Starring: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt
Director: Louis Leterrier
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment 61104971
Video: 2.35:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9 color, 1080p HD
Audio: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1; English, French DTS 5.1, English DD 2.0
Extras: Audio Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Alternate Opening, Animated Comic, U-Control PIP content, SD digital copy
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Feature Length: 113 minutes
I was fully expecting this latest remake of The Incredible Hulk to be the absolute worst kind of over-the-top CG drivel aimed squarely at the teenage market, so imagine my surprise when I sat down to skim through this film and ended up watching it entirely! To recap the action, brilliant scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is involved in a military-backed experiment gone badly awry, in which he’s exposed to dangerous Gamma particles and becomes the Hulk. The military is determined to hunt him down, and he escapes to Brazil, where he works in anonymity in a soda pop factory, and takes classes to control his anger, all in an attempt to reign in the “Hulkish” aspect of his existence. Constantly looking for a cure, he is contacted by the mysterious Mr. Blue, who is working with him via the internet towards a cure. The military soon discovers Banner’s whereabouts, and sends in a crack team to capture, and if necessary, eliminate him. The team is led by Emil Blonsky (played by Tim Roth), and while they fail at capturing Banner, they do trigger the Hulk reaction, and Blonsky becomes fascinated to the point of undergoing experimentation himself, becoming the evil “Abomination.” Needless to say, serious action ensues between Banner’s desire for a cure, and Blonsky’s Abomination’s desire to dominate the Hulk.
As satisfying as I found the movie’s content, I was equally impressed with its technical prowess. The image quality of this film was quite nearly reference quality, with superb color representation and excellent contrast and black levels. Artistically, the film blends its more comic-bookish aspects seamlessly with the straight-ahead video sequences into a very satisfactory viewing experience. And while there was a lot of pretty obvious CG usage, it was very much in keeping with the whole comic-book vibe of the film and didn’t really seem all that over-the top. The DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 track was undeniably reference quality; the surround engineering on this film is exceptional, creating a totally believable soundfield that is incredibly immersive, and all the action sequences and superlative use of music will definitely give your subwoofer a complete workout! This is a great movie to break your lease with.
In addition, the Blu-ray package boasts an exceptional offering of bonus materials, with many of them available in HD via Universal’s U-Control PIP feature, which I’m getting increasingly comfortable with. An added value bonus is an SD digital copy of the film, which you can load to your Mac, PC, iPod or other capable personal portable. I found this film not only a truly enjoyable film to watch, but an exceptional home theater experience. Very highly recommended!
— Tom Gibbs