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   Review: 'Hulk' great to look at, but a little flat
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Rhune
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Review: 'Hulk' great to look at, but a little flat
« on: Jun 20th, 2003, 4:36pm »
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Review: 'Hulk' not quite all there
Movie great to look at, but a little flat
By Paul Clinton
CNN
Friday, June 20, 2003 Posted: 9:35 AM EDT (1335 GMT)
 
(CNN) -- Ang Lee's film version of Stan Lee's Marvel comic "The Hulk" is a spectacular visual delight.  
 
His use of multiple moving images within the same frame gives the illusion of cartoon panels. The overall production values, computer-generated effects, and editing set a new standard for the adaptation of comic book characters to the big screen.  
 
And all five of the leading actors -- Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas and Nick Nolte -- turn in strong performances.  
 
But the big question remains: How does the big green guy look?  
 
After all, the entire film hinges on whether or not the audience can suspend disbelief long enough to emotionally engage with the Hulk, which is an entirely computer-generated character. The answer -- for me, at least -- is yes and no.  
 
At first the Hulk is introduced in near darkness, so the viewer can slowly get adjusted to his look. Then gradually he's revealed in all his gargantuan glory while smashing through concrete walls and leaping huge distances between Berkeley, California, and some unnamed remote desert location, with half of the United States military in hot pursuit.  
 
Scientific accidents
 
The film starts out fairly slowly. In a remote military base in the middle of a desert, a mad scientist disobeys a direct order given by a very angry military officer and injects himself with some sort of chemical that will change his DNA.  
 
There is no immediate effect until his wife has a baby boy. The son, Bruce, is obviously carrying the distorted DNA. Two nasty, but unclear, events then take place at the military base and at the Banner home -- and suddenly we flash forward to present day.  
 
Australian actor Bana plays Bruce Banner, who has now grown up. He's also a scientist, and he's working in the same field -- genetics -- as his father. But he has no memory about his early childhood or his birth parents, since he was adopted after the disastrous events at the base.  
 
Connelly plays Betty Ross, his fellow scientist and former girlfriend, who has never been able to break down his wall of isolation. Her estranged father (Elliot) just happens to be the same military officer who confronted Bruce's father years ago. He's now a four-star general.  
 
Together, Bruce and Betty are working on some highly secret work that the government -- represented by Lucas, playing an entrepreneur simply named Talbot -- and Betty's father desperately want. Nolte, looking just like he did in his recent wild-haired DUI mug shot, plays Banner's unstable, mysterious father, the mad scientist who caused all the trouble at the beginning of the movie.  
 
After an accident in the lab (isn't there always an accident in the lab?) Bruce's dormant, distorted genes come to life and he becomes the Hulk whenever he becomes angry. Needless to say, Betty is surprised at the transformation. Bruce is also quite shocked, but luckily his modesty is preserved because no matter how huge he gets -- and believe me, he's huge -- his underwear manages to expand with him while all his other clothing is ripped to shreds during the transformation. Who says Spandex isn't a miracle fabric?  
 
CGI extravaganza
   
The movie then becomes an action-packed race for the finish. Betty's father the general wants to use the Hulk for his own purposes; Bruce's father the mad scientist is equally pleased with how things have turned out. And Bruce has to come to terms with it all -- while growing angrier and angrier, bigger and bigger, and more and more dangerous.  
 
From here on in it's a special effects and CGI extravaganza. Fans of the comic book will probably be pleased and thrill seekers in general will get plenty to chew on. And have no doubts -- there will be a sequel.  
 
My connection to our misunderstood muscle-bound hero kept coming and going. Sometimes, I bought it. More often, well, the Hulk looked like a cartoon. Still, it's largely thanks to the wizards at Industrial Light & Magic (and a reported $20 million last-minute makeover) that the Hulk looks as good as he does, and there are moments when his, uh, humanity comes through.  
 
