Film Crit Hulk Smash: HULK SMASHES THE PUNY PARADIGMS OF FILM CRITICISM WITH HULK-SIZED SEMIOTICAL ESSAYS ON STORYTELLING, CINEMATIC PRINCIPLES, AND MEDIA THEORY! HULK EVEN MAKE PRACTICAL HOW-TO GUIDES! See More...

Film Crit Hulk Smash: HULK VS. THE WAR ON QUIRK

Wes Anderson, Miranda July, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and the Coens...Hulk takes on quirk.

Film Crit Hulk Smash: HULK VS. THE WAR ON QUIRK

QUIRK HAS BECOME A DIRTY, DIRTY WORD.

AND HULK THINKS THAT'S A SHAME BECAUSE IF YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT IT, THERE'S NOTHING ABOUT THE WORD THAT IS INHERENTLY GOOD OR BAD.  THAT MAY SOUND A BIT CONFUSING BECAUSE, ON A CULTURAL LEVEL, WE HAVE REALLY COME TO EQUATE QUIRK WITH ALL-ENCOMPASSING BADNESS. HECK, CALLING SOMETHING QUIRKY IS AKIN TO SLAPPING A LITTLE SKULL & CROSSBONES LABEL ON IT AND QUARANTINING IT WITH A 10 BLOCK RADIUS. SO HULK JUST WANTS TO KNOW... HOW THE FUCK DID THAT HAPPEN?

MAKE NO MISTAKE, THERE HAS BEEN A MASSIVE CULTURAL SHIFT OVER THE LAST 16 YEARS REGARDING HOW WE THINK ABOUT THE WORD QUIRK. MASSIVE. AND, OF COURSE, A LOT OF THIS HAS TO DO WITH THE CAREER ARC OF WES ANDERSON.

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

IT ALSO HAPPENS THAT THOSE FIRST 3 MOVIES ARE REALLY, REALLY GOOD. THAT HELPS A GREAT DEAL. YOU MAY DISAGREE, BUT ON THE LARGER CULTURAL LEVEL, YES, THESE FILMS SEEMED TO PLAY. EVEN IF THEY WEREN'T HEAVY ON TRADITIONAL COMEDY, THEY ALWAYS SEEMED TO INCLUDE A FEW OF THE MOST GUT-BUSTING FUNNY LINES THAT HULK COULD REMEMBER (AND HULK ALWAYS WONDERS IF THESE KIND OF LINES WOULDN'T REGISTER AS WELL IN FULL-ON COMEDY FILMS). HULK'S FAVORITES INCLUDE: "WERE YOU IN THE SHIT?" / "O.R. THEY?" / "HELEN." / AND HULK HAS NEVER LAUGHED HARDER THAN KUMAR'S "WHO IS THAT MAN?"

BUT BEYOND ALL THE PUSH-PULL OF LIKING / NOT LIKING WHAT HE WAS DOING, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO MAKE CLEAR IS THAT THESE FILMS CERTAINLY REFLECTED WES ANDERSON. THEY WERE HIM.

