Mark Terry

Thursday, July 03, 2008


July 3, 2008
We went to see Hancock this afternoon. Critics have been pretty hard on it. I thought it was pretty good (not great). 

Here's the thing. The previews might give you an idea that this is a comedy. It's got its comic moments, particularly in the beginning, but it's actually a pretty serious drama.

And I think more importantly, it's got one hell of a lot of surprises in it. It takes quite a movie to surprise me and there was a MAJOR surprise in the middle of the movie that I really didn't see coming.

And the ending... nope. Didn't see how that was going to shake out.

So was it a great movie?

Um, no, probably not. The tone's uneven and it's a little odd. And Peter Berg's direction--or rather his persistent use of steadi-cam work (or unsteady-cam work, as the case may be) bugged me. That's hardly unusual. I find this current trend of jittery camera work to be annoying and distracting in most cases. Yes, I know that static camera shots are bad, but whatever happened to panning shots, etc., rather than shooting things so it looks like a movie shot by some amateur with Parkinson's disease?

Anyway, I think one of the things I liked most about it was it defied my expectations. I went in thinking it was a typical summer action/comedy film and discovered it to be something else entirely. And I was pretty happy about what that "something else" turned out to be.

Mark Terry


Blogger MissWrite said...

Ugh, well last night when my son told me about the preview I laughed and thought it sounded cool...not anymore--and that jittery cam thing gives me a headache. Thanks for the heads up. I'll pass on this one.

4:59 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

WHY do they do that? I was totally going to see it, but the jittery thing makes me nauseous.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Hand-held footage generally annoys me too. I get the theory behind it, and I can tolerate it in small doses, but "persistent use" tells me I better wait for the DVD on this one.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

Hi Mark:
When I saw Unbreakable, I know a lot of people were expecting something entirely different, but if you like comics, then the comic book message, the mythology of it was great. And unexpected, in a sense. It wasn't a typical Bruce Willis movie.

8:38 AM  
Blogger r2 said...

This movie is great (not just good). I read all the bad reviews and almost didn't see it, but I'm glad I went anyway.

It does change pace and has a very wild twist in the middle, but it works.

I would recommend it to anyone. The shaky-cam to me isn't that off-putting.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I'm essentially on the same page with R2. I wouldn't let my comments on the shaky-cam stop you from seeing Hancock, which, at the very least, is one of the more interesting movies I've seen lately. (My most enjoyable summer movie so far is "Iron Man" probably followed by "Indiana Jones" although there's a lot to complain about in the Crystal Skull.

Let's put it this way. I liked Hancock a lot more than Hulk and I thought Hulk was pretty good.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Liz Wolfe said...

The twist surprised the hell out of me. After than I had no idea how they were going to end it. Just those two things make it worth seeing. Then there's Will Smith.

10:57 AM  
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