has an average rating of 5.8 on IMDb
1080p in VC-1 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
include U-Control & Standard Def DVD ports
– 138 minutes
Overall Verdict – Recommended
— Review written by: Brendan Surpless —
The Movie Itself was directed by Ang Lee (known for “Brokeback Mountain“). Genetics researcher Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) has drawn the attention of the military after Major Talbot (Josh Lucas) learns of his research involving the regeneration of soldiers. This brings in General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross (Sam Elliott), the estranged father of Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly), who worries about his daughter around Bruce. Soon an accident occurs in Bruce’s lab resulting in the alternation of Bruce’s DNA. Add in this transformation and a man named David (Nick Nolte) who claims he’s Bruce’s father and we have a film that surrounds itself around Bruce attempting to balance this newly changing life all while dealing with his love for Betty. What results is a film that is much better than most say simply due to Lee’s unique direction.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Lee’s work no matter what the man is directing. So it amazed me that some truly bashed this movie for non-sensical reasons. Some criticized Lee’s version of “HULK” simply because there are too many ‘slow’ moments where nothing occurs. That’s called established story and character development folks. Lee himself, in the including commentary, mentions he focused more on building a film surrounding the emotions of The Hulk (ie what made him act in the manners he did all while trying to figure out how to control this transformation).
In closing this movie certainly isn’t for everyone, especially those who love tons of action inspired comic book films. The film does run a bit slow in a few points where Lee could have done some editing, but on the whole his vision of “HULK” works because it creates scenes and characters worth investing time in. Yes the movie does take a bit to get into, but if you can sit down and actually watch a thinking man’s comic book film look no further than Ang Lee’s highly underrated “HULK” for a prime example of such a movie.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the VC-1 codec, in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio on a BD-50 Disc (50 gigabyte Blu-ray Disc). The color palette consists of deep blacks, blues while the primary color of green is solid. Grain is somewhat present in some of the outdoor sequences but just like other Ang Lee films, this was more of a stylistic decision as most of his movies have a slight layer of film grain. Detail is fantastic especially the up close shots of The Hulk, which showcase fine detail. Fleshtones were accurate and weren’t overly pumped up resulting in a realistic image. There are few movies that come out that define high-definition video. “The Hulk” is one of those as this is an absolutely stunning transfer that no one should find any fault with (and if they do they are being WAY too nitpicky). An excellent “5 Star Rating“.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, but the included DTS-HD track is an absolute stunner. It’s not just the film’s LFE, the dynamic range or even how well laid out this track is. It’s more that the film sound design carries each and every scene in a manner that draws the viewer into all the action. Let’s take the film’s dynamic range. All the effects, from bullets flying to the helicopter blades twirling, arrive out the left and right rear speakers in a perfect way that will certainly have you jumping regardless how loud you listen to this one (I had the film rotating between 50-55 on my 605). The LFE is consistently deep and loud. In fact the film’s score by Danny Elfman contains subtle bass that booms and rattles the sub in even the more quiet sequences. If I had to complain about one little aspect (which keeps this one from a perfect 5.0 rating) is the film’s dialogue is recorded too low in comparison to the action scenes. This results in the viewer raising the volume. Otherwise from this track is a truly great effort from Universal earning an almost perfect “4.5 Star Rating“.
Bonus Materials are all presented in Standard Definition (480i/p) using the MPEG-2 codec and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.
- “U-Control” is included which features Picture-In-Picture via “Bonus View” — requiring a “Profile 1.1” Blu-ray Disc Player. Like pretty much all of Universal’s HD DVD ports, “The Hulk” contains their patented Picture-In-Picture technology. The issue with this particular PIP is the huge amount of dead space we have throughout the movie. Granted we do get a few comments from the varying cast and crew members but there is just too much missed opportunity to really call this a fine PIP.
- Audio Commentary with director Ang Lee: I’ve always been a fan of Lee and his comments so this commentary was quite interesting. Granted Lee did feel this was going to be a huge success, it was still fun to hear all the stories Lee shared about the making of the movie.
- Deleted Scenes: Running about 8 minutes, the provided deleted scenes are quite disappointing and are forgettable.
- Evolution of THE HULK: At 16 minutes in length, this feature provides us a look at the history of THE HULK character.
- The Incredible Ang Lee: Yawn! While Lee is a fantastic director we didn’t really need 13 minutes of people overly praising him.
- The Dog Fight Scene: At 10 minutes and running which allows us to get a look into the making of the scene in question.
- The Making of HULK: At 24 minutes in length, this feature goes over the standard making of affairs from visual effects, music, cast and crew to stunts and more.
- The Unique Style of Editing HULK: While short at 5 minutes I did enjoy the explanation of why Lee decided to go with the old ‘comic book’ style.
Blu-ray Disc packaging: