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*** Official "THE HULK" Discussion Thread

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#1 of 382 OFFLINE   MikeRS



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Posted June 18 2003 - 09:52 PM

Posted Image

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. Posted Image

#2 of 382 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted June 18 2003 - 10:20 PM

See, I can agree with some of what Mike is saying. I did like the Hulk himself and I did think the basic human drama was interesting. But I also know where Robert is coming from when he says
As far as a comparison to Spider Man, Spider Man was funny and interesting all the way to the part of the transformation. In The Hulk, I was praying for it to happen for sheer boredom.
As a piece of narrative it does play quite dry for a film that will eventually have a giant green monster smashing tanks.

And on that subject, I have to say that I had mild Godzilla flashbacks on some of the Hulk/aircraft fighting. Like the methods being used by the military seeming more silly than serious. And that is one way in which the film seemed conflicted with that serious drama.

it makes the action feel scripted when it finally comes through.
Yes, I can agree with that. By the time the action does get there you are almost more in the mode of watching a drama so that the action fits in more awkwardly than in films like X2.

I keep coming back to read and discuss the film exactly because I feel so conflicted on the film. I just can't get that "I loved it" feeling going, but I also can't quite say its not good either.

Matt, the silly action to me was
The dogs looking and acting like Looney Toons characters. Better to have gone with more "normal" enhanced dogs, though the comic relief line about the poodle helped a bit. Still, this got some laughs from the audience.

The Nolte ending was going good till he BIT INTO THE GIANT CABLE. Sorry, but come on, how was he able to gnaw through that in 1 second and how could he be sure of which line and what effect that would have. I expected him to have a better plan than that, expecially considering the fact that he shouldn't have even known that such a setup would be in place to hold his son. The lightening blasting Hulk through the clouds was great, but going with an energy creature is a tricky thing and it quickly seemed to get corny by the time they hit the lake. There was even the awkward explanation dialog for the audience by JC "they're absorbing all the energy". That entire scene didn't work for me in the least which was too bad because the heart to heart showdown was outstanding before that.

If they had kept Nolte a bit more simplified in his final powers I think they could have had a better payoff.

The helicopters that got within 10 feet of him? And how many times did they keep trying the same weapons on him without learning their lesson? Attacking Hulk immediately on the GG Bridge? Is that safe for people? The Hulk leaping onto a jet a full speed? The Hulk catching a missle like a football on the run and then biting off and spitting out the warhead? There was a lot of this type of silly action when it didn't need to be that way.

For me that overshadowed the good stuff like Hulk and the tanks, some of Hulk and the dogs, and Hulk bashing the lab up. I was also rather mixed in how they did Hulk coming out of the bay and into the sewers of SF. One of those "this would look cool" moments that didn't quite make logical sense as it was done.

I'm thinking of going again, but part of me thinks I got it right the first time and would only be letdown more by a 2nd viewing that I would have to pay for.

#3 of 382 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted June 18 2003 - 10:29 PM

I do like Berardinelli's allusions to King Kong, which is probably similar to the JP/Lost World vibe I got. I think its fair to say that this is much more a monster movie than a superhero movie.

#4 of 382 OFFLINE   Matt Stone

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Posted June 18 2003 - 10:49 PM

Okay, I see what your saying. I'll have to be more discerning on Friday, and see if it still works as well for me.
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#5 of 382 OFFLINE   JustinCleveland



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Posted June 19 2003 - 02:02 AM

I'll be seeing this on Sunday at a Matinee, and I'm looking forward to it.

#6 of 382 OFFLINE   Norm



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Posted June 19 2003 - 08:37 AM

The Hulk was always a misunderstood monster in the comics. Its just that he would end up battling supervillains for one reason or another.

#7 of 382 OFFLINE   Norm



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Posted June 19 2003 - 09:09 AM

Hulk 2 Update Thursday, June 19, 2003 1:48 CDT

USA Today reports from the Hulk premiere:

Hulk producer Avi Arad already has the film's screenwriter/producer, James Schamus, working hard on Hulk 2. Schamus says his script further delves into Bruce Banner's epic struggle with his inner demons, resulting in the emergence of an evil, gray-hued Hulk. Shamus says he's toying with the idea of incorporating two possible villains: The Leader (described by Lee as "a giant-head brainiac") and The Abomination ("a big ugly guy the same size as the Hulk").

But will Lee return to direct? "Maybe," he says, but first "I need to de-Hulk this process."

James Schamus is the guy changing the storylines! I can't believe he's thinking of doing it again. The Hulk CB fans need to tell him to quit changing everything!

#8 of 382 OFFLINE   Norm



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Posted June 19 2003 - 09:33 AM

Someone pointed out I may have misinterpreted my above post. I sure hope I did because I'd hate to see Abomination & Leader as one character.

