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on July 11, 2004
For a movie going on lucky 13 years old, it's still as fun to watch as it was the first time I saw it in the theaters. Peter Banning is a well off American lawyer married to the great grandaughter of Wendy Moira Angela Darling...Mora Darling. He also has two kids, Jack and Maggie. However, supporting for his family has become a full time job and as such he's forgotten all about having an imagination, playing with his kids, spending time with his family, and enjoying his life. And in the middle of all of this, there's Capt. James S. Hook, life long enemy of Peter Pan (Banning, though unbeknownst to him). In an act of vengeance, he kidnaps Banning's kids in the night, and tinkerbell comes home to bring Peter back to Never Neverland and make Peter remember the life he left behind and the fight that was never finished.
Mr. Spielberg went all out on this movie, and it shows. There's a lot of heart and soul here from the pirate ships to the lost boys hideout to London and back again. At the same time, there's a lot of heart in both the screenplay and the actors embodiment of the characters. I don't think there will ever be a Hook as good as the one that Dustin Hoffman has done in this film, Bob Hoskins is always a pleasure to watch and his comedic timing is near perfect, causing everything from a slight chuckle to uproarious laughter to pass your lips after each scene he's in, and William's Peter Banning/Pan, while extrodinarily silly and misguided at times, comes around brilliantly, and the first time you watch him fly you can't help but grin from ear to ear.
The child talent is always a risky business, but if you accept that the kids are not going to be the best actors in the world, you realize that most of them do the script justice, whether they know they are or not. Charlie Korsmo, along with Dante Basco, are clearly the most talented, carrying their scenes with Williams and Hoffman very well.
John Williams score is as wonderful as it ever was (you can hear some of the framework for the Harry Potter music in this particular score)...
And finally, there's the message..."never grow up". It's the same message from the original movie, but how it gets there is slightly different. As we watch Peter Banning remember and relive the life he left behind, we realize what he realizes; growing old doesn't mean you have to grow up...and you have to live...for that is the "great adventure".
At 2 hours and 20 minutes, the movie drags here and there a bit from time to time. And on no fault of the original production, the special effects of the film have not held up as well as they could have in the last 13 years. The movie is starting to look it's age. But I think no matter how old this movie gets, there will always be people who will be taken back by the simple premise of this movie and embrace it for the wonderful way it's taken the original Peter Pan story to a whole new level...and beyond.
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on May 16, 2004
Since there are so many other reviews available, I'll save my opinions on how great this film is and go straight to the DVD review.
First things first, the DVD version of "Hook" offers an increidble 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack that makes a huge difference if you've been getting by on the VHS edition. My room was shaking everytime the cannons went off with my surround sound. As for the picture, Hook has one of the most beautiful video transfers I've ever seen from a film to a disc. There were some absolutely gorgeous scenes of Neverland and spectacular menus.
Unfortunately, like most of Tri-Star's DVDs, this film is absent of extras. You get trailers for Hook and Jumanji, and some lame "Tallent Files" thing it looks like someone pulled off the Internet. That's it. They certainly have room on the disc for more, but I guess they're too lazy. With such a beatuful film transfer, a great director, and so many A-list actors, this DVD would be incredible packed full of featurettes and interviews. But alas, the viewer is resigned to wait until Tri-Star decides to release a REAL edition of this wonderful film on DVD.
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on December 23, 2003
This is poosibly the greatest film of all time. I loved it as a kid and rediscovered its greatness now, as a teenager. I am a huge fan of all things Peter Pan, and this definitely includes Hook. Everything is fantisticly done. I for one, love the Neverland aspect of the movie and find the Lost Boys (not to mention Rufio, Rufio, RU-FI-000O!!!) greatly entertaining. The review trashing the little kids in the movie is nonsense. These are kids, we're talking about. They did an excellent job and they are all extremely funny. The actors all do such a magnificent job, as well as the writers. My friends, family, and I all have inside jokes that include lines from the movie. Some classic lines:
Jack: Bad form!
Lost boy: Man stop!
and this one:
Peter:He really did lose his marbles.
