Thursday, June 12, 2008

FILM: New in Theaters - 6/13/08

Everyone in the blogosphere is speculating as to whether anyone will be headed to the theaters this weekend for The Incredible Hulk. I won't be, but I'm not opposed to watching it on DVD or seeing it if someone paid for my ticket. This latest comic book film is getting a pretty bad rap, because the 2003 Ang Lee version did so poorly. Heck even Eric Bana refused to reprise his role because of how bad it did. But Edward Norton had a vision. Not only did he vie for the role, but he tweaked the script and demanded final production edit. A lot is riding on the success of the film--from Norton's career to the Hulk's potential future.

Faithful comic fans have picked away at the new incarnation, from the color of the hero's skin to the overall action graphics. But here's my half-hearted attempt to convince you that it won't be such a bad investment--as opposed to...You Don't Mess with the Zohan. First of all, it's directed by Louis Leterrier (Transporter 1 & 2 and Unleashed), who is pretty good at action. Second, before it was tweaked by Norton, it was written by Zak Penn, who's been around since he did Arnold Schwarzenegger's Last Action Hero and has stuck around for Electra, Fantastic Four, and the last two X-Men films. Alright, those didn't too well with the critics. Maybe I'm not helping. Let's see. Jennifer Connelly was replaced by Liv Tyler. If that sounds appealing, perhaps that could be what lures you into a seat...

But for real, if there were any real reasons to cough up $8-15 for this flick, I'd stick to these:
1) This time the bad guy is Oscar nominated Tim Roth who kind of gets hulked out himself as the Abomination and dares to challenge the green giant even before his DNA is altered (which you can see in the trailer below).
2) They've added comic relief and made things lighter than the uber depressing Lee version, which you may have noticed in another trailer where Liv and Ed make a joke about New York transit being annoying enough to awaken the Hulk.
3) And, best of all, Robert Downey Jr. cameos as Tony Stark because he's summoned to "deal" with the government's little mutant problem and promises to assemble a team, which some speculate to be the Avengers.
Watch the trailer:

If that won't get you into seats, then maybe you should consider your other options: The Happening and Quid Pro Quo. Like I said earlier this week, the Hulk isn't the only one who has to prove himself. M. Night Shymalan is experiencing a bit of a revolt from his former followers. While his films have steadily made profits in the triple digits since his breakout film The Sixth Sense, his last mystery thriller, The Lady in the Water, barely regained it's budget and the one before that, The Village, inspired critics to turn on him. Needless to say, they're not too keen on this latest flick and I'm sure the weekend's headlines will be chocked full of corny puns, like "It's just not Happening" or "What's Happening to Shymalan's career?" But in keeping with my former attempts of persuasion, I present 3 reasons to give it a shot:
1) Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), and John Leguizamo are in it.
2) It's rated R and extremely graphic in the death arena...which there's a lot of, since the plot is about an inexplicable pandemic of sudden deaths, suicides and homicides brought on by three consecutive symptoms: loss of speech, physical disorientation, and then an overwhelming need to die.
3) And the pandemic is rumored to be global warming-related, which could be educational, as well as interesting.
Watch the trailer:

As for Quid Pro Quo, I have a feeling "Dexter" viewers will be interested in discovering the end to this mystery. In its first season, the serial killer-by-night and blood expert-by-day spends his free time admiring a fellow serial killer who has an amuputee fetish. This film follows Nick Stahl ("Carnivale") as he plays a semi-paralyzed reporter who gets sucked into the world of crippled fetishes by a beautiful woman, played by Vera Farmiga (The Departed). Watch the trailer:

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