Category Archives: Spielberg Films

Jurassic Park (1993): The Power and Wonder of Nature and Finding What Matters

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       “Jurassic Park” deserves its place as a Classic. I think I was too harsh to it as a kid and enjoyed the fact that more people died in “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.” In this the stakes are much higher and because it is slower we get more time to know the characters, and unlike “Jurassic World” the characters feel real and everyone is active all the time, though kids of course are still the weakest part which is true of most Spielberg films. I think what helped this film was the author also writing the Screenplay, which sadly doesn’t happen all that much in Hollywood and arguably to the detriment of the scripts. Suffice to say, this film was great.

    “Jurassic Park” was directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Michael Crichton and David Koepp, produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Gerald R. Molen and based off the book of the same name by Michael Crichton.

     The story involves John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) bringing two experts being Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and Dr. Grant (Sam Neill) to Jurassic Park in order so that they will write it off and he can get funding but things soon go wrong when an unhappy employee Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) sabotages the Park’s security and attempts to sell the Dinsosaur embryos to a rival the same time a giant storm hits, putting Hammond’s grandchildren and the people at risk.

The Pros: The Premise – The Premise is really cool. A billionare obsessed with dinosaurs uses science to create them and is willing to do anything to make his dream a reality. It coming crashing down on him is expected too, and it’s fun to watch the setup and execution.

The Soundtrack – John Williams at one of his best. The soundtrack captures wonder and terror so well and I understand why this score is used in most John Williams salutes by orchestras.

Character Moments – There are some really good character moments in this…from Ellie and Hammond talking about the wonder and fear of Hammond’s creation, the nihilism of Ian and the idealism of Alan and any interaction Alan has with the kids.

The Characters – The main and supporting characters are compelling and interesting and there are more of them in this film than the others in the Franchise. In the end this is what makes the film succeed besides the brilliant theme and message.

Dennis Nedry – Wayne Knight is wonderful as this troll IT Guy who harasses Hammond relentlessly and actually had a point that he isn’t being paid that much or helped out at all. Hammond can’t see beyond himself (and neither can Nedry) and in the end Nedry ends up dead because of it when he tries delivering the Embryos to a rival company.

Ray Arnold – Samuel L. Jackson plays the chain smoking scientist who is pretty pessimistic but does his best in a very bad situation. In the end he comes through though and he isn’t anti-Hammond the way Nedry is.

John Hammond – Richard Attenborough is fantastic as the wizened old man who began as a creator of a flea circus and became a multi-billionaire. His dreams have driven him in all that he does and are really more important than people until he realizes that his dream has killed people and his selfishness created his fall. He learns from his mistakes though and I really enjoyed his character, he was my favorite.

Dr. Ellie Satler – Laura Dern is wonderful in this role as the character who is quick to take action and is always looking out for others. She also has the sense of wonder and idealism of Grant until all that comes crashing down when the storm hits. She is the one who reminds Hammond of what matters and brings him out of himself.

Dr. Ian Malcolm – Ian is the Chaos Theory Mathematician and is a really fun character. He hits on everyone and has had a few marriages and kids, he fully lives a life of entropy and predicts the park falling apart. He still holds a sense of wonder though and he cares about the Grandchildren even going so far as risking his life and almost ending up killed by the T. Rex. He does end up injured.

Dr. Alan Grant – Sam Neill is great as the idealistic scientist who isn’t good with children who comes to show he can be a really good friend and mentor. He is the most courageous besides Ellie as he doesn’t think twice about taking action to protect others and he knows the Dinosaurs the best as he studied them as a paleontologist.

The Power of Nature – Nature’s power is front and center and the illusion of humanity’s control over it is shown when the storm makes it so the park is unsafe and Nedry turns on the Park and releases the cages. The dinosaurs reek havoc and are never really beaten in the end, they just beat one another.

The Tyrannosaurs Rex – The T. Rex is the main threat throughout the film, eating the lawyer and countless others, injuring the members who are visiting the park and in the end killing the Raptors. The T. Rex is the storm and it cannot be stopped, only avoided. None of the other films do that as well as this one.

The Raptors – Minus the introduction the Raptors are great. They are like the Aliens from “Alien” and “Aliens” and a force of nature that wherever they show up, someone will die. They also adapt to every situation and are only beat by a larger predator that surprises them.

Wonder in Science – The scientific wonder is fantastic! Even though the science doesn’t work that isn’t the point, the point is the celebration of the process of creation and wonder in discovering new things, which are important parts of science and being a scientist.

