Hulk Bootleg Articles - Universal Seeing Red

Universal can't be pleased. Here are just a few of the articles that came about because of the bootleg incident that happend a few days ago.
Universal sees red over 'Hulk' bootleg

By Richard Verrier and P.J. Huffstutter
Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD - In the Universal Pictures movie The Hulk, mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner transforms into a fearsome creature when seized with rage.

Universal executives had good cause to vent anger of their own this weekend after a rough, early version of the movie made its way onto the Internet just two weeks before the June 20 premiere.

This isn’t the first time a highly anticipated movie has hit the Net before it hit the big screen. Spider-Man appeared online before its theatrical premiere, as did the hit film Finding Nemo.

The difference with The Hulk is that what online movie fans are watching -- and slamming -- is an unfinished work. Scores of critiques of The Hulk bootleg have flooded the online gossip movie website Ain’t It Cool News in the last couple of days, with most complaining about the look of the computer-like monster.

"The success of the movie is going to rest on the audience believing that The Hulk is real," said Drew McWeeny, West Coast editor of the site. "And clearly, it’s not in this print."

Universal executives dismissed such criticism, saying Internet critics aren’t representative of the general movie audience and are unfairly passing judgment on something that is substantially different -- in terms of sound, music and special effects -- from the final film.

Universal has a lot riding on the ambitious movie, which cost an estimated $150 million and is coming out as the corporate parent, Vivendi Universal, courts buyers for its US entertainment group.

"We are conducting a thorough investigation to determine how this occurred, and those responsible will face serious consequences," Universal spokeswoman Susan Fleishman said Monday.

Universal has enjoyed strong openings with the Jim Carrey comedy Bruce Almighty and 2 Fast 2 Furious, the sequel to its hit The Fast and the Furious, and has high hopes for next month’s Seabiscuit.

Where the pirated movie came from is unknown. The film was distributed first through Internet Relay Chat, a computer protocol that allows users to copy files at high speeds from other computers.

Hulk bootlegged
Austrailia - Herald Sun

THE highly anticipated US release of The Hulk – starring Eric Bana – has been dealt a crushing blow with a rough cut of the film being circulated on the internet.

Universal Pictures is hugely miffed because the bootlegged version is unfinished product which doesn't do justice to the film's big budget computer graphics.
And it is the film's special effects that website critics have zeroed in on, suggesting some damage has been done in building the pre-release hype.

The biggest thorn in Universal's side is the popular website, Ain't It Cool, which has in the past run bootlegged films – including Spider-Man and The Matrix Reloaded – before they hit the cinemas.

In the last week, Ain't It Cool has run several reviews by geeks picking holes in The Hulk.

"I saw an early workprint of The Hulk movie online and the Hulk hadn't even been added the scenes yet, let me tell ya, the CGI was terrible!" one critic said.

Not that all the website feedback has been negative.

"Forget all those cynics that doubt the movie's F/X," said one anonymous critic claiming to have seen the final product.

"Everything in this movie looks incredible. The integration of the CG Hulk into the real environments is flawless. When you see Hulk smashing things like crazy and tossing tanks around, you believe he's there doing it for real."

Universal is mounting an investigation into the origin of the bootlegged version.

Hulk: It's Not Easy Being CG
by Lia Haberman - E-Online

Studio execs are seeing red (and possibly less green) after a rough cut of The Hulk has been circulated on the Internet just two weeks before the movie's June 20 premiere.

It's not the first time Web pirates have obtained bootlegged copies of a highly anticipated movie. Recent hits Finding Nemo, The Matrix Reloaded and Spider-Man all appeared online before their theatrical releases.

Problem is for The Hulk, the version viewers are watching--and slamming on Websites like Ain't It Cool News for its shoddy CG effects--is, according to Universal, an unfinished product and doesn't reflect the film's polished F/X.

But the damage may have been done. Ain't It Cool (, whose bad buzz has known to derail would-be blockbusters (see Rollerball), has been flooded with amateur reviews criticizing ILM's unrealistic renderings. One Web surfer, Orion's Angel, opined, "I saw an early workprint of the Hulk movie online and the Hulk hadn't even been added the scenes yet, let me tell ya, the CGI was terrible!"

Not exactly the reception Universal was hoping for its $150 million big-screen adaptation of Marvel Comics Day-Glo green antihero, directed by Ang Lee and starring relative newcomer Eric Bana as the mild-mannered Dr. Bruce Banner (who transforms into the not-so-jolly green giant after getting pelted with gamma rays) and Oscar-winning beauty Jennifer Connelly as Banner's long-suffering gal-pal Betty Ross.

The studio, which recently released hits Bruce Almighty and 2 Fast 2 Furious, is under pressure to perform as its parent company, Vivendi Universal, looks to unload its U.S. entertainment division to the highest bidder. The studio was also eyeing The Hulk as a franchise launcher.

So, despite the disses, the studio is putting on a brave face. Execs insist that Internet critics aren't representative of regular movie-going audiences and claim that the unfinished flick has been unfairly judged.

"As is often the case with highly anticipated media content, the nature of such postings is more often an indication of the appetite for the movie rather than an accurate link to such content," said Universal spokeswoman Susan Fleishman in a statement released Monday.

But it's an uphill battle. The movie's been battling bad word of mouth ever since a hastily put-together Super Bowl commercial had fans comparing the computer-generated Hulk to Gumby on steroids.

Again, Universal blamed unfinished renderings (and questionable TV resolution) as the cruddy quality culprit.

The movie's also been over budget and over schedule--at least $20 million was required for reshoots on ILM's animation work, which the studio denied was required to fix or improve the movie.

However, it's not all thumbs down. An anonymous movie geek on Ain't It Cool News, who says he's seen a legitimate preview, writes, "Forget all those cynics that dou
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