SCREENWRITING 101

January 12, 2012

 

SO HULK DID A LITTLE INTERNET EXPERIMENT AND WROTE A MINI-BOOK ON SCREENWRITING.

HULK’S ONLY HOPE WITH IT IS THAT YOU FIND IT HELPFUL.

HULK SINCERELY THANK.

THE ARTICLE SO BIG IT IN TWO VOLUMES!

http://badassdigest.com/2012/01/12/screenwriting-101-1-of-2/

http://badassdigest.com/2012/01/12/screenwriting-101-2-of-2/

❤ HULK

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HULK VS. THE TWO HUGOS

December 8, 2011

HUGO IS A WONDROUS MOVIE FULL OF PURE CINEMATIC JOY.

HUGO ALSO HAS BASIC STORYTELLING PROBLEMS.

BEHOLD THE INCONGRUENCY…

http://badassdigest.com/2011/12/07/film-crit-hulk-smash-hulk-vs-the-two-hugos/

(NOTE: AT THIS POINT HULK HOPE IT CLEAR THAT HULK’S “REVIEWS” NOT REALLY TRADITIONAL WAY IN SENSE THAT ONE WOULD READ BEFORE TRYING DECIDE IF WANT SEE MOVIE OR NOT… THOUGH THEY COULD EASILY SERVE THAT PURPOSE. HULK JUST TAKING LOOK AT ONE CENTRAL ASPECT THAT HULK THINK MAKE THE MOVIE SUCCEED OR FAIL AND EXPLORING THAT CENTRAL CONCEPT FULLY. THIS SORT OF WHAT REGULAR REVIEWS SUPPOSED TO DO, BUT HULK GIVEN THE FREEDOM TO DO WHATEVER WANT SO HULK DOES SO.)

HULK WANT TO MAKE ONE THING CLEAR TO EVERY POTENTIAL STORYTELLER OUT THERE:

THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOMETHING BEING A MYSTERY AND HAVING ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE WHO ANYONE IS ON SCREEN.

GOT IT? GOOD.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND HULK NOT TALKING ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE FOLLOW A PLOT. THAT SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY… AND NOT BE A DICK OR ANYTHING, BUT HULK CAN FIGURE OUT PLOTS JUST FINE.(1)

NO, HULK TALKING ABOUT CHARACTER MOTIVATION.

WHAT THAT? IT SOMETHING VERY SIMPLE: IT A CHARACTER’S TANGIBLE GOAL/POINT OF VIEW WITHIN ANY GIVEN SCENE, AND USUALLY SPEAKS TO WHO THAT PERSON IS IN THE OVERALL CONTEXT OF FILM. THEIR MOTIVATION SOMETHING YOU INNATELY SUPPOSED TO UNDERSTAND, MADE CLEAR BY THE SIMPLEST OF CHARACTER INTERACTIONS. FLIRTATION (“I WANT TO SLEEP WITH YOU”), FEAR (“STAY AWAY MISTER!”), ETC. IT MEANS THAT WHEN TWO CHARACTERS TALK YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT ONE PERSON WANT AND WHAT ANOTHER WANTS. THEN YOU TEND TO ROOT FOR THE  ONE YOU LIKE. AND GUESS WHAT? THIS PERSON OFTEN WANT SOMETHING YOU AS THE AUDIENCE WANT TOO. AS FOR THE ONE YOU DON’T LIKE? YOU ROOT AGAINST THEM . THIS SIMPLE INTERACTION OF CHARACTER MOTIVATIONS THE ENTIRE BASIS OF CONFLICT. AND IN CASE UNAWARE, TANGIBLE CONFLICT = THE ENTIRE BASIS OF STORYTELLING.

COWBOYS AND ALIENS HAVE, LIKE, NO CLEAR CHARACTER MOTIVATION… EVER.

THE PROBLEM STARTS WITH FACT THAT THE MOVIE TAKE THEIR MAIN CHARACTER (DANIEL CRAIG) AND SMUSH TOGETHER TWO VERY BASIC ARCHETYPES: THE BAD-ASS POSTURING HERO AND THE MAN WITH NO MEMORY. IT MISCALCULATION ON THE MOST BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF CHARACTER AND STORYTELLING. THE BAD-ASS POSTURING HERO SOMEONE WHO “COOL.” TO BE SO SIMPLE AND COOL THEY MADE UP OF VERY SIMPLE MOTIVATIONS. THEY HAVE HONOR CODES AND YET TEETER ON THE EDGE OF GOOD AND BAD. AND THAT CLEARLY WHO THEY WANT THEIR MAIN DANIEL CRAIG CHARACTER TO BE. THE PROBLEM THAT HE ALSO “THE MAN WITH NO MEMORY” WHICH INNATELY A VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF PERSONALITY. THEY HAVE TO BE A DETECTIVE. A VERBALIZING CONDUIT OF EXPLANATION-AS-THEY-EXPERIENCE IT. HULK CAN THINK OF ONE OBVIOUS EXAMPLE, BUT IT AN ABSOLUTELY FIXTURE OF ANY STORYTELLING WHEN OUR MAIN CHARACTER HAVE TO UNRAVEL THE MYSTERY… BUT THE BAD-ASS HERO DOESN’T DO THAT. THEY BROOD. AND THEY WANDER.

THE NET RESULT OF THIS SMUSHING = A CHARACTER WHO WALKING AROUND WITH ABSOLUTELY NO CLEAR MOTIVATION. IT ABSOLUTELY KILLS ALL MOMENTUM AND NARRATIVE PROPULSION. MOST OF HIS INTERACTIONS INVOLVE FIGHTING PEOPLE THINGS AND HE/WE HAVE NO IDEA WHY HE DOING THAT. HE RESPONDING TO INSTINCTS OF A PERSONA WE NO TRULY UNDERSTAND UNTIL WAY, WAY, TOO LATE. AND THE WAY THESE BITS OF PERSONALITY DRIBBLED OUT COME OFF SO LIMP AND UN-REVEAL-LIKE. WHY? THE IN NAME OF… AMBIGUITY? AND ULTIMATELY, THE DETAILS FINALLY DELIVERED AS MERE LIP-SERVICE TO RENDER THEM SO TRITE AND OBVIOUS THAT THEY NOT WORTH THE MYSTERY WHATSOEVER. THE WRITERS MANAGED TO TURN THE MAN WITH NO MEMORY INTO A WASTED, AIR-LESS PURSUIT AND TURN THE BAD-ASS INTO AN EMPTY VESSEL OF POSTURE.

THIS POSING THE EXTENT OF HIS CHARACTERIZATION

HULK HOPE THAT THIS MOVIE PROVES THAT THIS SPECIFIC CHARACTER SMUSHING SHOULD NEVER, EVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

BUT HEY, IT WOULDN’T BE SUCH PROBLEM IF ALL THE OTHER CHARACTERS AROUND HIM WERE RIFE WITH MOTIVATION AND INPUT TO DRIVE THE NARRATIVE FORWARD, RIGHT? THEORETICALLY IT COULD BE THE BLANK NARRATOR WITH A COMMUNITY DRIVING THE STORY, RIGHT? PLEASE! RIGHT!??! I WANT TO LIKE THIS MOVIE!!!!!

TOO BAD THE OTHER MAIN LEAD AN INTENTIONALLY-ETHEREAL AND SOMEWHAT VACUOUS OLIVIA WILDE WHO SIMPLY SHOW UP AND DO MYSTERIOUS THINGS FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE RUNNING TIME. FOR ALL HULK KNOW SHE COULD HAVE BEEN PRETTY GOOD IN THIS MOVIE, BUT THERE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THERE FOR HER TO DO. SHE MEANT TO BE A MYSTERY BUT THERE NOTHING THERE TO BOUNCE OFF OF! MYSTERY HAS TO HAVE A CONTEXT AND THERE IS NONE. THEREFORE THERE ZERO CHARACTER MOTIVATION BETWEEN THEM. SERIOUSLY, WE MOSTLY JUST WATCH THESE TWO GRUMBLE BACK AND FORTH AND MAYBE RUN FROM ALIENS WITH THIS MYSTERIOUS AIR ABOUT THEM, NOT TALKING ABOUT ANYTHING. IT COMPLETELY, TOTALLY, INESCAPABLY POINTLESS. WORSE THAN THAT, IT’S BORING.

THERE A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NOT KNOWING WHAT A CHARACTER UP TO AND NOT KNOWING WHO A CHARACTER IS.

THIS PERFECTLY CAPTURES THEIR DYNAMIC... SERIOUSLY

EVEN ON THE MOST STRUCTURAL LEVEL, THE PROBLEM WITH STAGING THIS MOVIE AS A MYSTERY THAT WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT IT ABOUT:  IT ABOUT ALIENS VERSUS-ING PEOPLE FROM THE WILD WEST. THAT IT. THE SPECIFICS ARE ONLY INTERESTING SO FAR AS TO DRIVE THE PLOT FORWARD. AND THE SPECIFICS NOT THAT INTERESTING.

CINEMA HAVE TO HAVE PURPOSE. IT JUST DOES. IF THERE A MYSTERY, WE HAVE TO BE WITH THE CHARACTERS ON THAT TRIP INTO MYSTERY. IT MOST REQUIRE INTRIGUE AND INTRIGUE BORN NOT OUT OF “NOT KNOWING WHAT GOING ON” BUT INSTEAD THE CONFLUENCE OF CONFLICTS. AND MYSTERY DEEPENS NOT JUST BY “LASTING A REALLY LONG TIME” (FOR FUCKS SAKE THIS MOVIE TAKES FOREVER TO GET TO THE ACTUAL CONCEIT) BUT IT DEEPENS WITH REVERSALS OF CHARACTER MOTIVATION AND INTENTION! EVEN WITH BIG CHARACTER TWISTS, THE REAL TWIST NOT THAT SOMETHING/SOMEONE DIFFERENT, IT THAT THERE A TWIST IN MOTIVATION. AS FOR COWBOYS? THE CHARACTER TWIST NOT AFFECT MOTIVATION WHATSOFUCKINGEVER, JUST IDENTITY. THE WHOLE MYSTERY/TWIST/STORYTELLING SCENARIO JUST A MOST BASIC FAILURE OF WRITING ON EVERY LEVEL.

SERIOUSLY, TWO OF THE LEADS ARE MOTIVATION-ZOMBIES.

ONE GOT THE SENSE THE FILMMAKERS REALIZED THIS AND TRIED TO CREATE A HUMAN DYNAMIC THAT MAKE IT ALL WORK.

ENTER: HARRISON FORD AS COLONEL SOMETHING-OR-OTHER. HE THE GRIMY, MEAN-AS-ALL-HELL RICH LANDOWNER WITH A SHIT-FOR-BRAINS SON. HE CRASS. HE MEAN. HE ALMOST DRAWS A MAN IN HALF BUT JUST HAS HIM DRAGGED INSTEAD. HE A SON-OF-A-BITCH FOR SURE. AND AT FIRST IT GREAT. FORD CHEWING SCENERY AND HULK COULDN’T WAIT FOR HIM TO BE AN OLD BASTARD THROUGHOUT THIS THING. MAYBE HE’LL HAVE A LITTLE TURN HERE AND THERE, BUT THIS THE CHARACTER WE GIVEN AND THE AUDIENCE READY TO GO ON A RIDE WITH THIS GUY.

