A Soul, For Sale or Rent - Part 1

Save me, guys! (Ooh, bad "Queen" reference. Sorry!)

I'm going to be moving in over a month, so that means I have to get some stuff cleared out of the ol' homestead. Okay, a LOT of stuff needs to move. That's why I'm calling on you, the assembled masses. I have comics, I have books, I have DVDs, I have CDs, and a whole bunch need to just go. I'll be posting what I have to sell here. What do you need to do if you see something you like? Send me an E-mail at garysmovingsale (at) comcast dot net. We'll discuss pricing details. Feel free to make an offer! I will be accepting payment via Paypal and other methods TBD (hint: that is NOT the correct Paypal address).

Here are the DVDs I'm selling right now. If more than one release has been made of the movie, presume it's the earliest edition (not SE) and widescreen unless noted.

13 Ghosts (remake)
13 Going on 30
A Fistful of Dollars
Alien Vs. Predator
Almost Famous
American Pie
American Pie 2
American Wedding
Badder Santa
Bare Exposure
Basic Instinct (w. Ice Pick Pen & Ice case)
Basket Case
Best Buy Demo Disc 3
Best Buy exclusive: Bond Girls Are Forever
Best Buy Hellboy Demo
Bikini Summer
Bikini Summer 2
Blade Runner Director's Cut (NOT Final Cut)
Blazing Saddles
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Bringing Down the House
Bruce Almighty
Challenge of the Superfriends volumes 1 & 2
Cheaper By the Dozen (Steve Martin)
The Chronicles of Riddick (2-disc Best Buy Edition)
Collateral Damage
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Darkman II: The Return of Durant
Darkman III: Die, Darkman, Die
Die Another Day (2-disc)
Dr. Strangelove (1-disc special edition)
Dracula 2000
Dracula 3: Legacy
El Mariachi
Final Destination
For a Few Dollars More
Frankenstein 2004 miniseries - Luke Goss
Frankenstein 2004 TV movie - Parker Posey
Garden State
Gone in 60 Seconds (Nic Cage remake)
Hannibal (2-disc)
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
The Incredible Hulk: The Original Television Premiere
The Incredible Hulk: The Television Series Ultimate Collection (6-disc)
King Kong (2 disc original cut)
Kiss of the Vampire
Liar Liar
Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
Love, Actually
Meet the Fockers
Meet the Parents (Special Edition)
Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible II
National Lampoon's Vacation
Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere (2 disc)
Nosferatu (1922) - Image Entertainment
Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Our Man Flint
Phantom of the Opera (1925 Image 1-disc)
Pitch Black (Unrated Edition)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Red Dragon (2-disc director's edition)
Reign of Fire
Resident Evil SE
Road Trip Unrated
Robocop (Criterion, rare--ask for price)
Roman Holiday
Rosemary's Baby
'Salem's Lot (new miniseries w/ Rob Lowe)
Say Anything...
Scooby Doo (the movie)
Shanghai Knights
Shanghai Noon
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (+ bonus discs)
Skyscraper/To The Limit
Superman (1940s cartoons) volumes 1 & 2
The Animatrix
The Birds
The Bourne Identity
The Dream Team
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Not SE)
The Hurricane
The Lawnmower Man
The Man With Two Brains (FS)
The Matrix
The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix Revolutions
The Star Wars Story (Wal-Mart bonus disc)
The Tenant
The Thing (1982 SE)
The Two Jakes
The Wicker Man
There's Something More About Mary (2 disc)
Tomb Raider
True Romance
Wedding Crashers
What Women Want
Wonder Boys
X-Men (2000)
Young Frankenstein

I'm generally asking $5 per movie, more for extra discs in the mix. Negotiable the more you buy.



Maybe "Incredible" is the wrong word...(A "HULK" Review)

Hulkamaniacs assembled:

I know it's been a while. I didn't go into hiding, contrary to popular belief. Okay, so maybe I did, but I came out in time to score free passes to a preview screening of "The Incredible Hulk," the new film starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and a couple of CGI creations resembling the Hulk and one of his arch-enemies, the Abomination. People have speculated like mad in the days counting down to its release: will the film be everything the first movie in 2003 (to its detractors) wasn't? Will Marvel Films go two-for-two in bringing its characters to the silver screen?

It certainly hasn't been an easy go since news leaked about the quarrel between the producers, director Louis Leterrier, and star Edward Norton over final cut. Edward Norton's hardly doing any publicity for the film, probably even less than the meager amount that was planned after he had his name removed from the writing credits once the WGA viewed the finished product. Sole screenwriting credit now goes to Zak Penn, who's been much-maligned as far as Marvel screenwriters go, having written the relatively disastrous "Elektra" and "X-Men: The Last Stand." (Seriously, wasn't the fact that he wrote "PCU," "Last Action Hero," and "Inspector Gadget" enough of a dead giveaway that his scripts are a steaming pile of suck?)

(Last warning: here there be GIANT FRICKIN' SPOILERS! You have been warned.)