People Versus Dreams – Dreams are not more important than people and it is Hammond’s are to come to this realization as he wants the park to work up until he fears his Grandchildren dying. It is at that point he realizes people mattered all along.

Okay: The Kids – Kids are once again okay, didn’t believe the girl was a hacker or the boy had read Alan’s book, but that’s an issue I have with the kids in all these movies.

The Cons: The Introduction – The intro is so cheesy and bad. From the hunter’s mouth being really close to the Raptors having long enough arms to pull a heavy man into the cage…the only good part was the mist and trouble seeing things.

   “Jurassic Park” is truly a classic for a reason. It captures wonder, terror and respect for nature as well as giving us mostly complex characters and the characters who aren’t complex are a lot of fun. I’d recommend it for sure, this Spielberg and Crichton doing what they love with one of the best John Williams Soundtracks to date.

Final Score: 9.5 /10

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) – Humanity’s Conflict With Nature and Finding Balance

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     “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” is a great sequel. It is a good thing Spielberg was in charge of it since he is a good director at creating complex characters and giving situations where actual stakes are involved, while still managing to give the film a heart. He is one of the greats for a reason and him directing the follow-up to the original was the right decision.

  The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, written by David Koepp, produced by Gerald R. Molen and Colin Wilson and based off The Lost World by Michael Crichton.

    The story involves Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) going to Site B, the Island of Isla Sorna to rescue his girlfriend Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) who has gone there in order to record Dinosaurs in their natural state for a documentary so that humans won’t exploit them. They are too late and things get complicated when Hammond’s nephew Ludlow (Arliss Howard) arrives with a team to capture the Dinosaurs and take them to a park in San Diego as well as the arrival of Malcolm’s daughter Kelly (Vanessa Lee Chester), which complicates things further.

The Pros: The Cinematography – Janusz Kaminski did a wonderful job and as expected Spielberg has a good eye for how to cast a scene. The character scenes as well as the action scenes mean something and we get the chance to get to know the minor characters by how the action is presented.

The Soundtrack – John Williams is one of the greats for a reason and in this his soundtrack is great at creating tension and rising action. Each action scene felt big because of his soaring score.

The Action – This is one of the better action movies I have seen. There are so many moments that I remember and will remember. I’ll record the ones that stand out the most as they deserve recognition.

Hanging By a Rope – Van Owen and Harding rescue the trapped Tyrannosaurus baby and after they fix it’s leg the parents destroy the van, eventually this leads to it falling over the edge and it is only from the actions of Eddie Car releasing a rope through the van that they are able to get to rescue. Eddie dies in the process though.

The Raptor Hunt – At one point the hunters are running and the Raptors methodically take nearly every single one of them out. It is only the few that survive through luck and quick thinking showing just how dangerous they are.

The Tyrannosaurus Hunt – The T. Rex proceeds to cause chaos in the camp for the capture of it’s child. One of them is captured by Roland while the other slaughters the hunters the Raptors don’t get too.

the Tyrannosaurus in San Diego – This is quintessential Monster Movie here as we see a T. Rex escape from it’s cage and proceed to decimate San Diego. It is really well done and a lot of the destruction caused is simply from people afraid that it exists. It was very well cast and showed once again just how dangerous this creature is. I liked it.

The Characters – There are quite a few great characters in this! From Dr. Harding and Dr. Malcolm and the hunter Roland as well as the Earth First activist. Each of them are more complicated than any archetype, which leads to some great interaction and character growth over the course of the film.

Eddie Carr – This minor character dies to the T. Rex’s but not before he saves his friends. He idealizes Dr. Harding but we see he is good at his job too as it is his creativity that saves our heroes in the first place. Richard Schiff did a great job and his death meant something.

John Hammond – Hammond has changed from the industrialist to the conservationist and it is a really good arc the events at “Jurassic Park” changed him. He is wonderful as the wise wizard who has learned from his mistakes while still being wily and reckless.

Nick Van Owen – I don’t like Vince Vaughn, he tends to be a dick in real life and his characters he plays. This character wasn’t as bad and him being a dick worked as he was an extreme activist who put others at risk to rescue animals. He is never presented as the good guy but you get why he is doing it too, especially since these dinosaurs are endangered by their very existence and he wants to safeguard that.

Roland Tembo – Peter Postlewaite does an awesome job in this role! He is the hunter who lives for the thrill of it and has respect for the animals he hunts as he sees himself as fulfilling his greater purpose. When his friend is killed on the Island though he decides he is done after he captures the T. Rex and has had enough of death. I don’t think he’ll stop hunting but he won’t work with people like Ludlow anymore…folks who don’t value human life.

