Friday, July 08, 2016

HOOK revisited. (oh, just a bit of nostalgia, a dab of heaviness and a dash of fun and unusual facts)

Beltway-area of a Washington D.C. suburb. 
My sister and I are both in elementary school.
Our grandfather comes over on a random Friday night to babysit us and we randomly end up going to see the new Steven Spielberg adventure "HOOK" - which, because we were really only allowed to watch PBS - we completely missed any marketing for the film and hadn't even heard of it.
Going in cold to this was absolutely crazy.
My grandfather does not particularly care for the film but ends up buying the soundtrack on compact disc. We get the VHS cassette tape and watch the movie about a million times.


My best friend and his son have moved out of their apartment and are staying with me before relocating to America. I end up babysitting all their media indefinitely. I noticed a DVD of HOOK. While cleaning the apt I pop it in the Region 2 DVD player.


I had thought about the movie when Bob Hoskins passed away but hadn't actually watched the film since perhaps 1993.. Let me just come right out out say that this film is still great - a great adventure story with a great message and is just so fun and nice to watch - ESPECIALLY when compared to the wacky CGI schlockfest kids are eating up now, in the 21st century. (OK, to be fair I really enjoyed Wreck It Ralph, Hotel Transylvania, and UP, etc. but as a child of the 80s my heart is always really with Back to the Future, the NeverEnding Story, Muppets / anything Jim Henson and/or Frank Oz and basically - OF COURSE- let's just say anything with a John Williams soundtrack).

Anyhow, back on topic: my uncle just happened to visit the set as the film was being made and - WOW. Everything that would have been done now with CGI was done then with painted backdrops and million dollar sets.
It is glorious. BUT...
Watching the film as an adult is heavy. The work-obsessed corporate blob that Peter Pan has become (Peter Banning) who has forgotten everything about the magic and fun in life is pretty dark when you watch it as an adult finally. When you are a kid, you think: HOW could Peter Pan become THAT.
BUT when you are entering middle age, you know exactly how time and work and stress on all levels will do that to people...
but Peter Banning aka Peter Pan BEATS it... but then of course knowing Robin Williams killed himself is HEAVY... and although I love him I am not ready to forgive him for that.  

But there are a few odd, interesting things about this film that I couldn't ignore:
1. A young Gwenyth Paltrow plays young Wendy (Maggie Smith) and
2. Dodi Al Fayed is one of the producers of HOOK. Yes, THAT Dodi who died with Princess Diana aka Lady Di... which I just found to be so weird.
3. Oh, and that kid- Jack (also "the Kid" in Dick Tracy) Charlie Korsmo - in real life he is now a professor - which is the exact opposite of what we expect to happen to a child actor. Not bad.
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