July 2024


Edward Norton

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

DIRECTOR: Louis Letterier


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


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 may please hoping for more action and “hulking out”, but alas this second attempt at bringing The Hulk to the big screen does not escape being mediocre and forgettable.  Among Marvel’s fledgling crop of interconnected comic book movies, The Incredible Hulk is not up to the level of this same summer’s Iron Man . Continue reading

The Illusionist (2006)

DIRECTOR: Neil Burger


Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell


The Illusionist is the kind of low-key, independent, art house fare that often gets lost in the shuffle among the action flicks and romantic comedies, which is kind of a shame, because while  it aims to be fairly lightweight entertainment, isn’t anything terribly ambitious, The Illusionist is a lot of fun- a pleasant, enjoyable brew of romance, mystery, and magic. Continue reading

The Italian Job (2003)

DIRECTOR: F. Gary Gray

CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def, Donald Sutherland


The Italian Job takes its name from a 1969 British film starring Michael Caine, but the two films have little in common besides the title and some minor plot elements, and 2003’s version is its own entity enough to disregard the original and review purely on its own merits.  The Italian Job is in the same vein as 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven, and will likely appeal to the same audience.  The Italian Job isn’t quite as much of a lighthearted lark—though apart from an occasional “dramatic” scene, it’s not taking things ultra-seriously either—but it follows the basic structure of this kind of slick whiz-bang heist/action caper, a colorful crew of thieves, a complicated heist (the movie is bookended with two), and a few twists and turns.  It’s not a great movie, but it goes on its way with slick panache, and is involving enough to be an entertaining diversion. Continue reading

Red Dragon (2002)

DIRECTOR: Brett Ratner


Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Mary-Louise Parker, Harvey Keitel, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anthony Heald, Bill Duke


Following in the footsteps of 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs and 2001’s Hannibal, 2002’s Red Dragon was purported to complete the Hannibal Lecter ‘trilogy’ (but then came the ill-conceived flop Hannibal Rising, detailing Hannibal’s childhood and thus removing the last shred of the character’s enigma- and whose bright idea was it to try to make a Hannibal Lecter movie without Anthony Hopkins?). Actually, Red Dragon is a remake of 1986’s Manhunter, which was itself an adaptation of author Thomas Harris’ book Red Dragon, the first to feature the character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, meaning although it was the last made, Red Dragon is chronologically the first in the series.

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The Score (2001)


CAST: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando, Angela Bassett


The Score isn’t a classic entry in the heist movie genre, but it’s a slick little diversion that sets fairly modest goals and achieves them, gives us some interesting interplay between accomplished actors, and treads familiar ground with enough assurance to make us not mind coming along for the ride. Continue reading