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Eric Bana doesn't regret doing Ang Lee's Hulk

08.26.2013

Ang Lee's HULK wasn't the one we wanted or deserved. It was the one we got. It was a year after the success of SPIDER-MAN, and I think the process there was to find a hero everyone was familiar with hoping it had that sort of success. While Hulk is a fun character for kids, they don't get excited when they hear about the complex life that Bruce Banner leads.

Lee brought a version of the character that wasn't going to work with kids instead he gave Banner/Hulk what he thought they needed. Did it pay off? If you are familiar with the fanboy community it wasn't a big hit. As of late, I've been seeing some people defend it. I certainly don't think if anyone, the actors are to blame.

During an interview for Eric Bana's next project CLOSED CIRCUIT, the actors time as the angry green one was brought up:

Vulture: I re-watched Ang Lee's Hulk the other day.

Eric Bana: I'm sorry about that.

Vulture: Do you not like it? Compared to the superhero movies now, it's certainly an interesting take.

EB: Yeah, well, it was the first of the "dark" take. Make no mistake.

Vulture: Are you not proud of that movie?

EB: I'm proud of what it tried to do. I apologize to all those people who were so angry about it.

Vulture: I think time has been kind to Hulk.

EB: I don't know about that.

Vulture: I think people like it more now than they did in 2003.

EB: Well, I don't know. I'm fascinated by the people who hated that movie and feel compelled to watch it again, which always blows my mind. But, yeah, it is what it is and I certainly don't regret doing it.

Vulture: Do you ever think about your career if that had been a huge success and you would have done a few Hulk movies?

EB: Yes. And I think I'm so lucky it didn't happen. So, I think the opposite -- one of the things I was most fearful of at the time is it being a huge success [laughs].

So can we knock it off with the hate now?

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Source: HuffPo

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7:04PM on 08/28/2013
Always liked it, been following Bana's career since. Movie suffered from Nolte overacting and the dumb ending. Different ending and a few pacing tweaks and it could have been one of the greats. Holds up pretty well compared to some of the other similar movies released in that time period... That's what happens when you get a director like Lee, he's going to make a movie he wants to see, not what the studio may want to see.
Always liked it, been following Bana's career since. Movie suffered from Nolte overacting and the dumb ending. Different ending and a few pacing tweaks and it could have been one of the greats. Holds up pretty well compared to some of the other similar movies released in that time period... That's what happens when you get a director like Lee, he's going to make a movie he wants to see, not what the studio may want to see.
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1:53AM on 08/28/2013
Why would anyone be ashamed of that film, aside from the misunderstood power/ oversized Hulk stuff, it actually holds up incredibly well. A lot of hate is projected on that film for all the wrong reasons.
Why would anyone be ashamed of that film, aside from the misunderstood power/ oversized Hulk stuff, it actually holds up incredibly well. A lot of hate is projected on that film for all the wrong reasons.
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1:53AM on 08/28/2013
imho I thought ang lee's hulk movie was a lot better than the ed Norton version and bana should be proud to have played the monster. imho
imho I thought ang lee's hulk movie was a lot better than the ed Norton version and bana should be proud to have played the monster. imho
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9:51PM on 08/27/2013
so many people hated on, and still hate that movie. I remember going to see it in the theaters and I liked it. Of course I don't like it near as much as the one with Edward Norton, but I did enjoy it. I think Eric Bana was a fine Bruce Banner and Hulk. By the way if you haven't seen Deadfall with Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde I suggest you do. It's a pretty good and underrated film in my opinion.
so many people hated on, and still hate that movie. I remember going to see it in the theaters and I liked it. Of course I don't like it near as much as the one with Edward Norton, but I did enjoy it. I think Eric Bana was a fine Bruce Banner and Hulk. By the way if you haven't seen Deadfall with Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde I suggest you do. It's a pretty good and underrated film in my opinion.
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4:55PM on 08/27/2013
Honestly Ang Lee's Hulk is still better than any of the other versions of Hulk. The movie tried something very different at a time when comic book movies were trying to find their place. I think a unique take like that would go over much better now since most people are kinda sick of comic book films all being the same. I also think Bana might still be my favorite Bruce Banner. Ruffalo was good, just way underdelevoped but Norton was an absolute bore as Bruce and I normally like Norton in
Honestly Ang Lee's Hulk is still better than any of the other versions of Hulk. The movie tried something very different at a time when comic book movies were trying to find their place. I think a unique take like that would go over much better now since most people are kinda sick of comic book films all being the same. I also think Bana might still be my favorite Bruce Banner. Ruffalo was good, just way underdelevoped but Norton was an absolute bore as Bruce and I normally like Norton in EVERYTHING.
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12:59PM on 08/27/2013
Glad Bana doesn't regret doing this. It was a movie that was very personal, and the action was great. And I prefer Jennifer Connelly over Liv Tyler Betty Ross.
Glad Bana doesn't regret doing this. It was a movie that was very personal, and the action was great. And I prefer Jennifer Connelly over Liv Tyler Betty Ross.
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+0
11:49AM on 08/27/2013

SSSMMMAAASSSHHH!!!

I'm glad he doesn't regret doing Hulk. He shouldn't have to feel ashamed of it. I admit I didn't like it at first but after watching it again it is a really well acted, well rounded film. I still like Sam Elliot as General Ross and of course who can forget Jennifer Connelly (Soooo cute). I think it works as a single film too without a sequel even though it would've been nice to see Ang Lee do another Hulk.
I'm glad he doesn't regret doing Hulk. He shouldn't have to feel ashamed of it. I admit I didn't like it at first but after watching it again it is a really well acted, well rounded film. I still like Sam Elliot as General Ross and of course who can forget Jennifer Connelly (Soooo cute). I think it works as a single film too without a sequel even though it would've been nice to see Ang Lee do another Hulk.
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11:23AM on 08/27/2013
I never much cared for that movie but of course he doesn't regret doing it, who would? He was paid to kiss Jennifer Connely on screen. What's there to be sorry about.
I never much cared for that movie but of course he doesn't regret doing it, who would? He was paid to kiss Jennifer Connely on screen. What's there to be sorry about.
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10:58AM on 08/27/2013
Never hated it, though I never loved it either. It had a script that contradicts its own style, with the movie being dead serious and depressing while the comic book panel style transition made the visual look somewhat dynamic and should have been fun. It never really clicked with the audience because the movie doesn't seem too sure of itself and couldn't make up its mind whether it's telling a story for kids or for 40 year old dads. The second movie with Ed Norton fare slightly better because
Never hated it, though I never loved it either. It had a script that contradicts its own style, with the movie being dead serious and depressing while the comic book panel style transition made the visual look somewhat dynamic and should have been fun. It never really clicked with the audience because the movie doesn't seem too sure of itself and couldn't make up its mind whether it's telling a story for kids or for 40 year old dads. The second movie with Ed Norton fare slightly better because at least they were self-conscious in trying to bring back that old nostalgic feeling from the television series. It's only major drawback was that Ed Norton wasn't likeable enough as Bruce Banner. Mark Ruffalo was perfect casting for the temperamental scientist, and his Hulk was fun to watch.
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10:54AM on 08/27/2013

Hulk is the trickiest movie to make

Banner is a complex character but is no action hero.
Hulk has amazing strength but is not an interesting character.
Ang Lee's film is probably the best film we'll ever have with Hulk as a central character.
Banner is a complex character but is no action hero.
Hulk has amazing strength but is not an interesting character.
Ang Lee's film is probably the best film we'll ever have with Hulk as a central character.
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10:32AM on 08/27/2013
Everytime I see it I like it more, it´s 8/10 in my opinion. The big problem was Hulk´s cgi, but wasn´t better in Incredible Hulk (and I hate that movie).
Everytime I see it I like it more, it´s 8/10 in my opinion. The big problem was Hulk´s cgi, but wasn´t better in Incredible Hulk (and I hate that movie).
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-5
10:17AM on 08/27/2013
I thought this movie was major fun up until the downtown surrendering scene. The scene itself was pretty intense and emotional with all the slides of the police, the military and stuff. If the movie had ended there...would have been a good time. I'd forgotten about the father story too...until what followed. Still...the final scene was pretty good.
I thought this movie was major fun up until the downtown surrendering scene. The scene itself was pretty intense and emotional with all the slides of the police, the military and stuff. If the movie had ended there...would have been a good time. I'd forgotten about the father story too...until what followed. Still...the final scene was pretty good.
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-6
10:05AM on 08/27/2013
Good! This movie was amazing, I hate when it gets bashed.
Good! This movie was amazing, I hate when it gets bashed.
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8:44AM on 08/27/2013
I like Hulk. It was an unusually poetic take on the character, I don't consider that a necessarily bad quality for a movie about the Incredible Hulk. Ang Lee had a cool take on the concept - not for everyone, but still good.
I like Hulk. It was an unusually poetic take on the character, I don't consider that a necessarily bad quality for a movie about the Incredible Hulk. Ang Lee had a cool take on the concept - not for everyone, but still good.
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8:36AM on 08/27/2013
I never disliked the movie. However, I did feel that Bana was miscast and that the movie could have done with a bit more SMASHING and a better super-villain than Absorbing Dad but, other than that, it was okay.
I never disliked the movie. However, I did feel that Bana was miscast and that the movie could have done with a bit more SMASHING and a better super-villain than Absorbing Dad but, other than that, it was okay.
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+3
8:30AM on 08/27/2013
Eric Bana/Ang Lee's Hulk is pretty much to Edward Norton's Hulk what Watchmen is to The Avengers. With that said, I like them all.
Eric Bana/Ang Lee's Hulk is pretty much to Edward Norton's Hulk what Watchmen is to The Avengers. With that said, I like them all.
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7:35AM on 08/27/2013

