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Filmwhys Spotlight: Hulk

The first episode of Filmwhys Spotlight where I showcase an underappreciated superhero film and talk to the fans who enjoy it. Kicking off this series is 2003’s Hulk directed by Ang Lee which is generally unloved when compared to the more recent Marvel Cinematic Universe films, but has some redeemable moments in it.

Joining me in this episode are John Turman, one of the screenwriters of the film, Paul Hawkins from the Blokebusters Podcast, Hermano DeSilva from the First Time Watchers Podcast, and Nick Piers author of the Armadillo Mysteries who can be found at NickPiers.com.
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The Incredible Hulk Returns

The Incredible Hulk Returns 1988

It’s time to finally finish these Incredible Hulk movies as I end with the first one to come after the end of the TV series. I don’t see myself going all the way back to the original pilots for the show as they feel more like they should be considered pilots rather than TV movies, though I may visit them sometime down the line when I run out of other films to watch. But that’s beside the point, I’m here to talk about this film which was also intended to be a spinoff pilot for a potential Thor series, like the Trial of the Incredible Hulk was intended to be a spinoff pilor for a potential Daredevil series. So once again, this movie focused as much if not more on the origin of their version of Thor than they do on Banner and the Hulk. Though it’s interesting that this was the only TV movie that brought back the character of McGee, the reporter who was apparently a big part of the series and this is his only appearance in these TV films. In fact, this was his last major acting appearance. As far as the quality goes, I would say that it falls somewhere in between the other two, it has a lot of fun moments with Thor, but it also doesn’t really go anywhere by the end.
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The Trial of the Incredible Hulk

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk 1989

My first real exposure to the 1970’s Incredible Hulk series was the final film the Death of the Incredible Hulk, so I decided that I would go ahead and continue the trend by watching the three films that followed the series in the reverse order. This was the second of those films and was originally intended to introduce Daredevil as a possible series in its own right. I find it interesting how television was handled differently back then, there are many series that initially started out as a stand alone pilot movie, and if the movie was successful, then it would launch into production to air the next year give or take. It’s also worth noting that while I didn’t care for the Death of the Incredible Hulk at all, I generally enjoyed this film. There was a lot more done with its television budget in terms of sets and cinematography, and the characters felt more fleshed out. There were still plenty of gaping plot holes and sub par special effects, but they were integrated into the story much better.
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Hulk vs. Thor

Hulk vs. Thor 2009

As you may or may not know, before Marvel Studios went on to make the first Iron Man film and start its path towards complete box office domination, they cut a deal with Lions Gate Films to make a large handful of animated films based on several different characters. This was a mini double feature produced towards the end of their run and the last ones that I have yet to review, though I do remember watching them around the time that they came out. It’s a title that makes sense on a surface level, one of the biggest things that any comic book fan comes around to at one point or another is the question “who would win in a fight?” and then proceeds to pit two characters up against each other in an imaginary battle. It’s also something that tends to happen every now and then within the comics themselves, so it makes sense that they would pit the Hulk up against two of the most powerful and popular Marvel heroes to see who would win. Today I’m taking a look at the fight between Hulk and Thor. Unfortunately, it’s not the battle royale that one might have expected, instead it’s a bit of a let down similar to the last big pay-per-view boxing event.
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Filmwhys #51 The Silence of the Lambs and the Death of the Incredible Hulk

Filmwhys has returned! The intended 1 month-ish hiatus stretched out into 3 months, but we are back and episodes will be coming on a regular basis. In fact, two more episodes have already been recorded and will be posting every other week. No Filmwhys Extras for now, though they may return sporadically in the future. But for now, episode 51 of the Why Haven’t You Seen This Film Podcast where my guest is David Babbitt from 24 Panels per Second who asks me why I haven’t seen the Silence of the Lambs, one of the few horror films that have won an Academy Award for Best Picture and introduced the world to Anthony Hopkins’ version of Hannibal Lecter. And in return I ask him why he hadn’t seen the Death of the Incredible Hulk, the last of the TV movies from the TV show with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.
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Superhero Shorts: Superman vs. Hulk

Welcome back to another edition of Superhero Shorts where I take a look at a superhero themed short film and ask a few questions of the filmmaker. Today I’m talking with Mike Habjan and his animated fight sequence between Superman and the Incredible Hulk which he has been working on for several years now and still isn’t fully finished. You can watch the most recent section of the fight below, or you can see all of his animations on his YouTube Channel, or through the playlist which I set up.