"The Hulk" is sure to be a big hit -- at least until "Terminator 3" debuts. And the movie has a lot going for it. But the Hulk himself just seemed to be a very ticked-off Shrek to me, which makes this comic-book movie a little more two-dimensional than it had to be.  
 
"The Hulk" is rated PG-13 and opens Friday.  
 
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Re: Review: 'Hulk' great to look at, but a little
« Reply #1 on: Jun 20th, 2003, 7:59pm »
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I've watched the film... and its really action packed... and has a good story....    
 
Its a great film to watch... though it may not be as good as Xmen2.. yet.. its a film to watch... Cool Grin
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Re: Review: 'Hulk' great to look at, but a little
« Reply #2 on: Jun 22nd, 2003, 8:33am »
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You know..this is one of those movies I could get mom out to see..we always loved this sort of thing and I got her out to see Spiderman when it came out. But so far..everyone is putting down this movie. I am glad to hear one person say they liked it. I am hoping more do. It looked really good to me..but I'm wierd that way.
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Re: Review: 'Hulk' great to look at, but a little
« Reply #3 on: Jun 22nd, 2003, 9:54pm »
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HEHHE... actually.. that's how i feel here in the office.. coz... most of those whom have watched it disliked it... hehehe....
 
making me feel 'out'... and shy to comment.. hehehhe   Cheesy...
 
im glad as well... someone else liked it... Cheesy
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Re: Review: 'Hulk' great to look at, but a little
« Reply #4 on: Jun 23rd, 2003, 1:11am »
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'Hulk' Smashes June Box Office Records!
By Mike Szymanski
Sun, Jun 22, 2003, 09:06 AM PT
 
   
HOLLYWOOD (Zap2it.com) -- Not surprising, due to the lack of other major action competition, "The Hulk" smashed the box office this weekend, bringing in an estimated $62.6 million over the weekend, according to Exhibitor Relations, which charts box office receipts. It is the biggest June box office opening ever.
 
The film far exceeded the second place, "Finding Nemo," at $20.5 million and third place's "2 Fast 2 Furious" at $10.3 million, which has become the ninth movie of the year to pass the magic $100 million mark, and is still speeding along at $102.1 million total.
 
Ang Lee's version of this Marvel Comic book character, distributed by Universal Studios, far surpassed other June openings, beating "Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me" in 1999 which took in $55 million, and last year's "Scooby-Doo" which hit $54 million.  
 
Compared to other Marvel Comics turned to film, the green giant came in third place. Obviously, "Spider-Man" is number one, still the biggest box office opener ever at $114.8 million, while "X2: X-Men United" opened earlier this year at $85.5 million. "The Hulk" pummeled the first "X-Men" ($54.4 million), "Daredevil" ($40.3 million), both "Blade" movies and "Howard the Duck."
 
Despite mixed reviews, the film also beat the best of the Batman comic book films, "Batman Forever," opening at $52.7 million, and "Men in Black 2" opening at $52.1 million.
 
Other new films over the weekend debuted poorly. Warner Bros.'s "Alex and Emma" opened at $6.2 million and last year's "American Idol" winners couldn't drum up more than $2.87 million with their film "From Justin to Kelly," which 20th Century Fox didn't screen for critics. The movie didn't even crack the top 10 and came in 11th place.
 
Many recent openers saw massive drop-offs, especially "Dumb and Dumberer" which fell 62 percent to $4.2 million, "Hollywood Homicide" which dropped almost by half to $5.8 million and "2 Fast" which dropped 45 percent.
 
Despite the record setting weekend, the overall top 12 movies actually grossed less than the same period last year, which had blockbusters such as "Lilo and Stitch," "Minority Report" and "Scooby-Doo" all opening around the same time. The overall box office was down this year by 5.57 percent, from $150 million to this year's $142 mil.
 
 
Check back Monday for final box office figures for the weekend as reported by Exhibitor Relations.
 
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Re: Review: 'Hulk' great to look at, but a little
« Reply #5 on: Jun 23rd, 2003, 2:06am »
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Wow... that's great!!!  Cool Cool Cool
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