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Wednesday, 24 December
Everything's Gone Green

A little bit ago, the wife and I got done watching Hulk on pay-per-view. It took a while to get going, for sure; waiting 40+ minutes to see Mr. Enormous Mint was kind of tedious. But then we got some nice action sequences featuring [NOTE: I give stuff away here, if you're one of those people] some hilarious CGI gamma-rayed dogs--Fifi the French poodle as interpreted by Rob Zombie--as well as some enjoyable tank-flinging and general artillery abuse. Also, Sam Elliott, whose moustache did not go unremarked upon; the wife commented on its exactitude: "That's a really neat moustache." Probably not a good thing to notice in the middle of what is ostensibly an action movie. "Holy shit! Did you see Hulk's skin get pockmarked with bullet strikes?" "Actually, I was thinking about Sam Elliott's moustache." Uh oh.

But still; those were some fun sequences, and the CGI wasn't horrible, but let's face it: ever since Peter Jackson spent the equivalent of Brunei's GDP on Gollum, everything else is going to look like something off of the shelves of Goodwill. I tried to keep this in mind while He Whose Pants Must Never Burst wreaked all kinds of havoc, and I did okay. In fact, I ended up thinking that everybody who pissed all over the movie were just being twerps.

Then the ending happened. Now, I wasn't a huge Hulk fan when I was in my comic book youth-mania, so maybe I missed something big, but . . . what in the holy fuck was that? It just didn't make any goddamn fucking sense on any level--and this is leaving out the fact that poor old Ang Lee decided not to cast Nick Nolte, but instead the shambling husk of his infamous mug shot. I swear that the Smoking Gun got some casting credit for his role, as poor Nick rattled on through every scene as if he had just wandered onto the set after being maliciously cornholed by LAPD's finest billy clubs. Where was the Nick Nolte from 48 Hours or Q & A? Or even from when he famously sat like a gigantic, angry stone a couple years ago, refusing to give tribute at the Oscars to the tremulous, confused Elia Kazan? He's gone. Now he just makes weirdly discomfiting overtures to Jennifer Connolley and goes back to his trailer, where he naps fitfully and dreams of haircuts.

Anyway. We got done with the terrible thing--that ending! Jesus God!--and tuned into Bravo, where everyone will be stunned to find out that we caught an episode of "The West Wing." We fortunately just missed a repeat of "Celebrity Poker," the show that dares to ask the question, "How can we make generally decent-seeming people like Hank Azaria and Allison Janney somehow seem unappealing?" It's to Bravo's credit that they make their dreams happen.

It's also to Bravo's credit that they are utterly single-minded in their desire to ram every fucking thing they can think of down our throats. I've already mentioned "The West Wing," which they play with a kind of evangelical zeal, and also "Celebrity Poker," the ne plus ultra of shows we never asked for. They are also responsible, as any person with a nervous system knows, for the phenomenon known as "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," whose charms are there, I must admit, but Bravo's fervid dedication for flogging the thing are bordering on the monomaniacal. STOP SHOWING ME ADAM ZALTA! DON'T MAKE ME USE THIS DISPOSABLE RAZOR!

Bravo, however, occasionally proves frisky, perhaps only when they are desperate and exhibiting a taste for the weird and un-figure-out-able. To wit: It seems that, on Christmas Day, they are eschewing a QEftSG marathon, or even a Celebrity Poker Bore-A-Thon, and are instead running, inexplicably, three separate showings of The Terminator.

Whatever. It's a loser's game trying to figure out mysterious entities like network programmers. It's almost as difficult as trying to figure out the ending to Hulk, except to perhaps conclude that Hollywood is run by maniacs and nutbrains and dubious gaseous entities that occupy suit-space. Hollywood is, clearly, a comic book all of its own. It's just one that nobody can read.

Have some good holidays, and I'll see you on the other side.


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Comments

The crime of the Hulk was taking something that should have been a roller coaster ride and a lot of fun and making it... dull. I could almost forgive stupid (which the film managed to be anyway) but dull? Feh.

Comment number: 004118   Posted by: SER on December 28, 2003 02:07 PM from IP: 24.199.94.54

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