IF YOU ASK HULK, HIS FILMS DON'T GET ENOUGH CREDIT FOR BEING AS INTERESTING AS THEY ARE, THEMATICALLY SPEAKING. THERE'S THIS OLD SAYING THAT "THE ADULT ARTIST IS THE KID WHO SURVIVED." HULK CONSIDER THIS STATEMENT TO BE ONE OF THOSE REDUCTIVE STATEMENTS WHICH ALSO HAPPENS TO CAPTURE A REAL TRUTH. BUT TO HULK, IT FEELS PARTICULARLY TRUE OF ANDERSON'S WORK. HIS YOUTH AND CHILDLIKE INCLINATIONS FILL EVERY BIT OF THE FRAME. WHETHER IT IS THE 70'S OUT-OF-TIME DETAILS, LIKE THE BB GUNS, RACCOON SKIN CAPS, OR THE COLOR PALETTE. ACTUALLY, IT GOES BEYOND MERE DETAILS. PEOPLE OFTEN REDUCE THE WORK OF WES ANDERSON TO "DADDY ISSUES" BUT REALLY HIS FILMS ARE THE TRIALS OF "THE INNER KID SURVIVING." BOTTLE ROCKET IS THE DELUSIONAL ADULT TRYING THEIR HAND AT COPS AND ROBBERS. RUSHMORE IS LITERALLY ABOUT A KID TAKING ON THE MOST BASIC LESSONS OF LIFE AND UTTERLY FAILING (PEOPLE GET THE END OF THAT WRONG A LOT; MAX IS NEVER GOING TO STOP BEING MAX. AT LEAST ON THE INSIDE). THE THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS COMPLETES THE ARC, SHOWCASING MALFORMED ADULTS AS SHELLS OF THEIR FORMER PROMISE (READ: THE KIDS DIDN'T MAKE IT). WHETHER YOU AGREE ABOUT THE RESONANCE OF THESE ISSUES OR NOT, THERE WAS SOMETHING ABOUT THESE FIRST 3 FILMS THAT TRULY RESONATED WITH PEOPLE. HULK BELIEVES THAT IS IN SMALL PART BECAUSE THE SO-CALLED "QUIRK" IS APPLIED TO THE STORY WITH SUCH PROFOUND DIRECTNESS. THERE IS NO SEPARATING IT FROM THE VOICE, AESTHETIC, PLOTTING AND THEMATIC ISSUES. IT'S ALL PART OF SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP. NOTHING FEELS LIKE IT ISN'T WES. NOTHING FEELS DISINGENUOUS.

... BUT THEN CAME THE IMITATORS.

SOME MAY NOT HAVE APED THE STYLE SO COMPLETELY, BUT THEY CERTAINLY THOUGHT THESE ECCENTRIC DETAILS WERE A WAY OF TELLING THE STORY. NOTE: THEY ARE FUCKING NOT. THUS WE RECEIVED A WHOLE SERIES OF FILMS WITH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING SUBSTANTIAL OR MEANINGFUL BEHIND THEM. THEY WERE VIEWED AS SHORT-CUT TO SOMETHING ELSE. IT WAS JUST AS BAD AS THE MOST HOLLOW, GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS' ACTION FILMMAKING, ONLY THERE WAS NO TECHNICAL SKILL TO APPRECIATE. AND WHILE ANDERSON WAS NEVER REALLY TOO FOCUSED ON "TRADITIONAL STORY," THE IMITATORS HAD NO IDEA HOW TO MAKE ECCENTRICITY COMPELLING. FOR ONE, THEY WOULD JUST HAVE THESE BROAD CHARACTERS START DOING THESE "NUTTY THINGS" FOR NO REASON. THEY FAILED TO REALIZE IT JUST WASN'T THE CHARACTER DETAILS IN ANDERSON'S FILMS, BUT THE FACT THAT EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER ALWAYS HAD IMPOSSIBLY RICH BACK-STORIES. THE WORLDS IN HIS FILMS HAVE COMPLETE HISTORIES. THERE'S SO MUCH ACTUAL SUBSTANCE THERE. THE IMITATORS HAD NOTHING. BUT WORSE THAN THAT, THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE OWNERSHIP OR AUTHENTICITY OVER THE QUIRK AESTHETIC. IT WASN'T COMING FROM A REAL PLACE. IT WAS A PROJECTION, NOT AN EMBODIMENT. AND EVERYONE COULD TELL.

SO WHEN WES ANDERSON'S OWN 4TH AND 5TH FILMS STRAYED EVEN MORE INTO NON-NARRATIVE DIRECTION, AND STARTED TO BE COMPRISING OF A COLLECTION OF SCENES AND IDEAS, THEN HE LOST A GOOD DEAL OF PEOPLE WHO NEEDED THE KIND OF STORY BACKBONE THE FIRST 3 FILMS PROVIDED. EVEN WITH A POSSIBLE RECENT CULTURAL RECOVERY WITH FANTASTIC MR. FOX, MANY HAVE FELT (PERHAPS APPROPRIATELY?) THAT'S HE'S LOST THE THING THAT MAKES HIS WORLDS COMPELLING. THAT HE'S PERHAPS FALLEN. THAT HE'S BECOME A BIT OF A ONE-TRICK PONY. HULK DOESN'T BELIEVE ANY OF THOSE THINGS. THE QUESTION - AS IT ALWAYS IS FOR ANY FILMMAKER REGARDLESS OF PLOT, INTENTION, AESTHETIC OR GENRE - IS ALWAYS THE SAME: ARE THEY GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS? OR EVEN, IS THEIR HEART STILL IN IT?

