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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: The Incredible Hulk

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #19 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Okay now that we’ve talked about the filth that is Hulk, now we get to talk about the much better Hulk film that came out in 2008, The Incredible Hulk.

Alrighty then, time to talk about a much better Hulk film. I remember seeing this film in 2008 and thought it was okay, better than Ang Lee’s one but not anything to talk about when compared to Iron Man a month prior. In the years since the film’s release I’ve watched this film and it hasn’t really gotten any better. so here we are in 2013 watching it again for the sake of my superhero film reviews, so let’s dive in once again!

In this film the plot involves Bruce Banner as he becomes the Hulk as an unwitting pawn in a military scheme to reinvigorate the super soldier program through gamma radiation. On the run, he attempts to cure himself of the Hulk before he is captured by General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, but his worst fears are realized when power-hungry soldier Emil Blonsky becomes a similar but more bestial creature. And lastly there’s Betty Ross, Banner’s love interest and General Ross’ daughter who gets stuck in the middle of all this chaos.

The story was pretty decent for the most part. I was glad that this film decided to created a new story rather than connect itself to the previous film. I liked how this story was pretty straightforward and not overly layered and full of pointless plot lines (like the 2003 film). There were also a lot of references to the 1970’s TV show that I worked well and was interconnected with the comics too. The pacing in the film is a bit questionable going from swift to very slow at points especially when it came to the love scenes, and speaking of those scenes… I have to say I wasn’t too keen on the relationship between Bruce and Betty, I didn’t believe the connection between them and felt like the dialogue could have been better to develop them.

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Now let’s talk about the cast starting with Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Ed Norton was a great choice for Banner, Norton looks the part and was definitely better portraying the character’s issues with his inner demons and longing for Betty Ross. Norton also seemed smarter and much more active than Eric Bana’s interpretation. And also I loved how Lou Ferrigno returned to voice Hulk in this film, he has a great voice for the character and I liked his contribution to this film. Then there’s Liv Tyler as Betty Ross. Firstly I have to say that I am a massive admirer of Liv Tyler, she is gorgeous and so pretty, so having her as Betty Ross was an automatic win. Tyler was pretty good as Betty and that’s all I have to say on the matter.

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Now let’s talk about Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination. Roth is a good actor and while he did a decent job in this film, I wasn’t keen on how arrogant and power-hungry he was. I also didn’t like the treatment of Blonsky’s character, he was very plain and generic and I hated how he got powers before actually becoming the Abomination, it felt illogical. And there’s William Hurt as General “Thunderbolt” Ross, Sam Elliot was pretty good in the last film, though Hurt was about on the same level as Elliot, but I preferred the look of Hurt in this film. Tim Blake Nelson also played the scientist Samuel Sterns, he was kind of annoying and overly excited about Bruce and his powers and I felt like it was a waste of a good comic book character. And the cameo from Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark at the end of the film was greatly appreciated.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually this film is pretty good and creates a much darker and moodier atmosphere with its use of colour, lighting and more horror-based references. The action scenes and sequences in this film, while not as over-the-top as Hulk, are much more impressive sporting a lot better CGI, camera angles and realism. I also want to highlight the fact that this Hulk looks WAY BETTER in this film than he did before. 2003’s Hulk was a fat blob who was in no way scary or intimidating, in this film Hulk is beastly, he’s ripped, all muscle and he looks like a force of nature that you should be afraid of. This film also had much better animation and sound effects. When the Hulk, military or Abomination jump, hit, crash and smash, it actually sounds and feels realistic, unlike that crappy film before that had so many issues with the impact of its sound effects and having decent animated action scenes. As for the soundtrack by. Craig Armstrong is nice. I liked it, there was definitely a better sense of urgency and drama going on with this soundtrack and while it lacked the diversity of Danny Elfman’s score in the previous film, this film has a better overall tone.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? As I said before I’ve only read bits and bobs of Hulk comics, but I feel like this film done a better job of creating some of the elements that would make a good live action Hulk film. The Hulk character was improved a great deal, there was also the inclusion of the characters Abomination, Doc Samson and Samuel Sterns. The main issue I found with this film is the treatment of the Abomination. His character not only looks completely different and ugly, but his origins are completely altered too.

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So to conclude The Incredible Hulk is a decent film and is a HELL of a lot better than the 2003 film. The problem is that this film is just not incredible, it’s just adequate. This film lacks the proper pull that can be found in Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. The film has a good cast and good action scenes, but the story is just not there, the villain is lame and the action for all of its merits does get a little boring towards the end. This is not The Incredible Hulk, this is The Adequate Hulk.

Rating: 6/10 (Good, but by no means incredible)

So there’s my review people, only 11 more to go. So have you seen The Incredible Hulk and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Super Review

Howdy people, time for me to review another film that’s not currently showing at the cinema and today’s review will be on Super. Now this was a film I was initially interested in seeing back in 2010 because it looked alright from the trailers, but after the reviews came out I sort of discarded it. But since Mark Kermode on his recent Kermode Uncut video said he liked the film, I thought I’d give it a watch.

So when it comes to the story in this film follows Frank Darbo, a normal guy who has a good life with his wife, Sarah. However after his wife falls under the influence of a drug dealer by the name of Jacques,Frank transforms himself into the Crimson Bolt, a superhero with the best intentions, though he lacks for heroic skills. Along the way he meets a girl called Libby who becomes his sidekick Boltie and together to fight crime together and go off on a mission to save Frank’s wife from the forces of evil.

