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The Hulk rocks, and so does the Alameda Theatre

Massive blockbuster + spectacular renovation=awesome Saturday night at the movies

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed The Incredible Hulk on Saturday night. It's the right kind of big-budget blockbuster entertainment: diverting, innovative, slick, and professional, without the overlong running time that often hampers this type of summer movie. What is interesting about the Hulk, is that another version of the film came out just 5 years ago. That version, directed by Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), had some interesting moments, but was ultimately bogged down by a long running time, and less than stellar CGI effects on the Hulk character. Rather than killing the franchise, Marvel Studios decided to re-boot and present a leaner, meaner version. The results are very entertaining.

Even more impressive than the Hulk's restoration, however, is the SPECTACULAR newly refurbished Alameda Theatre. This 1932 art deco movie palace has been painstakingly, and expensively restored, and it is truly magnificent. The main lobby features an enormous screen, amazing sound, and ornate art deco decor. This is, without question, the best place to watch big screen blockbusters in the East Bay. Hopefully the folks trying to make sure the Orinda Theater stays pristine and screening in the days and years to come will have a chat with the people who restored the Alameda. Its a real gem!