Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Pitiable Hulk

This post is brought to you by Nathaniel's jumbled chronologies. He refuses to adhere to the insanely disposable whims of mainstream movie culture. It's an unwritten rule but look around: you're really supposed to only talk about the movies that come out that week (i.e. Hancock) or next month and year instead of whatever comes to your mind (The Incredible Hulk).

I've become weirdly impatient waiting for The Incredible Hulk's box office to catch up with the far more polarizing Hulk's box office. Maybe it'll happen today? tomorrow? It didn't happen yesterday (day 18 results pictured left) but it's almost there. It's like I've started feeling sorry for the united front (studio / media / fanboys) who huffed and puffed in unison trying to boost it up whilst tearing Ang Lee's drama down yet again. It's not that I am a huge champion of the earlier thinkier (feelier?) film or a huge opponent of this one, but I've found the whole thing blandly hypnotic... like something you forget you're paying attention to but you are, despite yourself (like wondering when ER will ever be cancelled even though nobody ever talks about it anymore. Will it run as long as Gunsmoke?)

Things I liked about this version...
  • Liv Tyler's impossibly breathy voice -- seriously is something wrong with her larynx? Yet I love it. Maybe I'm still holding the torch for Arwen?
  • Watching Ed Norton's physique fluctuate from scene to scene --not in the CGI gamma ray way but in the "hey, didn't he have bigger muscles in the last scene?!?" kind of filmed out-of-sequence way.
  • The almost subliminal way the thunderous sound mix worked in the green giant's dialogue (at least the first "leave me alone" time)
  • Watching Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) run super fast past his fellow soldiers. I love no trick visuals that sometimes feel more special than f/x that you know cost millions. There's something awesomely David & Goliath about that.
Things I didn't like
  • William Hurt. He was probably my favorite actor when I was falling in love with the movies in the mid 80s but he's so inconsistent.
  • Hoping "Mr. Blue" was going to turn out to be Hank McCoy (aka 'The Beast' --hey, it was a decent assumption given that Marvel Studios wants to make their movie universe cohesive) and then seeing Tim Blake Nelson instead. It's the only time I've ever wished to see Kelsey Grammar in my life, god help me!
  • That it was actually a sequel (no shame in that) pretending it was a reboot (false advertising is so annoying)
  • That it was so easy to shake off after I left the theater. Hulk as a character borrows a lot from classic Internal Drama Queen concepts like Beauty & The Beast, King Kong, Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde etcetera, but he never has similar staying power. He doesn't haunt and Bruce Banner's dilemma really should.
I now return you to the right here and now, July 2nd 2008. Definitely 2005 LA & 1930 Germany next. Maybe summer 1955? Hollywood 1980s. Jamaica in 1962. France in 2000. I can never decided when or where we are. Throw out your calendars!


whitney said...

hmmm...that's funny...I didn't notice Norton's muscle change. I guess I wasn't looking hard enough...


Pedro said...

I didn't like all the plot holes the movie has. Like, the writer believed that all people watching the movie are morons or something. I watched it with a friend and we were constantly rolling our eyes and commenting the general stupidity of the script.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

YES! i noticed the muscle fluctuations! weird!