… THEN HE GETS THIS BIG OLE’ GOOFY CHARACTER ARC. HULK IMAGINE WE SUPPOSED TO CARE BUT UNFORTUNATELY IT ONE OF THE MOST HAPHAZARDLY WRITTEN TRANSFORMATIONS HULK CAN REMEMBER. SURE ALL THE PIECES THERE, THEY JUST REVEALED IN A COMPLETELY BAT SHIT CONTEXT AND SCENE ORDER. HE SORT OF JUST SHOWS UP AND IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON DEPENDING ON THE SCENE. EVENTUALLY ONE CAN JUST USE THE PIECES TO SORT OF MAKE SENSE WHAT HE DOING, BUT IT TAKE A LOT OF FORGIVING ON AUDIENCE’S PART. MOSTLY IT JUST STRANGE.

WHY THIS HAPHAZARDNESS IMPORTANT? BECAUSE IT GO BACK TO WHAT HULK SAID BEFORE: CHARACTER MOTIVATION. IT SHOULD BE A JOURNEY. SOMETHING THE AUDIENCE UNDERSTAND AND EVOLVES WITH. AND THAT NOT THE CASE HERE. IT SHOWCASE A COMPLETE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING. THEY HAD AN IDEA WHO THIS PERSON WAS AND WHO THEY WANTED HIM TO EVENTUALLY BE, BUT HAD NO IDEA HOW TO GET THERE. IT LIKE THROWING ALL THE INGREDIENTS IN A BOWL AND CALLING IT A CAKE (THE AUDIENCE WOULD KILL FOR HIS CHARACTER TO BE MERELY CONSIDERED HALF-BAKED). AND IT BEAR MENTIONING THAT FORD AT LEAST GIVING IT HIS ALL. HIS SNARLING BADASS THE MOST FUN HULK HAD WITH HIM SINCE 1993 (AT LEAST UNTIL THIS CLIP). AND EVEN BY THE END HIS CHEESE-BALL TAKE ON THINGS STILL PRETTY DECENT IN TERMS OF PERFORMANCE. THE WRITING JUST MAKE IT ALL A WASTE AND THAT A SHAME.

NOT THIS BIG OF A SHAME THOUGH

SO THE THREE LEADS STRIKE OUT IN TERMS OF WRITING, SO WHAT ABOUT THE REST?

OH YEAH, THERE’S A “THE REST.”

ONE COULD TELL THE AIM OF THE MOVIE TO SET UP THAT STAGECOACH-LIKE CAST OF CHARACTERS THAT WE CARE ABOUT AND MAKE UP A BIG OLE’ GANG. USUALLY THE PURPOSE OF THIS TO GIVE THE MAIN CHARACTER A CONTEXT WITHIN LARGER STORY, SHOW THE FULL RANGE OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE AND PERSPECTIVE, AND POSSIBLY PROVIDE THE AUDIENCE WITH A FEW MOMENTS TO WELL UP AND FEEL SAD WHEN ONE OR MORE OF THEM DIES. BUT THE TRUE JOY OF ANY ENSEMBLE TO SEE THEM INTERACT AS A GROUP AND THEN GIVE THEM ALL MOMENTS WITH EACH OTHER THAT DEFINE THEM IN DIFFERENT LIGHT. IT THE VERY PURPOSE OF AN ENSEMBLE.

COWBOYS, MEANWHILE, JUST DECIDES TO PAIR THEM OFF AND GIVE THEM ALL THE SAME EXACT PLOT MOTIVATIONS. THREE MAIN CHARACTERS EACH LOSE SOME SIGNIFICANT OTHER AND THEN COME ALONG ON THE HUNT TO GET THEM BACK. SURE, THEY ALL SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT PEOPLE BUT THEY ALL HAVE TO MAN UP AND FIND SOME SORT OF COURAGE IN A VERY, VERY SIMILAR WAY. IN FACT, THE MOVIE LOVE TO DOUBLE UP ON THE SAME PLOT-LINES CONSTANTLY. THERE’S THE AFOREMENTIONED CRAIG AND WILDE MYSTERY DYNAMIC. AND HARRISON NOT JUST HAVE ONE BROKEN FATHER/SON RELATIONSHIP, BUT APPARENTLY THIS COMPLETE LACK OF DEPTH DESERVING OF TWO BAD FATHER/SON RELATIONSHIPS! NATURALLY, THE MOVIE MAKES THE MISTAKE OF WAITING WAY TOO LONG TO CLARIFY THAT THIS WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENING AND HULK GUESS THE TWO ARE SUPPOSED TO COMMENT ON EACH OTHER BUT IT NOT WORK LIKE THAT WHATSOEVER. IT JUST REPETITIVE SURROGACY DUE TO THE FACT HIS SON NOT AROUND AT MOMENT. THIS KIND OF STUFF AMATEUR HOUR BY THE WAY, IN THE MOST BASIC OF SCREENWRITING CLASSES ONE LEARNS THAT WHEN YOU HAVE MULTIPLE, SIMILAR PLOT-LINES AND CHARACTER MOTIVATIONS YOU JUST ASSIMILATE THEM INTO ONE ROUNDED CHARACTER WHO HANDLES IT. UNFORTUNATELY, THESE WRITES WERE SICK THAT DAY.

AND FOR FUCK’S SAKE THERE LIKE ONE ACTUAL GROUP SCENE WHERE THEY INTERACT IN THAT WONDERFUL ENSEMBLE-Y WAY AND IT LASTS, LIKE,  FIVE SECONDS. HULK SPEAKING OF COURSE OF THE SUPER BRIEF CAMPFIRE SCENE, AND GOLLY GEE, IT HAPPENS TO BE THE VERY SCENE WHERE EVERYONE CLEARLY EXPRESSING THEIR CHARACTER MOTIVATIONS FOR ONCE! AS RESULT? BASIC CHARACTER CONFLICT! HURRAY! THEY INTERACT. THEY BOUNCE OF EACH OTHER.THE CAN FINALLY CRACK JOKES. AND IT NOT THAT THE PLOT MAKING SENSE IT THAT THE CHARACTERS FINALLY MAKING SENSE.

UGH. IT JUST MAKE HULK SMASHY. THIS STUFF NOT THAT HARD. IT REALLY NOT. IT STUFF THAT JUST GETS PASSED ALONG THE CRAZY CONFUSION OF GREEN-LIGHTING A MOVIE WITHOUT A SCRIPT.

THE RESULT JUST AN ABSOLUTE DEBACLE OF A SCREENPLAY.

EVEN THIS PART SUCKS

… SO WHO ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE? THAT WHAT MATTERS, RIGHT? ACCREDITED BLAME?

FIRST OFF, THIS MOVIE HAD LIKE 19 WRITERS (OKAY 5 CREDITED PLUS ONE EXTRA FOR STORY) BUT THAT MEAN ONE OF TWO THINGS. EITHER SOMEONE FUCKED UP WHAT ALREADY THERE OR NO ONE COULD EVER FIGURE IT OUT… HULK LEANING TO THE LATTER. ESPECIALLY GIVEN THAT THE PRIMARY FAILURE AT THE MOMENTUM-KILLING SMUSHING OF CRAIG’S TWO ARCHETYPES.

THE BIGGEST “NAME” WRITER ATTACHED TO THIS MOVIE = DAMON LINDELOF. HULK LOVED LOST AS MUCH NEXT HULK (ALBEIT SOME PROBLEMS WITH THE FINALE). BUT USUALLY HE MUCH MORE CAPABLE THAN THIS. HE NOT HAPHAZARD. HIS CHARACTERIZATION SO DAMN FUCKING STRONG. SURE, HE INDULGE IN “MYSTERY” FAR TOO MUCH FOR OWN GOOD AND PERHAPS THAT WHY THIS SCRIPT HEADED THAT WAY, BUT IT ALWAYS GROUNDED. BUT WHO KNOWS. MAYBE HE THE CULPRIT WHO TRIED TO IMBUE THESE MAIN CHARACTERS IN THE UNKNOWN WHEN THAT PRECISELY WHAT ROB THE MOVIE OF MOMENTUM INSTEAD OF ADDING INTRIGUE. HULK NOT KNOW.

THEN THERE THE WRITING TEAM OF MARK FERGUS AND HAWK OSTBY, WHO RESPONSIBLE FOR THE AWESOMELY-WRITTEN IRON MAN (JUST THE FIRST ONE), A GREAT LITTLE FIRST MOVIE CALLED FIRST SNOW, AND THEN A MOTHER-FUCKING STRAIGHT UP MASTERPIECE IN CHILDREN OF MEN. WHERE ARE THEY IN THIS MOVIE? HULK HAVE NO IDEA. THE WHOLE THING COULD HAVE BEEN THEIR FAULT, IT JUST THAT HULK CAN NO IMAGINE ALL THE PROBLEMS IN THIS THEIR FAULT. THEIR TRACK-RECORD TOO GOOD. THIS EDUCATED-BIAS? SURE. BUT THAT THE INFORMATION AT HAND.

WHICH LEAVES ROBERT ORCI AND ALEX KURTZMAN.

HULK THINK THEY SHOULD JUST GO AWAY… NOW.

HOW THESE TWO SOME OF THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER BLOCKBUSTER WRITERS AROUND? THEY NOT WRITTEN ONE GOOD SCREENPLAY THAT SHOW ANY SORT OF COMPETENT WRITING. AT ALL.

THEY JUST SEEM HAVE TWO GREAT CENTRAL RELATIONSHIPS (JJ ABRAMS AND MICHAEL BAY) AND INCREDIBLE PENCHANT FOR FINDING PEOPLE TO CINEMATICALLY-POLISH THEIR TURD-LADEN SCRIPTS. IN ORDER: STAR TREK (GREAT DIRECTION) AND MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III (SOLID DIRECTION) THE FIRST TRANSFORMERS (MEH). BUT EVERYTHING ELSE A FESTERING SHIT-PILE OF METRICALLY-QUANTIFIABLE ASS-RAPE: TRANSFORMERS 2 REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, THE ISLAND, THE LEGEND OF ZORRO (THE TERRIBLE 2005 SEQUEL) AND A LOT OF REALLY BAD TV RANGING FROM HAWAII 5-0 TO HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS. (2)

WELL HOW ABOUT THAT? WHAT THE CENTRAL THROUGH-LINE OF PRETTY MUCH ALL THESE MOVIES?

TERRIBLE PLOTTING AROUND THE AIR OF “MYSTERY” AND LACK OF TANGIBLE CHARACTER MOTIVATION CAUSING IT.

DING. DING. DING WE HAVE OUR WINNERS IN THE WHO-RUINED-COWBOYS-AND-ALIENS-SWEEPSTAKES!

