’t boycott.
– Of the ones you excerpted, only Vntnrse’s and mine could, on their face, be read to mean “ever again.”
– Ed’s, as he noted, here, never suggested it.
– Boycotting the movie or the actors does not require not talking about it. Conversely, it requires more about it in the context of not watching it.

The adept use of logic is, like most things a process, not event. Please, please, at least, show some sign of improvement soon.

Dusty on July 5, 2008 at 1:11 PM

PS: Preview is for suckas.

Dusty on July 5, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Brute, c’mon man. That last take of yours is reflective of a guy who takes himself way too seriously. Lighten up…you’re not that sharp.

dakine on July 5, 2008 at 12:26 PM

Perhaps you’d like to try where Gregor has failed?

A brave soul.

My position: Ed can write whatever the heck he wants to write.

C’mon, man.

Et tu Brute on July 5, 2008 at 1:14 PM

MirCat on July 5, 2008 at 11:36 AM

If it makes you feel better I wish we both had kids so my kids could outdo your kids at everything. :p

Darth Executor on July 5, 2008 at 1:22 PM

I’ll skip this movie for the same reason I’ll skip Tom Cruise’s upcoming movie about the Nazi war hero.

mram on July 5, 2008 at 1:25 PM

I consider myself to have good taste in movies and I actually enjoyed the film. Everything Ed says is true, missed opportunity, childish, shakey camera…
But it’s enjoyable. Don’t pass it up if you wanna see a movie you don’t have to invest in. (Except the $10.) In fact, make it a matinee.

Tesson on July 5, 2008 at 1:26 PM

This is why I don’t read movie reviews. It’s a movie. You get 90 minutes of “the willful suspension of reality”. It was a fun movie not a great movie, never expected it to be great.

Exit question: Am I the only who noticed that the only truly nut case bad guy was a veteran who recently served in Iraq?

Bogeyfre on July 5, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 10:38 AM

Dave, sorry to disappoint but I did make a point of NOT seeing Will Smith. Wall-E on the other hand was very cute! Afterall, who doesn’t love a robot love story?

Vntnrse on July 5, 2008 at 1:45 PM

How come Hot Air is reviewing a movie starring Will Smith when just a week or two ago everyone here took a pledge to never watch WIll Smith movies ever again? Is the boycott on or not?
Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 10:09 AM

It would help the status of your comments if they weren’t juvenile and you weren’t cavalier in presentation and moronic in your certainty.

…Boycotting the movie or the actors does not require not talking about it. Conversely, it requires more about it in the context of not watching it.

The adept use of logic is, like most things a process, not event.

Dusty on July 5, 2008 at 1:11 PM

Or, as the old saying goes: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of liberal minds.”

Somebody here once said he didn’t like Will Smith; ergo no one here can ever criticize any of his movies…

To the liberal mind, that makes makes perfect sense sense. And logic’s got absolutely nothing to do with it.

logis on July 5, 2008 at 1:54 PM

Adults cussing is a separate issue for me.

Ed Morrissey on July 5, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Just like saying to a child:
“do as I say, not as I do”

maynila on July 5, 2008 at 1:57 PM

I’m still going to see “Hancock.” Probably in about an hour. It looks kinda funny to me. I agree about the kids cussing. Disturbing trend. I’m gonna see WALL-E too. I just like movies. I even enjoyed “Speed Racer,” so maybe I’m easily amused :-)

Ed, you keep writing about whatever you like. I can pick and choose for myself. I imagine someone else might pick and choose differently.

Ordinary1 on July 5, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Ed, you keep writing about whatever you like. I can pick and choose for myself. I imagine someone else might pick and choose differently.

Ordinary1 on July 5, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Pick and choose what I read, that is.

Ordinary1 on July 5, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Dave Rywall wrote:

How come Hot Air is reviewing a movie starring Will Smith when just a week or two ago everyone here took a pledge to never watch WIll Smith movies ever again? Is the boycott on or not?

This DU troll plonks something like this on every thread.

noblejones on July 5, 2008 at 2:13 PM

Saw it last night. The movie sucked.

CABE on July 5, 2008 at 2:15 PM

My 16 year old son and I liked the movie. The movie is not with out its flaws but still pretty good.

mgtanner on July 5, 2008 at 2:45 PM

Saw it last night. The movie sucked.
CABE on July 5, 2008 at 2:15 PM

I watched “Superman Returns,” even though I could have pulled a better screenplay out of my rear end. It was worth $7.00 of my money to see $300 millon worth of special effects.

