Sunday, November 27, 2011

Superhero Flicks, Part 5: The Hulk

Superman & Batman, Spider-Man & Hulk, Kermit & Fozzy, peanut butter & jelly....

The Incredible Hulk (1977)

The film-

The pilot movie to the TV series.
Man, what a great show this was.
Bill Bixby was fuckin' awesome.
I took him for granted, but when you look back...y'know?
He brought sincerity and verisimilitude to that role, and deflated a lot of the potential silly.
Cool actor.

The history-

Well, first, from here...
Well, I have some fuzzy memories of being in a crib, and a playpen, but my first clear memories start at two, with receiving my first Star Wars action figures.
A bunch of other stuff happened, I'm sure, but the next clear memory that's left is of Dad handing me my first comic, Batman issue 307.
My next memory, and where my memory record finally gets perfectly clear, is of the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno Incredible Hulk series.
Then bam, next comes Superman The Movie.
That's it, no going back, geekdom had taken hold. :)
So, there you go, Hulk is literally my first clear memory. :)

Then, of course, this story happened when I was 5...(Raunchy Hulk)..and full-circled to today.

Oh, right, got an autograph from Lou Ferrigno one time at Scarborough Downs.
He signed it "Hulk".
Still got that on my wall here.

The Incredible Hulk Returns

The film-

"The one with Thor", to most people, so, I'll go with it.
It's the one with Thor.

Loved it, retroactively one of the best episodes of the show.
Possibly the best...but...the two parter where he marries Marriette Hartley, and the one where he runs into an evil old man Hulk were both pretty damned good too.

Wish they'd done more of these, with more Marvel wasn't to be... :(

The history-

Oh, I was just apeshit when this came on TV.
I still dig it.
I had this recorded on VHS, but I'm pretty sure it degraded, I gotta upgrade this to DVD.

The Trial of The Incredible Hulk

The film-

The one with Daredevil.

This was the first onscreen live-action Daredevil I believe...yup.

Ehhh...not a big Daredevil nut.
And the costume on this guy was weak.
What? No red?
Just a black ninja pajamas getup?

The history-

Okay, I deliberately don't remember much of this one, it wasn't that hot, but..there's one scene that burnt into my memory...

And, matter of fact, it's the exact scene depicted on that VHS box up there.

Banner has a dream he's in court being grilled on the stand, and I can't remember what they ask him, I think asking him to account for the time during which he was having a Hulk-out, and..well, it plays out kinda like this...

Murdock- Answer the question, David!

Chick attorney- Why won't you answer the question?

Judge- (barked out in drill sergeant voice) YOUMUSTANSWERTHEQUESTIOOON!!!

Now, loop that about a minimum of 5 times, like "help me Smee", and you get the effect.

Gives me a chuckle for some reason.

Anyway, that loop drives Banner batty, and he Hulks out in the dream, which makes him wake up, and Hulk out in real life.

That's my favorite Hulk-out ever.

But, it's the only bit I remember, so, the rest must've stunk.

Oh, yeah, that's right, there was actually more Daredevil bullshit in this than Hulk, he was actually the guest star in his own movie.
I always got the sense this was an attempted Daredevil spinoff pilot.
...didn't work.

The Death of The Incredible Hulk

The film- guest-star superheroes, Banner pretends to be a janitor, befriends an old man scientist, and his wife,  they try to make a cure for him, some b-plot with Banner falling for and banging a lady spy, possibly Russian, Hulk falls off a helicopter, leaves a crater, turns to Banner, dies.

The finer details are hazy...

But, yeah, for whatever reason, Bixby killed off TV Hulk.
I wished he had found the cure, and walked off into the sunset one last time happy.
Ah, well.
Maybe Bixby wanted to avoid a shitty remake within that continuity.
Kinda like how when Robert Crumb ice-picked Fritz The Cat...
I dunno.

Anyway, Bill Bixby died of cancer not a couple years after this, and he knew he was sick weren't going to be anymore anyway.
*Sad sigh*

The history-

So, yeah, by the time this one rolled around, I was old enough not to be heartbroken, after all, I still had Hulk in the comic books, but, I just resigned myself to the (then assumed) fact Hulk was pretty much done in the live-action medium, and warmly reflected on what a great ride it had all been.


