Hulk Review

Yep, Ang Lee’s Hulk. You knew we had to talk about it eventually. I saw this movie in theatres when I was six years old, and for a while I was just as into it as the first Spider-Man movie. Also the Ben Affleck Daredevil. The point is I grew up, developed an actual discerning taste in movies, and eventually went on to see a much better Hulk movie┬áin 2008. And since then the infamy of the terrible original Hulk movie continued to grow. Go up to anyone who was a comicbook fan in the early 2000’s and just say “Ang Lee Hulk” and I guarantee they’ll have something to say. I think the biggest problem with this movie is that the people involved seem to have very little respect for comicbooks as a medium. It’s one thing to have a comicbook movie be a little corny, or cater too much towards children, but Ang Lee seems to think that comics are such a silly little kid thing that he can’t even make a literal translation into film, but rather has to turn it into a parody of the medium itself. The movie is full of moments where the screen separates into comicbook panels to show two different angles of the same shot at the same time. Not only is this stupid, but it can be really disorienting and make it hard to focus on what’s happening. And it’s not like this just happens once or twice; almost every scene transition does it. There’s even a scene where the secondary villain dies in an explosion, and they do like a weird freeze frame with a cartoon outline around the character. It’s shit like that that makes this movie hard to take seriously. But the way bigger insult than the gross over stylization is the complete refusal to actually use any of the characters or story elements from the comics. Not only do they make Hulk’s origin totally ridiculous and overcomplicated, but they use a villain who’s not even in the comics. Instead of Abomination, or the Leader, or Doc Samson, or Absorbing Man, or Red Hulk, or Zzzax, the use Bruce Banner’s father (a completely different character than he was in the comics with a completely different name) who has some kind of super vague energy absorption powers. What a giant middle finger to the fans. And speaking of ludicrous villains, they are also Hulk dogs in this movie. But what really sucks about the whole thing is the wasted potential. There’s about forty minutes, roughly in the middle of the film, where Hulk breaks out of a government containment facility and just jumps through the desert being chased by military tanks and helicopters. The fight eventually ends in San Francisco, where Hulk jumps on to a military jet and gets flown all around the golden gate bridge. And this single forty minutes, where nothing is happening but the Hulk fighting the military, is awesome. It’s so cool. It’s beautiful, and cinematic, and well directed, and looks like it leapt right off the comic page. That forty minutes is everything everybody wanted from a Hulk movie. The only problem is that it’s both proceeded and followed by so much bullshit that it makes the overall film completely irredeemable. And so the great director, great cast, and some really great action go completely to waste in this complete fucking mess of a movie. Damn shame.

Overall Rating: Not so Incredible/10


Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie Review

I love the fuckin’ nerd. Let’s get that out of the way first, I’m a big fan going into this review. And as a fan and frequent watcher, I’ve been waiting a loooooooong time to watch this movie. Anybody who watches the Nerd knows what I’m talking about. He’s been in production on it for about five years, and for the last two years we’ve been hearing about how it’s coming out very soon. So to actually sit down and watch it on my computer a few night ago was kind of a surreal experience. I spent about the first half just going “oh my god, I can’t believe this movie finally exists”. But once you get past the excitement, the real question becomes whether or not it actually holds up as a movie. I was really afraid that I wouldn’t like this movie, because honestly I don’t really like it on the web-show when things sort of get away from the actual game review, and obviously that was going to be what the movie was. But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, it definitely requires you to accept it as a pretty silly movie, but if you do that it has a perfect and consistently corny tone that not only fits well with what the movie tries to do, but allows for the scope of the story to seem natural. Like, towards the end there’s a giant robotic death god destroying the world, and you’re sort of just like “yeah, that makes sense”, because by that point in the movie it seems normal. Another thing I really like are the special effects. They’re pretty cheesy, but it’s amazing how much better a terribly cheesy practical effect looks than a slightly crappy CGI effect. I don’t really have a problem with CGI as a tool, I just wish it wasn’t the automatic go to for so many things, because there’s something so great about practical effects. Especially with lower budget films, I really wish more directors would cut it back on the use of CGI. Anyway, this movie is kind of a big departure from the show, but it has a similar enough tone and is full of enough references that it will surely satisfy any major AVGN fan. As a movie itself, the plot does drag a little in places, and the typical female love interest and black sidekick characters get really annoying really fast, but it’s just self aware enough to be fun as hell to watch. I would for sure watch this movie again, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes the nerd.

Overall Rating: Cockburn/10