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The Incredible Hulk - Original Television Premiere
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Discover the origin of "The Incredible Hulk" with the TV series pilot that helped to inspire the "Hulk" phenomenon. While conducting a research project about superhuman strength, Dr. David Banner bombards his own system with gamma radiation, unexpectedly transforming himself into the powerful beast, "The Incredible Hulk."
Universal's Incredible Hulk DVD will satisfy fans of the CBS television series by offering the two-hour 1978 pilot, as well as the feature-length second-season opener, "Married," and a commentary track by series creator Kenneth Johnson. In bringing the Hulk to TV, Johnson decided to focus on its human alter ego, scientist Bruce Banner (here renamed David), rather than its rampages. In the pilot, Banner (Bill Bixby) is haunted by the death of his wife and unleashes his untapped rage in the form of a monstrous creature (Lou Ferrigno) after experimenting with radiation. And in "Married," Banner falls for a researcher (Mariette Hartley in an Emmy-winning performance) who attempts to cure his "hulk-outs." Johnson's solid scripting and direction and fine performances from the leads made the series a critical and audience favorite during its network run, and the DVD--deceptive cover art aside (which features images from the 2003 Hulk theatrical feature)--should again please longtime fans and novice viewers alike. --Paul GaitaSee all Editorial Reviews
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This TV series was hands down, the best transformation of a comic book character to the screen. From the opening credits of the pilot, we could immediately tell that we were in for a quality production. Everything about it is excellent: the story, the actors, the direction, the music. Sure, it does have some elements of "70's cheesiness," but for the most part, it is a timeless production. The same is also true for the bonus episode "Married."
Without getting too much into the show itself, these two episodes were a great choice for this DVD. Both stories are very tragic and sad and it almost seems like they are trying to show how much better the original series was than the new film!
As for the DVD, the picture is outstanding! It is very crisp and clean considering how old the footage is. Same thing with the audio. It brings this 25 year old show back to life!
The commentary by Kenneth Johnson is worth the price of the DVD alone! The show was basically Kenneth's baby; he wrote, produced, and directed it. In the commentary it is just him, talking about everything from the camera shots to the tragic life of Bill Bixby. I couldn't believe he went on for almost 4 hours without ever running out of things to talk about! Needless to say, it was fascinating. The intro by Lou Ferrigno is also a nice extra.
There are a couple of annoying things about the DVD, mainly the fact that most of the extras have nothing to do with the original show! Even the cover is from the new film (except for a barely noticable photo of Bill and Lou in the CGI Hulk's hand.) It becomes painfully obvious that this DVD was released mainly to promote the new film, which makes me pessimistic about any season sets in the near future.
And the most annoying thing of all - they make you sit through a preview of "The Fast and Furious" DVD every time you want to watch the pilot!!! There should be a law against this.
The strengths of this DVD far outshine the weaknesses, which is why I give it 5 stars!
Both movies follow creative and interesting storylines. I found them to be, by far, the most well-produced Hulk movies. If you were a fan of the series, then you will want to see these movies.
The DVD contains some extras. Nothing too special. An intro by Lou Ferrigno and a preview of the 2003 Hulk movie.
The pilot tells a tale of a brilliant scientist tormented by his past, looking for an explanation for his moment of weakness when others like him found great strength. His research leads to him eventually looking for a cure to his original work.
The movie "Married" doesn't immediately follow the pilot, but it follows the show's theme of a man wandering the nation looking for a cure, and in the process helping others while staying one step ahead of the media and the authorities. In a sense, it was better than the "Fugitive."
I'd recommend this ove the new "blockbuster" coming out this summer. This story is about the human condition, and not just about a big green guy breaking things...
When I was a kid, I didn't enjoy this series much because I had to wait too long to see the Hulk in action. However, as an adult, I appreciate the fact that Bill Bixby was a great actor and the science fiction aspect of the story was ahead of its time. Your kids might not sit through this pilot, but the adults in the room will be entertained by the well-written script and superb acting and directing.
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