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Images from Hollow Man
Verhoeven quotes about Hollow Man
Hollow Man facts and trivia
Links to other Hollow Man pages
Hollow Man is, to me, a very frustrating movie. The first hour (and eighteen minutes) is classic Verhoeven, a slick, sexy mindfuck. We can forgive the lack of character development because there is lots of promise that the movie is going to come together in a big way by the end. The fx sequences are stunning. The technobabble is sort of convincing. The romantic triangle is far less annoying than it might be because surely Josh Brolin will die in an appropriately painful way at the hands of our invisible man. Okay, so the monkeys turn in a better acting job than most of the humans, but the suspense is building, the fx are getting bigger and better, the sly sexual banter is heating up, and Kevin Bacon just invisibly walked into the apartment of his really hot female neighbor and we just know that the blood and sperm are going to start flying and the movie's really gonna take off now...
...and then Hollow Man turns into a train wreck. I'm not talking a minor derailing, but an Amtrak-in-the-Florida-Everglades-maneating-gators-everywhere kind of disaster. The first half of this film is Verhoeven. The last half is Joel Schumacher on crack after he watched a 24-hour marathon of Friday the 13th sequels. From Total Recall to Jason Takes Manhattan in the blink of an eye. Remember how Jason Takes Manhattan seemed to go on and on with no redeeming value? What am I saying; of course you do. Anyway, just when you think all is lost, suddenly Jason punches a hapless victim and the guy's head separates from his body and flies through the air from the top of the skyscraper. Well, the third act of Hollow Man is a lot like that, except without the payoff of the decapitation. That's how bad it is.
I could go on analyzing the flaws, but, like the film itself, that would be pointless. Suffice it to say that the characters never do get developed in any meaningful way, and the fx that seemed so cool in the first half devolve into a plot-replacement device. Not to mention the fact that Kevin Bacon's character turns into a cliched horror movie villain, killing to no purpose and becoming impervious to fire, severe beatings with lead pipes, and even electrocution in standing water. (!!) Apparently being invisible turns you into a crap imitation of Jason Voorhees. Too bad the real Jason wasn't here, because then he could put us out of our misery by spearing Kevin Bacon just like he did in the original Friday the 13th.
The pinnacle of this film's awfulness comes in the final elevator sequence, which borrows so many cliches from so many other already-cliched movies that it would be impossible to list them all. Instead I will just say four words:
Irwin Allen, done poorly.
I don't have the heart to expand on that. All in all, Hollow Man was a huge disappointment, especially since we have to wait so long between Verhoeven films. The movie had promise but failed utterly, in just about every way imaginable. Very, very disappointing. Damn. Here's hoping Verhoeven can get back on track, and soon.
|These are all from the Behind the Scenes stuff (featurettes, production stills, etc) on the DVD. They focus on Verhoeven and the making of the film. You can find pics from the film at various places around the net. (I recommend going to Google and doing an image search on "Hollow Man.") To be honest, I don't have the strength yet to sit through this crapfest again just to get some screen captures. Sorry. I will add, however, that the DVD is worth picking up just for the extras. If the movie itself was as good as the DVD release, we'd have a winner. I got tons of good screencaps and honestly these are just the ones of Verhoeven; there's a lot more to the extras than I'm showing here.|
General Behind the Scenes
Verhoeven Screen Captures
DVD Cover Art
"They [at the Pentagon] were very friendly. They were wonderful to us. I don't know why we deserved that."
"I think [the first sex scene with Shue and Brolin] is one of the most subtle sex scenes I have ever done in my life."
"That's what I tried first. I shot it partially like that, with her going under the blankets and basically doing stuff with his genitals and whatever... we didn't see that. Ultimately it didn't work so well. It got kind of distracting and you didn't listen to the dialog anymore."
"It's like you are more pulled toward the inside of [Sebastian's] brain really, when the glasses are off."
"They don't have that game [Marco Polo] in Europe, you know? I had no idea what it was. [...] Sometimes there are these very different American things. If you live here for fifty years, you still don't know."
"[The scene where Sarah throws the blood] is the only time probably in any movie ever that people got away with so much blood without being forced by the MPAA to take it out. We were still afraid that they would say take it out, you know? Then it would not be much of a scene anymore."
"We spent an enormous amount of time in getting [the CGI breath right] because I felt that when I had seen it in other movies it always looked fake."
"This is real! We're just blowing up the lab."
