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A Thread About Movies

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Posts

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    If someone's liking the first part of a movie and it changes, there's no guarantee that they'll like the new thing that the movie has become. Asking "why is there a tendency for some people to not like it when a movie shifts genres" is just asking "why is there a tendency for some people not to like some genres" which has a pretty obvious answer: not everyone likes everything. I liked District 9 fine for what it was, but there's no question I would've also really liked it if it just kept going in the same direction, and if I didn't like brainless kickass sci-fi action movies as much as I did, I would certainly have been bummed out by the abrupt tonal shift, just like I would've been bummed out by watching any brainless sci-fi action movie in the first place.

  • AstaerethAstaereth Registered User regular
    hadoken wrote: »
    -edit- Totp :S. so why is there a tendency in some people to be put off when a film changes gears?

    I like it when a film changes gears, but the pieces work better when they fit together--the stronger the divide, the worse the film, generally, because genres work with certain structures and it's very difficult to make the first half of one structure fit the second half of another. From Dusk Til Dawn, The Birds, and District 9 all suffer from this issue. From Dusk Til Dawn's first half is spent developing characters and a situation that gets thrown out the window in the second half--which introduces themes and action beats that weren't set-up earlier. District 9's dramatic first half is let down by its action second half, and arguably its action second half is lessened by its dramatic first half; "everything 'splodes" is a cop-out answer to the (very interesting) questions the movie had been asking, and if everything's going to 'splode in my movie, I prefer a lot more 'sploding throughout.

    The movies that do this well do it so subtly it's harder to argue that they do it at all--Vertigo is a romantic ghost story followed by a romantic tragedy but both sides are of a piece with one another, with visuals, lines, and score deliberately echoed back and forth across the line. Psycho effectively sets up its horror story in its red herring crime story, which transitions gracefully into a mystery plot during the horror back-half. Zodiac swaps protagonists halfway through and goes from construction to deconstruction, but it's all the same story...

    Anyway, the trick is having a story that actually is (or can be manipulated into being) a story that begins in one genre and ends in another, and then finding ways to use the first half to set up the second and the second to pay off the first. If you don't do that, you might have two good halves that could each have been better without the other.

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  • HeisenbergHeisenberg Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Just saw Army of Shadows. It was good, but extremely overrated by the internet. Not much character development, overbearing grimness, and general lack of emotion are it's main problems.

    Heisenberg on
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Houn wrote: »
    So, Mulholland Drive. First of all, Naomi Watts totally killed it (did she win an Oscar for this?). Second:
    Spoiler:

    It's been a long time since I've watched it, but if I recall my interpretation correctly:
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:

  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Heisenberg wrote: »
    Just saw Army of Shadows. It was good, but extremely overrated by the internet. Not much character development, overbearing grimness, and general lack of emotion are it's main problems.
    I'd absolutely say that the film won't be for everyone, but at least your second and third point I'd put down to personal taste rather than anything else. There is a lot of emotion there, it's just subtle, internalised and not forced on the audience.

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  • hadokenhadoken Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    hadoken wrote: »
    -edit- Totp :S. so why is there a tendency in some people to be put off when a film changes gears?

    Anyway, the trick is having a story that actually is (or can be manipulated into being) a story that begins in one genre and ends in another, and then finding ways to use the first half to set up the second and the second to pay off the first. If you don't do that, you might have two good halves that could each have been better without the other.

    You make sense. I felt Hugo had a pretty seamless shift in story focus with two halves that totally complimented each other. We need more wonderful movies like that.

  • Peter EbelPeter Ebel Building an empire OsloRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I just read they're rebooting Batman after The Dark Knight Rises.

    Batman starring Ryan Reynolds and not directed by Nolan is going to be a thing.

    Edit: Haha, fuck me and everything I know. I was pranked by the internet.

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  • Joe DizzyJoe Dizzy Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Just out of curiousity.. does anyone know of a handy list of fictional screenwriters and directors? I need about 30 or so of each and wikipedia has not been too helpful so far.

    Joe Dizzy on
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  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Joe Dizzy wrote: »
    Just out of curiousity.. does anyone know of a handy list of fictional screenwriters and directors? I need about 30 or so of each and wikipedia has not been too helpful so far.

    Like pseudonyms? Like they don't exist?

  • RhalloTonnyRhalloTonny Of the BrownlandsRegistered User regular
    Joe Dizzy wrote: »
    Just out of curiousity.. does anyone know of a handy list of fictional screenwriters and directors? I need about 30 or so of each and wikipedia has not been too helpful so far.

    Alan Smithee has an pretty impressive body of work :)

    !
  • Joe DizzyJoe Dizzy Registered User regular
    People like Kirk Lazarus, Joey Tribbiani or Troy McClure.

    Only for directors and (screen)writers.

    ...in accordance to the ancient prophecies.

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  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictitious_films. A quick search didn't reveal a similar list of fictitious directors or screenwriters, but at least it gives you something to start from.

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  • PsychoLarry1PsychoLarry1 Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    So, Mulholland Drive. First of all, Naomi Watts totally killed it (did she win an Oscar for this?). Second:
    Spoiler:

    It's been a long time since I've watched it, but if I recall my interpretation correctly:
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:
    Film Critic Hulk actually did a pretty thorough breakdown of Mulholland recently, and I liked his take on the therapist/diner scene:
    Spoiler:

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  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    IMO Mulholland Drive is the Lynch film (at least among the surreal ones) that can be 'solved' - which may be why I really liked it the first time I watched it but felt fairly bored the second time. A lot of Lynch's fascination for me is the sense of unease he evokes, where things are surreal but they don't feel random. Mulholland Drive felt like a puzzle box, and having a coherent explanation for (almost) everything removed most of my sense of unease completely.

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  • AstaerethAstaereth Registered User regular
    Joe Dizzy wrote: »
    People like Kirk Lazarus, Joey Tribbiani or Troy McClure.

    Only for directors and (screen)writers.

    Will Navidson, the director from House of Leaves
    John Sullivan, director from Sullivan's Travels
    Donald Kaufman, screenwriter from Adaptation.
    Joe Gillis, the screenwriter from Sunset Boulevard, and his love interest Betty Schaefer (who works with him on a script).
    Barton Fink, the screenwriter from the film of the same name.
    Max Castle, the director from the (truly excellent film-history-as-horror-story) novel Flicker.
    The directors from 8 1/2, Day for Night, Contempt, and Crimes and Misdemeanors.

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  • PsychoLarry1PsychoLarry1 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Joe Dizzy wrote: »
    People like Kirk Lazarus, Joey Tribbiani or Troy McClure.

    Only for directors and (screen)writers.

    Will Navidson, the director from House of Leaves
    John Sullivan, director from Sullivan's Travels
    Donald Kaufman, screenwriter from Adaptation.
    Joe Gillis, the screenwriter from Sunset Boulevard, and his love interest Betty Schaefer (who works with him on a script).
    Barton Fink, the screenwriter from the film of the same name.
    Max Castle, the director from the (truly excellent film-history-as-horror-story) novel Flicker.
    The directors from 8 1/2, Day for Night, Contempt, and Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    Francis Ford Coppola's cameo as a film crew director in Apocalypse Now could count
    Half the characters in the Player
    Martin Blower in Hot Fuzz, director of a horrid version of Romeo and Juliet
    Abed from Community
    Homer and Mel Gibson in the Simpsons
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Fictional_directors
    http://www.listal.com/list/movies-about-movies

    PsychoLarry1 on
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  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    Steve Coogan's character in Tropic Thunder

  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    Watched Tinker Tailor last night.

    I can't think of any off the top of my head, but some of my favorite acting performances have been from actors (Oldman) whom are compelling to watch think.

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    LavaKnight wrote: »
    Watched Tinker Tailor last night.

    I can't think of any off the top of my head, but some of my favorite acting performances have been from actors (Oldman) whom are compelling to watch think.
    What?

  • Delta AssaultDelta Assault Registered User regular
    I don't think that's how you're supposed to use "whom."

  • DeaderinredDeaderinred Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    avengers is good, but boy does the first 30-40 minutes suck, only really starts to get better once the team get together. its very comic booky (almost to the point where it could be an issue.. its hard to explain why this would be a bad thing in a comic book movie) and very whedony, not his best stuff but it could of been worse. the acting is slightly off but the humour makes up for it, joss almost goes overboard and it tends to dilute things such as deaths that were setup to be important but leave you feeling "eh, whatever noone cared anyway"

    the production values look as bad as they did in promos, everything looks tacky, plastic and fake (the non-new york sets and costumes)

    its a fun ride but dont go believing this is better than the dark knight, its up there with the first two spidermans and first two x-men's and its better than rest of the marvel movies at least.

    Deaderinred on
  • AstaerethAstaereth Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I don't think that's how you're supposed to use "whom."

    Whom says?

