Posts Tagged ‘HULK’


A weekly feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the epic “Avengers: Infinity War,” and the only two films brave enough to open against it “A Swingers Weekend” and “Adventures in Public School.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins CP24 anchor Nick Dixon to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the superheropalooza “Avengers: Infinity War,” and the only two films brave enough to open against it “A Swingers Weekend” and “Adventures in Public School.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan  to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the epic “Avengers: Infinity War,” and the only two films brave enough to open against it “A Swingers Weekend, ” “Adventures in Public School” and the eco doc “Panda.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR: 4 STARS. “all other Avengers movies pale by comparison.”

In the world of the Avengers less isn’t more. Bigger is better. The newest instalment “Avengers: Infinity War,” the nineteenth in the Marvel Universe, is their most epic film yet. Taking place all over the universe, it pits daughter against father, challenges the true nature of love, all while saving the world from certain destruction.

Set two years after relations soured in the Avengers camp—“The Avengers broke up,” says Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). “We’re toast.”—the new Avengers spectacle sees them put aside their differences to once again save the world. Iron Man (Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and a laundry list more, including all the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), band together to prevent intergalactic despot Thanos (Josh Brolin) from collecting the six powerful Infinity Stones hidden on earth. “He is a plague,” says Bruce Banner. He is the strongest creature in the universe, so pumped up he can toss Hulk and Thor around like they are rag dolls.

With the half dozen gems Thanos can decorate his bad-guy golden gauntlet. Not only fashionable, the artefacts, once collected, will also enable him to bend reality to his will. “The entire time I knew him he only ever had one goal,” says Gamora (Zoe Saldana), “to wipe out half the universe. If he gets all the Infinity Stones he can do it with a snap of his fingers.” Gah! Simply put, “He’s from space,” says Stark, “and came here to steal a necklace from a wizard [Dr. Strange a.k.a. Benedict Cumberbatch).”

“Avengers: Infinity War” is where good and evil and franchises collide. The good guys—essentially everyone but Thanos—put aside their grievances with one another for the common good. From far and wide, from outer space and the mystical realms, they unite, trade quips, kick butt and try to beat the odds. “There are 14,000,605 possible outcomes,” calculates Doctor Strange, “but only one where the good guys win.”

Then there’s Thanos, whose twisted idea of tough love involves a genocidal solution for overcrowding on planets, and his nasty minions. The big man is a get the job done kind of guy but he’s not simply evil. He’s a villain who feels the psychic weight of his evil doing. His conscience doesn’t slow him down much—he still does terrible things—but he is more layered than your usual CGI baddie. Brolin shines in a mo cap performance that gives the character depth despite his cartoon appearance.

Combined they create a primal battle of good and evil on a scale that makes all other Avengers movies pale by comparison.

The sheer number of cast members brings to mind the old Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer slogan, “More stars than there are in the heavens.” Iron Man, Thor, Scarlet Witch and the Guardian gang are put to good use but too often the superheroes are set dressing. There are so many characters and interactions that even at two hours and forty minutes the film struggles to find meaningful things for all of them to do. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow does little more than grimace and say things like, “Let’s do this!” Tom Holland as Spider-Man is given a cool new suit and a couple of action scenes but like many others like Falcon (Anthony Mackie) don’t seem to be there for any other reason than to bulk up the marquee. Even the main players check in and out, often disappearing from the narrative for substantial chunks of time.

There has been much speculation as to which characters live and who dies. All I’ll say is that there will be some actors looking for work after “Avengers: Infinity War” opens.

Many of the actors may not get much to do character wise but most are in almost constant motion in some of the largest Avengers fight scenes ever. For the most part they are CGI fests, geared to make your eyeballs dance. They are expertly realized but many of them feel familiar, like larger versions of the smash ‘em ups from the other films. If the fight scenes are your favourite bits of the Avengers movies then you’ll be pleased. If not, look out, they eat up a good piece of the film.

