Hey folks, Harry here... I know I'm a crazed geek that can't be trusted... but here's the responses we've gotten thus far from our screening as well as other screenings. Enjoy...
Did he really change into the Hulk? That question asked by Harry's nephew during the Q & A after the screening of THE INCREDIBLE HULK tonight in Austin sums it up pretty well for me. If you can make a child truly believe that a human character has transformed into this huge green superhero, then I think you've accomplished what you set out to do. I was instilled with a love of comics as a young child. My older brother was an avid comic reader and I would read the ones he'd let me. In the Marvel universe, I loved Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. There were others, but those were the 2 that I remember most vividly. As I watched this movie unfold on the screen in front of me, I was mesmerized. Tim Roth being cast as Blonsky is pure genius. He is such a fantastic villain. From the very first sneer, I couldn't wait for more of him. I actually think he was a more believable villain that Jeff Bridges was in Iron Man and I thought Iron Man was about as close to perfection as you can get with a superhero movie. I was afraid going into this movie that the CGI would take me out of the movie, but it never did. The cinematography and CGI were beautifully shot. I loved the Hulk as much in this movie as I did in the comic books. Ed Norton was incredible as Bruce Banner. But the Hulk? The Hulk truly came to life for me for the first time on film. I liked Ang Lee's Hulk, but it wasn't the Hulk that I fell in love with as a child. This Hulk is. As I watched him in the kick-ass fight with Abomination toward the end of the film, I had tears well up in my eyes. The massive power of the Hulk being compelled to protect the woman he loves and the inner turmoil showing in his eyes was magnificent to behold. That moment when he realized that he could control his inner beast and not become truly evil like Abomination made the entire movie for me and it took me back to my childhood. There are so many small moments in this film that made the audience clap and/or laugh. It helped break the tension and was so well done. From the glimpse of Bill Bixby to the Lou Ferigno cameo to the misuse of a word in Spanish to the lighter moments between Betty and Bruce Banner, all of them added to my enjoyment of this film. Is it as wonderful as Iron Man? No, but it is still a pretty damn good superhero film that continues to give me hope for the future Marvel films in the works. It's a fun action-packed thrill ride that will make you believe that Bruce Banner really does change into the Hulk when he's angry. I can't wait to see this one again on opening weekend with my friends and family. They're going to love it! CheriBomb
Then The Human Burrito saw the film at our screening tonight:
Hey Harry and Co: I just got back from a screening of The Incredible Hulk, hitting theatres at some point this month-I think next Friday? For anyone who was skeptical, excited, or doubtful, I'd like to throw in my 2 cents. Spoilers below, beware beware beware. No, seriously. I spoil it all. Why are you even reading THIS if you don't want to know? If you didn't like Iron Man, you should probably stay away from this one-don't worry, I'm sure that X3, The Punisher, AVP, Ghost Rider, and the theatrical cut of Daredevil are all still available at WalMart. Maybe those are right up your alley. It doesn't matter, really, what your opinion of Ang Lee's Hulk was when considering seeing this flick. Hated his Hulk? You'll find that this one is much more suited to your expectations of Hulk. Loved his Hulk? You'll be pleased to see that it still has real actors carrying the weight and is full of that jolly green giant you love so much. What about the confusion over whether it's a sequel, a remake, a reboot, what have you? It's none of the above and all of the above, really. Yes, the origin is a bit different (as shown briefly over the opening credits, watch for the Nick Fury and Stark Industries references!), but it fits the general origin summary of Hulk's origins-and then the movie picks up in South America where Dr Banner is seeking a cure for his condition, right where Ang Lee's Hulk ended. So, take your pick. Consider this a continuation with a hint of retconning, or consider it a completely new timeline. For fans of the classic TV series, it's stuffed with references-for someone who is actually a fan of the show, I'm sure there are a ton that I didn't catch. Like Iron Man, Hulk picks up steam with an early action sequence and keeps moving, and thankfully never stretches to make a joke-here's hoping "You wouldn't like me when I'm hungry!" becomes geek chic. The first big action sequence, a botched takedown of Banner by Emil Blonsky and crew, demonstrates exactly why Hulk has such broad appeal:he's neither hero, nor villain. When he Hulks out, there is collateral damage, and anyone in Hulk's way is FUCKED. He's not intentionally malicious or fighting for some greater good-he just wants to be left alone. Hulk really is a creature that is merely what you choose to perceive him to be. Really, let's not even worry about the thin plot, the point of anything Hulk is SMASH!, and there's plenty of it for you. The movie only pauses to take a breath when Betty and Banner are reunited, but it's quickly time to hit the road and avoid anything that will let them be tracked-reminiscent of bits of The Terminator, I felt. Each Hulk out gets bigger and more destructive-another military attempt to capture the Hulk only results in having their Humvees picked up and banged into each other like a child with cymbals, and the lengthy battle with The Abomination is brutally violent. Despite the lack of bloodshed, I'm a bit surprised at how much gruesome monster on fugly monster civilian collateral damage they squeezed into a PG13 rating. Of course our hero prevails in the end, and in proper sequel set up escapes to be chased another day... Let's talk about the fun little geeky bits, starting with said sequel(s)! No shortage of setups here, from a lingering shot in a lab sequence, to the apprehension of the Abomination, to Dr Banner's continued search for a cure/control, and of course.....the big one: Did you think that Nick Fury's cameo was cool in Iron Man, did it give you that nerdy tingly rush of "they're really setting it up!"