Yet, I went to the film with as open a mind as a dyed-in-the-wool Hulk fan could. The first thing that struck me was how quickly the film was paced. Aside from the origin being played against the opening credits, the story opens in medias res and asks the audience to follow along as best they can. Benefitting from the larger budget and location shoots that the TV show couldn't pull off, the film begins in Brazil as Bruce Banner works as a lowly laborer at a bottling plant for some kind of green-hued energy drink. It's been well over a hundred days since his last metamorphosis. He's learning yoga, messing around with metronomes, training with a master of martial arts, learning techniques to manage his anger and suppress his inner beast. He's also learning Portuguese (watch for the Bill Bixby cameo!) and corresponding via an encrypted wireless connection with a mysterious colleague, "Mr. Blue," who promises a cure for his gamma exposure--if only he can give him a blood sample, and the data on his original exposure.

An accident happens with the equipment at the plant, and Banner cuts his hand, a drop of blood dribbling down to the conveyors below. He immediately shouts out, having the foreman stop the plant. He seals the cut with super glue and runs to wipe up the blood. He thinks he has it all...but no, as the conveyors start anew, one bottle escapes, a drop of blood smeared inside, then filled with the green beverage and shipped to the United States. Of course, the wrong person (Stan Lee, in an inspired bit) drinks the drink, gets gamma poisoning; thus the army is tipped off to the location of the esteemed Doctor, and the chase, as they say, is on.

General "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt, not nearly equalling the depth of character of Sam Elliott) dispatches a crew headed up by Russian-born, British-bred Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) to do what the soldiers think is an easy "snatch-and-grab," but which they of course find is anything but when Banner transforms after an exciting, town-spanning chase sequence. The transformation and the lead-up to it are well-done, and director Leterrier gives the sequence ample mood by placing it mostly in the dark, not totally letting the cat out of the proverbial bag regarding the Hulk's overall appearance. It's during this sequence we hear the Hulk's first words, and the most he ever says at once during the film: "Leave me alone." It's also here where Blonsky first falls in hetero lust with the power of the Hulk--a power which he covets for himself. The crew gets their asses handed to them, of course, and the Hulk escapes (all the way to Guatemala). Blonsky wants to be better armed for the next time--and General Ross unearths Dr. Reinstein's super-soldier formula from WWII for a test-run.

I don't want to go too much further into the details of the movie itself. Of course, you know that Bruce reunites with Betty, who's dating psychiatrist Dr. Leonard Samson. The army again catches up with Bruce, who hulks out. Blonsky continues to evolve, and Bruce and Betty finally meet the enigmatic Mr. Blue, a biologist named Sam Sterns. Hijinks ensue, a cure is briefly found, and then Blonsky undergoes his ultimate transformation. Then the REALLY BIG BATTLE happens, and it's game over.

Louis Leterrier did a thankless job directing this movie in a way wholly unlike the 2003 film. The tone is much faster, but also more standard. There's no novel "comic-booky" editing style, just a lean, mean machine of narrative that may actually be a bit too lean. Whole pieces of the narrative are missing, including the opening sequence set in the Arctic and an entire sequence between Bruce and Leonard Samson (both shown in varying degrees in the trailers). The fear of the filmmakers to have any real emotional connection, any real drama, seems to have translated into an all-action film to the exclusion of any scenes that may actually shed three-dimensional light on the characters. Not that there isn't any character development to be found (it's mostly Blonsky's arc), it's just that there's so much action, it doesn't feel like the film has the editorial balance it needs in order to be truly successful in the same way as, say, this year's "Iron Man."

I've been withholding the answer to the most important question posed by anyone: How does the Hulk look? Does the CGI hold up? Is it better than the first film? Sadly, I thought Rhythm & Hues missed the mark with regard to the Hulk's actual look. He does look fake...serviceable, but I thought the 2003 incarnation looked and moved much better. (Truthfully, when you see a full body view of the Hulk, it honestly seemed like most of his muscles were in his legs, not his upper body.) Whereas the Hulk didn't look all that great aside from a few scenes, the Abomination looked nothing short of spectacular. The battle between the Hulk and the Abomination was done on a grand scale, and it didn't disappoint. It moved so quickly, I all but forgot about the flaws in the Hulk's design and just went with it.

Am I happy with the film? It's tough to say. You have your obligatory in-joke moments--cameos by Bix, Stan, and Lou; name-dropping of everything from SHIELD, to Captain America, to Jim Wilson, Rick Jones, and Jack McGee--and you have a narrative that tries to be an amped-up version of its television predecessor, but with many of the trappings of the source material. It's a mishmash, but a fun mishmash, provided you don't think too hard. I would have liked to see a bit more character development all around (including the restoration of those "lost" scenes) and a slightly different design for the Hulk himself, but what I saw was by no means terrible. I'll be seeing it at least once more in the theatres.

How did the crowd react? I heard applause with the Hulk's two-word catch phrase, HUGE applause with the arrival of Tony Stark at film's end, and moderate applause when the credits rolled. There were laughs to be had when Bruce and Betty attempted (but didn't succeed at) a little hanky-panky in a hotel room while on the way to New York. And yes, Bruce trips all over Portuguese and ends up slaughtering his classic catch-phrase from the 70s show.

