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Movie Length: 108 minutes
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Country: United States
Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Caine
Elisabeth Shue as Linda McKay
Josh Brolin as Matthew Kensington
Kim Dickens as Sarah Kennedy
Greg Grunberg as Carter Abbey
The film is about Sebastian Caine who along with his team are conducting experiments with the ultimate goal of making people invisible. It's a top secret project funded by the Pentagon and the team has some success with an invisibility serum and manage to successfully turn an ape invisible. Under pressure from the government to make the serum a success on humans Sebastian tries it on himself. It works but there are consequences with Sebastian playing god and the results are irreversible and cause Sebastian to become violently insane. He leaves the facility and begins to stalk his colleague Linda who is his ex girlfriend he is still in love with and her new lover who is also another scientist working on the project with deadly intensions.
The performances are generally quite good in this movie. You have the role of Sebastian Caine played by Kevin Bacon an investigator who becomes obsessed with his work. He starts off as a nice guy who becomes more aggressive and violent and Kevin does this with ease showing all the rage Sebastian has. Elizabeth Shue plays his ex girlfriend another scientist and iv always liked Elizabeth and here her considerable acting talents are put to waste playing a generic character but as usual she shines when on screen.
There are some extras on the DVD include commentary from director, Kevin Bacon and writer Andrew Marlowe. They give great background on the creation of the movie and fit well together none of them continually talking over the other as is want to happen sometimes. In addition there is also an extra on the DVD containing interviews with actors and a look behind the scenes during filming. Another extra is 3 deleted scenes with commentary by the director. A fun extra is the possibility of the entire soundtrack to listen to because this is also on DVD although its not that great to be honest.
The big selling point of this film is the special effects which are done really well especially the way they do the invisibility. It's a big dumb b movie with a good cast but is never going to win any awards for quality. The direction is good for an action movie but the script lets it down as it is full of clichés.
No one is going to watch this for the script though and as a fun popcorn movie on a Friday night then it's ideal.
A rare miss by the usually reliable director Paul Verhoeven, Hollow Man stars Kevin Bacon as a molecular biologist who develops a serum that can turn him invisible in a plot that is essentially a vacous, modern update of H.G. Wells' classic tale 'The Invisible Man'. Bacon puts in a reasonable if unremarkable performance as the power-mad molecular biologist in question, but the rest of his team are made up of non-descript actors who put in some decidedly unmemorable performaces all round.
The plot, though promising, quickly descends into the usual B-movie slasher flcik nonsense, doing away with the interesting psychological question of what one would do if one was invisible (essentially what would you do if you knew you could get away with it) by deciding that every man would of course instantly change into a murderous, psychopathic rapist. This transition in Bacon's character is not in the least bit believable, and as a result the film feels lightweight, vacuous and not particularly engaging as we watch the rest of Bacon's team try to defend theimselves from their invisible assailant with little in the way of real conviction up on screen.
The film uses a mixture of blue-screen and CGI special effects that work moderately well, but possess none of the charm or invention of earlier black and white interpretations of Wells's tale, and all in all there is little to differentiate Hollow Man from the swarms of other brainless slasher flicks out there.
Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Written by: Gary Scott Thompson, Andrew W. Marlowe
Sebastian Cane (Kevin Bacon) and his team of sophisticated and very intellectual scientists try to conquer invisibility. After an amazing breakthrough it all comes together. As soon as they find they can make animals such as primates turn invisible and back again to normal without any major harm and defects Sebastian wants to take it to the very next level and undergo the experiment himself.
After a successful transformation making Cane invisible tests are carried out for his safety, but after an unsuccessful attempt to turn him back to normal everything start falling apart. Knowing he is invisible Sebastian Cane takes advantage of the situation and sees what limits he can push in his day to day life.
What would you do if you were invisible?
Whilst there is plenty of action there are many aspects of a thriller film in Hollow Man. However this is not a strong message in comparison to a typical thriller and simply just adds tension throughout the film, which I must say I love. There are plenty of scenes of action, ranging from general fighting to the more extreme.
The special effects are like none I have seen before in a film. Trying to pull off the effect of someone being invisible is a hard job I can imagine, especially when you want to portray water droplets coming off the invisible body. This is done magnificently, as well as scenes where smoke shows the outline of an invisible human. Also the transformation of primates and humans in the film from normal to invisible is a very well shot scene full of special effects such as organs from within the bodies. To me these look very genuinely and definitely shock some audiences.
The film is very exciting to watch keeping the viewer on edge throughout, wondering 'what if' many times and how things will end. I've seen this film a few times. It's exactly a monthly watch for the entertainment. Once you've seen it then that is kind of it, but whilst watching its defiantly a film you can enjoy throughout!
Hollow Man is a entertaining that threatens an element of horror without taking it too seriously. With a selection of well-known actors giving good performances, it approaches molecular biology from an experimental and hormonal point of view, and gives what is quite a frenetic and intense hour and a half.
Sebastian Caine is an incredibly gifted molecular biologist, obsessed with trying to perfect the development of complete invisibility. When it works on a gorilla, Caine decides the next step is to explore the possibilities of it being used on humans, and puts himself forward as the guinea pig. However, he hasn't banked on the hormonal and behavioural side effects of the experiment, and things start to get out of hand.
The special effects are top notch in this film, with the appearance of the invisibility around things such as water and smoke being very well delivered. The same thing goes for the various outfits worn by Caine once he is invisible, and the cinematography, angles of filming and the score all add to what is a very powerful film in more ways than one.
