YES, INTERNET, THERE IS A FILM CRIT HULK

WARNING! THIS COLUMN DETECTS HIGH LEVELS OF GAMMA RADIATION IN THE FORM OF OVER-INDULGENT SELF-AIMED ANALYSIS!

SO YESTERDAY THERE WAS A BIT OF A DISCUSSION ON TWITTER ABOUT HULK, THE HULK-SPEAK, AND WHETHER OR NOT HULK SHOULD DROP IT ALL TOGETHER AND GO PERMANENT BANNER-MODE FOR THE SAKE OF EVERYONE’S BLISS.

ON ONE SIDE, A GOOD DEAL OF REALLY SMART PEOPLE FIND IT GIMMICKY, DISTRACTING, AND LIMITING. ON THE OTHER SIDE, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO SEEM TO REALLY DIG IT. A STUNNING AMOUNT OF PEOPLE WEIGHED IN ON THE TOPIC, INCLUDING SOME OF HULK’S MOST VOCIFEROUS READERS, AS WELL AS A GREAT MANY OF HULK’S FAVORITE CRITICS, ONES THAT HULK HAS READ, LOVED, AND RESPECTED FOR YEARS. NOT TO MENTION A BEVY OF WORKING FILM PROFESSIONALS AND WRITERS , INCLUDING BUDDING UBER -PRODUCER KEITH CALDER (BEHIND SOME GREAT FILMS LIKE THE WACKNESS AND THE APPARENTLY FANTASTIC YOU’RE NEXT ON THE WAY) AND EVEN, GULP, THE UTTERLY-BRILLIANT EDGAR WRIGHT.

THE IDEA THAT HULK WOULD BE A TOPIC OF DISCUSSION AMONG THESE PEOPLE DOES NOT EVEN QUALIFY AS HUMBLING, BUT OUTRIGHT STUPEFYING. IT IS THE KIND OF SURREAL MEASURE OF FATE THAT CAUSES HULK TO QUESTION EXISTENCE. IS HULK REALLY HERE? IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?

BUT AS DUMB AND WHOLLY UNINTERESTING AS ADDRESSING THIS CONCERN IS, THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE ISSUE HAS GROWN ENOUGH IN SIZE TO BECOME THE PROVERBIAL ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. AS SUCH IT IS TIME TO TALK ABOUT IT WITH YOU,  THE READER, AND EXPLAIN WHY EXACTLY HULK DOES WHAT HULK DOES.

DIRECTLY REFERENCING THE CONUNDRUM ON THE BLOG MAY SEEM SORT OF WEIRD AND DEFINITELY SELF-INDULGENT. HULK JUST WANT TO ASSURE YOU THAT THE GOAL HERE IS NOT TO HULK TO BE LIKE “HERE’S WHY HULK IS AWESOME!” BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY MORTIFYING.

NO, THE GOAL IS HERE IS ONLY TO JUSTIFY WHY THIS IS HAPPENING AND TO DO THAT HULK WOULD HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHY HULK BELIEVES IN THE HULK BLOG. AND THAT CAN GET A TAD CLOYING FOR SOME, HULK UNDERSTAND.

PERHAPS MORE WORRYING IS THE DREADED ISSUE OF “OVER-EXPLAINING THE JOKE.” BUT SINCE OVER-EXPLAINING THE JOKE IS SORT OF WHAT HULK DOES HERE, PERHAPS IT’S TIME TO DIRECT IT INWARDS. AFTER ALL, HULK HAS SPENT MORE TIME THINKING ABOUT THE WHOLE CIRCUMSTANCE THAN ANYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET.

SO IN EFFORT TO PUT IT BEHIND US, IT IS NOW TIME FOR HULK TO GIVE YOU A DECENT ANSWER.

NO HULK DON'T DO IT!

THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND IS THAT HULK HONESTLY GETS THE FACT THAT ALL-CAPS WRITING CAN HARD TO READ. THIS MAY JUST HAVE TO BE A GIVEN. AND CONCERNING THE DISJOINTED SENTENCE STRUCTURE AND GRAMMAR HULK DID YA’LL A SOLID AND ADOPTED THOSE PESKY THINGS LIKE PREPOSITIONS, APOSTROPHES, AND THE ALL-TOO CRITICAL WORD “IS.” THAT’S RIGHT, HULK LEARN GOOD! BUT REALLY IF YOU’RE GONNA READ 10,000+ WORDS THERE HAS TO BE SOME MEASURE OF MEETING YOU HALFWAY. WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT RIGHT NOW, ALL HULK IS REALLY DOING IS  JUST SWITCHING OUT “I” FOR “HULK” AND TURNING ON CAPS LOCK… OTHERWISE YOU’RE JUST READING REGULAR OLD ENGLISH… DISAPPOINTING, HULK KNOW… THOUGH HULK WON’T DENY USING A FEW MOMENTS OF WELL-TIMED, TRUE-BLUE HULK SPEAK FOR A CHEAP JOKE. BUT COME ON, WHO COULD RESIST THAT?

AS FOR THE CHARGE THAT HULK IS MERELY WRITING IN-CHARACTER AND THIS SOMEHOW IMPLIES A LACK OF VERACITY OR THE ABILITY TO TAKE WHAT IS BEING SAID SERIOUSLY, HULK ARGUES THIS A BIT OF A MISS-CHARACTERIZATION.

FOR STARTERS, THERE HAS NOT BEEN A SINGLE THING THAT HULK HAS WROTE THAT WASN’T SOMETHING TRUE IN HULK’S HEART OF HEARTS. THE CONTENT IS GENUINE. HULK HOPES THIS IS MADE CLEAR PARTIALLY BY THE FACT THAT HULK GETS TO WRITE ABOUT WHATEVER THE HECK HULK WANTS. THERE IS NO PRESSURE FOR HITS. HULK MAKES ABSOLUTELY ZERO MONEY OFF OF THIS THING. IN FACT, HULK WORKS 60+ HOUR WEEKS AND SQUEEZES MOST OF THIS WORK IN WHEN HULK SHOULD BE SLEEPING. WHICH MEANS, VERACITY OF INTENTION IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS HERE.

ADMITTEDLY, THERE IS AN ADDED BENEFIT TO BEING THE HULK AND THAT IS THAT HULK IS UNIQUELY FREE OF CERTAIN POLITICAL EXPECTATIONS OF BEING “A CRITIC.” HULK IS INSTEAD THOUGHT OF AS SOME SORT OF GENIAL, AMORPHOUS BEING THAT LIVES IN THE INTERNET TUBES AND LIKES MOVIES AND SHIT.  THE FREQUENT CHARGE AGAINST CRITICS IS THAT THEY CARRY PERSONAL VENDETTAS, SOMETHING THAT IS RARELY TRUE, BUT DUE TO HULK’S NEBULOUS QUALITY, HULK IS NEVER CHARGED WITH ULTERIOR MOTIVES. THAT IS BECAUSE THE HULK CAN BE ANYTHING: THE WILD RAMBLING ID OF THE MOVIEGOER. THE JESTER OF THE COURT. HULK CAN BE YOU JUST AS YOU CAN BE HULK. THERE IS A DISTINCT VALUE TO THIS ANONYMITY OF BEING THE GIANT GREEN ONE, TO WIT THE AMAZING RESPONSE OF ONE DAMON HOUX:

houx Damon Houx
@FilmCritHULK “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth,” Oscar Wilde.

A GREAT HUMAN TRUTH AND ADMITTEDLY, ONE OF THE DISTINCT ADVANTAGES TO BEING THE HULK… BUT IT’S ALSO CRITICAL TO MENTION THAT’S NOT THE REASON WHY HULK DOES IT. NO, IT COMES FROM SOMEWHERE A LITTLE MORE INNOCENT AND PERHAPS SILLY. YOU SEE, OVER THE LAST YEAR AND HALF THERE IS SOMETHING THAT HULK HAS UNDOUBTEDLY LEARNED:

EVERYONE LOVES THE HULK.

