Review: The Incredible Hulk DVD, Deleted Scenes and All

Review: The Incredible Hulk DVD

WARNING: BIG GREEN SPOILER ALERT

The movie starts with Ed Norton hitching his way across some foreboding, frozen mountain terrain. He gets off and starts climbing a peak that looks like it made a cameo appearance from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Upon scaling its heights, he strips to his sweater, pulls out what looks like an old .45 and points it to his head.

That’s when his eyes turn a familiar shade of luminescent green.

If this sequence seems unfamiliar to all you Hulk fans, there’s good reason. It’s the original opening scene from The Incredible Hulk, Lou Leterrier’s far superior sequel to Ang Lee’s first attempt at the big green rage machine. It was eventually replaced with a much more elaborate flashback sequence that incorporated the opening credits.

That’s just one of the major reasons to hunt down the three-disc set over other incarnations that will shortly be flooding the market. You also get a whopping selection, nearly a full 30 minutes, of deleted scenes, a number of making of docs, a video comic and a digital transfer disc for all you guys who want to lug Big Green around on your favorite portable electronic device.

Actually, what’s really impressive about all additional material is just how superior the final version is when compared to the stuff that was left on the cutting room floor (until now, anyway).

Let’s be honest. One of the key reasons Incredible got good reviews from fans is it is light years better than the previous mess Ang Lee foisted on us. Sure, Norton, as everyone’s favorite self-hating superscientist Bruce Banner, has his moments of soul searching agony over the truly gigantic mess he’s made of his life. The big difference is the very young Leterrier (his directorial credits are only for two movies, Transporter 2 and the cult film Danny The Dog), royally reins them in. Overall, Norton and Liv Tyler are far superior to the previous actors who played Banner and Betty Ross, Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly, but their confessional scenes still don’t quite get the cigar. You especially see this with the material left on the cutting room floor, which primarily took place in Betty and Doc Samson’s (Ty Burrell) home. There’s many a time Burrell is just a lot more believable than either of them. There’s also many a time where Tim Roth’s Major Blonsky just looks like your everyday comic book stooge, and that’s not a good look for Roth.

As far as a truly sterling performance though, one has to give credit to William Hurt. His Thunderbolt Ross is a proper paranoid, power-hungry super-patriot who can’t distinguish common sense from what is truly good for his country. One can’t help but particularly like his repartee with his second-in-command, Major Kat Sparr (Chirstina Cabot). Some of their dialogue is truly scary when you consider the implications.

Still, what really matters is how Leterrier and scriptwriter Zak Penn, knew to give us fans what we really like, a rampaging, raging Hulk. The battle scenes are frighteningly vicious and/or alternatively funny (like when Hulk kicks Blonsky into the next county). Jon Favreau should take notes on the final battle sequence between Hulk and the Abomination. It blows out the confrontation between Iron Man and War Monger in a New York minute. Leterrier shows that the lessons he learned from Transporter 2 were well learned. One also can’t help but notice none of those scenes were left off the film, too.

Still, the big question is, is all this extra content really worth having? The answer is really dependent on how much a fan of the movie you are. Quite frankly, having the theatrical film is worth the price of admission in and of itself. Seeing the original introduction is nice. Seeing what was left behind is interesting. The making of stuff and other add-ons are only if you are into that sort of thing, but there is really nothing truly illuminating or educational if you’ve seen a few others. And, as said before, having a digital transfer disc is cool if that’s how you want to fill a gig or two of your memory drive.

Otherwise, good film, OK filler. If you just go for the regular DVD set, no one will look at you like your eyes are about to go fluorescent green

The Incredible Hulk DVD hits on October 21st. The full list of extras reads:

BONUS FEATURES – SPECIAL EDITION DVD AND BLU-RAYTM HI-DEF:

- Alternate Opening

- The Making of THE INCREDIBLE HULK: An in-depth look at the making of the blockbuster film, featuring interviews with Edward Norton, director Louis Leterrier, and producers Avi Arad, Kevin Feige and Gale Anne Hurd and the entire cast and crew. The documentary covers the film's innovative take on the character, look and storyline, as well as the casting process, production and profile of director Louis Leterrier.

- Becoming The Hulk: This featurette focuses on Edward Norton's approach to the iconic role and the incredible visual effects employed by award®-winning studio Rhythm & Hues to create the character on screen.

- Becoming The Abomination: From the first motion-capture session to the visual effects at Rhythm & Hues, viewers go behind the scenes with actor Tim Roth and watch as he transforms both his mind and body into the super villain known as The Abomination.

- Anatomy of a Hulk Out: Behind-the-scenes looks at three of the movie's most exciting action sequences:

- Hulking Out in the Bottling Plant – Go inside the first action sequence of the film where both viewers and the army are given a glimpse of the Hulk to come.

- Hulking Out on Campus – A behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a Hulk action sequence, featuring airplanes, guns, and even a sound machine.

- Hulking Out in Harlem – From pre-visualization animatics to visual effects, this featurette shows how filmmakers created one of the largest action sequences in Marvel film history.

- From Comic Book to Screen: See the incredible comic books come to life courtesy of narration, sound effects and "living” panels of action.

- Feature Commentary With Director Louis Leterrier And Cast

- Digital Copy of THE INCREDIBLE HULK: Compatible with PC, Mac or iPod.

- Deleted Scenes

BONUS FEATURES – EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAYTM HI-DEF:

U Control: Universal's exclusive signature feature, U Control puts viewers one click away from going deeper into the making of the film without ever interrupting the movie, through animated comic book panels, storyboards, early renderings of the visual effects, interactive cast and crew interviews and exclusive information about the characters, back story, and THE INCREDIBLE HULK physics.

- Thunderbolt Files – Explore the top-secret files of the forces hunting The Hulk with this interactive feature that takes you deeper into the movie – without ever leaving the film.

- Scene Explorer – Discover the secrets behind the special effects! Explore all the individual layers that go into an effects-intensive scene with this unique Blu-ray feature.

- Comic Book Gallery – Enjoy a Hi-Def experience of the classic comic book images that inspired key shots in the movie.

BD-LIVE FEATURES – Blu-ray and Playstation3 players with an Internet connection can access exclusive interactive applications that allow viewers to communicate with friends and family while watching the film:

- My Chat – Just plug your player into your Internet connection and connect to BD-Live to chat with friends while watching the movie and conduct your very own private screening discussions.

- My Scenes Sharing – Share your favorite clips with your buddies through the BD Live Internet connection

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