AND THUS, THE TRAILER FOR HIS LATEST FILM, MOONRISE KINGDOM, CAME OUT SOME WEEKS AGO. HULK THOUGHT IT WAS HONESTLY A GREAT TRAILER. THE AESTHETIC SEEMS RATHER APPROPRIATE FOR THE STORY. THERE WERE REALLY FUNNY LINES. NORTON LOOKS PERFECTLY SUITED TO THIS WORLD. AS FOR THE COLLECTIVE REACTION, EVERYONE SEEMED TO SAY "THIS LOOKS GREAT!" OR "UGH. MORE QUIRK FROM THAT GUY??!?!" THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO REACTIONS GOT HULK THINKING, AND THAT'S WHY HULK JUST HAD TO FIND A WAY TO TALK ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH ALL OF US.

BECAUSE WHAT PEOPLE MAY NOT SEEM TO REALIZE IS THAT THEY DON'T ACTUALLY HATE THE QUIRK.

THEY HATE INSINCERITY.

AND THAT'S THE CRUX OF EVERYTHING. WHETHER IT'S ANDERSON'S OWN WORK OR THE FALLOUT WITH HIS IMITATORS; IT'S NOT THE ECCENTRICITY THAT BOTHERS PEOPLE, BUT THE FACT THAT IT'S ECCENTRICITY APROPOS OF NOTHING. AND THAT'S WHAT MOST FORMS OF DERIVATIVE QUIRK BRING OUT: CINEMATIC HOLLOWNESS WITH NOTHING BEHIND IT. YOU NEED FAR MORE THAN TEXTURE TO TELL A STORY. LOOK, HULK'S NOT REALLY ONE WHO LIKES TO SINGLE OUT MOVIES AND SAY "YOU, YOU'RE A BAD MOVIE!" BUT IT SORT OF IMPOSSIBLE TO GO ON LIKE THIS WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT THE WAY CERTAIN FILMS FEEL WRONG. LIKE HOW THERE'S NOW A WHOLE BUNCH OF FOLKS EMBARRASSED TO HAVE ONCE LIKED NAPOLEON DYNAMITE. IT WAS AN EMPTY GESTURE OF A MOVIE WITH SOME FUNNINESS WITH WHICH IT GOT A WHOLE LOT OF MILEAGE. BUT THERE'S A REASON THE FILMMAKERS, AND THE FILM ITSELF, HAVE SORT OF DROPPED OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH. THEY WERE MAKING MOVIES THEY THOUGHT WERE SILLY WITH NOTHING ELSE BEHIND IT. AND THAT'S ALL YOU NEED TO FAIL.

BUT THIS GOES FAR BEYOND THE "SILLINESS." HULK THINKS ONE OF THE WORST EFFECTS OF THE ANDERSON TWEE FALLOUT IS HOW A GOOD NUMBER OF SERIOUS-MINDED MOVIES FELL INTO THE UNEARNED-QUIRK TRAP. FOR HULK'S MONEY, GIGANTIC STRIKES HULK AS ONE OF THE MOST INSINCERE MOVIES EVER MADE. IT SEEMS LIKE IT SPENDS EACH WAKING SECOND TRYING TO CRAM IN EVERY POSSIBLE OUTRAGEOUS LINE, KOOKY REACTION, STRANGE CHARACTER MOTIVE, OR UNCALLED FOR HUMAN RESPONSE WITHOUT EVER REALLY TRYING TO JUSTIFY ANY OF IT. IT'S AS IF IT STARTED WITH WHAT COULD BE THE MOST APPROPRIATE THING TO DO AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT, AND THEN JUST DID THE OPPOSITE. IT WAS ANTI-FILMMAKING. THIS IS NOT TO SINGLE THE FILM OUT BY ANY MEANS, AS HULK WILL NOW TAKE ON A FILM THAT'S A LITTLE HARDER TO PICK ON...