AND WHY THE FUCK WOULDN’T THEY?  HULK NOT TALKING ABOUT HULK-SELF, BUT THE IDEA OF THE HULK. ISN’T THERE SOMETHING SO LOVABLE ABOUT THE BIG GREEN GUY? THE WAY THE HULK IS IMPLICITLY YOUR FRIEND; A KIND OF BLUNT INSTRUMENT OF DOE-EYED INNOCENCE COMBINED WITH OUT OF CONTROL SMASH-TASTIC CAPABILITIES. THE HULK IS THE PROVERBIAL BULL IN A CHINA SHOP, OR THE UNBREAKABLE MARE. BUT THE SECRET HUMAN TRUTH OF THESE WILD AND OUT OF CONTROL ANIMALS IS THAT DEEP DOWN, MOST EVERYONE JUST WANTS TO CALM THE ANIMAL DOWN AND CONNECT TO THE SPIRIT INSIDE. WE SEE THIS TROPE ALL THE TIME IN MOVIES, HECK IT’S CLICHE AT THIS POINT, BUT IT SPEAKS TO OUR OWN NATURE: WE’RE ATTRACTED TO BIG STUPID THINGS THAT WIELD ENORMOUS POWER. AND IT’S SOMETIMES EASY TO FORGET THAT THE HULK IS OBVIOUS SUPERHEROIC RIFF ON JEKYLL/HYDE AND THEREFORE IT’S PLACE OUR OTHER PSYCHE. IT MAKES FOR THE EASIEST POSSIBLE REPRESENTATION OF OUR OUR HIGH / LOW SELVES.

HULK'S NOT SURE WHETHER HULK IS HIGH OR LOW THOUGH

IF ALL THIS SOUNDS LIKE A BIG CIRCLE JERK OF PONTIFICATING NONSENSE, HULK WOULD DISAGREE WITH YOU. ALL THIS IS AT PLAY IN OUR MINDS IT JUST HAPPENS RAPIDLY AND AT AN INSTANT. MOST OF YOU HAVE GOTTEN TO HEAR THE REAL HULK VOICE UNDERNEATH IT ALL, BUT REMEMBER THERE WAS ALL A MOMENT WHERE YOU FIRST HEARD ABOUT THE HULK BEING A FILM CRITIC AND THAT WAS LITERALLY ALL YOU KNEW. IN THAT INSTANT IT WAS A SINGULAR, SMALL, AND HOPEFULLY FUN CONCEPT THAT DREW YOU IN. HULK HAS GOT SEE IT HAPPEN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF TIMES THROUGH THE BLOG AND TWITTER AND OVER THAT TIME THE PATTERN HAS BECOME OBVIOUS:

PEOPLE JUST FUCKING LOVE THE HULK.

PERHAPS IT’S BEST EXEMPLIFIED BY ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITE MOMENTS EVER: HULK TWEETED THE YOUNG ACTOR JOHN BOYEGA, OFFERING HUGE PRAISE OF HIS PERFORMANCE IN ATTACK THE BLOCK AND THIS WAS HIS RESPONSE:

JohnBoyegaJohn Boyega

Did the HULK just tweet me? I’m flipping honoured!!!!!! thanks big guy

HOW AWESOME IS THAT REACTION? AGAIN, PEOPLE LOVE THE HULK. EVEN IF YOUR REACTION ISN’T AS STRONG, THE HULK HAS THIS TREMENDOUS POWER TO REVERT PEOPLE TO SIMPLE JOY.

BUT YOU KNOW WHO REALLY LOVES THE HULK MOST OF ALL?