Lost Boy(I forget his name -ahh): Yeah, he lost 'em good.
There are so many funny and unforgettable lines, I can't even begin to post them.
So to everyone who purchases this film, BANGARANG!!
And to those who don't, BAD FORM!
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on May 24, 2001
Boo, says the old woman in princess bride at the Critics. Hook is in my top five favorite movies without a doubt. The ones who don't like it, don't understand the underlying thread. Peter grows up - and forgets his childhood as the flying menace. He is even afraid of heights! It doesn't matter whether you are a spielberg fan or not, if you love interesting films that hauntingly leave a mark of childishness on your heart, then this is for you. I have watched this film more than any other movie. I seriously KNOW for a fact that since I was 11 I have viewed it over a hundred times....easily! I had a copy...then I bought it on vhs...then the other day bought it on dvd and it still hasn't lost its meaning to me. I could still watch it twice in a row and not loose an ounce of attention. Maybe it's Robin Williams perfect transition from snobby business man, to the high flying , sword chopping, pirate stomping, peter pan. Or Dustin Hoffman, who endured just as many hours in make-up as he did in Tootsie, to bring to life the ultimate clock-hating villain, who despises the "L" word. Or Bob Hoskins (Who framed Rodger Rabbit), an excellent Smee, more brain than bum-fundled. Julia Roberts had me in the state-of-crush for about 3 years. Anyway, Hook is a 5 star great movie that THE People love. Forget the critics for this one. The dvd is sharp, and sounds terrific. As far as sound, check out Smee's "Good morning neverland." I would seriously enjoy ANY extra's, because the skull and crossbones on this disc represent death to extra lover's. Two-disk anyone?
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on July 6, 2003
People can't seem to agree on how this movie is rated. Unfortunately, it might be a "love it or hate it" thing, in which case reviews are meaningless. I will go ahead and say that I LOVED this movie as a child (well, preteen), and all of my friends did too. I actually liked the Lost Boys, especially Rufio, whose whole character I found very interesting. I didn't like the skateboard bits, but if I were a little boy, I might.I absolutely LOVED Hoffman as Hook - he was funny and sinister all at the same time ("I'm going to do it, and don't try to stop me. Smee, don't you dare try to stop me, Smee, try to stop me. Smee! Try to stop me, I'm commiting suicide here!"). Robing Williams is excellent as always, and Pan's children do a fantastic job. I really empathized with the little girl when I was little. There are a few flaws (I didn't like Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, actually), but overall this movie is definitely worth a rent. Good for the young and the young-at-heart (sorry for the corny line!), I highly recommend it.
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on June 17, 2004
Why has this film been criticized? There's nothing to complain about Steven Spielberg's "Hook." It should be a classic; most people don't remember that it was nominated for a whole slew of Oscars.
First off, I'll cover the visuals. They're wonderful. The depiction of Neverland was incredible to behold. The effects and flying scenes nearly took my breath away, and the score by John Williams is truly magical.
And the performances worked. Robin Williams was a great choice for Peter Pan, and Dustin Hoffman hammed it up to perfection as Captain Hook. The story was pretty interesting, too. Peter Pan has lived his worst nightmare: he grew up, and has become a corporate "pirate." One night, while visiting Wendy (Maggie Smith) in London with his family, Captain Hook infiltrates the real world and kidnaps Peter's children. Even though he can't remember who he once was, Peter is aided by Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts), and journeys to Neverland to rescue his kids. The Lost Boys were hilarious, and Bob Hoskins stole the show as Hook's crooked assistant, Smee.
"Hook" is a film that people of all ages can enjoy. A rare combination of acting, storytelling, and visuals, we should add another movie to Spielberg's list of classics. This is magical, old-school entertainment at its best.
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on September 3, 2003
I love grownup versions of classic children's stories, such as "Ever After" (a grownup Cinderella) and this movie, "Hook", a very grown-up Peter Pan. "Hook" takes a sobering look at the downside of being "grownup"- our propensity for taking ourselves and our responsibilities far too seriously, forgetting how to have fun along the way, and how it harms our relationships with our families, especially our children. Robin Williams as the grown-up Peter shows what a truly good actor he is in this movie, and that his comic genius is but one of his talents. Dustin Hoffman, always a show-stealer, does not disappoint. His "Hook" is at once funny and a very scary guy, at one point even killing the leader of the Lost Boys - this is definitely not your kids' Peter Pan. The supporting cast do an excellent job as well.
