I know, The Avengers: Age of Ultron probably doesn’t need any more hype, as it’s clearly on it’s way to probably being the most successful movie of all time. But to not chime in a little on this one would be a crime right? I was a big fan of the first one, it was a damn fun movie, I finally got a pretty decent Hulk (though I still am not a fan of an entirely CG character) and it merged all the other Marvel movies together seamlessly. Now I’ll say this I’m not sure that The Avengers with all of it’s slick computerized fx will age very well and I to be honest I wasn’t a huge fan of Loki & The Chitauri as the films main villains. But regardless now we have the first trailer for the second installment and it looks pretty damn awesome! So here it is again, like this fucking thing needs any more attention with it’s near thirty million views in like 2 days…
It’s clear the movie is going for a darker almost apocalyptic vibe to it. It’s tone is much more serious and the trailer clearly lets us know this movie is filled with secrets and clues to future Marvel movies. The first look at Ultron was chilling too, he’s a creepy ass robot the way he should be, so I’m tickled pink that they got that right. It promises to an epic battle between The Hulk and Iron Man (or possibly Iron Man’s armor under the control of Ultron?) that I can’t wait to see. It’s clear there’s some sort of problem with Tony Stark in this one that I suspect could set up the movies for the Civil War plot they have been talking about. I also see potential for maybe a Planet Hulk flick coming out of this one. I cannot wait to see the Vision! And this messed up romance!
Now as cool as Ultron looks I wish and hope that there’s more to flick in way of super villains. I love Ultron, but the whole idea of The Avengers fighting another huge ass group of guys who look the same (ahem the Chitauri in the first film and army of Ultrons this time)) again might be the one thing that I am not too thrilled with. I really would love instead to see some Avengers villains really get into the next movie. Give me The Masters of Evil, Baron Zemo, The Super Skrull, The Absorbing Man, The Leader, M.O.D.O.K., The Wrecking Crew for cryin’ out loud!! Where are all these great villains dammit?
I wanna see the Avengers take on a team of bad guys like in the comic books-Let’s get a roster of great actors for the third movie with a final superhero/villain battle unlike anything we’ve ever seen on film. I cross my fingers for part three to deliver this and more. In the meantime though I am pretty damn pumped about The Age of Ultron, it somehow looks leaps and bound more exciting than the first one. It seems Marvel just can’t be stopped, let’s see Fox or Sony or hell even DC top this! It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the superhero…
It seems that Mark Ruffalo has revealed that a new stand alone Hulk movie may in fact be coming sooner than we’ve all expected. It’s been a fact that Marvel hasn’t been confident that The Hulk has what it takes to be a smash hit on the same levels as Iron Man, Cap or Thor. They’ve already given the green guy two attempts and they’ve left viewers underwhelmed at the results. Personally I can’t say I’m a fan of the first one and the second one was passable, but as the full on Hulk fanatic that I am it didn’t quench my gamma thirst. His third appearance in The Avengers was by far the best, Ruffalo did an excellent job as Banner and finally Hulk looked real enough for me to not talk a bunch of shit here about him.
So what the hell is the problem here? It seems to me The Incredible Hulk should be an easy sell! I’ve been reading the hulk comic books since I was a little kid and it doesn’t seem like rocket science is involved to craft an awesome Hulk storyline! Seriously folks the Hulk and his stories should be simple and fun. There’s really no need to over think things. Perhaps that’s what the problem has been on each outing thus far? I think a great Hulk film should be jam packed with action, some cool villains and a somewhat simplistic plot. There should be equal Banner time/ Hulk time, you can’t really have too much of either or you’ll bore people with too much mindless action or too much screen time for the actor portraying Banner who thinks he deserves more face time.
Another thing that they should stop is trying to string the old 70’s series into the plot. That worked well back in the day because it was an ongoing television series and having Banner on the run was always quite intriguing. Plus Bill Bixby was a pitch perfect Banner and they need to stop trying to recreate his magic. Now if they were going to continue on with the rumored Guillermo Del Toro Hulk tv series that may be a different story altogether. However in a stand alone movie lets bring on a solid adventure for the green guy that’s fresh and not trying to rehash his Ferrigno days.
Another problem I believe with the movies, and I know many will disagree, is that it’s a hard thing for a live action movie to be driven by an entirely computer generated character who merely roars and grunts. Lou Ferrigno’s Hulk worked so well because he was REALLY there on screen acting and interacting with other people in all of his green paint and glory. He was real and you could feel real emotion there. So today trying to get the same results is very difficult with a CG lead character. Even in the Iron Man movies, much of the actual imagery of Iron Man was fully CG, however we always got those close ups of Tony Stark’s face in the armor, reminding us that yes, Iron Man is a real person. No matter how much you love modern CG it’s still poses problems for generating real characters with real emotion.
One solution to some of the Hulk’s big screen problems could be solved with giving the Hulk more intelligence, like he has often times in the comic books. Rather than just having him growl and roar, let Banner gain some control and let The Hulk speak. He can still in the heat of battle lose his cool and go into full on “Hulk Smash” angry toddler tantrum mode. But once a fully raging computer generated Hulk who can’t speak dominates the majority of screen time things the viewer is bound to disconnect a bit . So hopefully the next Hulk will have more going on in the noggin.
Finally pick some good supporting characters from the Hulk’s rich comic history. Let’s see Doc Samson with his green locks, let’s explore She-Hulk and add some Rick Jones into the mix! Most important let’s get some good villains into the mix. The Leader would be amazing and he’d also be a big enough baddie to cross over into an Avengers movie. Or how about The Absorbing Man, The Wrecking Crew, The Gremlin, The U-Foes or better yet Modok!? I’ve been itchin’ to see a big screen Modok for years and this would be the perfect platform to do so! I’m thinking the “Ms. Modok” storyline from the 80’s Incredible Hulk #286-290 would be terrifying on the big screen!
I’m also open to some classic Hulk stories, “Planet Hulk/World War Hulk” has been talked about quite a bit but might require too much set up, “Dogs of War” from 2001 would be a good one, but a good classic storyline could be from The Incredible Hulk mid 1980’s where Banner seemingly controls the Hulk. He even dresses like him for the first time (which was pretty funny) but later loses control and is cast off to a different dimension by Doctor Strange, these issues served as the actual inspiration for the Planet Hulk story many years later.
So my final thoughts are, though it might be difficult to pull of a simple, awesome Hulk adventure on the big screen I’m more than excited for them to give it another go. I felt Ruffalo did such a great job in the Avengers that I think the next Hulk movie is bound to be a hit. People clearly want it and if they don’t over think it, it’ll be the Hulk flick we’ve always dreamed of..
I had to get this in before the final verdict on the casting of Ant-Man was officially chosen, anyway it seems we have two choices for the role, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Paul Rudd. First I’ve gotta say I hope whoever they chose they dye their hair blonde! Call me a comic purist, but it’d make it feel more like Hank Pym as he’s always been a blonde even in The Ultimates.
So to me, of these two choices I feel like the role should be Rudd’s, as he’d fit nicely with Edgar Wright’s version of the hero or at least what I imagine. Also though Gordon Levitt should be a superhero-he SHOULD be Batman dammit, he doesn’t at all resonate as a Hank Pym to me.
Rudd is a good choice, he can play cocky asshole and frankly he’d be a breath of fresh air in the role and to The Avengers. I say whatever, just get Giant-Man up on the big screen already-Ant-Man is cool but Giant-Man really rounds out the Avengers and is quite honestly one of the most cinematic things about The Ultimates!!