Hellboy: The Golden Army — Beware the Tooth Fairies!

Hellboy: The Golden Army Poster (Small)Hi all!

Guillermo del Toro‘s follow-up to Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth is Hellboy: The Golden Army. Once again we delve into the weird and fantastic world of Hellboy, Liz, and Abe. Set against the backdrop of a historic pact between the land of mythical creatures and the land of men, we learn not only about some of the denizens of the mythical world, but also about Hellboy, Abe, Liz, and a new member to the team — Johann Krauss.

[rating:3.5/4]

IMDB link: here

Ron Perlman dons the big red suit again as Hellboy. Selma Blair is back as Liz Sherman. And Doug Jones not only plays Abe Sapien, but does his voice as well (plus a few other critters throughout the movie).

This immediately hit me like one of those movies where if you blink, you’ll miss something. It’s especially true in the Troll Market. There’s just no way to take it all in. You have to blink!

Some of the story elements I absolutely loved, such as the pact between worlds doomed by the well-intentioned Prince Nuada, and the elemental, a god, the last of its kind, bent on killing Hellboy at the command of Nuada but ultimately creating life from its own destruction in Manhattan. I also loved the descriptions of some of the critters in the world, such as the tooth fairies. These are not your momma’s tooth fairies — these guys bite!

Hellboy Tooth fairy

(Had to update the post to add a picture of the tooth fairy. Vicious little buggers!)

It was great to see Abe get a love interest with the Princess and to see Hellboy & Liz develop their relationship further. But though I usually like Jeffrey Tambor, I was constantly wondering why Tom Manning was even in this film. He doesn’t really do anything but whine. Krauss also was a bit of a mystery to me. He had more crunch to his part than Manning does (voiced by Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame), but he never really did much either.

That said… I will be picking this movie up on DVD and going frame by frame through some of the more critter-dense areas of the movie so I can find all the things I missed the first two times!!

This movie gets a solid 3.5/4 for me. I loved it, but it didn’t blow me away like Iron Man or The Dark Knight. But I certainly hope we get to see the crew come back after Guillermo wraps up The Hobbit in a few years!

–Fitz

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Pan’s Labyrinth – Wow

Pan's LabyrinthImage via Wikipedia

Hi all…

I have to say that I’d been looking forward to watching Pan’s Labyrinth since my birthday in May. It’s the Del Toro-directed foreign film that garnered so much great press at the end of last year. And man was it worth it, with one disclaimer…

[rating:4/4]

It’s rated R for a reason folks. This is not a faery tale for your kids. There’s a war on… The Spanish Civil War to be exact… And there are things going on (including more than one very violent scene) that you’re not going to want to explain to the kiddies.

IMDB’s link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0457430/

The movie has a truly magical story centered around a little girl named Ofelia and her mother going to live with her mother’s new husband, a Captain in the Spanish military who is fighting the resistance in a forested area of Spain. Set in 1944, it captures the rustic qualities of a place not quite made modern by the world’s standards of the time. It’s left to the viewer to decide whether Ofelia is escaping the cruel real world that she’d fallen into by literally escaping into a faery tale world OR if it’s all in her fertile imagination.

Film-wise, it was beautiful. The transitions were amazing and seamless. The colors bright where they needed to be and washed out for effect in certain places. The acting was believable from all of the main characters, especially from the little girl who plays the main role of Ofelia. For a young actor, she did an amazing job.

The movie is subtitled, but that didn’t take away from the feel of the story at all.

And I’d comment on the music, but it blended artfully into the background so as to not be noticed.

Doug Jones is another actor in the film who actually played dual roles — as Pan (the Faun) and as the Pale Man. Both were amazing to behold. The makeup and costumes for these characters was as if they had both stepped out of a faery tale into the world — one to teach, the other to scare.

There were places in the story where I could pick out bits of faery lore, such as not to consume faery foods while in the faeries’ domain, or how the “truth” that a faery might reveal might not be the entire truth.

But again — this is not a faery tale for children. This is an adult movie with adult violence and themes.

I give it a whole-hearted 4/4 and wish that it had won MORE awards.

Give it a look — I think you’ll like it!

Thanks and until next time…

–Fitz

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