Tuesday, June 24, 2008

That is Incredible

My favorite shows growing up were Little House on the Prairie and The Incredible Hulk. They were the perfect bookends to my school week. Little House on Mondays and Hulk on Fridays.

I became obsessed with The Hulk ever since my parents took me to the Universal Theme Park in Hollywood, CA where I actually got to meet The Hulk. I begged and begged my parents to buy me The Hulk dining set, which included; a plastic plate with three grooves cut out for your basic food groups, a plastic cereal bowl, and a plastic mug. All emblazoned with The Hulk in various states of Hulkiness.

My parents were not cheap, but when we first arrived in this country, my father didn't earn much money, so I didn't have many things growing up. It was pretty amazing whenever I asked for something and actually got it. I got a lot of mileage out of that purchase because for years I would not eat one meal without using that dining set.

I am convinced that I met the actual Hulk, but Peter insists that it must have been a stunt guy. After I met him I got to lift up a yellow and orange van with my mother. These events are as clear to me as something that happened two minutes ago. I'm pretty certain that it was the actual Hulk no matter what he says.

I love The Hulk as if he were a member of my family. And every week, as I watched the last few minutes of the show -- hearing that sad musical refrain (do doo do dooooo...do doo do dooo) as Bill Bixby walks with his head bent low down a dirt path -- I would be close to tears.

A few years ago, I was extremely excited to experience Ang Lee's "Hulk." Oscar-award-winner director, my favorite television character of all time, Jennifer Connelly, etc. etc. This was going to be the greatest cinematic feature of all time!

Of course, the first sign of trouble was Eric Bana, he of the ruination of all things cinematic. Only he could make revenge-seeking Jewish assassins boring (Munich). But I was still keeping that flame of hope alive...until I went to see the movie. Which was the biggest disappointment EVER.

So now, there's this new Hulk movie, and I had extra-bigger-high-hopes for this one. Ed Norton's in it, and he doesn't ruin movies! He's in Fight Club and Red Dragon and he's been nominated for Oscars...

ALAS! I hear through the grapevine that this new Hulk movie is even more of a disaster than the original. So I asked my sister yesterday while she was over my place:

"Why can't they make a good movie about The Hulk? I mean, it's all there...The gamma-radiation, the great protagonist, the villain who thinks he's doing the right thing even though he isn't, it's like The Fugitive on ACID. This movie can practically write itself. Why can't people just put it together properly?"

"I know," she said. "What's so INCREDIBLE about THE INCREDIBLE HULK is that they can't make a great movie out of this. That's the INCREDIBLE part."

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