Dr. Sarah Harding – Julianne Moore plays the naive idealist who learns to not be reckless around dinosaurs while still fulfilling her mission of saving the ones on the Island. She saves Malcolm a few times which makes up for times he had to save her in the beginning. She is a strong character who does what she wants.

Dr. Ian Malcolm – Ian is the nervous scientist played by Jeff Goldblume who carries on the lessons of “Jurassic Park” about keeping dinosaurs away from human beings. He is the Spock to Sarah’s Kirk and his arc is learning how to feel for others better as we see him have to put himself out there to protect Sarah his girlfriend and to protect his daughter and support her beyond words. It is a great arc and it is him coming into his own as a person who can look beyond himself.

Respect for the Natural World – The message is through Hammond’s action. He was a man who wanted people to feel wonder and live the vision he created, on his death bed though he only wants the creatures he created to be respected as he realized he didn’t before by keeping them in cages. It is to this end that he sent them on a mission to protect his creations. It is a good arc since the Dinosaurs aren’t idealized, they are animals like anything else and deserve the chance to flourish. This basis of respect while still not forgetting humans creativity in development is part of what makes this film so great.

A T.Rex is still a T.Rex (even if you save it’s baby) – I really like that part of respect is respecting the space of hunters, be it humanity or the T. Rex. The heroes save the baby T. Rex but there van is destroyed by the T. Rexes. The nature of a T. Rex does not change and the saving of their baby doesn’t change the fact that T. Rexs eat smaller animals which include humans. I’m glad that in the conversation talk it was still smart. A tiger will still try and kill you, even if you return it’s cub back.

Okay: Peter Ludlow – Hammond’s nephew is all about making InGen profitable again but he does nearly have a change of heart when the T. Rex is reeking havoc, he only changes his mind when he realizes that the T. Rex baby could be his only out from facing major consequences for his stupidity. He was alright as an antagonist.

Kelly – Child actors have a difficult time and Vanessa Chester does alright as Kelly. She is a daughter ignored by both her parents so she acts out for attention while still trying to be successful to impress her folks. Her arc is finding confidence and building a relationship with her dad. I did think it was stupid she kicked a raptor using gymnastics, but besides that she wasn’t a bad character, just not a great character.

I remembered liking this more than “Jurassic Park” as the Dinosaurs felt like actual animals and T. Rex’s won’t save the day against Raptors since they want to eat you too…this is part of the reason I’m curious if it will still be the case when I get to “Jurassic Park.” Which will be better to me, the original or the sequel “The Lost World?” Well, well see when I get there.  Suffice to say I enjoyed this film greatly and would watch it again. It is definitely a favorite.

Final Score: 9.2 / 10. Solidly great film.

The Goonies (1985): An Over Indulgent But Good Children’s Coming of Age Tale

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“The Goonies,” is a good but not great film. I get into the reasons for this later but a huge portion is it is hard to take any of the villains seriously and product placement.

“The Goonies” is also a film I hadn’t seen for years, so seeing it again with new eyes also gave me an appreciation for everything that worked and didn’t work in the film. The story was written by Steven Spielberg, with Chris Columbus doing the screenplay while Richard Donner was one of the producers and also directed the film. The other producer was Harvey Bernhard.

The story involves a group of kids called The Goonies made up of Data (Jonathan Ke Quan) the inventor, Mouth (Corey Feldman) the bully, Chunk (Jeff Cohen) the nervous kid who likes to eat a lot and tells tall tales and Mikey (Sean Astin) the leader. They live Astoria, OR where their homes are being foreclosed on and go on a quest for One-Eyed Willie’s Pirate Treasure when they find a map in Mikey’s father’s things. Around this time the Fratellis are being chased down the cops and go out in the woods to hide. From here the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the film:

The Pros: The Goonies – The Goonies are great characters. I’ll describe why below.

Data – Ke Quan is fantastic in this role! He isn’t annoying like when he played Short Round in “Temple of Doom” and is a super creative character, with lots of inventions that they put to use to stop the Fratellis and get to the treasure. We learn later his dad is an inventor too. His arc is his facing of his fears as he is the one of the ones who wants to leave when they have a chance to escape up the well.

Mouth – Mouth goes from being a prick to a nice guy. This is partially due to his attraction to Stef and in the end they both balance one another out as his laid back attitude rubs off on her and her caring attitude rubs off on him. Hated this character for the first third because of how much of a bully he was to Chunk. He acts as translator of the map since he knows Spanish.

