Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Well, this weekend, we went to the The Incredible Hulk, Marvel's franchise reboot, and the second movie produced under Marvel's financing deal that allowed them to make their own movies rather than licensing them out to other movie studios to butcher. In case you couldn't tell from the title of this post, I thought it kicked ass. Now, don't get me wrong, I did like Ang Lee's version (entitled, simply, Hulk). I just thought this one was much better. The special effects were better, the action was better, the acting was better (Ed Norton - go figure) and the emotion between Bruce & Betty was better.

I was actually surprised that it didn't do better in the box office opening weekend. We went to a 10:30 a.m. show on Saturday and the theater was half to two-thirds full. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and I thought it kicked ass. I was thinking the gross would be about equal to the 2003, or maybe a little more. I'm hoping it's got some legs though, like Iron Man has, and avoids the almost 65% drop that Hulk experienced in its 2nd weekend. Iron Man has been out six weeks, is still in the Top 10, has dropped 50% or less every weekend and is breaking $300M worldwide as I type this. It's a good enough movie, and should avoid the nosedive. Which leads me to my rant. Above was the good. Below is the bad.

What pisses me off about this movie is what pissed me off with the first one - the media. For the past two weeks, the mainstream media has talked about nothing but whether this movie was necessary, and how terrible Norton's feud was with Marvel over the final cut of the movie. If the jackasses actually read anything by the people who were actually involved in the "feud," they would know that there was no huge battle. There was a disagreement on the first cut of the movie, which ultimately went in the studio's favor. Norton rarely, if ever, does publicity for his movies, but the media kept saying he was "boycotting" doing it for this one. The media kept claiming that the studio was keeping Norton's name off of the writing credits (despite his extensive rewrites of the script - at the studio's request), but the Writer's Guild made that call. I think they really hurt the grosses on the movie. They did the same thing with the 2003 version. By the Saturday night of the first weekend of release, the media was reporting how the box office was plummeting for the Hulk, and how terrible fan reaction was. I think people stayed away on Sunday as a result. Go to Mania (a "genre" (read fantasy/sci-fi) website) and read the comments on any Hulk article. You will see that there were quite a few people who thought Lee's version was good. Maybe not the direct copy from the comics that many fans expected, but an interesting and entertaining movie nonetheless. You didn't hear that from the media, though. Not until this movie came out, then suddenly critics who drubbed the first one when it came out are saying, "Oh, this one is an action-filled mess, the first one was so intelligent." Grrr.

In any case, if you like a good superhero movie, go see Iron Man. Seriously. It rocks so much more than either Hulk movie. Probably one of the best superhero movies ever made. BUT... If you've already seen IM (twice, in my case), go see The Incredible Hulk. It's worth the time and money.

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