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*** Official "THE HULK" Review Thread

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#1 of 49 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 19 2003 - 01:58 PM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Hulk". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.




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#2 of 49 OFFLINE   Luke Bowers

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Posted June 19 2003 - 08:19 PM

This is my first attempt at a review so I'll try my best to put my feelings into coherent words. While many, including Mr Lee, have mentioned that the screen adaptation of the origins of The Hulk has been taken with a different, more serious, approach than most large budget dumb summer movies, upon watching it I feel Hulk is very much this minus the dumb. The emotional weight of the story that Ang Lee tells holds with you throughout the movie making it feel less like a comic book adaptation and more like the conventional drama that he is known for. But along with this we also get some of the most enjoyable actions scenes put on film in the last couple of summers. At no time did I feel the movie dragged and my attention was held throughout if not more so during the plot/dialog parts than during the action scenes. For particulars: I really enjoyed the score, especially when the action on screen didnt quite match the peaceful eastern music played, creating a beautiful disharmony, but really dislike "Set Me Free" (but who doesn't). The editing between scenes with the panels and other techniques I liked for the most part. Sometimes when used rapidly however, as in the beginning and near the end, it becomes distracting. No problems at all with the CGI of the Hulk which while not the best ever is not far from it in my untrained eyes. The mutant dogs however I thought looked silly but maybe was more of a design flaw than execution problem. The final CGI laden fight scene I really enjoyed but found myself somewhat confused and will need further viewings to create a fully realized opinion on. Eric Bana who Ive enjoyed in everything Ive seen him in, which isn't very much but enough to form some sort of an opinion, does an excellent job portraying Bruce Banner and all the emotional baggage that comes with his character. I however feel his character was written the weakest of all the mains but this is understandable when you alter ego is the Hulk. Jeniffer Connelly who becomes more beautiful and talented with every movie plays the conflicting emotion of Betty Ross perfectly. Nick Nolte and Sam Elliot both command their respective scenes with authority while I found some of the character changes of the former to be rather odd but will reserve judgment until seeing it again. Overall I enjoyed Hulk more than I have any action or comic book movie in a long long time and maybe ever with the latter. Most of the early worries about the CGI and changes to specifics of the origin hurt the movie in no way whatsoever and only aided in making it better. Luke Bowers

#3 of 49 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted June 20 2003 - 01:16 AM

A reminder to all: This is the Official REVIEW thread. Here's what belongs in this thread:

[c]Reviews by HTF members[/c]

Here's what does NOT belong in this thread:

[c]Questions about the trailers[/c]
[c]Links to other reviews[/c]
[c]When you plan to see the film[/c]
[c]Question for others ("How was the sound?")[/c]

Those subjects, and anything else that isn't a member review, belong in the Official Discussion Thread (link above in Robert Crawford's message). If they're discussed here, the posts will be deleted.

This is the same approach we have taken for years, but for some reason, this review thread is getting numerous posts that don't belong here. Thanks for your cooperation.


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#4 of 49 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted June 20 2003 - 05:41 AM

Luke pretty much said everything that was on my mind about this film. The final fight scene was confusing for me as well. The Hulk looked just fine to me, but so did all the Agent Smiths in the Burly Brawl in The Matrix Reloaded. However, I think it could've looked better if they made it look more like Eric Bana. For now, this is the best comic book movie I've seen since Batman, although I've never read a comic book in my life.

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#5 of 49 OFFLINE   Gregory E

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Posted June 20 2003 - 06:32 AM

I didn't care for the movie too much. Although the Hulk CGI looked better than I expected. I thought long parts of the movie were quite boring. I figured there was going to be a big payoff at the end....but it never really delivered.

On a positive note: Jennifer Connelly looked hot!

I'm glad I saw a free screening instead of paying $9 to see it.

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#6 of 49 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk



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Posted June 20 2003 - 09:20 AM

I went in with low expectations and came out really enjoying it.

#7 of 49 OFFLINE   Joshua_Y



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Posted June 20 2003 - 09:54 AM

I loved it...cept for the final scene...what a stinker...you could tell it was added...Hulk looks amazing!