#9 of 382 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted June 19 2003 - 10:36 AM

Okay, now that many reviews have come up and Rotten Tomatoes can give a decent reading, we see it running at 70% vs the 88% of Spidey and the 87% of X2, which I certainly agree with.

Please note that even in the positive reviews you are often hearing language like
Lee's technique is impeccable, but he's chasing more inner demons than one creature feature can handle.
(Peter Travers - RS) and
At times it can seem as lumbering as its lead character is, well, hulky.
(Bob Logino - ATL)

I guess I'm saying I don't feel totally crazy now. The film has shining moments and my 7.5 is still a solid matinee recommendation. But it's also shoddy at times, or at least messy/mixed.

But a 70% is still great for a summer action blockbuster, just less than I hoped from Lee. Logino does make a point about Lee's varied career which I strongly agree with. His effort on Hulk is certainly an artistic one, experimental rather than lazy. Missing in that way is a LOT better IMO.

#10 of 382 OFFLINE   MikeKaz


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Posted June 19 2003 - 10:48 AM

I'm not sure about this- but about six months ago when the first actual trailer came out (not just the one where he messes up the house), i remember actually seeing the hulk for the first time and thinking, geez this looks pretty corny, he looks like he is glowing and pretty much looks artificial overall, especially when he is in the desert flinging the tank in the air. but I saw a trailer yesterday for the movie and I remember thinking, wow, he looks a lot darker than i remember him in this shot and appears more natural. did they tweak some of the effects and shading in this film from the time they put out the trailer a couple of months ago to now?

#11 of 382 OFFLINE   Andy Sheets

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Posted June 19 2003 - 11:09 AM

did they tweak some of the effects and shading in this film from the time they put out the trailer a couple of months ago to now?

I'm sure they did. It's not uncommon for the CGI effects in a film to be tweaked even up to the week before release.

#12 of 382 OFFLINE   Dennis Pagoulatos

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Posted June 19 2003 - 12:25 PM

I hope we see a Lee Director's Cut on DVD...that was probably vastly different to what is being released based on what I've been reading. He had to make many compromises to Universal (ie voluntarily, but to my mind, that sounds like he really didn't have "final cut") They even completely scrapped the musical score he wanted! So that kind of stuff tells me this is a very compromised film we're seeing...and I have yet to see. Posted Image

I'll post again when I do watch it, hopefully this weekend...

He must have died while carving it!...

#13 of 382 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted June 19 2003 - 12:49 PM

The review in the local paper (via Knight-Ridder News Service) gave it Posted Image 1/2.

Even Hollywood Homicide got Posted Image Posted Image .

I expect I'll see it, since via my recent DVD purchases I'm entitled to a refund of the ticket price regardless. Posted Image
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#14 of 382 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted June 19 2003 - 01:06 PM

Opinions are amazing things.

For instance, Seth's "problems" with the HULK are very similar to the problems I had with the MATRIX RELOADED.

I wasn't very forgiving of RELOADED. I will be interested to see how I view the HULK.

#15 of 382 OFFLINE   MikeKaz


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Posted June 19 2003 - 01:50 PM

'm sure they did. It's not uncommon for the CGI effects in a film to be tweaked even up to the week before release.

I knew I might get a response like this. Posted Image I know how they change things in the actual movie until the last second. Ok, now rephrasing the question- Does anyone else think the trailer they released recently is actually different from the trailer that was out several months ago, even though they are trying to pass it off as the same set of clips?

#16 of 382 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 19 2003 - 01:59 PM

This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "The Hulk" please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.

All HTF member film reviews of "The Hulk" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.




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#17 of 382 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted June 19 2003 - 02:29 PM

How can I take a review seriously that starts like this:

By now we've all laughed at the trailers for "The Hulk," starting with the Super Bowl promos showing the ridiculously cartoonish monster-hero bounding through the desert.

He then goes on to say that some "forgive" the CGI because they like the story.

How presumptuous!

#18 of 382 OFFLINE   MikeRS



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Posted June 19 2003 - 05:04 PM

The CGI is friggin' awesome. Trust me guys, it's technically and artistically amazing. What happens when you give an artist the keys to the tool box. Posted Image

Here's what David Poland had to say about the CG:

If you are seeing the new commercials for The Hulk, you are getting a much better sense than ever before about what the film is all about. I won’t be writing about the movie until I have a chance to see it again. But I will say that the third act Hulk is as believable a piece of CG as has ever been created, including the ocean of The Perfect Storm. Don’t bother writing me to tell me about the Super Bowl commercials anymore, okay?

#19 of 382 OFFLINE   Scott Weinberg

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Posted June 19 2003 - 06:09 PM

Only a few hours until the HTF Movie Brain Trust starts pouring in with their opinions! I really do hope that all the purists out there enjoy the movie. My bet is people will be split right down the middle.

