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This week:
From the Incredible Hulk to Kelly

Filthy says:
"Hulk sings pretty.

What a wonderful weekend, like a dream. A head cold hit me like an anvil last week, and that usually means I'm going to feel too dopey or muddled to write a review. Thank God for the modern pharmaceutical industry. When my mind and nasal cavities felt like they were stuffed with particularly prickly cotton balls, I thought my weekend would be spent laying on the futon watching my old tapes of "Saved by the Bell" episodes in chronological order. But that was before I spelunkered to the back of our medicine cabinet and found an old bottle of cold and cough medicine prescribed to some previous tenant. It expired in 1997. Think about it, though: if good wine gets better with time, that's probably true of old medications. It's just those greedy fucks in the medicinal industry that want us to throw them away. The bottle said, "Take one teaspoon a day after a meal." Well, I was pretty sick and not exactly in the mood for formalities, so I took two and washed them down with some alcoholic mouthwash.

Holy shit, did that do the trick. I was floating, so vivid and alive. I could feel insects on my skin I never even knew were there, and have you ever noticed how blue the sky is? It's really a pretty deep blue, like a dead person in ice. It only looks blue, but I could see right through it. And I could see right through my dogs, too, at all their ribs and organs and dinner. And my memory was so vivid, so clear. I remember everything I saw in more color and detail than the average eye could see. Nothing could escape the steel trap of my alertness.

Two hours later and after drinking the rest of the bottle, I felt as well as I ever have. I was so strong. I flipped over the sofa, just for kicks, and then chased a stray dog all the way to the Ace hardware. What I really wanted to do was have Mrs. Filthy tie me up with rope so I could break free like I was supercool. She was at Hancock Fabrics, though, setting up a new puffy paint display. So I decided to use my new euphoria and extreme clarity on the movies. A regular old Cold Medicine Film Festival at the Olde Town Arvada Colorado Cinema. One admission allowed entry to unlimited films, so many films that they began to blur together into a swirling kaleidoscope of song, comedy, farting, explosions and teary eyes. What a magical day of cinema, and all remembered with such clarity.

The movie I recall most vividly is Hollywood's latest comic book adaptation, From The Incredible Hulk to Kelly, a musical about a young man (Eric Bana) who can sing, dance and then turn green. One spring break on the beaches of Florida, The Incredible Hulk falls in love with a squat mousy girl with the charisma of a supermarket deli tray. Bana can only express his passion for her through singing and by mindlessly busting shit up, so he does a lot of both, eventually strangling Clarkson in an erotically-charged bedroom scene. What a terrific movie.

As the result of a father's scientific curiosity, a son is born with the suppressed ability to regenerate, sing in a four-octave range and grow to a massive size with shapeshifting pants that ensure his supergreen genitalia are always hidden. That's okay with me. This is Bruce Banner, aka the Incredible Hulk. When, later in life, he is accidentally exposed to gamma rays, his suppressed ability surfaces and he sings unbelievably beautiful pop songs. Oh, and he goes on destructive rampages, but only when he gets angry--like whenever Kelly starts dancing. He says, "Please don't dance. You won't like me when you dance."

It's everyone's dream, isn't it? To have a dark side that we can't control or take responsibility for; one that emerges only when we're angry? We could exact revenge, destroy, damage, sing show tunes and kill without feeling personally responsible. Alcohol gives me all of these capabilities except the singing one. And that's the only one I really want.

I don't remember why there was a science lab right at the beach, but there was, and all the beakers keep getting sand in them. For an awfully long time, Bana is sort of mopey because he has just broken up with a fellow scientist he works with (Jennifer O'Connell). Actually, he's always dead-eyed and mopey, and it makes it pretty hard to distinguish him from the other teenagers on the beach. Now that I think about it, everyone's mopey and humorless and way too fucking serious for a movie about a guy that turns green. It seems the only time Bana is happy is when he has some bubbly pop song on the tip of his tongue, gritty sand between his toes and a mop of curly hair on his head.

Once Bana is exposed to gamma rays and able to turn into the Incredible Hulk, scientists want to get their hands on him. So does his crazy father (Nick Nolte as Kris Kristofferson), who wants to see the fruition of his labor many years before. The scientists want to capture him and analyze his beautiful voice, believing that by signing him to a restrictive, exclusive contract, they can make enough selling off his records to pay for their secret wars against the Mexicans.

