lisa__span

HULK TALKS TO THE AMAZING CARTOONIST LISA HANAWALT AND TRIES TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF HER WORK. A MEDITATION ON ART, COMEDY, AND FUNCTIONAL PURPOSE!

http://badassdigest.com/2013/05/31/film-crit-hulk-smash-hulk-vs.-the-wild-mind-of-lisa-hanawalt/

OKAY. LET’S STOP PUSSYFOOTING AROUND WITH THIS BECAUSE HULK IS NOT PLAYING NICE ANYMORE.

IN FACT, HULK IS FUCKING TIRED OF YOUR SHIT.

IF YOU ARE NOT WATCHING COMMUNITY, YOU HAVE TO START WATCHING COMMUNITY RIGHT NOW. THAT’S RIGHT, HULK MAKING YOU.

WHY THE SUDDEN URGENCY WHEN HULK HAS JUST PLAIN OLD “RECOMMENDED IT” BEFORE?

LAST WEEK, THE SHOW PREMIERED TO A MASSIVE RATINGS DROP.

… THIS IS A PROBLEM. THE SHOW CANNOT GO OFF THE AIR. HULK WILL GO INTO AN ABED-LIKE SHUTDOWN IF THIS SHOW GOES OFF THE AIR.

THIS A BIG PROBLEM FOR HULK AND GUESS WHAT? HULK’S PROBLEM IS YOUR PROBLEM [CRACKS KNUCKLES]

SO IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE SHOW, EITHER JUST JUMP INTO IT THIS WEEK (SOMETHING HULK WOULD USUALLY NEVER RECOMMEND BUT THESE ARE DESPERATE TIMES), OR IF YOU ARE LIKE HULK AND LIKE WATCHING THINGS FROM BEGINNING, GO OUT BUY THE DVD OF SEASON 1.

TODAY.

DO IT. CANCEL YOUR PLANS. ON THE WAY HOME AFTER WORK JUST BUY THE DVD. THIS SHIT IS NOT THAT EXPENSIVE AND REALLY, CAN YOU PUT A PRICE ON JOY? THEN WHEN YOU GET HOME GO AHEAD MAKE YOURSELF A NICE SANDWICH (YOU KNOW, THE ONE YOU LIKE) AND JUST START WATCHING. 8 EPISODES IN YOU WILL BE HOOKED (THE PILOT WORKS BETTER WHEN YOU SEE HOW THE SHOW ACTUALLY DEVELOP). HULK PROMISE.

IF HULK WRONG HULK AND YOU DO NOT LIKE THE FIRST SEASON, HULK WILL DONATE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU SPENT ON DVDS TO CHARITY. SERIOUSLY.

IN FACT, HULK SO SERIOUS THAT AT THE END OF THIS COLUMN THERE WILL BE TRIVIA AND IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE SHOW HULK WILL FUCKING BUY YOU SEASON 1 OF THE SHOW. HEAR THAT? THIS IS THAT SERIOUS. YOU ARE OFFICIALLY OUT OF FUCKING EXCUSES.

OH, WHAT’S THAT? YOU DON’T CARE WHAT HULK THINKS? YOU STILL AREN’T GOING TO DO IT? TOO LAZY?

FINE. HERE ARE 13 BLATANTLY OBVIOUS REASONS TO WATCH COMMUNITY:

1) IT IS CURRENTLY THE SMARTEST/FUNNIEST COMEDY ON TV

DO YOU LIKE SMART AND FUNNY THINGS? YOU SAY YOU DO. BUT APPARENTLY YOU FUCKING DON’T. WELL THE MAD GENIUS DAN HARMON HAS CRAFTED A BIZARRELY WONDERFUL SHOW FULL OF SCOPE, GENRE JUMPING HILARITY, SIMPLE HUMANITY, HIGH BROW/LOW BROW, AND CHOCK FULL OF ETHOS AND PATHOS.

