THE INCREDIBLE HULK smashes Harry's brain into undulating geek neurons firing on the possibilities ahead of us!
Published at: June 5, 2008, 3:37 a.m. CST by headgeek
OH HELL YEAH!
You know… Ever since I was a wee lad, I’ve dreamt of a Cinematic Marvel Universe. I think we all have. Tonight, after the screening of THE INCREDIBLE HULK – an audience member asked a question about the concern about continuity with the comic universe – and Kevin Feige went into an answer that referred to “THE CINEMATIC MARVEL UNIVERSE” – and I think I came a little.
After IRON MAN – we began to feel what was happening – but the early trailers for HULK… just didn’t look promising. However, we’ve begun to have some cool scenes popping up online – and the latest trailers have a lot of fun going on in them. But as our audience dove into this latest Marvel tale… You could feel the room getting giddy.
Once again we had solid actors as Banner, Neil and Ross. Betty was beautiful – and then they throw Tim Blake Nelson in. You’ve got to love this new Marvel Universe that has begun. Actors like Robert Downey Jr, Jeff Bridges, Ed Norton, William Hurt, Tim Roth, Sam Jackson and Tim Blake Nelson.
I know you folks loved IRON MAN – I’m right there. I fucking loved it. This is an INCREDIBLE HULK movie to love too. Watching these last two MARVEL films… where Marvel is actually controlling the vertical and the horizontal. Where executive decisions are being made by people whose profession is COMICS and COMIC MOVIES. I can’t fucking tell you how amazing it is to actually… literally… see the Marvel Universe on screen.
And it is much more evident here, than even in IRON MAN.
It’s not just SHIELD or a Tony Stark cameo. Those are the big obvious ones. And you know that the Super-Soldier formula is used here to give Blonsky his first boost… but here’s the geekiest part. The canister that they pull that vial of interesting liquid from… the Doctor’s name is Dr. Reinstein…. Yes, the actual name of the scientist that injected Steve Rogers with the Super Soldier serum… now the key is… they didn’t expose Blonsky to the Vita-Rays which would super-charge that serum and give him that extra boost that made Captain America that extra bit of badass. But, we’ll see that in an upcoming movie, I’m sure.
Here we have a film with characters named Dr. Samson and Samuel Sterns. And we know about their eventuality. And the nods to the past… they’re here too. What’s great is that we don’t just get the Stan Lee cameo, but the Lou Ferrigno and even… Bill Bixby. You’ll see. All this stuff – it’s just little side things. The film doesn’t STOP for these footnotes – and if you’re not a Marvel freak… it’d scream by without a notice.
But as a MARVEL fan – holy shit… they’re doing it. They’re actually fucking doing it. For the first time in our lives as crazy geeky fanboys… the MARVEL UNIVERSE is moving at 24 frames a second in a theater near us.
What about SPIDER-MAN?
Well – SPIDER-MAN did a good job of establishing the SPIDER-MAN UNIVERSE – you never saw Spidey at the Baxter building? Matt Murdoch didn’t walk by. It stayed within the Spidey-specific universe.
Here… shit. Robert Downey Jr… TONY STARK in a Paramount Distributed film called IRON MAN. Yeah. Check. But Robert Downey Jr… as TONY STARK… in a UNIVERSAL distributed film… See, it isn’t hard. You just do it. You just care enough to say… YES, Iron Man can be in a HULK movie… just not quite suited up yet. And yes, that feels fucking awesome.
BUT wait a minute. How does this work as a HULK movie?
One of the attendees of the screening tonight in Austin sent in a review – and they did a comparison that simply… I must reference because it is very accurate. They compared Ang Lee’s HULK to Robert Wise’s STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE. Both films were beautiful, artful and cinematic tellings of prime geek material… HOWEVER – both films failed to move mainstream audiences. They did work for a segment of the audience – but there was a lack of forward momentum. They just didn’t quite GO at the speed that fans hoped for.
Well THE INCREDIBLE HULK – is very much like the re-invention that happened to STAR TREK on STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. Now – I love THE INCREDIBLE HULK, but it isn’t quite STAR TREK II great – but it’s outstanding.
