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A high-flying adventure from the magic of Steven Spielberg, HOOK stars Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter Pan and Dustin Hoffman as the infamous Captain Hook. Joining the fun is Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Bob Hoskins as the pirate Smee, and Maggie Smith as Granny Wendy Darling, who must convince middle-aged lawyer Peter Banning that he was once the legendary Peter Pan. And so the adventure begins anew, with Peter off to Neverland to save his two children from Captain Hook. Along the way, he rediscovers the power of imagination, friendship, and of magic. A classic tale updated for children of all ages, HOOK was nominated for five 1991 Academy Awards(r) including Best Visual Effects.
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It is very exciting when Peter finally gets inspired and discovers that this enables him to fly, and he zooms through the air so convincingly I don't think CGI would have enhanced it at all. It was as neat to me as the E.T. flying bicycle. Captain Hook's portrayal by Dustin Hoffman is hilariously unctuous and fickle. He even stages a ball game to try to make Peter Pan's son identify with him, so that Peter will get jealous enough that he'll learn to fly again and duel Hook. Hook wants to be acclaimed for killing Peter Pan in an exciting fight, not while Peter is a wimpy lawyer who's afraid of heights, so he has to make Peter jealous enough to be motivated to fly again.
I get a kick out of the predictable orchestration of John Williams in his fast-paced Spielberg action scenes, but there are some neat melodies he uses which have originality. My favorite part of Williams's music is when Peter Pan has finally gotten reinspired and suddenly starts flying again, which takes place after a long and slow buildup, with the same power as when the maimed Toothless finally flies again on How to Train Your Dragon, about 2/3 through both movies. The way Peter Pan finally reconciles growing up with keeping his priorities right is very moving, and all the plot elements get tied up in the end to my satisfaction. The movie carried me along with its passion even though I am not that big a fan of the Peter Pan story. There's a lot of freshness and direction to the plot which made it as appealing to me as if I were a kid--and I didn't even see this as a kid.
I watched this movie as a kid and loved the heck out of it then. Now I have kids who are getting to the point where they will enjoy these fantasy stories and I can share it with the next generation.
As for the digital presentation of Hook watched via the Amazon FireStick, it's magnificent. The quality is cleaned up and remastered to look fantastic in HD. I had previously only see this on regular TV. I don't think I'd ever even watched this on a widescreen set before as it's been years since I watched it last. But on a modern HDTV this movie has a whole different feel. The sets on Hook at colorful and vibrant and that was completely lost watching this on VHS in 1995. Now the sets and colors and details REALLY pop and completely immerse you in the story.
If you haven't seen this since your VCR broke 10 years ago, give it another look. It holds up well over time.