It's funny that one of the most underrated films of the year happened to gross over $600 million at the worldwide box-office. Unfairly smacked down by critics (it only managed a 38% at Rottentomatoes though it had its share of notable admirers, including Ebert, Denby, Dargis, and Travers), Peter Berg's wise-ass superhero action-comedy HANCOCK opened huge at the domestic box office over the Fourth of July weekend last summer, due in no small part to star Will Smith's continued box-office fire-power. The film wasn't perfect, but as I said a few months ago, it was just the kick in the ass that this getting-tired genre needed. I am really looking forward to checking out the unrated director's cut of the film, which hits stores today. There's roughly 10 minutes of new, supposedly racier footage (the film was initially given an R-rating which the filmmakers cut down to a more audience friendly PG-13) and a plethora of behind-the-scenes features. Sadly, no commentary is listed, which is a shame and a surprise considering Berg has done great commentary tracks on his other recent films, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and THE KINGDOM, both of which are terrific. What HANCOCK managed to do was toy with the conventions of the superhero movie while still honoring what makes these types of entertainments the films that they are. The tone of HANCOCK swings back and forth between serious and funny, action and comedy, drama and cartoon. Berg's continued fascination with edgy, hand-held camerawork brought a distinct visual texture to a genre which has gotten increasingly slicker and more polished. In the near future, I will try and post a full length review as I only posted a brief write-up this past summer. If you missed HANCOCK in the theaters, make sure you check it out on DVD. It's a blast and very different from your average superhero blow 'em up.