In the ongoing deluge of comic-book adaptations, Hellboy ranks well above average. Having turned down an offer to helm Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in favor of bringing Hellboy's origin story to the big screen, the gifted Mexican director Guillermo del Toro compensates for the excesses of Blade II with a moodily effective, consistently entertaining action-packed fantasy, beginning in 1944 when the mad monk Rasputin--in cahoots with occult-buff Hitler and his Nazi thugs--opens a transdimensional portal through which a baby demon emerges, capable of destroying the world with his powers. Instead, the aptly named Hellboy is raised by the benevolent Prof. Bloom, founder of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, whose allied forces enlist the adult Hellboy (Ron Perlman, perfectly cast) to battle evil at every turn. While nursing a melancholy love for the comely firestarter Liz (Selma Blair), Hellboy files his demonic horns ("to fit in," says Bloom) and wreaks havoc on the bad guys. The action is occasionally routine (the movie suffers when compared to the similar X-Men blockbusters), but del Toro and Perlman have honored Mike Mignola's original Dark Horse comics with a lavish and loyal interpretation, retaining the amusing and sympathetic quirks of character that made the comic-book Hellboy a pop-culture original. He's red as a lobster, puffs stogies like Groucho Marx, and fights the good fight with a kind but troubled heart. What's not to like? --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Hellboy two-disc set is as loaded as our hero's Samaritan handgun. On the first commentary track, director Guillermo del Toro offers a lot of interesting information on the filming and background of the movie. Mike Mignola, creator of the comic book, is also on hand but seems content to wear his co-executive producer hat in support of del Toro rather than provide deep insight. Perhaps even more listenable is the actors' commentary, with Ron Perlman particularly good. Also on the disc are eight DVD comics (most of which are merely a screen of panels accompanied by rolling text) and behind-the-scenes footage--both of which are accessible through icons while the movie plays, or (thankfully) through separate indexes--along with storyboards and some of the "Gerald McBoing Boing" shorts that Hellboy watches in the movie.
The second disc is highlighted by a huge 147-minute making-of documentary that covers the original comic book, stunt work, visual effects, and more, separated into 27 clearly titled segments (kudos to the organization structure of Javier Soto's supplemental features). Deleted scenes, 3-D sculptures, animatics--there's too much else to mention, and yet there's more on the horizon. Enclosed is a mail-in rebate coupon good for $5 off the purchase of both this two-disc edition and a forthcoming director's cut. Yes, it's another double-dip DVD release, but give it some credit for being relatively up front about the follow-up release and for offering a rebate to those who end up buying both. --David Horiuchi --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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In fact, just about everything is right with "Hellboy" -- Del Toro crafted an action blockbuster with a grimy, slimy cult-movie feel and a quirky sense of humor. It's graced with excellent acting, spectacular action scenes, and the trappings of clockpunk and Lovecraftian horror -- not to mention that it stars a six-foot-tall scarlet demon with a soft spot for kittens.
In 1944, young Professor Broom accompanied an army regiment to a remote Scottish island, where the Nazis -- led by Rasputin -- were about to open a portal to another world, and allow the vast tentacled Ogru Jahad (Seven Gods of Chaos) to enter our world. Rasputin and the Nazis were destroyed, but something came through the portal -- a baby demon, whom Broom names Hellboy.
Fast-forward sixty years -- a grown Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and his fishy friend Abe (Doug Jones) are working at a paranormal government agency that specializes in policing the supernatural, with the weirded-out Agent Myers (Rupert Evans) just joining the team. Soon afterwards, Hellboy is called on to kill Sammael the Hellhound -- but it turns out that Sammael can replicate himself indefinitely.
As Hellboy and his team try to hunt down the remaining Sammaels, the dying Professor Broom (John Hurt) finds that a revived Rasputin and his immortal Nazi followers have orchestrated all this. And Rasputin is continuing to pull the strings behind the scenes -- including using Hellboy's love Liz (Selma Blair), a depressed pyrokinetic.Read more ›
From visionary writer/director Guillermo del Toro (director of 'Blade II' and 'The Devil's Backbone') comes Hellboy, a supernatural action adventure based on Mike Mignola's popular Dark Horse Comics series of the same name. Born in the flames of hell and brought to Earth as an infant to perpetrate evil, Hellboy [Ron Perlman] was rescued from sinister forces by the benevolent Dr. Broom [John Hurt], who raised him to be a hero. In Dr. Broom's secret Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defence, `Hellboy' creates an unlikely family consisting of the telepathic "Mer-Man" Abe Sapien [Doug Jones] and Liz Sherman [Selma Blair], the woman he loves who can control fire. Hidden from the very society that they protect, they stand as the key line of defence against an evil madman who seeks to reclaim 'HELLBOY' to the dark side and use his powers to destroy mankind.
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: 2005 Saturn Awards: Win: Best Make-Up. Nominated: Best Fantasy Film. Nominated: Best Special Edition DVD Release.
Cast: Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair, Rupert Evans, Karel Roden, Jeffrey Tambor, Doug Jones, Brian Steele, Ladislav Beran, Biddy Hodson, Corey Johnson, Corey Johnson, Kevin Trainor, Brian Caspe, James Babson, Stephen Fisher, Garth Cooper, Angus MacInnes, Jim Howick, Mark Taylor, Tara Hugo, Richard Haas, Andrea Miltner, Jo Eastwood, Charles Grisham, Jan Holicek, Jeremy Zimmermann, Monty L.Read more ›
A baby demon comes through an interdimensional portal originally created by the Nazis near the end of World War II, but is rescued by the Allies before he could fall into enemy hands. Fast forward some sixty years later to the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. The baby demon is grown up—now called “Hellboy”—and he works for the BPRD.
When an evil hellhound known as Sammael is unleashed, Hellboy and the BPRD are sent to stop it. What ensues is a supernatural battle between Good and Evil.
This movie is a superhero monster movie, two of my favorite genres rolled into one. You got Hellboy (Ron Perlman), the lone gunman type but with a heart of gold; Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), the intellectual who is a humanoid amphibian; Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), who is a distraught young woman with major issues and also has a hard time controlling her pyrokinetic abilities; and Trevor Bruttenholm (John Hurt), the scholar and father-figure who guides the group.
As an amateur scholar of the supernatural world myself and all that that entails, the idea of the BPRD really appeals to me as I think modern society is very close-minded on the subject when the very world we live in—never mind all that’s beyond it—suggests that there is much more to our existence than what we can perceive with our five senses. Too many accounts of supernatural happenings to discount that. But that’s not what this review is about, so onward.
Hellboy is an exciting movie with loads of action. Watching Hellboy fight is, well, just plain cool. Very brutal, and is sheer brawn mixed with skill. (He also wings things, too.) There’s some real good humor in this flick, as well.Read more ›