Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Demotivational Poster: Last Christmas

This year I’m giving it to someone special.

Thank you to my buddy Berin Kinsman for the inspiration for this one.

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Demotivational Posters, Fluff/Inspiration, Movies | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Iron Man 2

Robert Downey Jr. …  Tony Stark
Don Cheadle …  Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine
Scarlett Johansson …  Natalie Rushman / Natasha Romanoff
Gwyneth Paltrow …  Pepper Potts
Sam Rockwell …  Justin Hammer
Mickey Rourke …  Ivan Vanko
Samuel L. Jackson …  Nick Fury
Clark Gregg …  Agent Coulson
John Slattery …  Howard Stark
Jon Favreau …  Happy Hogan
Paul Bettany …  Jarvis (voice)
Kate Mara …  U.S. Marshal
Leslie Bibb …  Christine Everhart
Garry Shandling …  Senator Stern

Plot synopsis from IMDb: With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark faces pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military. Unwilling to let go of his invention, Stark, along with Pepper Potts, and James “Rhodey” Rhodes at his side, must forge new alliances – and confront powerful enemies.

2010 – Paramount Pictures/Marvel Studios – PG-13 – 124 min

VS: 1.8 pointed ears
This is one of the exceptions to the Hollywood rule that sequels suck and are usually nowhere near as good as the original.  I think that Marvel keeping the rights to the Avengers franchise is probably one of the smarter moves to come out of Hollywood in quite some time.  Keeping Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury was another good idea as well.

Why not a full two ears? I think the whole drunken Iron Man scene was a tad bit overdone.  I’m not a hard-core Iron Man fan and I’ve only been following the Marvel mainstream Avengers since Spidey joined.  So I cannot comment whether the writers followed cannon or not.  I’ve never seen Tony Stark as a drunken idiot.  Yes I know Stark has a drinking problem but endangering the lives of guests in his home?

The shot at the end of the movie has got me salivating for next year’s “Thor”

Pvt Black Spartan: 1.9 pointed ears 
This movie picked up right were the last one left off.  I didn’t rely too much on the previous movie either.  Props to the writers and director for not putting too much “flashback” into the script.  Samuel L. Jackson has the character of Nick Fury locked.

PIT #2: 2 pointed ears
This movie was awesome.  War Machine rocked even though the role of Rhodey was recast.  I found no faults with this movie at all.

PIT #3: 2 pointed ears
Taking Daddy to see this on his birthday was a treat.  I like how the movie looks inside Tony’s head.  I mean I like how Tony has problems and then he fights to m things better.  I also liked the fact that there was no kissing in this movie (editor’s note: we did have to take a bathroom break so we may have missed that scene if there was one).

The drones rocked.

7.7 pointed ears out of 8.  This is a worthy successor to the first.  Marvel’s plan of a MEGA-franchise seems to be playing out very well.  IM2 has set a relatively high bar for next year’s Thor and Captain America.  My only worry at this point is that each succeeding director will attempt to “Top” Iron Man and leave the bar wa-a-y to high for 2012’s Avengers movie.

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Marvel, Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nit Picking: Star Trek 2009

We (the P.I.T.s and I) enjoy Star Trek.  That said, we found a few things in the new Star Trek movie that just jumped out at us.  Now mind you we’re big on Trek trivia so some of these are only caught if you’re up on your Trek trivia. 

There’s a lot of non-mistakes because this movie takes place in a different quantum reality.  However some things just jumped out at us.  Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed the heck out of this movie…

Not a problem #1 – Scotty refers to transporting Admiral Archer’s beagle.  Advanced age for humans in the 23rd century is established in the TNG pilot.  McCoy is still around well into Picard’s time.  Archer would be 140 or so but it’s possible he’s still around.

Not a problem #2 – The Federation was aware of Romulans long before Nero arrives on the scene.  However, the crew of the Kelvin should have been surprised because they look like Vulcans.

