Friday, June 13, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

First off, I have to say, I enjoyed Ang Lee's Hulk for what it was. If you've seen Ang Lee films in the past, you might appreciate the cinematography and art that goes into them. I also have great respect for the CG folks who worked so hard to bring that Hulk to life.

That having been said, this film blows that one away. From the opening credits it's distinctly a Marvel film, showing the television origin story of the Hulk in snippets to bring the viewer up to speed quickly.

In fact, this film pays all kinds of tribute to the old television show. Here are the bits I can recall:

Bruce Banner watching Bill Bixby on tv from his previous show Courtship of Eddie's Father while flipping channels.
Lou Ferrigno as a security guard (great scene when he stands up and Bruce's eyes bulge)
Lou Ferrigno as the voice of the Hulk
The reference to a campus student named McGee taping the incident (McGee was the reporter who hounded Banner in the tv show)
The old tv theme "lonely man" theme music used when Banner's walking along looking for a ride
Bruce receiving a piece of mail at the end of the film labeled David B (David Banner was his name in the tv show)

A few comic references seen in the film:

Stark Enterprises on many forms, as well as SHIELD
Tony Stark showing up at the end, a preview of a future Avengers film!
Mr. Blue having some of Bruce's blood drip into his head, predicting The Leader as a future vilain!
A reference to WWII's Super Soldier program, predicting the Captain America film. In fact, the Hulk dvd is supposed to have footage of Banner going to the arctic and meeting up with Cap. We'll see!
I believe there was a movie poster on a wall as Abomination and Hulk were running towards each other that said "The Hulk". Not sure what it was.
Stan Lee's appearance drinking the juice, as well as the man Bruce stayed with being named Stanley (Stan Lee's real first name)

Edward Norton's performance was excellent, as always. Liv Tyler continues to play the loving leading lady perfectly. William Hurt even impressed as General Ross. Just a great film all around. I'm really impressed with Marvel right now. Who'd have ever thought Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk would ever be out in theaters at the same time, with BOTH films so well made!

The only concern at this point is that Marvel not rush to put out sequels before truly worthy scripts can be written. We've seen too much of the rushed sequel hurting franchises in the superhero genre. Hopefully Marvel will not make that mistake again!

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