"Andrew Marlowe wrote the script with special effects that were not yet there. Even three years ago it could not have been done."
"With the real elevator there, and both your actors hanging on steel cables, it's pretty dangerous. [...] Even if you know that there are safety nets and all that stuff, it's really scary."
"[The movie is] really pushing the envelope in the special effects area very very much."
"Of course everybody seems to have had that kind of fantasy or dream or whatever, and we all know it's completely impossible, but that doesn't prevent us to make a movie about it, did it?"
(Preceding quotes from commentary and special features on the Hollow Man DVD)
The length between Sebastian's house and the female neighbor's was based on the length between the houses in Rear Window.
Kevin Bacon hates twinkies but Paul made him eat them anyway. The writer had the character eating twinkies because that's what he ate when he stayed up all night to write a good paper in college.
The movie was shot almost entirely in sequence.
According to Kevin Bacon, Josh Brolin doesn't exercise.
Elisabeth and Kevin never kissed in the film because the studio thought it would make her look like a slut and confuse the audience.
The makers of Hollow Man were allowed to shoot around and inside the pentagon.
The entire "underground" lab was built and shot on one giant set, so the corridors etc between rooms are real.
The explosion at the end was so intense that it warped some of the walls.
There are 560 fx shots in the movie.
Part of Paul's ideas about the invisible man came from reading Plato.
Kevin was almost always acting his part in the scenes, his entire body covered in blue, green, or black depending on the scene.
Links to other Hollow Man sites
Note that there is lots of info on Hollow Man in the recent interviews on the Verhoeven Links page.
[Sony Pictures Hollow Man] In the grand tradition of major studio movie sites, this page makes you use Flash to get to the real goodies (which include some info on filming and "multimedia"). The only place I ever see Flash used this extensively is on film studio movie sites, and I'll tell you why--because they suck ass at providing content. Unless you enjoy deciphering Trash menus, I'd skip this and go look at some of the other sites I've got listed here and on the Verhoeven Links page. NOTE 10/22/03: Sony has apparently taken this page down.
SciFlicks.com Hollow Man Pictures, sounds, a discussion forum, and some other mini-features.
Hollow Man Script The script for the movie, or a semi-recent version of it anyway.
Hollow Man on Rotten Tomatoes Reviews and stats on the movie. It has a 25% fresh rating, which is not very good, but higher than I would have expected. Just to cement my opinion of the film, that shit Ross Anthony gave it a good review. How he can trash LOTR and like this one is a mystery on par with Bigfoot and Jimmy Hoffa.
Tippett Studio: Recent Work: Hollow Man This is a cool page detailing how the Water Guy effect in Hollow Man was done.
Movies.com Hollow Man A somewhat informative page with reviews, pre-movie buzz, and pictures.
Comme au Cinema This French site promoting the Hollow Man DVD is far easier to navigate than the Sony site. Too funny.
IMDb Hollow Man Information on the movie from Internet Movie Database.
Supersphere Review This is an interesting review-cum-rant-cum-Verhoeven bio.
Lots of Eye Candy A review of the DVD and another lengthy review of the movie.
Dark Horizons Hollow Man Lots of stuff about Hollow Man, including trailers, script reviews, and a video interview segment.
Columbia Tristar Film Event A couple pics of Paul and Elisabeth from a promotional appearance. In German.
El Hombre Sin Sombra A rather long review of Hollow Man. In Spanish.
Chicago Reader Movie Review Someone liked it. Go figure.
Hollow Man: Special Edition by DVD Angle A very thorough review of the first Hollow Man DVD release.
Apple Trailers - Hollow Man Quicktime trailers for the movie.
The Self-Made Critic A somewhat amusing review.
Popmatters.com Hollow Man A review far more eloquent than my own.
Unsichtbare Gefahr This is Columbia Tristar's German promotional site for Hollow Man. It's in Flash, of course, but at least it's somewhat entertaining.
Imageworks - Hollow Man The Sony Imageworks site has this page on Hollow Man with some cool before and after fx stills and video showing the animation involved in the fx shots. Definitely worth checking out as this stuff isn't on the DVD.
Tim Mollen's Worst Movies Ever Yet another scathing review, unique in its comparison of Hollow Man with A Very Brady Christmas. You think I make this stuff up? Read it for yourself.
The Paul Verhoeven Fan Page
This page last updated October 22, 2003.