Paul Verhoeven directs the piece very well, and he seems to trust the cast enough for them to allow their strong acting personalities to come through. Bacon is very strong, as are co-stars Elisabeth Shue and Josh Brolin. The brief cameos from various unknowns make the film that much more believabel, especially seeing as the subject matter is very advanced, scientifically, with the potential for it to all fail ever imminent, yet never realised. This is down to how careful all are in front of and behind the camera, with all angles examined and carefully explored with the special effects elements.
Overall, I found it a very enjoyable film, and while it doesn't particularly do anything special in terms of making me want to watch it again, it does get a thumbs up from me, and I do recommend watching it at least the once. It's an entertaining thriller with some jumpy moments and a an element of horror. A watch once, but enjoy whilst doing so sort of film.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Hollow Man isn't high art, but it doesn't pretend to be - it's a fun, unpretentious, violent sci-fi yarn that's loosely based on H. G. Wells' The Invisible Man (and I mean loose!). Although it's no classic of the genre, it's a fun and visually impressive outing (that recieved an Academy Award nomination), that's got a deliciously demented performance from lead Kevin Bacon.
Dr. Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) is a molecular biologist who, whilst undeniably skilled at his job, is overzealous and a little egotistical. He is obsessed with the idea of synthesising an invisibility serum for the U.S. Military. However, he is also obsessed with his ex-girlfriend Linda McKay (Elisabeth Shue), who is a scientist herself, and currently dating Matt Kensington (Josh Brolin).
Eventually, though, the serum works on a gorilla, and so Caine attempts to use it on himself. Whilst it is eventually successful, it also results in him becoming even more egomaniacal, and ultimately psychotic, taking out his frustrations on innocent women, and trying to get his ex girlfriend back. What's more, the material used to identify Caine when invisible is torn away by him, making him untraceable to the human eye without the use of thermal imaging. Thus, he fully exploits his new abilities, going on a spree of murder and mayhem.
Sure, it's a scientific farce, but I thoroughly enjoyed this film, namely the transformation of Bacon's character from an adjusted man to a monster. Bacon is a great character actor who sadly has never really received the high profile roles that he deserves, but here he proves that he has staying power as a leading man, and is accompanied by some stunning visual effects and impressive action sequences, if it is a bit of a cheesy B-movie.
Just when you thought it was safe to forget Hollow Man, revere does an op that puts it back in your head.
Those of you with sense in your bodies may want to quit reading this. I'm going to use a rude metaphor. I'm going to... stop reading... right.
You know that expression 'You can't polish a turd'? This is the highest polished turd I've ever seen. Man, this is a turd you could eat your dinner from. You can see your face in it. Unless you're Kevin Bacon. Or invisible like Kevin Bacon.
Studio executives must have thought this was a great idea. Paul Verhoeven, the crown prince of polished turds, wants to direct a movie with a budget the size of Bolivia and special effects of viscera and ape musculature. Cool! Way cool! Just sign the cheque, Harvey! Give the man the money! When what they should have done was weep for the world.
It's hard to fault Kevin Bacon. Given his excellent turn in 'Stir Of Echoes', he clearly does have good judgement. Maybe he was drunk when he signed for this. Maybe they threatened his family or something. Either way, he does an admirable job in adverse circumstances. To whit:
The plot sucks. Man spends life trying to find invisibilty formula, man is confident he has succeeded, man turns invisible, man goes mental. The whole thing's just plain old predictable. You know what he's going to do: attack those who oppose him, and ogle naked chicks, so it comes as no surprise when he... attacks people and naked chicks. Even if the story wasn't part of Hollywood and literary lore by now, you'd figure it out in less time than it takes to say 'so how do I shave if I'm invisible?'
The aforementioned effects are indeed special. People and animals dissappear by degrees, revealing the circulatory systems of a great ape and the interior workings of Kevin Bacon's genitals. His invisible self is covered in all manner of goop including latex and water, and the walking through steam is particularly cool. But the problem is, you're so caught up in the effects you forget there's actually supposed to be a movie going on under them.
Verhoeven is well known for this sort of thing. Joel Schumacher, another uberhack, butchered the Batman franchise (...& Robin, ...Forever,) and blamed it on pressure from the studio for action figures etc. TRY USING THAT EXCUSE, PAUL! WHO'S GONNA BUY AN INVISIBLE DOLL? HUH? ANSWER ME!
And so we're left with a great movie for those who thought American Beauty was about super-strength marijuana. Me, I was happily surfing about when I accidentally came across a Hollow Man fansite.
Paul Verhoeven: King of Shiny Poo.
This movie stands out for its special effects but not for its story,this movie is very predictable.Kevin Bacon is playing the main lead in the movie.He has discovered the secret formula to invisibility but his fellow workers are not able to bring him back from invisibility.Kevin is not allowed to go out of the premises as the group of scientists don't want anyone to know about the experiment,he somehow cheats the security and moves out to his apartment,he decides to have some fun and sneaks into the apartment of a girl who lives in his neighborhood.All the other scientists move out to look for him and have a big trouble getting hold of him.Kevin Bacon uses his invisibility for all the wrong purposes.This is a little insight into the story,I wont reveal much.It has great special effects and the performances are ok.You can watch it once if you want,so its a fifty-fifty recommendation from me.
I was not a huge fan of this movie. It was really freaky, I mean a killer that is invisible is a pretty freaky thing. It makes you think about the kind of character you really have. I mean, if you were invisible and couldn't be caught because you couldn't be identified because...well...your invisible, would you obey the law if there was no chance you would get caught?? This is a great question that will truly test the content of your character. That is exactly what this movie deals with.