The film-

From here...

Fuck you, I like the Ang Lee Hulk.
Spidey was good, but I was a Hulk kid growing up, so, this fullfilled the kid in me far better than Star Wars prequels.
Yeah, I'm slamming the prequels a fucking lot, but...come on, 16 fucking years, dreaming of it since childhood, and then...that?!?!
But, Hulk didn't let me down.
It tapped into everything that made the comic great in the 80's/90's which was my span of collecting the series.
And Nick Nolte plays great crazy in this.
I dug him in "Jefferson In Paris", too.
Well, he's done a lot of good shit, I'm a fan.
And, the Velvet Revolver song kicked too.

The history-

The above covers it well enough.

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The film-

From here again....

A little bit thinner, y'know, less meatier, than the first one, but I enjoyed it.
Would have been a typical issue of the comic book from when I was a small kid.
Or, an episode of the old show.
Each Hulk flick covers different strengths of different eras of the books, I enjoy both.
This one had more monster action, for sure.
Some goofball critic said this was "as good as Iron Man", eh...apples and oranges.
I do dig the Robert Downey cameo, indeed all the other easter eggs in the other Marvel flicks leading up to "The Avengers".
That's been a blast to see unfold.
Why, its been more enjoyable than looking forward to..well...Star Wars prequels.

The history-

Ditto the last one...

So, that's Marvel's big two, up next, The Avengers!


hyla2 said...

Ahhh . . . More late '70's childhood wonderment . . .

I remember when Mister Rogers visited the set of The Incredible Hulk and we got to see Lou Ferrigno have his Hulk makeup applied.

I never understood then why that feature failed to be included on every episode of Mister Roger's Neighborhood, and was on the edge of my seat each time I watched in anticipation! Ya let me down, Fred.

Diacanu said...

Glad you mentioned it. ;)

hyla2 said...

Yer velcome.

Y'know, I never saw the entirety of 'Trial' . . . So . . . When beardy Banner hulks out, does the Hulk have a beard? Or did it magically disappear?

One thing I DO remember is that at the end, the 'Kingpin' (they just called him 'Mr. Fisk') escapes in a painfully bluescreened jet-propelled hover throne. Yes he does.

Diacanu said...

The beard magically vanishes.

Well, that wasn't as bad as when animated Hulk's clothes re-atomized, for no other good reason that they could perpetually recycle the transformation scene.

hyla2 said...

Oh, yeah, that sucks.

Wait, was this the old Hulk/Spiderman show from the early '80's (pre 'Amazing Friends'), or the '90's Hulk show?

Diacanu said...


...but..if I remember right, Amazing Friends came first, then the Spiderman half of the couplet was still Amazing Friends.

No, the 90's one the clothes stayed ripped.

hyla2 said...

Hmm . . . Yeah, that sounds more like what I remembered . . .

I think I'm confusing things with that other solo Spidey cartoon, which I think must've predated 'Amazing Friends'.

Yeah, 'Amazing' and 'Hulk' were definitely arm in arm. Loved that stuff. Pretty much my major intro to those characters rather than the comics--same thing with the DC heroes and Superfriends (blasphemous for a 'comic book guy', I know . . . but I've always been a bigger fan of animation, actually; I'd probably be doing that instead of comics if I had the patience or skillz).

Diacanu said...

Sorry, once I threw that Dailymotion link of Mr. Rogers up, I had to watch it...

Shoulda put it in the review somewhere, ah, well... don't necessarily need "the skillz", that grunt-work is for Koreans, you can just be the writer/producer, like Groening, or McFarlane, or Parker/Stone.

hyla2 said...

Well, techincally, the Mister Rogers bit IS in the review, now, by the magic of the 'commentary track'!

Animation . . . Yeah, I know it gets farmed out, just sayin'. Ahh . . . someday. It just needs to get done right. Mebbe somewheres down the line, the gang behind Avatar: The Last Airbender will be hard up and looking for something edgier, and I can swoop down upon them. Get SGS up on the Adult Swim and bitchslap Bleach into next week!

