Film Junk Podcast Episode #172: Incredible Hulk, The Happening and The Strangers

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0:00 – Intro
1:25 – In-house Announcements
8:55 – What We Watched: There Will Be Blood, Protagonist, Kill Baby Kill
14:10 – Review: Incredible Hulk
42:35 – Review: The Happening
1:10:30 – Review: The Strangers
1:25:05 – Junk Mail
1:32:52 – Trailer Trash: Mirrors, Babylon A.D./Wanted, Miracle at St. Anna
1:48:32 – This Week’s DVD Releases
1:50:15 – Outro

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  • You should have called this podcast “The Hulkening.”

  • I cried for twenty minutes straight when i found out you didn’t read my junk mail, its cool though, i’ll start sending some more disscusion inducing questions.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkmqH4FCXdU

  • Theater chains have “buyers” that bid on films for the theater to show.

    Big studio films tend to have stipulations a theater must follow in order to play the film (Star Wars was required to have X amount of prints for opening weekend and show it for X amount of weeks in order to get a print).

    It tends to be slightly different for smaller films, as often they need to meet certain requirements for a theater chain to pick it up. If they can’t show that they can gross a certain amount of money over opening weekend, then major chains won’t pick the film up because they won’t recoup their investment.

  • If Wanted was directed by John Carpenter Jay would have a 10 minute dissertation on why “Shoot the wings off the flies” is the greatest scene in the history of action movies.

    I mean Christ, you were hailing the shitty Village of the Damned remake simply because it was Carpenter not an hour earlier in the podcast. How is shoot the wings off the fly any different then saying “Put the glasses on!” multiple times during a 10 minute fist fight?

    You need to watch NightWatch and DayWatch Jay. Bekmabetov is basically the Russian equivalent of George Miller or Russell Mulcahy. Minimal storyline and bat shit crazy visuals that exists solely to entertain the viewer.

  • “How is shoot the wings off the fly any different then saying “Put the glasses on!” multiple times during a 10 minute fist fight?”

    I guess I prefer old fashioned fist fights over anime-influenced live action cartoons. Shooting wings off of flies is the dumbest thing I’ve seen in movie history. EVER. (not really, but it’s lame.)Are you really telling me you can’t see the difference in style/tone between the two? How someone might just prefer more simple visual storytelling?

    I will be a hypocrite about this in saying John Carpenter’s ‘Wanted’ would never look like Bekmaetov’s Wanted because it would have one third the budget and it would star a rapper and a television celebrity trying to make the jump to the big screen.

    I will watch Night Watch and Day Watch. I will also watch Wanted and have a good laugh throughout the entire thing I’m sure.

  • “I mean Christ, you were hailing the shitty Village of the Damned remake simply because it was Carpenter not an hour earlier in the podcast.”

    I was ‘hailing’ it? Really? I thought I’ve made it pretty clear that it’s a weak Carpenter film. I enjoy it on the level that I enjoy Friday the 13th part 6. In no way have I ever claimed that Village of the Damned was an amazing film.

  • And I submit that the term ‘nuke the fridge’ should be replaced by ‘shoot the wings off of flies’.

  • @ “it would star a rapper”

    uh, hello, Common?

  • I just watched the trailer. It’s weird that someone (Jay) so adamant about comic book movies taking themselves too seriously wouldn’t warm up to this. Especially the wings on flies bit.

    Plus it’s rated R. All they have to do now to win me over is not bore me with some tedious over complicated plot.

  • When I say I think comic book movies shouldn’t take themselves so seriously, I don’t mean they should get more and more visually ridiculous. I’m talking tone, characterization, and the complexity of the plot lines.

    As I said, I will most likely see Wanted to review it, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m open to being surprised, but as it stands, the trailer looks 1 step above the matrix, 2 above fast and the furious.

  • The plain and simple answer is I just don’t get off on this style of action film. I’m not a fan of bullet time, I’m not a fan of shots with ramping speeds, and I’m not impressed by kung fu in extreme slow motion. I like a turret gun and a punch. Manly men. Not metro-invincible kung fu day-jobbers who can shoot wings off flies without even trying.

  • Well I certaintly agree that Wanted looks dirivative. Probably lots of slo-mo kung fu which isn’t really my thing either.

    You should see this with Red Belt as a double feature. Then in your review you guys can compare and contrast.

  • Having said all of that, I’m still wanting to check out Daywatch and Nightwatch, as you’d mentioned. I believe they’re coming out on blu ray in august, so I might pick them up. I think I remember Kurt and Andrew praising Daywatch on their show, and I’d always meant to check it out.

  • Yay! My dayjob is no longer banning me from Film Junk!

  • Regarding Jay’s criticism of Hulk. I think this film is obviously trying to capture a lot of the essence of the 1970s TV show (Ang Lee’s was more comic book-ish). In the show, Hulk was always “good” to the people he cared for. He would grab the girls from the burning car or semi-protect the ones he cared about. Although he was angry/crazy, he still sensed the difference between good and bad.

    While I agree it would be a bit more interesting, in terms of sticking with canon it’s not a really a valid complaint.

  • That’s the thing, I’m not interested in canon. I can totally appreciate a fan of the show or comic getting something out of the film, but as a viewer, I’m just not interested. As I said on the show, I realize this would be too ‘wolf man’ or ‘dr.jekyll and mr.hyde’, but that’s the sort of storytelling it would take for me to care about any of these characters.

    HOWEVER, having said all that, I still truly think they miss the boat on Hulk’s threat when he’s angry. I don’t give a fuck about an office as collateral damage.

  • I haven’t seen “The Happening” yet– is this episode spoiler-heavy? Not that it really matters, but just wondering.