OKAY, AGAIN, THIS TOTALLY UNFAIR. HULK NOT KNOW THE REAL STORY. NONE OF US WILL WITHOUT INSIDE INFO AND ALL THIS JUST HULK GOING OFF EDUCATED BIAS. NOTHING MORE. THE FINISHED SCRIPT COULD HAVE EASILY JUST THE RESULT OF GOOD INTENTIONS BUT TOO MANY COOKS IN THE KITCHEN. BUT THE AUDIENCE STILL PAY THE PRICE ON END RESULT: IT A BADLY WRITTEN MOVIE NO MATTER WHAT FUCKED IT UP.

WHICH MAKE IT UNFORTUNATE THAT MOST OF THE REPERCUSSIONS GOING TO GO TO JON FAVREAU ON THIS. HULK PRETTY SURE THIS MOVIE WILL NO BE HIT. HULK LIKE JON FAVREAU AS DIRECTOR A LOT. HE NOT EXACTLY TONE DEAF WITH COWBOYS, BUT HE TRYING TO WRANGLE ATMOSPHERE OUT OF A SCRIPT THAT HAVE NO PURPOSE. SOMETIMES HE AIR ON THE SIDE OF WESTERN VISTAS, OR TOUGH GUY ACTION, OR BROAD COMEDY, OR WTF IS HAPPENING-LEVEL-MYSTERY. BUT ULTIMATELY NONE OF THOSE THINGS HIS STRONG SUIT. HIS STRONG SUIT = CHARACTERIZATION.  LOOK AT THE CAREER: THE IRON MAN MOVIES, ELF, SWINGERS, ZATHURA(3) THE STRONGEST PART OF EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE MOVES THE CHARACTERIZATION. SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN HE GIVEN A SCRIPT WITH ABSOLUTELY NO CLEAR CHARACTER MOTIVATION? IT PROVES THAT ANYONE TALENTED CAN HAVE THE RUG TAKEN OUT FROM THEM.

IT JUST MAKE HULK SAD…

OH AND BY THE WAY. IT 2011. AS MUCH AS WE NEED MOVIES ABOUT THE COMPLEXITY OR RACE RELATIONS IN THE MODERN WORLD, IT NO LONGER 1996. WE CAN DO AWAY WITH THE OBLIGATORY “RACISM IS BAD” PLOT-LINES. OKAY? GOOD.

GO SEE ATTACK THE BLOCK INSTEAD.

TRUST

ENDNOTES:

(1) HULK THINK HULK HAVE PRIMER FIGURED OUT… MOSTLY.

(2) HULK SORRY IF YOU OFFENDED BY ASS-RAPE TERM. HULK TALKING MORE ABOUT THE CONCEPT OF VIOLATION HERE. BESIDES, IT A JOKE. BUT SERIOUSLY, THEIR MOVIES HAVE TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE SCRIPTS.

(3) ZATHURA GETS REMEMBERED AS THE THROWAWAY JUMANJI SEQUEL THAT STARRED DAX SHEPARD BUT IT REALLY WELL MADE FAMILY FILM… SERIOUSLY.

SO HULK SAW CAPTAIN AMERICA LAST NIGHT AND HULK LIKED IT VERY MUCH SO.

IN FACT, IT FLIRT BETWEEN BEING PRETTY GOOD AND BEING AN OUTRIGHT BLAST. THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH “REVIEWING” IT, THAT ASIDE FROM ONE INTERESTING ASPECT THERE ALSO NOT A LOT TALK ABOUT. IF HULK DID, SO MUCH WOULD BE SIMPLY LISTING OF “YEAH, THAT WORKED. AND THAT WORKED. SO DID THAT.” AND SO ON. BUT THAT THE MIRACULOUS THING, IT NOT TRY COAST ON ANY SINGULAR OUTSTANDING ASPECT AND INSTEAD RELY ON THE BASIC TENETS OF STORYTELLING AND DO EVERYTHING WELL. WHICH THE RAREST THING IN A BLOCKBUSTER THESE DAYS.

FOR THE SAKE OF BEING THOROUGH A FEW SHORT BLURBS WILL SUFFICE:

THINGS THAT FIT RIGHT INTO PLACE:

1) CHRIS EVANS NAILS HUMILITY – THAT PARAMOUNT TO EVERYTHING. CAP NOT CHARMING AND WITTY LIKE IRON MAN. HE NOT PROUD, BOASTFUL, AND FUNNY LIKE THOR. HE NOT DARK, BROODING, AND TORTURED LIKE HULK.(i) NO, CAP SOMEONE WHO EARNEST, SHY, AND INHERENTLY “GOOD.” AS STUPID AS HULK FEEL HAVING TO EVEN SAY THIS, THAT ACTUALLY VERY HARD THING HAVE COME ACROSS ON SCREEN. ONE IMAGINES YOU COULD PROP UP ANYONE INTO THAT ROLE, BUT THEN THEY WOULD JUST COME OFF AS EITHER  BLANDY-BLANDERSON OR A GUY WHO SUPER PREACHY/COCKY. SO ACHIEVING THAT STASIS OF HUMILITY RATHER DIFFICULT. BUT HULK ALWAYS KNEW EVANS HAD THAT RANGE IN HIM. IT MAY BE HARD TO IMAGINE FROM THE GUY WHO OFTEN PLAYS THE FUN-LOVING RAPSCALLION (FANTASTIC FOUR/THE LOSTERS) OR THE DOUCHEBAG ACTOR (SCOTT PILGRIM). BUT HULK SEEN SUNSHINE, A FILM IN WHICH EVANS WAS SNEAKY-REMARKABLE. HIS CHARACTER NOT EVOLVE PER SAY, BUT INSTEAD SHOW A GRADUAL RANGE. ANYWHO, THIS GOING TO ELEVATE THINGS FOR HIM AND HULK KEEP LOOKING FORWARD TO HIS FUTURE…. ALSO DAAAAYYYYYUM BOY WHERE YOU GET THEM PECKS! NOT THAT HULK IMPRESSED. HULK COULD CRUSH YOU LIKE PUNY HUMAN. HULK JUST SAYING THAT “DAAAAAYYYYUM” FOR HUMAN STANDARDS.

2) JOE JOHNSTON’S PRODUCTION DESIGN- HULK WOULD DEFINITELY VISIT THE CAPTAIN AMERICA PROP HOUSE AND BE OCCUPIED FOR DAYS AND DAYS.

3) GREAT SCORE – CHECK IT OUT!

4) A SCREENPLAY THAT KNOWS HOW TO STRUCTURE – HULK WILL DIVE IN LATER, BUT ALL THE DEVELOPMENT OF CAPTAIN AMERICA HANDLED RATHER WELL. MORE IMPORTANTLY, THEY DON’T GO AN OBTUSE ROUTE AND GIVE HIM A BIG (NEEDLESS) CHARACTER ARC. THEY RECOGNIZE IT MORE ABOUT GETTING THE WORLD TO RECOGNIZE WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE CAN BE. WRITERS CHRIS MARKUS AND STEPHEN MCFREELY DID BANG UP JOB (NOT TO MENTION UNCREDITED RE-WRITE BY JOSS WHEDON. WHO ALL OVER THIS).

5) THE HOWLIN’ COMMANDOS – DESPITE LIMITED SCREEN TIME, THEY COME ACROSS EFFECTIVELY. AND HULK PARTICULARLY LIKED THE TOUCH OF MAKING BUCKY HIS CHILDHOOD FRIEND AND PUTTING THEM THROUGH ROLE REVERSAL. IT RESONATED VERY NICELY.

THINGS THAT ARE HOME RUNS:

1) EARLY ON, STANLEY TUCCI SHOWS UP AND SUDDENLY THE MOVIE GETS CALLED UP TO THE MAJORS. HULK ALWAYS BITCH ABOUT HOW IN “AWARDS SEASON” ROLES LIKE THIS GET LEFT BY WAYSIDE JUST BECAUSE THEY NOT “SERIOUS” MOVIES. UGH. NONSENSE. SURE, HE NOT IN IT THAT LONG, BUT BY THE TIME CAP OFF IN FIGHTING NAZIS AND HYDRAS, TUCCI’S ROLE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED. HE SIMPLY INCREDIBLE IN THE FILM, ELEVATING FAIRLY STANDARD TROPE INTO SOMETHING THAT EXCEPTIONAL. HIS DOCTOR ERKSINE OBVIOUSLY WISE, BUT HE ALSO IMBUE THE CHARACTER WITH A KIND OF SOBERING HILARITY. HULK THROW AROUND WORD “TRANSCENDENT” A LOT, BUT HULK NOT USING IT TO MEAN “OMG AMAZING!” HULK USE IT TO MEAN WHEN SOMETHING WAY BETTER THAN IT SHOULD BE. WHEN IT “TRANSCEND” THE SHACKLES OF THE STATUS QUO. IN THIS CASE,  HULK ASK YOU WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO MAKE THIS ROLE ANY BETTER? HULK ARGUE NOTHING.

2) AND THE SAME GOES FOR TOMMY LEE JONES… HULK FIND THAT LIGHTING STRIKING TWICE DOWNRIGHT REMARKABLE. AGAIN, IT COULD BE JUST ANOTHER TEXTBOOK ROLE, BUT JONES SIMPLY OWNS IT. HE FULLY INVESTED, TOWING THE LINE OF FUNNY AND GRIZZLED. ANY EVIDENCE NEEDED CAN BE FOUND HIS MOST-EXCELLENT “INTERROGATION” SCENE WITH TOBY JONES (IT THE LITTLE THINGS. LIKE HOW HE CASUALLY TAKES HE STEAK BACK). HULK LOVED IT.

OKAY, PHEW. HULK DONE LISTING REPETITIVE SUPERLATIVES. SO NOW IT TIME FOR:

THE HUGE MAIN INTERESTING TALKING POINT THAT MAKE THE MOVIE WORK:

HULK WANT TO TALK ABOUT PEGGY CARTER AND STORYTELLING 101, BECAUSE HULK ARGUE THEY THE REASON THE FILM REALLY WORKS.

FOR ONE, SHE HAVE TO WORK OR ELSE THE MOVIE FAIL. WHILE IN THE SCRIPTING STAGE, THE WRITERS COULD HAVE SIDELINED PEGGY CARTER AS MERE LIP SERVICE, AS THE MAJORITY OF SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS ARE WANT TO DO WITH THESE STRANGE “WOMEN” PEOPLE. BUT INSTEAD THEY MADE CHOICE TO BRING HER TO THE FOREFRONT OF THE FILM. HULK NOT EXAGGERATING, SHE IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE MOVIE. AND IF THE FILM DIDN’T DO IT THEIR STORY JUSTICE, THEN IT WOULD HAVE FAILED EASILY.