But $150 million, plus Will Smith’s smile? Sorry; that doesn’t quite cut it for me; the bar’s already been raised higher.

Seriously, would it kill these people to take a couple of bucks off their CGI budget and hire someone who isn’t a deranged third-grader to write these things?

logis on July 5, 2008 at 2:48 PM

He’s not saying don’t see it. He’s just saying wait for HBO. Which sounds like a good idea. Thanx ED.

HotAirExpert on July 5, 2008 at 2:51 PM

I hate Roger Ebert. I would much rather get feedback from Ed with whom I agree on most of his worldview. Roger Ebert thinks Michael Moore is a talented American, for god’s sake!

As for the current movies, I’m getting bad vibes both from the feedback about Will Smith and about the global warming subtext in WillE. I don’t think I’ll pay good money to support either of them in a theater. Maybe I’ll see the cartoon when it comes out on DVD. Maybe.

Still haven’t seen Sex in the City. That sounds like a preference over a drunken superhero played by an actor who’s not too thrilled to be an American.

And anything that would bankrupt Ebert, with or without his cancer, sign me up for. (Cancer of the throat/mouth area — it’s almost like a higher being is trying to shut him up or something.)

NahnCee on July 5, 2008 at 2:52 PM

And anything that would bankrupt Ebert, with or without his cancer, sign me up for. (Cancer of the throat/mouth area — it’s almost like a higher being is trying to shut him up or something.)
NahnCee on July 5, 2008 at 2:52 PM

I kept hearing Roger Ebert was sick, but I didn’t know with what. I thought it had to be something like that though. That job has only one requriement: a working mouth. The guy could be deaf, blind and hopelessly brain-damaged; all he’d have to do is have his hairdresser watch the movies and then repeat whatever his stupid-ass opinion happens to be.

Seriously, the last thing in the world I care about is whether some flamer LIKES a given movie or not. All I want to know is what the movie is ABOUT: show me every inch of preview film released; then tell me how that reflects the contents you’d see in the theater. Then just leave it up to me to decide whether it’s “two thumbs down,” “three frowny faces,” or whatever the Hell other scoring criteria I choose for myself.

But most movie reviewers can’t quite seem to manage that ridiculously simple task. Instead, they all want to tell me how I should feel about it.

And we wonder why it turns out that 99.99% of them are liberal!

logis on July 5, 2008 at 3:22 PM

Seriously, would it kill these people to take a couple of bucks off their CGI budget and hire someone who isn’t a deranged third-grader to write these things?

[logis on July 5, 2008 at 2:48 PM]

LOL. Agreed. The script is a high priority for me and I do use the trailers to discern the quality. (Shhhhhh, I don’t think the marketers have caught on to that yet.) I’ve given up on trailers of comedies being an indicator, as too often the ones in the trailer are the only funny parts in the movie.

Nothing bothers me more, however, than what Derbyshire explains as violating more than one law of physics in a movie, but that’s me.

Dusty on July 5, 2008 at 3:26 PM

How come Hot Air is reviewing a movie starring Will Smith when just a week or two ago everyone here took a pledge to never watch WIll Smith movies ever again? Is the boycott on or not?

Dave Rywall on July 5, 2008 at 10:09 AM

LOL this is the same crowd that swore they’d give to the Ayaan Hirsi Ali defense fund because she’s so brave (codeword for ‘she’s pretty and maybe she’ll date me’).

tlynch001 on July 5, 2008 at 3:29 PM

Nothing bothers me more, however, than what Derbyshire explains as violating more than one law of physics in a movie, but that’s me.
Dusty on July 5, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Did you see the trailers for “Wanted?” It’s like somebody made a movie designed to freak out people who actually live in the Matrix.

I’m picky about scifi too. I’m happy to have a willing suspension of disbelief about exactly ONE thing – no matter how crazy it is. But when the whole movie is just one non sequitur after another, that’s not a demonstration of the writer’s creativity; it’s a product of his blood chemistry.

logis on July 5, 2008 at 3:36 PM

You’re welcome to that opinion. So, instead of watching the trailer, deciding on whether or not the movie looks entertaining, and making up your OWN mind … you go ahead and only see the movies Ed tells you are worth seeing. Good luck with that. Meanwhile, (blah, blah, blah, ignorant blather, righteous anger, blah blah…)

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Good grief, how colossally stupid are you? You can’t just ignore the rest of the post where I talk about film publicity and how they market the film.

Brilliant. We’ve got someone who can judge a movie without seeing it.

