We’re Doing the Basic Science for Everyone

Hulk: Basic Science from Jim Groom on Vimeo.

Ang Lee’s 2003 Hulk has been much maligned, and not without some basis. But of the two film Hulk’s that have come since (namely Ed Norton and Mark Ruffalo), neither have been part of anywhere near as good a film. That said, they all still aspire to the TV series—but for me Ang Lee’s comes closest. Sure it takes itself too seriously, and Banner’s father (when played by Nick Nolte) gets ridiculous quick, but of all three Hulks, Eric Bana’s has stuck with me most. What’s more, I’ve come back to the above scene in particular again and again in posts, conversations, and presentations. It’s the scene wherein the slimy military contractor Glenn Talbot gets shot down by Bruce Banner when offering to buy his research. It’s his simple response that gets me every time: “We’re doing the basics science for everyone.” For me, that’s the simple ideal that should guide all publicly funded research conducted at universities. The seemingly lost ideal that certain knowledge should represent a basic contribution to the common welfare of humanity. All very simplified and melodramatic in this scene, but maybe that’s why I love it so much.

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9 Responses to We’re Doing the Basic Science for Everyone

  1. Mikhail says:

    I am with you. I’ve always felt that Eng Lee’s Hulk was among the most interesting and compelling cinematic interpretations of comic aesthetics. It’s long and a little boring but has much more to offer than it often gets credit for.

  2. Reverend says:

    @Mikhail,

    I’ve been thinking a lot about film lately, in particular about the film class this Spring. I have a lot to talk with you about, but the long and the short of it is we do a live streaming TV show with MBS too, and bring in quests and interview them, analyze scenes, etc. One or two shows every week, I think it would be a blast. I am fully ready to co-teach this thing with you if you’ll have me.

    And the fact that you get Ang Lee’s film, unlike Tom Woodward (the philistine) makes me love you all that much more.

  3. Tom says:

    In order for a movie to be called The Hulk, the Hulk should actually be a character on screen for longer than 45 seconds. I hate that movie for destroying my hopes. I do credit the Avengers for this animated GIF.

  4. Reverend says:

    @Tom,

    I was hoping to get a bit more green rage outta you 🙂

  5. Tom says:

    Call me Tim again and I’ll see what I can do.

  6. Ben says:

    @Jim – I don’t know how this movie got a bad rap, other than the actual lack of a lot of Hulk screen time and the giant hulk-dogs. I thought the cinematography was brilliant, trying to capture the layout of a comic book from which the source material came.

    @Tom – Best animated GIF ever.

  7. Mikhail says:

    Sweet. I’m ready. Let’s go. When I’m back from CA, we’re digging in on this class.

  8. Reverend says:

    Mikhail,

    Absolutely, let me know when, I am raring to go, I’ll have a post on my thinking more generally up shortly.

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