#8 of 49 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted June 20 2003 - 10:42 AM

The Hulk 7.5 of 10 (copied from the Hulk pre-release thread) The problem is that the story is at times rather sloppy, and yes, some of the CGI is a little fake looking. However, much of the CGI problem lies more in the action being depicted than the CGI work itself. I found myself in total belief of most of the interaction, if not all of it, but also thinking that many moments were just goofy things to have happen. I loved the Hulk comics of the 80's, so that type of action did not bother me. The film features some very Looney Toons styled dogs at one point, for example. And my reaction was less subdued than many of the laughs that some moments unintentionally received, like a moment when the Hulk is sent flying into a patch of desert. I was willing to look past those moments, but much of my audience wasn't. Take that as a warning. But on the other hand the film has many good dialog/acting moments, especially Nolte's work. Lee has set a dark tone as has the script...that is an emotionally dark tone, not death and destruction (though there is a bit of that too). In fact, despite it's moments of action in the 2nd half, the film is much less an action film than CTHD was. In fact you might consider the tone of CTHD more than what you might expect from a summer action flick. Elfman's score has his classic hero touches, yet also is more faithful to Lee's more Asian style of scoring (again think CTHD). I liked the effect. Finally, Lee has gone fully with a comic cell/frame style. Almost constantly the film transistions between scenes in a way the shows or implies the various blocks you would see in a comic. It's very creative and consistent, and yet it also often seems in contradiction to the darker tone of the film. Summerizing, CGI pretty good, some of the action and narrative is not so hot, other parts are rock solid. Good acting. Story wavers between interesting and silly (somewhat in the way Lost World did). I give it a 7.5/10 at this point. It was no X2 or Spidey but better than Daredevil. In some ways it feels like a creative Ang Lee experiment, perhaps in a way that it might come to be seen as creative genius from an average initial reception. And I might be well in the minority by not loving it. We will see.

#9 of 49 OFFLINE   MikeRS



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Posted June 20 2003 - 11:07 AM

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I loved it. A true dramatic work about inner rage, fathers, sons, and daughters. And the second half of the film kicked so much ass on a pop fun level, I was giddy.

It will not be for everyone, especially if you go in expecting Spider-man or even X-Men. One thing's for sure, it's not especially humorous, which may very well be it's true Achilles' heel at the box office. It's an extremely serious picture, and even though the second half has enough thrills for 3 summer pictures, not really designed like the typical summer blockbuster. A brooding dramatic film, through and through.

I found the action organically tied to the story too, so even though it had gargantuan spectacle, it didn't stick out as something jarring to the *drama*. The creature and all his escapades are so inextricably part of the beautiful, haunted story, it felt seamless. So the thing that amazed me most about the narrative was how deft and canny Lee was tying the HULK SMASH! aspects to a extremely serious narrative. There was no conflict for me with this aesthetic *marriage*.

I loved the creature. Although he doesn't have a voice (except for one beautiful nod to the fans), he is amazingly expressive creation. Anger, fear, love, inquisitiveness...... He can be scary, touching, heartbreaking, sad, and every moment ILM and Ang Lee put into this fella, counts. He definitely deserves to join the pantheon of great fantasy film creatures. You care about the big lug. You really do.

I think regardless of how well it does this summer, it will be a film that ages like fine wine. This is a work of art with affecting performances, a powerful narrative, focused themes, and finely orchestrated scenes, which build to something extremely emotional and haunting. Right now, I can't wait to see it a couple more times this weekend.

#10 of 49 OFFLINE   Derek Faber

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Posted June 20 2003 - 11:41 AM

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Amazing movie. There were bits in the final fight I didn't like, but the positives far outwiegh the negatives. Better than X2, for sure.

#11 of 49 OFFLINE   Lewis Besze

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Posted June 20 2003 - 11:49 AM

I must confess I'm not into comic books,but I managed to like the film adaptations of the few in recent years[Batman,Blade, X-Men].
The main reason is because they and I had fun with it.
This was just too serious and "depressing",and to be honest I just didn't care for the charachters to be engaged in their "pain".
While I never saw the TV series or read the comic books,the story seemed familiar and predictable to me,and the end was just aweful.
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#12 of 49 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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Posted June 20 2003 - 12:28 PM

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A really good film. I found it very well balanced...the first half focusing on the conflict within Bruce Banner and his relationship with Betty. There's always this sense that Banner is a ticking timebomb waiting to explode - even before the accident. The action that occurs later is really fantastic. The CGI is very well done although I still give Gollum the edge as the best CGI character. I too was somewhat confused by the final battle scene...I will have to watch again(when the DVD comes out) to try to make some sense of it.

