So…does Michael Mann have a SAG card?

Posted by · 2:50 pm · July 5th, 2008

Michael MannI dropped in to see “Hancock” tonight and was frankly taken out of the film for the five minutes or so filmmaker Michael Mann was on screen.

I noticed him initially, figured hey, Peter Berg let his mentor slide into the film with an on-screen cameo (Berg’s offices are two or three doors down from Mann’s Forward Pass headquarters over at the Tribeca West compound on Olympic).  But it turns out it’s a speaking part.  Two whole lines!

Anyway, as for the film, I’m kind of compelled to comment on it now.  It’s not a total wash.  I need to read through the initial draft of the screenplay that Jeffrey Wells posted recently because I’m sure there is some more depth, but even for what this film is, Berg milks it for the drama that it’s worth.  I love the way he’s filmed this thing, as I typically respect the effort he puts into visually depicting the ambitious scripts he chooses.

I’m not as thrown off by the mid-film twist as some were, either.  It’s a smart way to go, actually, but it needed some more fleshing out, a little more finessing, to fully work.  It makes me wonder if indeed producer Akiva Goldsman (who pops up in that executive meeting sequence as well) got his paws on it and squeezed the life out of it, as he indeed did with “I Am Legend.”  Perhaps not, but whatever the case, this one could have used a few more re-writes.

All in all, a good flick.  Some genuinely hilarious moments blend with the pandering necessities that come with a summer tent pole like this and I’d call it another respectable miss from Berg.  I can’t help but thinking he’s practicing, gearing up for something truly exceptional, and having Mann take him under his wing has really made its mark as well.  It’ll come…sooner rather than later, I bet.

And word up on The Roots over the closing credits!

What did you guys think of “Hancock?”




→ 15 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

15 responses so far

  • 1 7-05-2008 at 3:53 pm

    Brian said...

    I’m seeing this tonight – oddly excited?

    Also, wasn’t Michael Mann Meryl Streep’s husband in Adaptation? If so, surely he must have a SAG card. Or am I thinking of someone totally different?

  • 2 7-05-2008 at 3:59 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Ah, that was actually Curtis Hanson.

  • 3 7-05-2008 at 4:16 pm

    Joel said...

    I was disappointed. Thought the twist was ridiculous myself and it ended way too soon. Not a complete mess, as you said, but I didn’t much care for it.

    I may post my review of this film tomorrow in a future response. Keep your eyes peeled. I’ve been waiting for an excuse to show a review of mine for a while. Guess I’ll use it for this and “The Dark Knight” probably.

  • 4 7-05-2008 at 4:29 pm

    Mr. Gittes said...

    I feel compelled to write a letter every day to Mann’s Forward Pass Productions for as long as it takes until the Mann/Logan project gets the green-light.

  • 5 7-05-2008 at 11:01 pm

    Marvin said...

    Is that the film noir that was announced some time ago? Cuz I haven’t heard a word on that one.

  • 6 7-05-2008 at 11:32 pm

    Brian Kinsley said...

    Ah, Hanson. Him also do I love.

    Hancock was kind of a disaster, but I was never bored. The third act just needed more work. Damn Akiva.

    It had the worst original score I’ve heard in years. YEARS.

  • 7 7-05-2008 at 11:32 pm

    kinfook said...

    Reading into the political subtext… by featuring a african american superhero, are they endorsing barack obama as the next president?

  • 8 7-06-2008 at 8:13 am

    Silencio said...

    I, for one, thought it was the shit. The twist was (almost) totally unexpected, and the real story that emerged was very cool. I was personally very moved by the couple’s life or death struggle and was locked in my seat. And it was pretty hilarious, too. “We can smell the alcohol on you!” “‘Cause I was drinkin, bitch!”

    I say the movie was the shit partly because it’s original, and obviously not without its troubles. There was no clearly defined (or interesting) villain. That was totally a wash. And there were things he was saying toward the end that he shouldn’t have known about. So that needed loads of rewrites. But the factt hat I still felt rocked walking out of the theater says something about the film as a whole. I’m hoping for a sequel, with much cleaner writing, and deliver on the depth that is promised.

  • 9 7-06-2008 at 12:04 pm

    Walter said...

    I have to admit I was bored. One minute, the twist was revealed, and the next, the credits were going, with no connecting thread that I could remember. Yet I know I didn’t fall asleep…

  • 10 7-06-2008 at 1:07 pm

    T. Holly said...

    Let us know if the script is like Leaving Las Vegas in some way.

  • 11 7-07-2008 at 10:02 am

    mike said...

    I enjoyed it, but I guess I have a soft spot for Will Smith tentpole movies…

    I really wish it was as gritty as when I first heard about it, just got my hands on that original script and want to read the differences.

    I hope the DVD has some of the cut scenes…

  • 12 7-07-2008 at 10:51 am

    Joel said...

    Hancock
    Starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron, and Jason Bateman
    Directed by Peter Berg
    Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language
    93 minutes

    Every year has its big-budgeted, summer-released disappointment, and in 2008 it is Hancock. It’s overhyped on nearly every level, despite some superb visual effects and an oddly transcendent performance by Will Smith. The movie is strong for at least half of its far-too-short running time, playing like a superhero movie crossed with a good Adam Sandler comedy. It has all the acerbic humor to have been written by Sandler, in fact, giving it
    an unorthodox tone, but when the twist arrives, the whole movie falls apart.
    John Hancock is a washed-out superhero, whose latest acts of heroism have left his city’s citizens in an uproar. After a messy attempt to stop a train from ramming into a car, one angered bystander yells at him, “We should sue you!” Hancock has as much an idea of why people hate him as he does about his past (read: none). He was found beaten to a pulp some 80 years ago, with two movie tickets in his pocket. That’s all he knows, along with the fact that he can’t age.
    Things start to look up, when a PR rep, Ray Embrey, and his family bring Hancock into their home, in hopes that he can get his life back on track. After discussing the matter with Ray, Hancock realizes that he needs to turn himself into the police for the civil crimes he has committed in his attempts to do good, resulting in a sentence of seven years in prison.
    All of this leads up to the Big Twist, which basically results in two people rolling around all over the city, leaving destruction in their wake. Where it goes after this disastrous five minutes (in which we find out the startling truth about a main character) at least gets points for being unpredictable, but it’s the squirmy kind of unpredictability, to which we should say: “Good, I’m glad I didn’t see that coming.”
    I had a lot of fun watching the first 45 minutes, in spite of its startlingly uneven tone; the humorous elements won me over. But all interest was lost when the supposed villain was introduced, discarded, and…well, I don’t know what, but it was awful. I hope the inevitable sequel is the filmmakers’ Spider-Man 2. By that, I mean I hope the film will be longer, more thoughtful, and less chaotic in its ending.
    In spite of it all, Will Smith has found a comedic powerhouse of a role in Hancock, who, like Hellboy and Iron Man, is sarcastic and abrasive to everyone, including those whom he saves. However, he’s in the service of flat, ultimately uninspired material. In the end, I liked Hancock, but I didn’t like “Hancock.”

  • 13 7-07-2008 at 10:52 am

    Joel said...

    That’s my review. It looks terrible in this format, but, what the hey.

    Read and enjoy!

  • 14 7-09-2008 at 7:47 am

    Griff said...

    What is the name of the Roots song in the closing credits?