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The Avengers

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

DIRECTOR: Louis Letterier

CAST:

Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson

REVIEW:

Despite being a popular Marvel Comics property and a potential film franchise in its own right, The Hulk flopped at the box office in Ang Lee’s 2003 Hulk, which was critically-praised but a dud with audiences.  Rather than supply a direct sequel, Marvel decided to reboot the franchise, ignoring the previous film and kicking straight off with The Incredible Hulk, a more conventional superhero film, foregoing the more talky and introspective aspects that some critics appreciated about Ang Lee’s take but bored theater-going crowds expecting more “Hulk Smash” action.  The result should be sufficient for those wanting more smashing and explosions, but while entertaining, is also a bit mediocre and underwhelming.  The Incredible Hulk is sufficient for summer comic book movie escapism, but it’s not up to the level of Iron Man or Thor. Continue reading

Iron Man (2008)

DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau

CAST:

Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub, Faran Tahir, Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany (voice)

REVIEW:

Along with Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man is a member of the next generation of comic book movies that make their stories seem almost (not quite, but almost) plausible by playing it straight. Positive audience response is clear; Iron Man was the second highest-grossing film of 2008 before being overshadowed by the arguable crowned king of ‘comic book movies’, The Dark Knight , within a couple months. Continue reading

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