Incredible Hulk, The (Blu-ray / DVD)

The Incredible Hulk on Blu-ray and DVD (click for larger image)Reviewed by Nomad

Starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt

Directed by Louis Leterrier

Distributed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment

The Incredible Hulk was the second Marvel film of the summer, running just behind the mega hit Iron Man, leaving the green goliath with mighty big shoes to fill (even for him.) I was exceedingly happy to report that the film surpassed every expectation I’d had and successfully washed the mellow dramatic taste of the first Hulk film out of my mouth. Ang Lee may be a brilliant director, but his take on a character like The Hulk should never have come to pass. That’s all behind us now as we have a fresh start with our favorite jade giant smashing, bounding and pounding the crap out of the American military machine and his arch nemesis, The Abomination. We also have the ability to pause, as you will be doing profusely after lessons learned in watching Iron Man, to reveal names like Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Rick Jones flying across the screen.

Without question, we are reviewing the 3 disk special edition. Is there any other??!! Disk one starts out with the usual trailers. I’m giving them a mention because nestled in there is a quick montage of Marvel Animation sneak peeks…some we’ve seen and some brand new! Included are Black Panther, the Hulk VS Films, Armored Adventures, Super Hero Squad (which looks no further ahead than it was before), and Wolverine and the X-Men. The feature film includes the option of commentary with Director Louis Leterrier and Tim Roth, who are both very laid back guys who like to joke around, making this highly enjoyable and at times, pretty damn funny! Deleted scenes include little extra bits of Bruce in Brazil getting control of himself and searching for the cure and a tiny bit more of Ross putting his plans into motion. Nothing in here we’d actually miss in the film but cool to watch none the less.

The Incredible Hulk on Blu-ray and DVD (click for larger image)Disk two begins with the fabled and now, infamous alternate opening we saw a glimpse of in the Incredible Hulk video game. We can now confirm that Cap is indeed frozen in this scene, if only for a second and at a frame rate no human eye would pick up. Click here for the unveiling of that fantastic little pseudo Easter egg! More deleted scenes await you next, beginning with a dose of com-o-dey with Bruce delivering Pizza around the campus before ending up in the computer lab to try and retrieve his data. The next sequences show far more involvement with Dr. Leonard Samson. While I love the actor chosen for this role in THIS particular movie, how he will become the long green haired Flash Gordon fan I will never know. I suppose they will have to chuck the locks out the window for the sake of avoiding the ridiculous. These additions add extra drama to the film, something no doubt the film company was wary of after the first film. For me they make the story so much more tragic and have their place in the telling of a true Hulk tale. Seldom do we see the tole being the Hulk takes on Banner and so when you have a talent like Ed Norton at your disposal, it would be a crime to not let him explore that. Loved every minute of this. The second batch of scenes expand into the military pursuit of Banner and some little bits of he and Betty on the run.

Next is a Making of the Incredible Hulk featurette which gives those psycho movie buffs all the little tidbits they were wondering about along with eye candy for the rest of us who just like to see stuff blow up! This is Juuuuuuust enough footage to be enjoyable and not put you to sleep. The next three features compliment this piece by showing how Ed Norton was in fact “inside” that ginormous Hulk body through the use of new technology and on the flip side, how Tim Roth got to put a little of himself inside every haymaker delivered by the monstrous Abomination. Through it all, you have Director Louis Leterrier running about, lifting gear and being very un-directorly while also amusing the hell out of everyone on the set and displaying child like glee when utilizing the newest gadgets to get the shots he desires. It is that kind of passion that takes a film from average to fantastic. The last bit titled “from comic to screen” shows one particular sequence torn right from the pages of the comic and through pseudo animation, how that scene played out in the comic. Also packed into this set is a digital copy to take with you to your kid’s baseball game as you pretend to be cheering him on. All the other fathers will thank you.