? Tony Stark makes a brief appearance at the end of Hulk and takes that setup one step further...."We're putting together a team." Geekasm! The music. Hulk fans already know what I'm talking about. Great cameos by Lou Ferrigno, playing a security guard (again!) and providing the Hulk's voice (yes, we DO finally get to hear "Hulk smash!"); and by Stan Lee, who haplessly clues General Ross in to Dr Banner's whereabouts. The only real complaint/curiosity I have is with Liv Tyler. When she gets cast in movies, does her agent have to find roles that fit her speech mannerisms, or do they rewrite it for her? Has anyone else noticed that she ALWAYS sounds out of breath and can't seem to push out more than a handful of syllables in one go? In short, the geekiest comparison I can make is to Star Trek:consider Ang Lee's Hulk to be Star Trek:The Motion Picture, a long drawn out effects heavy cerebral film clearly crafted with a fetishistic love; and consider The Incredible Hulk to be The Wrath Of Khan:shorter, faster, pure ass kicking all the way through. Neither one requires the previous film be seen, or any deep familiarity with the franchise. Seriously, pay for this one. Don't pirate it. It's on par with Marvel's best efforts. -The Human Burrito!
Then there's this review from New York:
I just got back from a preview screening of Incredible Hulk here in New York. And, well... ...it was great! A spoiler-free mini-review follows - but if you want to remain completely unaware, you can probably skip on by. But that's a qualified 'great'. Incredible Hulk does exactly what it says on the can. If you've seen the trailers, you know the plot - Bruce Banner is on the run; he gets found; hilarity and smashing ensues. The thing is, I still loved it. This was the Hulk movie that should have been made five years ago - action packed, not so ponderous and surprisingly funny. Yes, funny. From Banner's awkward Portugese, to an unexpected side-effect to him getting excited, it was a funny movie - and I think that's why it works. Ed Norton is great, selling the desperation of a man who's trying to live his life as best he can while controlling the beast inside - and the last shot of him is killer. Liv Tyler is...well, I'm not a fan but she's okay, I guess - sadly, she's no Jennifer Connelly but who is? Then there's new Thunderbolt Ross, William Hurt. It's funny but I had a hard time seeing the actor behind the mustache and contacts, and I think that's great - like Iron Man's Jeff Bridges, he inhabits the role completely. The real surprise for me was Tim Roth - he's not been this good for years and he's great as special forces soldier Emil Blonsky, even if his character does get lost a bit towards the end and he does look a bit like Harry Potter's Dobby at one point. There's one sequence in particular that has me drooling at the prospect of Marvel's upcoming Captain America movie. There is an inevitable elephant in the room, and it's the CGI - yes, the Hulk looks CGi-y but short of painting a man green I'm not sure how you're going to get away from that. The thing is, the CGI doesn't really distract on the whole - there are a few shots where you kind of get pulled out of the movie, but not too many. Nice touches abound; watch out for the names of two college students who capture the green goliath on their cameraphone, a familiar name or two in the opening credits (and not of actors), a Stan Lee cameo that actually furthers the plot, a familiar theme, a TV show that Banner watches, the real project that Banner was working on when he was turned into the Hulk, what turns Blonsky into a - er - super-soldier, a familiar logo in a computer system a great cameo from Lou Ferrigno - and, yes, a scene at the end of the movie that's been confirmed for a while which features a certain billionaire inventor. In the cut I saw, it was before the credits but I'm not sure if it'll stay that way. On the directing front, Transporter's Louis Leterrier does a good job. The three set-piece action sequences are fluid without being choppy, and he gets that sometimes less is more. The first of these sequences, in a factory, reminds me a little of a sequence in Predator 2 only without Gary Busey chewing the scenery. A barely-seen Hulk makes mince meat of an army team, striking from the shadows. There were a few bits and bobs from the trailers that didn't make the cut I saw; for example, the psychiatrist's role is trimmed down and he goes nameless in the movie (I think) which I guess leaves the door open for another Doc Samson down the road. There were also a few weird cuts which I suspect were made for rating reasons - Hulk and Blonsky's confrontation on the grass is abruptly cut, and Blonsky's final transformation feels like it's missing a few seconds. I'm hoping there's a chance to re-edit this for the DVD because I suspect it's too late for the movie's release. And I haven't even mentioned the surprising bit (to me, at least) - namely the identity of Mr Blue and the set up for the another character, which I loved. The Incredible Hulk is a fun summer movie; just don't expect too many twists and turns. Like I said, it does exactly what it says on the can. rjl1138
Then there's this review from a screening abroad. Enjoy...
