Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Discuss: Thor on The Incredible Hulk

Karen: In the Incredible Hulk Returns (1988), we got our first live-action version of Thor. Let's just say I like the 2011 movie version a LOT better! What about you?


david_b said...

I for one REALLY enjoyed it.. I had not seen the other 'Marvel hero meetings' (DD, etc..), but I thought this outing was very enjoyable.

Eric Kramer really brought a lot into the limited role as Thor. I liked his unashamed bravado, his sense of swaggering manhood, which I thought would really be a hoot to watch as he started engaging more and more into Earth society's norms and moral relativism. My fav scene was when Jack McGee shows up at their apartment and is totally intimidated by ol' Thor coming out of the shower. GAWD, that was hilarious.

I immediately saw the potential of Kramer and Levitt (as Blake) really having what could be a great chemistry together. For as dismal as most series ideas were back then, this, what essentially was a Thor pilot, might have been a entertaining winner.

Depicted as a hero who loves a good battle, and enjoys the ladies.. Shades of Magnum P.I. and all the other macho-stylish adventure shows, this would have been a shoe-in.

It probably wasn't easy for a newcomer to steal scenes away from the veteran Ferrigno, and obviously they were playing up the Thor aspect, but overall it was a delightful movie.

J.A. Morris said...

Yes, I like the Chris Hemsworth version better as well. But at the time I appreciated the Eric Kramer version, he ran with the silliness of it and seemed to have a good time.

FWIW, the actor who played Thor has had a nice 25 year career, never became a star, but he's always had work:

Speaking of Thor, I recently re-started my Bronze Age Reprints review blog. I figured the Avenges release was a good time to do so. I've got 4 Avengers and "Avengers related" reviews up, check them out if you feel like it:


I'm working on Serpent Crown, Korvac and the new Mantlo/Buscema tpb for later this week.


William said...

I didn't care for Thor the way he appeared in that Hulk TV movie. He was way, way too far removed from the Marvel Comic's version. From his look, to his personality, he was a totally different character. Instead of a comic-book super hero, he was more like some old-time movie version of Thor that they tried to make seem somehow "realistic". Which just didn't work for me at all. Even as a kid that one got a big thumbs down from me.

That said, I liked the Hulk movie with Daredevil quite a lot. I thought they did a pretty good job with that one. Although I wish his costume had been some sort of shade of red instead of all black. However, it was still pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Bad timing. After your previous Hulk TV series thread, I ordered this is off eBay (I know, but it was very cheap and came with the DD one as well), so I am mere hours away from being able to give you a decent review.

I’ve never seen this since originally shown, so I barely remember it, but I remember being surprised and delighted that it happened at all. I didn’t realise that these were backdoor pilots at the time, nor that they were NBC rather than CBS. I had, up to that point, always thought of the Hulk TV series as something separate from Marvel, like when your favourite book is adapted into a movie, and know you have to take the movie on its own merits rather than keep judging it by the book. That’s very much how I looked at Hulk. Even at that young and expectation-high age, I grasped that you couldn’t have Hulk tearing whole cities down or going into space, so I never expected any other heroes to rock up. As Doug said, it was all we had then, so it was, without doubt, the best live action Thor I had ever seen!


Doug said...

I don't want to hijack the thread, but building off of what William said about the "look" of our heroes on film (sometimes a distant "huh?" from the way they are depicted in the four-color world), I am hopeful that sooner or later Disney/Pixar will grab hold of some characters and give us some incredibly awesome films using the computer animation we've come to love in films like Toy Story.


Doug said...

Credit where credit is due, friend Richard --

The "all we had back then" post was from Karen, based off a comment our buddy David B. had made a bit earlier.

No harm,


Anonymous said...

I think that, given the limits of budget and '88 technology, they did a rather good job. Frankly the costume was more like what Thor might wear than Kirby's classic design, so I wasn't too bothered by it. The actir did a very goid job with the role. This could have been a fun series (much as Daredevil, which I always think is better suited for TV than film), but I don't know what villains would have been available with a TV budget.

--Matt Anon

humanbelly said...

It took me a bit of thinking to figure out how it was I'd never seen this old TV movie. I finally realized that by 1988 I'd stopped watching television entirely(!), and just wasn't aware of it.

Hard to call myself a true Hulk fan, eh?

Man, the photo included doesn't fill me with mega-confidence (that helmet is just wicked-unfortunate; another inch lower, and he'd be cutting Forbush-Man eyeholes!)-- but I'm always game to give these things an open-minded try. I'll keep may radar open and try to track the DVD's down at a reasonable discount. . .

@Doug, regarding Disney/Pixar superheroes: One of my first remarks to my family upon seeing THE INCREDIBLES was that computer animation is the perfect medium for superhero stories. . . possibly even better than live-action. At the time I was discouraged that Disney/Pixar didn't have access to any mainstream DC or Marvel characters at all. SURELY someone at Disney/Marvel/Pixar has been working on getting a project like that going, wouldn't you think?

Actually, even as I type this, I realize that, no, they'll never do it. "9" may have incorrectly taught the studios that computer-animated films aimed at a PG-13 crowd won't find a market. . . or that the wrong market will come, regardless of marketing and rating. It will take a braver, smaller studio to make that first foray.

Hmm. INVINCIBLE immediately springs to mind as a likely source material. . .

(Oh, the shameless thread hi-jacking. . . )


Inkstained Wretch said...

Dang, my office computer won't let me see the video (chronic problem with it).

I have vague recollections of seeing this at the time it first aired ... and turning off the tv because I thought it was embarassing.

david_b said...


To quote a resident genius..:

"That's all we had back then."

(oh.. wait, that was me.)

Fantastic Four Fan 4ever said...

I just purchased this movie for a friend at Wal Mart for $5. It's currently part of a two pack along with the movie with Dare Devil. It was a good attempt and needed lots of refining. The movie itself was well paced and was I glad to see the return of the Hulk.

Had Bixby not contracted cancer, it was rumored there was going to be another actor to replace him in another "Return of" movie. Bixby had a "Death of The Incredible Hulk" movie only to revive him again. It looks like it would be a next generation type of thing where somenone got Banner's DNA.. I really don't know the paticulars but Bixby fully intended to resurrect the character after the "Death of the Incredible Hulk" aired.

Back to the TV movie: I did like this different take on Thor. I do think they could have done away with the Dr. Donald Blake alter ego. The current mythology has for the new "Avengers" film. The Thor in the TV movie with Bixby was more of a hard drinking good times type of Thor. The way Thor speaks was in direct contrast to the way he was on screen. He certainly lacked the refined quality he had in the comics.

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