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Movie Review, Hellboy II 277

Although I'm not sure the corporate overlords will let me retroactively expense a movie ticket, I wanted to take a few minutes to write my review of Hellboy II. It's been a pretty good summer for movies already: but Wall-E and Iron Man were pretty much perfect A movies. I was a big fan of the original Hellboy comic, the first movie, and of Pan's Labyrinth- my fear was that it could only go downhill. And I was wrong. VERY wrong. Read on for my review which will be mostly spoiler free.
Getting a babysitter is enough work that I don't get to see nearly as many movies these days as I would like. But I knew Hellboy II had to be sitter-worthy. But I was scared going in. I always thought of Hellboy as being a comic with thick chunky lines. Bold colors. Broad brush strokes. Guillermo Del Toro's previous film is Pan's Labyrinth, and if ever a film maker has made a movie with detailed, intricate, subtle work, it was him. I was afraid that he would take a film that was so unlike the comic book that I would lose out on a favorite director and a favorite comic book at the same time. But i was so wrong.

The movie starts off far more funny than the first Hellboy. This is very much in keeping with the quirky ad campaign that has been promoting the film (the inside the actor's studio commercial for example is quite funny). Hellboy is once again Ron Pearlman- the genius bit of casting that made the first movie so great is a huge win for any sequel. He's tired of working for the BPRD in secret and is going out of his way to be spotted by the real world. But a mythos of ancient elves is working to retrieve and unify some widgets to awaken a golden army of indestructible robots, and it's up to our heroes to stop it from happening.

The elven world is very much Del Toro's designs. Likewise, an extended sequence through a secret troll market hidden under the brooklyn bridge gives him a great canvas to paint his stylistic genius. And seeing the big and clumsy Hellboy smash through it is incredibly satisfying. The action sequences are all excellent, and the final robot battle is very fun and well done.

All the while this is done with some nice plot twists for the major characters. A love interest for Abe comes along. A new good guy is sent in from the BPRD to reign in our uncontrollable hero: Krauss is voiced by Seth Macfarlane basically doing his fish char from American Dad, but inside a wacky suit controlled by ectoplasm vapors. Selma Blair is back as Liz: they give her some good lines and a few good sequences, but she's mainly a support role.

So Guillermo Del Toro was able to work within Mike Mignola's world. He put his own thumbprints all over the work, and the whole comes out better than the sum of the parts. And this makes me all the more excited for the Hobbit, where I have all the same concerns: Tolkein and Jackson will give him even bigger shoes to fill, and now I think he can do it.

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Movie Review, Hellboy II

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  • Spoilers eh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TychoCelchuuu ( 835690 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:52AM (#24182197) Journal
    Haven't read the review because it is "mostly spoiler free," which seems to me like manufacturing something that is "mostly carcinogenic free." If someone has a problem with spoilers, it's unlikely they're going to read the review on the off chance you've only spoiled the stuff they didn't care about and not the stuff they did.
    • by quarrel ( 194077 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:58AM (#24182277)

      You should come to California.

      "This airport is known to be carcinogenic", "This restaurant cooks using ingredients known to be carcinogenic", "You will die a cancerous death if you travel on this highway".. Or words to that effect are all over..

      So Taco, like California, is just trying to cover his ass from the inevitable whiners..

      --Q

      • I remember seeing those signs for the first time when I went to San Francisco last year. I was across the street from my hotel and kind of did double-take when I saw it.

        Hey, at least they're being honest.

        • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:50AM (#24183001) Journal

          Hey, at least they're being honest.

          Bah, they're being paranoid. Why don't they just engrave a message in our corneas that reads "Warning: Life causes Death."

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Hey, at least they're being honest.

            Bah, they're being paranoid. Why don't they just engrave a message in our corneas that reads "Warning: Life causes Death."

            Does it really? Someone should do a study.

            • by reverseengineer ( 580922 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @01:02PM (#24184141)
              If someone does that study, and finds the expected 100% correlation between life and death, the report of that study on /. will undoubtedly be greeted with "Correlation != causation" posts.
            • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:32PM (#24186777) Journal

              At one point in the last few decades it was estimated that, thanks to the human population explosion, more than half the human beings who had ever lived were still alive. (There were jokes about the expectation of eventual death being less than 50%. B-) )

              I hear that, since then, the origin date for "humans" has been pushed back enough by additional evidence that the "less than half" estimate was discredited.

              But it is an interesting thought.

