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Monday, June 23, 2003

The HULK 

I was very excited to see The HULK. I heard them discuss it on the Howard Stern show a day before the release. They got to see an advance special screening. In my opinion, his crew lives in a state of heightened awareness; so their experience watching movies is usually more on an emotional level than intellectual. Of course, they are also highly opinionated and sometimes that gets in the way.

The Stern show that day was great - all of them wound up nicely; and the direction took a very dark and dangerous turn. Not before long, Howard had everyone voting on who should be fired (even if they were absent), voting on who was/n’t liked, and yelling at people who called in even though they were just pushing his buttons. Howard’s anger is often the most fascinating and creative kind, a cold and logical one.

During the screening, once the lights went off, a strange person snuck-in and managed to sit beside Howard. No one knew who he was, but due to the security and exclusivity of the event they all assumed that someone else invited him. Howard couldn’t stop thinking about him, and SARS; and began his old OCD by washing his hands with his little bottle of antibiotic fluid; wanting to break out of the theatre but not being able. Robin & Mister "X" sat behind Howard and fumed for much of the show – not liking the slow pace and restrained tangents – so much so that Howard was afraid to turn around.

This experience is a familiar feature for this film and I can tell you it was repeated and amplified again when I went with my friend. The motivation of The HULK is pretty clear, and people all over the theatre were angry and blurting out comments, while other's ssshhh'ing them, some laughing at it, and the remainder tensing up. There is no doubt that The HULK motivates towards frustration and wanting to smash. I was especially drawn to the story by the fact that The HULK’s father was directly responsible for making his son both hostile to the world and unable to express himself. This is the combination that produces rage, and intrigued me. Unfortunately, The HULK doesn’t follow this logic throughout the movie and ends up leaving the audience unsatisfied. Anger must resolve itself, both the hot and cold aspects of it united and smoothed out, and transcended; in order to be interesting. There are quite a few short-cuts taken by the movie, after opening up the topic for analysis - and as I’ve said before, the movie that I made up in my head to fill in the blanks was much better than the movie I saw.

All that said, it is a tremendous feeling to watch a green, raging, disfigured giant take on the world and feed on violence. I’m going back, this time with lowered expectations, and a big cynical smile on my face.

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