Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2012 was good time for Hulk fans; 'The Dark Knight' teases

During Game 2 of the NBA Finals, ABC aired what it called "a special look" at the next Marvel Studios film, "Thor: Ragnarok." There was no truth in advertising as it was the same footage released a few months ago.

Despite the groovy 1970s-esque graphics and played over "The Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin, the footage from the third "Thor" movie does little for me. (I expressed the same thought in this CCC review, which includes my thoughts on the equally unimpressive "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" trailer.) 

But that sequence in which the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) faces off against his "friend from work," the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)?! That's the highlight of the trailer.

Now let's time-travel back five years ago when Marvel was riding the Hulk wave pretty hard. At the time I wrote a NORWALK REFLECTOR newspaper column that focused (mostly) on the Big Green Guy -- with a mention of the absolutely brilliant online viral marketing for "The Dark Knight" (also mentioned in this CCC flashback I posted in April.

Feb. 18, 2012 -- Hulk fans must be loving life.

Next month, readers can get their gamma-radiated green grubbies on the first part of the five-issue miniseries WORLD WAR HULK. The story deals with the aftermath of the gamma-powered beast returning to Earth after being exiled on a war-torn planet.

(2017 FYI: That's the setting I assume for the Thor-Hulk fight in "Thor: Ragnarok." One of these days before "Thor: Ragnarok" is released Nov. 3, I hope to review the 2010 animated "Planet Hulk" movie. **Fingers crossed!*)

The superheroes calling themselves the Illuminati shouldn't be looking forward to a warm, fuzzy reunion with Hulk, who gets stronger the madder he gets. After all, they decided he was too violent for Earth and banned him to outer space.

News on the movie front is looking just as sweet.

Cary's Comics Craze is by no means a fan of "The Incredible Hulk"
movie, but this teaser image is spectacular!
The next trick for "Illusionist" actor Edward Norton will be transforming from scientist Bruce Banner into "The Incredible Hulk." The storyline follows Banner who is wandering the streets, seeking a cure to turning into the rage-fueled beast he becomes when he's angry.

I admit I was skeptical about the Big Green Guy coming back to the silver screen when plans for "The Incredible Hulk" were announced.

That stemmed from Marvel officials disavowing a direct connection to Ang Lee's 2003 disparaged film "Hulk." It's possible I may be the only film critic who freely admits to enjoying Lee's take on Banner, who had to come to terms with his childhood history of fatherly abuse.

There are plenty of scenes with the Hulk smashing things even though it included that ridiculous fight scene with the gamma-powered dogs. On the other hand, the cinematography is stunning and the CGI Hulk looked terrific, right down to his perspiration.

(Another 2107 addendum: "Terrific"? Really, Ashby?! That may be a stretch, but I do like how that version looks — despite the obvious CGI feel. Ruffalo's incarnation is much better, especially having the big guy's face resemble his. What's most creative about Lee's movie is placing some of the scenes in comic book-style panels.)

My theory is the public was disappointed with Lee's film because audiences wanted a brainless "popcorn flick" and not so much character development. Shame on them!

This was our first look at the Hulk, as seen in Ang Lee's much-maligned 2003 film.
Say what you will about "Hulk," but what a powerful image!
I got more interested in the new film after reading that the script focuses on the TV show theme of Banner being estranged from society. That tidbit redeemed Marvel's initial concept that emphasized more mayhem and destruction over Lee's admittedly emotional version.

Liv Tyler is co-starring as Banner's girlfriend Betsy Ross. Tim Roth is playing a KGB agent who becomes the villain Abomination after intentionally exposing himself to more gamma radiation than what turned Banner into the Hulk.

Now, with this talented cast, I can't wait to see "Hulk, smash!" in theaters June 13, 2008!
POW! Right in the kisser! Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)
first went "mano y mano" aboard a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier in "The Avengers" (2012).
This killer GIF appears courtesy of the Taringa! blog/website.
2017 addendum: And then I watched what I call the not-so "Incredible Hulk." Ugh!

Talk about brainless disappointment. There's no chemistry between Edward "Snorin'" Norton and Liv Tyler. (How is that even possible not to generate any onscreen heat with that hottie?)

I rank "The Incredible Hulk" at the very bottom of of Marvel's 11 films through Phase II and to this day, I stand by my "C-" grade. (For the Marvel movies I rank Nos. 5 through 1 -- Top 10/David Letterman style!, go here.)

* * *


I had promised myself I wouldn't mention Batman for quite a while. But when I saw the recent but brief online promotion for "The Dark Knight" ("TDK"), it was too brilliant not to mention.

On May 17 (2007), the official "TDK" website had its first bit of content. Actor Aaron Eckhart looks serious about prosecuting criminals in a patriotic "campaign poster" for district attorney. It runs with the slogan, "I Believe in Harvey Dent."

Two days later, someone created a website named after the slogan, but added the word "too." A vandal had drawn dark circles over Dent's/Eckhart's eyes, gave him a ridiculously big, red smiley face and scribbled "too!" at the end of the slogan.

"We kill the Batman." The Joker (the late Heath Ledger) convinces Gotham City mobsters
and gang leaders they should pay him to kill the Dark Knight in a scene from "The Dark Knight."
After enough online "hits," the "poster" disintegrated pixel by pixel to reveal a shockingly close-up shot of Heath Ledger as the Joker.

Fans won't have to worry about Ledger being a "pretty boy" in "TDK." That disfigured, skull-like face is one that only a mother could love.

By May 20 (2007), visitors to the same site found the message "Page not found."

Someone, with obviously too much time on his hands, discovered by highlighting the entire screen, it reveals a variety of sizes of the typed phrase "Ha ha."

Then, yet another bored fan discovered a hidden message that says, "See you in December." Will this be the time when we finally see a teaser trailer for the new Batman film?

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