[oxfordgamers] Re: Ang Lee and Hulk

  • From: "Ted Brengle" <ted.brengle@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <oxfordgamers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 00:33:03 -0400

Ang Lee and Hulk
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Mike Chambers 

  ...but the CG Hulk was kewl.

  Ted tells me that there is a bootleg work print of the film floating around 
that does not contain any of the Hulk CG. I think it's called "Solaris". 
[insert rim-shot]


    And not totally unwarranted: Me brother tells me that the guy sitting next 
to him was snoring after 40 minutes.

    Although I saw it on Friday with Mike and Lynn, I'd previously promised my 
bro I'd see it with him, so I had to see it again today. Luckily, as I was now 
familiar with the film's flaws and shortcomings, I found myself concentrating 
more on the its merits, some of which are quite considerable, if not enough to 
actually save it.

    On the second viewing, what's really clear is that Bana needed to go. 
*Bad*. He doesn't single-handedly kill the movie (as there are other 
significant flaws in how its conceived and implemented), but he clearly went 
above and beyond the call of duty in tanking it. I can't help thinking that the 
first act might not have been quite as excruciating if someone even remotely 
interesting had been cast as the lead.

    The other thing that's clear is that, aside from a few nice nuances here 
and there (an interesting visual flourish involving lightning near the end... a 
free-fall fantasy...) Ang Lee is clearly not particularly inspired with his use 
or presentation of the Hulk. And you can tell when he's inspired: The"secret 
trauma" at the heart of Bruce Banner is revealed in a piece of legitimately 
powerful filmmaking that creates a haunting spell of tragic revelation, despite 
the fact that it is actually a foregone conclusion. It's a marvelously executed 
beat, which Lee directs the hell out of it and Nolte performs just right. 
Nothing else in the film comes close to it and that's the real shame: If the 
rest of the film had performed at that level of insight and resonance, it would 
probably have been the best comic book move ever. Instead, it's mildly 
schizophrenic in both tone and style, and looks like two halves of two wildly 
different movies.

    And that ending still makes no bloody sense. On many levels.

    Still, if a comic book movie has to fail, I far prefer it fail like this; 
aiming for the stars and trying to stretch the boundaries of the genre. It 
didn't succeed, but it is a failure that, for me at least, is at times almost 


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