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Old 04-09-2019, 09:33 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 09, 2001
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Question Rank the 15 pre-2000 Marvel films

Includes TV movies, does not include re-edited TV eps dressed as a movie)

So, of the 15 films based on Marvel that came out before X-Men hit theaters, how would you rank them?
  • Captain America (1944 serial)
    Doctor Strange (1978)
    Captain America (1979)
    Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1980)
    Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned
    Howard the Duck
    The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988, the one with Thor)
    The Punisher (1989)
    Trial of the Incredible Hulk
    Captain America (1990)
    Death of the Incredible Hulk
    Fantastic Four (1994)
    Generation X
    Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:30 AM   #2
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1. Howard the Duck
2. The Incredible Hulk Returns
3. Generation X
4. Captain America (1979)
5. Fantastic Four (1994)
6. Captain America (1990)
7. Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned
8. Doctor Strange (1978)
9. Blade
10. The Trial of the Incredible Hulk
11. Nick Fury, Agent of Shield
12. Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1980)
13. The Punisher (1989)
14. The Death of the Incredible Hulk
15. Captain America (The 1944 serial)
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:45 PM   #3
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Every Hulk movie ranked from worst to best

The Death of the Incredible Hulk (1990)

The final Incredible Hulk revival TV movie was The Death of the Incredible Hulk. David Banner dies at the end, but his death wasn't meant to be permanent. A follow-up, The Revenge of the Incredible Hulk, was planned (according to a 1990 issue of Starlog), but it never happened. In his 2011 book You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry, Paul Jankiewicz claims Revenge was cancelled because of Bixby's failing health (Bixby died from complications due to prostate cancer in 1993). But in a 2014 edition of Back Issue!, Gerald Di Pego, who wrote two of the TV movies and was set to write Revenge, claims Bixby was in good health when the fourth movie was canceled. Revenge got the axe, according to Di Pego, purely because of Death of the Incredible Hulk's low ratings.

Its low ratings meant few people got to see the moronic manner of the Hulk's death: he falls from a plane.

For context, in 2007's Incredible Hulk #104, the Hulk falls to a planet from orbit and he does it for fun. He not only survives, but does it with a big smile. If you're a fan of both the comics and the show, you learned a long time ago to accept that, power-wise, Ferrigno's Hulk wasn't even close to the comic book version. But still, falling from a plane? Really? That's how you kill the Hulk? That's like Logan ending with Wolverine dying from the flu.

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989)

Part of the goal of the late '80s Incredible Hulk revival was to use a familiar face to introduce some other Marvel franchises to audiences. That's why the first of them, 1988's The Incredible Hulk Returns, gave TV audiences a live-action Thor (Eric Allan Kramer) decades before Chris Hemsworth took up the hammer. And that's why, if you couldn't already guess, 1989's Trial of the Incredible Hulk premiered a live-action Matt Murdock (Rex Smith), a.k.a. Daredevil. Hell's Kitchen's favorite son represents David Banner after Banner witnesses a crime linked to the Kingpin (John Rhys-Davies).

While Daredevil fans likely wouldn't put Trial of the Incredible Hulk any higher on a list than Hulk fans would, perhaps the worst crime of Trial is that it prioritizes the Man Without Fear over the Green Goliath. In the final fight of the movie, Banner hits a dude with a vase, and that's the closest the Hulk gets to contributing to the climactic take-down. Everything else is in the hands of Daredevil's badly choreographed martial arts. Considering it would still be another 26 years before Daredevil got his own live-action Netflix series, sacrificing Hulk for a few extra kicks clearly wasn't worth it.

Hulk (2003)

Ang Lee's Hulk is not well-loved, and for good reasons. But maybe it deserves a break. Part of what makes it so bad, after all, is a director who aims for something more than a summer popcorn flick.

The script isn't great and most of the performances are wooden, though Sam Elliott is perfect as General Ross and Nick Nolte is a great villain who feels like he's in the wrong movie. The story is often boring, with Lee waiting a long time to introduce the Hulk, and waiting even longer for the film's only impressive action scene, Hulk's battle in the desert with the military. The effects are inconsistent — some shots are stunning, and others are embarrassingly cartoonish.

But Lee was trying to do more with Hulk. There's a lot of mythic imagery, like the scene in which Banner's father becomes a giant electrical creature reminiscent of Zeus. Lee connects the Hulk with nature, which is why he works in moments with the Hulk mesmerized by certain rock formations, and why in the final moments of the film we see a number of green animals hanging out with Banner before he presumably Hulks out once more.

Lee tries to make something unique and entertaining. He thoroughly fails at the latter, but you have to admit the guy tries.

The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988)

In 1988, American network television got its first new installment of David Banner's lonely saga since 1982 in the made-for-TV movie The Incredible Hulk Returns. Along with Bixby and Ferrigno, Incredible Hulk Returns stars Eric Allan Kramer as Thor and Steve Levitt as the thunder god's classic alter-ego Donald Blake. You may recall this is the fake name Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) gives S.H.I.E.L.D. when they're holding Thor captive in 2011's Thor, as well as the name Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) peels off a shirt as the freshly de-powered Thor looks for clothes.

There isn't much that's been on either a TV or theater screen that isn't better than these TV movies, but Incredible Hulk Returns is the most bearable. Unlike the final TV movie, the Hulk doesn't die in a ridiculous way, and unlike Trial, the guest superhero doesn't steal the show. Hulk and Thor have their compulsory battle in a lab, almost 25 years before Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo would tussle on the deck of a Helicarrier. And of course, they team up later for a fight that feels way more A-Team than any fight including the Hulk and Thor really should. Their one-on-one is worth watching, if for no other reason than it may leave you thinking, "Why doesn't the MCU's Hulk just flex his muscles six times in a row rather than attacking right away? Seems like a sound strategy."
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