Major complaint #1 – I don’t know where in the entire state of Iowa a canyon exists like the one Kirk drives the Corvette into.  OK so this is the future, one could’ve been dug by that time.  However, Iowa has a LOT of topsoil.  You have to dig down pretty far to get to the bedrock.   This also does not explain the mountain range visible behind Kirk when he goes to see the Enterprise and join Starfleet.

Major complaint #2 – Scotty just happens to be marooned.. er posted on the same planetoid that Spock-prime is dumped on and Kirk crashes on.  This planetoid, Delta Vega is positioned near the edge of the galaxy according to TOS episode “Where No Man has Gone Before”.  Now it is in orbit of Vulcan.

Major complaint #3 – Spock is surprised that Kirk is not Captain of the Enterprise.  He should realize that Kirk is too young to be the Captain.  In the Prime universe Spock is still serving with Captain Pike.

Nitpick #1 – When Kirk is making out with the Orion cadet in her room, some of her green make-up clearly rubs off on Kirk.

Nitpick #2 – Spock-prime and Spock are not the same height.

Nitpick #3 – Zachary Quinto’s Spock arches his left eyebrow, Leonard Nimoy’s Spock arches his right.

Nitpick #4 – The female Vulcan Minister is smiling when she stands up at Spock’s hearing for entering the Science Academy.

Nitpick #5 – During the awards ceremony, several flags can be seen in the background, including what appears to be the state flag of California. Towards the end of the sequence, the point of view shifts to Spock Prime watching from a balcony, and the flags are changed to Federation and Starfleet flags.

Nitpick #6 – The Starfleet logo, the distinctive “arrow-head” was originally the assignment patch for crew on the Enterprise only.  Different ships used of different patches.  Using the arrowhead insignia on the Kelvin is a continuity error since the histories of the two time lines are supposed to be identical up to that point.

Nitpick #7 – When Spock is beamed away from Spock Prime’s ship at the end of the movie he is in a sitting position, but when he materializes on the transporter pad he is in a standing position.  Though to be fair this happens a lot on the various series.

Nitpick #8 – When Kirk and crew are devising their plan, Spock says he can board the Narada and “steal back” the black hole device.  When did Kirk tell anyone that the device had been stolen.

Nitpick #9 –  When Captain Robau of the Kelvin says “Polarize the view screen” you can see he is wearing a Starfleet badge.  As he turns and sits down in the captains chair, it has disappeared, but returns again in the next scene.

Nitpick #10 –  During the high altitude parachute jump, Olsen’s altitude call-outs are “fifteen hundred meters” then “twelve thousand meters.”  

Nitpick #11 – When Kirk and Spock beam aboard the Romulan vessel Spock leans down to perform a mind meld on one of the fallen Romulans. Notice the deep scratch on Spock’s right hand, revealing the blood is red instead of green.

Nitpick #12 – When Uhura walks in on Kirk and her roommate, she says, “I’ve been working on solar systems.”  Only one star system is a solar system, the one that orbits the star Sol, our sun. Normal Star Trek terminology they would be called star systems.

Nitpick #13 – Captain Pike says that Kirk’s father saved over 800 people’s lives.  Kirk’s Enterprise in the prime universe held 400 crew.  So the USS Kelvin is twice the size of the Constitution Class ships?  It sure looks smaller.

Nitpick #14 – When Captain Pike is talking to Kirk in the bar, he says “You understand what the Federation is, don’t you? It’s important. It’s a peacekeeping and humanitarian armada.” Umm that would be Starfleet.  The Federation is the government, Starfleet is the armada.

Nitpick #15 – During the battle between the USS Kelvin and the Narada, the engineer of the Kelvin reports that the weapons are offline, yet in the next barrage of torpedoes from the Romulan vessel, the Kelvin’s phasers are seen firing again.  So Phasers aren’t weapons?

These are what we caught. Did you catch any others?