THAT FILM IS LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. NOW, HULK AWARE A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE THIS FILM AND THAT'S TOTALLY, TOTALLY FINE. HULK ALWAYS HATES BREEDING DISCORD, SO PLEASE KNOW HULK WOULDN'T DO THIS UNLESS HULK FELT REALLY MOTIVATED. BUT LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE IS A MOVIE SO INSINCERE THAT IT ALMOST SEEMED TO BE SOME KIND OF EXISTENTIAL PROVOCATION FROM THE CINEMA GODS. SURE, IT HAS A NICE SHEEN, GREAT ACTORS AND A SINCERE AESTHETIC BEHIND IT, BUT THAT SCRIPT... THAT SCRIPT DOES NOT HAVE A SINGLE EARNED MOMENT IN THE ENTIRE STORY. EVEN WHEN A MOMENT PLAYS (THE ICE CREAM SCENE FOR EXAMPLE), THE STORY AND CHARACTER LOGIC BEHIND IT IS THE MOST NONSENSICAL, FORCED GARBAGE THAT HULK HAS EVER SEEN. EVERY SINGLE MOMENT IN THAT MOVIE HAPPENS WITHOUT APPARENT REASON OR PURPOSE. IT IS ALL ONLY TEXTURE. IT IS EVERYTHING THAT WES ANDERSON HATERS ACCUSE HIS FILMS OF BEING, ONLY NO ONE REALLY NOTICED BECAUSE THE AESTHETIC AND PRESENTATION WERE SERIOUS AND REALISTIC, AND THUS NO ONE COULD TELL. REMEMBER HULK'S WHOLE TANGIBLE DETAILS THING? AND THE WAY WE PICK UP ON THE "HOW" OF A THING FAR MORE THAN THE "WHAT?" THIS IS THE BEST CASE OF MISSING THE "WHAT" IN THE LAST 20 OR SO YEARS. LIKE THE HEROIN ADDICTED GRANDFATHER TEACHING THE 10 YEAR OLD TO GYRATE AND USE HER "SEXY" BODY WHILE HE LOCKS THE DOOR FOR HOURS ON END? THAT DOESN'T REGISTER AS BEING A PROBLEM TO ANYONE? NO? BECAUSE HE'S SO NICE?

IT'S THE GREAT STORYTELLING LIE: PLACATION THOUGH NO PURPOSE. THE WHOLE THING WAS MADE MORE INSUFFERABLE BY ARNDT'S SPEECH ABOUT HOW HE'S ONE OF THE ONLY WRITERS OFFERING "ORIGINAL STORYTELLING" WHEN HE INSISTS HE DIDN'T GET THE DEAD RELATIVE GAG FROM VACATION, NOR THE FACT THAT HE OUTRIGHT STOLE THREE SIMPSONS LINES IN HIS SCREENPLAY. BUT THE REAL PROBLEM IS THE MANUFACTURED, INSINCERE STORYTELLING. AGAIN, IT IS THE SINGLE BEST EXAMPLE OF BACKWARDS, QUIRK-GONE-WRONG, IT'S JUST PRESENTED IN A MUCH MORE NORMAL PRESENTATION. AND IT'S AWFUL ... SORRY. HULK WILL STOP NOW. THAT HAD JUST BEEN PENT UP FOR A WHILE. THIS IS PROBABLY THE HARSHEST HULK WILL EVER, EVER GET IN THESE COLUMNS. BUT THE HULK JUST HAS TO TAKE A STAND WITH THIS ONE. IT GOES AGAINST EVERY GOOD PRINCIPAL OF WRITING AND FOR ABSOLUTELY NO OTHER POINT THAN INSINCERE ENTERTAINMENT VALUE. HULK SAYS TO NEVER HATE A MOVIE AND HULK DOESN'T EVEN HATE THIS ONE. THERE'S TOO MUCH TO LEARN FROM AND USE AS A COUNTER-EXAMPLE. HULK GENUINELY WANTS YOU TO BECOME GOOD WRITERS AND EVALUATORS OF STORYTELLING, AND SO LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, WHILE IT MIGHT BE FINE FOR A PASSING LAUGH, COULD BE THE SINGLE WORST EXAMPLE TO LOOK TO IF YOU WANT TO BECOME BETTER AT EITHER OF THOSE THINGS.

