The Incredible Hulk appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Though not exceptional, the transfer usually seemed positive.
Sharpness was the closest thing to a “problem area” here, as occasional wide shots looked a little tentative. However, those weren’t a notable issue, so the majority of the movie showed good clarity and delineation.
I saw no jaggies or shimmering, and edge haloes caused no concerns. Source flaws failed to create distractions, as the movie was free from defects, though the 4K seemed grainier than expected.
As for colors, Hulk went with a hot South American palette during its early scenes. It cooled somewhat as it progressed, but it maintained a pretty obvious green/teal orientation much of the time.
All of these fit the design and looked good. The disc’s HDR added impact to the hues as well.
Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows showed fine clarity and delineation. Whites and contrast got a nice boost from the HDR. Overall, this was a largely satisfying transfer.
And the DTS X soundtrack of The Incredible Hulk worked even better. Downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1, this mix rocked!
From the opening ghost credit/origin sequence through all of the fight scenes, the track blasted all the channels through much of the film. Music showed nice stereo presence and delineation and miraculously held its own up against the effects.
Nonetheless, the latter dominated the mix, as they took control of the spectrum. These elements swirled about the spectrum and strongly enhanced the film.
The louder action scenes offered terrifically involving and active audio. The surrounds provided plenty of discrete sound that seemed appropriate and blended well with the forward elements.
Audio quality also appeared excellent. Dialogue seemed natural and distinct, with no signs of edginess or problems related to intelligibility. Music sounded bright and vivid.
The score showed nice depth and solid fidelity, so the track replicated those elements quite well. Still, the effects remained the strongest aspect of the mix. From the environmental bits to the sonic assault of the fight sequences, the track featured clear and accurate audio that remained rich at all times.
Bass response was simply terrific, as the track boasted deep, tight low-end elements; look to the campus battle for some serious subwoofer-pumping information. Overall, Incredible Hulk gave us a fine sonic affair.
How does the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The DTS X track added involvement and kick to the BD’s 5.1 mix.
As for visuals, they demonstrated the standard format-related upgrades. Hulk existed as a 2K end product, so the disc couldn’t take advantage of full 4K resolution.
Still, I saw superior delineation most of the time, and colors and blacks looked more dynamic. This wasn’t a killer upgrade, but the 4K UHD became the preferred version.
On the 4K UHD disc, we find an audio commentary with director Louis Leterrier and actor Tim Roth, both of whom sit together for this running, screen-specific piece. They discuss visual design and effects, cast and performances, sets and locations, story issues and differentiating Incredible from 2003’s Hulk, influences and references, stunts and action, and a few other production issues.
Roth and Leterrier mix well to create a strong commentary. They cover a nice variety of subjects and do so with humor. Quite a few nice insights emerge across this engaging piece, so it definitely is worth a listen.
The remaining extras appear on the included Blu-ray copy of Incredible, and it provides 23 deleted scenes that run a total of 42 minutes, 45 seconds. In addition, the set presents an Alternate Opening (2:34).
With 23 deleted scenes and an alternate ending, Incredible treats us to a massive array of edited shots. The “Opening” is moderately interesting, mostly because it would’ve revealed the Hulk much earlier in the film. It was probably unnecessary, though, and it’s not a particularly interesting scene.
As for the rest, they vary in quality. Many simply pad existing scenes, while we also get a lot of exposition. Those elements expand characters like Mr. Blue and Betty’s therapist boyfriend. These are interesting, but I expect they would’ve slowed the film’s pace.
That’s especially true for the stuff with Betty and her boyfriend, as those elements really plod. They’re cool to see as bonus features but would’ve been dull in the final flick.
We also get a few neat jokes. I like the scene in which Bruce delivers pizza to a few different college locations, and the bit in which Blonsky discusses the Hulk’s color is a clever nod to his early look. While I can’t say that any of the cut sequences should’ve been in the theatrical cut, many are interesting to see.
With that we head to a documentary entitled The Making of Incredible. In this 29-minute, 54-second show, we hear from Leterrier, Roth, producers Kevin Feige, Gale Ann Hurd and Avi Arad, executive producer Jim Van Wyck, production designer Kirk M. Petruccelli, visual effects supervisor Kurt Williams, Canadian Forces Base Trenton public affairs officer Captain Nicole Meszaros, special effects coordinator Laird McMurray, stunt coordinator John Stoneham, Jr., second unit 1st AD Andrew Robinson, second unit 2nd AD Joel Hay, and actors Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, and William Hurt.
The show discusses the series’ “reboot” and bringing Leterrier on board, story and character issues, cast and performances, sets and locations, the use of military elements, effects and camerawork.
