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Hook: the way you (want to) remember it

lapis molari

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HOOK IS BACK! COMING TO YOUR SCREEN DECEMBER 8, 2021.
Thirty years to the day after its cinematic release, Hook returns in this fanedit revisit.

Hook cover 1a.jpg


HOOK has enough flaws that it shouldn't work. But it does! The good parts pack enough emotional punch to carry the movie and it plucks my heart-strings every time.


This edit tackles the lack of focus:

- Is Peter a big-shot lawyer who lacks imagination, or an insecure accountant who is worried to offend other people's sensibilities? I know what the script says, but I honestly can't tell from Williams' performance.

- Is Hook a real and dangerous villain, a caricature of Disney's inept cartoon Hook, half of the "Hook & Smee" comedic duo, or a depressed old man? Is Hook a villain I should love to hate, or one I should pity? It feels a little of both, but a lot of neither.

- Spielberg is brilliant, but here he was distracted. Peter and Hook aren't the only uneven parts. He left in continuity errors (the kids' bedroom door has Hook's scratch, then doesn't, then does again), make-up mistakes (in two pick-up shots Thud Butt is clearly older), and odd time-management where some transitions take much longer than needed without pay-off, while others feel jumpy as if a cutaway shot was left out (the Mermaids under Hook's ship > Peter being hoisted up to the Lost Boys).

- At 2h21m the film feels too long. Going against the adage "show, don't tell", I posit that Hook shows too much. E.g. 2 1/2 minutes of Jack's baseball game and Peter in the office, while we needn't care about either, just about the fact that Peter misses the game.


Get ready to re-live your childhood memory! You'll believe a man can fly (No, not Superman. Peter Pan, of course!).
Front row seats are reserved for everyone who in the '90s saw the movie through Jack's eyes, and now, being dads ourselves, sees the movie through Peter's eyes. 😉
 
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lapis molari

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Here's an example of addressing Peter's inconsistent personality while at the same time removing repetitive dialog (Moira says the same thing better in the subsequent minute).

The trimmed phone call scene:

The original phone call scene:
 

Dwight Fry

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Yes! I want to like this movie, but never could. Hopefully this edit does the magic!

And speaking of magic: is there any way to remove Huge Tinkerbell from it? I'm guessing that's almost impossible, because that unexplainable scene contains an essential character beat for Peter without which the narrative wouldn't make sense, but I might as well ask...
 

lapis molari

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@Dwight Fry , I looked at cutting Big Tink and I think that works!

The scene shows us that Peter was already forgetting his family because Neverland somehow makes you forget. But that narrative never sat well with me in the movie because it's not developed consistently. E.g. Peter and Jack (start to) forget their families, but Maggie doesn't. Nor does Tink. And Thud Butt tells Peter his mom is his happy thought, so he didn't forget life outside of Neverland either.

By cutting the scene, we lose the explanation that Neverland makes you forget (inexplicably quickly). Instead we can simply assume that Neverland makes you lose track of time the same way that Covid lockdowns do because daily routines go out the window.
 

Dwight Fry

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@Dwight Fry , I looked at cutting Big Tink and I think that works!

The scene shows us that Peter was already forgetting his family because Neverland somehow makes you forget. But that narrative never sat well with me in the movie because it's not developed consistently. E.g. Peter and Jack (start to) forget their families, but Maggie doesn't. Nor does Tink. And Thud Butt tells Peter his mom is his happy thought, so he didn't forget life outside of Neverland either.

By cutting the scene, we lose the explanation that Neverland makes you forget (inexplicably quickly). Instead we can simply assume that Neverland makes you lose track of time the same way that Covid lockdowns do because daily routines go out the window.
That reasoning makes a lot of sense! In fact, the more I think about it, the more this movie reeks of "filmed first draft". It's like they either didn't have the time to build a consistent structure, or they just didn't care.
 

lapis molari

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Yes, the actual opening credits are just static names against a black background. A missed opportunity.
I'll try the Teaser Map and see how it looks. Keep 'm coming!
 

Dwight Fry

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Yes, the actual opening credits are just static names against a black background. A missed opportunity.
I'll try the Teaser Map and see how it looks. Keep 'm coming!
I just wish that when the hole in the map is burning up, it didn't fade into the arm shots. Having the burning hole reveal the title would have looked great.
 

asterixsmeagol

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Not knowing anything about this thread, my wife and her sister were talking about Hook today and how they haven't seen it since they watched it on VHS as kids, but they want to watch it again. Hopefully this project goes quickly so I can suggest we watch this version instead.
 

DigModiFicaTion

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I just wish that when the hole in the map is burning up, it didn't fade into the arm shots. Having the burning hole reveal the title would have looked great.
If your NLE allows for layers and masks, it could be a relatively easy thing to create. You'd just need to get or film a burning piece of paper from the center or mask some fire and then add a layer with the hook Logo and then zoom or fade it in.
 

lapis molari

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@asterixsmeagol, this edit goes live on 8 December (as per the first sentence in the first post). If you'll be a pre-viewer, to catch any remaining flaws and suggest further improvement, I hope to have that, near-final, version ready in October.

@DigModiFicaTion , exactly! The unwanted arms fade in on top of the black (no problem), on top of the flame (I'll see if I can overlay a rotated clean section of the flame), and on top of the map (overlay clean map from previous frames). All in Vegas. Then open up to the 'Hook' title from the 4K disc (not shrunk but cropped).
 

DigModiFicaTion

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@DigModiFicaTion , exactly! The unwanted arms fade in on top of the black (no problem), on top of the flame (I'll see if I can overlay a rotated clean section of the flame), and on top of the map (overlay clean map from previous frames). All in Vegas. Then open up to the 'Hook' title from the 4K disc (not shrunk but cropped).
the hook-movie.com link leads to a out of service website. Hoping you can get the footage without the watermark from the uploader. As it came from a 35mm print, I don't think you'll find it anywhere else.
 

lapis molari

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the hook-movie.com link leads to a out of service website. Hoping you can get the footage without the watermark from the uploader. As it came from a 35mm print, I don't think you'll find it anywhere else.
The movie is 1920x800 pixels, the teaser at hook-movie is 1920x1080. The watermark will be cropped out.

The only other Teaser clip I find online is low res and in 4:3 ratio, which suggests that it was recorded from television:
 

lapis molari

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Another example of Spielberg's lack of focus / trying to make Hook too many things at once: after Peter misses his son's baseball game, the family flies to London. On the plane Jack draws a burning plane and Moira urges Peter to talk to Jack about missing his game. In the background we hear the captain's announcement about turbulent weather (voiced by Dustin Hoffman).

Cut are the wildly shaking food trays that underscored Hoffman's announcement about turbulence. Redundant and it had a slapstick style that doesn't fit this movie (it'd fit a Benny Hill or Mr Bean production).

The trimmed airplane scene leading up to Peter and Jack's conversation about the missed baseball game:

The original airplane scene leading up to Peter and Jack's conversation about the missed baseball game:
 

DigModiFicaTion

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I always took that as a comedic moment and dig on flying.
 

lapis molari

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Another example of Spielberg showing too much: when Hook kidnaps the kids, there's ominous music, gusts of wind, strange lights, panicking Tootles, but Hook remains mysterious (because off-screen). I think it's more elegant (and much faster) to jump from Wendy's festive dinner to their discovery that the kids have been kidnapped. We understand that it must have happened during the dinner and Hook stays equally mysterious.

The trimmed version:

The original:
 

L8wrtr

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Very well done!

Hook is one of my guilty pleasures in that I love it in spite of how much people hate it, and in spite of its shortcomings. Cannot wait for this.
 
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