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Author Topic: Hulk -- the movie  (Read 7836 times)
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Superman Squad
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« on: February 28, 2004, 05:04:08 AM »

Hmm... Yes. Well. I saw HULK on video. Most of you undoubtedly saw it many months ago.

Before Super Monkey deletes this thread for having nothing to do with Superman, I want to establish a connection, the first connection between The Hulk and Superman in my life. I was a very young child, and so was my neighbour, and one day, to my horror, I found myself in an argument over who was the strongest, Hulk or Superman. My memory is a little fuzzy after all these years, but I'm reasonably sure I didn't have much idea of who The Hulk was, although I knew darned well who Superman was. The argument ended, I believe, when my tormentor said, "The Hulk could smash up the sun!"

I couldn't think of anything stronger than this, so I had to go and tell my father that The Hulk could smash up the sun. Where did this leave Superman? My father, of course, set things right by telling me that of course Superman could also smash up the sun if he wanted to.

That made me feel better, but years later, having many Hulk comics of my own, I realised I'd been duped. Hulk is not capable of smashing up the sun, although Superman may well be.

That's my shaky connection between the subjects of Hulk and Superman, so -- moving right along...

Why is this film such a failure? It will go down as one of the worst, if not the worst, of the super hero films, I think. I haven't seen them all. I haven't seen DAREDEVIL -- but I thought Toby's SPIDER-MAN was pretty good.

I know Eric Bana quite well as a talented Aussie actor from Chopper and a comedy show. I didn't think he was too bad, but he's done much better elsewhere, and I guess this is his big break into Hollywood. He's starting at the bottom.

The background story (the lead-up to the action) seemed very long and complicated and convoluted, something the best stories in comics are not, so maybe they could've taken some hints from the funny papers. Why was the origin of The Hulk made so darned confusing? I started to get lost at one point, and I'm a fan of Bogie's "Big Sleep"!

Trying to get too clever with the material was a mistake, perhaps. The cleverness of the classic comics is in their simplicity. Somebody missed that.

I actually found the action scenes (with The Hulk) quite cool. I enjoyed them. A bit crude, but if that's the current state of technological progress, it's coming along all right. The action with the army in the desert was getting pretty close to what I remember from the comic books. I like the use of comic book-type panels on the screen -- I don't think I've ever seen that before in any movie. I'm not one hundred percent on that, but it was quite nice to see that. The action would please any young kid, I'm sure.

But the rest of it, the background story stuff, just doesn't work. It killed it. Just too much convoluted nonsense.

I liked that idea of The Starchild's that a period 1940s Superman movie would be a good idea, but the story must stick to its roots, and be simple and forceful, without all the labyrinthine plot complications and dull emotional scenes that dragged on and on and on in The Hulk.
Super Monkey
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2004, 05:46:25 AM »

You can read Superman Vs Hulk from the 1981 story on-line, right here :

"I loved Super-Monkey; always wanted to do something with him but it never happened."
- Elliot S! Maggin
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Superman Family
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2004, 09:44:43 PM »

That "Christopher Reeve vs. Lou Ferrigno" shot on the website you listed isn't a perfect cut-and-paste job, but it sure looks cool!
Last Son of Krypton
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« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2004, 01:04:36 AM »

The Hulk as a film was indeed a mixed bag. Watching it in the theater I was struck by the odd mix of what I liked and what I didn't like.

 The positive aspects of the film came both in Ang Lee's directorial style and in the casting of Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, and Sam Elliot as Bruce Banner, Betty Ross, and General Ross respectively. I really thought the film felt like a comic book, with the feeling of panels, tricks of the camera and whatnot. The actors, at least those playing the roles I mentioned, were great, and it was clear to me that they weren't phoning it in but rather legitimately treating the piece seriously.

 The Hulk himself I thought looked great, though I wish they'd done more with him. There was potential there for some real havoc wrought but they inevitably backed down. Must've been budget constraints, or just bad writing.

 Now to the negative.

 The "modenization" of the origin. I continue to be astounded at Hollywood's juevenile need to "mature" comic book properties in some way. I mean, nanobots? C'mon now. The true irony of the Hulk's origin comes in the fact that the evils of nuclear weapons spawns an even greater monster (albeit a misunderstood one) in the form of the Hulk. Couldn't they have kept it true to that?

