‘The Incredible Hulk’ Blu-ray Review
This is the second retelling for ‘The Incredible Hulk’ in 5 years. This new version of the ‘The Incredible Hulk’ totally ignores the previous movie released by Universal and Marvel as if it never even existed. While I still enjoyed the previous film, it was severely flawed with pacing, storytelling, and CGI animation. In the previous ‘Hulk’ film, Ang Lee tried way too hard to push the father/son relationship and it turned out as a recipe for disaster. What we have here is a marriage of the 70’s TV show and the comic book of the ‘The Incredible Hulk’ to make one of the better Marvel movies to ever release. With a box office worldwide gross of $259 million dollars and a $137 million dollar budget proving that the new formula worked very well.
‘The Incredible Hulk’ begins with a flashback sequence of an experiment gone wrong to Dr. Bruce Banner (Edward Norton). Dr. Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) is assisting Bruce to test this experiment out. This is when things go bad for Banner and Ross as the experiment backfires causing fire and destruction in the lab. We fast forward to Bruce living on the run trying to find a cure to the gamma radiation which causes him to turn into ‘The Incredible Hulk’. Bruce is on the run from by General “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt) and the military are looking to take his power to use for the military. We can’t have a comic book movie without a villain; enter Emily Blonsky/Abomination (Tim Roth) whom is a crazy soldier on General Ross’s team.
As I mentioned earlier, ‘The Incredible Hulk’ borrows a lot from the 70’s TV show and the comic books. From the theme song of the TV show to Bruce Banner walking the streets as he travels from city to city after turning into the Hulk, it is all in the movie. Right from the pages of the comic books, we get a talking ‘Hulk’, the famous “Hulk Smash”, the introduction of Samuel Sterns, and General Ross persona ripped out of the comics down to the tee. When you marry all these concepts and ideas together, you get one excellent film interpretation of one of Marvel’s most popular comic book heroes. ‘Hulk’ can come off as a villain himself due to the destruction that he causes, but this film really made him look like a hero. I have always looked at the ‘Hulk’ as a superhero that could easily pass as a villain no doubt about it.
The acting all around was superb and I just couldn’t believe how well the entire cast pulled off their duties. What benefited ‘The Incredible Hulk’ the most here is that the writing team and director didn’t spend too much time trying to slowly build the characters as in other superhero outings. I think that with some superhero movies you just can’t get away with it, but here they were able to do that. In ‘The Hulk’ from 2003 the problem is that they spent way too much time trying to build up the back story and that is where audiences were let down. We went from a slower paced in 2003 to a faster paced better story telling film in 2008. We even get guest appearances by Lou Ferrigno, Bill Bixby (very nice way to bring him back), course Stan Lee, and a nice surprise at the end of the film that is a nice way that Marvel studios is finally starting to tie characters together from their films.
Now another issue that plagued the last ‘Hulk’ film was the CG used was very hokey looking and ‘Hulk’ just didn’t look right. Here in ‘The Incredible Hulk’ they did a good job representing the green goliath and the same with ‘Abomination’. Both ‘Hulk’ and ‘Abomination’ aren’t oversized beasts and they looked really good fitting into making the movie feel more lifelike.
The print is presented in a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 codec with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Having seen this film in the theater back in June, the video transfer is stunning. The print looks clean and pristine where the CGI melds beautifully with the actual film like sequences. Colors are vibrant popping off the screen especially at the beginning of the film with the camera panning over the town and look so rather colorful. Details are excellent in scenes that are close-up and panned away.
The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless mix. The soundfield is spectacular with the addition of high resolution audio and the rears really take advantage of the sound effects throughout the entire film. I was very impressed with the action sequences and how well the effects are so dynamic in range. The dialogue is a bit lower than expected not offering a well balanced mix between both the ambient sound and dialogue.
The special features are presented in both HD and Standard Definition. These are some of the better features on Blu-ray, especially the feature commentary which is very informative.
- Feature Commentary with Director Louis Leterrier and Actor Tim Roth
- “Animated Comic” (HD)
- U-Control – Thunderbolt Files
- “Alternate Opening” (HD)
- “The Making of The Incredible Hulk” (HD)
- Becoming The Hulk (HD)
- Becoming The Abomination (HD)
- Anatomy of a Hulk Out
- Scene Explorer
- Deleted Scenes
- Digital Copy
I highly recommend “The Incredible Hulk” on Blu-ray due to the reference quality video and audio. We had a good time with this film and it felt like it was over too quick with due to the excellent pacing and storytelling.
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