Blu-ray Review: The Incredible Hulk

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I just love this movie. It’s big. It’s loud. It’s a spectacle. It’s exactly what it was supposed to be. The Incredible Hulk lives in a world comfortably adjacent to ours, and while it occasionally forgets there are rules and norms that are expected in a human populated society it doesn’t matter because this is one of the rare big budget blockbusters that is oh-so-big, yet manages to stay within itself. Thanks to a continuous narrative The Incredible Hulk surpasses Iron Man and is easily the second best comic book film of the year behind The Dark Knight and I would say it is easily one of the best comic book films of all-time.

For the Blu-ray release I knew I had to choose my time to watch it wisely. I still live in an apartment complex and taking into consideration the DTS-HD soundtrack Universal regularly utilizes and the fact that this is one of the loudest movies I had ever watched in a movie theater I knew it would be best to watch it in the middle of the day when folks with normal jobs were at the office, while my office remains my comfortable abode. I chose wisely. The audio on this release surpassed my expectations and being a good neighbor I still found myself turning it down. Visually, the HD transfer matches up and delivers a fantastic looking picture.

Beyond the film, folks looking for special features won’t have to look far as this one comes with a full complement of making-of goodies, over 40 minutes of deleted scenes, a fantastic commentary track with director Louis Letterier and star Tim Roth (wish Ed Norton had joined them) and an alternate opening, which was rightly axed, but does hold a hidden goody, which I already detailed here.

Universal’s signature U-Control Blu-ray exclusive feature offers up pop-up behind-the-scenes peeks while the film is playing, a very cool comic book comparison feature that pops pictures from the “Hulk” comics that inspired certain scenes and a rather tedious “Thunderbolt Files” feature that I didn’t really find much interest in since I felt I was missing out on other stuff while I fooled around with it. Perhaps the “Thunderbolt Files” would best be left to their own screening and not for someone trying to get their fill of features for a review.

Of all the features the commentary is definitely the most entertaining and Roth adds a lot to the story since he wasn’t around for all the pre-production and several of the scenes. He asks a ton of good questions and both he and Louis are willing to laugh at a few things in the flick (Norton 360?) and Louis is always quick to point out little “Easter eggs” while the film plays on.

It goes without saying that I think you should buy this release. It is certainly one of the more entertaining films of the year, and one I will watch regularly, at least when I won’t worry about waking the neighbors with a giant “Hulk Smash!”

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