SO HULK SAW A MOVIE THIS WEEKEND…

hoo boy, did he.

HEY FOLKS. SHORT ONE HERE BUT IT WAS TOO MUCH TO TWEET.

SO HULK WENT TO THE MOVIES THIS WEEKEND. WHY? BECAUSE HULK'S FRIEND'S MATT NOTICED THAT A MOVIE HAD CRACKED THE TOP 10 AT THE BOX OFFICE (IN ONLY 200 THEATERS NO LESS) AND HE HAD NEVER EVEN HEARD OF IT. SO HE WATCHED THE TRAILER AND THEN BECAME OBSESSED WITH IT. HE THEN CONVINCED HULK TO COME ALONG - AND PLEASE NOTE THAT HULK WENT INTO THIS COMPLETELY BLIND... AND HULK COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT HULK WITNESSED, FOR WHAT IF HULK TOLD YOU THAT THIS MOVIE HAD ALL OF THE FOLLOWING THINGS:

TWO OF THE BEST ACTION BEATS OF THE YEAR.

45 OF THE WORST ACTION BEATS OF THE YEAR.

ONE OF THE BEST MUSICAL NUMBERS HULK'S SEEN IN YEARS.

THE MOST IRONICALLY FUNNY MUSICAL NUMBER HULK'S SEEN IN YEARS.

THE WORST MUSICAL NUMBER HULK'S SEEN IN YEARS.

SOME OF THE BEST EMPHASIS ON PRACTICAL EFFECTS HULK'S SEEN IN YEARS.

SOME OF THE WORST CGI HULK'S SEEN IN YEARS.

ONE OF THE BEST USES OF CINEMATIC SATIRE WITH REGARDS TO THE MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL. BUT IT'S SO SPOT ON THAT HULK WORRIES IT MIGHT BE DOING IT EARNESTLY.

IT ALSO HAS, HANDS DOWN, THE MOST OFFENSIVE PORTRAYAL OF A MENTALLY HANDICAPPED PERSON THAT HULK'S SEEN IN THE LAST 20 YEARS (WE'RE TALKING SIMPLE JACK HERE AND IT MEANS IT WITH FULL SINCERITY).

THAT IT HAS OVER 30 TOTAL MINUTES OF CHARACTERS WALKING IN SLOW-MOTION WHILE BAD ASS POSTURING (NOT AN EXAGGERATION. IT FEELS LIKE A LONELY ISLAND SKETCH).

THAT IT FILMS THE MEN LIKE WOMEN AND IT FILMS THE WOMEN LIKE POP STARS.

THAT IT HAS ENTIRE ACTION SET PIECES THAT REVOLVE AROUND IDEAS THAT COULD ONLY COME FROM A 10 YEAR OLD PLAYING WITH ACTION FIGURES.

THAT IT IMBUES ITS SILLINESS WITH SPIRITUAL ICONOGRAPHY, EVEN PUTTING IT RIGHT INTO ITS CHARACTER MOTIVATION IN A WAY THAT SEEMS UNHEARD OF THESE DAYS.

THAT IT USES THE MOST OVERT, NONSENSICAL TACTICS OF MANIPULATION WE'VE SEEN IN CINEMA IN THE LAST 40 YEARS.

THAT IT DEMONIZES ITS BANKER VILLAINS WITH THE MOST FACILE UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT A BANK ACTUALLY IS.

THAT IT WOULD EARNESTLY CONFLATE THE 1990S WITH THE 1950S.

THAT IT WOULD TRY TO BLEND ACTION, COMEDY, HEARTFELT DRAMA AND MUSIC IN SUCH WHIPLASH INDUCING WAYS, WITH WHAT SEEMS TO BE JUST ENOUGH UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR PRIMARY FUNCTION AND HOW THEY SHOULD "WORK," BUT WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY HAVING NO SENSE OF TASTE.

AND, MOST OF ALL, IT WOULD DO ALL THESE THINGS AT A RUNNING TIME OF THREE HOURS.

... WHAT THE HELL KIND OF MOVIE WOULD DO ALL THIS?

IT'S CALLED DHOOM 3 AND IT IS A BOLLYWOOD FILM. THE THING TO NOTE IS THAT IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS IT HAS GONE ON TO MAKE MORE MONEY WORLDWIDE THAN ANY OTHER BOLLYWOOD FILM EVER.