2) ANNIE’S BOOBS AND ANNIE’S BOOBS

ONE IS A MONKEY AND THE OTHER IS BOOBS. THAT’S RIGHT, HULK WILLING TO GO SEXIST FOR COMMUNITY’S FUTURE AND THE SAKE OF YOUR VERY OWN EYEBALLS. THE POINT IS BOTH THE MONKEY AND THE BOOBS ARE GREAT.

3) FOR REALS ANNIE AND THE SHOW’S RESPECT OF FEMALE CHARACTERS

THE BETTER REASON TO WATCH COMMUNITY IS BECAUSE ALISON BRIE IS ACTUALLY HILARIOUS AS THE TIGHTLY-WOUND, OVERLY-STUDIOUS YOUNG ANNIE. DESPITE HULK’S ANNIE’S BOOBS COMMENT ABOVE, THE SHOW IS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE BEST IN TERMS OF IT’S TREATMENT/CREATION OF DYNAMIC FEMALE CHARACTERS. THIS IS NOT TO IMPLY THE SHOW IS A WEEKLY ESPOUSING OF GENDER IDEALS (IT IS A COMEDY AFTER ALL), JUST THAT IT TREATS ALL THE WOMEN ON THE SHOW AS DEEPLY TEXTURED, HUMAN, FLAWED, AND DISTINCTLY FUNNY PEOPLE. WHICH THIS DAY IN AGE IS, SADLY, REMARKABLE. AND ANYTIME IT DELVES INTO PLAYING UP SEXUAL ELEMENTS IS ALMOST ALWAYS IN THE NAME OF COMMENTARY.

THE POINT IS THE 3 WOMEN ON THE SHOW ARE HULK’S 3 FAVORITE CHARACTERS ON THE SHOW. CASE IN POINT…

4) BRITTA PERRY IS BEST CHARACTER ON TV

BRITTA BEST EXEMPLIFIES EVERYTHING THAT HULK WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT. SHE IS A PERFECT MIXED BAG OF GREAT INTENTIONS, AWKWARDNESS, BLINDING PALENESS, WHITE GUILT, FALSE CONFIDENCE, GORGEOUSNESS, ALL COMBINING INTO UNINTENTIONAL HILARITY. GILLIAN JACOBS IS SNEAKILY THROWING 99MPH RIGHT NOW. WATCH:

EH WHAT THE HELL. ONE MORE. THIS ONE GIVES A SENSE OF HER INTERPLAY WITH THE GROUP:

5) EVERY WEEK COULD BE THE BEST GENRE MOVIE YOU’LL SEE ALL YEAR

DO NOT MISTAKE WHAT COMMUNITY DOES AS MERE “REFERENCES” (THOUGH THERE ARE A SHIT TON OF THOSE TOO). THE SHOW DELVES INTO DIFFERENT GENRES FOR ENTIRE EPISODES, TRANSCENDING WHAT MAKES THOSE GENRES UNIQUE AND USING THEM TO COMMENT ON THEIR OWN CHARACTERS/STORIES/IDEALS. NO TV SHOW HAS EVER EVEN COME CLOSE TO DOING THIS AS WELL. ALREADY, THEY HAVE SUCCESSFULLY INTEGRATED THE FOLLOWING GENRES: MOB MOVIES, ACTION FILMS (“MODERN WARFARE” CANDIDATE FOR ONE OF THE BEST EPISODES OF TV EVER), CONSPIRACIES, WESTERNS, ZOMBIE MOVIES, CHRISTMAS CLAY-MATION SPECIALS, DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS (TOLD WITH LOTR STYLIZATION EVEN THOUGH IT’S JUST ALL OF THEM SITTING AROUND A TABLE TALKING. IT’S PERFECT), BOTTLE EPISODES, A TV CLIP SHOW MADE OUT OF ENTIRELY NEW MATERIAL, A PULP FICTION/MY DINNER WITH ANDRE MASH-UP, APOLLO 13, 2001, AND COUNTLESS, COUNTLESS OTHERS.

