Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989) DVD

Rating: 2 out of 5 call backs to Matt Murdock’s blindness, we get it okay?

Plot Synopsis:  David Banner goes from a modest country hole digging job (???) to be big city when he’s bullied by a veteran county hole digger (????).  Going to the city he finds a rundown apartment and goes looking for a job without ID, a resume, references, a telephone or a social security number.  Ah the 80’s, when you could get away with that shit.  He helps a girl on the subway from getting, I don’t know, forcibly married (that’s what the guy says, that he’s going to make her his wife) and ends up involved in a plot orchestrated, rather poorly, by the Kingpin of crime.  Also Daredevil shows up.

The Good:

-The cover, Banner, with a hobo beard, screaming in a courtroom with Hulk roaring behind him.

-Classic Bruce Banner/Hulk in Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.  I always forget how ripped that guy was.  I’m of course referring to Bill Bixby.

-Hulk bowls a bitch through some subway car doors, across the platform and through a crowd.

-When Bill Bixby flashes those pale greens you know what’s about to happen and it is awesome Every.  Single.  Time.

-Bill Bixby is so incredibly underrated.  Awesome and convincing as David Banner.

-Hey, it’s Stan Lee as a Juror in the Banner freaks the fuck out in court scene.  I’d recognize that porn stache anywhere.

-Lou Ferigno is baller as shit.  All the Hulk scenes are super badass and Lou flexing and yelling and throwing stuff makes it all the better.

-Bill Bixby and his hobo beard.

-Is there anything that billy club can’t do.  Yes.  It can’t love a woman.  At least not traditionally.

-The Lonely Man theme at the end, always a classic.

The Bad:

-Hulk is limited by being played by a live person.  I realize why they HAD to do it just because technology was limited but the Hulk is a force of destruction, huge, massive and outrageously powerful.  You get huge and powerful from Ferrigno but not supernaturally so.  Hulk’s presence is diminished.  Don’t get me wrong, Lou Ferrigno kicks ass but Hulk always needed to be a CG monster.

-Murdock and Klein?  What about Murdock and Nelson?  Let’s take Daredevil but let’s not use anything from Daredevil.

-Right after his introduction and I already hate Pettiman.  What a fucking no personality tool.

-No one notices the group of men coming into a mostly empty jewelry store and putting on masks?  You wait until you’re in the store, most likely AFTER you’ve already been caught on camera and then put your mask on in front of everybody.  Boy, you guys are STEALTH!

-“Daredevil Rules!” spray painted on the sub way wall.  He does indeed rule random teenager, he is also totally tubular and radical.

-We have “David Banner” instead Bruce Banner, it’s a small thing but it makes a difference to me.  Especially since the reason is the creators of the TV show wanted to distance themselves from the comic.  Why?  You’re creating a show about a man who transforms into a green monster by means of super science.  Did you think people were going to think that it was a completely original, realistic drama?

-My Matt Murdock, your cane makes outrageous swishing sounds at the smallest movement.

-Matt Murdock, tell me about all the movies you’ve seen, er, all the places you’ve been, um, how about that billboard in time square, I mean, take a look at these magaz... I don’t, I don’t really know how to deal with blind people.

-“Bring in more hawks to take of this pigeon problem and have the Menendez woman killed, oh, and get me a frogurt.  I don’t hate frogurt.”

-Daredevil is a fucking ninja?  Or maybe those are just his black PJ’s.  Either way he looks classy as shit.

-John Rhys Davies is awesome but not as the Kingpin.  Kingpin is not bombastic or refined.  He’s a rough and tumble New Yorker who worked his way to the top.  He should at least have a New York accent.  His speeches would be perfect for Dr. Doom but not the Kingpin of Crime.

-The Kingpin’s layer is filled with S&M leather people and also shot on video instead of film like the rest of the movie.

-“Tell me the mean streets Pettiman.” “I can’t Matt, I may look black but I’m whiter than you.”

-Stupid sexy Daredevil in his spandex, it’s like he’s wearing nothing at all.

-Debearded Bixby.

-Like we didn’t know Daredevil was Matt Murdock the whole time.

-“Let me see your eyes, I know a lot about radiation, maybe I can fix them.  Nope, no I can’t.  It’s hopeless.  I don’t know why I even bothered to offer since it was so obvious and easy to spot immediately.  I hope I didn’t get your hopes up.”

-How can Daredevil survive all those love taps from Kingpins henchmen?  If they hit him any lighter the action scene would look like a lesbian tickle fight on those sites I totally don’t have a subscription to.