BUT LET'S TURN THIS BACK AROUND ON HULK.

YOU MAY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH SOME OF WHAT HULK HAS SAID HERE, BECAUSE IT MAY HAVE SEEMED THAT HULK HAS LIKED A NUMBER OF OTHER FILMS THAT SEEM JUST AS "QUIRKY" ON THE OUTSIDE. BUT AGAIN IT'S NOT THE TEXTURE, BUT THE SINCERITY. DOES THE STORYTELLING AT LEAST MAKE SENSE? DO THE CHARACTERS REPRESENT ENOUGH OF A REAL PSYCHE? IS IT ECCENTRIC WITH GOOD REASON? WHAT'S THE REASON FOR THESE CRAZY CIRCUMSTANCES? THESE QUESTIONS MATTERS TO EVERYTHING. REMEMBER, YOU COULD CALL THE BIG LEBOWSKI A QUIRKY COMEDY, BUT NO ONE DOES THAT, BECAUSE PEOPLE REGARD IT AS A COMEDIC MASTERPIECE. BUT ISN'T THE MOVIE AS QUIRKY AND ECCENTRIC AS ALL SHIT? LUCKILY, IT HAS THE MAD GENIUS OF THE COENS BEHIND ALL OF IT, WHO IMPLICITLY KNOW HOW TO GROUND THEIR ANTI-MOVIE-NESS IN REAL-LIFE THEMATIC IDEAS (THE NIHILISM, RELIGIOUS STUFF, AND VARIOUS SOCIOLOGICAL DISCUSSIONS IN THAT FILM ARE ANYTHING BUT SHOW). ECCENTRICITY HAS TO HAVE GOOD REASON BEYOND "IT MAKES FOR A GOOD LAUGH." OF COURSE IT DOES. ONE COMMENTER ON TWITTER WAS CURIOUS HOW HULK DIDN'T LIKE LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE BUT COULD SOMEHOW LIKE MIRANDA JULY'S THE FUTURE. THE ANSWER IS BECAUSE THAT FILM WAS SINCERE, PROVIDES A MORE CONDUCIVE ATMOSPHERE FOR ITS THEMES, AND HAS LEGITIMATE, SYMBOLIC, MEANINGFUL IDEAS BEHIND EVERY ECCENTRIC EVENT IN THE FILM... AND THE FORMER HAD NONE OF THOSE THINGS.

LOOK. HULK NOT SAYING THAT YOU HAVE TO LIKE MIRANDA JULY; HULK JUST HAVE TO POLITELY ASK THAT YOU RESPECT THE WAY IN WHICH IT IS DIFFERENT. FOR ONE, SHE'S A REAL-DEAL ARTIST. AND SHE'S MAKING REALLY INTERESTING, ARTICULATE ART FILMS THAT JUST HAPPEN TO HAVE A CADENCE OVERLAP WITH ALL THE OTHER "QUIRK" GOING ON IN OUR CULTURE. AND THAT KINDA SUCKS. BECAUSE IN AN ODD WAY, THE FUTURE WAS ONE OF THE MOST SINCERE AND EMOTIONAL FILMS HULK HAS SEEN THIS YEAR. IT'S ALL ABOUT GUILT, DISPLACED RESPONSIBILITY, ENNUI, RELATIONSHIPS, TRUST, KINDNESS AND WHAT IS REQUIRED OF ADULTHOOD. ALL OF THAT JUST REALLY DOESN'T SHOW UP MUCH IN THE PLOT. INSTEAD, IT'S DEEPLY ROOTED IN THESE SYMBOLIC DETAILS, FUNNY OBSERVATIONS AND GENERAL WEIRDNESS. AGAIN IT'S A TANGIBLE DETAILS THING. PEOPLE LOOKED AT THE TEXTURE AND DISMISSED THE QUIRK.

