In many respects when I took this book, ‘Telos Movie Classics: Hulk’ by Tony Lee, out of its envelope, my first reaction was the resemblance to the BFI film books in not only size but page count. The only major difference is the lack of photographs but that’s also in line with Telos’ unofficial and unauthorised books so that shouldn’t be a surprise, especially at the cost of rights to use photos which would double the price of a book.
‘Using the first ‘Hulk’ film, directed by Ang Lee (as Tony Lee points out, he is neither related to him or Stan Lee) seems an odd choice considering its mixed reception but as this is part of a book series, I would suspect this one was the first completed.
It’s obvious from the start that Tony Lee is a fan of the 2003 film and the Incredible Hulk in particular, as he references the comicbook and the 1978-1982 TV series. He’s less impressed, mostly by the change in lead actor, by the 2008 film sequel, ‘The Incredible Hulk’ and because of release schedule, the recent ‘Avengers Assemble’ film only gets a brief mention. Apart from that, Lee gives a lot of information about the film and what has been said about it, as well as other tit-bits of information that could be perceived as padding. The latter does bring me some concerns if this book is used as a template for others in the series because other films might not need padding.
Lee centres a lot more on the metaphor of the film to the point that I wish he’d actually done a chapter on the actual plot before the analysis, if only to give a reminder to the reader about the film before they watch it again to see what they didn’t get the first time.
You will come out of this book better informed by the author’s enthusiasm, even if he does get carried away by things done in fours which is a tad obsessive, but whether you would buy this book without an interest in the film is something only you can decide. It’ll be interesting to see where this book series goes. In some respects, not selecting the standard fare of books and highlight other films might well be the way to go. Something to watch.
pub: Telos. 104 page small softcover. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84583-066-3.
check out website: www.telos.co.uk