This is a science fiction thriller that stars Kevin Bacon who plays the scientist Sebastian Caine who is working on a super secret military experiment that can make a living being invisible. They have tested this concoction on a gorilla. The results of this testing have concluded that the gorilla is definitely invisible, but the longer she stays that way the more aggressive she becomes. The scientists backers decide that the invisible serum is still not right yet and it is too dangerous to test on a human being because of the aggressive affects that it has had on the gorilla so the men with the money decide they are going to shut the operation down.
However, Sebastian will not let go, and after the meeting he goes back to the underground secret lab and tells his fellow colleagues, including Linda McKay, played by Elizabeth Shue, also Sebastian's ex girlfriend, and Matt Kensington, played by Josh Brolin, that they have permission to progress to the testing of the serum on humans. Since there is not much time until he might be shut down by the head men, Sebastian volunteers to be the test subject for this serum.
While his colleagues are timid and unsure about this decision, Sebastian is adamant about his decision and will not take no for an answer. So, Sebastian is injected with the serum and he turns invisible. However, Sebastian soon finds that being invisible is completely liberating and begins to blur the lines of what is right and what is wrong because there is no way for him to be caught because he is invisible and he doesn't have to look himself in the mirror anymore and feel guilty for his crimes. The aggression that the gorilla experienced also begins to take Sebastian over and his colleagues are scared to death of this invisible man who seems to be losing his mind.
This story has a ridiculously scary concept. I mean, I would be terrified if there was an invisible killer running around. They could be right there with you and you wouldn't even know it until it was too late. This wasn't the greatest movie I have ever seen, but it definitely gave me a scare if that is what you are looking for.
Dutch director Paul Verhoeven was never known for subtlety and reserve. His CV reads like a history of violence, glamour and sex (Basic Instinct, Robocop, Showgirls need I go on?). Hollow Man is typical Verhoeven, and contains all these things. But the criticism was too much for the director who subsequently turned his back on Hollywood and returned home to Holland.
The concept of the Invisible Man idea has been used on and off in cinema films for many decades, but the developments in cinematic special effects of recent years meant that a modern-day remake of the concept seemed rather inevitable. Hollow Man is The 21st Century Invisible Man and in my opinion, is a relatively competent piece of dumb cinema. For many, however, it was too dumb. Rather ironically, the plot is somewhat hollow in itself, and you cant help wondering whether the makers couldnt have come up with something a little more interesting.
Kevin Bacon stars as a brash government scientist, who has been seconded with a small team of specialists to conduct research into identifying the means to make animals and human beings invisible. When the viewer joins the film, Bacons team has successfully rendered a number of primate test subjects invisible, but has yet to crack the code which will allow the invisible animals to become visible again. Late one night, Bacon finally identifies the chemical formula, and the main test subject (a female gorilla) is successfully (although not without difficulty) brought back from an invisible state. Despite his success, Bacon decides not to disclose the breakthrough to his military sponsors as he fears that he will be disposed of once the military has the secret in its grasp.
Bacon controversially decides that in order for him to capitalise on the success of his research, the only solution would be for the team to move into phase three (testing on humans) without advising the military of their plans. His immediate peers reluctantly agree, and Bacon decides that the experiment will be completed on him in the first instance. The first phase of the test is successful Bacon is converted to a completely invisible state. The problem comes when Bacons team attempt to restore visibility to Bacons body the process fails upon the first attempt, and Bacon is left in invisible state. As Bacons team works furiously to uncover the means to return him to his natural state, Bacon is left to adjust to his new form, both physically and mentally and very soon the whole exercise transcends into something altogether more sinister .
It would be very difficult to comment on this film without focusing on the special effects employed throughout. There is no doubt about it; some of the sequences within the film are visually quite staggering. The basic principle of the invisibility transformation relies on the injection of a chemical into the subjects blood stream, which gradually renders each layer of the body invisible, as the solution is pumped around the body by natural blood circulation. The visual result of this is a breathtaking reconstruction of the body organ by organ, layer by layer. In the reverse of the process, it would appear as though the body is actually dissolving right before your eyes and either way the effects really are outstanding. Once Bacon is invisible, the use of effects to re-create the invisible human form is also excellent. The attention to detail is very impressive, and I have to say I was extremely impressed. This is not a film for those with a sensitive disposition though. It will come as no surprise that there are some quite nasty sequences; the first few minutes of the film are a good example of this.
Character performances in The Hollow Man were uninspiring. Kevin Bacon plays the lead with relative aplomb, although given that he is invisible for two thirds of the film, his role would seem relatively easy. Bacon always treads the line between nice guy and nut case, and this film is no exception. Having read articles elsewhere, I understand that Bacon was required to wear expensive body suits for large sequences of the film, but whatever the physical requirements, Bacon cannot help but be upstaged by the special effects in use. There were no other performances worthy of mention (hunky good guy, blonde assistant doctor etc etc.) but then Hollow Man was never going to be an exercise in Oscar nominations.
Verhoeven successfully develops a feeling of tension right from the start of the film. Not having read any detailed reviews of the film, I was unsure of what was going to go wrong but it was obvious that something clearly was going to go wrong. The film very quickly descends into a completely different level though. Initially, I thought the film was going to explore the potential consequences for an individual who was completely invisible to the world. There did appear to be some thought behind this (for instance, if your skin was invisible you would be very sensitive to light, because your eyelids would not stop any light). Unfortunately, this sort of idea was never really explored in any depth, and the film very quickly became formulaic, as Bacon started to lose his grip on reality.
Before long, the whole thing had ultimately descended into one of those Hes behind you! kind of Hollywood pantomimes that really do nothing for the intelligent viewer. Please rest assured in terms of the top ten silly things to do in a crisis the cast of Hollow Man did them all. Despite the fact that the only way they can see Bacon is through heat sensitive goggles, youll be amazed at how long it takes them to actually put them on and keep them on. All I can say is this I want to be a bad guy. They seem to be able to take relentless beatings, submerging and burnings, and still have energy to grab your ankles.
