I saw The Incredible Hulk for the first time at a midnight screening. I wrote the movie review around three a.m., right before collapsing from exhaustion. So it was with no small amount of trepidation that I recently threw in the Three-Disc Special Edition. Would the film hold up the second time or had a fatigued-induced stupor clouded my initial read on the film?
Luckily, for all parties involved this is still a solid superhero flick, completing the triumvirate of 2008. Iron Man wasn't steady throughout but it presented a phenomenal premise and the genius of Downey Jr. The Dark Knight was indeed dark but it also reached heights that superhero movies haven't ever reached on the storytelling front. And then we have Hulk, the most consistent of the bunch. It doesn't have the third act issues of Iron Man or the "we're totally screwed vibe" of Dark Knight. It just works throughout. It's sort of old-school in that respect.
But you're here to learn about the disc, so let's talk about the disc. The version I viewed is billed as a "Three-Disc Special Edition" but the third disc is just a digital copy of the movie you can carry around on ye old laptop. So we're down to two discs. The bonus-features disc is where you'll find the oft-reported Captain America sighting. Hat tip to Film School Rejects for catching that. I certainly didn't my first time through. The bonus disc also includes thirty minutes of deleted scenes. Thirty minutes! I'll opine that many of the cuts were good cuts, though 13:30 in a scene with Norton and Betty's fella starts what's worth watching-- partly for entertainment, as the dude calls himself "Betty's lover" with no shred of irony, and partly for the illumination factor. Dr. Lennord Samson (Ty Burrell) wasn't fleshed out as a foil in the theatrical cut, the deleted scenes rectify that a bit.
Another interesting aspect of the bonus disc was "The Anatomy of a Hulk-Out" -- where you can watch Edward Norton actually transform into the director of the film before your eyes. I'm sure that Louis Leterrier is a nice enough fellow, but he clearly was keeping time to the beat of Norton's drum. Interestingly enough, Norton doesn't lend his voice to the commentary, instead that's handled by Louis Leterrier and Tim Roth. Makes sense. You wouldn't want the guy who played the Hulk weighing in would you? It seems as though after Norton's initial wrangling on the film he emotionally checked out after he saw the final cut. You've got to love the moody artiste.
Other bonus disc features include:
The obligatory "From Comic Cook to Screen"
"Becoming the Hulk (Visual Effects)"
Becoming the Abomination (Visual effects)
"The Making of The Incredible Hulk"
Now then, judgment time. As I said before, The Incredible Hulk holds up as a film. I don't think this collection has the same level of features as the Iron Man DVD, and it definitely won't match up to whatever Nolan has in store for us. Still, the fact that it's even in the conversation makes it a worthy buy.