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Hulk.

i saw Hulk.

i have never really liked the hulk. it's just one of those concepts that never worked for me. it was interesting in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde where hyde would walk over children and was a real bastard, but the superhero version of it, where the hulk helps people, and isn't downright evil and full of rage, has always been a child's compromise that i never liked. which, in short, sums up the major problems i had with the hulk, which explains why i can say that the film was well made, well acted, but i didn't enjoy it as much as previous ang lee films.

the highlight of the film was nick nolte's insane father. yeah, the dogs he kept were a bit of a problem for me, but it was just fun to watch him chew on the scenery, and in one fantastic scene, an electrical cable. eric bana isn't bad, but his role suffers from the repressed bannerness, which while well done, doesn't exactly make for an exciting time on screen. jennifer connelly is good, and sam elliot makes a fine military father who does what he thinks is best for her, and not what she needs. but, as with the comic, i found that i didn't have much of a connection with these characters.

that leaves the film itself.

and despite everything, it's a fine thing. ang lee is the first director in my memory to understand the use of comic panels, and incorporate them into a film with total success. it was fascinating to watch this, from my point of view, but i could see how this might not appeal to everyone. but still, the fade to black after banner is hit by gamma rays, the arrival in the desert station, all of these are done flawlessly, showing that lee understands the comic narrative tools as well as he does the one in film.

beyond this, the film is well paced, well shot, and with a neat resolution between father and son that, while i've heard complaints, i thought was neat. yes, the film isn't lee's best, at least for me, but it's a matter of taste, in my mind as you can't fault the director's vision from a technical point of view.

Comments

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(Anonymous)
Jul. 1st, 2003 04:52 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised that you liked those comic book touches in the hulk. I thought the technique was distracting, transparent and childish. "Look at me I'm honoring the comic book origins of my story! Woohooooo!"
I really didn't need to see a helicopter from 4 different angles. I mean its a helicopter. I GET IT. Leave me alone and let me enjoy the actors, the only decent thing in the film. It's like we need to be reminded that the story is a comic book one so that we'll be able to suspend our disbelief further than a movie normally requires. The only scene in which it worked was the one that the evil young guy walks out of Bruce's office and the screen closes in time with the door. That seemed to work to me and just highlighted the fact that most of the other instances didn't work. Why do I need to see the same thing from different perspectives if it adds nothing to my understanding of the story?
(Anonymous)
Jul. 1st, 2003 05:02 pm (UTC)
As for the crazy father. I thought that was just tacked on for the purpose of having a nemesis and a climacitc final battle. Even for that meagre purpose it failed however. Rule of SFX observation #1: A screen too dark to see clearly in hides poor CGI. When have you EVER seen a nightime depiction as dark as that fight? Considering the cost of CGI you'd think it'd be displayed in all it's polygonal glory. Unless it's really bad.

And Finally. I have decided that I can not stand another evil government looking to corrupt the hero into a superweapon plot ever. I mean this one had it all. The young ex lover scientist who works for the government AND wants to make lots of money. The cold war dinosaur general with a black and white morality that blinds him to real human interaction whilst enabling him to adequately play his role as a cog in the evil US govt machinery. The mad scientist who goes against ethical standards to experiment on himself and then spends his life living out some twisted reversal of the oedipal complex.

Uh. I'm over it lovey, that's all I'm saying.
benpeek
Jul. 1st, 2003 05:16 pm (UTC)
yeah, you'll note that i didn't mention the plot. i didn't expect anything new because, well, i think that's the plot the hulk has had going every time i picked it up. i expected nothing less.

i agree with you about the father, but, well, everyone else was so bland. i just liked seeing someone do something that wasn't repressed or bland. shame about the dogs, however.

i think about the comic paneling, we'll have to just disagree. i thought it worked, for many of the reasons you say it didn't.
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