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July 16th, 2008

Halfcocked

(Please don't read this if you, for some insane reason, care about spoilers in relation to the movie Hancock. After all, I wouldn't want to be the one to ruin those astounding plot twists for you.)

So I saw this tripe movie Hancock last night. I went because I like Charlize Theron and had heard that she might become a superhero. She did. I liked those - oh, say - ten minutes of the movie. And don't get me wrong, I like Will Smith. But...

My God. If I turned in this script for one of my crappy little million-dollar movies, the producers would flay me alive.

There's basically not a single thing in here that makes sense. Really, not one. Right down to stuff like telling us that Jason Bateman is failing at his job, and then showing his house in the "valley" - and it's basically a two-million dollar home. Let's not even talk about that big plot twist, which renders the entire premise of the movie - Will Smith is a superhero - null and void by making him "mortal". And what kind of superhero is Hancock? Even after being reformed, this guy deals with one crisis situation by needlessly cutting off a man's hand and then being applauded by all the onlookers. Poor Theron is asked to deliver some of the most absurd and inexplicable dialogue in recent movie history, declaring her eternal love for one character while making googoo eyes at another. When she's revealed as a superhero, her appearance suddenly changes from sunny suburban soccer mom to rock babe, complete with Jack Sparrow's eye-liner and a leather outfit straight off the sales rack at Sluts R Us. Of course after telling Will Smith that she's "stronger", she conveniently spends the finale in a coma while he fights off the bad guys. At the end, she goes back to suburban soccer mom. I don't know about you, but if this woman was MY wife I'd be like, "Hey, honey - I think you need to be out there fighting a little crime!"

This is a script that works on NO level, and these guys probably made ten times more money than I've ever been paid for a movie. Now granted, maybe their first draft was flawlessly logical and they were victimized by hack rewriters...but when every single plot element is that critically flawed, it seems doubtful.

This reminds me of a conversation I once had with a producer of one of my films. I'd already told him I thought the movie was very bad, then one day we had a test screening which received some modest approval from the audience...and more than a few walk-outs. After the screening, the producer crowed to me about how much the remaining half of the audience liked it. My response, of course, was to remind him that we could have had a movie everyone would have liked, which would have made him even more money. He was honest enough to admit I was right

Too bad the producers of Hancock weren't even that smart.

My Winnipeg

And now, just to prove that (after my last post) I really don't despise all recent movies, here's a fabulous photo taken by my pal Kent Adamson on the set of Guy Maddin's stunning and truly strange My Winnipeg:



Yes, that's the maestro with the goddess Ann Savage, whose astonishing career goes from the ultimate bitch femme fatale in Detour to the terrifying mother-from-Hell in My Winnipeg. Thanks for the groovy pic, Kent!