5) ABED

DANNY PUDI PLAYS ABED, THE SHOW’S BREAKOUT CHARACTER. HE SPENDS MUCH OF THE FIRST SEASON AS CONDUIT FOR META COMMENTARY AND DEADPAN SEMI-ASPERGIAN WIT, BUT THE SHOW SLOWLY, SOMEHOW MANAGES TO TURN THAT SEEMINGLY LIMITED PERSONALITY INTO OF THE MOST LOVABLE PEOPLE ON TELEVISION. WON’T LINK TO ANYTHING BECAUSE IT’S NOT WORTH RUINING IT.

6) DONALD GLOVER

DONALD GLOVER IS SO FREAKING TALENTED IT IS KIND OF NOT FAIR. SERIOUSLY, NOT ONLY WAS HE ON THE FOREFRONT OF INTERNET SKETCH COMEDY WITH DERRICK COMEDY, HE THEN WROTE FOR 30 ROCK’S FIRST 3 (AND BEST) SEASONS. THEN HE GOT A LEAD IN THIS AMAZING SITCOM (A ROLE TRANSFORMS BRILLIANTLY OVER THE COURSE OF THE SHOW). AND NOW GUESS WHAT? HE IS SIMULTANEOUSLY TOURING UNDER HIS HIP HOP ALTER EGO CHILDISH GAMBINO… AND DOUBLE GUESS WHAT? HE’S FREAKING REALLY, REALLY GOOD... IT’S KIND OF RIDICULOUS.

7) IT IS BETTER THAN THE BIG BANG THEORY

YOU LIKE NERDY THINGS? HULK LIKE NERDY THINGS TOO. WHO DOESN’T THESE DAYS? THE PROBLEM IS THAT EVERY WEEK THE BIG BANG THEORY MANAGES TO DESTROY COMMUNITY IN THE RATINGS. THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM BECAUSE, WHILE THE BIG BANG THEORY IS WELL MEANING, HAS SOME LIKEABLE ACTORS ,AND DOES TECHNICALLY REFERENCE “STUFF” THAT HULK LIKES, THE SHOW IS 1) NOT THAT FUNNY 2) SAFE 3) CLOYING AND 4) A PRETTY BULLSHIT TREATMENT OF NERDS/NERD CULTURE. SERIOUSLY, IT’S PATRONIZING BULLSHIT. MEANWHILE, COMMUNITY MANAGES TO EXPLORE MANY OF THE SAME THINGS IN A FAR MORE PROFOUND WAY AND TREAT PEOPLE LIKE ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS EXISTING IN A WORLD WITH OTHER HUMAN BEINGS (EVEN WHEN SHIT GETS CRAZY). THE BIG BANG THEORY IS A DINOSAUR STRAIGHT FROM THE MIND OF 80’S NERDISM.

EVIDENCE:

8 ) CHEVY CHASE PLAYS AN OLD RACIST MAN

REPEAT: CHEVY CHASE PLAYS AN OLD RACIST MAN.

NO OTHER INFORMATION NECESSARY.

