The Incredible Hulk Universal Studios, $34.98. Between Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain lies his Hulk: a green, misunderstood golem, daringly Freudian. If The Incredible Hulk is what the fanboys really wanted, then they don’t deserve directors like Lee. You can tell from the film’s tedium-inducing smackdowns that a different philosophy prevailed: the artificial Zen of video-game playing. The camera jostles, and a fakey Harlem is summarily destroyed. But how many movies will it take for Hollywood to realize that this kind of virtual mayhem rarely translates for those of us not playing the game?
The Strangers Universal Studios, $29.98. Given the two dominant trends in recent American horror—meat-grinder gore and remakes of Asian films involving creepy pale children—this nasty but rather tightly made film almost counts as a return to classical virtues. Almost. First-time director Bertino starts with a slow opening act in which the only menace is our own awareness of what is coming. Act Two involves the typical, but still effective, use of shock cuts and loud noises to get us clutching our seats or our dates. But where do you go from there? Bertino, who also wrote the screenplay, doesn’t know how to carry off the last act and leaves us feeling as if we’ve expended a lot of adrenaline over nothing.