I am sure that most sensible viewers will ultimately feel quite cheated with this film. The idea was promising (after all, what would you get up to if you were suddenly invisible?) but Im afraid the more original ideas were not really explored anywhere near as much as they could. I would also suggest that animal lovers would find the film hard-going. Despite the fact that no real animals were harmed in the making of the production, the suggestion of vivisection and cruelty to animals was too strong for my liking.
The Hollow Man is more evidence that special effects do not a great film make. I would recommend this film for one of those evenings when there really is nothing else to watch and someone else is paying for the rental.
Hollow Man is a movie which I reeeeeally wanted to see after catching a minor TV spot around the time of its release. I loved the 30's film version of The Invisible Man starring Claude Rains and was looking forward to seeing more of the same ideas explored with all the additional benefits modern day special effects technology might add in the eye-candy department. James Whale's 1933 classic tracks the slow decent into madness of a man trapped in a world of shadows, saying much about the human condition along the way and leaving much to ponder upon and it's fair to say I was looking forward to more of the same but without the naivity of 30's cinema from Hollow Man. Unfortunately, despite some of the claims to the contrary on the DVD commentary, Hollow Man appears absolutely uninterested in exploring anything other than its special effects technology and a one dimensional theme of sex and violence. Paul Verhoeven directs and yes, this is arguably a typical set of Paul Verhoeven themes (although usually with some kind of intelligent undertone which is lacking here) but it's a crying shame as the concept demands much more. I should say that this is perhaps in no way a re-working of the classic The Invisible Man story despite my pre-amble above but more of a typical Hollywood thriller with an invisible bloke at the centre. Hollow Man presents us with a secret Pentagon funded research project involving a small team of scientists working on an invisibility formula. Head of the project is Dr. Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon), a brilliant but arrogant scientist with a god complex who has lead his team through several successful invisibility tests on animals and now wants to try it on himself before the Pentagon take the project away from them as they know they soon will. The serum is applied and Caine does become invisible as expected but for some reason the process to transform him back fails on him leaving him trapped in invisibility without a cur
e seeming anywhere close... Of course, it couldn't quite be that simple could it? Caine's god complex goes into overdrive as he sees the possibilities for his new found omnipotence are endless. Well, they're endless to the viewer but to Sebastian Caine his invisibility is the perfect opportunity for him to run around raping and murdering without a chance of being caught. Which is my main problem with this movie. The ideas frankly stretch no further than the special effects work which is, undeniably, ground-breaking and superb to watch but other than that they're entirely devoid of anything other than sex and violence. Given the gift/curse of invisibility all Caine can think of doing is raping his neighbour, killing his boss and fondling his co-workers. This perhaps says more about the man behind the camera than anything else but c'mon, could it be any more shallow??? The best parts of Hollow Man occur during the extended phase of initial exposition, arguably, the most shocking scene occurs in the first few seconds for that matter! These initial scenes introduce us to the ideas at play and you can watch in awe at the special effects work as the invisibility serum is applied. No expense is spared here and it's all very impressive. The top special effects work continues throughout and in that sense the movie is great fun. I won't describe any of the effects simply because they are the most fun part but suffice to say you can forget floating coffee mugs and disembodied voices, Hollow Man doesn't cop out in that way but instead goes the whole hog wherever possible. It is after Caine is actually invisible and starts his psychological 'decline'(more of a leap actually) that things become less interesting. Given that the character is invisible for at least 50% - 70% of the movie, you really need something to latch on to in order to keep things interesting. The initial 'wow factor' of the special effe
cts will subside after 20-30 minutes(as it always does) and leave you looking for something more which Hollow Man doesn't offer, not through the boring one-dimensional characters who surround Caine, nor through the events which unfold before your eyes. Hollow Man simply doesn't make any attempt to craft a decent story but rather jumps from 'gone invisible' to 'gone around raping and killing' with little exposition in between. It is almost as if Verhoeven et. al. felt we would fully empathise with Caine's actions and therefore wouldn't need to see what drove him to it. I neither empathised nor cared when it became apparent this was the only direction the movie was going to take. Adding to the 'don't care' factor are the amazingly one-dimensional characters. You learn nothing of these people other than what you can read from their credits billing. Can you really care that much for dull strangers? The only character to get any kind of development is Caine himself...and he's invisible most of the time! Added to this is the sense that some scenes only exist to show off a new special effect, three of the six main effects only exist in one 2 minute scene for example... The bottom line with this movie is that if you are impressed by cool special effects then you'll probably like this but if you actually like something of a storyline to go along with your eye-candy you'll be well advised to look elsewhere. Verhoeven has done worse(well, I guess Showgirls was unintentionally amusing) but he has also done an awful lot better as well. • The DVD So then onto the DVD features. As you would undoubtedly have come to expect from the DVD release of a new Hollywood production, picture quality is pretty faultless. I'm no eagle-eye when it comes to picking up problems in this area and so far as I'm concerned colours seem fine, picture seems fine, there is no sign of colou
r bleeding or edge sharpening etc. and frankly I'd be enormously surprised if there was. By the same token the sound quality leaves nothing to pass comment on either. Subtitles come in an array of languages if you need them whilst it should be noted that, oddly enough for an English release, you only get Dutch subtitles on the extras. There's also a Hungarian soundtrack on here too if you're really bored. I will pass comment on the menu briefly for those who bought the movie blind. I'll never have a satisfactory explanation of why companies feel the need to do this but once again, the menu of this movie comprises several minutes of cut scenes from the movie featuring all the best special effects moments. Considering the 'ooh and ahh' effect of seeing the special effects for the first time are pretty much the movie's sole selling point this is a bit of a slapping offence in my opinion. Navigation is pretty unintuitive as well as the icon to move to the next page moves around the screen, changes shape, gets added to picture frames and other things which pretty much disguise its existence! (I missed quite a few extra features before writing this review) • Extras As is usually the case, if you watch the extras before the movie then you'll have your enjoyment of it spoiled, that's pretty much taken as read for DVD buyers BUT in the case of this one you don't even want to look at the titles of the extras either unless you want to know what happens to half the characters(including the ending). Do take that into consideration. In terms of the extras alone Hollow Man would however be rated at impressive 9 out of 10. Extra features include: • VFX Picture-In-Picture Comparison An interesting little collection of three scenes from the movie played both as you saw them in the film and how the production crew saw them during the shoot. It's offers a little more