Chunk – This is the character who becomes friends with my favorite character, Sloth Fratelli in the movie. He is anxious but uses that to his advantage when he stalls the Fratellis during his questioning. It is also his kindness that leads to Sloth breaking them out of their cell and saving the Goonies.

Sloth – The abused and deformed Fratelli who just wants to be cared for. This character is great and has been completely shaped by television since that’s all his mother and brother left him in his cell. For this reason we see him adopt the hero role when he is treated with kindness and saves all the Goonies at the end as well as being taken into Chunk’s family. He is by far the best character in the film and shows not to judge by appearances.

Stef – She started out really annoying but came around and was the one who actually had a character arc out of all the teenagers traveling with the Goonies. She finds joy in the adventure in the end and is there to add perspective to amazing places like the wishing well.

Mikey – Is the leader of the Goonies played by Sean Astin. His role is fighting to keep their homes from being foreclosed on and driving the adventure forward. When they have the chance to escape he tells them that they need to take of their parents now as they’ve been taken care of and that they should take risks and not live with regret. He is a kind character who was a good choice for the lead.

The Adventure – The Adventure to get the treasure is amazing! They go underneath the town, travel through trap filled caves and have to have a skeleton piano played to reach the treasure and the pirate ship. The adventure is the best part of the story besides The Goonies.

Okay: Andy and Brand – The generic teens along for the ride. They are attracted to each other and eventually get together. Brand is also Mikey’s older brother but not nearly enough is done with that relationship.

Momma Fratelli – The only Fratelli that felt like a threat since she threatens to cut out Mouth’s tongue at one point. Besides that she’s just as much of a joke villain as her kids.

The Cons: The Villains – Most of the villains are one dimensional jokes, which doesn’t help if they are supposed to provide tension.

The Fratelli Brothers – They brake one out of prison but they never shoot to kill, they are also constantly bickering which makes their threat level go down. They have some slap stick humor moments happen to them too which doesn’t help their case for being villains worthy of fear.

The Suits – The guys coming to foreclose on 50 houses in the neighborhood to build a country club and golf course. They have no personality traits beyond dickishness and are a waste of characters. I get they are the bad guys, doesn’t mean they have to be caricatures.

Product Placement – There are two really big product placement moments…when Sloth breaks his chains to get the Baby Ruth that he and Chunk share and at the end when someone brings Domino’s which is Chunk’s favorite pizza. It isn’t subtle at all as the camera lingers on the Baby Ruth and Domino’s label.

This film is based on a story that Spielberg wrote, but you can tell he didn’t direct as the quality of the direction isn’t super memorable. I attribute this more to Richard Donner and the problems with the villains to the screenplay by Chris Columbus. It still is a fun movie I’d recommend, but it’s problems are extremely apparent. The best parts of the film are the adventure to get the treasure and the moments with Sloth and with  The Goonies.

Final Score: 8 / 10. Solidly good with problems.

Jaws (1975): Terror and Politics in a Tourist Town

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Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” is a beloved classic for a reason. It is also a film that I had not seen until quite recently. This actually applies to a lot of Spielberg’s work, so one of these weeks I will be doing a Steven Spielberg week since his style, for better and for worse, it so distinct.

“Jaws” is based off the book by the same name by Peter Benchley, who also wrote the screenplay in this instance (which is a pro for the story) along with Carl Gottlieb. The writing and the world are very solid and serve the film extremely well.

The story takes place in the small tourist town of Amity, whose income almost entirely relies on people coming to enjoy the beach. It kicks off with a bunch of kids partying and one of them going out to swim and getting killed mysteriously. Brody the Sheriff later finds her body and suspect a shark, which the mayor covers up because he doesn’t want to cause a panic or hurt the local economy. He continues to cover it up after the scientist Hooper arrives and confirms the shark they captured, did not have a big enough bite and that the shark is still out there. From here the story unfolds as the shark strikes again and Brody, Hooper and the eccentric fisherman Quint have to stop it.

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Here is the assessment of the film:

Pros: The Soundtrack – John Williams does an excellent job scoring this film, especially with the memorable shark approaching theme in how it causes tension. The only thing I don’t like is when he goes whimsical, which I think might be more Spielberg’s fault than his since it clashes with the rest of the movies tone.

Rising Action / Tension – The Tension in this film is palpable, you never see the Shark until the very end, so it is the hidden underwater threat. This is done well in how Spielberg shows us the Shark’s point of view when it is stalking it’s human prey on a few occasions. Whenever he gives us the human point of view we are left in the dark until it is too late, even at the end this rule applies.