9) YVETTE NICOLE BROWN PLAYS SHIRLEY, THE MOST UNDERREPRESENTED CHARACTER ON TV

YVETTE PLAYS A YOUNG, BLACK, CHRISTIAN MOTHER INTEGRATED INTO A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO ARE TECHNICALLY NOTHING LIKE HER, TECHNICALLY CAN’T UNDERSTAND HER, AND YET THE SHOW COMPLETELY UNDERSTANDS HOW TO TREAT THAT DYNAMIC HONESTLY. YOU SEE, COMMUNITY DOES NOT USE SHIRLEY TO CRAM IN ANY HAM-FISTED IDEAS ABOUT RACE OR RELIGION. SHE IS NOT A MOUTHPIECE FOR ANYTHING, NOR MEANT TO REPRESENT ANYTHING. NOR DOES IT HAPLESSLY APE HER IDENTITY FOR COMEDY PURPOSES (AND ANY TIME IT DOES SO ARE GENIAL/LIGHT, OR PIERCE RELATED). NO, WHAT THE SHOW WANTS MOST OF ALL WITH SHIRLEY IS TO UNDERSTAND HER AND RELATE IN AS NON-CLOYING WAY AS POSSIBLE. HULK CONSIDERS THIS A TINY REVOLUTION IN TERMS OF TELEVISION’S USUAL STANCE. DAN HARMON REGULARLY ADMITS HE WOULD NOT KNOW HOW TO WRITE/REPRESENT SHIRLEY, AND SO HE MAKES THE SHOW ABOUT BOTH HOW THE CHARACTERS LEARN HOW TO RELATE TO HER, HOW TO RESPECT HER,AND MORE IMPORTANTLY HOW SHE MAKES DUE WITH THIS KIND OF EXISTENCE. SHE IS, OF COURSE, JUST A PERSON LIKE EVERYONE ELSE ON THE SHOW. YVETTE CLEARLY BRINGS SO DAMN MUCH TO THE ROLE, BUT THERE IS A KIND OF CULTURAL HONESTY AT PLAY WITH HER/SHIRLEY THAT IS FAR TOO RARE IN MEDIA THESE DAYS. OH AND IDENTITY POLITICS ASIDE, YVETTE IS A HILARIOUS WITH AMAZING RANGE AND CONTROL. WATCH:

AND WHEN THE SHOW DOES TACKLE RACE? IT OFTEN LOOKS MORE LIKE THIS:

10) KEN JEONG

AFTER HIS BRILLIANT TYRANNY IN SEASON 1, THEY HAVEN’T REALLY FIGURED OUT WHAT TO WITH HIM BUT THAT’S FINE. HE’S PLAYING A SPECIAL KIND OF BATSHIT THAT TRANSLATES BEAUTIFULLY AS PERHAPS THE BEST “JUST OFF FRAME” / “CUT TO” CHARACTER IN TV TODAY. EVIDENCE:

11) JIM RASH

IT IS A TESTAMENT TO JIM RASH’S ABILITY THAT HE IS NOW A PART OF THE MAIN CAST. HE PLAYS THE DEAN OF GREENDALE… JOHN GOODMAN CALLED HIM PANSEXUAL IN THE MOST RECENT EPISODE… THAT’S PROBABLY THE BEST DESCRIPTION. HE GETS BETTER AND BETTER WITH EVERY EPISODE. HULK’S FAVORITE MOMENT IS WHEN HE STEALS THE JEFF WINGER “COOL CAT” POSTER.

12) JOEL MCFUCKINGCHALE

COMMUNITY IS A TRUE ENSEMBLE, BUT THE GROUPS “LEADER” IS A DISGRACED LAWYER TRYING TO EARN A NOT-FAKE DEGREE. AND HE’S PLAYED BY ONE OF THE FUNNIEST PEOPLE ON THE PLANET: JOEL MCHALE. THERE IS PERHAPS NO ONE BETTER AT VOCAL INFLECTION, POINTED BARBS, AND DEFTLY WOVEN COMIC NARRATIVE THEN MCHALE. FYI, COMIC NARRATIVE IS WHEN YOU CAN EXTEND A SINGLE NUGGET OF AN IDEA/JOKE INTO A LARGER “NARRATIVE” OF A SINGLE SCENE/LINE/EXCHANGE . YES, IT’S IN THE WRITING BUT IT REALLY TAKES CERTAIN KIND OF PERFORMERS TO PULL IT OFF. LIKE THIS:

STILL, THE SHOW IS NEVER AFRAID TO PUT JEFF  IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN NEEDED (ONE OF IT’S STRENGTHS) BUT IT WHEN IT PUTS HIS BEST SKILLS ON THE FOREFRONT? PERFECT COMBINATION OF CHARACTER/ACTOR. HERE IS THE FIRST OF HIS NOW-FAMOUS COMMUNITY “SPEECHES” FROM THE PILOT.

13) BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T WATCH IT WE HAVE FAILED AS A CULTURE

AS LITTLE AS TWELVE YEARS AGO, THE FUNNIEST AND BEST SHOWS WERE ALSO THE MOST WATCHED. SERIOUSLY. THE SIMPSONS? SEINFELD? BOTH DOMINATED. NOW THERE ARE CERTAIN REASONS THAT ALL RATINGS NUMBERS ARE DIPPING (MORE FRACTURED AUDIENCES, DVRS, PEOPLE WATCHING IN OTHER WAYS) BUT THAT DOES NOT NEARLY ACCOUNT FOR THE NUMBERS COMMUNITY IS EXHIBITING. FOR ALL PEOPLE’S B.S. TALK OF THE SHOW BEING TOO “META” OR INSULAR OR WEIRD, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING DIFFERENT GOING ON FROM THE SIMPSONS OR SEINFELD. NONE. HELL, IT’S NOT EVEN COMING CLOSE TO THE MILE A MINUTE PACE AND CONSTANT REFERENCES OF THE SIMPSONS. THE ARGUMENT THAT IT IS SOMEHOW A CASE OF AVERSIONARY CONTENT HOLDING THE SHOW BACK, MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO DAMN SENSE.

SO WHAT THIS IS COMES DOWN TO IS THIS: YOU ARE NOT WATCHING IT BECAUSE YOU DO NOT REALIZE HOW MUCH YOU WILL END UP LOVING IT. SIMPLE AS THAT.

REALLY IT IS.

WHY? BECAUSE THAT’S HOW IT WAS FOR HULK.

THE FIRST SEASON ENDED AND HULK HADN’T WATCHED IT. OH HULK WAS STILL BUSY “SORT OF” WATCHING THE OFFICE AND DIDN’T “HAVE TIME” FOR COMMUNITY. ESPECIALLY SINCE HULK HAD WATCHED THE PILOT, WHICH WAS SOLID BUT NOT ENOUGH TO KEEP HULK COMING BACK (IN RETROSPECT, IT WAS BRILLIANT SET UP). IT BASICALLY TOOK A FRIEND’S INSTANCE THAT THE SHOW ABSOLUTELY HAD TO BE WATCHED. THEY DEMANDED. SO HULK GAVE IN AND NETFLIXED THE FIRST SEASON.

… HULK FINISHED IT IN 52 HOURS.

THEN HULK WATCHED THE SECOND SEASON AS IT AIRED AND WAS DELIGHTED BY THE FACT IT WORKS BEAUTIFULLY AS A WEEK-TO-WEEK SHOW TOO.

IT IS SIMPLY THE BEST COMEDY ON TV.

BUT SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED… WE’VE STOPPED WATCHING THE BEST COMEDIES ON TV… AND WE NEED TO CORRECT IT…. DESPERATELY.

YOU ARE OUT OF EXCUSES UNIVERSE.

SO FUCKING STOP IT.

WATCH THE SHOW OR HULK WILL SMASH YOUR ASS.

<3 HULK

P.S.! – BONUS TRIVIA FOR A FREE DVD OF COMMUNITY SEASON 1: WHILE THE TONE OF THE SHOW IS A BIT MADCAP, DAN HARMON FREQUENTLY CITES CHEERS AS A MAIN INFLUENCE ON THE SHOW. IN THAT SPIRIT THE FIRST PERSON TO ANSWER THESE FOUR QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND HAS NOT SEEN COMMUNITY BUT WANTS TO WILL BE SENT A FREE SEASON 1 COMMUNITY DVD BY HULK.

SO HERE GOES (IN ASCENDING DIFFICULTY): 1) WHAT WAS NORM’S WIFE NAME?

2) WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE RESTAURANT ABOVE THE BAR?

3) WHO PLAYED THE CONMAN “HARRY THE HAT” AND WHAT OTHER POPULAR SITCOM DID HE GO ON TO STAR IN?

4) NAME THE TWO ITEMS THAT CLIFF CLAVIN KARATE CHOPS IN A DEMONSTRATION OF HIS MARTIAL ARTS ABILITIES? AND WHO CARRIES HIM UP THE STAIRS AFTERWARDS?

