It is great to see that Hollywood is finally taking comic book franchises seriously as in the past this has not been the case. It has taken a long time for this day to come (a few decades even) but finally the time has come, and the movies the fans want are finally being made. Thanks to advancements in film making more things have become possible which makes the end result something more spectacular.
Today I will be showing you the previous attempts to bring these characters to life on the big screen.
THE HULK (1970'S=1990'S)
The 1970's live action television show of the Incredible Hulk was a major success. Bill Bixby played the part of Dr David Banner the man who while trying to tap into human rage in an experiment became the Incredible Hulk. Now in the comic the character is in fact called Bruce Banner and the TV bosses changed it to David because they thought Bruce sounded gay, Mr Universe runner up Lou Ferringo was painted green and played the rampaging Hulk. The transformation scenes were pretty good for its time and Lou Ferringo was great as the Hulk but when you watch it today its very corny. One episode the Hulk fights a bear in a lake and the water is washing the green paint off of his skin.
I and I am sure many people have great affection for this incarnation of the green skinned behemoth as it was the original and the show kicked ass back in the day.
In 2008's Incredible Hulk (which really stayed on the same path as the TV show) Lou Ferringo played a cameo role as a security guy receiving a pizza from Bruce Banner.
They killed this version of the Incredible Hulk off in a TV movie titled "The Death of The Hulk" in the early 1990's after David Banner falls from a helicopter. Bixby would also sadly pass away soon after. Everyone will always have a special place in their heart for this partnership of Bixby and Ferringo.
I remember being at my computer monitor in film studies crowding everyone round to watch the Superbowl trailer of this movie in early 2003. I was so excited that the Hulk was being given his own live action movie with all the CGI trimmings. When the movie finally hit the big screens in the summer awful reviews followed. I thought "they must be wrong or they just hate comics or something" so I watched the movie and.. they were right all along. Ang Lee decided to give us an hour or so of a bullshit background story which had nothing to do with anything and by the time the Hulk turned up it was like receiving an out of date birthday cake 10 days after your fucking birthday! This was also the year that Daredevil and Terminator 3 disappointed millions across the globe.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008)
In 2008 the Hulk franchise was rebooted to kick start the current Avengers movie. This time round we completely forget the last movie ever happened (which is fine by me) and start fresh. Edward Norton does an excellent job playing Bruce Banner and the movie is made with the same formula from the classic TV show and even uses the same music. The Hulk looked great and the battles with Thunderbolt Ross and the military are nothing short of breathtaking. Tim Roth becomes the Abomination and his clashes with the Hulk are bang on straight from the pages of Marvel. A great movie and if you have not seen it yet check it out before watching the avengers.
Thor made his screen debut in the 1988 Incredible Hulk Returns movie. Eric Kramer (from Robin Hood Men in Tights) donned the viking helmet and the hammer for the role. As a kid I loved this movie and Thor is great. He has an epic fight with the Hulk in a science lab (in which everything explodes) and ends up teaming with the Hulk to beat people up. He drinks beer all the time and has bar fights.
Thor and the Hulk grab a picture with their creator the legendary Stan Lee
In 2011 Thor was given his own mega Hollywood make over and hit the big screens last summer. A well written and casted movie Thor was great fun to watch as a comic fan or just a general movie goer. Chris Hemsworth does a spectacular job playing the god of thunder from Asgaard. With a great supporting cast with names like Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins and great direction from Kenneth Branagh the movie was an all round action packed success.
CAPTAIN AMERICA (1990)
With the successful release of Tim Burton's Batman a year before you would think they would up the game when making a Captain America movie a year later. The truth was they did the complete opposite and made possibly the worst superhero movie of all time. I have never been able to sit through the entire film it is really that bad. Try and sit through the whole thing without burping sick I dare you!
CAPTAIN AMERICA (2011)
Shortly after the release of Thor we were treated to Captain America: The first Avenger a few months later. This was last movie released to fluff us up for the 2012 Avengers movie. Unlike Steve Rogers last trip to the big screen, this time round it's a home run. Great story telling straight from the pages of the comic telling the story of how Hydra came to power in WWII. Evans is great as Steven Rogers and Hugo Weavings portrayal of the Red Skull is superb.
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (2012)
We now come full circle with this weekends release of the Avengers movie. For the first time ever all these guys are going to be put together on the big screen for the dream movie. What will the end result be? Check back for my review shortly..