 Nick Nolte. Every time I saw him in the film I winced. Here was a guy who could care less about the Hulk, whose sole purpose in the film was to both chew the scenery and completely collapse my suspension of disbelief. Every time I saw him, all I could think of was Crazy Nick, not Brian Banner. And as the Absorbing Man? Oh lord. This was too much.

 Under-utilization of the Hulk. C'mon. . .you have a cool character like the Hulk and you use him in what, four or five set pieces? I wanted more. I wanted tanks flying through the air, I wanted seens of more gentleness from the jade giant, and most important of all I wanted:


 Nothing. Nada. Just some running, some snarling, and some poodle fighting.

 To be honest, the strengths of the film are considerable, but they're buried beneath a mix of revionist crap and ham acting. I'd reccomend buying this film on the cheap, and then skipping to the scenes that work. Or wait until whoever's directing the sequel comes to their senses and makes an Incredible Hulk movie that's actually about the Hulk. . .but maybe that's expecting too much of Hollywood.

 Incidentally, my reccomendation would've been to hand this property, and the Superman property, over to the good people at PIXAR. Can you imagine how cool a superhero movie done by that team would be. It'd be like the comics given motion and THX surround sound. . .*drools*

 Maybe someday, when Hollywood can look beyond name actors and auteur directors I guess. Somehow I doubt it'll be in my lifetime though. Wink


"You will believe a man can fly."
Superman Emergency Squad
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2004, 08:52:34 AM »

Though most people didn't like that the action took so long to start I have to say I found that most enjoyable. The fact that I wasn't given HULK SMASH in the first five minutes of the film made it so that once it did come up it was much better.

I guess for a comic story it IS a bit too complicated and for a serious movie its too cheesy, but well I don't know. I tried to think of the movie as a comic movie, not necessarily based on a comic (does that make sense?) Well what I mean is that it was a movie obviously based on The Hulk but I didn't want to focus on the details of The Hulk origin but simply try to enjoy the movie for its own story. I mean the whole thing with movies is that they change Halle Berry, she's really hot and I like many of her movies, but catwoman? CATWOMAN!? Come on! COME ON! I want my money back...err I mean its not how it should be, but hey they can do what they want right?
Defender of Kandor
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Semper Vigilans

« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2004, 01:17:08 PM »

I haven't seen this movie and the way things are going I'll probably wait til it's on network (ie: FREE) TV.  But I wanted to respond to a couple of Aldous' remarks:

First, as a youngster I too had to deal with fans of the Hulk who said he could "take" Superman.  The argument was that the angrier Hulk got, the stronger he got, so if he got mad enough he could beat anyone.  What I could never impress on these guys was that as you get angrier you also get dumber, or at least less capable of using your head.  Even fans of the Hulk has to admit he's the least intelligent "hero" in four-color history, and for my money Superman can not only match the Hulk ounce for ounce with strength, he's also as far above the Hulk I.Q.-wise as you or I are above a gnat.  All the rage in the world won't help you against an opponent who can think.

I have to assume I'm a bit short on testoterone or something, because I never understood the appeal of the Hulk's mindless rampages.  

As for why the backstory was so complicated, again I haven't seen the film but just in general the rule seems to be that if your premise is patently ridiculous the best way to cloud that fact is to pile on needlessly complicated plot elements.  A prime example of this theory in practice is "Mission Impossible," at once one of the most complicated and most childishly stupid films in movie history.

And Aldous, I suspect once you've seen "Daredevil" you may have a harder time picking the "worst superhero film."  In fact, if you're still stinging from having rented "The Hulk," I suggest you try a couple of films from other genres before wasting another few bucks on ol' Hornhead.

This looks like a job for...
Superman Emergency Squad
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2004, 05:38:25 AM »

It seems to me that many people expect something great when they go watch comic movies, which seems to be a horrible expectation, I mean comics have long story arches which expand over long periods of time. Comics are also kind of cheesy to begin with, I mean HULK? SUPER MAN! (yes I know its not spaced)

What can you expect, I mean just because movies get more expensive to make due to advances in special effects doesn't mean writers are getting a lot better at writing good stories.

Well I guess that's all for now.
Superman Emergency Squad
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2005, 03:31:01 AM »

I have the Hulk movie and compared to the Spiderman movies, I felt it wasn't "all that" I like Dare Devil better and X-Men I felt were also better.
I felt the Hulk movie ranked up there with Scooby-Doo.

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