Given that a car manufacturer sponsors it, I expected a cheesy fluff piece from “Making”. Happily, it turns out to be more substantial than I anticipated. It zips through its subjects rapidly but it explores them reasonably well. The show doesn’t solely accentuate the positive, as it acknowledges some problems along the way. “Making” moves quickly and provides a good program.
Four featurettes follow. Becoming the Hulk goes for nine minutes, 22 seconds and features Leterrier, Norton, Feige, Williams, Hurd, Rhythm and Hues senior animation supervisor Keith Roberts, character designer Aaron Sims, and Mova founder/president Steve Perlman.
“Becoming” looks at character design and execution. The program offers a great examination of the techniques used to bring the Hulk to life. I especially like the parts in which we see Norton’s active involvement in the process. We learn quite a bit in this fascinating show.
A sister piece comes to us via the 10-minute, 16-second Becoming the Abomination. It presents remarks from Leterrier, Roth, Feige, Williams, Roberts, movement coach/motion capture Terry Notary, Rhythm and Hues visual effects supervisor Betsy Paterson, Rhythm and Hues lighting supervisor Greg Steele and Rhythm and Hues character rigging supervisor Matt Derksen.
As expected, this show works like its predecessor; it simply focuses on a different character. It proves nearly as interesting as the prior program.
Anatomy of a Hulk-Out lasts 27 minutes, 50 seconds and actually consists of three shorter pieces. These include “Hulking Out in the Bottling Plant” (9:44), “Hulking Out on Campus” (10:09) and “Hulking Out in Harlem” (7:57).
We find notes from Leterrier, Norton, Feige, Stoneham, McMurray, Roth, Williams, Petruccelli, Paterson, Roberts, stunt commando John MacDonald, FTSI operator Alex MacDonald, second unit special effects key Gary Kleinsteuber, high pressure key Daniel Gibson, special effects coordinator Arthur Langevin, Soho VFX visual effects supervisor Allan Magled, Rhythm and Hues animation supervisors Matt Shumway and Chad Shattuck, and Rhythm and Hues lead animator Amanda Dague.
The “Anatomy” components provide details on various aspects of the movie’s three big Hulk scenes. Many more good notes emerge here, and I continue to enjoy Roth’s refreshing self-effacing side. While most actors claim to do all their own stunts, Roth is more than happy to discuss his limits and all the work he didn’t do.
Finally, From Comic Book to Screen goes for six minutes, 33 seconds and shows part of a comic book that influenced one of the movie’s scenes. It does this in a semi-animated manner. I’d prefer more extensive comic material, but this is still an interesting bonus.
U-Control breaks into five areas. “Thunderbolt Files” updates us on the Hulk’s status/whereabouts with maps and text. The feature adds some decent information and can be a fun way to keep tabs on the various participants.
Only available four times during the film, “Scene Explorer” lets us see these sequences via four stages. We can look at storyboards, computer-generated animatic, the VFX plate and VFX “stage 2”. Though we don’t get many of these “Explorer” moments, they offer a cool look at the different phases of completion.
Also available only four times throughout the movie, “Comic Book Gallery” simply flashes some art – and very little art at that. This feature becomes a waste of time.
In a similar vein, we get an “Animated Comic”. This pops up once during the movie, as it comes alongside chapter 11. When you get there, it branches off to show us part of Hulk: Gray Book 5 so we can view a sequence that inspired the movie’s grotto scene.
A running affair, “Animated Comic” goes for six minutes, 33 seconds and becomes a decent addition, though a simple still-frame gallery probably would’ve been more efficient.
Lastly, “U-Control” brings us a “Picture in Picture” component. This mixes shots from the set, behind the scenes materials and interviews. We hear from Kevin Feige, Kurt Williams, Kirk Petruccelli, Louis Leterrier, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Chad Shattuck, John Stoneham Jr., Jim Van Wyck, key stunt rigger Marco Bianco, special effects key Marcus Rait, boom operator Pat Cassin and effects technical director Nathan Ortiz.
The notes cover sets and locations, production design, stunts and action, various effects, and related areas.
Though not without value, the “PiP” function doesn’t live up to the format’s potential. The infoirmation seems moderately useful but I don’t think we get enough of them to fill the time well. While this isn’t a bad feature, it’s a bit of a disappointment.
I never counted the Hulk as one of my absolute favorite superheroes, and I can’t say that The Incredible Hulk changed my opinion. The movie packs some fun action and keeps us involved, but it fails to turn into anything more engrossing than that. The 4K UHD provides generally good picture along with excellent audio and a broad array of bonus materials. While I’m not wild about the movie itself, I feel pleased with this release.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of THE INCREDIBLE HULK