Last night my wife and I were debating whether to order tickets to see Hancock with the kids this weekend -- as we sat down together to watch a rented copy of Adam Carolla's movie The Hammer. We decided to invite our two sons who are eight and ten and just back from a week at sleep away camp to watch the movie with us. My wife and I are both big fans of Carolla's CBS Radio show and the boys like him a lot too based on the minutes they hear before something inappropriate happens and we rush to switch to something wholesome - like news radio chatter about our lovely war on terrorism or our collapsing economy. We figured if our boys survived summer camp, they could probably handle a few dirty words.
We were shocked to discover that beyond a couple of choice expletives that the great George Carlin warned us about, The Hammer was a funny, moving and downright inspirational movie for our whole family -- one of the best we've seen this year. With a tiny budget, Carolla and his collaborators made the sort of small, heartfelt, moving vehicle that should make him a movie star. Somehow, this exceptional and very commercial movie ends up with an R rating and a short theatrical self-release before being sent off to DVD.
As for that R rating, it seems thoroughly insane -- proof that a big budget buys you a whole hell of a lot more leeway with the powers that be. As my ten-year-old put it, "Daddy, this is way more appropriate than Blades Of Glory or Talladega Nights" -- two PG-13 movies that we let him see and that we loved as well.
So even though I am not a profit participant, I hereby suggest you rent or buy The Hammer and see for yourself what's wrong with a system that couldn't find more room for it.
I will see Hancock because I'm a Will Smith fan and I worship proudly at the alter of Jason Bateman, but as Hollywood flees for Malibu or Hawaii or the Hamptons for the 4th of July, here's a reminder that we better treat really good American movies better than this, or the hammer of justice will fall hard upon us all.