Monday, June 23, 2008

Questioning the Hulk

Last night I went to see
the Incredible Hulk with a friend.

It wasn't bad. But I'm hard-pressed to say it was good. As my friend put it,
"Why was the Hulk himself the most believable thing in the movie?"

Honestly, I loved the Ang Lee version; very artsy, perfect capturing of the feel of reading a comic book. It just needed 50 to 70 percent less Nick Nolte blathering and 50 to 70 percent more Naked Eric Bana. But I always watch it again if I happen upon it on the television. I'm not sure I'd be as interested in seeing this new version a second time.

This new version just raised too many questions... .

  • So. Mr. Blue just kinda ... never mentioned what he was so excitedly planning?
  • Was Stan Lee's cameo designed with my wish fulfillment in mind, or is that just happy coincidence?
  • Has there ever been a cheaper short-cut to "this guy's an asshole" than tranqing the dog?
  • Isn't "We don't have any condoms and the world's not ready for Skaar: The Movie" a better reason than "Our lovemaking would undoubtedly be so athletically rigorous that it would push my heart rate above 95% of maximum?"
  • Doesn't anyone notice that Betty Ross has been kidnapped and replaced by Natasha from the Bullwinkle Show?
  • Do they really think generals get drunk at public bars in uniform rather than changing or were they just afraid we wouldn't be able to recognize him without it?
  • Could Tim Roth have been more wrong for his role? Couldn't they hire someone more appropriate like, say, Alan Cummings, Paul Reubens, or Tim Curry?
  • Did you too wonder what the exact sequence of events was that took us from Point A (Hulk carrying Betty off out flaming debris in the middle of college campus while surrounded by the military) to Point B (cave, wet, rainy, night)?
  • So, did they loan Blonsky a U.S. uniform 'cuz his British one was, I dunno, at the cleaners?
  • Wait... so that guy's only function in the whole movie is to call General Ross a liar?
  • Are Manhattanites -- even Marvel ones -- that stupid that they don't just get out of the way?
  • Bruce, forget about the Hulk problem; don't you think you should see a cardiologist immediately, given your inappropriate heart rates?
  • Could Ross be any less effective at keeping his soldiers -- to say nothing of his daughter -- out of harm's way?
  • Do you think there's a lot of blood in South American soda?
  • Does the Hulk not know the difference between "smash" and "choke"?
  • And she had a camera with her why, exactly?
  • Is it legal for William Hurt to continue receive an actor salary, even though he's clearly dead?
  • Does Betty Ross have that same disease everybody gets in The Happening?


Tegan O'Neil said...

I wondered that myself - how out-of-shape do you have to be for your heart rate to spike so severely over a heavy-petting session? I mean, seriously.

Anthony Strand said...

Aww, I liked that sex-makes-him-excited gag.

Anyway, I mostly liked the new movie, but I agree about William Hurt. His boring voice is like death to my ears.

Anonymous said...

Is it legal for William Hurt to continue receive an actor salary, even though he's clearly dead?

It never stopped Christopher Walken....

tekkenlordeoin said...

about your first point mister blue is the leader

Guys' Guy said...

LOL...oh so many of the same wonderings I have had. Especially the whole scene in Manhattan where people were fleeing for their lives...even after 30 mins of battle in the streets. I guess everyone loves a good car wreck...either that or they were always picked last in gym class because of their slow running speeds.

Or Maybe they are trying to tell us that Manhatten is full of Special Ed folks....hmmmmm

All in All I do like this movie...probably not enough to see it again...unless it was free. But I do like this a ton better than the Eric Bana one...though I wouldn't kick him out of bed even if he quoted lines from the first Hulk while we rocked the bed >:)

Gus Casals said...

I'm actually one of the few people who enjoyed the Ang Lee movie. I caught it on DVD a long time after release ( I'm a DC fan, and I had heard so many bad things about it, I ignored it for quite a while ). So, trying to sell me this movie as "EVERYTHING THE OTHER ONE WAS NOT" isn't really picking my interest.
And also, sorry Ed Norton, but you are no Eric Bana.

As for Hurt, again, we share the feeling.He's been dead for so long. Remember "The Accidental tourist"? No acting there, just he being himself

Anonymous said...

It's funny, but the common belief that Ang Lee's Hulk was a failure seems to be more an urban legend than an actual reality. Take a look at it's Rotten Tomatoes pages and you'll find it has a 61% rating--not spectacular, but still good enough to be considered positively reviewed (and only 5% less than the supposedly much better received version Scipio discusses above). Financially it appears that both films are going to earn close to the same amount (Hulk had a better opening weekend, but it appears the new film probably has better "legs"). Add to that the number of comments in blog posts in which the commenter insists:

I'm actually one of the few people who enjoyed the Ang Lee movie.

Which are actually so numerous that in some cases they seem to outnumber the people who are part of the supposed displeased majority.

It appears to me that this is a case where a work's negative reputation isn't the result of its actual quality or true popular opinion, but rather solely the loud whining of tiresome fanboys/girls/people. Upon being given a carefully crafted, thoughtful movie with interesting performances and the kind of themes intelligent people can spend the night talking about, they pouted like spoiled two year-olds because it was "too slow" and "the Hulk didn't smash enough!"

See also Superman Returns.

Anonymous said...