No, but I can judge whether or not to see it without seeing it. You know, the entire counterpoint to your first post where you told us to see it before we decide if we want to see it or not.

I don’t need to experience trepanation to know I want it like I want a new hole in my head.

James on July 5, 2008 at 3:37 PM

No, but I can judge whether or not to see it without seeing it. You know, the entire counterpoint to your first post where you told us to see it before we decide if we want to see it or not.

I don’t need to experience trepanation to know I want it like I want a new hole in my head.
James on July 5, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Liberal: Just because you have every reason on earth to believe that something is stupid and worthless, you refuse to even spend your valuable time and hard-earned money to SEE it?

Conservative: Um, which part of the phrase “stupid and worthless” do you not understand?

I normally don’t have any problem with kicking trolls, but it seems to me that question pretty much answers itself.

logis on July 5, 2008 at 3:46 PM

I saw it, and the dark humor made me laugh. I thought it was entertaining, I mean c’mon, how serious can a bullet proof, super strong, flying hero be, or be taken?

Ironman was better, the Hulk was not as good. Hancock is a lot better than both Fantastic 4 movies. Talk about missed opportunities.

Hog Wild on July 5, 2008 at 4:23 PM

[logis on July 5, 2008 at 3:46 PM]

LMAO.

Why can’t Hollywood spare the world this constant arguing and divisiveness by having us pay on the way out of the movie theater? Even movie theaters honor returns on partially consumed refreshments.

I haven’t heard of “Wanted”. I guess I’ll have to see it before I decide to see it!

Dusty on July 5, 2008 at 4:30 PM

logis on July 5, 2008 at 3:46 PM

Dusty on July 5, 2008 at 4:30 PM

Just a personal opinion, but I think you all should see the movie and make up your own minds.

Gregor on July 5, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Just in case the blockquoting error in my post didn’t register, Gregor is the one advocating this.

James on July 5, 2008 at 5:00 PM

NahnCee on July 5, 2008 at 2:52 PM

You are a sicker than the entire Cancer ward of your local VA Hospital.

***
This thread bespeaks Republican derangement. Of course the Dems are breathing pretty thin air. But some of the exchanges in this thread are just scary.

American commerce is a good thing. Go to the movies already.

The Race Card on July 5, 2008 at 5:04 PM

I thought it was entertaining, I mean c’mon, how serious can a bullet proof, super strong, flying hero be, or be taken?

Pretty seriously, apparently.

The Race Card on July 5, 2008 at 5:05 PM

[James on July 5, 2008 at 5:00 PM]

Thanks, James. In that last bit, my parroting flippancy wasn’t meant to be directed at you or Logis, but I can see how it could be read that way now. Thanks for not only realizing but clarifying it.

Dusty on July 5, 2008 at 5:19 PM

I just saw “Hancock.” Not bad. Not great. Glad I saw it. I laughed out loud a few times. I agree with whomever said it was better that “Fantastic Four!” Not sure that is saying a lot :-)

Ordinary1 on July 5, 2008 at 5:19 PM

This thread is more entertaining than the movie.

Exit question: who’d win; Hancock or Rampage Jackson???!??

tlynch001 on July 5, 2008 at 5:50 PM

I think you were a bit too kind and wasted words on this crap movie, Ed. And it hasn’t earned you any good-will from the other side.

The spirited defense of a terrible film is rather amusing, though. Next time you should review a bottle of Boone’s Farm, or perhaps discuss the culinary merits of Lunchables, or the best canned cheese product on the market.

I’m sure the responses would be at least as entertaining as this thread has been.

Asher on July 5, 2008 at 9:56 PM

You people really need to live a little. If you’re so put off and don’t want to spend any money just download it like your kids do.

The Race Card on July 5, 2008 at 11:53 PM

I object when filmmakers have pre-pubescent children

I took the last word of that quote, cussing, out, because I object to the use of children in movies period. Most of them are horrible to watch (see annoying mop head brat that stole 20 minutes of my life in the Star Wars Episode One: George Lucas sucks a** stupid pod racing scene. The children who are good at acting usually end up devoloping all kinds of emotional and brain damage and most grow up into annoying drunken sh*ts like Lindsey Lowlife.
Use special effects. Use small adults. But please, no more children in movies, cussing or not.

if it’s wrong for kids, why is OK for us?

jgapinoy on July 5, 2008 at 9:53 AM

It’s wrong for kids to have sex, why is it ok for adults? Figure that one out and you answer your own question.

austinnelly on July 6, 2008 at 12:22 AM

My neighbor’s eleven year-old son just came back from seeing Two Yaks Pooping on a Pane of Glass at the multiplex and said it was “f@#&in’ awesome!”

