The Incredible Hulk Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The cover gives the impression that this is an animated movie. Tell me if I’m wrong, but it really doesn’t seem to represent a live action flick. That being said, I still like it for what it is, two hulky guys knocking the crap out of each other, or dancing, you be the judge.

The menu is fully techno’d up with some transparent computer looking interfaces and, of course, the hulk.

Features: 8/10

  • Animated Comic –This is a scene from the movie that started as a set of panels from the comic. It’s very cool the way they animate the drawings with just small movements, not full animation. It’s a nice way to bring the artwork of the comics to life. The scene is in a cave like place and features Betty and Hulk. The movie version has a much different, lighter tone than the original comic version, so you can see how they did try to make the movie it’s own separate piece of the Hulk universe.
  • U-Control (Picture In Picture/Files/Storyboards) –I have not been a fan of U-Control since it began in the past year. It’s awkward and too figgety for me. I like a menu with extras to pick one at a time or play all. U-Control has you clicking buttons while you watch the movie in a special mode. I haven’t liked it so far, but maybe the tide is changing. This time they have one part that offers a 4 split screen of different stages of the scene you are watching. The kicker is that you can full screen the whole thing or whichever element you want to watch more closely THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN WANTING!! If I have to fiddle with the buttons during the movie re-watch, at least now I’ve got some control over how I watch the content…much better.
  • Alternate Opening – This really is nothing more than a deleted scene, but it’s a pretty grim start to the story, so I guess that’s why it’s an alternate beginning.
  • The Making Of Incredible –Behind the scenes, with a lot of discussions with the director. It’s packed full of good movie making for only being about 30 minutes long.
  • Becoming The Hulk – Ed Norton becomes the Hulk through the magic of modern day technology, facial and body motion capture. Like Roth he is able to translate his performace, his own emotions to the fully animated creature on the screen.
  • Becoming The Abomination –Tim Roth talks about his modern acting tools like CGI and motion capture of his face and body. It’s a really good look at the new way to transform a live action human into a fully digital creature with the same emotions and performance.
  • Anatomy Of A Hulk Out –The times the Hulk appears and what the tone, the atmosphere, the environment has to do with that part of the story and how each one can make the most movie impact.
  • Deleted Scenes –Lots of deleted scenes to be watched here, but beware, it can be quite boring. I don’t say that much, but these are kind of the sleeper scenes that even I would not have liked in the final cut. We get a lot of the boyfriend of Betty who would have played a much bigger role in the whole story if he hadn’t ened up here, in the deleted scenes section of the DVD.
  • Feature Commentary With Louis Leterrier & Tim Roth –These guys are enthusiastic about making this movie, so it’s fun to listen to. I enjoy the French and British accents, so whatever they say is just a bonus.
  • Digital Copy For I pod Or Windows –I think this might be a good movie for the digital copy. You can put it on the home theater PC in the living room and let the kids watch a million times without damaging your Blu-Ray baby. 🙂 Beware though, it’s presented in a way that’s kind of funny, just a small paper sleeve in the box with the disc tucked inside. Not classy, just functional.

The Movie: 7/10
“I would sta-aaayy awa-aake, just to hear you breathing…” Oh, wrong movie. Ok, so I think of that song every single time I see Liv Tyler. Not such a bad thing, but still a bit distracting. Other than Aerosmith going through my head every time I see her cute little face, I really enjoyed this movie. Sincerely, truly, deeply, I enjoyed this movie. Maybe deeply is a bit overstated, but I want to be sure to get across that I had a great time watching this movie. I know, I know, it’s not exactly a brain cruncher, but then again, I’m not famous for loving intellectualized entertainment.

If you want to discuss it from the angle that the Hulk is all about how we try to suppress our primal urges of aggression and anger to make way for a more civilized world and how that inevitably leads us to war and destruction because that’s what happens when you bottle the rage like the calm and understated Bruce Banner vs. the brute force of his anger unleashed, well feel free. I personally like the more pure interpretation, a guy gets pissed off and turns into a big green monster.