So your saying Floop, Pee-Wee, and/or Frank N'Furter could be Abomination? No. Just no.
At least they got Mr. Orange, a true Marvel fan

Scipio said...

"So your saying Floop, Pee-Wee, and/or Frank N'Furter could be Abomination? No. Just no."

Perhaps my sarcasm in my criticism of the choice of Roth was too subtle. They would not have been appropriate choices, either; that's the point I was trying to make.

Stephen said...

paul ruebens would be genius

Sleestak said...

"Do they really think generals get drunk at public bars in uniform rather than changing or were they just afraid we wouldn't be able to recognize him without it?"

You've never been in the military, then. Drop into Tailhook, any military installation, any Howard Johnsons near a military installation, etc and see plenty of drunken Generals.

Anonymous said...

Getting drunk at a HoJos is beyond sad.

I'm NOT one of the people who actually liked Ang Lee's Hulk. It had nothing to do with the style, which was good, or Eric Bana's ridiculous ears, which were bad. It had to do with the amazing cliche of child abuse to justify everything, and playing it interminably as if it were some grand mystery. Really, REALLY terrible writing/film making... and being a big Ang Lee fan all the way back to The Wedding Banquet, when if first came out (no pun intended), to present day... together with my love of comics... I can hardly register my shock.

The new Hulk? Yeah, just saw it too and... meh. I thought the first 30 minutes were pretty good, but it's like the CGI guys couldn't figure out if Hulk's skin was... y'know... skin or shiny, shiny plastic (even when it wasn't wet). And man, when the smooth muscle surrounding your blood vessels is able to flex like that (much less at all)... it's not intimidating, it's just kind of... stupid looking.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think Paul Reubens would have made a good Spider-Man. He certainly has experience in flinging sticky stuff from his wrists....

Anonymous said...

"Puny Green Man!!"

"I know you are, but what am I?"

Your Obedient Serpent said...

Nobody EVER notices when Natasha is in disguise. Even ROCKY never gets past, "Golly, she sure does look familiar."

"Well, of COURSE she does, Rock! You know Betty from the LAST movie!"

Riddering said...

I can't help you with any of your questions, having not seen the new Hulk movie, but I can agree with you 100% that more Eric Bana nudity would have made for a better use of the film's running time.

Anonymous said...

i just know that you know that the new flick is better than the Ang's painfully bad attempt. Hulk dogs? and our main villian...daddy!!!
please, read a damn comic before posting this crap

Scipio said...

OH, Gene! Watch your step.

Both the abusive father angle and the Hulk dogs are actually comic book cannon from the Hulk books. Including the poodle.

Perhaps you should "read a damn(ed) comic before posting this crap." Or at least keep a civil tongue in your mouth when you choose to disagree.

NecroVMX said...

I'm so glad to see someone else that will defend the Ang Lee Hulk film. I liked it very much, just watched the DVD again the other day. I have no interest in the new one.

Anonymous said...

Methinks Gene must have escaped from the forums....

They should do a better job of keeping them caged in.

Tony said...

I'm another of "the few people who liked the Ang Lee Hulk." Wow, can we all be on the same board at the same time?

I thought the "no sex" joke was pretty lame, actually. I think we learned from Mallrats that superhero sex is something no adult should spend time thinking about.

Tim Roth didn't bother me. The British army has a long tradition of 135-lb bastards.

I can appreciate that they put more Betty in this one. But in the Ang Lee version, the scene where Hulk and Betty finally meet in San Francisco ... I really got choked up over that.

Gene Phillips said...

Though I don't hold with Other Gene's rudeness...

I was just about to say that none of the inconsistencies Scipio mentions are any worse to me than gamma-ray poodles.

Takes all kinds.

Jack Norris said...

It seems to be a rule: every time someone says something positive about the Lee Hulk film, some guy (the same guy?) has to show up and make exactly the same asinine crack involving the dogs.
It's almost not a real "comment thread for a post that's positive about Lee's Hulk" without some tool making a semi-coherent dissenting comment that seems to think that mentioning the dogs is tantamount to pulling out some kind of trump card.

Martin Gray said...

I wasn't keen on the first Hulk film, it tried to hard for psychological veriszzzzzz . . .

Liked the new one lots, though, especially the first half-hour. I did think Tim Roth the worst thing in it. As for the uniform, I thought I heard that he was Russian-born, British-raised and joined the US Army somehow. But god knows.

I saw that one of the students interviewed had the same name as the guy in the TV show, but did anyone catch the name of the second student? Billy Easter Egg, maybe?

Anonymous said...

1. Doesn't the Hulk f------g LEAP anywhere anymore?!?

2. Why didn't Betty get 3rd degree burns while Hulk was STANDING around in the fire?

3. Hey, director, we know what the Hulk looks like. So why the painfully dramatic delay to show him in action?

4. Hey, director, ever hear of a "plot?"

5. Doesn't the Hulk f------g TALK anymore? Two lines, just two lines in this movie! All that time with Betty and he can't squeeze out a few words? If we wanted to relive the TV show, we can torrent the damn thing.

6. I thought mutated dogs were lame. A fight against a British super-solder is sooooo much lamer.

7. I miss Jennifer Connally. She's so purdy.

Gene Phillips said...

Jackie boy--

If I'm a tool, at least I'm like a lawnmower.

You can be the toilet plunger.