Hulk: Struggle For Control

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Tagline:
Banner wants rid of it. Ross wants it. During their tug-of-war over Banner's DNA, the Hulk protects Betty and fights Ross' abominable experiment. In the end Banner realizes that if he can't get rid of it, he must learn to control it. VERSION2: 1080p.
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2008
Original Running Time:
112
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
114
Time Cut:
14
Time Added:
16
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The Incredible Hulk: Struggle for Control aims to fit better in the MCU. Informative exposition from the deleted scenes is added, while trimmed for pacing. It shows more of Banner and Ross' motivations, less Betty, less close-up CGI Hulk, more Doc Samson, and more SHIELD:
- Several deleted scenes are added (back) in that add depth to Banner and Ross' characters and makes their motivations clearer. E.g. Banner trying to shoot himself in the opening scene, and Ross saying "He wants to get rid of it. [...] I want what's inside of him."
- Betty in Hulk (2003) was a plausible scientist working with genius Bruce, who showed a strength of character consistent with the comics. Disappointingly, 2008 Betty shows neither. Betty's aspirated one-or-two word lines while staring in the middle distance, suggest that she's constantly at a loss for what to do or think. She is trimmed to look less clueless.
- The CGI is frustrating. The Hulk's steroids-ripped body looks less real than Hulk 2003 and repeatedly fails to inhabit the space it's in. The close-ups look the weakest. They got trims when their bodies failed to convince.
- Fleshing out Doc Samson's character helps to flesh out both Bruce and Betty's. Also, I find the perspective interesting to see how an ordinary human responds when a super-powered person enters his life.
- SHIELD's presence reaffirms the continuity within the MCU. Added to their minor mention in the film is Marvel's One-Shot "The Consultant" as post-credit scene.
Intention:
The Incredible Hulk (2008) plays like a double episode from the 1978 Hulk TV-series. In part 1 “Bottled Up” Banner searches for a cure while hiding in a Brazilian slum. The US army finds him, he Hulks out, they fight, he disappears. In part 2 “Breaking Harlem” Betty re-enters Bruce's life and a brainy scientist claims he can cure Bruce. Yet again happiness proves temporary. In a climactic battle the Hulk saves innocent lives but gets blamed for the damage.
Along the way we're introduced to The Abomination, Doc Samson, and possibly The Leader. The latter two may be set-ups for future story opportunities.

The producers described The Incredible Hulk (2008) as a "requel", a portmanteau of reboot and sequel that is as wrong as it sounds. It formed an flawed bridge between Hulk (2003) and subsequent MCU films. The actors changed, the CGI for the Hulk changed dramatically. As Hulk (2003) introduced us to the character of the Hulk, now we are introduced to the world of the Hulk. Between the theatrical release and 44 minutes of deleted scenes, we get world building and character development that echoes through to Avengers 1 and Captain America: Civil War. The theatrical release, while high on action, skips a lot of meaningful development. Tomahawk's Extended Edition (Universal hasn't released an official EE) includes all of that but runs 150 minutes and feels even longer. This edit incorporates the relevant narrative while keeping up the pace.
Additional Notes:
VERSION 2: 1080p (the visual difference between the HD theatrical movie and the 480p deleted scenes is minimized through impressive upscaling in Topaz) Audio 1: 5.1 Surround Audio 2: Commentary track with Louis Leterrier & Tim Roth (complete, so not synced to the edit) both tracks: English Subtitles
Other Sources:
- Craig Armstrong's Incredible Hulk soundtrack (double-CD)
- Thor 1 blu-ray (for The Consultant)
Special Thanks:
Thanks to Tomahawk for his Hulk (2008) edit.
HULK-SIZED thanks to Revel911 for the trial-and-error in Topaz to find the best settings to upscale the deleted scenes. The final result is impressive and far better than the first attempts.
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features
This is VERSION 2. The deleted scenes are properly upscaled, allowing the entire film to be 1080p instead of 720p.
Cuts and Additions:
- Throughout: trims for pacing. The theatrical + all deleted scenes is just too slow and too long. For pacing I would have preferred to cut another 5-10 minutes, but then I'd be cutting into either the meat of the story or the exciting parts of the action.
- Open with the Deleted Glacier scene, creating continuity with Banner's callback in Avengers 1.
- Opening titles are rescored (using music from a cut scene). Trimmed to match the new music cue.
- Banner doesn't hulk out from his pulse reaching 200. It's not about heart-rate, it's about ANGER. It makes me so angry that they added this inconsistent and unnecessary gimmick to the story! I've cut the watch throughout the movie. No pulse-meter during martial arts practice, the favela chase, the factory fight, in bed with Betty, or when Bruce gets slapped by Blonsky.
- Trim Bruce's flower experiment.
- Add several trimmed deleted scenes of Ross' exposition explaining why he "wants what's inside of him!", including that the US military never stopped trying to replicate Captain America's super soldier serum (including testing on prisoners of war). E.g. on the plane, in the hangar, in his office.
- Trim Bruce's time wandering around the university campus. For pacing and because this is a hunted man on a mission, he can be nostalgic later.
- In this edit, Bruce and Betty do get it on. After all, heart rate isn't Bruce's problem, so there's no watch to start beeping like Joan Rivers' "Virgin Alarm" in Spaceballs. To keep it suggestive rather than explicit, we cut quickly to daddy Ross brooding in his office.
- No taxi ride in Manhattan. This would work in an SNL spoof, but wrong kinda funny for the movie.
- After the final battle, use the deleted scene of Betty answering Doc Samson's call.
- Closing titles are rescored (using Craig Armstrong's original end credits theme).
- The edit is rendered in 720p because of the SD deleted scenes. If Universal ever releases all deleted scenes in cleaned-up 1080p, I'll happily double-dip to re-render this edit in 1080p.
- Deleted scenes have been expanded from 2.0 to 5.1.
Cover art by lapis molari (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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Comic Cover art by lapis molari (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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User reviews

