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Surly Rockbottom

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Subj: Re: You have crystalized the problem beautifully. Movie makers don't seem.....
Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:40:09 am CDT (Viewed 61 times)
Reply Subj: Re: You have crystalized the problem beautifully. Movie makers don't seem.....
Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:17:49 am CDT (Viewed 76 times)

> All is well - the reason I think many people like the hyper destructive Hulk and Godzilla personnas over societies better angels is because it is a safe (on screen or page - not realworld0 way of indulging in juvenile destructive impulses - usually on behalf of some vaguely positive cause (I'm talking Godzilla's 3rd or 4th movies off and on forward)

You are totally right on that count. I have nothing against a little catharsis - and what better way than through fiction to let out those, inherent in all of us, impulses.

> I agree the Hulk started out as a Hyde/Frankenstein hybrid - much more in the horror than superhero vein.
> However, Hollywood has generally clipped the voices of those two characters too.

Mostly where my negativity is coming from.

> The monster clearly articulates his point of view - it just doesn't match up with society.
> Hyde has a point of view - it's distasteful because it comes from the darkest parts of humanity.

That's why we have to be careful identifying with them. Knowing that something is fiction dulls our response. Its okay to identify with Hyde for instance, because generally he's fake and any debate about his rightness or wrongness will be purely intellectual. Imagine someone identifying with Charles Manson, however, and you have a different problem - a very different reaction.

Now, I am not saying that we should see the fictional monsters in the same light as the real ones - no - that would be a blurring of fiction and reality to the level of a mental problem, but in my opinion the Hulk should be a bit more of a monster in the truer sense of the word. Scary. Not cuddly. And definitely something to see as being a problem that Banner very understandably does not like. Let's just not get desensitized to the monsters. Desensitization subverts fiction's ability to have any affect other than visceral.

This latest movie actually did a pretty good job of that. Hulk's reaction to lightning was borderline insane. It seems cute and childish, but imagine if you were near an enraged Hulk and happened to sneeze - he would punch a hole through you.

> If you think most of humanity doesn't have a little HULK SMASH living inside them then you haven't driven during rush hour in a big city.

Oh, I have. And yes there is a whole Hell of a lot of HULK SMASH in me at those times. The thing is, I don't like that about myself. When someone cuts me off in traffic and I contemplate releasing Armageddon on their butts that is a bad thing. Sure I feel it, and just like Banner I want to get rid of it. It will only get me killed or jailed so its no good. Therefore Banner is very easy to identify with.

> There is a dark part of many of us that sides with these characters points of view - not the majority of the time - but in our most frustrated or childish moments.

I think we can agree that the best place for those "not the majority of the times" is the movie theatre. Just remember that you just called them childish.

> Not everyone is as mature as you and never lets their inner child out to play. Kudos on your constant inherent restraint BUT remember what the Bacchae says happens to those who don't regularly indulge small losses of control - THEY GO MAD!!!

My inner child comes out, but even he needs a little discipline. Or else I wake up with a stomachache from too much ice cream. I only hope I'm mature.

> Just kidding I'm sure you're cool - just taking me at my earlier word and I'm doing the same.

I totally get what you've been saying. The issue was just a question of identifying with Banner or the Hulk. I only wanted to point out that I personally like the Banner element because it DOES give me a character to identify with. Banner is me in a road rage situation who stays out of jail. Banner is me when some bratty kid kicks me in the crotch and I don't knock him unconscious with a brick. Its fun to watch him Hulk out though too, that's the catharis point I made above, and I think you were down with all along. But if there is no Hulk-out, where is the catharsis? All Hulk all the time is just all chocolate ice cream all the time - its a hell of a fun way to spend the day, but man I'm sick later.

> As to the Abomination fights getting boring - WELLLL since there' never been one on screen - it would have been nice to see the first one be archetypal - the book has been a strong seller for 40 + years so the must do something right.

Yep, that was actually a cool part of the movie for me. Personally, I saw the anger build in that fight. Abom had Hulk up against that wall and his bones were digging into Hulk's skin. Abom was totally winning, it was there in the body language and even Hulk's face. Then Hulk started getting a little more pissed. It was subtle I grant you, but I thought that's what I was seeing. Hulk got pissed there and started rallying. Abom even started looking desperate. From that point on in the fight Hulk was going nuts on Abom, and Abom was doomed. If I could I would totally take you with me to see Hulk again, buy your ticket and all, if we could go and examine that moment. I'm sure I saw "madder Hulk gets . . ." happening there.

> Same with Hulk smash - the cheers were loud - Yours is the first allusion to negative mumbling that I have heard.

I heard loud cheers too . . . I also heard someone in the theatre yell it out before Hulk did.

> As to Toho
> Godzilla WAS a symbol of the A bomb - that's why the orignal works so well and why Cloverfield ripped it off so beautifully a metaphor for our human/non-political response to 9-11.
> But as soon as he began defending Earth as often as he destroyed it - he became Hulk like - More a primal force responding to man and others than just a creation of man. It's a subversion of the original intent but all living things grow, adapt, even mutate.

"grow" = neutral, "adapt" = positive (in the sense that if you don't adapt you die), "mutate" = sometimes negative. Many mutations are not viable and are technically abominations of original form (pun!). A boy born with no eyes in a third world country because of industrial pollution is a mutation that is a response to giving other people benefit. Maybe the mutation benefits some, but yeeesh. See where I'm going? Some character themes should be left alone. Some may like them, but the rest of us lose our eyes.

> Interesting to hear such a different point of view on the same character.
> I don't run into folks who are so enamored of Banner over Big Green.

Glad to expand your horizon. (not an insult, we all need horizon expansion).

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