HULK DID. GROWING UP ON A STEADY DIET OF MARVEL COMICS AND THE WONDERFUL TV SHOW THERE IS A REAL, TANGIBLE HISTORICAL AFFINITY HERE FOR THE BIG GREEN ONE. WHICH MEANS THIS WHOLE MATTER COULD HAVE BEEN SETTLED WITH A SIMPLE STATEMENT OF “BECAUSE HULK LIKES IT. THAT’S WHY!” BUT THAT WOULDN’T BE ALL THAT FAIR TO YOU.

SO IS BEING THE HULK SOMEHOW… CHEATING? A CHEAP GIMMICK?

YES AND NO.

IT IS A GIMMICK FOR SURE, THERE’S NO DENYING THAT IMPLICIT, WONDERFUL DRAW. BUT THE TRUTH IS IF HULK WAS JUST A CHEAP GIMMICK HULK WOULD BE CRACKING JOKES AND YA’LL WOULDA TUNED OUT BY NOW. THIS IS FOR CERTAIN. BESIDES, THESE LONG-FORM HULK ARTICLES ARE A SERIOUS UNDERTAKING SO REALLY IT’S ABOUT COMMITMENT AND PATIENCE. HULK TRULY TRIES TO OFFER YA’LL SOMETHING OF REAL VALUE WITH EVERY SINGLE POST.

OF COURSE, PART OF THE HULK JOKE IS THAT MOST PEOPLE COME EXPECTING THE DUMB-TALK SMASHY TIME, BUT THE ACTUAL CONTENT OF THE ARTICLES HERE ARE FAIRLY SOFT, MEASURED, AND THOROUGH. OH SURE THERE’S THE OCCASIONAL POINTED BARBS OR THINGS THAT REALLY DO SET OFF HULK’S SMASH MODE. BUT FOR THE MOST PART ,HULK TRYING TO PUT FORTH THE BETTER ANGEL OF HULK’S NATURE. A GENUINE OPTIMISM ABOUT MOVIES, THE INTERNET, YOU GUYS, AND OUR SHARED CULTURE.

HULK CANNOT STATE MORE CLEARLY: NONE OF THIS IS ABOUT ADORATION, BUT THE TRUE JOY OF CONNECTING WITH IDEAS. THE RESPONSES HULK HAS GOT FROM SOME OF YOU, LIKE FOR EXAMPLE THOSE WHO WROTE IN SAYING HOW HULK’S MYTH OF 3 ACT STRUCTURE PIECE CHANGED THE SHAPE OF YOUR WRITING AND HAD A REAL FREEING EFFECT, THAT IS THE BIGGEST KIND OF JOY ANYONE CAN RECEIVE. SERIOUSLY.

LIKE COOKIES!

AND HERE’S ONE LAST TRUTH FOR YA’LL: OUTSIDE OF THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE IN HULK’S PERSONAL LIFE, HULK EMBRACING HULK’S INNER-HULK WAS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO HULK… GOOD GOD THE HULK SPEAK IS REALLY NOT HELPING WITH THAT PARTICULAR SENTENCE, BUT WHATEVER.

THE POINT IS THAT HULK HAS GOTTEN TO CONNECT WITH SO MANY AMAZING PEOPLE ABOUT MOVIES, GOTTEN TO WRITE ARTICLES WITH BRAZEN GENIUSES LIKE TOM TOWNEND, AND HAD INTERACTIONS WITH PEOPLE WHOSE MOVIES HULK ADORES. AND IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HULK’S READERS WHO COMMENTS ARE WONDERFUL, THOUGHTFUL INDIVIDUALS. HULK HAS EVEN SINCERELY TRIED TO READ EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER SENT TO HULK AND HULK TRULY APPRECIATES THE INPUT. SOMETIMES WE TRULY LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THE INTERNET IS WHOLLY POWERFUL THING, CAPABLE OF SUCH AMAZING CONNECTION. TRULY AMAZING.

SO WHAT THIS “HULK SPEAK” STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS BASICALLY COMES DOWN TO IS THAT THIS IS ULTIMATELY JUST A MATTER OF BEING “COOL WITH IT” OR “NOT COOL WITH IT.” THAT’S ALSO TOTALLY OKAY. IN FACT, IT’S WHAT HAPPENS WITH MOST THINGS.

