Category Archives: ed norton

Almost Incredible

The Incredible Hulk ~ I’m a bit puzzled over the rave reviews for this flick. I mean this isn’t a terrible film, but it’s not a great film either. I do wonder however if the rumored extra 70 minutes would improve or wreck the flick. I think critics are just thankful it was more Iron Man than Spider-Man 3, and most of all that it wasn’t Ang Lee’s Hulk (even though I liked his interpretation).

The extra footage is what may or may not temper this flick, but we’ll have to wait for the DVD for that, hopefully. Also the cut footage was also why star and writer/re-writer Ed Norton would not do any press for the film. He apparently disagreed with its final cut. I don’t disagree at all. Norton frequently puts his all into a project and is not only a perfectionist, but also very passionate. I’m sure the Norton version has a lot more heart than what we’ve seen so far on the big screen.

That said, there were sequences in this film that were just amazing. The opening scenes in Central America show an intriguing village set along the side of a mountain. The first thing I thought was what a great place for a big chase, but only the Bond films do that sort of thing any more. I was delighted to see an exotic locale used for more than just being pretty. The chase rocked.

There is also the college scene where the Hulk is attacked by the military on the college campus. This was a nice homage to the comics as in for most of the character’s early career he fought against the US army. This one sequence rolled like a greatest hits and was done well. Bravo.

The rest of the film had really nothing to offer in the way of the same spectacularity. Honestly the final battles between Hulk and the non-reptilian Abomination were frankly boring except for when the Hulk finally speaks (without explanation I might grumblingly add). The CGI effects were far too dark, fast and blurry for me to marvel at, at least.

What is fun with the rest of the film are the vast amount of Easter eggs and nudges for fans of the comics. There are so many. From the credits with documents flying by signed from SHIELD and Stark Industries to the origin of Hulk archenemy The Leader to the fact that the Abomination is transformed by the same super-soldier serum that created Captain America to the Iron Man star who shows up at the end of the flick. Lots here for the fanboys.

And that’s not even mentioning the nods to the TV series, from direct frame steals from the show’s opening to the appearance of Lou Ferrigno (also the Hulk’s voice) and even Bill Bixby on a TV rerun of “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.” Also look for Stan Lee in one of his more amusing cameos.

The remaining cast is less than satisfactory in comparison to Ed Norton. Liv Tyler is okay but she’s no Jennifer Connolly and her Betty Ross is less than adequate. Tim Roth is good for the time he’s on the screen and William Hurt only makes a good General Ross if you’ve never seen Sam Elliott in the role – one he was born to play. And don’t miss 1960s “Spider-Man” voice actor Paul Soles as Stanley the pizza shop owner.

All in all, it’s recommended, especially for comics fans. It’s no Iron Man, but it still rocks.


Death to Smoochy


A Video Review of Death To Smoochy

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

I didn’t hate this movie completely but I did hate it a lot.

As the story goes, kiddie show host Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams) gets busted for notorious and decidedly un-kiddie–show-host-like activities and the network seeks out a more innocent uncorruptible replacement in Smoochy, a big purple rhino (Edward Norton). It deteriorates from there as bad acting, worse writing and supposed hilarity ensues.

Edward Norton escapes with his reputation intact. He demonstrates his usual talent and skill despite being surrounded by ineptitude. It must be said that his quaint and lovable ‘Smoochy’ is cotton candy compared to the work he’s done in hard-hitting dramas like Primal Fear and American History X but his ability still shines through.

Co-star Robin Williams is the reason I stayed away from this mess when it was in the theatres, you know, it had that warning label “starring Robin Williams.” I never tire of that joke. This role was obviously practice for Williams’ later and progressively superior sociopaths in Insomnia and One Hour Photo. It’s a damn shame he had to practice on screen. What begins as legitimate evil turns to frightening and finally to Williams’ usual hyperactive nonsense. Sad.

Lead actress and Ed Norton’s producer and romantic interest Catherine Keener is perfectly fine as a bitchy ice queen but once her emotions come out we get to see her limited range. She is terrible, the less said the better.

There are bright spots. I can’t wait to see Pam Ferris who played the Irish mob mistress and Michael Rispoli as her punch drunk ex-prize fighter cousin in action again. Their performances are gems amongst coal. Also don’t miss the wonderfully twisted “Stepfather Song.”

Writer Adam Resnick has proven himself an unsure bet. He was excellent with 2000’s Lucky Numbers but then you have Cabin Boy and this mess… odds are for his next script to be good. If you have to see this one at all, see it with your finger on the fast forward button and a friend who’s seen it before to warn you for the good parts.

Agree with me? Want to fight about it? Reach me here.