Louis Leterrier has made a HULK movie that first and foremost is badass, kickass and asskicking, but is most certainly not ASS.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK has the call backs to the TV show, in fact… by the end of the film, I think Bruce might even be going by David… At least I think so. I like that Bruce is a character that has been LIVING with this curse/gift. That he’s taken steps to try to handle his problem. And that is very much the Bill Bixby tone of the character. He’s pro-active in trying to CURE himself… but the film isn’t merely a regurgitation of the TV show – it binds the TV show and the Comic into this third universe of Cinema.
Now, I know I’ve been talking a lot about this Cinematic Marvel Universe – but I’ll tell you. I love, love, love – that in THE INCREDIBLE HULK… there’s science fiction weaponry. The Sonic Cannons are OUT-FUCKING-STANDING! The design is goofy and awesome as though Jack Kirby drew them. It’s big and clunky and mounted on the back of an armored vehicle… and that’s AWESOME! And they send waves of power that knock the living shit out of the HULK. And this shit came from Stark Industries. YES!
I love that SHIELD is a scary Big Brother organization that’s monitoring all of our fucking emails. How great is that? Now – if only we’ll get the Helicarrier… and Dum Dum Dugan! And jet packs and skin-tight mission suits – and evil HYDRA and AIM.
These films are on a collision course. They’re building on one another – and Marvel has a supreme chance here to do something that we’ve never seen in cinema… just as they did in Comics. And that’s to create a coherent fantasy Universe across titles, releases and distribution companies.
And if tonight’s audience was any judge… We’re fucking ready, willing and there. I’m dying … dying to see the next 3 years play out with them. Will we see an additional HULK film before the AVENGERS? That will only depend on how this one does. And man… if the tease for THE LEADER is any indication… and fucking Tim Blake Nelson as THE LEADER … well, it’s not David Niven… but it’s fucking Tim Blake Nelson – and that would mean Giant Robots and Humanoids and more awesome scientific funnery. And that’s where we need to go with THE HULK.
Man – I never thought I’d see the day that Marvel would actually get their shit, totally together. This is the sort of thing we’ve been screaming for – and now its actually fucking happening and … man, there should be fucking FIREWORKS and tickertape for this sort of momentous occasion. We should be running in the streets and screaming about how we don’t have Universal Healthcare, we don’t have 10% of Arizona covered with Pond Scum Farms creating Bio-Fuel at 35 cents a gallon… but Goddammit… MARVEL is seriously creating a cohesive MARVEL UNIVERSE. There are signs of a bright future.
Right? We’re gonna be ok. But man… if the entire financial reality collapses and we don’t get to see the AVENGERS movie that we’re building towards… Then GOD… make my clothes hit the ground and take me to Heaven… where this future AVENGERS is on a fucking loop. I can’t Wait! But I must. We’ll all wait… And as THOR comes out and kicks our asses… and IRON MAN 2 whipping up on our asses… Then that fucking period CAPTAIN AMERICA film – which will end with him waking up in the modern world… or floating in that general direction… and being discovered! Well… if those movies continue firing on the same cylinders of these last two… our collective excitement will be really unreasonably friggin high… and there will be those joyless fucks that are pissing on the foreplay these films represent, but ya know what… I don’t know about you – but I’m seeing cheering audiences… and tonight I saw my nephew laying on the floor in front of the guests tonight shaking his hand with the most awesome question that a 7 year old could muster…
“Did that man really turn into the HULK?”
And god damn it – that’s what this is all about. For kids to dream and ask big fucking important questions… Because when you see a man strapped to a lab table and you hear his bones snapping and muscles bursting bigger… and you see the pain on the actor’s face and it hurts… it hurts… to that boy’s eyes… that wasn’t Ed Norton and that wasn’t CG. He was invested enough that he ran from the bathroom, didn’t tell his mom where he was… got in trouble, but he asked the question. “Did that man really turn into the Hulk?”
There’s only one answer. “Yes, that’s why Ed Norton couldn’t be here tonight… it’s too dangerous for the audience!”
Yes. That’s why Ed Norton wasn’t there tonight. And that’s awesome!