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  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    Yeah, the phrasing was awkward. Not conjugating "think" was the sentence's downfall. I used whom because I thought it made it more clear. I would have used "them" if I would have re-arranged the sentence, and I believe whom to be an appropriate substitution in kind, but it was overall messier than I would have liked. That's where laziness will get you in writing!

    I meant to relay the information that great actors do a really good job of making their thought processes on camera extremely compelling to watch, and that Oldman is a good example of this. Other similar performances stick out to me, but I can't remember any off the top of my head at the moment.

  • EuphoriacEuphoriac Registered User regular
    I watched Avengers yesterday and I've got to say, it's my favourite comic book movie so far (and i've seen them all at this point, at least all the marvel/dc ones). And if nothing else, go for the best Bruce Banner/Hulk so far. I don't know why, but he seemed to fit right in for me.

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  • DeaderinredDeaderinred Registered User regular
    by far the best screen hulk to date.

  • Linespider5Linespider5 It’s cool to have a code name. It’s not that weird.Registered User regular
    Saw The Raid last night, due to my utter shock that it actually showed up to my little old theater, where I believed it would never appear.

    I think I need to see it again. It was solid, but it moved so damn fast. I almost think a couple of slower points in the movie could've helped it. Also, the brother's secret getting exposed seemed to happen entirely too quick for my tastes. I thought we barely had time to appreciate this new difficulty in the mix with all the more conventional problems of not getting slaughtered, getting to the bad guy, and getting out alive, when suddenly it was already done. I would've liked if that could've been hanging overhead for a while longer before it came down.

    But again. I will see this movie again. But I think it happened too quickly, there are definite points in it where stuff should've lingered a little and didn't, and that worked against the strength of the movie overall.

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  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Registered User regular
    The Avenger certainly haves the best screen Hulk.

    Makes me want to play 'Hulk: Ultimate Destruction' again.

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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    LavaKnight wrote: »
    Yeah, the phrasing was awkward. Not conjugating "think" was the sentence's downfall. I used whom because I thought it made it more clear. I would have used "them" if I would have re-arranged the sentence, and I believe whom to be an appropriate substitution in kind, but it was overall messier than I would have liked. That's where laziness will get you in writing!

    I meant to relay the information that great actors do a really good job of making their thought processes on camera extremely compelling to watch, and that Oldman is a good example of this. Other similar performances stick out to me, but I can't remember any off the top of my head at the moment.

    Whom was improper there, it should have been who. "Some of my favorite performances are from actors who are compelling to watch."

    AManFromEarth on
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  • Sangheili91Sangheili91 Registered User regular
    Just saw The Descendants.

    Yeah, I didn't really like it. Sad George Clooney was great and all, but everything else was so freaking meh. Very forgettable. I can't believe this was nominated for Best Picture, Director, and Actor. olol Academy and all that.

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  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    From Dusk Til Dawn, The Birds, and District 9 all suffer from this issue. From Dusk Til Dawn's first half is spent developing characters and a situation that gets thrown out the window in the second half--which introduces themes and action beats that weren't set-up earlier.

    This isn't completely fair. The film begins with a Texas Ranger getting blown up in a liquor store.

    Just because it ends like an extended version of a Tales From the Crypt story, doesn't mean we were thrown from something nuanced into something bombastic.

  • AstaerethAstaereth Registered User regular
    The Avenger certainly haves the best screen Hulk.

    Makes me want to play 'Hulk: Ultimate Destruction' again.

    I have a theory as to why this is, based on having seen both Hulk movies and having read The Ultimates. I have not seen The Avengers yet, though.

    My theory is that The Hulk is a terrible character, but an excellent plot device. In his own stories, Hulk has to carry the whole thing on his own, which fails because Hulk is an exceptionally simple, predictable character whose plot-line invariably goes "someone angers Hulk, Hulk smash" and because on the other hand Banner is an exceptionally angst-filled, predictable character whose emotional through-line invariably centers on misplaced guilt and oncoming rage. Neither character has any agency (Hulk is too stupid to move beyond stimulus/response and Banner is too weak to not succumb to his disease). The story ends up being an infinite werewolf movie, endlessly regurgitating the same tragedy over and over again until it's utterly meaningless and piss-poor entertainment to boot.

    As a plot-device, however, it's terribly entertaining, whether Hulk is a weapon wielded by his friends or an omnipresent threat, like a were-tornado at the dinner table. As an object, to be manipulated or dodged, Hulk is both effective and interesting. As a character he's shit.

    And Avengers is the best movie Hulk so far because (I assume) they mostly just use him as a plot device, and leave the dramatic weight for the other characters.

