The Incredible Hulk

October 21, 2008|By CHRIS KALTENBACH

Starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt. Directed by Louis Leterrier Released by Universal Home Video $29.98 (blu-ray, $39.98) ***

DVDS

A definitive movie version of The Incredible Hulk has yet to be made, but at least this go-round, with Maryland's Edward Norton as the big guy, has it all over the existentialist exercise in what it means to be big, mean, green and angry that was Ang Lee's 2003 version.

The squabbles between Norton and director Louis Leterrier are legion; apparently, Norton wanted more of a thinking-man's Hulk than Leterrier (or the folks at Marvel Comics) were comfortable with. After the box-office thud with which Lee's version landed, the decision was that Hulk needed smash more. Which he does here, although perhaps not to the degree long-time comic-book fans would want. Nice touch that the creature's voice is provided by Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk on TV from 1978-1982.

But, hey, Norton at least seems to be having fun as the unfortunate Bruce Banner, meek scientist-turned-raging monster, as does Liv Tyler as his long-suffering girlfriend, Betty Ross. Cool villains, too. First it's the U.S. military, which hopes to harness him as one heck of a weapon of mass destruction. Then there's the Abomination, a creature of rage, fury and lethal strength that might just out-hulk Hulk.

A three-disc collector's edition ($34.98) includes additional and deleted scenes (including an alternate opening) and five minidocumentaries on the film, the characters and special effects. The third disc is a downloadable copy that can be played on your computer, iPhone or other device.

Also out today:: The Outer Limits: The Complete Original Series (MGM, $59.98). For two glorious seasons on ABC, from 1963-1965, smart TV viewers tuned control of their sets over to this sci-fi anthology series. True, it was a little hokey at times, and its BEMs (Bug-Eyed Monsters) were sometimes more amusing than horrific. But at its best, The Outer Limits presented some great, thought-provoking and frequently chilling stories (check out "ZZZZ," about a queen bee who seeks sustenance outside the hive; "A Feasibility Study," as a group of Earthlings find themselves on another planet as an experiment to see whether they'll survive in the alien environment; and "Behold, Eck!" the tale of a nearsighted being from another dimension).

And, it served as a training ground for a whole generation of young actors and filmmakers, from Martin Landau and Sally Kellerman to cinematographer Conrad Hall, who would win Oscars for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, American Beauty and Road to Perdition.

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