Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, February 09, 2009

Movie Reviews: Coraline and Hulk vs.

First and foremost, I've got my complete review of Coraline posted. You can head on over to my main page to read it. Hell, you can even click here to go right to it.

Now, as might be a bit of a double-standard with me, while big-time theatrical films get posted in my movie reviews section, the straight-to-DVD films get reviewed just right here in the blog. So, then, let's get right down to a review of the latest straight-to-DVD film I picked up....

Hulk vs

Directed by Frank Paur and Sam Liu

Starring the voices of Fred Tatasciore, Bryce Johnson, Steve Blum, Matthew Wolf, Nolan North, March Acheson, Janyse Jaud, Colin Murdock, Tom Kane, Graham McTavish, Grey DeLisle and Kari Wahlgren.

Backstory: As I blogged when this first came out a few weeks ago, while the straight-to-DVD films of DC/Warner Brothers have been met with excitement, the straight-to-DVD films of Lionsgate/Marvel seem to be met with an indifferent shrug. I remember watching their first film, Ultimate Avengers, and being largely unimpressed. But that seems to be turning around with Hulk Vs. A bigger marketing push and some positive reviews piqued my interest. And then, when I saw it quite reasonably priced at Best Buy ($10 for the single-disc movie only version, $15 for the 2-disc special edition), I decided to succumb to my curiosity.

Plot: Again, as previously blogged, this film is made of 2 short films. The first one is Hulk vs. Wolverine. When the Hulk is spotted going on a destructive rampage along the US/Canadian border, the Canadian government dispatches Wolverine to investigate and neutralize the threat "with extreme prejudice." But it's not long before Wolverine's old Weapon X projects show up, wanting to capture the Hulk and make him the next Weapon X project. The second short is Hulk vs. Thor. In the mystical land of Asgard, the god Odin hibernates for a week once a year to replenish his energy. During this Odinsleep, Asgard is vulnerable, and the forces of darkness seek to overthrow the throne. And, the forces of evil are always defeated by the forces of good, led by Thor. However, the evil Loki has a dirty trick up his sleeve this time. Out of all the 9 worlds, there is one being who has ever been able to match Thor in battle: the Hulk. Loki transports Bruce Banner to Asgard, and uses magic to separate Bruce Banner and the Hulk into two separate beings. With a mindless Hulk let loose in Asgard, Thor and Loki are soon forced to join forces to defeat the mindless Hulk, lest this new threat bring about Ragnarok.

What I Liked: As I'm sure you've figured out, this pair of films holds a lot of "Hulk smash!" action. It gets violent, it gets bloody, it's all in there. Hulk vs. Thor is definitely the more plotty of the two, as the world of Asgard really gets top-notch treatment. And Deadpool is just plain funny. Oh, and the production values have really, really increased since Ultimate Avengers.

What I Didn't Like: Even though production values have increased, the animation is still nothing to write home about. And, almost like Godzilla movies, things seem to get really slow when there's no fighting going on.

Final Verdict: A fun little romp, if you like your Saturday morning cartoons with more blood and swears.

3 Nibs

Bonus Features: I got the 2-disc special edition, of course. Each short film gets its own "making of" featurette and a pair of running commentaries (commentary #1 with the writers, commentary #2 with the directors and animators). Exclusive to Hulk vs. Wolverine is a featurette about the screen of Hulk vs. Wolverine at last years San Diego Comic Con, and a featurette about the new cartoon Wolverine and the X-Men. Exclusive to Hulk vs. Thor is a featurette on the creation of Thor, and the trailer for Marvel/Lionsgate's next OVA, Thor: Tales of Asgard.

No comments: