Here are the synopsis and trailers for the two films opening this weekend. Clicking on the films poster will take you directly to the official website for the film.
The Incredible Hulk (PG-13)
In this new beginning, scientist Bruce Banner desperately hunts for a cure to the gamma radiation that poisoned his cells and unleashes the unbridled force of rage within him: The Hulk. Living in the shadows---cut off from a life he knew and the woman he loves, Betty Ross---Banner struggles to avoid the obsessive pursuit of his nemesis, General Thunderbolt Ross, and the military machinery that seeks to capture him and brutally exploit his power. As all three grapple with the secrets that led to The Hulk's creation, they are confronted with a monstrous new adversary known as The Abomination, whose destructive strength exceeds even The Hulk's own. One scientist must make an agonizing final choice: accept a peaceful life as Bruce Banner or find heroism in the creature he holds inside---
Judge's Take: OK, this will be a big release and many a geek boy is absolutely giddy at the thought of this revamped, reworked and over-CGI'ed latest incarnation of the big green dude. I know a few blogs that excitedly reported on the fact that the latest trailer/commercial included the hulk saying "Hulk Smash!" like it was some incredible event. However, I have grown really tired of the "re-imagining" that Hollywood does to recycle their previous attempts at entertainment. Sure it's going to be fun seeing a big ass computer-generated hulk character beating up another big ass computer generated character, but how much more can they milk this franchise? In fact, how further can they pander to the comic book genre in hopes of squeezing every last dollar out of the genre until audiences are literally begging for mercy? Its easily going to be the number one film this weekend, but it further desentizes audiences to the oversaturation of a quickly tiring genre.
There is also the interesting behind-the-scenes drama that has been going on with this one. Ed Norton allegedly wrote a first draft of the script, and then re-wrote several scenes during filming. However due to a disagreement with the studio over the length of the film, he refused to do any publicity for it. Was that a spoiled actor that didnt get his way, or is it a sign that this movie is all about publicity hype and less about substance? Of course, this is a popcorn flick for the Summer, so don't people dont really expect much in the way of substance anyway.
The Happening (R)
A pandemic of unknown cause is spreading, with victims experiencing loss of speech and physical disorientation, followed by death. The protagonist, a science teacher named Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg), runs for his life together with his estranged wife, Alma Moore (Zooey Deschanel) and the 8-year-old daughter (Ashlyn Sanchez) of Elliot's best friend, Julian (John Leguizamo), in order to survive.
Judge's Take: I have yet to read one positive review of M. Night Shyama-lama-ding-dong's latest big scary flick. Garth from Dark Horizons said, "Excluding moments of chilling effectiveness, this could fairly be called his worst film." and that seems to be the general concensus of this clunker. Ever since "The Sixth Sense," Shyamalan has been trying to re-claim the box office title. But facing off against the big green Hulk on the same weekend, combined with piss-poor early reviews, suggests that he's got yet another flop on his hands and further cements the notion that Shyamalan is a one trick pony that went to pasture back in 1999, never to be seen again.