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Movies, Nit-picking, Star Trek | , , , , | 6 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: GI Joe The Rise of Cobra

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje …  Heavy Duty
Christopher Eccleston …  James McCullen / Destro
Grégory Fitoussi …  Baron de Cobray
Joseph Gordon-Levitt …  The Doctor / Rex Lewis
Leo Howard …  Young Snake Eyes
Karolina Kurkova …  Courtney A. Kreiger / Cover Girl
Byung-hun Lee …  Storm Shadow
Sienna Miller …  Anastasia ‘Ana’ DeCobray / Baroness
David Murray …  James McCullen – 1641
Rachel Nichols …  Shana ‘Scarlett’ O’Hara
Kevin J. O’Connor …  Dr. Mindbender
Gerald Okamura …  Hard Master
Ray Park …  Snake Eyes
Jonathan Pryce …  U.S. President
Dennis Quaid …  General Hawk

Synopsis: An elite team made up of allied military personel fights the good fight.  Adding new members to the team, the unit takes on Destro, the Baroness, Storm Shadow and witnesses the birth of a new world-wide terrorist organization, Cobra.

Reviewers: Vulcan Stev, Pvt. Black Spartan (formerly known as PIT #1), PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.5 pointed ears
I am a fan of the Larry Hama comic book series published by Marvel Comics.  I still own my complete set of G.I. Joe comics.  I am one of those fans that felt the cartoon was an absolute waste of air time.  I can recite you chapter and verse of Storm Shadow’s origin, his transformation from villain to hero and back.  In my mind Scarlett and Snake Eyes are a couple and the Pit was originally located under the Chaplain’s assistant School at Fort Wadsworth.

I am one of the fans that Hasbro and Paramount did NOT want to alienate with this two hour introduction to another potential box office franchise.  For the most part the producers were successful.  This is not a film based on reality.  It is not a treatise on how to fight terrorism.  It is a thriller from start to finish.

The producers were smart enough to set the movie into a continuity of its own without relying on the comic book or the cartoon series.  Stephen Sommers also had the brains to hire Larry Hama as a consultant on the film.  Larry Hama knows the G.I. Joe universe cold.

What did I think were the problems with this film?  First the implication that Rip-Cord was able to make it onto the team solely by being Duke’s friend.  G.I. Joe is supposed to be the BEST of the Best.  Those acceleration suits were completely unneccessary.  Brandon Fraiser’s cameo detracted from the film.  Finally excuse me for being a raving fanboy here… Scarlet and Snake Eyes 4Evar ’nuff said.

Pvt. Black Spartan – 1.8 pointed ears
This movie was nowhere near as bad as the critics implied.  My first trip off base to a civilian theater in forever would’ve been a treat if the theater didn’t have as many technical difficulties.  This movie is obviously a two hour preview for the actual series coming soon.

I had given this movie 2 pointed ears then proceeded to complain to Dad about the laughable military protocol.  Dad insisted that I deduct some for my complaints.  Most of the problems with military protocol and procedure are ones that non-military folks will never notice.

PIT #2  – 1.9 pointed ears.
This is my first exposure to the G.I. Joe universe.  I was suitably impressed with the concept that I’m looking forward to the actual movie.  This two-hour preview for the eventual movie is the best commercial I’ve ever seen.

PIT #3 – 2 pointed ears
This movie rocked.  There was absolutely nothing about this movie that made it bad.  Massive explosions, action, explosions, no kissing, explosions.  Did I mention the explosions?

7.2 pointed ears out of 8.

Aside from this being an obvious Part I, this movie provides  2 hours of mindless entertainment.  The violence is cartoonish at best.  If mild language and cartoon violence are acceptable then this is a nice way to spend an evening.

September 22, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Star Trek

Chris Pine …  James T. Kirk
Zachary Quinto …  Spock
Leonard Nimoy …  Spock Prime
Eric Bana …  Nero
Bruce Greenwood …  Capt. Christopher Pike
Karl Urban …  Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Zoe Saldana …  Nyota Uhura
Simon Pegg …  Scotty
John Cho …  Hikaru Sulu
Anton Yelchin …  Pavel Chekov
Ben Cross …  Sarek
Winona Ryder …  Amanda Grayson
Chris Hemsworth …  George Kirk
Jennifer Morrison …  Winona Kirk

Synopsis by VS: Paramount is marketing this as the “untold” story of the classic crew’s first meeting.  This isn’t entirely accurate.  This is the story of the first joint mission of Kirk’s crew.  However, I hesitate to state they are the classic crew.  To paraphrase Spock, this is an alternate timeline.  Given that altered timelines, alternate universes, and time travel are an accepted part of Star Trek lore, I, and any hard-core fan, can and should embrace this as part of the Star Trek universe.  My rant on why Star Trek didn’t NEED a reboot is still valid.  Though, it’s what we got.  Given the positive comments I heard at the theater, Paramount was successful in pleasing both fans and the general population.  I’ll be blunt honest I have been prepared to loathe this motion picture since it was announced as a reboot.  However I found it to be very well done movie.  I hereby christen this new incarnation Universe 2.  Spock Prime, Classic 60’s crew, Next Gen, DS9, VOY all still exist in Universe 1.

Reviewers: VS, Mrs. VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.8 pointed ears
I am not going to go hard-core nitpicky.  My .2 deduction is on the basis of two things the volume and blinding lens flares.  I am not gonna deduct for the non-existent canyon near Riverside, Iowa, because who knows what’s going to happen to this state in the next 200 years.  It is nice to know that the University of Iowa still exists into the 23rd century as part of Starfleet Academy.  It is also nice to know that Iowa will be known for more than corn in the 23rd century as it’s got a very large fleet yard in the east-central part of the state.  I’m not going to deduct for the “crappy” coincidences that move the story along, as only the “Montgomery Scott is manning the same outpost near Vulcan that Spock Prime and Cadet Kirk end up on” is TRULY a coincidence.  The remainder of the coincidences are explainable and reasonable for the story.

My beef with the soundtrack is that is too blame loud.  The were portion of the movie that actually shook the theater.  The lens flares actually whited out some scenes it made certain portions of the movie very difficult to watch.

Mrs. VS – 1.75 pointed ears
The new alternate timeline made this film accessible to me as a non-trekker.  I enjoyed the story and didn’t need hubby to explain things to me every scene.  Downsides to this movie are the Ceti-eel inserted into Captain Pike, very disgusting.  I don’t care what it said on screen, where Kirk grew up looked more like Arizona than it did the state that my family and I call home.

The characters and characterizations were accurate enough that I knew who was who without needing to be told.

PIT #1 – 1.75
The setup to this NEW franchise was nice.  I agree with Daddy, this is Universe 2.  Universe 1 is left intact and undisturbed but we can have stories with real jeopardy in this new universe without invalidating 40 years of beloved back story.

My “Whut-the—-” moment that took me right out of the story, Spock and Uhura?  I mean c’mon.  What were the writers thinking when they penned that subplot?

PIT #2 – 1.8 pointed ears.
I didn’t want to see a reboot.  However being it is what we got, this was very well done.  The explanation was handled very well.  My only gripes with the movie were the canyon in Iowa.  I don’t see one on my map, but it may be leftover from the Xindii attack.  Also the destruction of the 60’s Vette was heart-breaking.

PIT #3 – 1.6 pointed ears
Cool I’m the captain of the Enterprise.  Chris Pike is named after me.  However, too much kissing in this movie and the fact that Uhura stripped to her underwear and half-naked green women are ugly is bad.  This movie was also VERY loud.

Overall 8.7 pointed ears out of 10.
This film NEEDS to be seen on the large screen at least once.  Anyone who claims to be Trekker and doesn’t like this film is just being curmudgeonly.  This movie manages to recreate the Trek universe without invalidating all that Trekkers hold dear.

Given the fact that I was prepared to absolutely loathe this movie and was bound and determined to not give it a “free pass” (not that I ever do give a film a free pass) review, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  Paramount has atoned for the mistakes in marketing Nemesis and hiring Braga over Moore for Enterprise.

May 10, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Science Fiction, Star Trek | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Star Trek didn’t need a Reboot.

treklogo1If you haven’t guessed by now, I am a Trekker.  I have been a fan of Star Trek since Star Trek: The Motion Picture hit theaters in 1979.  I have faithfully watched every hour of the original series in re-runs.  I eagerly waited in line at the theater for each new movie.  I went from casual fan to full-blown, costume-owning, Trekkie when The Next Generation premiered.  I can honestly say that with the exception of the special edition version of the original series and the new J.J. Abrams flick, I have seen EVERY hour of EVERY Star Trek at least twice.

PIT #1 has grown up watching “Tar Tek” with her Daddy.  She is now a graduating senior and considers herself a third generation Trekker.  We cringed along with the rest of Trekdom when it was announced that Brannon Braga was being given the reigns of Enterprise.  We shuddered when season three of that series spent the entire season plodding through the expanse.  We cursed Paramount for their stupidity in releasing Nemesis the same week as Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (oh yeah there’s a good idea).  We pined as we watched our beloved franchise dwindle because of recent poor creative and marketing decisions.

What do we like most about Star Trek?  We like the fact that after 40 years the franchise is internally consistent (if you ignore Brannon Braga).  We like the fact that the series requires thought, it’s is science fiction for people willing to think (an trait that is becoming increasingly scarce or so it seems).

That said, Paramount decided that due to the “failure” of Enterprise and the poor box office showing of Nemesis that the public was tired of Star Trek and the series was in need of a reboot.   I believe this notion to be in error as the last few years of Star Trek do NOT invalidate the previous 30.  Fans didn’t abandon Star Trek, Paramount abandoned its fans.

Why was Enterprise a “failure”?  The premiere episode drew in spectacular ratings.  I had to stay up until midnight to watch it as we STILL don’t have UPN (now CW) affiliate in the area.  Veiwership fell off considerably during the first season and continued to drop over the run of the series until UPN decided to cancel the show after season three.  Paramount made a deal with their own network to keep Enterprise on the air for one more year to have enough episodes for syndication.  Why did legions of Trekkers abandon the series?  Was it the cast? no Scott Bakula was marvelous in the role of Captain Archer.  The rest of the cast was equally talented.  Enterprise failed because Brannon Braga ignored continuity and gave us the Temporal Cold War and an entire season of battling the Xindii.  Fans wanted to see the first foray of humans into space.  We wanted to see how the bond between Earth and Vulcan formed.  We got almost none of that.  It is my personal belief that if Berman had fired Braga after season one and done season four as season two, Enterprise would still be on the air.

Why did Nemesis have a poor box office?  Was it the fact that Data died? no.  ‘The Wrath of Kahn killed off Spock and is still the favorite Trek movie on many lists.  Was it a bad story? again no.  I honestly prefer Nemesis over Generations and Insurrection.  Nemesis opened the same week as Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.  I wish I had a buck for everyone who wanted to see both movies and opted for LotR, thinking they’d get the chance to see Nemesis the following week.  Most of those folks never got the chance to see Nemesis.  Our local theater pulled Nemesis after that first week, ironically to make room for a second showing of LotR..

Neither of these “failures” warranted a complete reboot of the franchise.  It’s like deciding to dynamite your house because the second bathroom is broke and the painters screwed up the paint job on the spare bedroom.  The franchise needed to do something without Braga and needed to have someone with savvier marketing skills onboard.

What we apparently got was Abrams dynamiting the house and rebuilding from the leftover pieces.  At this writing I have not yet seen the new Trek movie.  I will be seeing it, but I have had trouble with calling it Star Trek.  Not because I’m some groganard fanboy who can’t accept change but because I still don’t believe the franchise needed to be re-envisioned.  Last night on Twitter I vented.  I’ve come to terms with how I’m going to go see this movie.

Is it Star Trek?  Yes, Paramount has decreed it so.  Is it my Star Trek?  Unknown, I’ll figure that out after I watch it.  I do know that in my mind, Abrams’ version is the Trek equivalent of DC Comics Earth 2.  That’s how I’ll be watching the movie.  Star Trek has already established “cannon” alternate universes.  Classic Trek, TNG, DS9, VOY, and even ENT all take place in Universe 1.   Abrams’ Trek is Universe 2.  There now I’ve gotten that off my chest.

May 9, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Science Fiction, Star Trek | , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Vulcan Stev family movie review: Eagle Eye

Shia LaBeouf …  Jerry Shaw
Michelle Monaghan …  Rachel Holloman
Rosario Dawson …  Zoe Perez
Michael Chiklis …  Defense Secretary Callister
Anthony Mackie …  Major William Bowman
Ethan Embry …  Agent Toby Grant
Billy Bob Thornton …  Agent Thomas Morgan

Synopsis from IMDb: Jerry Shaw is an amiable slacker with an over-achieving twin brother. After his twin dies in an accident, strange things happen to Jerry at a dizzying pace: a fortune shows up in his bank account, weapons are delivered to his flat, and a voice on his cell phone tells him the police are on their way. Jerry follows the voice’s instructions, and soon he and a woman he’s never met are racing through the city, on to a plane, and eventually to the Pentagon, chased by the FBI. She is Rachel Holloman, a single mom; the voice has threatened her son’s death if she doesn’t cooperate. The voice seems to know everything. Who is behind it, what is being planned, and why Jerry and Rachel?

Reviewers: VS, PIT#1, PIT#2, PIT #3

VS – 1.85 pointed ears
Shia LaBeouf proves with this movie that he has a broader acting range than Keaneu Reeves.  The plot is a little far-fetched and implies that a computer would be able to voluntarily take steps to override its programming.  The coincidences that continue to mount can be explained by the fact that the computer is basically self-aware.  Is such a scenario plausible? yes.  That’s what makes this a good popcorn flick.

PIT #1 – 2 pointed ears
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.  Shia LaBeouf is maturing beyond his role in Even Stevens.  I look forward to a long career for this young actor.

PIT #2 – 1.5 pointed ears
Good movie.  Decent action, a little far-fetched.  Just how many movies does Shia LaBeouf make each year?

PIT #3 – 1 pointed ear
The action scenes are good.  But the rest of the movie wasn’t enough to hold my attention.

6.35 pointed ears out of 8
Rentable it’s more viewable without commercial interruption..  Purchasable only if you collect DVDs

March 20, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trek Wars

treklogo1Star Trek versus Star Wars.  In my own unscientific background data search I have discovered an animosity between fans of Star Trek and fans of Star Wars.  “Star Trek versus Star Wars: generated over 3,500,000 pages on Google.  “Star Trek is better that Star Wars” had over 800,000 different sites.  Slightly less but still over 800,000 sites for the reverse.  I’m curious as to why.

I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I saw the first one in the theaters for my 10th birthday.  I have enjoyed all six movies, the comic books, novels, The Clone Wars cartoon from the Cartoon Network.  I even enjoyed the malaigned recent Clone Wars movie.  I can remember sitting in line for tickets for Jedi.  I hauled my kids out of school so we could go the first showing of Revenge of the Sith.  Am I a Star Wars fan? Yes.

