Thursday, May 01, 2008

Iron Man Movie Vs. Hulk Movie

I overheard these two businessmen in an elevator debate the merits of the CGI animation in the upcoming Iron Man & Hulk movies:

"The CGI on Iron Man is better. The armor looks real."

"The Hulk's face looks like a cartoon."

"Yeah, I think some of it is like it's harder to animate an actual face than armor. I think as humans we're programed to recognize real faces as opposed to realistic CGI ones. I can't get past the face."

What do you think? Which film are you looking forward to more?

(Personally, I never had a problem with the original Hulk movie, other than the irradiated hulk-poodles)


  1. I'm looking forward to both, but probably Iron Man a smidge more.

    That said, Hulk looks better than the first which was a tad too ponderous for me. Really hoping that if they get to make a third one, they pull in Joe Fixit.

  2. Although both look quite good nd have good casts, Iron Man is the one I'm really looking forward to.

  3. "The Hulk's face looks like a cartoon."

    Yea, nothing like those real life, every day Hulks we see walking around us for that actual photo reference.

    Looking forward to Iron Man more, because it actually seems like a more humanistic take on the character, rather then say, "Ghost Rider has a skull head!" and "Hulk Smash!" popcorn flick.

    For the record, I actually really love the original Hulk movie. I think with that cast and crew and the source material it had the potential to be a land mark film, but unfortunatly had too many masters to appease and became a very flawed flick. But it's nowhere near as bad as people remember it being. Unfortunatly, that bad taste is probably going to make the Incredible Hulk incredibly bland.

  4. Anonymous11:31 AM

    The thing that is suprising for me is the suprising dearth of advertising for the Hulk Movie. Do you think they are just waiting for Iron Man to come out before they start hitting us with that?

    Also, the Iron Man trailer was way, way better than the Hulk trailer. Even besides the fact that Iron Man had Black Sabbath in their trailer, there is very little Hulk action scenes in his trailer. For a movie that is supposed to be way more about action, it is a somber, serious trailer.

  5. Y'know, the Hulk-poodles were one of my favorite parts of the first Hulk movie. My big problem with it was Nick Nolte's character/scenery chewing.

    I'm looking forward to Iron Man more ... the effects might be better or worse, but Downey's witty Tony Stark will be a sight to behold.

  6. I think IRON MAN will be more fun and make more money, but after today's new HULK trailer, I'm pretty excited about it. Norton's just awesome.

  7. Anonymous12:04 PM

    Well, it's true we can't compare CGI Hulk to real Hulks. But I think what makes Iron Man work is that in some scenes there is a Stan Winston real set of armor--and Winston was able to blend this into CGI pretty well.

    With Hulk, he clearly stands out against the background and looks fake.

    I hate to say it, but looking back, the Lou Ferrigno Hulk looked better. Sure, it was cheesy, but he looked consistent in the real world.

    But you know what? Despite this I will be happy with the Hulk movie if he talks Hulk smack. "Hulk hate scaly man! Hulk strongest one there is!"

  8. Rob S. you are the weirdest guy. Hulk poodles. Really? Your favorite? So strange. Though I have been thinking about Phillip's poodle familiar. Huh. HUH.

  9. i think i might be looking forward to Hulk more, although i'm betting Iron Man will be the better movie. the only problem with the new Hulk is that i think he does look pretty damn realistic, but his face, it's like... he looks too old or something. he looks like an old-man-Hulk, heh. i really dug the Ang Lee Hulk design but i guess i can't blame Marvel for going with something else.

  10. Anonymous12:53 PM

    Iron Man, easily. I read a report at Premiere on the Hulk panel at Comicon where they said that the vibe was very tense and the audience was confused on how the new Hulk film fit in with the Ang Lee one. Louis Lettier(the new director) was reportedly visibly agitated at the mention of Lee's name, and producer Gale Ann Hurd at one point proclaimed, "You said you wanted more Hulk Smash, so this one will have more Hulk Smash." But she didn't say it in a nice way. The tone was more "Stop questioning the movie and give us your f**king money." The reporter of the piece proclaimed Hulk a character that just doesn't translate to the screen, because he'll always look fake. I'm apt to agree, even though I loved the original film.

  11. "but looking back, the Lou Ferrigno Hulk looked better. Sure, it was cheesy, but he looked consistent in the real world."

    I agree! That Hulk scared the s**t out of me as a kid. Despite the silly looking fright wig.

  12. "I actually really love the original Hulk movie. I think with that cast and crew and the source material it had the potential to be a land mark film, but unfortunatly had too many masters to appease and became a very flawed flick. But it's nowhere near as bad as people remember it being."

    I agree. At least Ang Lee had a driving vision. I know his ultra-stylistic take, with the comic book panels, didn't appeal to everyone. But it was watchable & unique.

    And Eric Bana as Bruce Banner was terrific! And his last name was "Bana." C'mon, people!

  13. --->looking forward to Iron Man more. Robert Downey Jr. is going to rock that role.