    Am I on the right track, people who have seen it? Answer in the form of something non-spoilery, please.

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  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Registered User regular
    That's the gist of it

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  • AstaerethAstaereth Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Astaereth wrote: »
    From Dusk Til Dawn, The Birds, and District 9 all suffer from this issue. From Dusk Til Dawn's first half is spent developing characters and a situation that gets thrown out the window in the second half--which introduces themes and action beats that weren't set-up earlier.

    This isn't completely fair. The film begins with a Texas Ranger getting blown up in a liquor store.

    Just because it ends like an extended version of a Tales From the Crypt story, doesn't mean we were thrown from something nuanced into something bombastic.

    I'm not saying the tones don't mesh--I'm saying that outside of Harvey Keitel's character, virtually nothing that happened in the first half matters in the second half. That group of people could have wandered into the bar for a drink and the same story would have happened from that point. New characters are introduced to fight the new enemy, and we got no development for them prior to that (not in character terms, and not in action set-ups either); the new enemy comes out of nowhere; conflicts established in the first half are simply dropped (Clooney and Keitel working together), and so on.

    Compare to Rodriguez's "Desperado", which takes care to establish weapons and patterns that it will use and subvert later; or to Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs", whose early character development informs its plot turns later in the film.

    FDTD was basically an early attempt by the two directors to do a double feature in one sitting, but instead of giving us two movies back to back (as Grindhouse would, successfully), they give us the first half of a crime picture and the second half of a horror movie. Those genres work well together tonally, but the script doesn't do the interlacing work necessary to really mesh them properly.

    Edit:
    That's the gist of it

    Hooray!

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  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    From Dusk Til Dawn, The Birds, and District 9 all suffer from this issue. From Dusk Til Dawn's first half is spent developing characters and a situation that gets thrown out the window in the second half--which introduces themes and action beats that weren't set-up earlier.

    This isn't completely fair. The film begins with a Texas Ranger getting blown up in a liquor store.

    Just because it ends like an extended version of a Tales From the Crypt story, doesn't mean we were thrown from something nuanced into something bombastic.

    I'm not saying the tones don't mesh--I'm saying that outside of Harvey Keitel's character, virtually nothing that happened in the first half matters in the second half. That group of people could have wandered into the bar for a drink and the same story would have happened from that point. New characters are introduced to fight the new enemy, and we got no development for them prior to that (not in character terms, and not in action set-ups either); the new enemy comes out of nowhere; conflicts established in the first half are simply dropped (Clooney and Keitel working together), and so on.

    Compare to Rodriguez's "Desperado", which takes care to establish weapons and patterns that it will use and subvert later; or to Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs", whose early character development informs its plot turns later in the film.

    FDTD was basically an early attempt by the two directors to do a double feature in one sitting, but instead of giving us two movies back to back (as Grindhouse would, successfully), they give us the first half of a crime picture and the second half of a horror movie. Those genres work well together tonally, but the script doesn't do the interlacing work necessary to really mesh them properly.

    I should've indicated I wasn't particularly directing that at you. It's a complaint that I've heard leveled at the film, and every time it is mostly people acting as if the film bounced from Goodfellas to Dawn of the Dead instead of over-the-top crime story into over-the-top vampire flick.

    It is essentially Night of the Living Dead with a longer intro. Instead of a drama about siblings not getting along it's *surprise!* a story about people (including a bunch who aren't introduced until later) fending off a horde of flesh-eating monsters.

  • Look Out it's Sabs!Look Out it's Sabs! Registered User regular
    I saw Lockout this weekend, and even though I went into the movie knowing it got bad reviews, and wasn't expecting anything great, it was still one of the worst movies I have seen in the theaters in a good long while. Even having a man crush on Guy Pearce couldn't save it. It seriously felt like one of those bad generic action movies from the early 90's that end up being on tv all the time.

    Most disappointing part of it was the action, if you have seen the first 5 minutes of the movie that's up on youtube, congrats that was the only good action scene. It was just so bland and looking back really felt like not much actual action happened. This movie baffles me more and more on how bad it is the more I try to think about it. Ugh.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Astaereth wrote: »
    The Avenger certainly haves the best screen Hulk.

    Makes me want to play 'Hulk: Ultimate Destruction' again.

    I have a theory as to why this is, based on having seen both Hulk movies and having read The Ultimates. I have not seen The Avengers yet, though.

