Summer is over, and everyone is back to school and back to work (even though business does not take a summer break), so I think a short re-cap of the MARVEL films that were anticipated should be discussed and see if they live up to what they we're expected to be.
Robert Downey Jr. plays the newest Marvel Comics hero to hit the big screen - IRON MAN. Downey Jr. gives a fantastic performance as the new hero, surprising many, and setting a new standard for the Marvel films. Also, this film is the first film produces entirely by the new Marvel Studios.
The plot was nicely handled, and the change of Jarvis from a human to a robot system was well received. Jeff Bridges played a good villain who had reason for his motives, and Gwenyth Paltrow and Downey Jr. had fantastic chemistry that made the man and woman relationship fun and believable, with out the tacky standard of 'love story'. Samuel L Jackson after the credits was a good nod to the character of Nick Fury, and indeed a nice touch.
Even so... the Video Game was terrible, and one of the worst that has been made in years.
But- Did IRON MAN live up to its expectations? ABSOLUTELY
The Incredible Hulk
A few years ago, Ang Lee directed a film called 'HULK' starring Eric Bana, that wasn't exactly a hit. It went far too deep into an existential journey of family reconciliation, loss, acceptance, and hulk dogs. But - just because that one wasn't a hit, does not mean that this one is awesome by default.
Here are the problems with it. The Hulk is never running away from the action, as the Hulk is normally supposed to do. He has no idea who this villain is, why he is fighting him or if he should be. Also, the action was weak, his head was too small, and there was an absurdly weak love story. One fantastic shot, however, was of him and Liv Tyler sitting on some rocks in the canyon in the rain at night. That was good filmmaking. However, the rest is just a cat and mouse, pointless chase that ends with a lame and weak outcome.
Norton did a good job with his performance as Bruce Banner/ Hulk, and Tim Roth did a nice job as well, it's nice to see him on the big screen again. However it is a shame that most story and character development were glazed over. But- apparently 70 minutes of footage were cut, and I will certainly re-judge the movie when I have a chance to check out the DVD and see it in what should be its fullest form.
Even so... The Video Game was fantastic. Lots of fun, roaming the cities in a free-form world, doing things the Hulk does that are fun in games but don't satisfy at all in movie form.
But - Did THE INCREDIBLE HULK live up to its expectations? NOT AT ALL
With a reboot of 'The Punisher' franchise coming soon, as well as sequels to most previous Marvel films, and more avengers movies on the way, it looks like Marvel has a chance to make some more good things on the grill. Lets hope they don't get spoiled with the success of Iron Man and think anything they do is golden. Movies take work to make them good. Even if you already wrote the storyboard 50 years ago.