unravelling of the mystery behind just quite how all the special effects work was done on the movie and if nothing else, because I know a lot of people couldn't give a rat's butt how they do the sfx work, you can have a giggle at Kevin Bacon painted head to foot in luminous green paint... I always enjoy this kind of thing and the picture-in-picture comparison showing how it looked on screen juxtaposed with the real-life shots on the set are a nice touch above the usual straight docu-footage. • Fleshing Out The Hollow Man A series of 15(!) mini documentaries featuring behind the scenes footage and words from the cast, crew and director, all around 1 - 6 minutes in length. The first is in the format of a TV spot featurette showing 'Hollywood's Mad Scientist' director Paul Verhoeven at work and giving you a little insight into what makes him tick...although, as you'd expect, it's not particularly objective in its approach. It is fascinating to note just how involved and how erm, 'manic' the guy is on set which does much to show why his movies do have so much energy. The rest are all to do with the 'how' behind the various special effects used in the movie and all are absolutely fascinating if you ask me...as well as being not long enough to become boring lol. Oh and amongst them is a really interesting picture-in-picture comparison of the movie’s storyboard representation to the final movie footage. The documentary footage here is very dynamic, it moves quickly between cast and crew picking up snippets of info. from each whilst showing a lot of the action both with and without the effects work applied so it grabs and holds your attention and never once becomes boring. Scenes have been re-edited as well to show how the scene looks both with and without the sfx work, switching seamlessly between what the camera sees and what we eventually saw in the movie all during the same shot. All tho
se involved are very animated and eager to explain their work and their reasoning behind the action taken and the enthusiasm is infectious. Fascinating stuff, trust me. • Hollow Man: Anatomy Of A Thriller Undoubtedly a made-for-TV featurette - y'know, one of those extended docu-trailers designed to sell the movie with cast and crew commentary but which you really want to avoid unless you like to see virtually the entire movie played out before you lol. Watched after the movie it might give you a little more insight into some of the ideas Verhoeven was playing with and some of the torment Kevin Bacon went through so that he could be 'removed' from each scene, amongst other things. • Commentaries There are two commentaries on the disc: In the first Verhoeven, Bacon and screenwriter Marlow discuss the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of the film. You'll either be interested or you won't - that simple. It fills in some of the blanks and gives a few whys and wherefores to certain scenes but it's pretty much an extended version of the five special effects commentaries if you ask me. Like I said, there isn't a whole lot going on plotwise so pretty much all they can talk about is the effects work again. The second features the isolated score run through of the movie with commentary from Jerry Goldsmith. Erm, I survived 10 minutes for the purpose of this review but well, let's be honest, there are going to be very few who this interests and sorry, I'm not one of them. • Deleted Scenes Well I found these after wondering where the seemingly obligatory trailers were lol. Sometimes DVD menus flumox me y’know. There are three scenes, 2 very brief snippets and one of around 5 minutes which shows the effects of Sebastian prowling around the city which I would have prefered to have seen in the movie to be honest. • Other Stuff Well, there are two trailers, a teaser trailer and a theatrical trailer to look at. Interesting to see how the theatrical trailer pretty actually shows the closing scene of the movie which is pure genious lol. You also get "Talent Profiles" to read through for Elisabeth Shue, Paul Verhoeven, Kevin Bacon and Josh Brolin, which is limited to a few stats and a 'selected' filmography. And that's yer lot. • Overall I think the DVD package can not really be faulted. If you like the movie then you’ve got more than enough on this DVD to keep you happy..you may struggle to find everything if you’re as inept with menus as I am but it's all here and it's a great package! The movie itself didn't really live up to my expectations, playing more along the lines of a typical Hollywood thriller but with the invisibility of the central psycho replacing any attempt to craft a decent storyline or inject any suspense into the proceedings but you might be more enamoured with it than I am. Thanks a lot for taking time to read this review. prodigy_techus
Decades ago human invisibility was explored in films by having a man wrapped in bandages a wearing shades, he was clearly not invisible but the idea was there. Of course he was only truly invisible once his hat danced around seemingly in thin air despite the fact that were lines doing the work. Hollow Man takes the invisible man approach but brings it into the 21st century with CGI effects. Dr Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) is a great scientist but he's also very cocky and arrogant. His work is conducted deep underground for the defense department. Here he has successfully taken apes and made them invisible before bring them back into vision again. Now he moves on the next stage and begins human testing, the first test subject will be himself. The experiement is a success but Caine's team then can't bring him back. These leaves Caine isolated in the underground lab where he slowly starts to go a little crazy. Before you know it he is taking advantage of his invisibility with some horrific results. At first glance Hollow Man is an amazing idea and on some levels the film is a huge success. This is a film that shows the full extent of what CGI effects can do and how this didn't win an oscar I'll never know. The pure attention to detail is outstanding as you see Caine disappear first with the muscle structure going on to the organs before Caine's skeleton slowly disappears. It's horrific stuff but amazingly fascinating at the same time. The same can be said for the ape experiment. You'd swear there was a real ape there. Once Caine is up an walking it's still amazing as you can see right through the openings in his rubber mask and through to the other side. I don't know how they did some of the special effects in this film but they work tremendously. But on the other hand the film's story never really reaches the heights it promises, things start off well but you never really go fully into Caine's
descent into complete madness. It's just something that develops quite quickly. I also has some questions such as is Caine was invisible then surely his body would still be intact, yet he has no eyelids and can't close his eyes to sleep. If this was the case then surely he's have no genetalia etc. I don't know maybe I'm looking too deep into it. The acting is decent enough. Kevin Bacon does well in the lead role and I'd imagine it was a real painstaking process to go through the special effects involved in the making of the movie. Elisabeth Shue is also decent as a strong female lead in the film, the supporting characters may as well have dead printed on their foreheads. Obviously the films big sell is it's effects and that's primarily why this is still an entertaining romp. Director Paul Verhoven doesn't skimp on the violence throughout and there are some truly nasty moments during the final act. It may actually put some people off but it's quite comic book in style and oddly dark in humour. Sure the story could be better but this could have been far worse as well. If you haven't seen the film then it worth a look, its not the greatest film in the world but it's far from the worst either.
