Brains and brawn

Two films
In the middle of a summer of cultural and political discontent, there is a ray of hope—a few Hollywood films are showing respect for the intellect. Mindless films, usually so prevalent in the movie scene, have given way to a few mindful films. Take Hulk, for example.

Hulk? It is the sort of summer fare that would not normally call for serious intellectual reflection. Of course, comic book aficionados will insist that the best comic artists are anything but mindless, and will point out that many of the superheroes they create have their origins in literary history. Still, it would have been easy to rely on the latest special effects to draw summer audiences to Hulk. But as Peter Bart points out in a recent Variety column, Universal Pictures raised the bar when it hired high-concept artist Ang Lee to direct a film about “a brooding and brilliant young nuclear biotechnologist at Berkeley.”


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