    My theory is that The Hulk is a terrible character, but an excellent plot device. In his own stories, Hulk has to carry the whole thing on his own, which fails because Hulk is an exceptionally simple, predictable character whose plot-line invariably goes "someone angers Hulk, Hulk smash" and because on the other hand Banner is an exceptionally angst-filled, predictable character whose emotional through-line invariably centers on misplaced guilt and oncoming rage. Neither character has any agency (Hulk is too stupid to move beyond stimulus/response and Banner is too weak to not succumb to his disease). The story ends up being an infinite werewolf movie, endlessly regurgitating the same tragedy over and over again until it's utterly meaningless and piss-poor entertainment to boot.

    As a plot-device, however, it's terribly entertaining, whether Hulk is a weapon wielded by his friends or an omnipresent threat, like a were-tornado at the dinner table. As an object, to be manipulated or dodged, Hulk is both effective and interesting. As a character he's shit.

    And Avengers is the best movie Hulk so far because (I assume) they mostly just use him as a plot device, and leave the dramatic weight for the other characters.

    Am I on the right track, people who have seen it? Answer in the form of something non-spoilery, please.

    At the risk of segueing from movies for a moment, there was an excellent Hulk storyline a few years back called Planet Hulk. Imagine if you made an adaptation of John Carter where you cast Hulk in the title role, and you've got the premise in a nutshell.

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  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    So, Mulholland Drive. First of all, Naomi Watts totally killed it (did she win an Oscar for this?). Second:
    Spoiler:

    It's been a long time since I've watched it, but if I recall my interpretation correctly:
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:
    Film Critic Hulk actually did a pretty thorough breakdown of Mulholland recently, and I liked his take on the therapist/diner scene:
    Spoiler:

    This article was fucking beautiful, and helped add a shitload of depth to vague conclusions I'd already drawn. We need more films like Mulholland Drive, but the only other stuff I can think of on that same "level" is other Lynch stuff. Oh, and Kubrick. Fucking hell, do I miss Stanley. Eyes Wide Shut pretty much converted me from being another "Turn Your Brain Off For Movies" zombie to "TURN BRAIN ON OVERDRIVE FOR ALL THE MOVIES" enthusiast.

    And since my mind just jumped from Lynch to Kubrick anyway, I've been wanting to re-watch A.I., but I know that I'll just end up like a howler monkey throwing feces at my TV again like last time. Fuck you Spielburg, fuck you in your ear for taking something so haunting and beautiful and slapping that shittastic "happy ending" on it.

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  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Apparently the ending was something that came directly from Kubrick's work on the film. Lots of evidence around the web for that one.

    Since for me the problem with the ending is mainly one of tone, rather than what actually happens, Kubrick's plans don't excuse what Spielberg did with the ending, though.

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  • Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    There's always that super long analysis of A.I. that makes you realize that the end is the most horrifying thing ever.

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    The Avenger certainly haves the best screen Hulk.

    Makes me want to play 'Hulk: Ultimate Destruction' again.

    I have a theory as to why this is, based on having seen both Hulk movies and having read The Ultimates. I have not seen The Avengers yet, though.

    My theory is that The Hulk is a terrible character, but an excellent plot device. In his own stories, Hulk has to carry the whole thing on his own, which fails because Hulk is an exceptionally simple, predictable character whose plot-line invariably goes "someone angers Hulk, Hulk smash" and because on the other hand Banner is an exceptionally angst-filled, predictable character whose emotional through-line invariably centers on misplaced guilt and oncoming rage. Neither character has any agency (Hulk is too stupid to move beyond stimulus/response and Banner is too weak to not succumb to his disease). The story ends up being an infinite werewolf movie, endlessly regurgitating the same tragedy over and over again until it's utterly meaningless and piss-poor entertainment to boot.

    As a plot-device, however, it's terribly entertaining, whether Hulk is a weapon wielded by his friends or an omnipresent threat, like a were-tornado at the dinner table. As an object, to be manipulated or dodged, Hulk is both effective and interesting. As a character he's shit.

    And Avengers is the best movie Hulk so far because (I assume) they mostly just use him as a plot device, and leave the dramatic weight for the other characters.

    Am I on the right track, people who have seen it? Answer in the form of something non-spoilery, please.

    At the risk of segueing from movies for a moment, there was an excellent Hulk storyline a few years back called Planet Hulk. Imagine if you made an adaptation of John Carter where you cast Hulk in the title role, and you've got the premise in a nutshell.

    Yeah but that was good because it was it's own thing and not really part of the usual Marvel-verse shennanigans


    .............which sort of proves your point. Hrm.

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