• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Planet Hulk

TITLE: Planet Hulk

YEAR: 2010

GENRE: Superhero/Comics

When making these animated comic book films I would think that some characters are easier to write for and create storylines than others. For instance, Batman has such a plethora of villains that some of the storylines write themselves and Spiderman as a character has such a complicated life and a smart mouth that makes the viewer care for him, relate, and want him as a friend. Then you have a character such as The Hulk: a giant, brooding beast that rips and tears everything up in his path through a combination of incredible strength and uncontrolled anger. Oh sure there is scientist Bruce Banner who works tirelessly to rid himself of his alter ego, but more less The Hulk is not as engaging of a character as others in the Marvel and DC universe. This plagues the animated film Planet Hulk, a listless effort on a multitude of levels.

Our film begins with The Incredible Hulk doing what he does best: smashing everything within his reach. Iron Man and the Marvel superheroes capture him, render him unconscious, and put him on a spaceship to resolve their problems of protecting the Earth from his ravages. He is shot out into the stratosphere and crash lands on an unknown planet where it is hoped that he will do no harm to anybody. The planet happens to be inhabited by a warlord who captures our green friend and forces him to fight to the death in gladiator-style matches in front of a blood thirsty crowd. The Hulk does have a team in which to work, but naturally he does not trust them and prefers solitude over a joint effort. To add to the story, an ancient prophecy on The Hulk’s new home states that a warrior savior will fall from the sky and lead the people away from despotism to a new tomorrow. Is The Hulk this redeemer from the heavens? Will be survive the battle against monsters whose power equals The Hulk’s own?

First of all, I was surprised that the quality of animation in this film was a bit sub-par compared to the DC animated films and I found it especially interesting that a company best known for its animated characters would release Planet Hulk without a few re-do’s. I sort of feel that the film may have run out of financing and had to be released without giving the product a final polish. Bruce Banner is more or less out of this story completely, which eliminates much of the human element of The Hulk and makes me care a lot less about the outcome. The rest of the characters introduced in Planet Hulk are a bit flat and really does not stand out in any significance. This film lost my interest several times in a single viewing, so the storytelling does not capture the imagination. Most of the time in the story action is chosen over writing quality or substance, and that does not win Planet Hulk any style points.

Now there are some quality Hulk productions, especially the exciting and fun 2008 film and the surprisingly sympathetic television show of the 1970’s and 80’s. Planet Hulk unfortunately does not carry this tradition, and this film does not give the viewer any real reason to care about what is happening on the TV screen. I don’t hate the film, but I do feel a bit ambivalent toward Planet Hulk and in a way that is worse. Film should elicit a response from the viewer, and Planet Hulk does not do this. As a result, I can not recommend this in good faith to much of anybody with the exception of die-hard Marvel fanatics.

* 1/2

–Mark

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