on August 2, 2006
An incredibly affordable 2 disc set with great extras highlights two TV movie adventures of the Incredible Hulk.
Bill Bixby & Lou Ferrigno's hit TV series set a milestone for comic book characters. Before that, arguably the only superhero who had a hit was Batman & Superman in the movies. TV movies and TV shows of everyone from Spiderman to Captain America to Dr. Strange had all either failed outright or fizzled quickly. With Kenneth Johnson's drama of the Hulk, the creator turned Stan Lee's green pulp hero into something even grandmothers could love - and mine LOVED the Hulk TV series.
Purists might object to the way the two guest star superheroes are treated and portrayed here. I have no problems with either. Both Eric Kramer (Thor) and Rex Smith (Daredevil) manage their respective roles nicely and have pure fun all the while - especially Kramer who turned an almost stiff, stodgy comic book Thor into a CA beefcake surfer dude with a love of mead and bar brawls. Rex Smith turns in a three dimensional performance and honestly I like his portrayal of Daredevil much more than Ben Affleck's big screen turn. Bill Bixby realizes his tortured Jeckyl & Hyde David Banner character as poignantly as he did in the TV series and the production values for both flicks are top notch all around.
Comic fans must make concessions when their beloved heroes play up on the big or small screen. When film director Bryan Singer toned down the X-Men's costumes for the theatrical film, many a true believer cried. However when they saw the film, Singer was off the hook. These TV movies are NOT the comics we grew up on and so much the better because they've become unique interpretations of them for us to enjoy alongside the classic comics, cartoons or the video games which will be created for generations to come.
Anchor Bay has outdone themselves with excellent extras, packaging that evokes a comic book and even a booklet that at first glance makes you believe you're holding a collectible comic. Fantastic price & fantastic set - thanks Anchor Bay!
on February 28, 2003
Bill Bixby returns as his most requested television character role. I don't think anyone could get beaten up as well as David Banner. The Return of the Incredible Hulk, is a great way to bring back the beloved television characters. This film has David Banner hoping to finally cure himself of the Hulk, but he doesn't. Not only does the Hulk return, but now Thor is in on the action, and throughout this movie, there is plenty of action!
The follow up to this movie, is even better! The Trial of The Incredible Hulk. This film has the Hulk paired with DareDevil. The story was excellent, and had plenty of action from both characters. What I liked best about this movie was at the end. David Banner, was able to control the Hulk, was not beaten up, and he even put a forceful hold on a bad guy! I'm sure that some fans wanted more Hulk, but for once it was nice to see Bill Bixby get tough on his own. (Thanks Bill, for putting so much into your character through the years, and for helping bring back a legend! We miss you, God Bless...
on May 14, 2013
Received my order Tues 05/14/13 I'm going to keep this review on target 1st off Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno are the real Hulk & they are both Incredible actors,R.I.P. to Bill Bixby(He died in '93)he was a good lookin' man who was a great actor I thoughly ENJOYED the t.v. series in the late 70's-early 80's by far & wide the movies w/Eric Bana or Edward Norton cannot compare to Bill & Lou's acting abilities,they CG'ed both '03/'08 movies.Comparing may not be good but if you want quality acting w/o all the hoopla rent then buy The trial of the Hulk/The return of the Hulk it's well written as well as acted :-) pick it up you won't be sorry & pop some popcorn cuz you'll be entertained in everyway possible.You'll see the differences in the movies & tv series :-) both thumbs UP buy it because its classic,you want quality, & its a Must Have item that's Family-friendly not overly violent in anyway which our society is filled with you've gotta be careful what your children are watching.These 2 movies are Kid-tested,Mother approved.My Children are 10,12,15, & 17 which means when you've got 2 movies that are Good go for it!-D.M. Switzer
on February 9, 2008
During the 70s, the Incredible Hulk was my favorite non-space sci-fi series. Like Doctor Kimble of the 60s Fugitive series, Doctor David Banner was forced by circumstances beyond his control to wander like a fugitive from state to state and city to city, seeking low-profile work and a way to undo the serious condition that an extremely high dose of gamma radiation has left him with. While Kimble sought the one-armed man who killed his wife, Banner, on the other hand, must discover a way to reverse his condition. The condition is a physical transformation which he experiences whenever his anger turns into an uncontrollable rage; the huge green beast which Jack McGee, the reporter that hounds him, has labeled the Hulk.