The visuals are imaginative and engaging, such as the child-pleasing bright crayon-colored foods at their banquets, and serve to remind us of how life is different through the eyes of a child - Bright green ketchup? Cool! - and what fun it was to "think outside the box" before it was educated and conformed out of us. Hook himself remembers this, and uses this knowledge to steal Peter's disillusioned son away from him, an act of revenge that forces Peter to re-learn the art of having fun in order to rescue him from the despicable Hook. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.
On a more serious note, "Hook" is a cautionary tale to which many of us "grownups" need to pay close attention, living in a society as we do that places (or should I say "misplaces") so much emphysis on providing material goods - the newest, the biggest, the brightest, the best of everything - that we are in real danger of neglecting the one and only thing our kids really need - our time - time for guidance, time for teaching, time for discipline, and time for just plain fun. Hook is very real, and he manifests himself in terrifying ways - drugs, alcohol, sex, and the human predators that offer these to our children on a daily basis. I am very glad I bought this video, because I can take it out and watch it any time life gets too serious and I need a reminder of what is really important.
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on June 29, 2003
What if Peter Pan really did grow up? I beleive Mr. Speilburg got it right with this one. His capability is transmogrifying book to film is masterful. Although there are a few minute mistakes, such as Hook's hook suppossedly on the right rather than the left, this film invokes the soul of J.M. Barrie's magical story.

Robin Williams (Good Morning Vietnam) is a perfect choice for Peter Pan, now grown up and known as Peter Banning. Peter, whose past as a free-sprited and ageless Pan, has long forgotten Neverland. Instead his life is about stocks, cell-phones, and an ironic fear of heights. He comes home one night to find that both of his children, Jack and Maggie, have been kidnapped by none other than Captain Hook himself. Granny Wendy (Maggie Smith; Harry Potter I-II)tries hard to explain to him that only he can save his children, for he is really the great Peter Pan.
Dustin Hoffman's (Tootsie) portrayal as Captain James Hooks is remarkable. He emobodies the charecter with wonderful acting skill, right down to Hook's grace, manners, and a distorted belief of "good form". All of his pirate crew, including the lovable Mr. Smee (Bob Hoskins; Who Framed Roger Rabbit)put on a wonderful show.
I hope you enjoy following along with Peter makes as he makes his final trip to Neverland. And with the aid of Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts; Erin Brockavitch) and the Lost Boys, he must remember how to fight, how to crow, and most importantly how to fly, in order to save his own two children from the cunning and evil grasps of Capt. Jas. Hook.
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on May 15, 2003
Hook, of the greatest action/adventure movie of all time. With a Star cast including: Dustin Hoffman (Captain James Hook), Robin Williams (Peter Banning), and Julia Roberts (Tink). A workaholic, Peter Banning has no time for his family. The family takes a trip to London to visit Granny Wendy because she is to receive an award. While at the award ceremony, Peter�s children are captured. A note is left by the kidnapper signed, Captain James Hook. Tink takes Peter to Neverland, where he is to fight the dark and sinister Hook for his children. Peter has to learn to find his happy thought and become the old Pan in three days. And so the Great War between good and evil begins. Hook receives the five stars of excellence for being one of the greatest films of that year.