Another weekend in LOL! Short of cash and having just finished another day in the office, I decided to rely in my old faithful, never let me down Sky Movies. Having trawled through the listings I came across the much debated and reviewed “Hollow Man”, premiered on Sky Premier Widescreen. Well, there wasn’t exactly a lot more on offer on Saturday night, so I thought “what the hell, let’s give it a go”. The results were, shall we say, interesting to say the least. ~~ CAST ~~ Sebastian Caine - Kevin Bacon Linda Kay - Elizabeth Shue Matthew Kensington- Josh Brolin Carter Abbey - Greg Grunberg Frank Chase - Joey Slotnik Janice Walton - Mary Randle Dr. Howard Kramer - William Devane Directed by - Paul Verhoeven Running time - Approx 1hr 40 mins Rating - 18 ~~ STORY ~~ The film begins in a quite gruesome way. We are “treated” to a scene where a laboratory rat is picked up, and quite violently has its neck broken by an “invisible” hand. Nice eh? Take it that this is not going to be a romantic comedy then (excuse the sarcasm). We are introduced to Sebastian Caine, a wonderfully gifted scientist who seems apparently obsessed with the notion of being able to make animals invisible. Problem is, he is having a rather more pressing problem of not being able to make them visible again. Perplexing eh? Coupled with this, he also is suffering with the fact of recently being dumped by fellow scientist Linda Kay ( the rather tasty Elizabeth Shue ). It’s hard being a scientist. In the middle of the night, Caine stumbles across what he has been looking for – the process to revert from invisible to visible. Excited to say the least, he races down to his laboratory in his rather nice Porsche convertible (perk of the job, didn’t you know) to test this groundbreaking piece of science
. His subject matter? An invisible gorilla. After initial panic, the formula he has devised works, bringing dear old Isabel (the gorilla) back to her normal self. Hurray! Ain’t science wonderful? Well, yes and no. You see, unfortunately, Caine is a bit, well, manic to say the least. Apart from his obvious arrogance (well he is a genius after all), Caine looks on himself as God! Probably why he is called Caine (think about it! LOL). Another problem is the fact that the work he is doing is for the US Government, who are about to pull his funding once he has completed his work. So he’s not about to release his new found miracle just yet. Instead he decides to test the formula himself, by firstly making himself invisible. This however is where things begin to go a little pear shaped. Apparently it works fine on animals, but human DNA just won’t take it. Caine finds himself in a race against time, stuck in a transparent world, with no readily available antidote. The film starts fairly well, but unfortunately it does not progress as well as it could have done. The plot could have offered so much, but fails to deliver. After about 30 minutes it is fairly obvious to all where this is all going. Caine is the archetypal mad genius, intent on making mankind a better place in his eyes. He is dominant, and, well, of his trolley basically. He is also not happy that his ex-lover (Elizabeth Shue) is now knocking off one of his fellow colleagues, who he is convinced is trying to steal his thunder. Caine is a jealous, paranoid man, crossing the line from genius to a psychotic with relative ease and gusto. Kevin Bacon portrays the character in fine form, although it would have been difficult not to, given the script. Very easy to follow. Elizabeth Shue does not exactly have to tax the old brain cells to play her part either. Which is a shame as they are both good actors. The bulk of thought seems to have gone into the special effects u
sed throughout the film. They are very, very good. Maybe we should not expect much more from a film directed by Paul Verhoeven. All effects, little plot. Remember Robocop? Similar situation here I’m afraid readers. Yes the effects are good, in particular during the scenes where Caine is now “The Hollow Man”, invisible to everyone. Some of the detail to movement is exceptional, and the use of computer imagery is very apparent but cleverly designed. But that’s your lot. It’s one of those film that you watch just to say that you’ve seen it. I enjoyed it, but wouldn’t race out to HMV to but on DVD or video (taped it off Sky instead, he hee!). I think you get my drift. Give it a go, you may enjoy it for it’s sheer novelty value. Regards Paul © 2002-04-15