Of the two movies included in this package, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk is the better one. The Incredible Hulk Returns was okay, but somehow, pairing him up with the Mighty Thor, another comic book hero, while obviously a bit of fun, didn't quite make the kind of impression that the original series did. It was interesting to revisit Banner's situation almost a decade later, after the series ended, but having Thor enter the scene at the lab and suddenly begin breaking things didn't go over so well. It was too much like, oh, here we go again, so close but yet so far, poor Banner gets set back again...
Apparently, Doctor Banner had worked for years with a very highly advanced scientific company experimenting with a new source of alternative energy, and suddenly, Blake appears with Thor and begins to smash it all to pieces. Hasn't Banner suffered enough already? This kind of treatment, while obviously part of the story-line, was simply very difficult to sit through. After that, it was just another overdone story about an insider in the company selling industrial trade secrets and getting in too deep over his head with the wrong kind of criminals. An attempt at theft at the company is thwarted by the Hulk, then his girlfriend is kidnapped, and Thor and the Hulk rescue her, etc...
But The Trial of the Incredible Hulk was much more than all that. In this movie, we see the Doctor Banner that we learned to sympathize for and love for his amazing ability to tolerate what so many of us know too well; the down-side of human society, where hard knocks and poverty combine to make a very cruel reality. Right from the start, Banner is seen working in an irrigation ditch, on a large farm, with a gang of roughians, in the cold of the late autumn or winter, and a bully pushes him into a small pool of cold water and laughs, then urges Banner to start a fight with him. Banner is tempted, but declines, and leaves, obviously sick of being bullied by the brute.
From there, he collects his last pay and heads for the nearest city. In the city, while Banner checks into a seedy, low-rent hotel and goes out to look for work, we're introduced to a blind lawyer, entering his office, who basks in the sunlight of the window while he updates the situation with his secretary and partner. From them, we learn about an extremely powerful crime-lord that has been corrupting the city-government, whom they are determined to take down. Later, we see the blind lawyer change into the Dare-Devil, a local super-hero, destined to meet the Hulk.
In the next scene, we see some of the crime-lord's team in action, as they rob a large cache of diamonds from a jewelry store in broad daylight. After the heist, 2 of the main thugs escape the scene on a subway and one begins to make a move on an innocent female passenger. Unfortunately, Banner is sitting quite close to the woman and she asks for his help. The thug is obviously a very egocentric fool that thinks he can take whatever he wants in the city, including any attractive female he sees on a subway. A few other passengers are scared away, but Banner caves in to the pleas of the woman and confronts the man. Seconds later, both of the men are on Banner and he gets tossed behind some seats. Enter the Incredible Hulk, and the story begins.
What happens is the incident results in the accidental death of an innocent bystander when one of the thugs tries to shoot him and when the cops enter the scene, the Hulk runs off into the dark subway tunnel and gets lost in some dark corner. When the cops find him, they arrest him for the killing of the innocent bystander, and the thugs get to the girl in the hospital and threaten her family, so that she is forced to place the blame on Banner. While Banner is being held, the blind lawyer talks to him and agrees to defend his case, because he knows that the crime-lord's thugs are the real problem and Banner has given them a lead on them.
Well, I'm not going to tell the whole story, but the point is, it is much more interesting than The Return and the plot isn't so thin. It has some fascinating characters and a much thicker plot with deeper implications. City government corruption makes for a very realistic theme and the Dare-Devil, as a super-hero, is much more believable than the mighty Thor.