In case you have lived under a pile of VHS tapes for the past 30 years, or you are too young to remember VHS tapes, you might not know how the original TV series and comic book play out. Scientist Bruce Banner experimented with something that gave him gamma poisoning, which I’m still not clear on what that is exactly. Now, if he gets made he turns green and mutates into this large monsterish type fellow who smashes stuff. He travels the world trying to stay ahead of the military and media and anyone else who wants to harness or exploit his “power”.

In this film adaptation of the hulk’s world, Banner is in Brazil working to find a cure for his problem. He has an old laptop, a dog, and a job in a bottling factory. That is until he’s discovered by William Hurt the gun-ho military chump who wants to turn hulkness into a weapon, and hunted down by Tim Roth, a guy who seems to crave some extra power and thrills right from the get go.

Edward Norton is friggin’ awesome. (enough said)

Live Tyler is Betty, who is the daughter of the military man, and ex-love interest for Banner. She has found a new man in the years since the hulk first took over Banner’s life and he skipped town, but this new boyfriend is kind of a wet blanket if you ask me. He’s a Psychiatrist and does absolutely nothing for the story. He could not exist and it would be fine. Why does a woman HAVE to have a man in her life to be a believable character? It’s so outdated.

The action is outrageous and BIG, along with a really power filled sound track. Every crash and bang and smash sounds amazing! I think that has a big impact on the whole experience. Even if some of the CGI is iffy, that’s forgivable since most of the time it’s done well enough not to be a joke. Some super hero movies have had the crappy CGI syndrome through the years so it’s nice to watch several action sequences that are fun to get lost in and not be distracted by the phony looking digital characters flying around

Ok, so the Hulk and the Abomination don’t really look real most of the time, but they do have some AHHHH moments when they look like they are truly in the moment, in the world, and it’s enough to sail through any scenes that don’t win the award for bringing fantasy and reality together so seamlessly.  it’s the way all the other elements of the movie come together to make that acceptable. The sound, the story, the acting, the sets, the stunts, just everything grabbed me at one point or another to keep me entertained. I can say that if I were more cynical and more picky I might have rolled my eyes a few times, but I was having a good time so I decided to just go with the flow and it was so much more enjoyable.

I”m not ever sure where Hulk fits into the super hero or super villain world. This movie didn’t clear that up for me, but that’s OK. I like how there is not good or bad about him. I mean, yes, he’s Bruce Banner and sometimes he shows a glimmer of knowing who he is, even in full hulk formation. However, when he does go full green he kills some people who get too close, some bad guys, but also some innocent standers-by. You might not notice while you watch the movie, but come on, you can’t toss cars around downtown New York City and NOT kill some Joe Schmo walking around!

Overall I think you can tell, I like this movie. It’s a fun excursion into the Marvel universe and Edward Norton is awesome!!! Movies can just be fun sometimes, not a bad thing to give the world even if it’s in the shape of a large green bundle of angry scientist.

Audio & Video: 7/10
DVD owners will be GREEN with envy when they see the quality of this Blu-Ray release (see what I did there). Universal have taken the second best super hero movie of the year and given it the royal treatment. Presented in 2.35:1 wide screen  using the AVC codec really brings the Hulk to life, there is stunning definition and clarity on every scene. Take the start of the movie which is filmed in the Brazillian Favella’s, there is so much detail to be scene it’s no wonder they chose this area to film in. Flesh tones are also super accurate and dark scenes are never washed out just inky and black as they should be.

Audio on the other hand is over and above what any effort on Blu-Ray disc has done before it, from the opening credits which feature some room shattering bass, to the attack on Hulk at the university everything is presented in ear shattering detail. I would go as far to say that this and Doomsday (another Universal release) are my favorite uncompressed audio tracks of the year. The only disc that might top them is The Dark Knight but with Warner’s track record I am assuming Universal will still be on top come the end of 08.

Value: 6/10
I can’t say this is a “buy me” kind of DVD, not yet anyway. The movie is a good time, the extras are bulky enough, but I’m not really in the mood to buy the big green guy and plunk him on my shelf just yet. If they make more, and Norton still turns my crank, well, I might have to indulge myself. Until then, I say rent this sucker and enjoy with an open mind, open heart, and a few saved bucks to spend on popcorn and candy.

Overall Score 8/10 (for a smashing good time:))