SOMETIMES IT’S NOT FAIR TO ADORE DAVID CRONENBERG… SPECIFICALLY TO DAVID CRONENBERG.

SEE, FOR THOSE OF US WHO LOVE EVERYTHING HE’S EVER DONE: HIS BODY HORROR, HIS TRANSCENDENT WORK IN THE FLY AND DEAD RINGERS, HIS CAR CRASH SEX EPIC, HIS SO-CALLED ARTISTIC “FAILURES”, HIS RECENT ACTION/DRAMA OUTPUT, HIS SENSE OF KUBRICKIAN CONTROL, HIS ECONOMY, HIS CAPACITY TO SHOWCASE UNCANNY VIOLENCE, HIS ABILITY TO BALANCE TONE, HIS ABILITY TO BE SIMPLY BE UNIQUE…

… IT CAN BE HARD FOR US WHEN HE JUST MAKES A GREAT, REGULAR MOVIE.

WHICH IS, OBVIOUSLY, SUPER UNFAIR TO HIM.

OH THERE’S REASONS THAT TOTALLY MAKE SENSE FOR CRONENBERG TO DIRECT A DANGEROUS METHOD. BUT THE FILM IS NOT THAT CRONENBERG-Y EVEN THOUGH IT’S TALKING ABOUT CRONENBERG-Y THINGS (IF THAT MAKES SENSE). DESPITE THE NATURE OF THE CONVERSATIONS AND THE OCCASIONAL GLIMPSE OF S+ M SEXY-TIME, IT’S THOROUGHLY RESERVED IN PRESENTATION AND TONE. THE PROBLEM IS CRONENBERG USUALLY USES RESERVATION AS BUILD UP BEFORE THESE MOMENTS OF UNRESTRAINED CHAOS AND THE ABJECT WEIRDNESS HE FAMOUS FOR… BUT THOSE MOMENTS NEVER REALLY COME. WHICH MEANS THE FILM IS SOMETHING ELSE. IT’S TALKY. IT’S PERIODY. IT’S HISTORICALLY ACCURATE. IT’S LOW-ENERGY. IT’S SORT OF CRONENBERG’S VERSION OF AN MERCHANT-IVORY PIECE.

BUT IT IS ALSO VERY, VERY GOOD. DO NOT THINK OTHERWISE.

THE PAST FEW YEARS WE’VE SLOWLY BEEN SEEING HIS TRANSITION FROM DAVID CRONENBERG, MAKER OF THE  SHOCKINGLY UNIQUE, TO DAVID CRONENBERG, SERIOUS FILMMAKER. THIS IS NOT TO IMPLY HIS EARLIER FILMS WERE NOT “SERIOUS” BUT THE POINT IS YOU COULD SHOW NAKED LUNCH TO A REGULAR PERSON AND FREAK THE-LIVING-FUCK OUT OF THEM AND NOW HE’S MAKING THE KINDS OF MOVIES THAT PROBABLY WON’T. THIS IS OKAY FOR HIS FANS THOUGH BECAUSE HE’S STILL IMBUING HIS STYLE, CONTROL, AND “CRONENBERGNESS” INTO THESE MORE TRADITIONAL NARRATIVES. MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT TOTALLY WORKS.

BUT A DANGEROUS METHOD IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT. IT IS CERTAINLY A CONTINUATION OF THAT EVOLUTION AND THE TAMEST FILM HE’S EVER MADE, BUT THERE IS AN INTERESTING WAY THAT HE IS SHOWING US SOMETHING NEW:

A DANGEROUS METHOD IS ONE OF THE DRIEST COMEDIES YOU WILL EVER SEE.