And let’s talk about the mindset of numerous commenters on here self-righteously proclaiming that you must experience (i.e. pay to see) a movie in full before commenting on any movie’s strengths or weaknesses: The same criticism must be applied to those obviously close-minded individuals who have commented negatively about other entertainment activities they have never experienced such as smoking hash, drinking urine, and man/boy prison-style sex.

Discuss…

ScottMcC on July 6, 2008 at 2:52 AM

Well, I dont go to movies so a boycott is useless for me anyway. I dont go to movies because of (1) the language – especially the “F” word, (2) bad acting, (3) bad writing, (4) explosions ever 4 seconds, and (5) too many computer generated special effects.
As far as kids using foul language, I dont like it either – it’s not cute or funny. But like Ed, adults is a separate matter.
I dont use foul language, in front of my wife or anybody else. So why should I pay 20 bucks so my wife and I can hear somebody else use it? I can stand in the mall and hear it from teenagers for free, if that’s what I really want to do.
Modern movies suck in more ways than one. I’ll take movies from the 30′s and 40′s every time. No need to be concerned about the “F” bomb there.

abcurtis on July 6, 2008 at 9:02 AM

austinnelly at 12:22AM

Bad analogy. I explained why in the link I provided.

jgapinoy on July 6, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Is it possible anymore to have a summer escapism type movie that isn’t picked apart looking for some alterior motive or political subtext? Anyone? Why can’t I go see a movie with over-the-top special effects chock full of the “Dawn, take me away…” type story line with out someone trying to harsh my buzz? Ok, I feel better now…

Wyznowski on July 6, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Not blockbuster material, but worth a rental. Paint by numbers with good special effects. Also, I never promised to boycott Wil Smith. Loved the dude since Fresh Prince.

I will guarantee, however, that “The Dark Knight” will rock your world. Have I seen it? No. Does that matter? No.

Krydor on July 6, 2008 at 4:21 PM

I saw it, nothing more than eye candy. Probably not going to win an Oscar but it’s not boring to sit thru either.

To you guys upset about kids using langauge in movies, how many of you have The Goonies in your DVD collection?

Pcoop on July 6, 2008 at 10:35 PM

Cap’n Ed, one question, Is it an anti-shaky cam thing? If so, Woul you share your thoughts on United 93 where Paul Greengrass’ use of shaky cam was just as obvious as Berg’s in this film? Personally, I thought Berg toned down the shaky cam in Hancock as opposed to The Kingdom.

What’s interesting to me is that Hancock is in many ways metaphoric for America as a nation. Not perfect. But necessary. The repeated imagery of the Eagle around Hancock, his ski cap, the bench where he wakes up, the walls of his prison cell the back of his leather super hero duds, illustrate how we are to identify Hancock with America.

Even the ending of the film, where he eschews his own happiness and personal fulfillment for the betterment of others speaks to his selfless and heroic nature. There is a lot to like in Hancock. Michael Mann obsessives (like yours truly) will agree it is worth sitting in theater, just to see Mann as a pharmaceutical executive comparing giving a product away with life threatening side effects. Charlize Theron is wonderfully cast. Jason Bateman is understated and wonderful to watch. And as you say, Smith is eminently likeable, even when playing a jerk.

If your gripe is with language, then I can understand that. If it’s the shaky cam, then so be it. But to miss the story in this story is not the hallmark of credible film commentary.

Ennuipundit on July 7, 2008 at 9:49 AM

“Cussing” is an indication of bad character and poor vocabulary, or a lack of education. It forces hostility onto its listeners whether they want it or not, and this applies to adults.

Amy Proctor on July 7, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Regardless of what cussing is an indication of, perhaps a plot calls for an occasional bad character with a lack of education to further the plot. The hostility forced onto listeners often drives said plot and allows for the furtherance of the dramatic intent the writer of the story is attempting to tell. Therefore the use of occasional salty language in the effort of telling a story is appropriate as it allows for realism on the part of characters and also is an opportunity to push the conflicts that make compelling stories.

After all, what we are looking at here is a story, written for the screen, to entertain audiences, while also conveying some message the writer and director considered worth sharing.

Ennuipundit on July 7, 2008 at 2:20 PM

I liked it. A lot.

Jim Treacher on July 12, 2008 at 11:20 AM