HOLLYWOOD’S INCLINATION TO MARGINALIZE FEMALE CO-STARS TEND TO DRIVE HULK BATTY. THEN AGAIN, MOST SCREENWRITERS ARE MEN, AND A GOOD MAJORITY OF THEM WOULDN’T HAVE SINGLE CLUE HOW TO WRITE WOMEN. EVER WONDER WHY SO MANY MOVIES JUST MAKE THEIR FEMALE LEADS EITHER BACKGROUND DAMSELS OR JUST ANOTHER GRUNT WITH A GUN? (ii)

PEGGY CARTER NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS. SHE NOT HIS SIDEKICK WITH BOOBS. SHE NOT MERELY HIS “LOVE INTEREST.”

SHE SMART, CAPABLE, SOLDIERLY, AND DISTINCTLY FEMININE.

OF COURSE, NONE OF THAT POSSIBLE WITHOUT HAYLEY ATWELL.

HER

HULK THOUGHT SHE GREAT. TRUE, SHE NOT SUBLIME OR TRANSCENDENT LIKE TUCCI AND TOMMY LEE (WHO COULD BE THOUGH?) BUT SHE CONTINUE TO PROVE THAT CASTING PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN ANY MOVIE; EVEN A DECENT ACTOR CAN BRING DOWN GREAT WRITING IF THEY NOT UP TO IT OR NOT THE RIGHT FIT. IRONMAN DID 70% OF THEIR WORK THE SECOND THEY CAST ROBERT DOWNEY JR. AND GWENYTH PALTROW. CAN YOU IMAGINE ANYONE ELSE IN THAT ROLE BUT RDJ? OF COURSE NOT. IT THAT CRITICAL. SO WITH ATWELL, SURE, MAYBE THERE A BUNCH OF GREAT ACTRESSES OUT THERE WHO COULD HAVE DONE WELL WITH THIS FULLY REALIZED ROLE, BUT SHE THE ONE THEY PICKED AND SHE REALLY MADE MOST OF IT. SHE CONVEYED EVERYTHING AT RIGHT TIME, DISPLAYING A PROFESSIONAL AND DEMURE EXTERIOR, WHILE HANDLING THE FULL ROLLER COASTER OF EMOTIONS JUST THROUGH HER EYES. HULK THOUGHT EVERYTHING ABOUT PEGGY CARTER JUST SPOT ON: HER PERFORMANCE, THE DIRECTION OF HER SCENES, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THE WRITING BEHIND HER CHARACTER.

WHEN HULK TALK ABOUT “WRITING” HULK NOT TALKING ABOUT “WITTY DIALOGUE.” THE FACT THAT THAT WHAT SYNONYMOUS WITH GOOD WRITING DRIVE HULK UP WALL. BUT THEN AGAIN THAT LIKELY THE ONLY TANGIBLE DETAIL PEOPLE CAN PICK UP. NOR THE WRITING HULK TALKING ABOUT = TONE, STRUCTURE, PACE OR DETAIL (THOUGH THOSE OBVIOUSLY CRITICAL)… THE WRITING HULK TALKING ABOUT THE INVISIBLE WORK OF GIVING SCENES MEANING.

TO ILLUSTRATE, LET HULK COMPARE THE TREATMENT OF CHARACTER SCENE MEANINGS BETWEEN TWO MARVEL LEADING LADIES, CAPTAIN AMERICA‘S PEGGY CARTER AND THOR’S JANE FOSTER.

FIRST OFF, LETS WORK ON ASSUMPTION THAT BOTH PERFORMANCES EQUAL. IN THE ROLE, HAYLEY IS CHARMING, SEXY, PRESENT, AND ALL THAT GOOD STUFF. AND NATALIE PORTMAN IS, OBVIOUSLY, NO SLOUCH EITHER. FOR ALL THE FLACK THAT THOR GOT, THE TWO LEADS DO THEIR DAMNEDEST TO CREATE A SENSE OF CHEMISTRY AND ATTRACTION, BOTH OF WHICH HULK ARGUE END UP BEING PRESENT IN FINAL PRODUCT. HULK ARGUE THAT THOR EVEN MANAGED TO FIND RIGHT TONE AN ENERGY FOR THEIR SCENES (MEANING THEY “FELT” RIGHT). SO WHY DID THOR‘S RELATIONSHIP FAIL AND CAP‘S SUCCEED?

BECAUSE THEIR SCENES IN THOR HAD VERY LITTLE STORY/CHARACTER MEANING.

SORRY YOU TWO. IT NOT YOUR FAULT.

HERE IS THE NARRATIVE ARC FOR THOR AND JANE: SHE KEEP RUNNING OVER HIM WITH HER CAR. SHE THINKS HE CRAZY. SHE SO ATTRACTED TO HIS MUSCLES IT MAKE HER NERVOUS. THEY FLIRT. HE CONTINUE TO GIVE HER NO EVIDENCE THAT HE NOT CRAZY. SHE PUT TRUST IN HIM FOR SOME REASON. THEN THEY LOVE EACH OTHER FOR SOME REASON. SHE RESTORES HIS HUMILITY FOR SOME REASON. HE GETS TRAPPED BACK IN ASGARD. SHE VOWS TO KEEP SEARCHING FOR HIM.

AS MUCH AS GOODWILL AS THE TWO LEADS PUT INTO IT, THEIR STORY NEVER COMPUTES. IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEIR SCENES, THE WRITERS NOT GIVE THEM NARRATIVE REASON TO LIKE EACH OTHER, NOR GIVE THEM A STRONG ENOUGH REASON TO EVEN TRY. THE NARRATIVE REASON FOR THEIR LOVE ESSENTIALLY COME DOWN TO “PRETTY PEOPLE LIKE EACH OTHER.” WHICH IN TURN SOLELY MAKES LOVE STORY FULLY DEPENDENT ON THE ASSUMPTION OF THEY’LL “TOTALLY HAVE CHEMISTRY” OR WHATEVER. FOR EXAMPLE, BOTH THE SCENE IN THE TRAILER AND THE SCENE ON THE ROOF FEEL LIKE “NOW HERE’S THE SCENE WHERE WE ARE INTIMATE AND START LIKING EACH OTHER, SO LET’S TRY AND MAKE THAT HAPPEN.” READ: IT FELT FORCED. AND THAT NOT LOVE. IT THE IDEA OF LOVE. THOR REALLY DO HAVE A LOT OF CHARM AND ENERGY TO IT, BUT IT NOT WORK ON LARGER STORY LEVEL BECAUSE NONE OF THE SCENES HAVE MEANING OR INTENTION INGRAINED INTO IT ON A STORY LEVEL. IT JUST ASSUMED.

NOW HERE IS THE NARRATIVE ARC FOR CAP AND PEGGY (OH AND TONS OF SPOILERS AND SHIT): SHE FIRST SHOW UP AT HIS TRAINING. AT FIRST SHE THE CAUTIOUS OBSERVER, SEEING HIM THE LITTLE WEAKLING. HER FIRST INSTINCT PROTECTIVE. SHE THEN GET TO SEE HIS INGENUITY (THE FLAG) AND THEN SEE HIS HUMILITY AND COURAGE (THE GRENADE). THEY HAVE FIRST BONDING MOMENT OVER THEIR MUTUAL “HAVING TO WORK FOR IT.” SHE BEGINS TO SEE WHAT ERKSINE SEE IN HIM. BEFORE HE TRANSFORMS THEY HAVE A BRIEF “CONNECTING” MOMENT WHERE SHE GETS TO SEE HOW SHY AND GENUINE HE IS TOO. TURNS OUT THERE A PROBLEM WITH THE TRANSFORMATION AND SHE RUN OUT FOR THEM TO STOP, SHOWING FIRST TIME HOW SHE CARES ABOUT HIM. HE THEN FULLY TRANSFORMED AND SUDDENLY SHE GETS A GIRL BONER FOR HIM.(iii) THE MOMENT SUDDENLY UPENDED BY THE ATTACK ON ERKSINE, NOW MAKING THEM PRESS ON TOGETHER ALONE. WHEN CAP LATER JOINS THE WAR, SHE SEES WHAT NEUTERED STATE HE IN AND IMMEDIATELY AIDS HIM IN HIS EFFORT TO GO SAVE THE CAPTURED TROOPS. SHE THINKS HE’S DEAD. HE RETURNS A HERO. SHE CLEARLY OVERJOYED BUT KEEPS IT ON THE INSIDE. THAT NIGHT SHE SHOW UP AT BAR IN HEART-STOPPING RED DRESS. THEY HAVE BRIEF FLIRTATION ALL UNDER GUISE OF MILITARY APPROPRIATENESS. THEY HINT THAT THEY BOTH LOOKING FOR SOMEONE SPECIAL IN THEIR LIVES. THE AGREE TO MEET THE NEXT MORNING FOR TRAINING. THIS ALL COMPRISES HER FIRST “SEXUAL ADVANCE” EVEN THOUGH IT ALL VERY PROPER AND UNSAID. JUST BEFORE THE AGREED-UPON TRAINING SESSION SOME SLUT THROWS HERSELF AT CAP AND HE TRIES TO STOP IT, BUT SORT OF KISSES BACK LIKE A HELPLESS PUTZ. PEGGY SEES THIS AND IS CLEARLY DEVASTATED, ESPECIALLY COMING HOT OF THE HEELS OF ALL THE UNSAID THINGS THE NIGHT BEFORE, WHICH, AGAIN, HER VERSION OF PUTTING EMOTIONS ON THE LINE.(iv) PEGGY STERNLY GOES INTO “I DON’T CARE” MODE WHEN SHE SO TOTALLY CARES. THEY GO TO TRAINING. SHE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVELY FIRES A GUN AT HIM DURING IT (HULK NOT SURE HOW YOU PASSIVE AGGRESSIVELY FIRE A GUN AT SOMEONE BUT THAT WHAT HAPPENED AND IT NEAT). SHE LATER SEES NEWS FOOTAGE OF HIM CARRYING AROUND HER PICTURE. MONTAGES OF HIM LEADING THE WAR AGAINST HYDRA, ALL THE WHILE IT SHOWS HER WARMING BACK UP TO HIM, IMPLYING SHE UNDERSTANDS THAT THE MINOR INDISCRETION WASN’T IN HIS TRUE NATURE. ON THE LAST MISSION, BUCKY FALLS FROM THE TRAIN TO HIS DEATH. CAP CLEARLY HEARTBROKEN. SHE CONSOLES IN A GENUINE, NON-SEXUAL WAY (HULK LOVE THAT THE WRITERS NOT USE IT AS CONVENIENT EXCUSE TO BRING THEM TOGETHER. IT ABOUT BUCKY). AFTER SOBERING NATURE OF THE TRAGEDY, CAP AND PEGGY BACK ON SAME LEVEL OF RESPECT. THEY GO TO THE FINAL MISSION AGAINST RED SKULL. SHE SAVES HIS BUTT ONCE. AS THEY SPEED AWAY IN CAR CHASING AFTER RED SKULL, SHE RECOGNIZES PERHAPS HER LAST CHANCE TO KISS HIM AND SO SHE DOES. EVEN IF CHEESY, IT EXTREMELY CATHARTIC FOR AUDIENCE BECAUSE THEY BUILT IT UP PERFECTLY. (IT HELP THAT TOMMY LEE JONES GET GREAT LINE AFTER) CAP GO OFF. HE BEAT RED SKULL. THE PLANE GOING DOWN AND ONLY WAY SAVE EASTERN SEABOARD TO CRASH THE PLANE INTO THE ARCTIC. HE GET ON RADIO WITH THE TWO OF THEM TALK IN KIND OF HOKEY SPEECH ABOUT MAKING A DATE, BUT IT STILL TRUE TO THE CHARACTERS/RELATIONSHIP SO IT WORK. AND THEN IT IMMEDIATELY STOP BEING HOKEY WHEN THE SIGNAL ABRUPTLY CUT OUT. AT THAT POINT IT GUT WRENCHING. SHE EMOTIONALLY CRUSHED. THE SEARCH FOR HIS BODY NO TURN UP ANYTHING. LATER ON, SHE CHECK HIS FILE, SEES THE PICTURE OF HIM AS THE 90 POUND WEAKLING, SHOWING HOW FAR HE/SHE CAME FROM BEGINNING. SHE MARKS HIS FILE INACTIVE. SHE PRESS ON.