VIGGO MORTENSEN, HULK SHIT YOU NOT, IS HILARIOUS AS SIGMUND FREUD. WATCHING HIM HULK REALIZED WE’VE NEVER REALLY SEEN MORTENSEN HAVE A WHOLLY COMIC ROLE BEFORE. KEEP IN MIND HE’S NOT DOING PRATFALLS OR ANYTHING- WAIT, NO THERE’S TOTALLY A PRATFALL, HULK TAKE THAT BACK… BUT THE POINT IS HE’S NOT DOING BROAD COMEDY. THIS IS DRY COMEDY. DEADPAN STARES, UNDERSTATED EXHIBITIONS OF GLARING EGO AND JEALOUSY, QUIET SHIFTS IN CONVERSATION ALWAYS COMING BACK TO THE PENIS. HULK READILY ADMITS THAT FAMILIARITY WITH FREUD IS ALMOST NECESSARY TO GET A LOT OF WHAT’S FUNNY ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE, BUT VIGGO AT ONCE DELIVERS SOMETHING THAT IS ORGANIC AND HUMAN AND YET SOMETHING THAT WHOLLY COMMENTS ON THIS LARGER-THAN-LIFE FIGURE. IT’S SMART, HILARIOUS AND MAYBE HULK’S FAVORITE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER IS JUST AS GOOD. HIS CARL JUNG ALSO GETS MILEAGE OUT OF KNOWING ABOUT A LOT ABOUT THE EQUALLY LARGER-THAN-LIFE FIGURE, BUT THE PORTRAIT OF HIM AS A YOUNGER MAN IS FASCINATING: COMPASSIONATE, IDEALIST, YET REPRESSED, ACUTELY UNAWARE. THE COMPLETE PORTRAIT OF THE HYPOCRISY OF THE WELL-INTENTIONED MAN. BUT HE IS ALSO, YES, RATHER FUNNY. FASSBENDER MANAGES TO EVOKE LAUGHS FROM THE SIMPLEST AWKWARD BACK AND FORTHS WITH HIS WIFE, THE PLAYFUL ENTRANCES AND EXITS INTO ROOMS, AND THE WAY HE SERVES HIMSELF DINNER. WE’VE KNOWN FASSBENDER IS THE REAL DEAL FOR A FEW YEARS NOW, BUT IN THIS FILM WE GET YET ANOTHER WHOLLY DIFFERENT AUGMENTATION OF HIS SO-CALLED PERSONA. HIS RANGE SEEMS LIMITLESS.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY IS A DIFFERENT SITUATION AND PROVIDES HULK AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT A WEIRD ISSUE THAT COMES UP WHEN PEOPLE DISCUSS PERFORMANCE:

THERE IS THIS FREQUENT CRITICAL COMMENT WHERE SOMEONE SAYS THEY “COULDN’T GET PAST” THE ACTOR TO SEE THE CHARACTER. HULK IS ALWAYS SORT OF SUSPICIOUS OF THIS COMMENT BECAUSE IT REEKS OF THINGS LIKE BIAS AND NOT UNDERSTANDING WHAT “ACTING” IS EVEN ABOUT. BUT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS, HULK SORT OF FELT THAT WAY. PLEASE UNDERSTAND, IT’S NOT SOMETHING LIKE HULK LOOKS AT HER SEES ELIZABETH SWANN EVERYTIME. IF FACT, HULK THOUGHT SHE ACTUALLY WONDERFUL IN ATONEMENT, BUT WITH THIS PERFORMANCE SPECIFICALLY THERE IS SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T TRANSLATE. WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO REALIZE IS IT’S NOT BECAUSE SHE IS SIMPLY “KEIRA KNIGHTLEY.” THAT WOULD BE WRONG ON EVERY CRITICAL LEVEL. EVEN IF HULK FELT LIKE HULK CAN’T GET PAST THE ACTOR, IT IS ALWAYS A MATTER OF SOMETHING ELSE MORE NUANCED. WHETHER IT IS A COMBINATION OF THE ACCENT OR DISTANCE HULK FELT FROM HER, HULK CANNOT LET THE AMBIGUITY FOR HULK’S REASONS MAKE IT COME SO HULK DEFAULTS TO SAYING SHE “MISCAST” OR SOMETHING.(1) HULK PROBABLY WAGER THAT IT IS MOST LIKELY THE FACT THAT MORTENSEN AND FASSBENDER ARE ABLE TO TELL THE EMOTIONAL STORY OF THE FILM WITH DEADPAN STARES AND LONGING EYES, WHILE KNIGHTLY HAS TO VERBALIZE HER TRAUMA/DRAMA/ID. AND EVEN STILL, THE PROBLEMS OF THE PERFORMANCE ARE NOT FROM LACK OF COURAGE. SHE THROWS HERSELF IN FULLY AND THAT IS MORE THAN ADMIRABLE.