"The Incredible Hulk" is an uneven but still impressive effort. Catch it in the theatre, then wait for the inevitable "Expanded Edition" Blu-Ray release.

Grade (the film): B+
Grade (the Hulk's CGI): C-
How much will it make opening weekend? $58 million



From the Company That Brought You CLOR Comes...RULK!

Well, I couldn't resist...on its first day of release, ahead of my weekly shipment, I went ahead and picked up Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness' HULK #1 at my local comic shop. SPOILERS below, natch. (And for those who didn't get the title joke: Clor = Clone Thor from CIVIL WAR, so Rulk = Red Hulk, herein.)

The first thing that struck me was the cover logo. I was immediately reminded of the last time HULK was rebooted. ("We took the INCREDIBLE off the cover and put it IN the book!") It's basically the logo that's had the most staying power (being on in the late 60s, then again during Peter David's tenure), only with an inversion of perspective. Not a bad logo, per se, but hey, I liked the logo from the #200s best, even if it didn't really fit the character.

Moving along to the story inside, in a nutshell: Doc Samson and She-Hulk go to Russia to re-enact the murder (!) of the Abomination, who was apparently stomped on and then shot by the Hulk (!!) in a battle that demolished an entire village. They, together with General Ross, Iron Man, and Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D. then encounter the Winter Guard (the old Soviet Super Soldiers). Of course, there's the obligatory fight scene because the Guard want to find Blonsky/Abomination's killer themselves. Ross breaks up the battle with gunshots to alert the heroes that he's discovered a survivor in the town, a boy whose only word, over and over again, is the Russian word for "red." Meanwhile, in the Alaskan frontier, a shirtless, shoeless Rick Jones wakes up to find a nearby town engulfed in flames, and asks the Bruce Banner-ish query: "Rick Jones...what've you gotten yourself into THIS time?!" Lastly, General Ross and Doc Samson travel to the new Gamma Base in Nevada, where a ways beneath the surface, they arrive at a secret level complete with a single patient: Robert Bruce Banner.

The story seems to meander a bit and flirt with being a direct rehash of a bunch of Hulk storylines in the recent and distant past. We've got a "did the Hulk kill?" mystery a la the last relaunched Hulk #1, a brutal Hulk/Abomination battle a la Hulk #25, a battle with the former Soviet Super Soldiers eerily a la Incredible Hulk #393, Bruce Banner's wonderful impression of Hannibal Lecter (without the fava beans or Chianti) a la the recent run in The Ultimates, and last but not least, a retread of Rick Jones as the Hulk from Incredible Hulk #325-332. Did I miss anything? It's like NBC's summer ads for Must See TV: "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you." For those that have, well, I'm sticking around, but you might feel like there's something more important to do, like read The Incredible Hercules or Warbound or the World War Hulk: Aftersmash issue du jour.

If the identity of the red Hulk (who only appears red on the cover, for God's sake) is supposed to be a mystery (as the issue's--and arc's--title, "Who Is The Hulk?", would seem to indicate), then it isn't a very good one, as it's solved by the fifth to final page of the story. Then again, "Who Is The Hulk?" is a better, more dramatic title than, say, "Why Is The Hulk Red?" or my personal favorite, "Why Should We Give A Damn What Color The Hulk Is?". If the answer is given by Rick Jones' torn pants in this issue, then we only have the "who" and not the "how" or "why." I'm curious, but at the same time, I've seen these tropes before. I'd rather see someone else become the Hulk if it's not going to be Bruce. The strangeness of the flow from WWH #5 to this book has me just interested enough to see where everything's headed. Then again, what are the chances Jeph Loeb's trying to fake us out and make us only think Rick is Rulk? (Admittedly: not very.)

The art by Ed McGuinness is pretty good, with adequate storytelling. I'm guessing the series right now is being written by Loeb as a favor to McGuinness, who loves the Hulk and is, I'm sure, telling Loeb what he wants to draw so he can build a story around it. (Not the best way by far of building a narrative, but them's the brakes.) Of course, Loeb will explain why someone else is the Hulk right now, and how, and eventually, Bruce Banner will make his way above ground and become big and green again. And the Abomination will return, too. That's the way it always works. And ordinarily, I like these types of dissections of character stories, so that's another reason I'm sticking on board (aside from the fact that I own every book with "Hulk" as part of its title since 1962).

For originality, this issue #1 gets a big fat 0/10 because as the Barenaked Ladies sang, "It's all been done"....art gets a solid 7/10, and the script gets a 6/10. Overall, that means I give HULK #1 a rating of 13 out of 30. But if you take out the originality rating, it's a 13/20. Whee.

Well, there you have it. I'm not going to speculate on the whys and wherefores just yet...I'd rather sit back and relax and let any further comments and speculation pour in. I may be back next week with more Hulk-related reviews, or some actual speculation.

Keep on Hulkin'!