The Three Leads

Brody – Roy Scheider does a good job as the detective who is torn between his duty to the local government and the mayor, and to protecting his family. He pretty much goes along with the mayor with only slight protest until Hooper reminds him that they can confirm the Tiger Shark was the killer by cutting it open. They do so and that keeps him fighting again and making sure the beaches are being scoured by police to protect the visitors. Brody also gets the final kill and is the one who doesn’t give in to Quint’s machismo as Quint destroys the radio when he is calling for help as the Shark has destroyed their boat.

Quint – This guy is the fisherman and shark hunter with a major chip on his shoulder. He’s had a few marriages and thinks the only measure of a person is physical strength. He does have some great moments connecting with the guys though, especially with Hooper as they swap shark stories and he opens up about the fact that he fought in World War 2 and why he has such a depressed outlook on life. When his ship sunk he saw sharks kill most of his men which gives him a “Moby Dickish” relationship to them, and like Captain Ahab he dies fighting Jaws at the end. Robert Shaw is good in this role.

Hooper – Richard Dreyfuss is fantastic in this role. He’s the college educated guy who studies sharks for a living and loves them. He’s the outsider and his connecting with Quint over scars from the sharks is pretty fun as they are all getting drunk. He can be annoying sometimes, but you get where he is coming from as Quint doesn’t listen to anyone. He is also the one who motivates Brody to action and actually doing something about the shark. He’s my favorite character in this and one of my favorite actors.

The Mayor – The Mayor is good as the corrupt guy just going after the bottom line, until the 4th of July when the shark strikes again and he is forced to recognize he’s been wrong all along and this his child could have died. He has sleaze and charisma, making him and interesting secondary antagonist who comes around to neutral.

Okay: Brody’s Family – They are mostly there as a motivator. They don’t hurt the plot in any way, I just never felt connected to them as people. They only existed as possible victims of the Shark.

The Townspeople and Tourists – Are all pretty one note, they are doing their thing, but none of them really stand out as unique. They are more of the setting than anything else in the end.

Con: The Chase and Change of Tone – There is a seen where Brody, Quint and Hooper have attached barrels to Jaws and are chasing after him and the music gets all whimsical…there is still 30 to 40 minutes left…the victory music was declared way too early and clashes with the fact that Jaws destroys their ship later and eats Quint. The score should have just stuck with tension…cause even when they are chasing Jaws, the boat and are characters are still getting hurt by Jaws.

This film is a classic for a reason. I love how it explores the small town politics and how distinct the three leads are as characters. Hooper has to be one of my favorite characters in any films and it is awesome seeing a young Richard Dreyfuss. I would definitely recommend this film. It is a classic for a reason and has an amazing score to go with it along with the amazing direction of Steven Spielberg.

Final Score is 9 / 10.

 

Hook (1991): The Joy of a Child, the Importance of Love and Honoring Robin Williams

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“To live, to live would be an awfully big adventure.” -Peter Banning

“Hook” has been one of my favorite films for a very long time. It is also a film I have not watched for some time, but with Robin Williams’s suicide, watching one of my favorite Robin Williams films seemed in order.

Robin Williams has been one of my favorite actors for a very long time, and throughout my childhood and teenage years…it was a lot his classic movies that I would always go back and watch again. He was one of those few actors who could do both drama and comedy so well and who usually always chose projects that had a point. Robin Williams was such a huge part of my life in his art for such a long time was an inspiration. He was timeless in his acting and characters, and we were lucky to have him for what time we had. There is more that I will say later on and in future blog posts.

I chose “Hook” because Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories. It’s one of the stories I always go back too because of how timeless the characters are, how powerful the messages within it still stand and the creativity of the world of Neverland. They’ve informed many of the stories I’ve done.

The story of “Hook” begins with Peter Banning (grown up Peter Pan played by Robin Williams) who works at a law firm in mergers in aquisitions. He has no connection with any of his family and is also about deals and business. He is pulled into his past when Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) takes children when he is doing an event for Grandma Wendy (Maggie Smith) (the woman who helped him find parents in America) after Wendy reveals who he is he has a mental breakdown and isolates himself more. Once Tinker Bell (Julie Roberts) arrives she takes him back to Neverland, where the story unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the film:

The Pros: The cinematography – It is Spielberg and he knows how to paint a beautiful picture. Neverland especially looks like it is out of dream. He uses shadows really well too, which is a nice callback to Peter’s literal and figurative shadow throughout the film.