At the end of this movie I was wondering what had become of director Paul Verhoeven that he would sink to the depths of a movie like Hollow Man. Then I realised that he has never actually been that good, but got lucky occasionally such as with the o-so-campy action flick Robocop. That had a certain charm with its tongue-in-cheek handling of a bizarre concept, whereas Hollow Man takes itself all too seriously and falls flat on its invisible face. It is not an update to the H. G. Wells classic The Invisible Man, with our invisible guy, Keven Bacon, not attempting to surpass the genius of Claude Raines in the original translation of that novel to the silver screen. That is one creepy classic of a movie and definitely one which I would recommend despite its crumbling reels and great age. It is still vastly superior to Hollow Man. This movie falls foul of something which movie makers do not seem to be able to get through their thick skulls: SPECIAL EFFECTS ALONE DO NOT A GOOD MOVIE MAKE!!! Are you listening Mr. Spielberg? Do you hear me Paul Verhoeven? No of course not, and whilst you lot keep pouring into the cinemas on the basis of an exciting looking trailer then of course they'll keep churning out Independence Day, A.I., and movies like Hollow Man. Of course you can get real, stick up two finger to the next scriptless, plotless piece of special effects driven trash which they puke onto our screens and they might get the message... *Minor Rant Over* Yes I know its not going to happen and apparently a few of you liked this movie, but the general consensus appear to agree with me so...HAHAHA! Anyway, should you decide to rent this movie, which is at least entertaining in parts, you'll get Kevin Bacon playing a scientist who is not only sure about his genius status, he is also rather too convinced about his God-like status as well. He, along with a small band of others have created a serum which makes living creatures
invisible. so far it has only been tried out on animals - as seen through the great opening sequence where something invisible slaughters a rat - but he is all too keen to have it tried on himself............ To deal with the good points of the movie first there really is no argument to be had over the quality of the special effects. This is eye-candy at its most impressive and most compelling but you have to ask yourself is it worth shelling out cold hard cash and sitting through a two hour movie for 5-10 minutes of decent special effects? Sure, you do gets to see the skin stripped away to reveal pulsing muscles beneath, and they too are stripped to reveal the internal organs throbbing and pulsing with blood as Bacon becomes invisible. You do get some great 'invisible guy effects' and the opening kill of the rat is a compelling start to the movie, but there is no way that this is enough to carry the entire movie - however impressive. The main problem for me comes in two neat packages - characters and plot. Characters: There is no faulting Kevin Bacon once more in his role although for most of it he is nothing more than a special effect and a disembodied voice(much as Claude Raines was in the 1930's version of The Invisible Man. He gives a solid performance as always and there is certainly no fault to be aimed in his direction here. The problem is that we end up rooting for him as the movie progresses - we end up sticking up for the murderer/rapist/psycho because the other characters are so dull, lifeless and unlikeable. The two lead good guys are played by Elizabeth Shue and Josh Brolin. Shue has given us a few good performances before but nothing too exciting, whilst Brolin is...well, I can't remember seeing him before but he is nothing short of plantlife here and I hope I never get to see him again in a major motion picture. These two are so unheroic and wooden that its difficult to care what happens to them whilst Bacon brings
life and falir to his own character...hence you end up caring more about the villain living than the good guys. Plot: The plot starts off so well, thats its a crying shame that it decends almost into the realms of exploitation with the levels of gratuitous violence to which it sinks. You have to ask youself too why our self-possessed scientist genius now given the omnipotent power which he seems to think that he always deserved decides that the best use to which he can put this is to give him the ability to become a peeping tom, rapist and murderer! This is hardly the thought process of a genius, but very much the thought process of a rather unintelligent director whose previous work has basically involved rapists murderers and general violence for the sake of it. The level of gore and violence in this movie is only unacceptable because it is basically so unnecessary to the plot, trust me I love horror movies and I have no problem with either in the right place but a movie like Hollow Man is not the right place. It actually becomes almost humorous in parts because the mayhem is so out of place and just plain silly... Hollow Man fails to achieve what its 1933 predecessor acheived so well. Yes they may be different movies altogether but the premise is the same. Whilst The Invisible Man emphasised the tragic nature of the lead character finding himself in a world of shadows, and going insane because of his new found omnipotency, Hollow Man goes for a special effects over-kill and slaughters any of the beginnings of a good movie. It starts off so well, collapses in the middle and then disintegrates by the abysmal ending. Its impossible to care for the hideously boring hero characters, none of the cannon fodder secondary cast members are very interesting either and the only real talent in the movie is invisible for most of it!! Personally, I found it nice to look at, at best, and at worst...just plain boring. If watching a 2 hour movie for 10-15 minute
s of good special effects sounds like your thing, then by all means check out Hollow Man, otherwise wait for it to come out on terrestrial television...shouldn't be too long now...