* * *

HULK FEELS LIKE WE ALL HAVE SOME PERCEPTIONS OF WHAT A BOLLYWOOD FILM IS: SINGING. DANCING. SWORDPLAY. PROPRIETY. STAR-CROSSED LOVERS. AND EVERYONE WEARING LANGOTAS AND SARIS OR SOMETHING. WE HAVE THESE PERCEPTIONS BECAUSE AMERICANS WILL REFERENCE BOLLYWOOD A BUNCH, BUT WE DON'T ACTUALLY WATCH ANY OF THE FILMS. HECK, MOST OF WHAT HULK HAS SEEN OUT OF INDIA IS MORE OF THE "ARTISTIC" VARIETY (TO USE A PRETENTIOUS TERM), FROM THE GREATS LIKE SATYAJIT RAY, GHATAK, SEN, ETC. THERE WERE ACTUALLY A FEW YEARS THERE RIGHT AROUND THE MILLENNIUM WHERE HULK WOULD GO SEE BOLLYWOOD FILMS A BUNCH WITH SOME HINDU FRIENDS. IT WAS PROBABLY ENOUGH TO GET HULK TO REALLY FEEL THE CONVENTIONS OF HOW THESE MAINSTREAM MOVIES WORK IN SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT WAYS FROM OUR OWN. MOST NOTICEABLY OF ALL, BOLLYWOOD FILMS AIM FOR "FOUR QUADRANTS" AND A SENSE OF EPICNESS THAT MAKES OUR TRADITIONAL AMERICAN CLASSICS SEEM LIKE THEY WERE DESIGNED FOR NICHE CULTURE. IT IS OFTEN CALLED THE "MASALA" THEORY OF CINEMA A.K.A. ALL THE SPICES BEING INCLUDED IN ONE HARMONIOUS THING. IT IS SO COMPLETELY INGRAINED INTO THE INDIAN EXPECTATION THAT FEW BOLLYWOOD MOVIES WILL EVER DIVERT FROM IT. AND MAYBE, TO THE AMERICAN EYE, THIS BRAND OF CINEMA SEEMS MORE COHESIVE BECAUSE OF THE EXOTIC LENS OF THE WHOLE ENTERPRISE AND THE INDIAN SETTINGS THAT COLOR THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE. BUT PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT HULK'S EXPOSURE TO BOLLYWOOD WAS DURING THE LAST GASPS OF THE OLD MODEL, JUST BEFORE THE GLOBALIZING IMPACT AND SOCIAL PROGRESS THAT INDIA HAS SEEN IN THE LAST 10 YEARS REALLY TOOK SHAPE. AND WHILE HULK CAN ONLY SPEAK OF WHAT HULK SAW IN THIS FILM AND THE TRAILERS THAT RAN PRIOR TO IT... THE EFFECT OF THE GLOBALIZATION SEEMS TO BE REMARKABLE.

THE TRUTH IS HULK ISN'T REALLY SURE WHAT HULK JUST WITNESSED AND CERTAINLY ISN'T SURE WHAT DHOOM 3 EXACTLY MEANS. SO MUCH OF THE FILM FALLS COMPLETELY IN LINE WITH THE INDIAN TRADITION AND YET SO MUCH OF IT IS ADORNED WITH AMERICAN INFLUENCE (IT TAKES PLACE IN CHICAGO BY THE WAY) AND SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO RECENT BLOCKBUSTERS THAT IT CAN'T HELP BUT BRING A SENSE OF "WHAT HATH WE WROUGHT!?!??!" IT'S HARD TO EXPLAIN, BUT THE CLOSER BOLLYWOOD MOVIES SEEM TO BE GETTING TO AMERICAN INFLUENCE, THE LESS THE EXOTICISM CAN MASK THE (SEEMINGLY) DISPARATE ELEMENTS THAT MAKE UP TRADITIONAL MASALA CINEMA. QUITE FRANKLY, IT JUST MAKES THE MOVIE SEEM BATSHIT CRAZY WHEN PRESSED UP AGAINST OUR AMERICAN SENSIBILITIES (IT HONESTLY FEELS LIKE A SAM STRANGE MOVIE). DHOOM 3 CAN'T HELP BUT FEEL LIKE A COMPLETE POSTURING OF SOMETHING THAT IT'S NOT, AND MAYBE THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT WHAT IT IS. OR MAYBE IT'S A MOVIE THAT HIGHLIGHTS THE INSANITY OF MOVIE STAR CINEMATIC TREATMENT, BECAUSE IT'S ALWAYS WEIRD WHEN A CAMERA WORSHIPS SOMEONE WE DON'T KNOW. EITHER WAY, HULK BELIEVES IF THIS WAS MADE AS AN AMERICAN FILM (AND IT PROBABLY NEVER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN TO THIS STAGE, QUITE FRANKLY) WE WOULD HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO RESPOND TO IT AND WOULD PROBABLY BE TALKING ABOUT IT ENDLESSLY (COMPLETE WITH A BUZZFEED LIST OF THE 32 MOST INSANE GIFS FROM THE MOVIE). OF COURSE, THIS ONLY BRINGS UP THE REFLEXIVE CONCERN OF HOW TERRIBLY AMERICAN MOVIES MUST CHARACTERIZE OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD, BUT THAT'S THE COMPLICATION OF "EXOTICISM" IN GENERAL - WE ONLY UNDERSTAND IT ENOUGH TO EXPLOIT IT.

AND AGAIN, HULK HONESTLY CAN'T SAY IF THIS FILM SPEAKS FOR THE ENTIRE TREND OF BOLLYWOOD AT THE MOMENT, BUT THERE IS DEFINITELY SOMETHING HAPPENING HERE AND THAT SOMETHING IS DOWNRIGHT FASCINATING. HULK CAN'T EVEN SAY IF HULK RECOMMENDS YOU SEE DHOOM 3, BUT IF DEFINITELY FEELS LIKE THE MOST MOVIE MOVIE THAT HULK'S EVER SEEN, IF THAT MAKES SENSE. AND IF YOU ARE SOMEONE WHO LOVES CINEMA IN ALL ITS RABID FORMS THEN THAT MAKES IT SOMETHING WORTH DIVING INTO. PLEASE DON'T MISTAKE THAT AS A PLEA FOR YOUR MORBID CURIOSITY; CONSIDER IT A PLEA FOR THE SANCTITY OF HAVING SUCH AN EXPERIENCE. BECAUSE, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, THIS FILM IS ACTUALLY EARNEST IN A WAY THAT FEW FILMS ARE THESE DAYS. EVERY BIT OF ITS ACTION, ROMANCE, INFECTIOUSNESS, RIDICULOUSNESS, OFFENSIVENESS AND UNBRIDLED GLEE ARE EARNED THROUGH AN APPROACH THAT CAN ONLY BE DEFINED AS BOTH COMPLETELY VACUOUS AND UNREPENTANTLY PASSIONATE.

AND THAT CERTAINLY IS SOMETHING.

<3 HULK

PS - IN CASE YOU DIDN'T BELIEVE HULK, BEHOLD A TRAILER THAT DOESN'T DO HALF THE CRAZINESS JUSTICE...

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