(aka 'Hulk 2')

Directed by Louis Leterrier
USA 2008

 

For five years, Marvel has been trying to figure out what to do with one of the biggest potential franchises of its universe. Ang Lee's Hulk proved to be a dud with fans and producing a direct sequel was as unlikely an alternative as altogether forgoing additional Hulk movies. So the decision was made to "re-imagine" the character, which is a nice way of saying that the 2003 feature would be ignored. The Incredible Hulk is a more traditional superhero movie than its predecessor and should please those who want their not-so-jolly green giant served with helpings of action. This film provides less talk and more smashing.

Structurally, The Incredible Hulk is a fairly straightforward superhero movie. While it is not an "origin story" in the strictest sense, it functions as one in the way it must introduce characters, establish situations and relationships, and open a series. As a result of so much backstory, there's not a lot of room for a complex plot. So the principal villain remains half-formed and the storyline as a whole revolves around three confrontations between the Hulk and this nemesis.

Excerpt from James Berardinelli at Reel Reviews located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 6th, 2008

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DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:52:30 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.98 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUBs: Spanish, French (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (SDH), French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director Louis Leterrier and Tim Roth
• Six deleted scenes
Disc 2

• Alternate Opening (2:33)
• 
Sixteen (10 additional) deleted scenes

• The Making of the Incredible Hulk (29:50)

• Becoming the Hulk (9:22)

• Becoming the Abomination (10:16)

• Anatomy of a Hulk-Out (3 chapters) (27:49)

• From Comic book to creen(6:32)
Disc 3

• Digital version for portable media devices

DVD Release Date: October 21st, 200
8
Keep Case inside cardboard box
Chapters: 19

 

Comments:

Technically a three-disc version with the feature and commentary on the first disc, extra features on the second and the digital version (for portable media devices) on the third.

I wouldn't say the image quality on this dual-layered, progressive and anamorphic Universal DVD is exceptional at all - especially for such a modern film. It has some weaknesses which I'll wager will be corrected by the Blu-ray edition HEREAside from the expected haziness and jerky camera of the CGI sequences - even the standard scenes are not particularly sharp. Colors too seemed a bit flatter than I was anticipating. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Blu-ray but I wasn't impressed with this SD transfer. It is expectantly clean and without undue digital manipulation but I was surprised by the softness of this image - possibly it was shot in this manner.  I'm interested to see the 1080P rendition to confirm or deny this.

Audio gives a decent 5.1 with some buoyancy but nothing to write home about. Hulk grunts and the ensuing damage he reeks give the rear speakers some activity. There is a fair amount of 'fight' action in The Incredible Hulk.  There is also a 2.0 channel English track available and two DUBs. Original music is by Craig Armstrong and I thought it quite subtle at times with a suspenseful touch here and there. He has lot of film scores to his name now. There are optional subtitles in English, French or Spanish.

NOTE: There is also a DVS track (Descriptive Video Services). This sounds like a robot and explains key visual elements as they transpire. It's kind of funny actually but important to have accessible for people who are blind or visually-impaired. I don't recall seeing this feature available before.

Supplements include a commentary with director Louis Leterrier and Tim Roth. They seem to have a good time reminiscing a bit about the production and are generally enjoying each other's company. Also on the first disc we have six deleted scenes which are expanded upon on the 2nd disc which starts with a short alternate opening for 2.5 minutes. Then comes the full extent of the deleted scenes (16 in total). I'm sure this is just a factor of the single-disc edition and there not being enough space for all on the feature DVD. A fairly standard Making of... runs just shy of 30 minutes and has input from many including the director, producer and some of the cast. Ed Norton talks a bit on Becoming the Hulk for 10 minutes and the a similarly short piece on Becoming the Abomination. Anatomy of a Hulk-Out is 30 minutes and takes three separate transformation scenes and dissects the green-guy's evolution. I wish From Comic Book to Screen was longer than 6 minutes as it only touched the surface of the evolution and popularity of Marvel's Hulk. Disc 3 is a digital version for portable media devices. All-in-all probably more than the film deserves but fans shouldn't feel cheated.

Norton makes the film and I wish there was more of Bruce Banner in it. Typical of Hollywood the fight scenes and action are excessive but the development is better than some of the many super-hero flicks perpetuating the screen. I thought director Leterrier did a good job with what he had.

Despite my opinion of the lackluster video quality - it's not the worst way to spend an evening of fantasy and adventure... but I'll take Harryhausen over it any day of the week. I'll cover the Blu-ray when I have it in my possession.   

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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