Well, it's nice to dream ;)

Diacanu said...

Re: Mister Rogers. True..

Re: SGS/Airbender. Hey, there ya go! I can actually picture that.

Re: Dreaming. Ah, indeed.

hyla2 said...

Yeah, that show is pretty much the coolest and most consistently well crafted animated series . . . ever. If they had an animation 'B', 'C', or 'D' team working on any of that, I never noticed it. I got all three seasonal box sets. REALLY looking forward to Legend of Korra.

Side note on the Airbender (and I should've saved this for somewhere in my own blog, but opportunity knocks . . .)insofar as voice talent goes, I've only ever heard one performance strike dead on for Rumba: Mae Whitman (Katara) in the third season when Zuko becomes part of the Avatar Gang, and she confronts him in his room, voice all cold and husky and full of suspicious anger, and she basically tells him (paraphrased), 'if you hurt my friends, I'll kill you'.

THAT is EXACTLY what Rumba sounds like.

Diacanu said...

Heh...well...THAT'S sent me on a Youtube quest...

Diacanu said...

Okay...seen/heard her as Katara, and Batgirl, I think I can imagine it.

Ashamed to admit, I didn't watch Airbender.

A lot of folks recommended it to me too.
I have no practical or philosophical excuse, I was just being an old poop.

hyla2 said...

WELL, you just UN-POOP yourself, mister!

Show is the bee/cat's-ass-knees.

Mae was a Batgirl? Aww . . . 'Animated' or 'The Batman'?

Diacanu said...

Brave & Bold.

hyla2 said...

AH! Neat.

Did you see the scene I was talking about, though? Or just A scene of Mae/Katara?

She doesn't sound right for Rumba all the time, just in that specific bit. Rumba is supposed to sound all husky and terse and contemptuous and like she's a breath and a half from kicking your ass.

Diacanu said...

No, nothin' with her doing her angry voice...but, my imagination is pretty good for reverse engineering vocal ranges.

Backwards of the process is how I spot voice actors in other roles.

Like, Frank Welker, I can't not hear him in everything.

hyla2 said...

Yeah, geez, talk about your vocal ranges . . . Dude was Megatron, and Soundwave . . . AND Dr. Claw (Soundwave without the vocoder, natch') . . . AND Brain the dog! I guess he does a lot of animal characters.

And now he's come full circle to ol' Megs at last on the new Transformers: Prime show. :D

Diacanu said...

...and Ray, and Slimer, and Stripe the Gremlin, and the new Scooby, and the new Garfield.

Yes, holy shit, he figured out how to do a passable Lorenzo Music!!

hyla2 said...



Now he can be Ray AND Peter! Somebody make a new Ghostbusters cartoon! Make it NOOOWWWW!!!

Diacanu said... I wish I was doing the Ghostbusters entry "noooww!!".

Nope, nope, gotta walk it through the steps...I'll get there...

Diacanu said... rule saying I can't hammer out Avenger tonight though...

hyla2 said...

Lookin forward to that.

Hmm . . . If you're counting TV movies . . . then the only Avengers from the new flick's line up who'll be left out in the cold would be a certain archer and a certain lady spy, yes?

Diacanu said...

Not counting TV movies for anyone else until the cinema flicks are all squared away.

Then, tv movies, tv shows, and cartoons as retroactive decimal episodes.

The puzzle will all come together, you'll see...

Diacanu said...

Ghostbusters will be epic. The films, shows, comics, games, toys, the works.

hyla2 said...

Cool. Can't wait.

(arg--prob'ly end up posted after I gotta go to work, grmbl-mmbl . . .)

Oop. Post-jumped . . . Ghostbusters post, you sez?

DOUBLE cool! Yez killen meh! ;)

Diacanu said...

Yeah, sorry, breaking ground on it right now, and it'll probably take a couple hours.
Pizza's on its way, gonna have to scarf that.
Damn organic body, slows me down.

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