DVD Releases: Hancock, The Rocker, The Mummy 3
Hancock (coming November 25th): Considering that I think Very Bad Things is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, The Rundown consists of 104 minutes I’ll never get back, and The Kingdom is a manipulative shlocky piece of garbage, the fact that I’ll label Peter Berg’s Hancock a “disappointment” is a step in the right direction. He is fortunate to have Will Smith on board, a superstar who manages to fully slip into a role while maintaining his celebrity charm. Oscar-winner Charlize Theron is here, getting a paycheck and playing a role so seemingly small that you can see that she’s not what she seems for 5000 miles away. Jason Bateman tries to make his PR-agent-with-a-heart-of-gold character work, but in the end, the characters in this film don’t matter to Peter Berg. He’s interested in the effects and the action, which are engaging at first, but they cross over to silly very quickly. If you’re a diehard Will Smith fan, you’ll want to catch this… otherwise, don’t bother.
The Rocker (coming December): A surprisingly funny outing. Sure, it’s a shameless rip-off of the spirits of School of Rock and This is Spinal Tap, but it has its own unique energy and charm. Rainn Wilson carries the film admirably (even if we don’t buy for a second that he could win over a woman like Christina Applegate), and an extremely strong supporting cast makes every character worthwhile and funny. Jason Sudeikis, Jeff Garlin, and Jason Gad all made me laugh with every single line they had. This bombed at the box office, but I suspect it will play extremely well on the small screen, and is definitely worth a rental.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (coming December): I’m an unabashed fan of the first Mummy, a fun action romp where the special effects didn’t swallow the film’s charm. The second movie had its moments, but the fun one-liners were replaced with an annoying child actor and terribly written romantic scenes– plus, the effect of the “Scorpion King” I submit to this day is still the worst special effect in the history of big-budget action films. This film comes closer to the first movie– it attempts for humor far more often, and its special effects have some wit to them (I enjoyed the statue that came to life, ripped the stone from its face, and threw it at Brendan Fraser). It still has its flaws, such as more terrible love scenes, and a fight scene between Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh that doesn’t come close to its potential. Still, if the idea of a film with dragons, yetis, and armies of the undead fighting one another is something that makes you smile, this absolutely merits a viewing.