Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Incredible Hulk...current Top 10...


What is in the water over at Marvel Studios? Seriously. Let me explain. Before this year, Marvel had simply sold their properties to studios to finance and create for film. However, with Iron Man, they began to finance and create films based on their properties, from the ground up. First Iron Man, and now The Incredible Hulk. Does this film live up to the pedigree that Marvel has so far?

The Incredible Hulk is the story of Bruce Banner, a scientist who is accidentally caught in a horrible accident that gives him superhuman strength, and this film is about his struggle, against some pretty heavy odds (an egocentric general and an ever more egocentric soldier) to control and cure this "disease". Elizabeth Ross is his ex flame, and he comes back to his home town to find her and find his cure. However, the general and soldier come looking for him, and it seems that there was much more to this so called accident than was originally thought.

Now, that all said, was the film up to par with Iron Man? Not totally, but it is damn close. The film stars Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross, William Hurt as Gen. Thadeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, and Tim Roth as Emile Blonsky, and all of them give great performances, especially the lead, Norton. He plays the introverted scientist with issues so well, and you really buy that there is something deep inside this guy that is boiling within, just waiting to lash out. You also buy that he really cares and loves Betty, who has a new love in her life. Tim Roth and William Hurt just eat up their roles, and really seem to have fun playing these outlandish characters, Liv Tyler gives the most lackluster of the perfomances, and it's mainly due to the fact that Jennifer Connelly was amazing in this role in Ang Lee's Hulk, and Tyler doesn't quite live up to her. She is fine, but I've seen better. Even the smaller character's are great, and they even have a Stan Lee cameo, that is INVOLVED WITH THE PLOT.

Also, Louis Letterier is brilliant behind the camera, especially in those opening scenes in the Brazillian Favelles. There are some shots during that opening that rival anything I saw in Iron Man, and I may actually give the edge to The Incredible Hulk in the direction. The ending fight secuence is also very well done. It isn't like Transformers where there is no straight on shots of the characters, and in TIH, you get a sense of a person behind the Hulk. While Norton is somewhat lost once he changes, there are moments (a great scene in a cave for example) that really show that there is indeed a man behind this beast. Hell, even the very end Tony Stark cameo is amazing. However, there were a few flaws that sort of hindered my experience.

The biggest problem with this film is the script. I thought I would never say this, and some of you know why, but I really hope that in the sequel, they give more leway to Mr. Norton. Or at least let Letterier and Norton have more control. I've seen articles saying that the studio (Universal) wanted to see a shorter cut, and that Letterier and Norton had a great, about 2 hour and 20 minute cut that they felt would work, but the studio didn't greenlight it. And the film suffered, especially in the sequence where Banner says he needs to go home, and then it cuts to him in his home looking for Betty. I really wanted to see more of the psychological part of the story, and see him wander and try to get home. It really got me out of the film. Also, while the Hulk is a billion times better than Ang Lee's version (which I actually like, quite a bit), there is just something cinematically off about the Hulk, and the attempts to put him on film and t.v. It just doesn't seem to work, and while there are moments, it seems to put you out of the movie, or at least it did for me, just in one or two scenes. But really, this is a great film, and you should all give it a chance!

8/10

Alright, that all said, does it make my top 10 films of this year so far???

10. Charlie Bartlett (Robert Downey Jr. gets this one on the list...)
9. Cassandra's Dream
8. Speed Racer (fuck you, I like it!)
7. Smart People
6. The Incredible Hulk
5. My Blueberry Nights
4. The Orphanage
3. Iron Man
2. Funny Games
1. Paranoid Park

How about the 10 WORST Films I've seen so far!
10. Vantage Point
9. Stop-Loss
8. Cloverfield
7. Untraceable
6. Mad Money
5. Never Back Down (Although, this is still kind of entertaining...)
4. Strange Wilderness
3. The Happening
2. Prom Night
1. Meet The Spartans

Alright guys...the reason I'm doing this list now, is because I will not be around the weekend of June 27th, the actual end of the month, and I would like to get some feedback on movies you guys have liked and disliked this year.

Thats all for now! Come back later for some more news and maybe a DVD review...

Go see something good!

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