:D

Eric Bana is awesome. Why isn't he a mega super star? I'm not a huge fan of this Hulk, but I like certain scenes in it.
Eric Bana is awesome. Why isn't he a mega super star? I'm not a huge fan of this Hulk, but I like certain scenes in it.
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7:29AM on 08/27/2013
I liked Ang Lee's Hulk. It had a good plot, good acting great effects. I never hated it. Jennifer Connelly was gorgeous. Bana brought a great take to Banner. The Hulk Dogs were kinda weird, but it was a unique challenge for Hulk. Absorbing man was a worthy opponent and written well into the plot. I never truly got the loathing for it.
I liked Ang Lee's Hulk. It had a good plot, good acting great effects. I never hated it. Jennifer Connelly was gorgeous. Bana brought a great take to Banner. The Hulk Dogs were kinda weird, but it was a unique challenge for Hulk. Absorbing man was a worthy opponent and written well into the plot. I never truly got the loathing for it.
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-6
6:27AM on 08/27/2013

Finally

I'm remember walking out loving this movie. I loved the paneling. I thought it was a great comic book movie, literally. It suffered from the same things origin films do (not a lot of action, and I didn't like the bad guy in this or the dogs) but it's bc it was mainly ab the hulks struggle. And I'm also glad we got a bit dumber "sequel" or whatever where there was a lot more action and a big time villain. But never could understand the hate for the first one.
I'm remember walking out loving this movie. I loved the paneling. I thought it was a great comic book movie, literally. It suffered from the same things origin films do (not a lot of action, and I didn't like the bad guy in this or the dogs) but it's bc it was mainly ab the hulks struggle. And I'm also glad we got a bit dumber "sequel" or whatever where there was a lot more action and a big time villain. But never could understand the hate for the first one.
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4:03AM on 08/27/2013
I was 13 going on 14 when this first came out in theaters. I remember seeing it with a few friends and when we walked out, I was the only one who appreciated the film for what it was and is. Sure, the other two cinematic Hulk iterations that we have gotten have improved on the look and style of the character with the action aspect paid particular attention to. However, the subject matter of Ang Lee's HULK is something intriguing and fascinating. In some regard, it was ahead of its time and
I was 13 going on 14 when this first came out in theaters. I remember seeing it with a few friends and when we walked out, I was the only one who appreciated the film for what it was and is. Sure, the other two cinematic Hulk iterations that we have gotten have improved on the look and style of the character with the action aspect paid particular attention to. However, the subject matter of Ang Lee's HULK is something intriguing and fascinating. In some regard, it was ahead of its time and could be labeled as a precursor to the surge of "dark" superhero movies that are being cranked out now. The film has aged like a fine wine and some people are starting to become more open to it. Personally though, it's just as good as the first viewing if not better.
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+1
2:25AM on 08/27/2013
I didn't hate the movie. It had a unique quality to it for a comic book film. It had a few roll your eyes moments, but so what?
I didn't hate the movie. It had a unique quality to it for a comic book film. It had a few roll your eyes moments, but so what?
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2:20AM on 08/27/2013
"Ang Lee's HULK wasn't the one we wanted or deserved."

Don't be so hard on yourself: you deserved a good Hulk movie and that's what you got.
"Ang Lee's HULK wasn't the one we wanted or deserved."

Don't be so hard on yourself: you deserved a good Hulk movie and that's what you got.
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12:12AM on 08/27/2013

I'm happy to see I'm not the only one...