    And in the interest of full disclosure, I actually enjoyed the “Village of the Damned” quite a bit. Especially that little kid that later was on an episode of Seinfeld. He’s horrible.

  • The funny thing is, we made a point of saying that there would be spoilers in our review of The Happening, but I don’t think there really was. Either way, to be safe I wouldn’t listen if you’re still planning on seeing it.

  • I was ‘hailing’ it? Really?
    You claimed the film contained Christopher Reeves’ last great performance. I think it’s safe to say such an outlandish compliment falls under the umbrella of “hailing”.

  • I suppose sarcasm doesn’t read over a podcast well?

    Saying it was Christopher Reeve’s last great performance was suppose to be a joke. Didn’t I even comment on his over the top monologue and mind battle with the kids?

  • “Bekmabetov is basically the Russian equivalent of George Miller or Russell Mulcahy. Minimal storyline and bat shit crazy visuals that exists solely to entertain the viewer.”

    I think that’s what Jay was saying Wanted was going to be, and was railing against anybody who would claim that Wanted had any sort of artistic merit to it.

    Did Christopher Reeve ever have a great performance? He should have played Mason Virgil in Hannibal.

  • I’ll submit DEATHTRAP as a good Christopher Reeve performance. Underrated little movie, that one.

  • I think that’s what Jay was saying Wanted was going to be, and was railing against anybody who would claim that Wanted had any sort of artistic merit to it.

    I’m quite certain Jay wasn’t making that argument Henrik. He’s a smart guy, and I’m sure he’ll not only enjoy the movie but see the difference between it and a Michael Bay film after he has actually watched one of his movies and not just a simple trailer.

    Didn’t I even comment on his over the top monologue and mind battle with the kids?

    Is that what you were doing? I just thought you were orgasming.

  • First off, I think Mad Max has artistic merit.

    Also, I don’t think I’ve ever compared this to a Michael Bay film. I do realize the difference. I’m looking at it more in terms of the hundreds of Matrix clones that we’ve had thrown at us since the 1999, and from what I get from the trailer, this movie might have some interesting visuals, but piques my interest no more than the others.

    As I said, that style just doesn’t do anything for me. I like my action physical (Commando, The Running Man, Cobra, etc.) and visceral (Bourne films, Children of Men, etc.) A fist-fight on a conveyor belt heading towards a trash compactor is right up my alley.

    That’s not to say I’ve never been entertained by action that’s fallen outside of this area. I like Hard Boiled, I liked The Matrix…

    I guess the best way to sum it up is my favourite Asian fight scene in a film has nothing to do with slo-mo, bullet time or wires. It’s the hallway fight in Old Boy. Simple, visceral and brutal.

    I don’t like the comparison of action to ballet. I want sloppy. (For the most part)

  • You tossed off a side note during the podcast that Wanted isn’t anything different then what The Matrix does or what Michael Bay does. I believe in the context that you were saying you (as in anyone) could make the argument that they are the same, not that you specifically believe they are.

    I do think NightWatch and DayWatch are pretty visceral films, and it isn’t like Bekmabetov doesn’t use practical effects. I just think you have the wrong impression of the style of filmmaker Bekmabetov is, and that is just because you have only seen a trailer of Wanted.

    Their is also one distinct difference between Wanted and The Matrix. McAvoy isn’t a hero, he’s the villain of the story. It’s that twist on the common theme of action films that has me very interested in what it has to offer. And being that Bekmabetov played with a similar theme in NightWatch and DayWatch, it makes a lot of sense was he was picked to direct.

    BTW, I assume you are excited to see Ong Bak 2?

  • Ong Bak 2. Looks very, very good. Surprisingly gory, and wow, they’ve gone up to 11 in the Cinematography department.

  • It sounds like Sean sort of got the same out of The Happening that I did with the whole positive/negative energy thing. My theory is that’s why nature attacked in the first place – it senses anger/pain/sadness. But then later you (Sean) mentioned that you didn’t get why the mood ring thing was put in there. And I think that’s part of the positive energy thing. Same with the relationship problems seemingly just thrown in there and same with all the talk of how “crappy people are” etc. There are clues all throughout this movie to point towards that theory.

    **more spoilers**

    Then at the end, I sort of got the feeling the reason they conquered the “evil wind” was because they had such positive energy flowing (“I love you, lets e together” blah blah). Also the very end with the city seemingly peaceful and everyone is ultra nice to one another and what not. I took that to mean that people consciously were being good and putting out positive vibes so the plants would not attack again.

  • Jay – you wouldn’t say what you’re saying about Wanted if you’ve seen the Watch series. Last year’s Day Watch was the summer blockbuster of the year and should’ve been seen by everyone instead of the shit that was Spider-Man 3. It made my top ten.

    Then I saw WANTED last night. Guaranteed to be on my top ten list again this year.
    NOT lame.

    SEE THE WATCH SERIES BEFORE YOU GO TO THE DRIVE-IN.
    Unfortunately the Day Watch DVD doesn’t have the stylized subs (which REALLY pisses me off) but the Night Watch DVD retained those stylized subs.

  • I did a little research and it seems that the remake of funny gamess has been released on dvd, maybe you guys should review this.

  • Hey Drew, it’s not available in Canada yet but I might order it on Amazon. Not sure if the other guys want to see it, but I’ll definitely check it out and give my thoughts when I get the chance.

  • Andrew,

    I’m holding off to watch Daywatch and Nightwatch when they come out on blu ray this summer.

    Hopefully Wanted will be able to hold up even without having seen any of the director’s previous work.

    We’ll find out next weekend!