SO HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD DO… WHEN YOU READ HULK’S BLOGS OR TWEETS OR WHATEVER THE HELL, GO WITH WHAT YOUR MIND FIRST JUMPS TO: A 12 FOOT TALL, GREEN, MUSCULAR BEING CRAMMED IN FRONT OF A LITTLE COMPUTER SCREEN AND POURING HIS HEART OUT ABOUT MOVIES. A HEART THAT IS, LIKE THE REAL HULK’S, GENUINE, HUMAN, AND REAL.

BECAUSE WHETHER YOU REALIZE IT OR NOT, THAT’S WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING HERE.

YES, INTERNET, THERE IS A FILM CRIT HULK. THE HULK EXISTS AS CERTAINLY AS LOVE AND GENEROSITY AND DEVOTION EXIST, AND YOU KNOW THAT THEY ABOUND TO YOUR LIFE ITS HIGHEST BEAUTY AND JOY. ALAS! HOW DREARY LIFE WOULD BE IF THERE WERE NO HULK. IT WOULD BE AS DREARY AS IF THERE WERE NO YOU. THERE WOULD BE NO CHILDLIKE FAITH THEN, NO POETRY, NO ROMANCE TO MAKE TOLERABLE THIS EXISTENCE. WE SHOULD HAVE NO ENJOYMENT, EXCEPT IN SENSE AND SIGHT. THE ETERNAL LIGHT WITH WHICH CHILDHOOD FILLS THE WORLD WOULD BE EXTINGUISHED.

HULK COULD PERHAPS JUST LEAVE YOU WITH THAT SACCHARINE BIT OF USURPERY, BUT THAT WOULDN’T BE THE OVERLY-CAUTIOUS GREEN GUY YOU’VE COME TO KNOW. THE TRUTH IS THAT IF BEING THE HULK EVEN AFFORDS THE SLIGHTEST BIT OF IRREVERENCE AND CHILD-LIKE FUN TO BE HAD IN THIS ENTIRELY-TOO-DRAB ARENA WE CALL FILM CRITICISM, EVEN IF IT’S FUN JUST TO ONE PERSON, THEN EMBRACING THE INNER-HULK WAS ABSOLUTELY THE RIGHT DECISION.

HULK SPEAK STAYS.

NOW THAT THAT’S SETTLED, HULK CAN FINALLY GET BACK TO BUSINESS AND ADDRESS THE STUFF THAT’S ACTUALLY FUN FOR HULK TO WRITE AND FOR YOU TO READ. LIKE THE REVIEW OF JAMES GUNN’S SUPER COMING UP ALONG WITH THE MOST DRUNKEN, SARCASTIC THING HULK HAS WRITTEN YET. GOOD TIMES!

YOUR BULLISH, DOE-EYED, AND INHERENT FRIEND

-HULK

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HULK ASKS A FAVOR – GO SEE ATTACK THE BLOCK

SO HERE GOES.

HULK GOING ASK A FAVOR. HULK KNOW IT AN IMPOSITION, AND MAYBE EVEN PRESUMPTUOUS, BUT HULK NOT ASK FOR MUCH. TO BE HONEST, THE MERE FACT THAT SO MANY PEOPLE READ HULK’S BLOG MAKE HULK FEEL ALL WARM INSIDE, SO YOU CERTAINLY DO NOT OWE HULK ANYTHING BY ANY MEANS… BUT HULK GUESS THAT WHY IT A FAVOR.

HULK GOING ASK THAT, IF AVAILABLE IN YOUR CITY, YOU GO SEE ATTACK THE BLOCK THIS WEEKEND.

HULK ALREADY REVIEWED FILM AND HULK THINK IT A MASTERPIECE. (CAREFUL THOUGH, IT GET A BIT SPOILERY DOWN THE WAY).

