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Hulk

USA 2003
produced by
Avi Arad, Gale Anne Hurd, Larry J. Franco, James Schamus, Kevin Feige (executive), Stan Lee (executive) for Valhalla Motion Pictures, Good Mashine, Marvel Comics/Universal
directed by Ang Lee
starring Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Nick Nolte, Josh Lucas, Paul Kersey, Cara Buono, Todd Tesen, Kevin Rankin, Celia Weston, Mike Erwin, Lou Ferrigno, Stan Lee, Regi Davis, Craig Damon, Geoffrey Scott, Regina McKee Redwing, Daniel Dae Kim, Daniella Kuhn, Michael Kronenberg, David Kronenberg, Rhiannon Leigh Wryn, Lou Richards, Jenn Gotzon, Louanne Kelley, Toni Kallen, Paul H.Kim, John Littlefield, Lyndon Karp
story by James Schamus, screenplay by John Turman, Michael France, James Schamus, based on the Marvel Comics-character created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, music by Danny Elfman, special effects by Michael Lantieri/Gentle Giant Studios, Graphic Nautre, visual effects by ILM, animatronics and puppet effects by Howard Berger, Robert Kurtzman, Gregory Nicotero/K.N.B.EFX Group

Incredible Hulk

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Back in the 1960's, Doctor David Banner (Paul Kersey) performed some experiments on himself concerning the regeneration of tissues, something the passed on to his son Bruce. But then, the good Doctor is fired, goes berserk, blows up his lab, kills his wife (Cara Buono), and is locked away for many years.

Now: Bruce is all grown up (and played by Eric Bana), and he is working on some experiments to cure cancer by way of gamma radiation with his former sweetheart Betty (Jennifer Connelly) - but then an experiment goes horribly wrong, and Bruce shields a co-worker from the gamma radiation with his body - which unexpectedly doesn't kill him but make him stronger. By that time, Bruce's faterh david (now played by Nick Nolte) has managed to track him down though, and he knows that thanks to gamma radiation, Bruce has acquired some special powers - which he somehow unleashes, causing Bruce to grow into a green hulk and destroy his lab.

Army general Ross (Sam Elliott), Betty's father, soon figures out that it was Bruce who has destroyed the lab, but the final proof comes when Bruce turns into the Hulk once more to save Betty from some mutant dogs his father has unleashed onto her ... and thus, Bruce is incarcerated by the army and put in a special facility.

Soon enough, ruthless businessman Talbot (Josh Lucas) is somehow handed the responsibility for Bruce, but since he bears a grudge against Bruce, he can't help mocking him - and soon enough, Bruce turns into the Hulk again, totally destroys the special facility he's kept in and kills Talbot in the process ... then he escapes, wreaks havoc on the countryside and destroys half of San Francisco ... before Betty enters the scene and calms him down - and he is placed under arrest once more.

Daddy David contacts Betty and promises to give him up to the authorities if he can see his son once more, and the deal is fixed ... but what nobody knows is that David has since treated himself with gamma radiation and has turned into a superbeing that can absorb and copy whatever form of matter or energy he touches - and soon it's a showdown between him and the Hulk, a showdown that is only resolved by an army missile that presumably destroys both Super David and the Hulk ... but of course, in the end, Bruce turns up somewhere completely else ...

 

What a waste of time !

Hulk is one really badly scripted film: The story's set-up, which takes up more than 40 minutes (or a third of the way too long film), is way too long and too muddled, several subplots are thrown in but are never properly explored or resolved, characters often lack proper motivation and are introduced into the film or disposed of rather at random, and the finale is just plain silly (even within the context of the movie). Another problem with the film is of course its lead: posterboy Eric Bana doesn't look in the least the part of the brilliant but emotionally deprived scientist, and since his limited acting range doesn't help him one bit either, he totally blows the role. But what really brings the movie down are the pathetic CGI effects: The Hulk (whose face is way too handsome by the way) doesn't look real for even one second, from his first scene onwards it's painstakingly clear that this creature has never left the computer it has been created on, so to speak. Any bodybuilder painted green (like Lou Ferrigno in the 1970's Incredible Hulk TV-series) would have been more convincing. Actually, the only really funny scene in the whole film is towards the beginning when said Ferrigno and Hulk creator Stan Lee from the discuss security issues, but that's little more than a fanboy injoke.

 

For director Ang Lee, who has just landed two successes with the arthouse crowd with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Ride with the Devil, Hulk seemed to be an unexpected and bold step at first, and career suicide after the film tanked at the box office - but he was able to return to form with Brokeback Mountain, which won him an directing Oscar, and the controversial Lust, Caution - which at least proves there is a life after crappy Marvel Comics-adaptations.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD