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Blu-ray Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

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It may have upped the action, but this new reboot of The Incredible Hulk is far too familiar territory. Visual effects are mostly great, and Edward Norton was a fine choice for Bruce Banner, but the crowded superhero genre means a finale that feels like it could have been ripped out of any other summer blockbuster. The story isn’t that in-depth either, and offers little audiences haven’t seen before. It’s not terrible, just bland and passé.

Read the full review.

In pre-release, it was stated by director Louis Leterrier that the Blu-ray would blow away the theatrical presentation, and that holds true. The movie boasts a new standard for live-action films in HD. Detail is utterly stunning. Even at a distance, individual hairs and pores can be made out on the actors. The transfer is razor sharp. Combined with a stunningly beautiful contrast and color, every scene is a work of HD art. The image never softens, and unless you want to be truly nit-picky (some mild black crush), this is as close to flawless as possible.

Likewise, this DTS-HD Master mix lives up to its name. The surround use here is simply mind-blowing. Hardly a scene goes by where the entire soundfield is used perfectly. Listen to the factory scene early on with bottles clanging into each other. Action scenes are of course more thrilling than bottles, and they don’t disappoint either. Bullets fly everywhere when needed. On top of that, bass is unreal at times, booming with every footstep, explosion, or roar. This is the reason you own a home theater.

A commentary from Louis Leterrier and Tim Roth starts off your extras experience. This is followed by nearly 50 minutes of deleted scenes (26 of them in total) including an alternate opening that was wisely cut, but it’s worth watching now. The Making of Incredible is the key making-of feature, although the menu shamelessly promotes Volkswagen to get to it. It’s decent, with lots of footage from set, but its self-congratulatory style isn’t fun.

Four featurettes focus on specific aspects of filming, including the visual effects of both creatures. Universal’s U-Control is as annoying as ever, offering a pointless dossier feature and some comic book art while you watch. Finally, BD-Live includes the usual downloadable trailers, and also a MyChat feature. However, you can’t simply jump into a room and start chatting. You need to know someone with the disc and set up a time to watch. It’s a nice concept to text chat while you watch, but it’s quite limited in its execution.

Both stars of the original Incredible Hulk TV series make cameos. Bill Bixby is shown on TV during a clip of Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and Lou Ferrigno plays a security guard. Less obviously, Ferrigno also voices the Hulk here.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.