-They don’t make it very clear who the Klein in Murdock and Klein is.  I thought for sure they didn’t even introduce a Klein at first, I had to look it up on IMDB to figure out who Klein was.  I figured if they weren’t even going to introduce a Klein then they should have stuck with Murdock and Nelson.  But they did, it’s a she and they refer to her almost exclusively as Christa.  They don’t explain that she’s a partner, they may sort of half mention it in the first scene she’s in but she’s mostly treated as a secretary so you would never guess that her names on the front damn door.

-Kingpins right hand man is super fucking creepy.  You really have to scene the one scene to understand how freaking creepy he is.

-Let me grab this fire ax that’s just attached randomly to the wall and also acts as a piece of art and attack you, Daredevil, with it.

-Kingpin has a mother fucking hovercraft/space ship powered by terrible green screen?  What the hell?

-The street toughs that asked the police chief is Daredevil is okay.  "Hey mista po-leese man?  Is Daredevil alright or somethin'?  I mean is he dead?" "I don't know street tough kid, I just don't know."

-Daredevil's origin is so incredibly lame.  "I'm inspired by your throw away line where you mentioned a daredevil so I will become a pajama wearing ninja."

The Ugly:

-“That’s beautiful too.” yes with her turtle neck sweater and huge 80’s hair, massive hoop earrings and linebacker shoulders.

-That is some Benny Hill quality fast motion there guys.

-More Benny Hill fast motion, is that how they displayed Hulks speed in this show?

-He’s blind Pettiman, not fucking deaf, you don’t need to yell.

-Kingpin’s has too much hair.  He’s not bald enough and he has a Kevin Smith beard instead of a jaw line beard.

-It apparently takes several second for a syringe to be thrown 2 feet against a wall.

-It’s typical late 80’s style action scenes, it’s also typical late 80’s acting sadly.  It is both good and bad but mostly over the top.

-Kingpin’s huge mirrored shades.

-That sounds nothing like an intercom, I’m pretty sure you’re just yelling off screen.

-Don’t look directly at the camera dear, it’s unseemly.

-It’s really quite jarring how we go from the film quality of the Bill Bixby half of the story to the shot on shiteo quality of Kingpins scenes.

-Daredevil’s radar sense is so, so, so, so bad.  It’s terrible.  I can’t even really describe it it’s so bad.

-His kung fu is weak as well.

-Rex Smith is the quintessential late 80’s TV actor.  If someone asked to see what TV acting was in the 80’s I’d show them Rex Smith’s performance in this movie.  Every drama actor in the 80’s acted exactly this way.

Final Thoughts:  I will never forget the first time I saw this movie.  I was in middle school and I was home sick or on break and sick.  I know I was sick, I don’t remember if I missed any school because of it though.  Anyway, Sci-Fi (before it became SeeFee), ran all three made for TV Hulk movies back to back and I watched them all through a Nyquil haze.  I remember, as a kid, being psyched to see Daredevil in a movie because at that moment I was in to Daredevil and I remember Kingpin being super stupid.  But that’s about it.  I didn’t really remember liking it or not liking it, I just know I had seen it.  That being said I really didn’t want to sit down and watch this again, my original plan was to sit down and watch Daredevil, Elektra and this in one sitting.  I got through Daredevil and Elektra, I put this off for 3 more weeks before finally making myself watch it again.  It’s like there was this PTSD haze around it.  My mind knew it had seen this movie and assured me that it had been watched and therefore never needed to be watched again but withheld all the details in order to preserve my sanity.  Every time I wanted to sit down and watch this I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I’d do pretty much anything else to avoid putting this in the player and going through it again.  Having seen it again I can say this for certain, I’m glad it’s out of the way.

            This was also supposed to act as a backdoor pilot  for a Daredevil TV series which would have been awesome and would have sucked.  It would have been awesome in how much it sucked much like the Spider-Man series from the 70’s.  Rex Smith is terrible as Daredevil, not so much in the acting method but the physicality just isn’t there.  It’s also not that he isn’t fit, because he is, but he moves slow, he hits softly, his martial art technique is clumsy and unimpressive.  A series based on what you see in this movie would have been hilarious.  I have no idea where they would have taken it but it would have a terribly weak cast.  Rex Smith would have had to carry the whole cast on his dreamy, over acting shoulders.  That’s a scary thought.

            I wouldn’t put this movie at the top of your list.  Even if you’re a casual fan of either the Hulk or Daredevil I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it.  I would have to say that unless you are a huge fan of either character or a huge fan of the TV show I would steer clear.  I suppose if you’re a fan of camp stupidity then I would recommend this.  I didn’t get a lot of enjoyment out of it and was pretty bored throughout the climax.  I honestly kept checking the timer on my player just to assure myself that there were only a few minutes left because that last ten minutes was interminable.  If you want to enjoy it ‘ironically’ (whatever that means) then I suggest lots of friends and lots of booze.

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