"For a movie I did not want to see and did not expect much from... I actually liked it!"
Betty Ross: [Betty and Bruce need to get across town in New York City]
The subway is probably quickest.
Me in a metal tube, deep underground with hundreds of people in the most aggressive city in the world?
Right. Let's get a cab.
Actors: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Christina Cabot
Directors: Louis Leterrier
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English, Portuguese, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Region: Region 1
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Universal Studios
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008
Run Time: 113 minutes
People that know me know I am not a big fan of remakes or sequels just for the sake of a sequel.
I grew up with the TV show The Incredible Hulk and although the show departed somewhat from the comic book, Stan Lee still gave his approval.
Along came Ang Lee's The Hulk in 2003 and although I was disappointed that they were replacing Ferrigno with a CG Hulk, I was still excited about the movie. It was one of the biggest disappointments I have ever experienced. With that said I wasn't even interested in Louis Leterrier's remake/reboot The Incredible Hulk, especially after seeing some of the Hulk CGI.
The Incredible Hulk was everything that Ang Lee's 2003 The Hulk movie wasn't and should have been! It still isn't as good as Iron Man in my opinion, but it is worthy of the new Marvel movie logo.
Where the two movies differed is the new Hulk isn't trying to be a comic book whereas Lee was trying to create a live action comic strip look. The biggest problem with Lee's version is the story was also befitting of a comic book and not a big screen movie.
An homage- Along the way in Leterrier's version he pays tribute to the history of the character and even gives several nods to the TV series I loved so much as a kid. Early on Banner is in his run down apartment in Portugal and on his TV is an old episode of The Courtship of Eddie's Father, which starred Bill Bixby. Later on in the movie a lonely Bruce Banner is walking down a deserted road and the background music is none other than the piano melody from the TV series, and last but not least Ferrigno even gets a cameo as a security guard.
Speaking of Ferrigno, as I mentioned I was disappointed that they replaced him as the Hulk. Granted the prosthetic nose and head piece from the TV series was not only fake looking but actually comical, there was just something about seeing a real human being as the Hulk. For those that are not familiar with the TV series or Ferrigno, I can see some of you thinking "There is no way a real person could pull off The Hulk." Well Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Lou at his peak... At 6'6 and with a physique like that he really was the 'human Hulk'!
This is the Hulk I remember fondly from my childhood! I understand they wanted the Hulk to be 'bigger' and 'badder' in the movies, but they really could have gone with a real person and then CGI'd some of the action scenes. It would have lent a feeling of realism to the movie in my opinion.
As bad as the prosthetics looked in the TV series, a movie budget could have rectified that and there actually were some pretty good FX in the TV series. For instance when the Hulk busts through a brick or concrete wall, it does look like he is breaking through a real wall. One thing that CGI can't seem to duplicate is the realism of having an actual live actor right there on film for us to see. Still, The Incredible Hulk 2008 movie did a decent job at delivering the goods.
The movie's CGI wasn't as bad as the trailer and stills made it appear. That is partly helped by the extremely fast pace of the story. As a comparison, the 2008 Incredible Hulk looks much better than the 2003 abomination that Lee created. Although my grandson does love the 2003 version, but he's also quite a character himself!
Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, and William Hurt all turn in excellent performances, and Roth also does well. The story takes a departure from the comics and the TV series, but it does well and effectively 'rebooted' this particular franchise.
Some people complain about the story lines changing from the comics, or certain aspects of the super hero's not being 'exactly' the same as in the comics. My view on that is if Stan Lee approves, and he does give his stamp of approval on each and every one of these movies, then it's good enough for me if it's good enough for Stan.
Even the TV series took a major departure from the comics, but again Stan Lee approved. Some of the big departures of the TV series were that Banner became Dr. David Bruce Banner. Another departure and for better reasons was the introduction of Jack McGee. The McGee character was a reporter from a tabloid type paper along the lines of the National Enquirer or Weekly World News. McGee's part in the series was to keep Banner constantly on the run. Every time Banner would try to settle down in an area and work on a cure, McGee would show up on his relentless pursuit of The Hulk.
In the 2008 The Incredible Hulk, Leterrier even gives a nod to McGee by having a college reporter by the name of Jack McGee witness the assault on the Hulk at the university.
There are some plot holes, but keep in mind this is a comic book character! All in all the story isn't bad and like Iron Man there is a definite mention of a 'team' being formed. Even Robert Downy Jr. makes an appearance as Tony Stark, and throughout the movie if you're sharp you can see some of the military supplies came from Stark Industries.
Now for the transfer, and hopefully I didn't give any spoilers away.
Because I didn't expect much from this movie, nor did I really want to watch it, I passed on the $29.99 Bluray version. I will say though that the Bluray version also has a digital copy that can be played on your computer. I still feel they could include a standard def DVD for that purpose, but at least it's something... not much but something.
The $15.99 single disc standard def DVD is very well done and the picture quality is exceptional. Upconverted to 1080p it looks incredible and some scenes even had the classic 3D look that true HD can have. Everything is crystal clear and close ups are spectacular. Needless to say I will be double dipping and buying the Bluray of this one.
Sound- Just like the stellar PQ, the sound matches the images on the screen. The surround is very active but never loses focus of the dialog and front channels. Bass is strong and almost constantly present. When the Hulk goes on his rampages and is crushing Humvees and tearing them apart to use as bullet shields it sounds like a Hummer is being ripped apart in your room! There is also an interesting scene when the Hulk is fighting 'the abomination' and the Hulk rips apart a police car and uses each half as 'boxing gloves'. It sounds phenomenally corny and stupid, but trust me it works!
One of the things I really like about how Marvel has been tying their movies together are the teasers of the Avengers as well as other up coming movies. Captain America has been on the tables for a few years now (and like I mentioned in previous reviews/posts that I have a little known copy of Roger Corman's 1994 The Fantastic Four, I also have a version of Captain America that never made it to the theaters) and they make several references to Cap and the FLAGG serum.
So we know there will be a Captain America movie coming, as well as a second Iron Man, and of course another Spidy is in the works... and then I believe we will see the Avengers hit the big screen and in huge fashion.
[img]http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/wbassett/HTS/MovieReviews/TheIncredibleHulk/the_incredible_hulk_trailer.jpg[/img]Some of my recent reviews have been a bit negative, but they are honest too. The Incredible Hulk is worth a look even if it's a rental. This is rated PG13 and as far as the little ones, it is pretty violent, especially the 'show down', but it's also all CGI and 'comic book' violence, but it still has some pretty heavy violence non-the-less, so screen this one before letting the younger set watch it.
Overall, I give it :3.5stars: and :4stars: to :4.5stars: for overall image and sound quality. If it means anything, it takes a lot for me to buy a Bluray, and BD's are usually shown up on the 106" big screen, and I don't waste bulb hours for so so movies or TV The Incredible Hulk will be a big screen event at my house anytime it's shown from now on.
And the Hulk does speak!
The Incredible Hulk: