Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Incredible Hulk: The Complete First Season

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Bill Bixby as Dr. David Bruce Banner
Lou Ferrigno as The Incredible Hulk
Jack Colvin as Jack McGee

Special Features:
Commentary on original TV movie The Incredible Hulk by writer/director/producer Kenneth Johnson

Bonus episode from Season Two

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital Mono Sound
Running Time: 11 Hours 32 Minutes

Synopsis:
"The Incredible Hulk" first aired in 1978. The following is from the DVD cover:

""...Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." Mild-mannered research scientist David Banner (Emmy® nominee Bill Bixby) finds he must offer this heroic warning after exposure to gamma radiation transforms him into the terrifying and enraged Hulk (Lou Ferrigno). Bursting from comic book pages into this 4-disc DVD set, the Complete First Season of The Incredible Hulk boasts all ten heart-pounding episodes, the two original feature-length films, a preview episode from Season Two, and in-depth commentary from producer Kenneth Johnson.

Intense. Immense. Incredible!"

"The Incredible Hulk: The Complete First Season" is not rated.

Mini-Review:
I used to watch "The Incredible Hulk" religiously as a kid. Looking back at it now, I'm not sure why I did it. I was really only watching it to see the Hulk, but he was only on the screen a fraction of the time. It was essentially "The Fugitive" with a green monster that occasionally appeared. I'm amazed I had the patience to wait for him to show up. Looking back at it now as an adult, there are parts of the show that have aged well and parts that have not.

When I got the DVD, I skipped the pilot and started watching some of the later episodes. I wasn't all that impressed. The plot wasn't engaging, the acting wasn't great, and the Hulk was only shown moving in slow motion. I got annoyed with it pretty quickly. However, when I went back and watched the pilot, it was a different story altogether. The acting was superb, the drama was heartbreaking, and the look of the show was as good as that of a motion picture. It was an amazing difference and I began to appreciate what the series was able to accomplish. The Hulk was one of the first serious adaptations of a comic book to hit the small screen and it was very well done. I don't know what happened down the road, but they started off on the right foot.

What really makes the show is Bill Bixby. Considering I used to just watch the show for the Hulk, it's amazing to look back and to see how he was really a key to making the show work. He played the role with intelligence and sincerity and kept it from getting too campy like the old Batman series. The weight he brought to the role was really the difference. And while Lou Ferrigno did a good job, the harsh reality is that any strong man could have played the Hulk. Still, he amazed kids just like me even if the new CGI Hulk makes him look like a wimp. I should also mention the theme from the series. It's one of the most recognizable TV themes and you still hear it today, even if it is occasionally in parody.

This DVD set is sadly lacking in bonus features. All you get is an episode from the second series and a commentary (recorded in 2003) from the director of the pilot. He gives a lot of interesting info, but the bulk of his commentary is related to the technical aspects of making the show.

Hulk fans will definitely want to add this to their collections. Fans of TV dramas may also want to check it out.

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