Eric Bana did a great job as Banner...I think this will be his breakout role.
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#13 of 49 OFFLINE   Luis Cruz

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Posted June 20 2003 - 01:42 PM

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This was an awesome movie. I went in not expecting much and came out thinking this was a great comic book adaption. The CGI was awesome in some scenes and in other's it was cartoony. But overall very satisfying. I only had a few gripes.
One gripe I had was when Josh Lucas's character get's "blown up." That whole thing kind of reminded me of Charlie's Angels or something.
Many people snickered in the theaters, myself included. This was no X-Men, X2 or Batman, but it was on the same level as Spider-Man and Daredevil.
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#14 of 49 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted June 20 2003 - 02:27 PM

Okay, there are motifs I liked (the scene transitions where consistently nifty, plus the comic book style of multi-panels of scenes going on simultaneously), but the dramatic scenes falls a bit flat due to Bruce Banner being somewhat of a blank as a lead character that fails to get the audience "into" his plight. Spider-Man did a much better job of creating a sympathetic character that provided a good hook for the audience. Bruce just seemed much more 2-dimensional than I'd hoped for in his big screen debut. One of the main problems with as physically strong a character as the Hulk is a matter of scale, and where do you go with the story of such a powerful creature. It's a tough task, and I'm afraid the story wasn't as tight as it should have been. The CGI of Hulk was really nice work, though I think he moves still with a bit too little in terms of inertia, which makes some of his movements too fast, too cartoony. The 2nd act's action scenes are pretty fun, and Hulk is pretty cool to see in action. The middle part of the 3rd act is a head scratcher. I felt there was some dialogue that didn't make it into the cut, or something expository to connect the dots. I think once you see it, you'll know it when you see it. Eric Bana wasn't given all that much to work with in terms of fleshing out a 3-dimensional character, but was okay as Bruce. Jennifer Connelly played Betty pretty straight, with just a hint of stoic angst/compassion all rolled into one. Again, I think the script short-changed the 2 main characters' interaction. But all in all, I'd still recommend seeing it at the theaters just for the massiveness and immenseness of seeing the Hulk on the big screen, and exuding all that power and energy. I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.
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#15 of 49 OFFLINE   sheldon M.

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Posted June 20 2003 - 03:04 PM

This movie in most ways was a huge disappointment. Long, drawn out flashbacks. Long, drawn out waits to see some action. Ang Lee probably never read a Marvel comic in his life. There was absolutely no humor of any kind in this whole movie. I understand that they wanted to treat this movie in a serious vein but it is so grim that it is more like a DC comic than a Marvel. It starts out slow and then is endless. I have been looking forward to this film for a long time-I think it was a great decision to use CGI for the Hulk himself-how else could you ever get the true representation of what he can do? The CGI effects I thought were awesome. I did love it when the Hulk was on the screen. And I had to pinch myself to stay awake when he wasn't. I really really wish they gave this film to someone else to make-Lee just doesnt understand what people wanted to see here. Its like someone took what should have been a fun blast and made it all "serious" to show off....what? I don't know. To me the best thing about this movie is the absolutely beautiful and stunning Jennifer Connelly who I will never get enough of in my lifetime-seeing her gorgeous face on the big screen at least made the film watchable. Ang Lee stick to Crouching Tigers.....

#16 of 49 OFFLINE   Dennis Pagoulatos

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Posted June 20 2003 - 06:47 PM


I just got back...and all I can say is...that was the worst audience in the history of cinema: evening Friday night show and what do we get? Screaming babies everywhere!! Everywhere!! RAAAAARRGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!! HULK SMASH!!!!

But apart from that (and the sound being turned down VERY low, or was it all the babies and chattering??) the movie was excellent. You need to have a major paradigm shift about what a comic book movie is before seeing it though...it's like a Malick film at times, and a balls to the wall action film in other moments. Surprisingly, the audience from hell did not chuckle at some of the scenes that others thought to be unintentionally humorous, they played just fine to the crowd I was with (and to me). It's beautifully shot, acted, and the story seemed tight to me, yet it took it's sweet time "simmering", like Bruce's anger I guess. Posted Image It certainly requires a second viewing at the very least, but for now I'm comfortable saying that I loved it and think it's the purest attempt at a true "comic style" film to date, period.

That having been said, "Hulk" will definitely polarize summer audiences, and I don't see it earning a lot of money past this first weekend (and even this first weekend's take looks like it won't be breaking any records).

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He must have died while carving it!...

#17 of 49 OFFLINE   JohanK


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Posted June 20 2003 - 07:13 PM

I wished I had waited for the DVD release to see Hulk. The movie was OK but not worth the trip to the theaters, IMO. I had no connection with any of the characters; Bruce Banner was uninteresting, I didn't feel any emotional connection b/t Bruce and Betty and David Banner didn't show up until his 'anarchy' speech in the final act. I did like the split screens and found the Hulk's CGI to be quite satisfactory (i.e. Hulk's CGI added to film rather than detracting from it).
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#18 of 49 OFFLINE   Joshua_Y



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Posted June 21 2003 - 01:53 AM

Well I saw Hulk last night...and my reaction...pretty good...it wasnt quite as good as I was expecting...but that might just had been cause I had been up for almost 24 hours and was kinda sleepy...I loved the comic feel to the film...the split screen is used to great effect...I suppose the only real complaint is that occasionally it goes a little overboard...and almost becomes a bit silly...like when David Banner becomes this big Electric monster and such...up until that point I believed in everything happening...but that was just a bit too much...perhaps my opinion will change tonight when I see it again with a big ol crowd...but theres a ton of excellent stuff in the film...the CG is unbelievable...its amazing what ILM has done in this film...Hulk is completely realistic...and his big battle with the army and such is just jaw-dropping...when he battles the tanks I was like WOW! and everyone else in the theater was like that too...I guess I really loved the flick...except for the final scene in Cuba or wherever it was...it was just a little out of place...I still like it...but it doesnt quite fit with the rest...I could tell it was kinda added at the last minute...but its still kinda neat...I loved everything about the performances and the script...just excellent stuff and one of the few comic book movies to actually of depth of character...Bana and Nolte and Connelly and Elliot are just spot on and I loved the conflict between all of the characters...but likely all of the little thinks I didnt care for will change tonight after I see it with a big crowd and am not so sleepy...


Funny little story.

me and 5 friends went to see Hulk last night and had a blast...played some pool before we went...we came out of Hulk all excited...and messin around and two of em were acting like lifting up my friends car...hehe...i was like "ya really wanna do it" they said "yeah" so i'm all excited and shit...and i lift it up by myself! about 7 inches off the ground...It was 1,000lbs. easy...its a big ass car...oldsmobile...and made of metal...none of that hard plastic shit...but I thought one of the guys was helpin me cause he was next to me when I lifted it up...so I get in the car and was like "oh yeah that kicked ass...i wanna lift up more cars" and they said go at it...and i told the guy that i thought helped me "come on" he was like no...and i was like "i need help" he said "no..." and they all were like "dude you lifted the car up by yourself." i was shocked...i coulda sworn someone helped me..but no...and i was like holy shit...that was easily 1,000lbs...how'd i do that...cause it was kinda light...now i lifted up a Hyundai once and didnt think much of it cause its a pretty small car...but this...this is a big ass car...and everyone was just like "whoa" and i was giddy with excitement! HULK WANT LIFT MORE CARS!!! TIP SPME OVER!!!
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#19 of 49 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted June 21 2003 - 03:32 AM

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HULK oozes artistry and creativity from every pore of celluloid. The editing alone is worth the price of admission. It will be a travesty if HULK doesn't get nominated for an editing oscar.

HULK has the best drawn and explored characters of any "comic book" movie. The first 40 minutes may be a little slow at times, but it really pays off during the action scenes. We care for Hulk and don't want to see him hurt, but at the same time we care for some of the other characters as well.

The action is also astonishing. The audience really got into the HULK SMASH moments.

Just an immensely satisfying movie. HULK is the real "thinking man" action movie this summer, and the most enjoyable I have seen in 2003.

I would love to see what Ang Lee could do with a Star Wars movie.

#20 of 49 OFFLINE   RyanJM



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Posted June 21 2003 - 03:56 AM

I agree with those who said that it was overall a disappointment. The long drawn out flashbacks and emotional exploration scenes were very boring in my opinion.

I definitely don't see this movie being well-recieved by children with the amount of slow parts.

The CGI was good though, and when Hulk actually DID do what we came to see, it was a fun movie. Unfortunately, those parts didn't come as often as most of the people I talked to that saw the movie would have liked.

Also, one thing that stood out was how horrible Nick Nolte's acting was in several scenes. The one where he talks to Connely about Banner at his house, and his big scene at the end were just WAY too over the top.

Overall grade: C or Posted Image Posted Image 1/2

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