Dear AICN, It’s been 3 years since my last confession. It’s not that anything hasn’t grabbed me. I saw KUNG FU PANDA back in March (Capone is right, it is all that, and then some, highly recommended), the brilliant IRON MAN (with unfinished effects) some time early April (if DeLorean on my desk would be big enough for me to fit in and working properly, one of my first destinations would be 2010 to see the next one Favreau and 2008 Man Of The Year Downey will be serving us then) and PRINCE CASPIAN (Andrew Adamson, you’re taking the franchise in the right direction), the magnificent pot ad PINEAPPLE EXPRESS (good weed indeed!) a long time ago, but I never wrote, just thinking that there are plenty of people in your ranks who can do this much better. But I wanted to write about my biggest surprise of the year so far, THE INCREDIBLE HULK. I wasn’t afraid of the film, I just had near zero expectations. Shrek’s steroid-loving brother, directed by the guy who directed all the painfully boring non-action bits in Transporter movies and Danny the Dog (aka Unleashed on that side of the pond). With all due respect, mr. Ferrigno (and his intimidating physique) and lovable and brilliant Ang Lee, James Schamus and Eric Bana, there was nothing in Hulk’s past that made me look forward to this film. In fact, after Ang Lee’s Greek tragedy with that DUI guy from The Deep as Hulk’s evil dad, the whole idea of another Hulk movie seemed as good as PG-13 Die Hard or Terminator from the director of Charlie’s Angels… I was, however, always intrigued, how did they get Jack’s Bleeding Ulcer to star in it. Therefore I was hoping that there might be something in there after all. And boy, was there. Marvel should have done this a long time ago, starting doing justice to their own heroes. Because Iron Man and this is two for glowing two so far. Hell, after seeing this I hope that Marvel will some day find non-retarded writer(s) to give us a good, cool, kick-ass Elektra movie that the character deserves (I love you, Jen Garner, it wasn’t your fault, but the film was, well, abomination, no pun intended. OK, actually feeble attempt at pun detected, so … me). It is a very good hero story, a fresh start that makes you look forward to next meeting with this guy whom you'd best keep in a good mood.; Now, if you don’t mind, I will just be throwing random little bits of praise in deserving directions. Norton – inspired choice, tortured soul, you really root for Banner (especially in a scene, where his rapidly rising pulse… ok, you’ll see). Excellent opening credits bring those in who have zero knowledge of the green guy. And the great action scene in Brazil sets the tone perfectly, going the Alien/ Jaws less-is-more route you don’t see that often these days. Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky is a determined fearless bad-ass, a relentless pitbull who simply won’t stop. When asked why he doesn’t get out of the trenches, the guy says: I’m a fighter, I’ll be one as long as I can. If I could take what I know today and put it into the body I had 10 years ago, that’d be someone I wouldn’t want to fight. To which gen.Ross kindly answers: I could arrange something like that (that is not a spoiler, you’ve seen the guy getting huge needles stuck into him since the first trailer). By the way, I would have never guessed, but William Hurt as Gen. Ross is much cooler than mighty man-god Sam Elliot was in Ang Lee’s version. Again, goes to show that there was nothing in 2003 movie that this one doesn’t do better. Almost forgot, Stan Lee’s cameo is by far the best the man has done so far (lightyears from the slightly embarrassing mailman in Fantastic 4 or the impatient pedestrian in Daredevil, to name a few), surpassing even his fake-Hef moment in Iron Man. And the final scene, that sends you out with a really broad smile on your face, guaranteed. The same goes for the mighty monster punch up in the finale that has to be seen, I won’t even try to describe this. (I bet Bay is paying close attention and taking notes so that next Summer geeks wouldn’t say after his next robot orgy: well, sadly not as good as Hulk vs. Abomination showdown. It is good and most importantly, it gives Hulk an actual purpose, he’s not just a big green blunt instrument throwing tanks (apologies go out to all die hard Hulk fans, but that has been my impression on the guy so far), the man’s got so much at stake. Thank you Zak Penn, Norton, Marvel guys and, who knew?, Louis Leterrier! Pardon for doubting you could pull this off, Monsieur. With this as good as it is and Wanted, Hellboy and Dark Knight all coming up, looking mighty shiny, this is indeed turning into a really good Summer. Despite the fact that there’s a new Rob Schneider movie lurking somewhere on the horizon. Pleasure, as always, when the subject is movies, Dashing Don Lockwood