...who's given the film a second chance.
I was a teen when Ang Lee's "HULK" came out and I remember it being one of those defining moments when you are a kid and you actually start to be critical of something you were supposed to love. I remember just not understanding why there was so little action and all this brooding, and it just didn't work for me then. But now years later, I was encouraged by a colleague who is also involved with film to give it a second chance and I was
...who's given the film a second chance.
I was a teen when Ang Lee's "HULK" came out and I remember it being one of those defining moments when you are a kid and you actually start to be critical of something you were supposed to love. I remember just not understanding why there was so little action and all this brooding, and it just didn't work for me then. But now years later, I was encouraged by a colleague who is also involved with film to give it a second chance and I was overwhelmingly surprised on how differently I engaged the material. In retrospect I think it is very much the superior to Norton's Hulk, as well as one of the better comic book films out there. Ang Lee truly isn't a director to screw around, and in time I've come to appreciate his risky creative choices in order to push what he felt the material could support.
I agree, I do think "time has been kind to HULK."
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11:22PM on 08/26/2013
Glad to see so much green for this movie (see what I did there?). I actually like to pretend Hulk is an unofficial part of Marvel's Phase One. I can watch Hulk and Incredible Hulk together and enjoy both for different reasons.
Glad to see so much green for this movie (see what I did there?). I actually like to pretend Hulk is an unofficial part of Marvel's Phase One. I can watch Hulk and Incredible Hulk together and enjoy both for different reasons.
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11:11PM on 08/26/2013
Jennifer Connelly was so fucking hot in this movie.
Jennifer Connelly was so fucking hot in this movie.
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11:03PM on 08/26/2013

Eric Bana was an excellent Hulk

Like Brandon Routh and Hugh Jackman, Bana delivered a great performance in a flawed movie. Like Mark Ruffalo, and unlike Ed Norton, I could believe that Bana had the well of inner rage that could make him into The Hulk under the right circumstances. It was a fearless performance that belonged in a much better movie.

And I much prefer Jennifer Connelly over Liv Tyler!
Like Brandon Routh and Hugh Jackman, Bana delivered a great performance in a flawed movie. Like Mark Ruffalo, and unlike Ed Norton, I could believe that Bana had the well of inner rage that could make him into The Hulk under the right circumstances. It was a fearless performance that belonged in a much better movie.

And I much prefer Jennifer Connelly over Liv Tyler!
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-6
9:59PM on 08/26/2013
I never hated it. Ang Lee's Hulk was always my favorite take on the character. There is nothing wrong with adding realism and gravitas to fantasy. There has always been a lot of complexity to the Bruce Banner character; and to ignore it is naive. If I wanted a brainless "hulk smash" movie, I would watch Transformers or Wrestlmania (or whatever the hell the popular wrestling show is called these days). I also really love the cast. Everyone was perfect. I hate when things get dumbed down for
I never hated it. Ang Lee's Hulk was always my favorite take on the character. There is nothing wrong with adding realism and gravitas to fantasy. There has always been a lot of complexity to the Bruce Banner character; and to ignore it is naive. If I wanted a brainless "hulk smash" movie, I would watch Transformers or Wrestlmania (or whatever the hell the popular wrestling show is called these days). I also really love the cast. Everyone was perfect. I hate when things get dumbed down for American audiences, and this movie avoided that trick.
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-7
9:59PM on 08/26/2013
I like the Ang Lee version better than the other Hulk personally. It has it's issues towards the end, but it was a solid and serious take on the character. Nothing to regret.
I like the Ang Lee version better than the other Hulk personally. It has it's issues towards the end, but it was a solid and serious take on the character. Nothing to regret.
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9:54PM on 08/26/2013
He shouldn't regret doing it. Even though I prefer The Incredible Hulk more, Hulk is a good film which I think more people (at least me) have come to respect alot more over the years.

It's not like the film ruined Bana's career or anything.
He shouldn't regret doing it. Even though I prefer The Incredible Hulk more, Hulk is a good film which I think more people (at least me) have come to respect alot more over the years.

It's not like the film ruined Bana's career or anything.
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9:30PM on 08/26/2013
I like this version. Sure. It had it's flaws: giant, mutated dogs, Hulk wouldn't stop freaking growing in the end & the villain was pretty bad in the end scenes too. It would've been completely excellent if you took out the mutts & gave him an actual bad guy to throw down with. But, I appreciated it for what it was.
I like this version. Sure. It had it's flaws: giant, mutated dogs, Hulk wouldn't stop freaking growing in the end & the villain was pretty bad in the end scenes too. It would've been completely excellent if you took out the mutts & gave him an actual bad guy to throw down with. But, I appreciated it for what it was.
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9:21PM on 08/26/2013
He doesn't have anything to be sorry about, he did a great job and it was a very unique and interesting take on the character.
He doesn't have anything to be sorry about, he did a great job and it was a very unique and interesting take on the character.
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9:00PM on 08/26/2013
[link]

Also, whatever happened to Josh Lucas? He was a hot commodity for a split second
[link]

Also, whatever happened to Josh Lucas? He was a hot commodity for a split second
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9:00PM on 08/26/2013

Don't call me a hipster.