16 reviews
 
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13%
5-7 stars
 
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1-3 stars
 
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Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.2(16)
Visual Editing
 
9.4(16)
Audio Editing
 
9.5(16)
Narrative
 
9.4(16)
Enjoyment
 
9.3(16)
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Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I certainly see the reasoning for including the snow scene at the beginning but Bruce never points the gun at himself, so that inclusion is rather confusing. He seems to be clearly pointing it away. Maybe there is some stock footage somewhere or a scene from a different film that could be repurposed in some way? Overall I appreciate the intent of that addition but it does feel jarring right at the start.

So I really liked what the editor did overall. I'd never seen the movie all the way though before but I could enjoy this version enough to watch it fully so it's a vast improvement over the original! I did notice the absence of the heart rate thing, as I remember it being present in the street chase originally. It's a welcome change and there's only really one part where I noticed reference to it, towards the end.

There is a lot of bad stuff in the original movie that spoils the enjoyment such as badly thought out locations and awful jump cuts. I can see that the editor did some work around at least one of these bad edits and the bad edit was left untouched, while the faneditor's change was flawless. It feels like a real shame that the editor could have polished the original movie by adding some cross fade or some other remedies to improve on that. I can't fault the fan editor of course but I feel like it's a missed opportunity.

Finally, I'd like to quibble about the encoding quality of the movie. I have to say I find it to be excessively high. Whilst I appreciate the editor's love for quality and I respect that, for me it means if I am going to keep it in my movies folder, I have to re-encode and that feels wrong somehow. It also takes a longer time to download. It's a minor quibble for sure, I just feel like for an AVC encode, 5Mb/s is more than adequate and for super high quality, 8Mb/s would be vastly more than enough, except for the most egregious of detailed movies such as pacific rim rainstorm scene. Anything above 10Mb/s is wasteful IMO, but it is only a quibble, I'm not giving negative points for that.

All in all, This is a superior version to the theatrical edit, but there is still room for improvement. Great job!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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Overall rating
 
8.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Hulk 08 is a movie I’ve seen too many times, both original & fanedited. The original is a very dry one while both QuickCut & Tomahawk’s extended editions, while fleshing story, character, & narrative out & functioning as slow-burn movies, might be too long for people & I doubt even I could sit through again. While I’m impressed that Lapis was able to cut out so much & add so much back in, I feel like more could’ve been done.

-While I used to enjoy reinserting the deleted opening, I don’t think it pairs well with the opening credits, since the information provided in the latter is either going to be repeated or can be disseminated more naturally throughout the film. As much as I miss when comic book movies used to have opening credits, I don’t think they’re necessary.

-Everything with the white flower is a time sink. It kills the pacing (since Bruce cutting his thumb open dovetails nicely into the U.S. government learning of his location), & the only relevant information is that Bruce has someone in the states helping him with his gamma sickness, which you can accomplish by having Bruce send his mail package in the earlier montage before we see Bruce at the soda factory.

–Bruce pining for the lady at the soda factory (and kissing her on the cheek) should be cut out. In the brilliant dinner scene between Bruce, Betty & Leonard, Bruce mentions that is’ the first time in awhile since he’s felt light about anything, which is at odds for a man willing trying to avoid stressful situations with rude coworkers (or kissing a woman on the cheek when we don’t know how well they know each other & never will).

-Is it at all possible to splice in Ross’s dialogue about how “I WANT! WHAT’S INSIDE HIIIIIIM!!!!” while Bruce is being chased in Brazil. Granted, it’s important character motivation for Ross, but the scene itself drags. Other scenes that would benefit from being spliced together would be (1) Ross telling Blonsky about the super soldier program while Ross digs it out of storage & (2) Ross talking about Promethean fire while Blonsky gets injected with the stuff. Little trims so we get multiple things happening in a short amount of time.