HMMM. NOTICE A DIFFERENCE?

THIS MAY SEEM LIKE HULK CHEATING AND JUST BOTHERED TO WRITE A LOT MORE DETAILS FOR CAP, BUT IT NOT THE CASE AT ALL. IT JUST THAT THERE SO MUCH MORE STUFF THERE.

THAT BECAUSE IT A GODDAMN STORY.

CHEERS EVERYONE

THE RELATIONSHIP IN THOR, MEANWHILE. NOT AN ACTUAL STORY. IT JUST TRIED TO COAST BY ON THE GOOD VIBES, WHEREAS THE CAP SCREENPLAY DID ALL THE FREAKING WORK IN THE STORY. DOING THAT ALLOWS THE ACTORS COULD TO JUST SHOW UP AND MAKE IT AWESOMER. IT NIGHT AND DAY IN TERMS OF APPROACH. BETTER YET, IT SHOWCASE THAT IT NOT THE AMOUNT, IT WHAT YOU PUT IN THE AMOUNT. HULK WOULD EVEN BET THE TWO CHARACTERS, PEGGY AND JANE, NOT HAVE A WILDLY DISPARAGING NUMBER OF LINES IN EACH FILM.

HULK’S FAVORITE PART THAT CAPTAIN AMERICA ACHIEVED NOT THROUGH SOME SUBLIME TRANSCENDENCE OF FILMMAKING INSIGHT, BUT BY PAYING ATTENTION TO SCREENWRITING 101. LOOK AT THAT SUMMARY AGAIN. IT NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, IT JUST THAT EVERY SINGLE SCENE THEY FOCUSED ON MAKING IT HAVE SOME MEANING TO THE CHARACTERS. EVERY SCENE IS ADDED LAYER TO THEIR RELATIONSHIPS. EVERY SCENE MARK A NOTCH OF PROGRESSION.

PEGGY CARTER WORKS BECAUSE SHE THE TRUE SECOND LEAD IN THE MOVIE. SHE NOT MERE LIP SERVICE, BUT ABSOLUTELY INTEGRAL. SHE THE REASON WE CARE ABOUT CAP.

PEGGY CARTER WORKS BECAUSE HER SCENES INTERWOVEN INTO THE NARRATIVE WITH DEFT TOUCH. IT NOT LIKE ‘HEY, HERE THE PEGGY SCENES!” NOT BY LONG SHOT. THEY COMPLETELY ORGANIC. FUCK, THEY INTRINSIC TO EVERY OTHER PART OF CAP’S JOURNEY. WHEN THERE A CHANGE IN HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH PEGGY IT USUALLY WHAT LEAD TO HIM HAVING NEW MOMENT OF CONFIDENCE IN HIS OTHER STORY LINES AS A SOLIDER OF VICE VERSA. PEGGY NOT JUST SOMEONE WHO THERE TO SERVE AS FOIL OR DEUS EX MACHINA OF MAIN CHARACTER. IT RECIPROCAL.

PEGGY CARTER WORKS BECAUSE HER RELATIONSHIP WITH TOMMY LEE JONES’S GENERAL CHARACTER JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE ONE WITH CAP. EVEN WITHOUT A LOT OF SCREEN TIME, EVERYTHING DONE WITH LITTLE EXCHANGES. TOMMY LEE PUT A GREAT DEAL OF TRUST IN HER SO HE EXPECTS A LOT. SHE EAGER TO PLEASE HIM AND CAUGHT BETWEEN THAT AND HER FAITH IN CAP. THE SCRIPT NEVER FORGETS THIS. IN THE LAST MOMENTS, THE THREE OF THEM HEADING IN CAR TO CATCH RED SKULL, AND THEIR BRIEF INTERACTIONS SAY EVERYTHING. NOW THAT ECONOMY!

PEGGY CARTER WORKS BECAUSE THERE AN ACTUAL RELATIONSHIP THERE. A WELL-DEVELOPED CORE. IT NOT JUST PART OF THE STORY. IT IS THE STORY.

WE KNOW IT THE STORY, BECAUSE WHEN THE MOVIE ENDS, HULK ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE IT A GENUINE TRAGEDY THEY DIDN’T GET THEIR DATE. THE MOVIE PROVED, BEYOND SHADOW OF A DOUBT, THAT THEIR RELATIONSHIP DESERVED IT.(v)

AND LASTLY, PEGGY CARTER WORKS BECAUSE THE REAL CAP AGREES THE GOT HER RIGHT. SO HERE TO FINISH THE ARTICLE, HULK GOING ASK CAPTAIN AMERICA PARTICIPATE.

HEY FELLAS!

THE FOLLOWING TRANSCRIBED FROM RECORDED CONVERSATION.

Captain America: What do I do?

HULK: JUST TALK INTO THE MICROPHONE.

Captain America: Oh okay. I’m still having trouble with that phone you gave me.

HULK: IT AN IPHONE. IT NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

Captain America: You say to the guy who still freaking out about Television.

HULK: SO YOU LIKE THE MOVIE?

Captain America: Oh sure. Yeah. It was really swell.

HULK: WHAT IT LIKE WATCHING YOUR LIFE STORY PUT UP ON SCREEN?

Captain America: Well, you’d know, it’s a little weird. Going back to those days, you know everything is so different now. It’s just hard seeing something you lived through. The war was a lot more grim than that and how many people died for real. They don’t just get vaporized into blue puffs of smoke. It grizzly. I mean I understand why the comics and the movie don’t show the rough stuff. I get it. It’s just hard, you know?

HULK BUT YOU FELT LIKE IT CAPTURED WHAT YOU WERE ABOUT?

Captain America: Yeah, I know it sounds cheesy, but we believed in what we were doing. Most of the guys weren’t saints or nothing, that’s for sure. But we thought it was important. Schmit. Hitler. All of it. We really thought it needed to be done. Any soldier has to really. I know the wars that happened while I was frozen, I guess they were… less noble minded? I dunno. I get it, but sometimes it’s not about politics. For me at least, it’s about home. People always call me a patriot. I dunno about that.  I just see my country as my home.

HULK: HULK GIVE YOU CRAP ABOUT YOUR OLD FASHIONED SENSIBILITY/POLITICS ALL THE TIME, BUT YOU KNOW HULK JUST KIDDING RIGHT? HULK THINK YOU ONE OF MOST HONORABLE MEN HULK EVER KNOWN.

Captain America: [respectful nod]

HULK: AND WHAT ABOUT PEGGY?

Captain America: Yeah, Peggy, that was um… that was… that was hard to watch honestly. You know. I don’t really talk about it. I mean… Yeah. I loved her, plain as day. And when I think about what we missed out on. It breaks my heart. It really does [Cap starts to tear up a little, Hulk does too]. But I like to think she understand. I have to think that. We both believed in something bigger than ourselves. It’s part of the reason we got along. And there so many others that lost out on the future too. Countless. It’s just to me… well…

… she was the best.

ENDNOTES:

(i) CAP ALSO HAS SHITTY TASTE IN MOVIES

(ii) THE THINKING OF GIVING THE FEMALE CO-STAR A GUN USUALLY A QUICK FIX SO SHE CAN BE INVOLVED AND KICK ASS IN THE NAME OF BEING SORT OF EQUAL! BUT USUALLY THEY JUST THERE SO THE MAIN ACTOR CAN KISS SOMEONE FOR THE SOLE REASON TO MAKE ACTION MOVIES SEEM LESS GAY… WHAT?! THAT NO HOMOPHOBIC. GUYS IN ACTION MOVIES ARE OFTEN, FOR LACK OF BETTER PHRASE, SUPER EXTRA GAY. MEN BEING DEVOTED TO OTHER MEN = EXACTLY WHAT BIG SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER ENTERTAINMENT ABOUT. WHAT STARTED WITH TOP GUN HAS TRANSCENDED DOWN THROUGH THE GENERATIONS OF MORPH INTO OTHER DEEPLY CLOSETED SOCIAL ENTERTAINMENTS LIKE ENTOURAGE. AND SERIOUSLY, BAD BOYS 2 = ONE OF THE GAYEST MOVIES EVER MADE. THE ONLY REASON MOST FEMALES AROUND SO THAT THE LEADS OF THESE MOVIES CAN APPEAR TO BE STRAIGHT… OKAY HULK HYPERBOLE-ING, IT JUST A FUN SUBTEXT TO LOOK AT THINGS IN.

(iii) TO BE FAIR, EVERYONE SHOULD GET A BONER WHEN COMES OUT OF THE TRANSFORMING CHAMBER.

(iv) AND YOU KNOW THIS SCENE REALLY WORKED CAUSE AN AUDIENCE FULL OF DISAFFECTED MARVEL NERDS GASPED ALOUD. THE RELATIONSHIP MATTERED TO THE JADED AUDIENCE! AGAIN, HULK REALLY LOVE THAT THIS MOMENT COME AFTER THE RED DRESS BRIEF FLIRTATION. IF PEG AND CAP HAD KISSED OR DONE MORE? IT WOULD HAVE FELT A WHOLLY DIFFERENT KIND OF WRONG. IT MAY SEEM STUPID OR OBVIOUS, BUT HULK ARGUE THIS KIND OF UNDERSTANDING = VITAL. WANTING CHARACTERS TO HOOK UP WAY MORE DRAMATICALLY INTERESTING. THEN CHARACTERS HOOKING UP AND DEALING WITH MESSY AFTERMATH (WHICH SEEM TO BE WHOLE GENRE NOWADAYS WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED AND FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS). EVEN IF OBVIOUS, HULK THINK THE WHOLE THING SHOWCASES SOMEONE HAVING WONDERFUL UNDERSTANDING OF CHARACTER MOTIVATION… YOU BE SURPRISED HOW MANY MOVIES DON’T.