I've always liked it. I much prefer it to the overblown hype of Leterrier's Incredible Hulk and his stupid 1% body fat version. I prefer Bana's Hulk who felt like he was actually angry and had a legitimate problem with self-control than Norton's Hulk who merely felt like a bit of a grumpy gus. I prefer the way Ang Lee handled Banner's motivations and the effects on Banner of the aftermath of a Hulk-out. I prefer Sam Elliot's Ross and Jennifer Connelly's more layered Betty. The only thing that
I've always liked it. I much prefer it to the overblown hype of Leterrier's Incredible Hulk and his stupid 1% body fat version. I prefer Bana's Hulk who felt like he was actually angry and had a legitimate problem with self-control than Norton's Hulk who merely felt like a bit of a grumpy gus. I prefer the way Ang Lee handled Banner's motivations and the effects on Banner of the aftermath of a Hulk-out. I prefer Sam Elliot's Ross and Jennifer Connelly's more layered Betty. The only thing that lets the movie down as a whole is the somewhat confusing and anti-climactic showdown with his dad.
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8:59PM on 08/26/2013
Ang Lee's Hulk is certainly not a bad movie. However, it's just not the Hulk movie we expected.
Ang Lee's Hulk is certainly not a bad movie. However, it's just not the Hulk movie we expected.
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8:43PM on 08/26/2013
I don't enjoy the film and I think Louis Letterier's version, while more conventional, was a better take, but I guess that like the Hulk himself, it is misunderstood. Lee Ang tried valiantly to make something out of it even though he probably wasn't the best fit for the material, but he is a hell of a director and Bana was a good Banner. Between Bana, Norton and Ruffalo, I don't think any of them have been a terrible Hulk, which is cool because when there's a comic book character played by
I don't enjoy the film and I think Louis Letterier's version, while more conventional, was a better take, but I guess that like the Hulk himself, it is misunderstood. Lee Ang tried valiantly to make something out of it even though he probably wasn't the best fit for the material, but he is a hell of a director and Bana was a good Banner. Between Bana, Norton and Ruffalo, I don't think any of them have been a terrible Hulk, which is cool because when there's a comic book character played by several actors over a relatively short time period, at least one should suck.
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8:42PM on 08/26/2013

He shouldn't be ashamed. It's a flawed masterpiece.

Yes, I said it. It did the whole "serious and mature" take on the hero before Nolan got all the cred for it and all it does is get shat on. It's also much more faithful to the comics than the supposed fans seem to think it is. Mostly the beloved and long lived Peter David run.
Yes, I said it. It did the whole "serious and mature" take on the hero before Nolan got all the cred for it and all it does is get shat on. It's also much more faithful to the comics than the supposed fans seem to think it is. Mostly the beloved and long lived Peter David run.
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1:56AM on 08/28/2013
I still get angry when people slag the father killing his mother thing, even though it is pretty much that thing that makes Bruce the Hulk. That was the one point Ang lee nailed, the never ending pit of rage left in someone after witnessing something like that.
I still get angry when people slag the father killing his mother thing, even though it is pretty much that thing that makes Bruce the Hulk. That was the one point Ang lee nailed, the never ending pit of rage left in someone after witnessing something like that.
+4
8:39PM on 08/26/2013
It's not the best but I caught it on tv the other night and it was a little better than I remember. Over all it's ok for what they were trying to do with it.
It's not the best but I caught it on tv the other night and it was a little better than I remember. Over all it's ok for what they were trying to do with it.
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+0
8:38PM on 08/26/2013
I liked it when it was first released and still like it when I catch it randomly on cable and I've always felt in the minority. It's definitely a flawed film, don't get me wrong. The last fight is a muddled, murky mess, but I thought Lee attempted something a bit different than just making a Hulk mad, Hulk smash movie. Elfman's score was good too!
I liked it when it was first released and still like it when I catch it randomly on cable and I've always felt in the minority. It's definitely a flawed film, don't get me wrong. The last fight is a muddled, murky mess, but I thought Lee attempted something a bit different than just making a Hulk mad, Hulk smash movie. Elfman's score was good too!
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8:33PM on 08/26/2013
I'll admit it, I liked Ang Lee's version. Far from perfect but I liked the dark tone and psychological aspect of the film as well as the out of the pages editing.
I'll admit it, I liked Ang Lee's version. Far from perfect but I liked the dark tone and psychological aspect of the film as well as the out of the pages editing.
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