-I don’t think we need the scene of Ross’ supervisor warning him about messing with super soldiers again, since Ross just ignores him anyway. You can keep the bit about Blonsky not being able to tell the Hulk’s color, but the important part of that scenario should be Blonsky wanting answers.

-There are a few deleted scenes I wish made it into this version of the film, like Bruce telling Stanley about how all the research back at his lab is gone. You could call it repeating what we know, but it helps dramatize Bruce’s desperation about everything & wanting to leave, only for Betty to come in at the last second.

-The second deleted scene I missed was Bruce venting to Betty on the campus grounds. Again, it’s just him talking, but it’s him opening up & airing out his frustrations about the experiment & what it cost him, shows more vulnerability to Bruce’s character & sets up Bruce’s speech in the climax about he, Betty, & Ross are responsible for The Hulk/Abomination.

-The third deleted scene I really missed was Betty showing Bruce her scars in bed. I know it ties into the heart rate monitor Lapis’ isn’t a fan of, but again, it shows the scars that the Hulk experiment caused & it has Better opening up about her trauma to Bruce & how Bruce must feel about it, etc.

-Back to things that should’ve been deleted, Betty selling her mom’s necklace doesn’t drive the plot & could be removed. I can believe that they have enough money on them to get them to New York, the army prepping to find them is enough in terms of desperation.

-I also don’t need them getting stuck in traffic, getting out of the car, & hiring a boat to get them into the city. It’s screen time that could be saved by just assuming they drove straight to Samuel Stern.

-One last scene I missed was of Ross telling his men “remember, if he gets agitated, just let him go & we’ll try again later” with Blonsky being angry about not getting round three. It shows that Ross is not an idiot & unwilling to cause another incident like at the campus, as ell as Blonsky growing more & more about wanting to fight the Hulk and less about avenging his team at the beginning of the film.

-I understand Lapis wanting to cut any CGI of Hulk that doesn’t look convincing, but I really did miss the bit where it seems Hulk’s won, but Abomination gets back up, spurring Hulk to give a “aww, here we go again” type of look that was really charming for me. On a similar note. Abomination shouting “you don’t deserve this power, now watch her die,” and stabbing his elbow bone into Hulk’s chest was sorely missed, since aside from the visual continuity error of Hulk’s chest being blue-green, you don’t see that kind of violence in the MCU & that’s what makes the final fight in this movie unique.

And that’s all I have for this edit. It replaces the theatrical edition for sure, but it’s not my go-to version of the movie.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Owner's reply June 03, 2022

Nic, thanks for your clearly-argued suggestions. Placing parts of Ross' lengthy monologue over other shots is particularly inspired! Perhaps the next faneditor can create the best of all worlds for Hulk '08.

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Overall rating
 
7.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
7.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
I think that it's an incredible challenge to make this movie work and I respect the immense challenge. Like Lapis' other edits, the pacing is immensely improved and I felt more of a connection to Bruce's character due to the inclusion of some extra scenes. On a sidenote, some of these deleted scenes do have some audio issues compared to the rest of the film, but they're easy to look over. There's also a couple continuity errors end up at a location without a reason, but in the long term its not too bad to ignore.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
T
Top 1000 Reviewer 3 reviews
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Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
A great edit! A much deeper "Hulk" emotionally, and the post credit scene works so good. Cover art is amazing!

Only complaint was that some of the cuts to remove the heart rate plot were noticeable due to visual continuity and some quick audio cuts that were noticeable. Not bad, simply less than perfect cinema quality, probably due to what Lapis had to work with.

But overall, really great work and a really fun watch!

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(Updated: March 02, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.1
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Not just a vast improvement on the original version, lapis' edit of Incredible Hulk is a tantalizing glimpse of an alternate MCU where the tone is a bit more Edward Norton and a bit less Robert Downey Jr -- that is to say, dark but not grim and not constant snarky asides. The characters under lapis' editing are more consistent, likeable, sympathetic and, in Tim Roth's case, menacing. For anyone re-watching this film prior to Abomination's reappearances in Shang-Chi and (upcoming) She-Hulk, this is definitely the version you want to watch. One nitpick: while I applaud and agree with the decision to remove Banner's heartrate monitor as a plot device, at several points during the soda factory chase I could hear it beeping and wondered if something was wrong with my phone somewhere. Lastly, the integration of "The Consultant" into the post-credits sequence salvages that original version from incoherence, and it's hugely appreciated to have it here with the film proper.

This edit changes a largely ignored MCU chapter into one of its must-see highlights. Hugely recommended.

P.S. As always, lapis knocks it out of the park on the cover art side of things. Always nice to see Gil "Sugar" Kane's art pop up unexpectedly.

User Review

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Yes
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Digital
R
Top 50 Reviewer 106 reviews
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