              (Why SHOULD people HAVE to die, after all? At least before the heat death of the universe? OK, so the machinery of the meat breaks down. But is there any inherent reason one couldn't, with sufficient improvements in technology and application of resources, repair it indefinitely? Or even rebuild and restart it after it fails? For some time now death has been, not a state, but a prognosis: That (with current medical technology) the body's systems can no longer be repaired (and if necessary restarted) to the point that it can again operate in a way recognizable as "alive".)

        • Now, kids, go out and play in the fresh air, which contains cancer causing chemicals, and the sunshine, which causes skin cancer.

          Hey, just bein' honest.

      • Re:Spoilers eh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sancho ( 17056 ) * on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:16AM (#24182501) Homepage

        Which is stupid. When you browse to the Slashdot front page and see a story entitled, "Hellboy II review," you should assume that there will be details about Hellboy 2. If you're that sensitive to spoilers, you don't click. We should save the "contains spoilers" tag for serious discussions about plot points, not "may contain information about the subject matter."

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Wrong. If you see a story entitled "Hellboy II review" you should assume it will tell you the author's opinion of the movie, without spoilers. Well written reviews should not contain spoilers, and there is no need for them to.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            So you want a review that discusses no plot points beyond "It contains a big red guy named Hellboy"? I didn't see anything in this review that I'd call a spoiler.
        • Re:Spoilers eh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Mrs. Grundy ( 680212 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:55AM (#24183083) Homepage
          I know exactly what you mean. It was just yesterday I opened a book by Harold Bloom on novels and just a few paragraphs in I find out the Gilberte marries Robert Saint-Loup somwhere in Proust's Remembrance of Things Past I totally didn't see that coming and now it's ruined for me forever. But I shouldn't have been nosing around in the book in the first place if I didn't want a spoiler.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Phairdon ( 1158023 )

          Review does not mean Summary. The movie critic profession lives on providing advice as to whether or not a movie is worth seeing, not to provide summaries of the movie. A good reviewer can tell you if a movie is good without resorting to listing a summary.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:32AM (#24182729)

        Warning: This device contains matter, which is known by the state of California to cause warpage of space and time. This device also contains extraordinary amounts of stored energy in its physical matrix. Handle with care.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I saw the movie already, and this review still spoiled stuff for me.

      • I saw the movie already, and this review still spoiled stuff for me.

        Me too, I was spoiled with details about the Hobbit movie! >.<

  • Second best movie... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by firefly4f4 ( 1233902 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:53AM (#24182211)
    I've seen all year behind Iron Man.

    Loved the visuals, and the song scene had me nearly rolling on the theatre floor with laughter.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by trrwilson ( 1096985 )
      My body is a temple.
      No, it's an amusement park.
    • Come on, it wasn't that good.

      The visuals were nice but the story was cheesy and had far too much "support the troops" patriotism in it (is there any reason Iraq had to be in the movie at all?)

      I'd give it 70-80% at best.

      Pan's Labyrinth (to pick a movie at random from the review) was way better.

      • by JudgeFurious ( 455868 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @12:56PM (#24184057)

        Iraq wasn't, Afghanistan was.

        It was patriotic and "support the troops-ish" but it fit the material. Tony Stark is an arms manufacturer and those are the current wars being fought where his wares might turn up. If you're going to set this material in current events then Afghanistan and Iraq are the places you put it.

        I liked the movie a lot and thought the overt patriotism fit right into the film perfectly. I don't know if I'd give it a 100 but back in my time you had to get a 93 or better to make an "A" and I'm good with that. Mid 90's seems about right for Iron Man to me.

      • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @12:57PM (#24184071)
        Just to show it's all a matter of perspective, I saw it as a rather UNpatriotic don't-support-the-troops kind of movie. It seemed to show war as always bad, the defense industry as crooked and evil, the war in Afghanistan pointless (we couldn't even stop the massacre in this one small town!). Also, the Iron Man saga always starts in a war-zone; it was Vietnam in the first issue, later revised to the first Gulf War, now Afghanistan. And I don't recall Iraq being in it at all. The story may have been "cheesy", but it was faithful to the comic book, more or less.

        I don't want to start an argument or anything, but it just goes to show it's all a matter of opinion.
  • Disappointed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:55AM (#24182239)

    I went into it with high hopes, but was largely disappointed. It seemed to barely be about hellboy. While the visuals, background and world were interesting and appealing, they seemed to me to be a completely separate franchise, that very distinctly left the world created in the first one.

    Thought the "new" character was an epic disappointment as well.

    Felt like the director wanted to make a movie primarily about something else, and dragged hellboy along for the ride in a bit role.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by n9uxu8 ( 729360 )
      I'm glad to see this...I was beginning to think I was the only one. I *loved* the original Hellboy, but very nearly walked out on this one. Bad pacing and everything, and I do mean everything, felt telegraphed. Maybe if they had tried developing a character or something...oh wait...Abe drank a beer...
      • Bingo!