SAME IS TRUE OF ANOTHER FILM RELEASED THIS YEAR, MIKE MILLS' BEGINNERS. ASIDE FROM SOME OF HULK'S PROBLEMS WITH ITS TREATMENT OF THE MAIN FEMALE CHARACTER AND SOME OF THE ENDING, IT IS STILL AN INCREDIBLY SINCERE FILM ABOUT THE SHAPE OF CULTURE, BEING GAY IN AMERICA, OUR SENSE OF HISTORY, THE WAY OUR PARENTS AFFECT US AND THE WAY ONE APPROACHES A NEW LIFE. AND IT COVERS THOSE AREAS WITH BOTH BRILLIANCE AND POETICISM... BUT THAT DIDN'T STOP A NAMELESS BADASS COMMENTER FOR ONCE CALLING IT "HIPSTER HAIRY CUNT BULLSHIT." - A STATEMENT WHICH HAS SO MANY OTHER RIDICULOUS PROBLEMS THAT HULK CAN BARELY EVEN START (OKAY, THE WEIRD INFANTILIZATION IS PROBABLY A GOOD PLACE TO START). HULK ALSO REMEMBERED OVERHEARING A CONVERSATION IN WHICH SOMEONE COMMENTED THAT IT'S JUST ANOTHER FILMMAKER CATERING TO "THE GAY HOLLYWOOD ELITE" ... YOU KNOW INSTEAD OF WHAT HE WAS REALLY DOING, WHICH WAS JUST TELLING A STORY ABOUT HIS REAL-LIFE FATHER. AGAIN, A DEDUCTION FROM TEXTURE.

WE DO THIS ALL THE TIME. THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER QUIRK LIGHTNING RODS, LIKE CURRENT QUEEN OF "ADORKABLE" ZOOEY DESECHANEL, BUT AGAIN NONE OF THIS IS HULK'S ACTUAL PROBLEM. ZOOEY, LIKE A LOT OF ACTORS, IS GREAT WITH GOOD MATERIAL AND FALLS BACK TO EARTH WITHOUT GOOD MATERIAL. WE CAN'T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE TEXTURE. YOU EVER THINK THE REASON THERE SO FEW APATOW IMITATORS OUT THERE IS BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE DON'T GET THAT HIS MOVIES ARE COMPLETELY DRIVEN BY ETHOS AND RESPECT FOR ITS CHARACTERS? WE GOT ALL THESE MAN-CHILDREN COPYCATS WHO DIDN'T REALIZE THAT IT WASN'T THE CRASS JOKES THAT WERE MAKING THOSE MOVIES RESONATE, IT WAS THE FACT THAT THEY WERE ACHINGLY HUMAN. EVEN AT THEIR MOST BOMBASTIC, MALE-CENTERED, R-RATED-NESS, HIS FILMS STILL HAVE THAT FREAKS AND GEEKS HEART. IT'S ALL ABOUT COMING FROM A SINCERE PLACE.

AND SO, WE RETURN AGAIN TO WES ANDERSON. AND THE QUESTION OF HIS SINCERITY.

LET US NOT HATE ON HIM MERELY FOR HIS QUIRKINESS. HE CREATES THESE WORLDS. THEY'RE POPULATED WITH HIS SENTIMENT AND INTERESTS. THEY'RE PART OF HIS VIEW. AND WHEN HE DOES IT WELL, HE SPEAKS TO THESE WONDERFUL IDEAS ABOUT OUR OWN CHILDISH HABITS, ABOUT OUR CAPACITY AS ADULTS TO REMAIN CHILDREN WHEN THE MOMENT IS RIGHT. OR PERHAPS WHEN CHILDREN CAN PRETEND TO BE ADULTS WHEN THE MOMENT IS WRONG. HE IS A MASTER OF THESE CONCERNS, AND TO HULK, MOONRISE KINGDOM SEEMS LIKE THE EXACT KIND OF FILM THAT HE CAN DO WELL. SO HULK WILL LOOK PLEASANTLY FORWARD TO IT.

AND SO HERE LIES ANOTHER HULK COLUMN THAT BASICALLY AMOUNTS TO PROBLEMS WITH WORD CHOICE.

