Posts Tagged ‘comic

16
Jun
08

Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk

 

 

Hulk SMASH!

 

Starring Ed Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, and Tim Roth. Directed by Louis Leterrier.

 

For the purposes of this movie review, I’m only dealing with the current “Hulk” movie, not the 80’s TV show, the cartoon, or any of the comics, and only limited dealing with the 2003 Ang Lee movie.

 

Like “Iron Man,” this movie wastes no time. The opening credit sequence shows that Bruce Banner (Norton) was a scientist exposing himself to gamma radiation, being watched over by assistant Elizabeth Ross (Tyler). Something goes wrong and Banner becomes… something else. The lab is destroyed and “Betsy” winds up in the hospital. Her dad General Ross (Hurt) bans Banner and he leaves. From that point Banner is on the run (watch for S.H.E.I.L.D. references as well as the  names Tony Stark and Nick Fury).

 

And that’s just the opening.

 

Banner is now living in Brazil keeping under the radar by working at a bottling plant, practicing yoga and breathing exercises, learning the language by watching “Sesame Street,” and keeping in contact with “Mr. Blue” as to how he can get rid of the “Hulk-ness.”

 

When his blood accidentally makes it into a bottle of fruit juice it affects a mild-mannered citizen (Stan Lee) and Hurt gets the best of the best to help tear down the slums of Brazil/ find Bruce Banner. Inducted into the group is Russian-born English-bred and on-loan to the States Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth). After destroying the bottling plant Blonsky stares into the face of Hulk and like Ahab to Ishmael he makes a new life goal of bringing Banner/Hulk down. When Blonsky confronts Ross about what’s going on, Ross confides that he was trying to re-initiate a “super-soldier” program using Banner and that’s how Hulk came about. Blonsky, apparently as crazed as Ross, signs up for some “super juice.”

 

Not to be outdone in the Crazy Department, Banner wakes up in the jungle and decides that having nothing to lose, he should go back to Culver University (where it all started) and get the data he needs to send to “Mr. Blue.” This means also running into Elizabeth and the distinct possibility that he will not make it to New York to meet up with the scientist, but it does assure the destruction of military stuff.

 

I’ll stop there. While this film is largely plotless, it’s enjoyable on about the same level of “Iron Man.” Is it better than the previous movie outing? Yes, by 100 times. Is this a film? No. This is a comic book that you are watching (sorta like how “Iron Man” was). Yes, there’s destruction. The villain in this movie makes sense as opposed to “super demigod” Nick Nolte. And yes, I was actually behind the Hulk to win.

 

The only problem that comes with doing a Hulk movie is the problem with dealing with Superman: these characters are limited. Bruce Banner is boring compared to the primal rage of Hulk like Clark Kent is boring compared to how super Superman is.

 

Aside from that, I got no complaints. Why should you see this? Well, it’s probably the best Hulk film yet. It’s a little more than popcorn fun, the CG is well done, Norton does a great job, etc. Watch for the cameos of Stan Lee as (again) a mild-mannered senior citizen who drinks “Hulk” blood and Lou Ferrigno as a security guard (and he moonlights as Hulk’s voice). Tim Blake Nelson is Stearns/ Mr. Blue, a scientist intrigued with the Hulk.

 

Extra credit if you can comment on the review with the Bill Bixby reference.

 

My grade: B+

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30
May
08

In Passing… Harvey Korman (1927-2008)

 

 

 

Famed TV personality Harvey Korman passed away yesterday at the UCLA Medical Center in California from complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Korman was a talented comedic actor, appearing in several TV shows and movies with his beginning as the voice of the Great Gazoo for the cartoon “The Flintstones.” He would later go on to team up with Mel Brooks and play characters such as Hedley Lamarr (“Blazing Saddles”), Dr. Charles Montague (“High Anxiety”), Count de Monet (“History of the World, Part I), and Dr. Jack Seward (“Dracula: Dead and Loving It”). His real notoriety, however, came from being a character actor on, “The Carol Burnett Show” (1967-1978).

 

For more information, check out his entertainment resume at IMDB.com:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0466327/

 

“Count de Money!” “It’s COUNT DE MONET!” –“History of the World, Part I”

 

Best wishes to the family,

-Chas

02
May
08

Movie Review: Iron Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

The popcorn superhero summer blockbuster you’ve been waiting for.

 

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jeff Bridges. Directed by Jon Favreau.

 

This movie doesn’t waste any time.

 

But let me get to the story: Tony Stark (Downey, Jr.) was the son of Howard Stark, who blazed forth a career in weapons manufacturing, in the process creating Stark Enterprises. Tony grew up a math/science prodigy, eventually taking over the business at the age of 21. His partner was Obadiah Stane (Bridges) who ran the company between Howard’s death and Tony’s ascension. Tony grew up designing some of the top weapons systems in use.

 

“Hey, get to the part where he becomes Iron Man!” – some fanboy behind me.

 

Alright, alright. So we see Tony as he is now: an alcoholic, womanizing billionaire playboy who can’t go anywhere without having a fifth of scotch. After testing his new missile, Jericho, the military envoy he’s in is attacked and he’s taken hostage. For three months he designs a giant robot suit (instead of another Jericho missile) with parts from his own weapons. He escapes and is eventually rescued by his military friend Jim Rhodes (Howard).

 

“Dude, be Iron Man already!” –another fanboy.

 

Anyways… Stark comes back and wants to make the world a better place, citing the fact that his weapons are being used to murder innocent people. He is locked out by Stane, who has been double-dealing weapons under the table. With the help of Pepper Potts (Paltrow) he gets back on his feet and designs what is to become Iron Man. After a “test” run in a small Middle Eastern town, Iron Man is green for Go. Trouble is that Stane gets his plans on the “original’ Stark made, and creates Iron Monger. Inevitably, there is the face-off between the two.

 

“Oh! Yeah!” – someone is geeking out because Starks is adding the “custom colors.”

 

I honestly liked this movie. For starters, I didn’t feel like I was watching a movie until the 2/3-of the-way-through point, which is a good thing (especially for the superhero genre). Favreau did a great job in making Stark someone you should hate, but had sympathy for. I never read “Iron Man” growing up. If I was a lot younger, or had seen this movie when I was a kid, I would’ve been more inclined to read the comics.

 

I’m sorta at a loss here. I want to find something overly wrong with this film, but can’t. I hate to be surrounded by people and everybody praising that ONE thing; I like finding something that could’ve been done better. It could’ve been a little less popcorn-y, it could have strayed from the “superhero” formula, etc. But then, it wouldn’t be this film. In my opinion, this ranks up in Top Superhero Flicks list with “Superman,” “Batman Begins,” and “Spider-Man.”

 

Kudos to everyone involved. Great storytelling. The soundtrack really fit the movie. Also, congrats to Marvel for releasing this as their first SELF-FINANCED movie. Downey is great, Howard is good, Bridges is having fun playing the bad guy, and Paltrow makes me wish I was Chris Martin.

 

Time will tell as to how it will stack up with other superhero films, but it’s already farther than “Daredevil,” or Ang Lee’s “Hulk.”

 

My grade: A.

 

“Dude, if you are a fanboy, you’ll need to stay ‘til the end of the movie. Trust me.” –actual guy in theater. No joke.

 

Stay after the end credit credits whereupon you’ll see Tony Stark come home to find someone looking out his living room window. That man is Samuel L. Jackson, and he’s playing Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.