I just watched Ang Lee’s Hulk, again. And I seriously think I’m gonna buy the extended deluxe DVD, if there is one. Because suddenly I am captured, virtually pinned to a metaphorical corkboard, by the irony:
They had every hope for the project. Got the best technicians, the most creative scientists, got a GENIUS to run everything, and gave him his head. And at every stage, everything looked like it was going perfectly. So much money invested; so much money would be generated. Why the other movies had done INCREDIBLY well…!
The big boys got something, with Ang Lee’s Hulk, that they never anticipated, and din’t know how to deal with. You know what his sin was? HE LOVED IT TOO MUCH. He took it too seriously on its own merits. He treated it for real on the one hand, treated it like a comic book on the other. And he committed to both ways of seeing it. This is the fourth time I’ve seen this movie.
Ang Lee’s a fucking BRILLIANT GODDAMN GENIUS.
He does everything right. I’ve gushed before about his super-transgressive editing, his wish to capture what comics look like, the music he chooses, his informationally ultra-dense titles that made my friend Stella walk out of the theatre before Eric Bana’s face was ever seen…the lichens and the desert floor, the close sight turning to the long sight…I mean you guys, the only thing I never liked about this movie was the HULK!
On fourth viewing, that’s changed. I think I like the Hulk best of all. I like how his huge face signals emotions. I like that he’s really Banner. I think they did a terrific job on this. My friend Ed told me, a few years ago: “check out Sam Elliott in this, he is going to town on being Ross.” I never really believed him, because I saw that fucking Roadhouse movie — I can’t stand Sam Elliott.
It’s taken me four viewings. But I believe Sam Elliott read the comics.
And don’t get me started on perfection-girl Jennifer Connolly. Just imagine this whole movie in subtitles. No, wait, don’t imagine it: because she delivers a FANTASTIC line.
“All I’m saying is: frogs start raining from the sky…who’re they gonna come to?”
Get serious, I kind of believe she’s a scientist for about thirty seconds in this movie! But more than that: superhero stories are all about the costumes and the colours — the Hulk being a hero wearing green and purple was an innovation, I mean do I have to say it once again that the Hulk is the perfect Marvel Comics version of Superman?! — and Betty Ross has a costume too. I don’t want to come off like a dick about it, y’know. But what I think is so brilliant about her costume is that Jennifer Connolly probably wears it in real life as well. Well, don’t we all remember how the people we used to go to school with had their habitual “costumes”? And what’s better for a pretty blue-eyed brunette super-scientist than an appropriately-distressed vibrant jean-jacket? Look at the confrontaions Betty has with her father in this movie: there’s real acting there. Ed was right about Sam. I’m right about Jen. I could’ve watched those two just sit in a room together and squirm for two hours alone. But for her, she gets some range: supergenius one second, angry daughter the next, then she SCREAMS (beautifully, I might add), then she has a scene where she’s frightened, then she has a scene where she’s angry, then one when she’s determined…I mean who knew a crap comics movie could give an actress so many things to do?
Look, I’m gonna go on about it for the next couple of days. I’ve got lots of good things to say about it. You really need to see it four times. It’s a terrific movie. Just for now, I’m concentrating on something. But it really is good.
Oh, they thought they could control the outcome, didn’t they?
But they couldn’t.
So they had to wipe the project, start all over with another project.
Control, control, control. I’m telling you, folks.
Some things can’t be controlled. That’s what makes Ang Lee’s Hulk such an awesome movie.
So…I’ll just say it, shall I?
“Within Each Of Us, Oftimes, There Dwells A Mighty Raging Fury.”
Go ahead; watch it again. Dude from “Crouching Tiger”, right?
Can’t go wrong.