A few weeks back I received an early copy of the Iron Man SE DVD, and although we all griped a little bit about the lack of an audio commentary -- I'm pretty sure the fans are still happy with that purchase. So now let's try it again, only instead of Iron Man, we'll be picking through the 3-disc Special Edition of Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk. And while it's definitely a good package (provided you dig the film), here's one simple warning right out of the gate: The third disc is nothing more than a "digital copy" platter. Maybe I'm missing something, but I just don't see the big appeal of "digital copies." Why the hell would I want to overstuff my hard drive -- when I have the DVD sitting right here??
Anyway, the Special Edition has lots to recommend it, and the main feature is certainly something to see -- doubly so if you happen to have Blu-Ray. (I do not.) Even better the second time around, The Incredible Hulk is a simple yet very well-made action adventure flick in which a fugitive scientist must avoid the military while trying to get a powerfully monstrous alter-ego out of his system. Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, and Tim Roth bring an excellent air of professionalism to "yet another" superhero movie, and while it might not have been the Action Event that Iron Man was, I think it's safe to assume that Marvel and the fans were pleased with the big green semi-sequel as well.
So on disc one we get an audio commentary with Leterrier and actor Tim Roth, as well as six deleted scenes that run about 14 minutes total. The deleted footage is mostly early (Brazil) stuff and a few villainous rants between Hurt and Roth. (All good cuts if you ask me.) As far as the commentary goes, it sounds a lot like a cool Brit and an enthusiastic Frenchman talking about their action movie. I'm only about fifteen minutes into the chat-track, but it's pretty amusing stuff...
Read on for the Disc Two delights.
Dang this disc is stocked! Time to break out the handy-dandy bullet points!
- The much-discussed alternate opening (2:34) in which Banner travels to (very) far lengths to contemplate suicide.
- Another 17(!) deleted scenes that clock in around thirty minutes total. Some of the excised stuff is cool, some is slow, but all of it is pretty talky. And with about 40-some minutes of deleted scenes in this package, I'm betting we won't be seeing a Director's Cut of this flick any time soon.
- The Making of Incredible (29:52) is a shiny but fairly standard behind-the-scenes peek. Fans of the flick will enjoy the enthusiasm of the cast and crew members, but like most of these pieces, it's pretty much a love-fest. (If anything, Leterrier comes off like a seriously cool guy to work for -- and he does have an eye for the spectacle.)
- Becoming The Hulk (9:23) focuses on the ways in which the legendary character was re-tooled for this newest adaptation. Leterrier, Norton, and lots of talented FX guys spill the beans.
- Becoming The Abomination (10:16) does the same thing, only for the big baddie. And yeah, it's fun to see an indie guy like Tim Roth stepping in to the blockbuster business.
- Anatomy of a Hulk-Out (27:50) is broken up into three sections (the bottling plant, campus, and Harlem) and showcases the hero's biggest tantrums.
- From Comic Book to Screen (6:33) focuses on "the grotto scene" between Betty and Hulky, and the ways in which the sequence was translated from page to film.
(The cat's name is Jonesy, and yes, he watches DVDs with me. [Previous Cinematical exploits here and here.] He is fascinated by anything that has explosions, bright lights, or Ben Burtt sound effects -- and while he has a much stronger attention span than most human teenagers, he demands a lot more petting than they do. The little gray freak even leaves to pee and then comes right back. Also, that entire bed is HIS, and you see that Iron Man action figure in the background? I once coated it with catnip in order to take a silly photo, and now Jonesy won't let me keep it. Damn cat keeps stealing it from my geek shelf.)