The writing – I actually really enjoyed the script. It had great lawyer jokes, a gynecologist joke and lots of situational humor surrounding Peter and Captain Hook.

Neverland – The Neverland is pretty cool. It has a world full of different seasons in one place, the Lost Boys, the Pirate Ship which is a city, the mermaids who save Peter when he is pushed off the plank. So we see a lot of the location.

Grandma Wendy – Grandma Wendy is an amazing character. Casting Maggie Smith as Wendy was a perfect choice. She is the one who is still empathetic and remembers the magic. We also see her current love as a parent and her past love for Peter as a lover in certain scenes…their history together is so rich and she pulls it off really well and well as pushing Peter to action to save his children and believe the story of his past.

Moira Banning – Peter’s wife is also a reminder of who once was…she is the one who cares and sees his disconnect from his family. She is also the only one Peter treats like a human being when he is all about work. The love between them is believable, though there first scene is creepy. Don’t kiss a sleeping girl you’ve never met Peter! Caroline Goodall does fantastic.

The Banning Children – The kids are pretty great too. You have the believer in Maggie and Jack who has taken the brunt of Peter’s disconnect and cruelty, so rightly finds a father in James Hook until he realizes how bad the pirates are. They have a good character arc.

Toodles – The lost boy who left is an interesting character. He pretty much functions as a joke and reminder, but it works…especially when we meet the lost boys and hear how much they miss him. He was the one who shouldn’t have left, since that world was his home. He never fully adapted to our world the way Peter did.

The Lost Boys – The Lost Boys are great. They have Pan as a title. Which I liked. The current Pan is Rufio (Dante Basco) and it is up to the Lost Boys to teach Peter how to be a child again. It is a great arc and all of them are fun in the games they play that are used to have imagination as creation…which plays into both meals and weapon creation. Bangarang!

Rufio – Dante Basco is an actor I really respect. Both for this and his work in “Avatar: The Last Airbender” as Prince Zuko. He has the tough anti-hero thing down really well and in this film I wish we’d gotten more backstory or he lived. He was a worthy Pan and nearly defeated Captain Hook as well. His death is all the more powerful because of it. He is the one who fought and best represented the crueler side the Lost Boys experience in Neverland, since many have been killed by Pirates.

Thud Butt – Is the last Pan and the one who leads the Lost Boys in the new Neverland where the pirates are defeated. He is the comedic one because he is so big, but also the one who helps keep Peter on course with training.

Tinker Bell – She is the final reminder of Peter’s past and the one who loves him. She is able to put the romantic love aside too when she knows he has no plan to stay in Neverland. She also is the reason he is alive as Hook planned to kill him once he saw that Peter was no longer Pan but Banning and could not fly. Julia Roberts is great.

Smee – Is comedic relief and is the one behind the capture of the children. He is the brains behind the outfit, where Captain Hook is the one with quick wit and action. Smee is also the nicest of the pirates. He is the heart and soul of the Pirate Ship.

Captain Hook – Dustin Hoffman is wonderful in this role. He is a character who is so cruel and selfish, but so human too. He defeats Rufio, captures Peter’s kids and manages to turn Jack against him and kills the Crocodile. There is a reason that the movie is named for him. His actions drive the plot and bring Peter’s arc full circle. He fights to the end and is only taken down when everyone is fighting him (Lost Boys with clocks, Peter, the Crocodile’s corpse). What will the world be like, without Captain Hook?

Peter Banning / Peter Pan – Robin Williams owns this role. He plays the serious drama as Banning and as Pan so well…from the disconnected father too lost in his work and unable to connect with his family or in Neverland Tinker Bell or the Lost Boys…and as Pan when he finally believes in himself and finds his happy thought in the birth of his children and love of his wife. He finds the joy of the child once more that he once had as Peter, but with the responsibility of age. Robin Williams is a master of drama and comedy and his serious moments and his jokes in this are unforgettable.

Cons: I have to do this alone trope –  “This is something I have to do alone.” When they really defeat Hook all together, was an unnecessary ego thing that happens way too often in movies.

“Hook” is most definitely still a favorite that I plan to watch many more times in the future. The story captures the importance of what we can learn from our childhood and of connection to others…and to live. Robin Williams, we will miss you. Your chemistry with everyone in this film is fantastic and you were the star in the film that is truly timeless for me. Thank you for all your work and being such an amazing inspiration.

 Final Score is 9.4 / 10

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