The Incredible Hulk on Blu-ray and DVD (click for larger image)If you’re a Blu-ray hound there’s plenty here to sink your teeth into. Via Universal’s U-Contol option we get several ways to watch the film. Once a particular icon shows up during the movie just click away and get ready for some picture-in-picture goodness consisting of the secret military files on the hunt for Banner, a not quite as extensive as you would have hoped for comic book gallery, and a nifty little scene explorer that allows you to check out everything from storyboards, to animatics, and of course, etc. For you BD Live heads out there you can even watch the flick while chatting with other fans. Pretty cool!

Once again, a must have set, the only difference being a tad less on the creation of the monster. I swear Iron Man had about an hour more in this department, and for good reason, though I admit to nodding off at times. Hulk packs in just the right amount of extra goodies and deleted scenes that aren’t presented just for the sake of giving us deleted scenes. Now that we have a cohesive Marvel Universe, the 3 disk set is a no brainer. You’ll want to soak up every ounce of geekiness you possibly can.

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with director Louis Leterrier and actor Tim Roth
  • BD Live Enabled (Blu-ray only)
  • U-Control (Blu-ray only)
  • Scene Explorer (Blu-ray only)
  • Picture-in-Picture (Blu-ray only)
  • Thunderbolt Files (Blu-ray only)
  • Comic Book Gallery (Blu-ray only)
  • The Making of Incredible featurette
  • Becoming The Hulk featurette
  • Becoming The Abomination featurette
  • Anatomy of a Hulk Out featurette
  • From Comic Book to Screen featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Opening

    4 out of 5

    Special Features
    5 out of 5

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    • Nomad

      I’m so not having this debate again.

      • Messiahman

        Completely understandable. After all, you’ve already lost the debate once. 😉

      • PelusaMG

        No-one should be made to apologise for their opinions… just their breath!

    • PelusaMG

      I actually like both films a lot… I liked Ang Lee’s “Hulk” because visually it was stunning and I really enjoyed the ‘Hulk-out’ moments (esp. in the desert with the tanks). However, I did not like the dogs or the ending… WTF was all that about? I liked “The Incredible Hulk” because I felt it was a more human approach to the subject-matter, and I felt Norton did a great job and connected with the audience in a more real and sympathetic manner. However, I did not like the way they rushed Emil Blonsky’s quest for power and subsequent transformation into the Abomination. If anything, the film could have done with some more time to explore that aspect of things, and set it up in a more convincing manner.

    • Kryten Syxx

      OK, Ang Lee had his shot. He made his film that met the expectations of “true” HULK fans. So what’s wrong with a little mindless green action now?

    • Sirand

      Amen! Lee’s film is light years better than this movie, particularly when it came to the casting/characters. Even when he “hulked out” in the original, it was a big fuckin’ deal. This new movie had no dramatic impact and no real stakes. It was just an FX reel.

      • NeoKefka

        I agree with you and Messiahman. And the thing is, I actually wanted a more action oriented Hulk movie because I felt if done right, it could serve as the perfect complement to the more psychological / sci-fi approach Ang Lee took.

        But we didn’t get that. Instead we got about as one note and generic a Hulk movie as you could imagine. Like Sirand said, it felt like nothing was at stake, nothing really had any point and I ended up not caring about anything that happened. I was honestly bored out my mind watching this movie. Getting to hear “HULK SMASH!” and Robert Downey Jr’s cameo were really the only bright spots.

        And am I the only one who noticed there was LESS action in this movie than there was in the Ang Lee version?

    • Messiahman

      Lee’s film was not only far better, but it was also much truer to the comics, particularly Peter David’s stunning run throughout the 90s, which was Hulk’s defining moment on the page. Lee nailed it, and the character will never be better realized.

      This new film was nothing more than a mindless spectacle made only to appease the folks who watched the television show growing up and who think that “Hulk smash” was the zenith of the comics.

      Basically, it’s for the folks who know very little about the character or the books and only want to see things go boom.

      Thanks, but no thanks.