The musical score for Hook is an essential part in this mind blowing movie. John Williams makes this score a quintessential example of how to capture emotion. The piece was actually intended on being a musical for Peter Pan, before Stephen Spielberg wanted the score for his movie. The music does exactly what every musical does; it creates music that becomes very present in one�s memory. Most musicians would categorize this score as more pop than the average score. John Williams actually started writing the score before he even saw the completed version of the film. John basically had to go off of a script to write the music. John had to create his own Neverland in his head to create the right emotion he wanted to present to the audience. One section of the score is called, �Presenting the Hook.� The scene starts out with Smee carrying Captain Hook�s hook all over the ship. The pirates start chanting, �Hook, Hook, Hook,� as they follow Smee. Mr. Williams creates perfect pirate music. It is filled with: horns, violins, tambourines, flutes, and drums. The sound creates the image of a pirate ship in one�s mind. The battle sequence is another great section of work called, �The Ultimate War.� There are great sums of percussion, such as cymbals and cowbells. These percussion sounds, especially the cowbell, paints a picture of the preparation of war. Then one hears the upbeat sounds and at that moment, Peter has transformed into a hero. Eerie and evil sounds are played into the audiences ears. This sound is the presents of Hook. As the section continues the tempo increases drastically. The score is one of the top elements in making this movie superior to other movies.
Captain James Hook, played by Dustin Hoffman, gives this movie what it needs to become a classic. Captain Hook is the leader of the scum of Neverland (also known as pirates). Hook has grown tired of killing Indians and lost boys. The climatic adventure in his life would be to kill Peter Pan, his arch nemesis. Dustin Hoffman did a magnificent job creating this character. One of the most valuable elements of his character was his appearance and voice. The costume designer designed his costume exactly like it is in the Walt Disney version of Peter Pan. From the wig to the mustache, Dustin fits the part. Dustin�s voice is the ideal voice of a pirate. His voice gave one a feeling as if one had left Great Britain and had been captured by pirates. Dustin Hoffman�s character had to be nothing but fun to act.
This movie is a perfect example of a monomyth. Peter�s call to action is that his children have been captured and he has to go and save them. Tink takes Peter from the house in London and he crosses the threshold into Neverland. He leaves the social realm and goes forth into the supernatural realm. Peter has to find his happy thought, so that he can fly. His gift is hidden within himself. The trials he faces are the Ultimate War between the lost boys and the pirates. His ultimate trial is fighting Captain James Hook. He defeats his opponent and takes his children home. When he leaves Neverland to go back to London, he emerges back into the social realm. Peter brings back what he has learned from his experiences. Not the gift of flying, but the gift of loving his family more and living life to the fullest.
The overall score for this movie is Five Stars out of Five Stars. The score is based on the musical score, characters, and plot. One essential element is the score written by John Williams. The score brought to story to life. Another element evaluated was Dustin Hoffman�s role of Captain James Hook. The last element taken into consideration was the how the plot was planned. The plot used the journey of a monomyth. The journey of the monomyth has been used in many other great films, such as Star Wars. This movie has become a masterpiece that other directors should model after .Hook is truly magnificent
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on April 5, 2003
I watched this movie when I was really young and I loved it then. I watched it again today and I love it still!
Peter Pan, having been put up for adoption in the "real world" by Wendy and grown up, is now Peter Panny, a lawyer who is too busy to appreciate his wife and two children, Jack and Maggie. Peter goes to his daughter's play, but is on his cellphone the entire time. He compeltely misses Jack's baseball game, and when Jack is bitter about it and acting childish, Peter tells him to 'grow up.'
Then Captain Hook kidnaps Peter's children as revenge, Tink whisks Peter off to Never Never land - where he firmly believes he's hallucinating. He remembers nothing of being Peter Pan, the lost boys, Captain Hook, or anything. In order to save his children, he must find the child within himself. And the only way to accomplish that is by having the Lost Boys and Tink help him. He must learn to stop being the selfish lawyer who is too busy for everybody and start being a person who appreciates life and sees everything as an adventure. Meanwhile, Jack is taking the opposite route and giving up his childhood while being held captive.
The movie is a wonderful tale, and it brings a new life to the Peter Pan story. The visuals are outstanding and the movie does an awesome job at creating a real, live Never Never Land where there are mermaids, paint fights, pirates, and the tickety tock of the crock.
The acting is superb, and I don't think they could've picked anybody better to play Peter Pan and Captain Hook than Robin Williams and Hoffman.
It's an all around great film for the whole family. It gives even the most cynical of adults the hope that maybe we can all find the child within us and learn to live that way.
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