(v) SO HULK JUST WANT MENTION THAT APPARENTLY THE VERY ENDING HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH JOE JOHNSTON AND IT FILMED WITHOUT HIS PRESENCE OR BLESSING AND THAT VERY CLEAR. WHILE IT SET UP THE AVENGERS AND WORKS AS “COOL SCENE” IT COMPLETELY TONE DEAF TO MOVIE THAT PRECEDED IT. SPECIFICALLY HOW IT END ON THAT FUNNY LINE OF “I MISSED A DATE…” IT NOT FUNNY. GIVEN HOW GREAT THEIR RELATIONSHIP WORKED IT A FUCKING TRAGEDY, NOT AN IRONIC ENDING LINE. THAT SCENE SHOULD HAVE BEEN HEARTBREAKING.* ANY FUCK. IT NOT THAT BIG A DEAL. IT JUST WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET DIRECTORS NOT DO THEIR FUCKING JOBS.

* AND NOT TO LAUNCH INTO CONJECTURE. BUT HULK TOTALLY THOUGHT WE HEADING FOR SCENE OF CAP SHOWING UP AND DANCING WITH 90 YEAR OLD PEGGY CARTER. WHILE THAT SOUND SCHMALTZY AS FUCK, IT WOULD HAVE PERFECTLY FIT MOVIE AND HULK WOULD HAVE BEEN CRYING LIKE A LITTLE SCHOOL-HULK. WHAT?! YOU HAVE NO SOUL! SHUT UP! AND KEEP IN MIND THIS SCENE COULD STILL SHOW UP IN AVENGERS BUT HULK ARGUE IT BE LESS IMPACTING IN SEPARATE MOVIE, AND NOT COMING AT THE END OF THEIR MOVIE.

HULK WANT TALK ABOUT MASTERPIECES FOR A MOMENT IF YOU NO MIND.

FOR PHRASE THROWN AROUND LOT, IT SOMETHING NOT AS WELL-DEFINED AS SHOULD BE. SURE, WHEN SOMEONE SAY MASTERPIECE WE UNDERSTAND THE IMPLICATION; IT MEAN “BEST OF THE BEST” OR “TIMELESS” OR SOMETHING OF EQUAL MEASURE. BUT WHAT WE NO CAN AGREE ON = WHAT IT TAKE FOR MOVIE TO GET SUCH RAREFIED STATUS.

IN INTEREST OF UNDERSTANDING, HULK GOING ATTEMPT DEFINE MASTERPIECE AS FOLLOWING: A FILM THAT SEEK TO ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING (OFTEN VERY SPECIFIC) AND IT EXECUTE THAT GOAL (OR SET OF GOALS) FLAWLESSLY THROUGHOUT.

OK, THAT STILL LEAVE LOTS OF GRAY AREA. HULK WANT ILLUSTRATE BETTER. FOR EXAMPLE, PEOPLE MIGHT ARGUE “WELL, MICHAEL BAY JUST HAVE GOAL OF ENTERTAINING YOU AND THROW COOL ACTION ON SCREEN. ARE THEY MASTERPIECES TOO?” NO. NOT AT ALL. IF YOU SAY THAT THEN YOU AN IDIOT WHO TOTALLY MISSING POINT.  THE GOAL CANNOT BE “MAKE YOU LAUGH A FEW TIMES” AND IT CAN NO BE “KEEP YOU OCCUPIED FOR 2 HOURS.” UNLIKE MICHAEL BAY MONSTROSITIES, AN AUDIENCE MEMBER CAN LOOK AT EVERY SCENE OF A MASTERPIECE AND SAY THIS SCENE DIRECTLY AIMING TOWARD ONE OF THE GOALS OF MOVIE AND THEN IT EXECUTE SAID GOAL BEAUTIFULLY.

IT CAN BE ANY GOAL REALLY: ESTABLISHING CHARACTER, MOTIVATION, PLOT, TONE, EVEN JUST PROVIDING A MOMENTARY THRILL (BUT OFTEN YOU NEED TO EXECUTE THAT OTHER STUFF TO GET PEOPLE TO CARE ABOUT THE THRILL). LOOK AT MOVIES WITH PERFECTLY TOLD PLOT ECONOMY, LIKE THE FRENCH CONNECTION OR ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN. LOOK AT CHARACTER PIECES LIKE CITIZEN KANE, WHICH PEEL BACK LAYERS TO SHOW THE COMPLETE PICTURE OF A TRAGIC HUMAN BEING. THEY CAN BE MASTERPIECES OF VISUAL AND LANDSCAPE STORYTELLING LIKE THE WORK OF TERENCE MALICK. OR LOOK AT TONAL MASTERPIECES LIKE 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, WHICH SHAPE A PICTURE OF HUMANITY IN THE COSMIC SCALE USING LARGELY SYMBOLIC MEANS. AND FOR SOME REASON, SOCIETY THINK MASTERPIECES CAN ONLY BE HIGH-BROW FARE. HULK CONSIDER SPIDER-MAN 2 JUST AS MUCH A MASTERPIECE AS ANY OF THOSE OTHER MOVIES. IT A FILM THAT BEST CAPTURE BOTH GOLDEN AGE SPIRIT OF COMICS, BUT ALSO THE THINGS COMICS ABOUT: HEROISM, DUTY, AND BALANCING LIFE AMIDST THOSE DIFFICULTIES. WE MAY TAKE THOSE CONCEPTS FOR GRANTED, BUT NO FILM DONE IT BETTER. AND THEN THERE ABSURD COMEDIES LIKE DUCK SOUP WHICH AIM AND SUCCEED IN PILING GAG AFTER GAG OF LAUGHS ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER AT LUDICROUS PACE. THERE HORROR MOVIES LIKE HALLOWEEN AND LET THE RIGHT ONE IN WHICH DELIVER PERFECT FRAME AFTER FRAME OF QUIET, UNSETTLING ATMOSPHERE AND EVEN BETTER HORRIFIC CONCEPTS THAT KEEP AUDIENCE GOING LONG AFTER THE JUMP SCARES. ALL THESE MOVIES AIMING AT DIFFERENT THINGS, BUT ALL THESE MOVIES SUCCEED BRILLIANTLY. BETTER YET, THEY OFTEN TRANSCEND THE SHACKLES OF THEIR GENRE OR SIMPLE AIMS TO BECOME SOMETHING MORE. WE USE WORDS LIKE “CLASSICS” BUT WHAT WE REALLY SAYING IS THEY STRIKE DEEP INTO THE HEARTS OF THEIR AUDIENCE, NO MATTER HOW GENERAL OR SPECIFIC THAT AUDIENCE MAY BE.

IN OTHER WORDS, A MASTERPIECE HAS TO BE THE BEST POSSIBLE VERSION OF WHAT IT TRYING TO BE.

SO LET HULK GET DOWN TO IT: ATTACK THE BLOCK = A FUCKING MASTERPIECE.

THE POSTER PERHAPS NOT CONVEY THAT

*** NOTE: IF HULK HAD WORD LIMIT HULK WOULD TALK ABOUT ONE THING IN THIS FILM VERY SPECIFICALLY AND IT AT BOTTOM. AS MUCH AS HULK WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THIS ASPECT AND ONLY THIS ASPECT FOR WHAT MAKE THE FILM SO GREAT, IT REALLY MAKE MORE SENSE LOGICALLY TO END WITH IT… BUT STILL, THIS A LONG REVIEW AND HULK REALLY WANT YOU READ THE LAST PART MOST OF ALL. SO IF INTEREST WANING AT POINT IN THIS, SKIM TO BOTTOM TO WHERE YOU SEE THESE AGAIN *** THANKS – HULK.

BACK TO REVIEWING THE MASTERPIECE!

THE PLOT DESCRIPTION OF ATTACK THE BLOCK RATHER STRAIGHTFORWARD: FIVE URBAN YOUTHS FROM THE SOUTH LONDON PROJECTS DEFEND THEIR HOME WHEN ALIENS ATTACK FROM THE SKY. A FEW OF YOU MAY BE SHAKING YOUR HEADS. SERIOUSLY, HULK? YOU CALLING SOMETHING LIKE THAT A MASTERPIECE? YIKES.

FIRST OFF, YES.

SECOND OFF, HULK JUST SPEND GIANT PARAGRAPH EXPLAINING HOW ANY KIND OF FILM CAN BE MASTERPIECE SO YOU NOT REALLY LISTENING.

THIRD OFF, MOST EVERYONE ELSE HULK KNOW WHO SEEN IT HAD EXTREMELY POSITIVE REACTION TOO.

FOURTH OFF, IF IN VERY LEAST YOU JUST WANT A GOOD FUN/SCARY MOVIE THEN IT PLAY LIKE GANGBUSTERS.

FIFTH OFF, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY EMBRACE MORE GENRE STUFF. JUST SAYIN.

OKAY, BACK TO WHAT IMPORTANT. ATTACK THE BLOCK MAY BE TRYING TO SIMPLY MAKE EFFECTIVE “LOCALIZED INVASION” MOVIE, BUT IT DO SO ON A WHOLLY STUNNING LEVEL. FOR A SMALL BUDGET /SMALL LOCATION, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT THE PRODUCTION FEEL LIMITED. THE CAMERA WORK REEK OF EXPERT CARE. IT GIVE GREAT SENSE OF GEOGRAPHY AND SPACING. AND ANY TINY BIT OF STYLIZATION ONLY DONE FOR MAXIMUM EMOTIONAL IMPACT. THE EDITING? RAZOR SHARP AND FOCUSED. EVERY CHASE BREATHLESS. EVERY ATTACK PULSE POUNDING. EVERY QUIET MOMENT = TENSION-FILLED. HECK, EVERY JOKE BETTER TIMED THEN IT WRITTEN (A MAGNIFICENT COMPLIMENT). IT ONE OF THE FEW PULPY MOVIES THAT UNDERSTAND TENSION > GORE AND ACT ACCORDINGLY. BUT AT TIMES WHEN GORE CALLED FOR, THEY PUNCTUATE SO THE IMPACT DEEPLY FELT IN CHARACTERS. AND THE SOUNDTRACK, GOOD GOD, THE SOUNDTRACK… IT ABSOLUTELY PROPULSIVE. IT NOT JUST COMPLIMENT  TONE AND MOOD BUT CREATE THEM. IT HAVE THIS INESCAPABLE TEXTURE AND RHYTHM. IT ON THE LIST OF HANDFUL OF MOVIE SCORES THAT HULK WANTED TO FIND IMMEDIATELY AND BUY AFTER SEEING (OTHER RECENT EXAMPLES: ONCE, THE SOCIAL NETWORK).

NEEDLESS FOR HULK SAY, JOE CORNISH AND HIS TEAM TO BE COMMENDED FOR SOME TOP-FLIGHT FILMMAKING. HULK VERY EXCITED ABOUT THEIR FUTURE.

HULK EXPECTING SOME VERY GOOD MOVIES FROM THIS GUY

“TRUTH.

