Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 16th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Green Vile

Lou Ferrigno, come out, come out wherever you are!

The muscles bulge, the pants split open and voila—the big monster is set free. But, sadly, this Hulk goes limp.

In some ways, you want to really like Ang Lee’s ambitious outing. It looks and feels like a big screen comic book and, overall, the FX are impressive, but after two hours and 18 minutes of misadventures, you’d be more apt to just toss this Hulk  a bottle of zanax and call it a day. (Talk about annoying mood swings!) Screenwriters James Schamus, John Turman and Michael France have penned characters audiences should care about: a mad scientist horrified over his own mishap (Nick Nolte, who steals the show), a man uncertain of the molecular manipulation he’s been put through (newcomer Eric Bana as eager scientist Bruce Banner), a caring woman falling for an emotionally unavailable man (Jennifer Connelly). Yet the acting—save Nolte—and the way Lee executes the tale don’t satisfy. What we get, ultimately, is a depressing yarn filled with the pockets of intense action and too many painful-to-sit through moments of non-action. Even Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) can’t manage to register enough screen presence here and frankly, once you’ve seen that little, teardrop spill from her eyelids and roll down her cheek the first time, it’s enough. (Grab a tissue, Jen and get over it—we’re bored, honey!)  Speaking of crybabies, there’s newcomer Eric Bana. Overall, he delivers an adequate performance but too often, his constipated-cool vibe makes him overly uncomfortable as the lead. Too many of his scenes make him appear as if he’s just an actor feigning fright than actually acting as if he is afraid, sad, bewildered. Maybe he’s afraid of Lee—I can act Ang Lee, honest, I can!

The plot traces a scientific mishap by Pop Banner at a Military base long ago. After purposely using himself to experiment on human regeneration, Banner’s wife becomes pregnant. When their little David is born, the elder Banner suspects something lurking within the boy and, in an attempt to divert unleashing what he suspects will be “the monster within,” he drugs the boy. Daddy Rebel goes manic in a power-stuggle, things explode, people die—or so we think—and little Davey is pawned off to a nice lady who raises him, and all the while, nobody knows that the emotionally withdrawn kid is that way because of the drugs. (Take note, Ridilinites!)  The regeneration cells within the adult David eventually gets a massive reawakening in a lab experiment gone bad and suddenly, it’s anger management time. Suddenly, when his temper tilts, this green-eyed gumshoe comes to life and it’s, “Hello 15-foot, 3,000-pound puff daddy!” The military doesn’t like the surprising presence of this post-modern Bigfoot by way of the Six Million Dollar Man with shades of King Kong—and, believe it or not, Shrek—thrown in for good measure. Are you surprised? Expect a heated desert battle and plot peaks in San Francisco.

Things to enjoy: the first time the Hulk saves Connelly’s Betty in the forest; the technical feats used when the Hulk dodges the ammo of military helicopters; Nolte spewing “Stop your bawling you weak little spec of human flesh.” Other than that … it’s ho ho ho, green giant without the vitamin-rich veggies. Sort of makes you miss the scowling puss of Lou Ferrigno all over again. Rated PG-13, 138 minutes. (*1/2)

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.


Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management


Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX


Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.