Action / Sci-Fi


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June 21, 2013 at 10:42 PM



Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross
Sam Elliott as Ross
Eric Bana as Bruce Banner
Nick Nolte as Father
720p 1080p
900.90 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 18 min
P/S 17 / 25
1.90 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 18 min
P/S 9 / 38

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jriddle73 10 / 10

"Hulk" & the state of criticism of it

Ang Lee's "Hulk", at two years after.

Perusing the negative reviews of the film collected at the Rotten Tomatoes site, I'm stricken by the degree to which the negativity directed at it by allegedly professional film critics is based upon the fact that it dashed (rather than living up to) their rather low expectations for it. The assumptions underlying so many of the criticisms are that the film is supposed to be a brainless "summer blockbuster," but isn't. Another variation: that it's a film based upon a comic book, and that all such projects are supposed to be mindless rubbish for dazzling bumpkins (To those of us with some genuine knowledge of the field, this variant is particularly entertaining in that it's inevitably accompanied by a string of authoritative assertions regarding comics which demonstrate only the offended critics' abysmal ignorance of the medium). "Hulk," it seems, doesn't know its place; it commits the sin of aiming for something more than mediocrity. In a sense, this is a testament to the film's quality. It clearly doesn't cater to such low expectations.

Criticism of the film's CGI--a more common one at places like IMDb where there's far less pretense that a poster actually has anything of value to say--can be set aside as the superficial whining it is. In spite of what so many "summer blockbuster" fans seem to think, special effects aren't a story; they're just a means of telling one. The CGI in "Hulk" is competent. Beyond that, it doesn't matter.

Likewise the vacuous "it's boring" complaint. Modern viewers with no attention span be advised up front that you will find "Hulk" challenging, and would be better served by spending your "entertainment" budget on trash like "The Phantom Menace" and "The Day After Tomorrow," and leaving the real movies to the adults.

I don't insist that a fan of typical Hollywood summer fare actually offer some rational critique of the picture--I'm not a cruel man. I do, however, insist that, for anyone who expects to be taken seriously, "Hulk" must be accepted or rejected for what it really is. For my part, I think it's a misunderstood minor masterpiece, a film in the vein of "Blade Runner", "Excalibur," and "Once Upon A Time In The West"--all generally snubbed in their day, all now just as generally hailed as classics. I'd like to think I live in a society where this is the fate that one day awaits "Hulk"; it certainly deserves it. Time will tell, I suppose.

Reviewed by flipcritic 8 / 10

The most introspective of the Marvel superhero movies that have come out so far

Of all the big name superheroes Marvel has to offer, HULK is one of the easiest to gravitate to. It's not hard to find what makes him appealing. Superficially, he is an unstoppable raging behemoth whose strength is rarely matched. This alone would be an obvious foundation for a film franchise. What is surprising (and ultimately refreshing) about this one is its willingness to explore the depth of the Hulk's dilemma. If the film's jade giant were absent from this movie, its story could still be the frame for another.

The movie starts with an army scientist named David Banner who performs genetic experiments for the government. He carries one out on himself before fathering his son Bruce. After a few years into Bruce's childhood, a tragic event occurs, which results in David's incarceration for 30 years and separation from his son.

Upon maturing, Bruce also becomes a scientist. Instead of his father's obsession with genetics, he develops a fascination for gamma rays and nano-med (almost subatomic medicinal) technology. He becomes victim of a lab accident that unleashes the Hulk; partly due to genetic mutation he inherited from his father, who just happens to work on the base as janitor, recently released from his sentence. To make things more interesting, Banner's co-scientist, Betty Ross is his former flame. And she just happens to be the daughter of General Ross, the man who jailed David Banner during his family's tragedy. It is this terrible event that holds the key to why Bruce transforms to his monstrous side, and to how their reunion will end.