AND DESPITE THIS ALL-CONSUMING PROFESSIONALISM THERE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HOMOGENIZED ABOUT ATTACK THE BLOCK. THESE ACTORS NEVER SEEN BEFORE. THEY, LIKE THE MOVIE, COMPLETELY EARNEST. IT ONLY HELP CEMENT WHAT FEEL DEEPLY ORIGINAL. CUE: THE GREAT LOOKING MONSTERS! THEY SOMETHING BETWEEN XENOMORPHS AND GORILLAS, ALL WITH WITH ONE DISTINCT, REOCCURRING VISUAL CUE THAT SO GOOD HULK NOT WANT TO SPOIL. LIKE THE MONSTERS, THE SETTING OF THE FILM VIBRANT AND FRESH, YET THERE NO INTEREST IN BEING MYOPIC. THE AUDIENCE GET UNDERSTAND THE WORLD OF THE FILM WITHIN MINUTES.

FUCK… THERE SO MANY GREAT ASPECTS TO THE FILM THAT HULK JUST GO ON LISTING. WHICH MAKE FOR KIND OF CRAPPY REVIEW SO HULK GOING TO STOP. IT ALL AMOUNT TO REALLY WELL-MADE FILM. SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE STORY…

ACTUALLY, BEFORE DISCUSSING THE STORY, IT FIRST IMPORTANT TO TALK ABOUT BLACK CINEMA IN THIS COUNTRY… OR THE COMPLETE LACK THERE OF; FOR EVERY DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST OR DO THE RIGHT THING, THERE 1 AMISTAD, 15 SOUL FOODS, OR 37 TYLER PERRY MOVIES. THE MODERN BLACK FILMMAKING MOVEMENT HAD SO MUCH PROMISE IN EARLY 80S, BUT IT NEARLY AND COMPLETELY DISINTEGRATED. IT AMAZING TO HULK THAT SPIKE LEE GET SO MUCH CRAP WHEN HE SEEMINGLY THE ONLY ATTEMPTING TO PUT OUT CULTURALLY RELEVANT FILMS. THE TRUTH IS THAT AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA (LIKE NEARLY ALL HOLLYWOODIZED CINEMAS) HAS BECOME A NAKEDLY PANDERING ECONOMIC ENTERPRISE. SEEMINGLY EVERY MOVIE INVOLVE OVERTLY SIMPLE FAMILY DRAMA WITH HAM-FISTED MESSAGES AND THIS WHOLE OVERT CHRISTIAN THING… LET BE PLAIN ABOUT THIS. THERE ONLY ONE GOAL TO THESE MOVIES AND IT TO GET AN ENTIRE AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY IN THE THEATER TO WATCH IT. THIS NOT OVER STATING. HULK WORK ENOUGH YEARS IN MARKETING TO CONFIRM THIS NOT ONLY TRUE, BUT THE ONLY TRUTH OF “BLACK CINEMA.” HOLLYWOOD WILL NOT MAKE AFRICAN AMERICAN FILMS UNLESS THEY AIMED AT WHAT THEY CALL THE “AFTER-CHURCH FAMILIES.”

WHY NOT? BECAUSE THAT THEY ONLY THING THAT CAN MAKE ENOUGH MONEY AS A “BLACK ONLY” AUDIENCE. AND ALSO BECAUSE AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILIES GO TO THE FREAKING MOVIES TOO. THEY SEE GENRE STUFF. THEY SEE COMIC BOOK MOVIES AND HORROR MOVIES. HATE TO BREAK IT TO THE ASSUMPTIVE WHITE FOLK BUT THEY SEE THE KINGS SPEECH TOO. THEY SEE EVERYTHING WE SEE. WHY? BECAUSE THEY’RE FUCKING HUMAN BEINGS. SADLY, BECAUSE OF THIS OBVIOUS FACT, NO MARKETING EXEC WILLING TO TAKE A CHANCE ON HAVING RACIALLY DIVERSE CAST SO NO ONE ITCHING TO MAKE SOMETHING MAINSTREAM THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE PERCEIVED AS A “BLACK FILM” UNLESS IT STAR WILL SMITH (AND AGAIN, THIS DUE TO FACT THEY DIG THEMSELVES IN WHOLE BY MAKING PANDERING FILMS AIMED SQUARELY AT AFTER CHURCH AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILIES)… AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA IN DIRE STRAIGHTS RIGHT NOW.

AND IT MAKE ATTACK THE BLOCK SO FUCKING REFRESHING.

LET PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE: 1) THIS FILM STAR FIVE, YOUNG BLACK LEADS. 2) IN A MOVIE THAT BEING MARKETED TO BLACK AND WHITE AUDIENCES ALIKE. 3) IT HAVE NO INTEREST IN HAM-FISTED “RACISM IS BAD!” MESSAGES WITH THAT PARTICULAR AFTER-SCHOOL SPECIAL CANDOR AND 4) IT FULLY EMBRACE THE CULTURAL URBAN IMPRINT, WHILE TRANSCENDING THAT IMPRINT ALL TOGETHER TO BECOME SOMETHING MORE.

WELL GOD DAMN IF THAT AIN’T A FUCKING MIRACLE. HELL, ONE OF ONLY OTHER MOVIE HULK CAN THING OF LIKE THAT = SPIKE LEE’S INSIDE MAN.

SPIKE LEE MADE EXECUTING A HEIST FILM WITH PESONALITY LOOK SO FUCKING EASY IT KEEP HULK UP AT NIGHT

SO YEAH, ATTACK THE BLOCK TAKE PLACE IN LONDON, BUT SUCKS TO THAT. THIS ALL ENCOMPASSING URBAN LIFE STUFF. IT COULD JUST AS EASILY BE ANY CITY IN THE USA. MORE TO THE POINT, EACH OF THESE YOUNG LEAD HAVE UNIQUE VOICE, PERSPECTIVE AND HUMOR. THEY ARE VIVID. THEY ARE REAL. AND THEY EXIST IN A WORLD FAMILIAR TO MANY OTHER CHARACTERS WE RECOGNIZE MORE EASILY: THE LILY WHITE DO-GOODER. THE STONER. THE WHITE RICH KID SLUMMING FOR DRUGS. ONLY JUST LIKE OUR LEADS, THESE MORE FAMILIAR CHARACTERS ALSO SHOWCASE A NICE LIVED-IN SHADE OF GRAY. AND SINCE THIS A MOVIE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT, THE CHARACTERS ALL LEARN TO EXIST AND SHARE BUT AT LEAST THEY HAVE THE DIGNITY TO DO SO IN A WELL-OBSERVED, ORGANIC WAY… THE KEY DIFFERENCE BEING THEY DO SO AMIDST SOME FUCKING INSANE ALIEN INVASION SHIT. BUT THIS NOT LIKE THAT SUBPLOT FROM VOLCANO WITH THE RACIST POLICE OFFICER (REMEMBER THAT? IT ALWAYS TAKES HULK’S PROVERBIAL CAKE AS THE “MOST SHOEHORNED RACISM PLOT IN AN OTHERWISE COMPLETELY FORGETTABLE SUMMER MOVIE”). NO FOLKS, THIS SO MUCH MORE DIGNIFIED. JOE CORNISH KNOWS HOW TO CONVEY THESE BITS OF CHARACTER STORY AND DEVELOPMENT IN BITE-SIZE ECONOMY… PERHAPS THE ONLY COMPLAINT HULK COULD RECOGNIZE = SOMEONE FEELING LIKE THIS DEVELOPMENT TOO BITE-SIZED. SURE IT NEVER, EVER BECOME DIDACTIC OR CLOYING, BUT IT CERTAINLY DIRECT WITH WHAT IT SAYING AT TIMES… BUT, KNOW WHAT? HULK RECOGNIZE WHY THAT SO. THIS AN ALIEN INVASION MOVIE AFTER ALL. LETTING THINGS PLAY OUT MORE WOULD ONLY TAKE THE AIR OUT OF THE TENSION. SO CORNISH KNOWS THE LITTLE MOMENTS AND EXCHANGES AMIDST THE CHASES AND MONSTERS AND MAYHEM WORK BEST (HE DOES COME FROM THE EDGAR WRIGHT SCHOOL).  AND WHAT MATTER IF THE BITE-SIZED STUFF COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY LEGIT? YUP…

… THIS IS AN ALIEN INVASION MOVIE BY WAY THE WIRE.

“BELIEVE.”

ALL THIS SECRETLY AMUSE HULK, KNOWING THAT SUPER 8 COMING OUT SOON, WHICH BY ALL ACCOUNTS SEEM TO BE AMBLIN-AIMED, E.T. MEETS GOONIES FARE. HULK HAVEN’T SEEN AND WHO KNOWS, THE FILM COULD BE QUITE GOOD… BUT ATTACK THE BLOCK SEEM LIKE EVERYTHING THAT SUPER 8 WANTS TO BE AND MUCH, MUCH MORE.

AT LEAST PEOPLE WILL SEE OUR MASSIVELY MARKETED MOVIE

***OKAY NOW FOR WHAT MOST SPECIAL OF ALL: ATTACK THE BLOCK DONE SOMETHING THAT HULK CAN NO REMEMBER A SINGLE OTHER FILM.

IT GOT MOSES RIGHT.

TO CLARIFY, HULK NOT TALKING ABOUT THE COMMANDMENT GUY, BUT INSTEAD THE LEAD CHARACTER OF ATTACK THE BLOCK AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE KIND OF CHARACTER HE IS AND WHY IT SO IMPORTANT.

HULK NOTICING THAT SOME FOLKS SORT NOT REALLY GETTING WHAT MAKE MOSES GREAT. THEY CERTAINLY GET THE FEELING AND UNDERCURRENT OF WHAT OCCUR (IT SO WONDERFULLY ENGAGING IT HARD NOT TO), BUT THE COLLECTIVE SUMMARY OF MOSES’ CHARACTER’S JOURNEY SEEM TO BE MORE OF A “HE TAKING RESPONSIBILITY NOW!” KIND OF THING… AND THAT TOTALLY FAIR BECAUSE HULK NOT ENTIRELY SURE IT OBVIOUS:

MOSES IS AND ALWAYS WAS THE KIND OF PERSON WHO WOULD RISK HIS LIFE FOR SOMEONE ELSE. AND IN REAL LIFE, THOSE KIND OF PEOPLE EXTREMELY COMPLICATED.

LET’S GET ONE THING STRAIGHT. MOST SCREENWRITERS HAVE A PRETTY SHITTY CONCEPT OF HOW HEROES WORK.

1) MOST OF THE TIMES THE AUDIENCE IS TREATED TO AN ENDLESSLY REGURGITATED JOSEPH CAMPBELL VERSION, WITH THE SAME PAINT BY NUMBERS ANSWERING THE CALL BULLSHIT WE SEE TIME AND TIME AGAIN. HULK TOO THOUGHT IT A NOBEL CONCEPT ONCE… IN 8TH GRADE.  ANYONE WHO CITES THAT STUFF AS GOOD STORYTELLING HAS TO TAKE SCREENWRITING 102 NOW. YES, IT A HANDY ARCHETYPE AND UNDERCURRENT OF ALL HEROES (EVEN MOSES), BUT SOLE DEPENDENCE ON IT FOR STORYTELLING WILL RENDER ANYTHING YOU TRYING TO DO COMPLETELY ROTE AND POINTLESS. STAY AWAY WRITERS. STAY AWAY.