    Though I've got love for Edward Norton too!

  14. Iron Man was probably one of the best superhero movies ever. And SHIELD is in it!!!!!

    The acting/writing/action was all good. It didn't seem forced or cheesy. It was just great.

    Doubtful Hulk will be able to compare.

  15. Call me crazy, but I thought the Ang Lee/Eric Bana effort got a raw deal. It actually captured the spirit of the Peter David run pretty well, for the most part. That said, Tim Roth as Emil Bronsky should be good times.

  16. In terms of effects, I've only seen the one Hulk trailer and I have to say it's realism was a smidge on the lacking side. Meanwhile, every new promo I see for Iron Man, the CGI looks like it's an actual suit of armor. But to go back to that elevator convo, it's not that we're programmed to recognize real people, it's just damn hard to effectively ANIMATE a real person. With each year they get closer (Beowulf, anyone?) but the technology still isn't there yet.

    The last Hulk movie was too artsy for my tastes. The comic panels were uneccessary and they missed the boat on a few things. TOO much drama. I thought the casting was top-notch, but everyone was always so moody it just bored me.

    Definitely feeling the Iron Man more.

    (BTW, the Hulk series rocked! "Mr. McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.")

  17. i couldn't stand the last hulk movie because of how cartoony or really just out of place hulk looked. (also i just thought it was just generally lame) i had the same problem with the trailer for the newest one.
    perhaps the problem lies in that they seem to try to be making dark serious action movies when the main character looks like something akin to "the mask"

    give me a big muscle man painted green anyday. i mean hell, for as bad as the fantastic four movies were, i'm still pleased that the thing was just a guy in a costume.

    that said i'm really looking forward to iron man.

  18. Iron Man. Without a doubt. The Hulk movie isn't even on my unofficial mental list of films to watch this summer, I've actually never been a huge Hulk fan in general. But the IM movie just looks fun. And the mix of CG and a real-life suit looks pretty good, too.

  19. Honestly, I liked the Gamma Poodles because I hadn't seen them before. (I'm sure something similar has been used in the books at some time or another, but I'm not a big Hulk fan to begin with.) I've read so many superhero comics that not much in a movie surprises me -- the best sensation I usually get is an interesting twist on a character or recognizing a familiar moment done in a kickass way. So when something so out-of-the-blue like the Hulk Poodles comes along, I'm in heaven. I had no idea they were coming, and my reaction was pure manic glee.

  20. I'm looking forward to Iron Man more. It looks funnier. And then there's new trailers showing him flying around, and shooting things, and it's cool.

    I got to give the new Hulk movie props for showing Hulk and Abomination in the trailer. I'm just glad they didn't get all coy and go Lost/Cloverfield/whatever on us. I know what the Cloverfield monster looks like now, and I've got no desire to see the movie because the presentation never really hooked me on anything else. I can't blame Gale Ann Hurd, either. It's got to be frustrating as all hell to make movies out of comic book franchises because you'll get tons of people saying they want something and then, when they get it, turning their noses up at it for some fabricated reason.

  21. Just got home from Iron Man.

    The verdict? AWESOME.

  22. My biggest issue with the Ang Lee Hulk film was that it's climactic fight had no strong raison d'etre.

    X-Men 1 had the team trying to rescue Magneto's mutating device and rescue Rogue from being sacrificed.

    #2 had them stopping Stryker from killing millions of innocent people.

    Hell even Daredevil had the hero fighting Bullseye and Kingpin because they killed the two most important people in his life, including having the girlfriend skewered in front of him minutes earlier.

    Hulk had Bruce fighting his dad because....his dad made him angry?

    Can we say forced and stupid?

  23. Regarding the negative reaction to digital faces, there's actually a name for the phenomenon: the uncanny valley" effect:

    "The phenomenon can be explained by the notion that, if an entity is sufficiently non-humanlike, then the humanlike characteristics will tend to stand out and be noticed easily, generating empathy. On the other hand, if the entity is 'almost human', then the non-human characteristics will be the ones that stand out, leading to a feeling of 'strangeness' in the human viewer."

  24. I found the first Hulk movie excruciating. And I think this one will suffer from similar problems, albeit without poodles. Primarily, yeah, the animated Hulk face clearly triggers one's uncanny valley reflex (and somehow the CGI looks worse in this one). And secondly, I think the Hulk might intrinsically be a character more suited to comics than movies...he's a motivationless monster with no dialogue.

    Maybe they've been downplaying it in favor of the Iron Man publicity, but I'm starting to think the company knows its got a stinker on its hands.

  25. Anonymous9:00 AM

    I think the reception to the average Joe or Joey from a visual point of view is going to beinfluenced by the 'Uncanny Valley' (Wikipedia Entry) In that CG humans and human like characters can still a bit hit and miss when it comes to realism.

    Seeing as Iron Man's CGness is a suit, it's far enough away from the valley to avoid any weirdness.