I remember sitting down with my father in the early 70’s to watch Star Trek.  The episode was Catspaw.  The opening sequence scared me silly.  I didn’t watch Star Trek again until TMP came out instarwarslogo 1979.  I was intrigued.  This didn’t happen a long time ago in a galaxy far far away; these were humans and their friends just 300 years from now.  I came home from that (admittedly bad) movie hooked.  Was this the show Dad had tried to share with me?  I devoured reruns of the original series whenever I could.  I eagerly anticipated every new movie.  I subscribed to Starlog to get behind the scenes info on the next movie and discovered a whole new world of Science Fiction.  Star Trek was my door to a whole new world of discovery.  When TNG premiered on TV I called in sick to work to see the first episode.  My daughter grew up watching Star Trek with her Daddy.  I joined a creative writing club, Starships of the Third Fleet.  My online identity comes from this club.  Am I fan of Star Trek?  Yes.

What I don’t understand is how some fans of either claim that the other is no good.  Star Trek and Star Wars are (to be cliche) apples and oranges in the big fruit basket of Science Fiction.  The each have their good points and an honest fan will admit that each have their faults as well.  I for one cannot understand we a person cannot be a fan of both.  I am sure I’m not the only one who likes both. but I welcome any fan to explain to me why one is better than the other.

February 10, 2009 Posted by | Science Fiction, SS3F, Star Trek | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Vulcan Stev’s Month-Late Movie Review… “The Incredible Hulk”

Originally posted at the Dire CafeJuly 8, 2008. I’m re-posting it here because it gives the reasons behind the title of the column. My format has changed somewhat since then.hulkposter_thumbnail

In his ongoing effort to see movies before they come out on DVD, our pointed eared friend must wait for the local theater to show what you all saw last month. Since most of the discussion surrounding current Hollywood fare show up on these boards weeks before our theater even thinks of getting the movie in, I refrain from discussing the movie until I’ve seen it.

I’m surprised that we hadn’t been talking more about this flick, but The Incredible Hulk came to the dollar theater this week.

I will admit to going with mixed feelings. Hulk (2003) was a weak story supported by a good cast. It also had some very “innovative” montage effects that tried to make you feel like you were watching a comic book come to life. Over all though Ang Lee’s Hulk was not what a Hulk movie needed to be.

My first thought when I learned that The Incredible Hulk was in production, I wondered why they were making a sequel. When I discovered that it was not a sequel I wondered why we only needed to wait five years for the comic book to become a film again. I mean how long did we wait for Superman to return to the big screen? Batman?

I took the kids, mainly because it was a buck and my children all appreciate Action/Adventure movies. I wasn’t expecting much out of the movie except two hours in the air conditioning. I was pleasantly surprised.

The story follows a combination of both Marvel’s classic and Ultimate origin stories for the Hulk. There are nods to the TV series, Stan Lee, Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby all make cameos. Everything that I liked about the Hulk was in this movie

William Hurt played Gen Ross as well as Sam Elliot. Liv Tyler wouldn’t have been my first choice for Betty Ross but she played the maternally protective girlfriend to a “T”. Ed Norton got Bruce Banner right equal parts brilliant scientist and fugitive.

I get what Marvel studios wants to do. They want the Marvel Universe to exist not only in the pages of their monthly comic books but they want to have it on the big screen as well. Spider-Man was supposed to cameo in one of the X-Men movies. Columbia Pictures (or 20th Century Fox) threw a hissy about having a “Non-studio character” appear in the movie.

Marvel has gone to producing their own movies and having the studios release them. I’m not spoilering anything here when I say that Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark cameos in TIH. Marvel got what it wanted. Whether or not they can pull it off remains to be seen.

I will say that after watching TIH, I am eagerly awaiting the upcoming Thor, Captain America movie and Avengers in 2011. Marvel has partial screen control over their universe and currently seem to making the most of it.

If Warner Brothers had any sense they would attempt to do the same for DC.

Vulcan Stev(and clan)’s rating 3.5 pointed ears (out of four). The youngest thought there was too much kissing and not enough smashing. If you didn’t see this movie because of the bad taste in your mouth left by Ang Lee’s Hulk, please go see it. This movie was done right.

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, Marvel, Movie Reviews | , , , | Leave a comment