What makes “Avengers: Infinity War” compelling isn’t that it is bigger and louder than its predecessors, it’s that there are high stakes for everyone. Once again the world is in peril but we’re used to that. The powerful work is interpersonal, between characters. No spoilers here, but lives of characters we’ve followed for years are changed and it brings humanity to a film that could have been computer generated overload.

“Avengers: Infinity War” ends with a downbeat cliffhanger that leaves much up in the air. The final scene—after credits so long it seems like everyone in the world worked on this movie—gives a hint of the worldwide consequences of Thanos’s plan but gives no hint as to what’s to come. For that you’ll have to wait until part two hits theatres on May 3, 2019. The dangling nature of the story will be frustrating to some. For fans, however, the movie should deliver in a big way.


The-Hulk-Wallpaper-the-incredible-hulk-31051336-1680-1050“You’re making me angry,” says Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) before transforming into the muscle bound Hulk. “You won’t like me when I’m angry.” Oh yes we will Bruce. In fact, we like you lot more when you’re angry. Director Ang Lee has taken the comic book bully’s story and added touches of intelligence, style and grace, everything in fact, except personality. Bana (whose Ken doll hair I found very distracting) plays Banner as an emotionally detached zombie, draining him of any spark.

Recent Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly doesn’t fare much better. Her Betty Ross is a pretty picture – beautiful to look at, but lacking in any dimension. It is amazing that a movie which expects the audience to buy a wild chemical explanation as to why Banner blows up into his hulking alter ego can have so little chemistry between its two lead actors. There is barely a glimmer when they are on-screen together.

Not so when the big guy enters the picture. The CGI creation is part King Kong, part Frankenstein and all Harryhausen, but yet seems like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Like Frankie and Kong before him, he capable of mindless violence and mass destruction, also has a gentle, compassionate side. In one scene that seems to echo King Kong, Hulk picks up Betty in his massive fist before gently placing her on the roof of a car so he car get a better look at her. Here we see the marvels of the CGI and the Hulk’s wonderfully expressive face. This collection of pixels and binary code ironically brings the movie to life. Of course the Hulk on a rampage is more fun, but Lee paces the action carefully, barely giving us a glimpse of the main attraction until almost an hour into the film, and then uses him sparingly.

People expecting to see an action movie will be sorely disappointed. Hulk (the movies drops “the”) has its moments – the battle with the killer mutant dogs is exciting and violent while Hulk’s desert show-down with the army has the makings of a classic in the superhero oeuvre – but favours the cerebral over the physical. Most of the action here takes place inside Bruce Banner’s mind as he battles with his fate. Hulk historians will note that stylistically Lee has crafted a film using crazy jump-cuts, dissolves and split screens that emulates the wild design of the original comic books.

The supporting cast fares much better than the above the title actors. Josh Lucas hands in a one-note performance as the fleabag military weapons contractor turned Hulk’s punching bag, but seems to be having a good time while doing it. Sam Elliott plays Ross, an army muckety-muck who is bent on destroying the green blowtop. In the hands of a lesser actor this would have been a stereotypical turn as the paranoid, untrusting military man. Instead Elliot gives us the stiff façade of a career warrior, but reveals a softer core – someone who is tormented by the unpleasant choices he has to make.

But it is Nick Nolte’s scene chewing that steals the movie. With his hair standing on end (think of the famous mug shot from last September) and wild eyes blazing Nolte is an organic visual effect that rivals his CGI co-star. As David Banner, the scientist father of the Hulk, he experimented with his own DNA and passed the genetic flaw on to his son. The elder Banner is only playing with only 44 cards in the deck, and Nolte’s over-the-top performance makes his a riveting character.

Hulk may have its flaws, but Ang Lee has done something really interesting here. He’s taken the hoary old superhero genre and freshened it up visually while adding a level of thoughtfulness and context that is missing from other movies of its kind.