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Preview Image for Hulk Vs. Wolverine / Vs. Thor
Hulk Vs. Wolverine / Vs. Thor (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000113136
Added by: Stuart McLean
Added on: 14/2/2009 19:32
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    Hulk Vs. Thor / Vs. Wolverine

    6 / 10

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    I should start by saying that, whilst I'm a huge Marvel fan I tend to go gooey eyed at what I consider to be its halcyon period - the late sixties and early seventies. It was during that time that many of their finest and most enduring super heroes were born, including Spiderman, The Hulk, The X-Men and The Mighty Thor. Of course, this opinion may well be tempered by the fact that I was a kid back then, living in the US and being immersed in this wonderful world where the only web to surf would have been Spidey's. So it was with great expectations that I unwrapped this particular platter - containing as it did three all time Marvel faves; the Hulk, Thor and X-Men stalwart, Wolverine.

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    This new 'animated feature' comes from the same stable as the recent Ultimate Avengers outings, and the recently animated Iron Man and Doctor Strange features and it has the same look and feel- a low budget Disney styling that does little to reflect the brilliance of the early artwork of Jack Kirby.

    That said, once you get over that initial disappointment and accept that Kirby's Marvel days are well and truly over, and you also accept the primitive and relatively unsophisticated animation (this is nearer to TV animation than a sophisticated, high budget animated feature), then actually these two mini-features are a lot of fun.

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    The disc contains two tales; the 37 minute Hulk Vs. Thor and the 45 minute Hulk vs. Wolverine. The Wolverine outing is substantially more engaging than the one dimensional smash-fest of the first feature, though both tales are entertaining enough. It may be worth mentioning, however, that there's plenty of mindless ultra-violence here with blood aplenty, so not one for the under twelve's.

    'Hulk Vs. Thor'
    In "Hulk Vs. Thor," the All-Father Odin is taking his annual nap leaving Loki to run wild. And Loki is calling on the power of the Hulk to kill his brother and wreak havoc all over Asgard. By kidnapping Banner, Loki is able to 'possess' the Hulk and go hunting for his brothers. All the Asgard regulars are here, including Sif, Loki and Hela, the enchantress, and Valkyrie.

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    What's a little weird is the Hulk's ability to relentlessly beat the mighty Thor, who is the God of Thunder after all, to within an inch of his life. There's just no contest. And just to add to the confusion, Loki somehow separates the Hulk from Banner so Banner and The Hulk become two separate beings for a bit, which doesn't quite tally. Oh well, I suppose it's all a bit silly to take these things too seriously and get hung up on such gross inconsistencies. Best to just sit back and enjoy the relentless pulversing instead.

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    Hulk Vs. Wolverine
    Who else found the recent 'real actors' movie portrayal of Wolverine a bit diluted in the X-Man movies? Every time he put his bladed claws into the chest of some miscreant, there was a distinct lack of any blood. Well, be warned. They more than make up for that oversight here.

    With more depth to the story than the Hulk vs Thor, we get to revisit the Weapon X origin of Wolverine with Deadpool, Sabretooth, Omega Red, and Lady Deathstrike in the Weapon X labs trying to kill Wolverine before the Professor can wipe his memories away.

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    Logan is sent by Department H to try to figure out how they can stop the rampaging Hulk who has destroyed a small town and is set to continue across the country. When Wolverine sees the devastation, with evidence that a small girl has been hurt, he agrees to help stop the Hulk. He catches up with a frightened Bruce Banner but when he questions him, Banner becomes angry and ...well, you can guess the next bit!

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    Whilst they battle it in a bout that looks set to exhaust all fight possibilities, we stop for a flash back to Logan's past at the Weapon-X project, where we also meet Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, and Deadpool. Then the Hulk and Wolverine enter this nest of bad mutants in present time and Logan learns that the Hulk was only rampaging Canada as a result of the Weapon X teams attempts to harness his power. There are other bits of back story too that will please those following Wolverine's exploits in comic form, and which don't detract too much for the rest of us.

    Wolverine is really the star here and has far more personality than the two dimensional God of Thunder and as a result this is definitely the most fun of the two.

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    Extra Features

    There aren't as many extra features as the US released 2 x DVD set (which had a Jack Kirby feature which would have been nice) but there's still more than enough. Actually, quite a lot more than enough as it's hard to know who would want to listen through the two audio commentaries in full.

    Here's what you get, apart from Trailers for Doctor Strange feature and Ultimate Avengers 2

    Hulk Vs. Wolverine
    Audio Commentary by Supervising Producer/co-writer Craig Kyle and co-writer Chris Yost.
    "This is Gonna Hurt: The Making of Hulk Vs Wolverine" which shows interviews with those involved saying how much they loved it - and trying to stay employed long enough for the next one.

    Hulk Vs. Thor
    Audio Commentary by Supervising Producer/co-writer Craig Kyle and co-writer Chris Yost.
    "Of Gods and Monsters: The Making of Hulk Vs Thor" featurette
    "First Look - Thor Tales of Asgard

    Picture and Sound

    If the animation itself looks a little primitive, then the transfer is anything but. It's a rich and flawless 16:9 image. The 5.1 audio is top notch too which creates a lot of the 'Hulk Smashin' atmosphere of the piece, with great explosive sound effects emitting from every speaker. It'll; certainly give your audio system a hammering too!

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    Maybe I'm being too purist expecting the incredible level of pictorial and expressive detail achieved by Jack Kirby in his original artwork. This just pales by comparison. But once that gripe is set aside I have to concede that these two Hulk outings are a lot of fun - if you like a lot of clobbering and destruction in your animation. They both tend towards the less impressive Disney stuff of late where expression is only articulated effectively by voice artistes. These may be a vast improvement of the 1970's TV animations but they still have a way to go. But if you're a marvel fan and have already bought into the Lionsgate / Marvel franchise with earlier releases - and if you liked them - then you're going to love this.

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