CALLING  A FILM A MASTERPIECE DEFINITELY SETTING UP SOME UNFAIR EXPECTATIONS AND HULK WOULD TOTALLY UNDERSTAND IF YOU NO THINK IT A MASTERPIECE. WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT THINGS WE VALUE + RESPOND TO WITH MOVIES AND HULK HAPPEN TO VALUE TRANSCENDENT GENRE FARE. SOME DON’T. THAT FINE.

BUT YOU WILL STILL LIKE THE MOVIE. THAT FOR SURE.

IT WILL NOT BE LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE YOU’VE SEEN.

IT WILL BE DIFFERENT.

AND IT WILL BE GOOD.

AND MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, YOU WILL SEE THE SAME THINGS IN THE MOVIE THAT HULK DID. A WONDERFUL FILM THAT SEAMLESSLY BLEND GREAT STORYTELLING, OUTRIGHT HILARITY, SOCIAL COMMENTARY, AND HORROR. EVEN THE SCORE AMAZING. THE FILM FIRE ON ALL CYLINDERS. AND MAYBE YOU’LL AGREE.

HULK KNOW COWBOYS AND ALIENS OUT THIS WEEK AS WELL AND HULK KNOW THAT “THE BIG HOLLYWOOD MOVIE WE ALL SUPPOSED TO SEE!” LOOK, HULK LOVE IRON MAN JUST AS MUCH ANYONE. HULK WANT SEE INVESTED HARRISON FORD TOO.

BUT HULK ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE THAT MOVIE WILL NO BE AS GOOD.

AND IF IT SUPER-IMPORTANT TO YOU TO SEE COWBOYS, THEN HULK URGE YOU TO SEE BOTH FILMS. HULK KNOW MOVIES COST A LOT OF MONEY. HULK KNOW IT BIG TIME COMMITTMENT. HULK TRULY KNOW. BUT HULK GOING TO DO IT AND HULK ALREADY SEEN ATTACK THE BLOCK. BUT HOW OFTEN GET CHANCE HAVE TRULY GOOD “MOVIE WEEKEND”? BESIDES IT, FOR LACK OF BETTER WORD, “IMPORTANT” TO SEEK OUT THE MOVIES THAT HARDER TO FIND. RIGHT? IF WE SUPPOSEDLY CARE ABOUT GETTING GOOD MOVIES IN OUR LIVES, IT VERY IMPORTANT.

SO HULK KNOW IT ASKING LOT.

HULK ASSURE YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN THIS MOVIE BEYOND THE FACT HULK THINK IT GREAT AND WANT SHARE IT.

THAT WHY HULK ASKING FOR A FAVOR.

CHEERS,

❤ THE INCREDIBLE F-IN’ HULK

HULK BUSY. SO TIME FOR HULK MAILBAG!

HEY ALL. HULK HERE.

HULK WORKING ON ANOTHER BIG ESSAY (WITH SPECIAL PROFESSIONAL GUEST!), BUT HULK ALSO HAVE SUPER BUSY WEEK AT AVENGER HQ. SO WHO KNOWS IF HULK WILL FINISH. MEANWHILE HULK BEEN ANSWERING LOTS QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENTS SECTIONS LATELY AND IT GOT HULK THINKING 1) HULK LUCKY AND HAVE INCREDIBLY THOUGHTFUL POIGNANT COMMENTATORS AND 2) THEY HAVE REALLY GOOD QUESTIONS.

IN THAT SPIRIT HULK THOUGHT IT BE GOOD DO MAILBAG SERIES THIS WEEK, SINCE HULK HAVE SHORT TIME. SO FEEL TWEET HULK. ASK IN COMMENTS BELOW (HULK WILL ANSWER THEM IN ACTUAL NEW ARTICLE, NOT BELOW). OR EMAIL HULK AT FILMCRITHULK@GMAIL.COM.

ASK ANYTHING. DON’T MATTER WHAT IT ABOUT.

CHEERS!

-HULK

*PHOTO-PROPS TO http://alexfleisig.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.html