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Monday, March 16, 2015

Movie Talk - Marvel Animated Features Part 3: The Hulk

I'm on days for a bit... man, it's weird.

Today, I’ll be starting my week-long project that’s dedicated to the Incredible Hulk. Since I knew I wanted to look at some Hulk-related stuff, I might as well do them this week. Besides, it’s the Hulk! For today’s post, I’ll be talking about the Hulk related movies that were released by Marvel and Lionsgate. They are Hulk Vs. and Planet Hulk. I know I rented Planet Hulk when it was released on DVD. As for Hulk Vs., I saw the Wolverine part of it online years ago. I actually hadn’t completely seen the Thor side until recently. The Hulk movies were also a part of my re-watch on Netflix.

Hulk Vs.
Hulk Vs. was released in 2009. It actually should probably be titled “Hulk Vs. Insert Random Hero Here.” The set is comprised of two 30-to-40-minute features. In Hulk Vs. Thor, Loki wants to rule Asgard (again), so he teleports Bruce Banner to split Banner from Hulk. With the help of Amora, he gains control of the Banner-less Hulk in order to invade Asgard and kill Thor. Things go awry when Loki loses control of the Banner-less Hulk. Hulk Vs. Wolverine is basically a loose adaptation of their first meeting in the comics. In the movie, Logan is assigned by Department H to find the Hulk and deal with him. Things go bad for him and Banner when Weapon X gets involved.

Both features were a blast. They were full of nothing but teeth-gnashing action. They were also pretty violent especially the Wolverine feature. Wolverine’s feature is probably the most violent feature to come from this line of movies. The stories were simplistic but good. Since they were only between 30 to 40 minutes in length, you couldn’t get a lot of story out of them. They also provided for some really funny moments. The voice acting was good across the board. The animation was also really good here.
Uh-oh. Thor should know to not agitate the beast!

Thor’s side of things was fine but a little repetitive at points. Basically, you just see Hulk fight all of Asgard and then fight Thor a couple of times. I actually enjoyed it less since I’m not a big Thor fan. Still, it was cool to see Thor and all of Asgard go up against the Hulk. It provides a couple of twists within the story that I didn’t see coming. Wolverine’s story is much better in my opinion. I know I like it more because I really like Wolverine in general. I also felt like the feature was more focused. The big surprise was seeing Weapon X and who was a part of that team. It was basically the “Anti-Wolverine Revenge Squad featuring Deadpool.” I think I can see why people like Deadpool so much because he was pretty hilarious in this.
Okay, I will admit that Deadpool can be funny. I still think he’s overused everywhere else though.

If I only had one negative and it’s a really small one, it would be that we really don’t see any of the Hulk’s world in these films. They do so much to show Thor’s and Wolverine’s world that we really only get to see Hulk smash. While seeing Hulk smash is a good thing, I kinda wish there was more there involving him. We got into Banner’s head during Thor’s segment, so we did get something. As I said before, it’s a minor complaint. With the features being so short, not a lot of things could make it in. Overall, this was a good viewing. I will say that they aren’t for the young ones unless you want your kids to see Logan eviscerate some folk and Hulk pummel people in a brutal way.

Planet Hulk
The final movie I’ll be talking about is Planet Hulk and it was released in 2010. This one is actually adapted from “Planet Hulk,” a somewhat recent storyline from the comics. In the story, Marvel’s Illuminati group decides to launch the Hulk into space in order for him to finally find peace on another world. Of course, things go bad and the ship ends up landing on another world ruled by a tyrant. A weakened Hulk gets taken as a slave and is forced to fight in a coliseum. He and a band of slaves do what they can to survive the Red King and his forces.
"Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. Besides, I'm on an alien planet, so why should I pray to you? To heck with you!"

This one was also pretty good. I’ve never read the storyline, so this has motivated me to check it out one day. I liked the story for the most part. We really get to see Hulk in a much different setting. It’s basically “Conan the Barbarian in Space.” I also liked most of the supporting characters like Korg, Meek, and Cieara. Any woman who can stand up to the Hulk gets my vote. I especially liked the extended cameo from a certain hammer wielder. It’s not who you expect since he is actually in the place for the Silver Surfer who got left out of the movie for reasons (?). I also liked the animation and the action scenes were pretty cool.
The guy on the right (Beta Ray Bill) was actually pretty cool.

There isn’t a lot I don’t like about the film. There are times where the story feels rushed. That’s what you get when you adapt a pretty long storyline. I also wished some stuff had been explained in better detail. Some folk might not be used to the Hulk carrying on conversations. I get why and liked it, but some might not get it. Also, where’s Bruce Banner? I guess the comics also explained that but that’s something that should have been explained here. Other than those things, I think this was a good movie. It’s also one that is probably not meant for the little ones.

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Before I finish up, here is a ranking of all 9 features that Marvel and Lionsgate did:

9. The Invincible Iron Man – It’s definitely the worst of the bunch with a weak story and even weaker animation.
8. Ultimate Avengers – It’s pretty decent but I’m just not a fan of the Ultimates in general.
7. Ultimate Avengers 2 – It’s better than the first one but not by much.
6. Hulk Vs. Thor – While it is pretty good, it’s a little repetitive in places.
5. Next Avengers – While it is kid-friendly, it is still a pretty good one.
4. Thor: Tales of Asgard – While it has some boring places, the story and animation make it a watch.
3. Doctor Strange – This was a good intro to a hero I don’t know much about.
2. Planet Hulk - It’s definitely one of the best movies from this line.
1. Hulk Vs. Wolverine – It packs a nice story, great action, and good funny moments.

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Well, I’m finally at the end of this. It’s been fun going through these movies again. They all ranged in quality. Some were pretty good while some were average at best. I will say that Warner Bros. (DC) has done better with its direct-to-DVD movies than Marvel/Liongates did. Still, I do applaud Marvel for trying to put out movies that didn’t have their most popular heroes in them. I didn’t see Spider-Man anywhere in these things and that was kind of cool. Well, I’m outta here. Peace, God Bless, and “Hulk Slash!”

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