2) MOST REAL LIFE HEROES ARE ALPHA PERSONALITIES. MOST SCREENWRITERS ARE BETA PERSONALITIES. A.K.A. PEOPLE WHO POSSIBLY SPENT THEIR FORMATIVE YEARS BEING TERRORIZED BY ALPHA PERSONALITIES.

TO COMBAT THIS OBVIOUS PROBLEM HEROES ARE WRITTEN BY BETA PERSONALITES IN SEVERAL WAYS:

A) THE BETA BECOMES THE PASSIVE HERO, WHO MEANT TO REFLECT DECENCY AND EVENTUALLY GET THE GIRL JUST BY BEING DECENT GUY! (HINT: THIS ACTUALLY NOT HOW IT WORKS AND SAID HERO WHO THINK THEY DECENT GUY NOT ACTUALLY A DECENT GUY. JUST UNDERDEVELOPED AND LIKELY WILL TURN INTO BITTER ASSHOLE ONCE THEY ENCOUNTER THE TERRIFYING EQUALITY OF ADULTHOOD). OH AND ALL THE WHILE THEY TERRORIZED BY IDIOTIC ALPHA PERSONALITY VILLAINS. THEY WILL LIKELY BE RICH OR FOOTBALL PLAYERS. HULK JUST DESCRIBED 99% OF 80S MOVIES. MOVING ON…

B) THE BETA IMAGINES A HERO NOT BASED ON HEROIC QUALITIES BUT INSTEAD JUST THE ANTITHESIS OF ALL THEIR WEAKNESSES. PERFECT EXAMPLE? JAMES BOND. THE IMPOSSIBLY SUAVE GUN-TOTING LADY-FUCKER EXTRAORDINAIRE WHO NEARLY NEED TO SLAP A GIRLS BUT TO SHOW HER WHAT’S WHAT… HULK KNOW LOTS ABOUT BOND. AND NEEDLESS TO SAY THERE PROBLEMS WITH THE CONCEPT.

C) IGNORE ALL THIS AND CREATE YOUR HERO CENTERED AROUND A LARGER SOCIAL CONCEPT. IT CAN BE ANYTHING FROM FEMALE EMPOWERMENT TO CIVIL RIGHTS TO WHATEVER. POPULAR IN COMICS, DISNEY FILMS, BLAXPLOITATION AND OTHER STUFF.

AND D) THE MUCH MORE INTERESTING AND SUCCESSFUL RECENT SOLUTION HAS BEEN THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE MODERN ANTI-HERO. AT BEST THEY REPRESENT THE HUMANE AND UN-PERFECT QUALITY OF THE SEMI-HEROIC FIGURE THE AUDIENCE INVESTS IN… AT WORST THEY REFLECT THE BETA WRITER’S OWN SHORTCOMINGS, BUT WITH BETTER LINES THEY WISH THEY SAID IN REAL LIFE AND A FORCED AUDIENCE TO ROOT FOR THEM… HULK PRETTY SURE WOODY ALLEN IS THE ONLY ONE WHO EVER DID THIS WELL (BTW, HULK KNOW A LOT ABOUT ALPHA AND BETA PERSONALITIES. WHY? CAUSE HULK THE FUCKING HULK. HE BEEN DEALING WITH THIS BANNER/BIG GREEN GUY SHIT FOR LIFE. SO HULK GOT IT DOWN).

BUT WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT? THERE’S ACTUALLY THAT RARE ANSWER E)… ONE SO IMPOSSIBLY RARE HULK CAN ONLY ACCOUNT THE HANDFUL OF TIMES HULK SEEN IT.

THE ACTUAL, REAL HERO.

WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR YOU TO PICK UP A GUN, SWORD, WHATEVER THE HELL, AND RUN OUT IN FRONT TO DEFEND YOUR FRIENDS? TO LEGITIMATELY SACRIFICE YOURSELF.

… THINK ABOUT IT.

IT SOMETHING PEOPLE SEE TIME AND TIME AGAIN IN MOVIES AND YET IT SOMETHING WE NEVER REALLY QUESTION WITH OUR OWN LIVES. WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR YOU TO DEFEND YOUR FRIENDS? THE MOST OBVIOUS EXAMPLE IS THE MILITARY. GRANTED, THE MILITARY AND THE REASONS FOR JOINING OFTEN PAINTED IN ROSES. IN BRUTAL HONESTY, LOTS JOIN BECAUSE THEY WANT TO KILL STUFF, IT WAS FORCED ON THEM, OR MOST OFTEN THEY JUST NEED THE MONEY. BUT LOST IN THESE CYNICAL REASONS ARE THE THOUSANDS OF MEN AND WOMEN FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE WHO JOIN TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOMETHING BIGGER THAN THEMSELVES. IT’S HEADY, HONORABLE STUFF. SOMETHING THAT THE POSH, LIBERALLY MINDED WORLD OF HULK AND EVERYONE ELSE FORGET. SACRIFICE = REAL. BUT IF OFTEN TAKE A FLAWED, INTERESTING, AND DEEPLY WOUNDED KIND OF PERSONALITY TO GET TO THAT PLACE OF SACRIFICE. IT RARELY A WHOLLY NOBLE PURSUIT.

AND HULK HATE TO BREAK IT TO YOU, BUT YOU ALSO MEET A LOT OF THESE HEROIC PERSONALITIES IN INNER CITIES.

AND OFTEN THEY IN GANGS.

THIS ALL SOUND VERY COUNTER INTUITIVE HULK KNOW, BUT HEAR HULK OUT. THERE ARE INNER CITY ALPHA MALES BUILT UP AROUND POMP, CIRCUMSTANCE, AND POSTURE (THIS ALPHA MALE WELL REPRESENTED BY THE LEAD, BAD DRUG CHARACTER IN THE FILM). THE OTHER ALPHA MALE IS EQUALLY COMPLICATED. BUT THEIR PERCEIVED STRENGTH COMES NOT FROM FEAR, BUT SURVIVAL INSTINCT. THAT BECAUSE THIS KIND OF ALPHA MALE OFTEN BROKEN BY HOME LIFE. THEY ARE OFTEN ABUSED. AS SUCH, THEY WILL LIKELY BULLY OUTSIDERS. THEY WILL OFTEN GET INTO SELLING DRUGS. THEY DON’T HAVE THE SOCIAL TOOLS FOR EDUCATION AND SCHOOL. THEIR PAIN OFTEN BROUGHT ON THEMSELVES AS MUCH AS IT IS DEALT TO THEM. IT CYCLICAL.

BUT IN THAT NEED TO SURVIVE, THEY WILL BE WHOLLY TERRITORIAL. THEY WILL DEFEND THEIR FRIENDS TO THE DEATH. AND THEY WILL DO SO IN THE MOST HEROIC TERMS THAT TOTALLY INCONCEIVABLE TO YOU AND HULK. THEY WILL DEAL WITH ADULT CONCEPTS OF RESPONSIBILITY OFTEN BY AGE 8 OR 9. THEY TAKE THE WEAKER UNDER THEIR WING. THEY WILL POSSESS A STRENGTH AND A WILL SO BEYOND WHAT WE HAVE AS TO ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS SOLDIERLY; ONE THAT IS OFTEN UNCHECKED, UNREGULATED, AND UNCARED FOR AS TO RENDER THE VERY CONCEPT OF SUCH A PERSON TO BE TERRIFYING.

THEY ARE THE HEROIC ALPHA MALE, JUST NOT WHAT WE ENVISION. THEY ARE THE MOST EXTREME VERSION OF THE SAME PSYCHOLOGY THAT CAUSE SOMEONE TO JOIN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT OR THE ARMY… IT JUST IN THE HAZE OF TRUE, HORRIBLE PEOPLE THAT GET INVOLVED IN THE INNER CITY NIGHTMARE,  WE OFTEN HAVE HARD TIME SEEING THE GOOD PEOPLE WHO JUST DOING BAD THINGS.

WHY HULK KNOW ALL THIS SHIT? WHY HULK FEEL SO STRONGLY ABOUT IT? HULK’S FAMILY SPENT THEIR LIFE DEALING WITH IT. IT THE SUBJECT OF MAMA AND PAPA HULK’S LIFE WORK. HULK KNEW DOZENS OF MOSES’ (MOSII?). THEY IN EVERY CITY, ALMOST EVERY GROUP OF FRIENDS LIKE THIS. THEY NOT UNDESERVING OF OUR ATTENTION OR OUR COMPASSION. THEY OFTEN DO ALL KINDS OF WRONG, BUT THEIR PLIGHT FUCKING MATTERS. THEY MAY NOT GIVE A SINGLE SHIT ABOUT YOU, OR I, OR ANYONE WHO TRY TO HELP THEM. BUT THEY WILL MAKE A FAMILY IN THEIR MIND. AND THEY WILL PROTECT IT TO THE DAY THEY DAY. WHICH WILL LIKELY BE AT A VERY YOUNG AGE.

AND HULK SITTING HERE, RACKING BRAIN, TRYING TO THINK OF ANOTHER MOVIE THAT UNDERSTAND THE MOSES’ OF THE WORLD (THERE PROBABLY ONE. IN TELEVISION THERE THE CHARACTER OF MICHAEL FROM THE WIRE… THAT ALL HULK GOT). AND WHY THEY MATTER MORE THAN ANYTHING TO PEOPLE OF THE COMMUNITY. HULK LOOK BACK AT ATTACK THE BLOCK AND IT BRINGS TEARS TO HULK’S EYES. TRULY. IT SOUND IMPOSSIBLY DUMB, BUT HULK SWEAR. IT NOT DUMB. THE MOVIE AND CHARACTER OF MOSES COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THE WORLD AND PSYCHOLOGY THEY TALKING ABOUT. JOE CORNISH BRILLIANTLY USE THE OUTWARD ALIEN THREAT THEY EXPLORE THE HEART AND STRANGE HEROISM OF THESE CONCEPTS. AND THE YOUNG ACTOR, JOHN BOYEGA SO TOTALLY BRING HIM TO LIFE. HE HAVE THIS AMAZING STOIC SCREEN PRESENCE THAT JUST GRAB YOU.

SO WHY THE STRANGE TITLE ATTACK THE BLOCK? BECAUSE THIS A FILM ABOUT TERRITORY. AND TERRITORY BEST MEANS “HOME” AND “COMMUNITY” IN THIS CASE; BEST EXPLORED THROUGH THAT SINGLE, AMAZING CHARACTER.

HULK SIMPLY CANNOT BELIEVE SOMEONE MADE A MOVIE ABOUT MOSES.

YOU HEAR THAT JOE CORNISH?

THAT’S FOR YOU.