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Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United

Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United 2013

It’s the start of December, nearing the end of 2013 and this is the last superhero movie release of the year. It’s also the first straight-to-video release from Marvel using CGI animation rather than the mix of traditional and CG that they’ve used for their past releases. It ends up looking much better than many of the cheap and/or old CGI cartoons of past home video releases and TV shows, but it’s still quite obviously far from the level of a theatrical release and the cheapness of the animation does show. It also felt like it’s aimed at a younger audience with a lot of humor that tends to focus more on slapstick and childish attitudes. Even the voice work has an air of cheapness that doesn’t quite capture the essence of either of the characters. There are some fun moments in the movie enough that I don’t regret watching it, but it really felt a lot more mediocre than I was expecting in more ways than one.
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Planet Hulk

I’ve viewed and reviewed a lot of DC Animation movies, but I haven’t gotten around to nearly as many Marvel Animation features. There aren’t quite as many of them, and they aren’t quite as high quality as their DC counterparts, but they are still often times an enjoyable diversion. I saw Planet Hulk for the first time a couple years ago when I was on a big animation kick and was going through most of the Marvel and DC Animated titles that were out at the time, and of the Marvel releases, this one was my favorite, even though there was one major problem I had. This movie is Planet Hulk, and of course the Hulk is the main character in it, but it is not the Hulk that I’ve come to know. The story is not what I would expect the Hulk to fit into, and I don’t recognize any name in the voice cast outside of Kevin Michael Richardson. But it still manages to be a fun watch and worth a look while you’re waiting for the next DC title to come out.
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The Avengers

The Avengers 2012

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen and read a dozen reviews of The Avengers already. This is one of them. I probably won’t say anything you haven’t already heard before but at least I’ve watched over 40 superhero movies already this year so while I may not be an expert, I may see things at a slightly different angle having seen so many similar movies. But let me just cut to the point here, it was awesome. It was better than any of the Marvel lead ups and while it may not have taken the top spot for my favorite superhero movie of all time, it’s definitely made it into the top 10. But first let me do a quick rundown in case you haven’t actually seen the Avengers yet and would rather pick one or two out of the five lead-in movies to watch first to prepare. If you want more information about the Tesseract, the big blue macguffin that everyone is after then watch Captain America to see what it’s capable of. If you want to learn more about the main villain of the movie, watch Thor to learn why he’s doing what he’s doing, and you also get a hint of the aliens in the universe even if it’s not the exact same ones. If you want to see more from S.H.I.E.L.D., watch Iron Man 2 to see how they began preparing for the Avengers Initiative and a hint of what Black Widow is capable of.

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The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk 2008

I feel like I first have to justify my viewing order for preparing for the Avengers. Out of all of the tie-in movies the only one I have yet to see is Iron Man 2. But when I decided to rewatch all of the Avengers movies leading up to the Avengers itself I knew I wanted to start with Hulk because I remembered it tying into the Incredible Hulk, and I like to watch movie sequels back to back. And to end the series, I had most recently watched Captain America this year so I wanted to put that at the end, especially because with the ending it feels like it leads directly into The Avengers. So instead of using one of the other methods to order the movies, I decided to go with this order: Hulk and The Incredible Hulk, then Iron Man and Iron Man 2 so I can watch those sequels back-to-back as well, then Thor, and finally Captain America’s audio commentary. I used to love watching audio commentaries but it’s been a while since I’ve put aside the time to watch the commentary instead of or in addition to the actual movie. It won’t get a full review but it will get a brief mention in a blog post.

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