It's always tough when you come across a movie in which there's no one to root for. Sometimes you find yourself rooting for the least insufferable of all of them, or, more often, hoping that all of the characters die in a bus accident, but usually you tend to gravitate towards the most charismatic and entertainingly cruel of the bunch. And in this particular movie, that's Stone, Edward Norton's cornrowed convict, who displays both willful ignorance and deadly cunning in his attempts to earn himself an early parole. Norton has always loved his accents, and his streets-of-Detroit delivery is funny at first, then sad, then just plain evil. The story of how he gets from here to there doesn't have a lot of twists in it, although it meanders quite a bit, but it serves to show off the new, entertaining character he's created.
One of the year's biggest hits and one of its biggest flops are both hitting DVD on the same day. Thanks, Galileo's law of falling bodies!
Not "incredible" as in "unbelievable," mind you. By that definition, Lee's Hulk was incredible indeed, because I couldn't believe that the title character didn't appear for 45 minutes, the action took a back seat to the exploration of family dramas, and the final scene involved Nick Nolte biting a power line and turning into a thunderstorm. (Okay, that last bit is kinda believable.) No, when it applies to the Hulk or his movies, "incredible" should mean explosive! Bombastic! Larger than life! Considering that Leterrier did all of that with the 5-foot-6-inch Jet Li in Unleashed, doing the same with the Hulk must have been like shooting Bi-Beasts in a barrel.
Comic book movie casting news changes faster than Clark Kent in a phone booth. Just a few days ago, Michael Caine (better known as Alfred to some, and as Alfie to others) was telling MTV News that he'd heard it from a Warner Bros. executive that the studio wanted Johnny Depp as the Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin. It seemed all but confirmed that Hoffman would waddle onto the big screen as the Bat's next nemesis. When asked about it the next day, though, Hoffman himself denied the long-standing rumor, saying: "No one has talked to me about it, ever -- never." He added that he's "such a fan of those [comic book] movies," but explained that he'd rather watch them than be in them.
It's amazing how quickly things move in Hollywood. The Incredible Hulk has been a box office smash for less than a day, and already its director, Louis Leterrier, is inking his next movie deal: According to the Hollywood Reporter, Leterrier is in talks to direct Strays, an "eco action thriller." Because, you know, eco-themed movies are usually so entertaining and not at all bloviating. Take The Day After Tomorrow, for instance: That 48 rating at Metacritic has nothing to do with how good the movie actually was, right? Riiiiight. In other words: Louis should stick to a different kind of "green": Hulk franchise, anyone?
After weeks of silence over a reported "feud" between Marvel Studios and Edward Norton over the final cut of the upcoming release of The Incredible Hulk, Entertainment Weekly published a response from Norton, citing that arguments arise all the time between studios and creative talent and the only reason this one turned into anything was because it was made public.
Although I rather think the argument should have been over whether or not it was even a good idea to make another Hulk movie after the disastrous box office showing of Ang Lee's 2003 incarnation Hulk, the studio and the star came to blows over Marvel's two-hour commercial cut and a longer more meditative cut favored by Norton. After news broke that there was a difference of opinion on the film, both sides stopped talking to each other full-stop.
The actor, who has built up a bit of a reputation as being difficult to work with after starring in American History X, a Tony Kaye directed flick in which it was reported that the director took so long cutting the film that Norton took matters into his own hands and cut a version himself, commented "Every good movie gets forged through collaboration, and different ideas among people who are all committed and respect the validity of each other's opinions is the heart of filmmaking. Regrettably, our healthy process, which is and should be a private matter, was misrepresented publicly as a 'dispute,' seized on by people looking for a good story, and has been distorted to such a degree that it risks distracting from the film itself, which Marvel, Universal and I refuse to let happen." Which, I'm sorry, but it's a little too late for that, Edward.
Being that nearly every reaction to hearing about this summer's release is "Wait, they're making another one? Why?" Norton should be out talking up the film instead of first taking his toys and going home and then instead of just jumping back in the game, following it up with a dissertation on why he took his toys and went home. Studios take note: Don't make Edward Norton angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.