But Bana wants nothing more than to sweep the dopey Clarkson off her feet. He cares not a whit for these army generals and stereotypical greedy defense contractors trying to capture him. He just wants to kiss Kelly. If only his friends--and her friends--would let him. There are naysayers and obstacles everywhere trying to keep these two young lovers apart. When Bana's free-wheeling friends corner him on the beach and warn him away through song, he goes apeshit. Suddenly, we have the Incredible Hulk ruining Spring Break for all the fresh-faced kids. He jumps on top of the hot dog stand and tears its roof off. He disembowels the cook and makes his friends eat it. Then he leaps into the ocean, and battles a giant squid. This is right before the army shows up and he stuffs all the soliders heads up the asses of these beach volleyball players. Then he goes back out into the water and beats the hell out of a shark. Before he is done, the Incredible Hulk humps an inflatable boat and sings an aria from "Pagliaci". Oddly, rather than scare away Clarkson, it turns her on. She loves the Hulk's hot new bod.

Then, I think I went into a cough-syrup induced stupor. I remember everything about Kelly and Hulk clearly up to the point that I started dreaming. I dreamt that Bana's father inexplicably turned into a mass of energy who took the shape of water, stone or whatever he wanted. I dreamt this was for no clear reason other than to have a big climactic battle that was as silly and retarded as imaginable. Then I dreamt that the scene was over as quickly and arbitrarily as it started. It must have been a dream because it was so fucking ridiculous.

And then, I woke up to see Kelly and Hulk together, singing and dancing on the beach. Dancing? Arrrggghhh!! Hulk no like when Kelly dance. He goes crazy and busts her in two, shredding the ample meat from her spine and throwing her skull into the ocean. Is she dead? We'll have to wait for the sequel.

You know, for all the singing, dancing and destruction, this sure was one hell of a boring movie. It took itself so fucking seriously. It's a goddamn comic book, right? Why's everyone so moody? Are the filmmakers embarrassed? I would be. It's like they are trying to scientifically legitimize and rationalize the possibility of a man'stransformation into the Hulk. But who gives a fuck? Anyone who sees this movie goes in knowing it's fantasy. People are willing to buy into this shit without it being explained satisfactorily, mainly because it can't possibly be true? It's just too fucking ridiculous.

And why doesn't Kelly Clarkson get some sort of superpower? Other than those thighs? I mean, if Hulk can smash shit up and sing, why can't Clarkson, at the least, carry a tune? Or maybe the power to act? That would help, huh?

Director Ang Lee blends the singing and beach scenes into From The Incredible Hulk to Kelly beautifully, and there is no doubt the Hulk has a breathtaking voice when he sings "You are the Wind Beneath My Wings" while smashing a poodle against an SUV's hood. When Kelly performs "RESPECT" while Hulk savages her on the jetty, it's nothing short of touching. But why is Lee so defensive?

The story's structure is terrible. While the story tries to make these flat-as-board comic book characters deep, it undermines them with actions that strip away any credibility theyíve garnered. For example, O'Connell doesn't like or trust her father and knows he doesn't have her best interests at heart. One scene after a fight with him about his evil intentions for the Hulk, she calls him and asks for help with him. Of course, this puts the Hulk in the army's hands, which the plot wants. But at the same time, it makes O'Connell look like a massive dipshit.

The movie looks nice, although, for all the weak attempts to make him human, the Hulk looks really fucking fake. He looks like a Pixar character wandered onto the soundstage. And Kelly looks even more fake. Is that her real stomach? Was there no technology to fix her hair? Lee keeps splitting the screen and chopping it up like the page of a comic book. I have no fucking clue why. I guess it's so the audience can say, "Look, it looks like a comic book!" But for all the slicing and dicing, it actually adds zero to the storytelling.

I'm giving From the Incredible Hulk to Kelly Two Fingers.I look forward to a sequel, mostly because I want to know if Kelly and Hulk will have babies. And will the babies sing pretty, too? Mostly, though, I look forward to another cold.

Want to tell Filthy Something



Clay Smith of Access Hollywood

2 Fast 2 Furious is "2 Fun 2 Fantastic! Paul Walker and Tyrese are the newest and best screen buddies... they rock! The best car chases...the best car races...the best heroes...and the best villain of any movie this summer. The best jolt of adrenaline of any movie so far this year."

The Italian Job is "Fast, funny, non-stop action all the way! You'll have a terrific time! It's the funniest heist movie since Ocean's Eleven !... A job well done!"

  Filthy's Reading
Erik Larson- The Devil in the White City

Listening to
Devo - Duty now for the Future


Talk to Her