The movie starts slow, with admirable character development. By the time the Hulk appears, everyone's motivations are known with each personality sharply distinguished. Ang Lee loves showing humanity and human frailty in his stories as he has done exceptionally in EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN, THE WEDDING BANQUET, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, and THE ICE STORM. We discover the hidden storylines, the human aspects that can be just as interesting as the action. We discover that Bruce and Betty have both had fathers that they could never count on (that's probably what brought them together). We see David Banner and General Ross not primarily as power hungry males, but as caring fathers as well. We experience Bruce Banner's awkwardness and inability to express himself adequately, which makes us understand all the more why he begins to `enjoy' transforming into his raging alter-id.

Though it's true that the Hulk doesn't appear until 45 minute into the movie, once he does, the action hardly stops. Sure there are scenes of destruction, but they are calculated, punctuating turning points in the movie, instead of bombarding the audience as mayhem in others. The backdrops upon which these action sequences are set upon are breathtaking. The battles rage from an underground base, to the vast majestic Monument Valley landscape, all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge and even to the very stratosphere. I can still vividly recall Images of the Hulk clashing with `hulk-dogs' in the California Redwood forests and him being chased by helicopter gunships in a concave rock formation in the Arizona desert.

People remember Ang Lee for CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, which many consider (present company included) to be the greatest martial arts picture ever made. It left such big shoes to fill, even for Lee (At one point TIME Magazine labeled him, `America's Best Director'). Those who recall CROUCHING TIGER remember its sublime images of combat, but what set it apart in its genre was its poetic character involvement. We cared deeply for Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien, for their values, and for their quest for the green destiny. Lee does the same for HULK. In exposing its characters to danger, he wishes to reveal the gravity of their situations. Hardly ever does anyone utter a mutter a snappy line, emote a mushy sentiment, or deliver a cliche expression.

Compare Bruce Banner's discovery of his newfound abilities with Peter Parker's (of SPIDER-MAN). He reacts with deep fear and confusion, whereas Parker reacts with excitement and exhilaration. The latter may be more amiable for audiences, but if I found out that I was growing microscopic claws on my fingertips and spewing webbing from my wrists, I'd be freaking out. Spider-Man has the comfort of shooting off a few quips along with his webs as he confronts his foes. Banner, along with other characters in HULK have no such luxury. The movie is not without joy though. It has several humorous moments, none of them in a light-hearted sense though.

It should be said that this picture was blessed with a great cast. Eric Bana (BLACK HAWK DOWN & CHOPPER), who has star written all over him, conveys inner turmoil-slash-solidity very effectively as Bruce Banner. The ever-beautiful Jennifer Connelly reprises her wife-of-a-brilliant-but-mentally-unstable-scientist role from A BEAUTIFUL MIND as Betty Ross. I thought her main purpose was to appear as a captivating yet unreachable beauty for both Banner and the Hulk, and she serves her role perfectly. Nick Nolte has to my mind never given a bad performance, and he appears valuably scruffy and deceivingly two-faced as David Banner (he could be confused for one of the hulk-dogs). But of all of the main players, Sam Elliot (THE CONTENDER, WE WERE SOLDIERS, & THE BIG LEBOWSKI) impressed me the most with his controlled and palpable intensity as General Ross. At one point, with his glistening complexion and bulging neck veins, he looked more intimidating than the Hulk.

The movie has a lot of other assets. It has a memorable score by Danny Elfman (who also did BATMAN and SPIDER-MAN). It has beautiful cinematography by Frederick Elmes (THE ICE STORM). It has wondrous visualization by using split-screens like window panes in comic books, such as several angles in one shot, or one window opening up into another (this is the most inventive use of the technique since Brian De Palma's FEMME FATALE). It also has buried moments of lyrical dueling between different characters. When Betty Ross says, `You weren't that hard to find.' and Banner retorts `Yes I was.' that instant carried a greater emotional weight. You'll understand it once you see it.

Fans of the Hulk (like me) will be familiar with the several storylines that have been amalgamated into the screenplay, one of them being David Banner, who is Bruce's character in THE INCREDIBLE HULK TV series (speaking of which, Lou Ferrigno, who portrayed the TV Hulk, appears in a cameo with Stan Lee). The rest I leave up to the `Hulksters'. But for all the pluses that HULK has, the ones that I will take home with me are its ideas. That the Hulk is not just rage, he is pure innocence. He only smashes when provoked. He is a near mindless brute, but when calm, he is a child. He smites tanks that fire at him as a toddler would kick a toy after tripping over it.