Me, I'm in the Posted Image camp. My review is accessible via the link below should anyone care what a dork like myself has to say.

Now all I have to look forward to is a weekend of Kate Hudson and Kelly Clarkson. Scott smash.

#20 of 382 OFFLINE   David Rogers

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Posted June 19 2003 - 07:47 PM

The script was very poor. Tremendous changes were wrought in the origin, turning it from an accident that releases his repressed rage into a genetic anomoly passed down by his father. This, obviously, leads into a tale of father-son angst/rage.

The problem is, the characters are all written without depth or dimension. Some lack even a single dimension. I respect and enjoy Eric Bana, Sam Elliot, and Nick Nolte as actors. Their parts were under, if at all, written. Complete lack of any sense of attachment or identification with these characters. Poor Jennifer Connelly, they gave her a part that was a joke. They really just wanted a dark haired beauty to stare longingly into the camera; they could have gotten a no-name actress and let Ms. Connelly do something more worthy of her than this script was.

The most sympathetic and emotive character was the Hulk himself, and he has fewer lines than Kurt Russell in Soldier (a film I've heard many slam for being wooden). The CG Animators did a tremendous job, but even with the action the movie fails.

The most interesting and enjoyable Hulk sequence is the second one, where he saves Betty from the Hulk Dogs. Even though I was thinking of Kevin Smith's tale of his Superman Script (on the Evening with Kevin Smith dvds, where he talks about his dealing with Jon Peters), where the line is "and he needs to fight something here, maybe a polar bear or something?"

The Hulk Dog fight was a "ooh, time for action", very poorly set up. However, it was the best fight as it gave Hulk something to be fighting for and over; he was fighting to protect and save Betty. When he sees Betty for the first time, then gently lifts her, then places her in the car for safety before going at it with the dogs, good stuff. The fight was fairly nice, and then ended well. Probably the best whole scene in the entire movie.

Things just happen for no apparent reason throughout the script. "I'll keep him sedated for the rest of his natural life." General Ross tells Betty, then after a one minute conversation Bruce and Betty are walking around up top. Then suddenly the even more one-dimensional character than the already poorly written main characters shows up to be mean to the Hulk again.

Launching us into probably the centerpiece action sequence of the film; Hulk vs the US Military. General Ross requests "every available asset to deal with the threat", okay probably one of the better lines (telling you how bad most of them are, poor Sam); but this results in four Commanche(?) helicopters, followed a few minutes later by four Abram tanks. Over quickly, and as in as silly a manner as the script moved Hulk into this fight, Hulk is away from it and bouncing along again.

The best part of the movie was the clever and, I thought, very story-additive way Lee used comic book type panels as cuts and edits throughout the film. Hard to describe in just a sentence or two if you haven't seen it; the screen splits sometimes to show multiple angles and views of the same scene in 'real time', and some cuts are done with CG. I found the cutting technique to be very effective and thought it enhanced the storytelling. It would be nice to see it used on a movie worthy of the device.

If you take just the Hulk action stuff, I guess you'd have a very expensive CG cartoon that runs about thirty minutes. It'd be a far better film than what Ang Lee proferred up on the movie screen I was sitting in front of thirty minutes ago.

I rank this in the bottom of all comic / superhero flicks. As an action flick, it's also in the bottom. As a dramatic story, it's down in the area where you have to use expensive lab equipment to figure out just how bad it is. I had no high or even hopeful expectations for Hulk, but I truly did expect the action would at least be vaguely entertaining or interesting just because I always enjoy a good show. But even that was stripped of any sense of interest or enjoyment.

The Hulk animation itself is stunningly good, very well done. Effects are not this movie's problem. Use of them is; the backdrop they're used against is, the lack of real and interesting characters is.

FWIW, I found CTHD to be an extremely enthralling and VERY well told story, that also included very carefully done chorography that added depth to the story. Hulk shows none of the brilliance or touch CTHD did. Daredevil was slammed earlier this year for being somewhat flat and unengaging; I found Daredevil to be mostly enjoyable even if occasionally flawed.

Looking over the IMDB listings for the two credited scriptwriters, nothing strikes me as a worthy or enjoyable script on their resumes (one has almost no credits, the other some dramatic stuff of varying degrees). But as bad as the script is, Ang Lee holds the ultimate failure here since he decided to shoot with the script.

Heck, the Legally Blonde 2 trailer the theater ran before the movie had a better story than Hulk. Posted Image

Based on the turnout at the theater, and the comments I heard folks making on the way out, I'm kinda thinking it probably won't make it to US$100mil. I'm seriously wondering how it's opening will go; if it doesn't open at atleast US$30mil, I don't believe it'll even make it to the century mark. Regardless, I expect it'll have a huge dropoff from week one to two, and it wouldn't surprise me to see a Sunday dropoff on opening weekend either.

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