QUIRK. SINCERITY. TEXTURE.

AREN'T THESE WORDS IMPORTANT? ISN'T IT IMPORTANT TO GIVE THEM JUST THE RIGHT KIND OF POWER, BUT NOT MORE THAN THEY COULD EVER WIELD? HULK FEELS LIKE IT'S POOR WORD CHOICE THAT LEADS US DOWN SO MANY BAD PATHS. A FEW YEARS AGO, THE COMPLETE MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD "ELITISM" THREW A MONKEY-WRENCH INTO AN ELECTION. WHETHER IT'S GOOD OR BAD, ALL POORLY USED WORDS CAN LEAD TO AWFUL CONNOTATIONS THAT MAY BE IN NO WAY APPROPRIATE. WE'RE ALL HUMAN, BUT WORD CHOICE STILL MATTERS. IT MATTERS SO MUCH HULK HAS BEEN WORKING ON AN ONGOING "CRITICAL GLOSSARY" POST FOR SOME POINT WHEN HULK CAN ACTUALLY FINISH IT. IF OUR POINT IS TO CONVERSE AND BE ON THE SAME PAGE ABOUT THIS KIND OF STUFF, THEN ISN'T THAT IMPORTANT? HULK'S NOT INTERESTED IN CHANGING YOU OPINION. BUT IF WE WANT TO CONVEY WHY WE LIKE SOMETHING OR WHY WE DON'T, HULK ALWAYS FEELS IT'S BEST FOR US TO UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT'S HAPPENING. MOVIES AND OUR REACTIONS TO THEM ARE NOT SIMPLE CAUSE AND EFFECT. THEY ARE A COMPLEX SYSTEM. AND THE REASON A MOONRISE KINGDOM TRAILER MIGHT BOTHER US MAY BE FAR MORE COMPLEX THAN WE THOUGHT.

AND SO WITH ALL THE WORDS OUT THERE IN THE WORLD, TODAY IS ABOUT QUIRK. THE AMERICAN WAR ON QUIRK IS A WAR ON A MERE SURFACE, WITH PEOPLE HAVING NO REGARD FOR WHAT'S ACTUALLY UNDERNEATH. AND ALL HULK WANTS TO SUGGEST IS THAT BY USING THE WORD "QUIRK" INSTEAD OF "INSINCERE," IT MAKES US SO QUICK TO DISMISS ANYTHING THAT COULD ACTUALLY BE INTERESTING, PURELY BECAUSE IT WAS PREDICATED ON AIRS OF ECCENTRICITY.

WE ARE ONLY DISMISSING THE SURFACE. AND THAT'S A SHAME BECAUSE THE ECCENTRICITY CAN BE SO DAMN INTERESTING IF THEY GET IT RIGHT.

AND LASTLY, THERE IS AN UNSPOKEN "PART TWO" COLUMN THAT GOES ALONG WITH THIS. IT HAS TO DO WITH SOMETHING QUIRK GETS ASSOCIATED WITH ALL THE TIME. SO LOOK OUT AT SOME POINT FOR HULK VS. THE WAR ON HIPSTERS (OR: HOW HULK LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE IRONIC MUSTACHES). OKAY, THAT'S NOT THE ACTUAL SUBTITLE AND IRONIC FACIAL HAIR MAKES NO SENSE, BUT THE POINT IS THERE'S ANOTHER WEIRD THING GOING ON THERE AND IT TIES VERY MUCH INTO THIS LITTLE COLUMN HERE.

BUT UNTIL THEN, HULK THANK ALWAYS FOR READING.

<3 HULK

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS HOW HULK LOOKS AFTER WATCHING LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE...

THIS PIECE OF HULK-ART DRAWN BY AUSTIN-NATIVE NEIL COOK! CHECK OUT HIS STUFF HERE OR FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER HERE.

Film Crit Hulk's photo About the Author: FILM CRIT HULK WAS CREATED IN A CHAOTIC LAB EXPERIMENT INVOLVING GAMMA RADIATION, TELEPODS, AND THE GHOST OF PAULINE KAEL. NOW HULK HAVE DEEP AND ABIDING LOVE CINEMA.
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