As a character, the Hulk is the ultimate childlike id, the source of all instinctual impulses and demands for immediate satisfaction of primitive needs. As a film, THE HULK is the most introspective of the Marvel superhero movies that have come out so far. The X-MEN films have had the disadvantage of having too many characters, resulting in too many protagonists to follow. SPIDER-MAN and the BLADE movies were all about entertainment. Many comic book films barely touch on their themes, but HULK actually wants to deal with the issues it raises. No wonder I gravitate to it.

Reviewed by Pi72 8 / 10

Interesting and different superhero adaptation

Hulk is an excellent action/drama and science-fiction film based on the classic superhero (or antihero) The Incredible Hulk. Following the trend on the last years about recycling comic superheroes, Hulk's turn became a very interesting alternative to other formulas used in several of these adaptations.

Knowing that many people consider this movie as dull and boring, please let me state that it's far from being dull. After the critics towards Spiderman just scratching the surface of character development, and where other movies simply failed miserably (e.g. Daredevil), we should be grateful that we can finally see some depth in the main character as we're used in the good comics.

Ang Lee's direction shows his usual way of telling stories, in a sensitive and personal way. Instead of letting the movie drown in its limitless action possibilities, he conducted the story through a sensible path. The editing work, which remarkably resembles comic frames in many scenes, and contains some awesome transitions, is simply wonderful.

And all this not forgetting Hulk's main point: a green, angry mass of power and destruction. The movie has some of the best action scenes I've seen lately, which makes me wonder what is expecting some people who blame this movie for its lack of massive fights against entire armies. My opinion is that the action scenes of Hulk are perfectly balanced; more than showing Hulk's sheer strength but never going completely overboard. And also showing some of Hulk's main weaknesses, keeping the character real and not entering the area of fantasy.

One side of this movie that people also seems to throw tantrums about, is the refurbishing of Hulk's origins. The story of Bruce Banner's transformation has been updated with including today's technology, and making it in my humble opinion much more interesting and 'believable' than the original. Not being a huge fan of Hulk's comics, I didn't feel personally attached to the original story, so I actually liked it more. But I can understand that the purists or the die-hard fans will be disappointed by these changes.

Along with Hulk's origins, the plot includes good science-fiction elements. Don't misunderstand me; the stuff is in general barely believable. A scientist conducting advanced genetic experiments in 1965 (all by himself!) is not a good start... But in the end, it doesn't matter. This superhero adaptation is as good science-fiction as other excellent adaptations like X-Men (including its sequel X2), where others will just remain as good or bad action films with just some sci-fi scattered around. Where others lost their opportunity, Hulk didn't.

What other things are good in this movie? Well, the main actors all do a good work, specially Jennifer Conelly and Nick Nolte. The special effects are great, and while there are entire scenes made just of CGI, they're still not the strong point of the movie. The plot and dialogues aren't just bridges between computer generated action scenes, which I'm thankful for. Furthermore, the plot is also rich in references to the comic, Hulk's enemies and other subtle things. The movie is full of small details (has anyone noticed the frog over the hat in the final scene?) which reward you when watching it a second or third time.

The main down of the movie might be that followers aren't used to see Hulk in this way, a deep and sensitive character, and probably expected more action and enemy-smashing and less deep dialogues running after child traumas... Which could explain its relatively low rating and some bad critics. Maybe I just connected very well with this movie and that's why I put it so well, but I can also see that the elements of this film, taken independently, also have their merits and all together form a solid production. In my opinion, of all the comic superhero adaptations, Hulk is the most interesting and best quality one which I've watched to date. I just wish people would concentrate more on enjoying this different view of a superhero's life. But oh well, each one has different tastes.

And one final note. The soundtrack is absolutely wonderful!

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