BUT ANY PERFORMANCE SHORTCOMINGS ARE MADE UP BY THE FACT THAT HER CHARACTER, SABINA SPIELREIN, IS A REAL PERSON OF STUNNING HISTORICAL IMPACT AND ALL TOGETHER FASCINATING. IT IS INCONCEIVABLE TO HULK THAT HULK COULD KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT FREUD AND JUNG AND YET NOT KNOW OF SABINA AND HER INCREDIBLE IMPACT ON BOTH FIGURES, AS WELL AS HER IMPACT ON THE FIELD OF PSYCHOLOGY AT LARGE. THE FILM IS WORTH PRICE OF ADMISSION ALONE FOR THE HISTORICAL ILLUMINATION AND DOUBLES AS A GREAT COMMENT OF FEMINISM.

THUS, A DANGEROUS METHOD IS WORTH DOUBLE THE PRICE OF ADMISSION TO SEE CRONENBERG USE THIS HISTORICAL PRECEDENCE TO ALSO MAKE SOMETHING THAT IS ALSO WEIRDLY HILARIOUS. WHAT DOES A CRONENBERG HISTORI-COMEDY LOOK LIKE? SORT OF LIKE THE COEN BROTHERS MIXED WHATEVER MAKES TAYLOR HACKFORD MOVIES FUNNY…. HULK HAS NO IDEA WHAT THAT MEANS… THE POINT IS THAT THE EFFECT IS INTERESTING BUT NOT REVOLUTIONARY. AND PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THE FILM IS ALSO VERY SERIOUS AND OFTEN SAD. DON’T EXPECT WALL TO WALL LAUGHS, LIKE AT ALL, IT’S JUST THE COMEDIC ASPECTS STAND OUT TO HULK. IT’S FUNNY THE WAY KAFKA IS FUNNY.

SO REALLY THE ONLY LINGERING QUESTION IS HOW TO ACCEPT THIS CONSTANT EVOLUTION OF CRONENBERG, A FILMMAKER WHO DOES SOMETHING THAT IS SO PARTICULAR SO WONDERFULLY AND NOW HE HAPPENS TO BE DOING LESS AND LESS OF IT.

HULK AND HIS FANS DESPERATELY WANT TO SEE THE STRANGE THINGS THAT ENDEARED HIM TO OUR HEARTS AND INSTEAD? HE’S JUST INTERESTED IN DOING DIFFERENT THINGS.

WE STILL COOL, IT’S JUST PART OF THE PROBLEM OF ADORING CRONENBERG.

<3 HULK

ENDNOTES!

(1) THERE GREAT RECENT EXAMPLE OF SAYING CHRISTINA HENDRICKS MISCAST IN DRIVE. THIS IS INSANE. THERE IS A VERY, VERY SPECIFIC REASON SHE WAS CAST IN THAT ROLE AND HULK ARGUE IT HAS A HUGE EFFECT ON THE MOVIE. HULK WON’T SAY CAUSE IT SPOILER-Y. AND ATTENTION PERVERTS: IT’S NOT HER BOOBS.

RANDOM TRUE STORY: HULK’S FRIEND ONCE CREATED/T.A.’D A COLLEGIATE FILM STUDIES CLASS CALLED “IT CAME FROM CANADA! THE WORK OF DAVID CRONENBERG” WHICH QUITE SIMPLY HAS TO BE THE GREATEST NAME FOR A CLASS EVER.

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