Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 23rd, 2003
It has taken years to finally get a block-buster Hulk film produced, and the outcome has received mixed reviews. Grossing $132 million in the domestic box-office is usually nothing to sneeze at, but considering it cost $150 million to make the Hulk, it must still be looked at as disappointing. Many would argue that the animation was unrealistic, other would argue that it was amazing… each to their own. I, myself, found the film quite disappointing. I found the animation far too overdone, and the story to be lack…uster. I did really appreciate Ang Lee’s direction, but that is about as far as my praise will go for this film.
For those of you who have been stuck under a rock for the past 20 years, here is the basic storyline…
- ”After a freak lab accident unleashes a genetically enhanced, impossibly strong creature, a terrified world must marshal its forces to stop a being with abilities beyond imagination.” – Universal
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track on this discs is very good. There are moments where the film is very dialog driven, and other moments with extremely action sequences. This track does a nice job encompassing both styles of audio, creating a nice overall feel. The base is overwhelming in some sequences, but that is what most people will be looking for when watching the Hulk. Sound separation is good, the score is effective, and the soundstage has moments of brilliants.
As is the case with the audio, the video on this disc is very good. The colors are extremely vibrant… especially the vivid lime green of the Hulk. The darks are deep, creating a nice contrast, and the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, although not perfect, is free from most defects. You will notice the occasional spec of debris, and some mild grain in a few sequences within the film.
Disc one of this two disc set contains only one special feature: a feature length audio commentary featuring director Ang Lee. This track is at times insightful, but at other times boring. There are a number of moderately long silences, and the listen can easily lose interest. All-in-all, this commentary is worth checking out… even if you do not get all of the way through it.
Disc two is where you will find the lions share of extras…
- Evolution of the Hulk: This 16-minute featurette delves into the history of the Hulk; topics covered include Stan Lee (who is interviewed), the Comic, the Television Show, and of course, the feature film.
- The Incredible Ang Lee: Go figure… this 14-minute featurette explores, through interviews, how incredible the cast and crew found it working with Ang Lee.
- The Making of “The Hulk”: This 23-minute making-of documentary touches upon the films actors/performances, visual effects, stunts, and music.
- Captured Fury: Four renowned comic book artists are brought together to animate the final scene in comic book form. There drawings are then used as storyboards next to the final cut of the scene from the film.
- Dog Fight Scene: This 10-minute featurette shows how the “Dog Fight Scene was created. This extra has some interesting moments featuring Ang Lee’s methodology of creating the scene, and should be checked out.
- Also included are an interactive Hulk Cam which links (during the film) to short vignettes on the making-of that scene, Superhero Revealed – The Anatomy of the Hulk which features text notes on characters and other topics, 6-minutes of Deleted Scenes, a short Unique Style of Editing “The Hulk” featurette, and cast/crew bios.
This film will not be enjoyed by everyone, but so is the case with most comic-book films; for most, it will be either adored, or despised. I was not a huge fan of the film, but the DVD presentation is very good. The audio, video, and extras make this disc worth checking out.
Special Features List
- Deleted Scenes
- Audio Commentary with director Ang Lee
- Captured Fury – Illustrators from around the world create a scene from the movie in comic book form
- Superhero Revealed – The Anatomy of the Hulk
- Evolution of the Hulk – From the first metamorphis of Bruce Banner into the Hulk on the pages of comic books to his on-screen metamorphosis
- Hulk Cam – Flashing icons (optional) during the movie let the viewer know when behind-the-scenes footage is available
- The Incredible Ang Lee – A tribute to the Ang Lee and his hands-on directing style
- The Making of the Hulk
- The Dogfight (making-of-featurette)