Is it just me, or does Hollow Man share many qualities with another Kevin Bacon classic, Flatliners? Let's examine the evidence for a moment... In Flatliners, Bacon plays one of a small group of enthusiastic medical students - very cool, but very keen to "advance science". In Hollow Man, Bacon plays an enthusiastic scientist, very cool, but... In Flatliners, the experiment is incredibly exciting at first, but leads to frightening complications. Hollow Man, ditto. It goes beyond that - it seems the reaction to the experiment is linked to the length of time underwent in the experiment. ____________________________________________ Anyway, enough of that, and on to Hollow Man itself. I've read mixed opinions and reviews, both on Dooyoo and elsewhere. I think all opinions are valid, because, quite frankly, this film has strokes of pure genius, and moments of utter rubbish. First, the story. Dr Sebastian Caine (Bacon) and his team of similarly young and gifted scientists discover how to make people and animals invisible. Having struggled to make them visible again, Caine finally finds a solution, and then volunteers himself as the first human subject. Unfortunately, the reversal serum doesn't work, and Caine remains invisible. The story then follows Caine as he first resents, then begins to enjoy his invisibility. In my view, the film cleverly shows Bacon's decline into insanity - I think most of us would admit to losing the plot a bit if we were invisible. However, the second half of the film degenerates into a standard "trapped underground with a mad murderer" scenario, which I feel wasted the opportunity given by the concept. And, as with so many similar action films, the end is rather abrupt and "generic", so you know exactly what's going to happen (if not how). Special effects in the film are, in my view, the best I have
ever seen in any film. To be honest, I was happy to pay for the DVD purely for the opening 20 minutes. As a Doctor, the anatomy of the disappearing and reappearing human was, if not entirely accurate, very close. And maybe the half-visible body resembled an anatomy textbook, rather than a real body (very clean and colourful), but, hey, I'm being a bit picky! I thought the visual effects generally were incredible, and, in a way, made the film (not necessarily a good thing!) Concept and themes. Director Paul Verhoven is well known for tackling psychological undertones head-on, which generally gives his films a clever "layered" approach. Having said that, characterisation was rather weak, and you never really connected with any of the characters. Bacon's move from spying on naked women (as a man, I believe a perfectly understandable reaction to being invisible), to raping and murdering was quite sudden, as if Verhoven got bored with the suspenseful build-up, and similarly, the ending seemed rather rushed. Verhoven is also known for the eroticism in his films, which was shown to a degree in Hollow Man. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Personal choice I guess! _____________________________________________ The DVD Hollow Man has a great selection of bonus features crammed into the DVD. As well as being able to watch the film in English or Hungarian, there are subtitles in 16 languages. Other features include 2 trailers (what's the point when you've just seen the film), detailed and interesting Special Effects featurettes, 3 deleted scenes (to be honest, these don't add much interest), 2 feature-length commentaries (one by Verhoven and Bacon, and one by the music composer, Jerry Goldsmith), and a storyboard comparison, showing the film alongside the original storyboard artwork. Even the menus are animated, and themed to match the film. A nice touch, I thought. All in all,
a good film, with slightly flimsy storyline, and potential to be so much more. But worth seeing for the effects.
After waiting for ages to see this film the video was released and assured as I was that his would be a excellent film I went out and bought it (MISTAKE). Having seen the previews to this film I thought it looked really good. Kevin Bacon plays the lead scientist in a project about making people invisible, but un until recently the test has only been carried out on animals with varying degrees of success/failure (Animal testing BIG BOO). So Keving Bacon decides the time has come to try the project out on a human namely himself. What follows is kevin Bacon basically turning into a psychotic git, who rapes a girl, kills a dog and basically goes mad. In all honesty I thought the film was rubbish and am trying to give the video away as I won't watch it again. The overall storyline was weak, and disjointed and some things I think took away from what potentially could have been a good film I mean was it really necessary for there to be a scene in which a dog is bashed against a cage till it's dead? The good thing about the film was it did have fantastic special effects like when the gorilla is being made revisible and you see it being built up. Overall though this film is a Turkey.
In Paul Verhoeven's appropriately shallow Hollow Man, Kevin Bacon plays a bad-boy egotistical scientist who heads up a double-secret government team experimenting with turning life-forms invisible. How do we know he's a bad boy? Because he (a) wears a leather overcoat, (b) compares himself to God, (c) drives a sports car and (d) spies on his comely next-door neighbour while eating Twinkies. Sadly, this is the most character development anyone gets in this undernourished action/sci-fi thriller, which boasts some phenomenal, seamless and Oscar-worthy computer effects and some amazingly ridiculous plot twists. After experimenting rather ruthlessly on a menagerie of lab animals, Bacon finally cracks the code that will turn the invisible gorillas, dogs and so on back into their visible forms, and promptly volunteers as a human guinea pig. Sure enough he is rendered invisible, organ by organ, vein by vein, and then proceeds to spy on his female co-workers in the bathroom and molest his comely next-door neighbour. Soon, Bacon is thoroughly psychotic, and it's up to Elisabeth Shue (Bacon's co-worker and ex-girlfriend) and hunky Josh Brolin (her current snuggle bunny) to defeat the invisible man, who's picking off the science team one by one. You'd think this would be a prime opportunity for copious amounts of cheesy sex and aggressive violence--which Verhoeven served up so well and so exuberantly in Starship Troopers and Basic Instinct--but if anything, the director seems to tone down the proceedings, and really, who wants a muted Paul Verhoeven movie? --Mark Englehart, Amazon.com On the DVD: In the audio commentary with director Paul Verhoeven and star Kevin Bacon, Hollow Man scriptwriter Andrew Marlowe reveals that the story had been in development for some nine years before it got made, and that he had worked on it for "a number of years". An amazing revelation, given that the main attraction of this DVD is surely the cutting-edge special effects and the fascinating behind-the-scenes deconstruction of them. The DVD viewer cannot help but wonder how anyone could have spent years on a script that looks like it was cobbled together over a weekend as an excuse to play around with some really neat CGI effects. The various documentary features on the disc break down all the key FX scenes in exhaustive detail, showing the creative blend of live action and CGI and all the painstaking methods by which it was achieved. Director Verhoeven is appropriately profiled as "Hollywood's Mad Scientist" in the "Anatomy of a Thriller" featurette (in the commentary he makes a comparison with Hitchcock's Rear Window that only serves to underline the gulf between his ambitious vision and its execution). Elsewhere, legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith provides a commentary to his music, which gives hope to fans that he will now do the same for some of his better scores. There are deleted scenes, trailers, storyboards and a really neat menu interface to round off an enjoyable DVD package. Anamorphic picture and sound quality are impeccable. --Mark Walker