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May 21, 2012

Pretentiously Geeky: Hulk (2003)

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Why, hello there. My name is Asher Boaz, nice to meet you. Welcome to the first Blog post of Pretentiously Geeky. We are the Hipsters of geek culture. Which has been getting really hard lately cause everything geeky has started to get mainstream again… Uggggggh. However, this is the first film review by Pretentiously Geeky. Enjoy.

Hulk (2003) Review

By

Asher Boaz

The Incredible Hulk, created in the 1960’s by the now corporate sellout Stan Lee, has been in many different entertainment mediums. For a while his most popular was the 1970’s television show starring Bill Bixby as David Banner, and a green Arnold Schwarzenegger as the eponymous character. The show was brilliant; it showed the internal struggle of a normal man trying to repress the beast inside. In 2003, the director of that Gay Cowboys movie (Ang Lee) decided he would make his own Hulk film. The result is one of the most brilliant pieces of fiction ever put to screen. It is a visionary masterpiece that is worthy of praise. Many people do not understand that the films theme is catharsis and how holding in emotions can only lead to trouble later on in life.

Repressing emotions and memories is very important in this film. The protagonist Bruce Banner witnessed a horrible even as a child. The even has been locked behind a door in his mind. The only thing that Bruce ever see’s when he tries to open that door is the Hulk, which symbolizes the rage that has been building inside of him from this tragic memory. The Hulk is a metaphor for rage, and how it will consume us all if we do not let it loose every once and a while. Towards the beginning of the film we see that Bruce is your typical geek, he is very bright, but bullied by someone much stronger than him. Rather than beating the shit out of the people who pick on him, like any normal human being would, he just sits back and smiles politely. Once doused with the gamma radiation, and mixed with the chemicals his father had passed on to him through his DNA, Bruce becomes the Hulk. Hulk is the living embodiment of rage and emotions. Towards the end of the film when The Hulk is let loose in the desert, he returns to his former home town and lays down quite a good smashing. The Hulk knows how much pain this place has brought him and Banner, even if Banner is unaware.

When Bruce is first captured by the military Talbot, and officer, tries to enrage Bruce so that he can get a sample of the Hulk and sell it on the black market. Talbot says “I need a sample of the real you” This implies that the Hulk is the true Identity not Bruce… Or is that Batman? Any way if you did not understand this subtle implication then you are an idiot. Bruce has been living a life bogged down by suppressing negative emotions, through the Hulk, he can release them, become the true Bruce Banner, a destruction machine.

The metaphor of making Bruce’s father Absorbing man is so subtle that it should be awarded for its subtlety. If there was a subtlety award and there was category for writing and superhero films, this film would definitely take it. The subtleness of… Well you get the idea. Anyhow, Absorbing Man wants to be like his son he wants him and his son to be the sm person to have the same abilities, he wants to absorb his son into his life. At one point during the fight (arguably the best fight in comic book movie history) David Banner says, “The more you fight, the more of you I take.” The obvious context of his statement is one of physicality, the more Hulk fights the more he can drain his power, however if you are not a drooling idiot you will see the subtext. The more Bruce fights his emotions the more they are taken away from him until he will become emotionless, other than the exception of the Hulk. Not necessarily taken from the father in the present but rather in the past, which caused him to become emotionally unavailable.

This film should also be praised for its technical aspects which are so unique that people have mistaken this genius for stupidity and lazy storytelling. FIE ON THEM! This film has a particular sense of irony that is executed brilliantly. The dramatic situations of the film are juxtaposed with comic book like cuts and edits. This further solidifies the films comic book origins and makes it a great watch. The film also has the audacity, no not that, the brilliance to make the film as slow as it possibly can, even cutting short an action sequence and focusing on the Hulk/Bruce and Betty or even bringing the film to a complete halt for no reason. This is skillfully done by Crouching Cowboy Hidden Penis director Ang Lee. He is able to make the action scenes more enjoyable by making the rest of the film seem like a piece of shit in comparison.

I understand this is going to long and you have better things to do like eat peanut butter and watch Teletubbies, so I will make it brief. My final critique on the film is its motifs which are well placed throughout the film. Green and purple are colors constantly used throughout the film. Green is the color of Hulks Skin, and purple are the color of his pants. Green is the color of jealousy, a jealousy that David has for Bruce and his powers. The set pieces props, and sometimes even the lighting are colored green and purple to specifically let us know this is a Hulk movie, otherwise we would be completely clueless.

Overall The Hulk is everything a geeky fanboy such as myself could want. Incredible Hulk was a horrid version that must never be spoken of, and The Avenger Hulk was to jokey and gimmicky, the art of the character was lost in these interpretations. I stick by the Hopes that Ang Lee will return and perhaps we can see the film we have all been waiting for, the one where Hulk and Abomination finally commit to one another as a couple. As for me, I must get back to my hate letter to Joss Whedon for ruining the Avengers Film.

Asher Boaz, Pretentiously Geeky.

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