The story in this film is pretty simple but plays out in a very over-the-top, strange and quite unnatural fashion. You basically follow Frank over the course of his adventure to get his wife back and how his actions both as a superhero and as himself affect the people around him. There are funny, awesome, strange and fucked up stuff that goes down in this film. Annoyingly there are some really cool or hilarious moments within this story, but a lot of it is offset but some weird, vulgar and unnatural elements that make the film not nearly as enjoyable as it could have been. The film also had problems with trying to find the balance between humor and scenes of seriousness too.

Then there are the characters of Super who are a mixture of cool, weird and just plain old assholes. Let’s start with Rainn Wilson as Frank Darbo / The Crimson Bolt. Wilson made for a good, if not stupid and lovable protagonist. Frank is a bit of a fucked up individual, he has some strange habits and ideas of what justice is, but that’s what makes him so funny and some his actions as Crimson Bolt was nothing short incredible. Then there’s

Ellen Page as Libby / Boltie, now this is only my second Ellen Page film but I honestly liked her in this film. As Libby Page gave a great performance as this comic book girl who eventually comes to work with Frank and help his cause and satisfy her need to do crime fighting too. As Boltie she is a violent nutcase but that is something that also makes her funny and awesome, plus in her costume Page did look pretty hot too. Wilson and Page had pretty good chemistry for the most part although there were some weird moments from time to time.

Kevin Bacon as Jacques was great. Bacon played this hilarious was a right asshole who had a way with words and was pretty funny throughout. Also Nathan Fillion as The Holy Avenger was hilarious. His character was a fictional person from a comic book series and TV show and I loved him, he was one of the best aspects of this film. You could tell that Fillion was having fun with this role but I couldn’t help but see him as Mal from Firefly under the mask. Michael Rooker as Abe was also pretty funny, having not a lot to say but when he was on-screen he was doing something funny and lastly Liv Tyler as Sarah Helgeland was nice though her character didn’t do nearly as much as the others mentioned before.

As for the presentation it’s good but also pretty weird. Basically this film has an animated sequence which is accompanied by music and it is nice, colourful and amusing and there are also moments in the film where it has little animated moments similar to the old Batman TV series when people get hit or shot. Also this film is pretty violent, now I’m all for violence, in some cases I love it, but in this film its sometimes painful to watch and some of the visual stuff that goes down in general is just plain awkward yo.

In conclusion Super is an interesting film and definitely was entertaining, that being said it one of the strangest superhero/comedy films I have come across. The best way to describe Super is like calling it the twisted and slightly fucked up little brother of Kick-Ass. The film was a lot better that I expected it to be but it was also very unnatural and unlike anything that I’ve seen before, by the time the film was over I felt both entertained and partially disturbed haha.

Rating: 7/10 (It’s good but really freaky yo)

So have you seen Super and if so what are your thoughts on the film? Whatever it is drop it in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. 😀

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Robot & Frank Review

Ever since I saw the trailer for this film back in either November or December last year I knew I just had to see it. Robot & Frank looked so different from most film and it looked like it’d be a good time with a great story and cast. So I finally got around to watching on the weekend just gone and I can easily say that it’s the best film I’ve seen this year.

The story is set in the near future where a retired cat burglar by the name of Frank, he lives alone and has to deal with dementia and other mental issues. Both of his adult children are concerned for his well-being so one day Frank’s son Hunter buys Frank a robot which is meant to look after him and improve his physical and mental health. What follows is a bond that begins to form between the two of them which in turn gets Frank back in the mind-set to go back to his old ways of cat burglary with his new friend.

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The story in the film is just beautiful and precious, there are a good few things going on in this film like Frank’s detachment from his family and his whole isolated living pattern, but at the centre of the film is this connection between the Robot and Frank. The film deals with the question; can you be friends with a robot? And there’s also themes covered like the life and death, the progression of technology versus the past and artificial intelligence being slaves to humans. There are also science fiction elements as well it never distracts you from the main story and after a while you kind of forget that it’s there unless there’s the odd scene of advanced technology on-screen.

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Besides the lovely story it’s really the cast that makes this film shine. Frank Langella as Frank was great; he handled his role with great style, humour and drama. Frank was funny and had a lot of good lines of dialogue, also he was a character you were always rooting for even when he wanted to steal from other people it’s just because he was well-organized and had a very charming personality. Peter Sarsgaard as the voice for Robot was great, he delivered so many great lines of dialogue and for a robot it did have a dry sense of humour and an interesting way of thinking too. I also need to give props to Rachael Ma doing the body work for the robot which must not have been easy so props to her too!

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Susan Sarandon was looking lovely as Jennifer in this film and she also did well as the librarian that Frank visits from time to time. James Marsden as Hunter and Liv Tyler as Madison were nice as Frank’s concerned children who check up on him via phone calls and home visits, both have different ideas of what is good for their father and I liked how they had different feelings and approaches to the use of the robot. I also really liked the soundtrack by Francis and the Lights especially the song “Fell on Your Head”, that was just beautiful!

In conclusion Robot & Frank is a beautiful film about finding friends and making connections at the most unexpected points in life, it’s just funny, smart and heartbreaking all at the same time. It bothers me so damn much that we in the UK had to wait until March to get it when the US got in back in August last year. What the actual hell? Anyways if you’re looking for a good quiet bit of entertainment in the cinema at the moment give this film a try; it is definitely worth your time.

Rating: 8.5/10 (I highly recommend it!)

So what did you think of Robot & Frank? Did you like it or dislike it? Whatever your thoughts just drop them in the comments section below and I’ll see you on the next film review yo. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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