        Big fan of first Hellboy movie here. Got DVD and all that.

        For this one, convinced 5 other people for Friday night show, now they are demanding their money back. I knew what was coming when Abe put on new lenses. For fuck sake!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by destine ( 109885 )

      I honestly have to agree. I felt the world was beautiful and some of the fight scenes were fun, and while that's why most people will go to and expect from this movie, I hope they aren't disappointed. There were too many tacted-on and extremely trite love scenes. And the slapstick comedy. Hellboy gets hit with lockers, hell boy slips in goo. I really expected a three stooges scenes with Klaus as Moe, Abe as Larry, and Hellboy as Curly. I just couldn't get into it. I seriously think they could have cut about

  • I was amazed at the following the the original Hellboy garnered. I took my kids to see it, and we ALL hated it. To the point that, when we see a movie we don't like, we all recant "Well, at least it wasn't as bad as Hellboy". And my son is a real movie person!

    I don't really know the comic, and I suspect that clouds a lot of peoples opinions of the movie, but as someone who came in fresh, Hellboy was just awful-terrible.

    Hard to imagine the sequel being better (actually, I really can't imagine it being w

    • I never read the comic, and didn't really have high hopes for the first movie...

      I thought the first one was great. It wasn't my favorite movie or in my top 10, but I enjoyed it and watch the DVD maybe once a year.

      The sequel, I don't know. On one hand I liked seeing the characters again and they were all in full force, but there some some instances where it just didn't do it for me.

      I still liked it though. I'd give it 3.5 or 4 stars (out of 5).

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sancho ( 17056 ) *

      I was unimpressed with the original Hellboy. I've never really been able to put my finger on why this is, but something about it just really turned me off. However, being a fan of the director and expecting amazing visuals, I went ahead and saw Hellboy 2. I thought it was far and away better than the first film, possibly due to a much understated main character. Someone else pointed out that it seemed like the movie just had Hellboy in it, but didn't really feature him--I couldn't agree more.

      Regardless,

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by howlingfrog ( 211151 )

      I agree about the first Hellboy--visually, it was barely recognizable as a Del Toro film, the plot was an (even more) oversimplified version of the Hollywood Superhero Movie Formula (TM), and it gave us no reason to care about the characters.

      But this sequel is a COMPLETELY different film. On every level, from its basic look all the way down to the themes and symbolism (yes, it's a big-budget superhero flick that HAS themes and symbolism), Hellboy II is a more direct successor to Pan's Labyrinth than to the

    • by nomadic ( 141991 )
      As a comparison, loved Wall-E, thought Ironman was just OK.

      I thought Wall-E was the best movie I've seen in literally years. I can't believe how good it was, and generally I'm a Pixar skeptic (thought Cars was bad, for example, and the Incredibles was overrated).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 )

      The original, I gave a 7. This one, I give a 9.5.

      It's very funny in a way available to people who are not fans of Hellboy.

      Tons and tons of character stuff that would be just as fun to see a second or third time because they are not "suprise" jokes, they are character interaction humor.

      I say 9.5 because the editing is a bit choppy in the first half of the movie (a bit "jarring" at time how fast a scene will end/change-- I think they shaved off 3-5 seconds too much a few times).

    • personally, i thought Wall_E was the most overrated movie of the summer so far.

      great visuals, poor plot and story line, and just plain too much "YOU NEED TO CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT OR YOU'LL DIE!!!" crap in it.

      i rate it as the worst Pixar film i've ever seen.

      And i own every pixar film and enjoy them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Toonol ( 1057698 )
        great visuals, poor plot and story line, and just plain too much "YOU NEED TO CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT OR YOU'LL DIE!!!" crap in it.

        I disagree. I probably share your irritation at heavy handed environmental messages pushed down on the public by corporate PR departments who wish to brand their company as progressive and caring... it's all crap, simplistic, and mostly just plain wrong.

        However, I don't think that environmentalism was the point of Wall-E. Apathy was. Apathy caused the planet to go t
  • by cptnapalm ( 120276 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:03AM (#24182327)

    I guess he won't be doing his script for At The Mountains of Madness.

    I was looking forward to the shoggoth merchandise... shoggoth keychains, shoggoth pudding...

    • With the exception of The Resurrected and the silent Call of Cthulhu films I cringe anytime I hear about Lovecraft's works being represented on film. Not to say that I wouldn't give the film a fair shake, I'd just hate to see another Lovecraft work botched and have tons of 15 year olds out there thinking that what they see on the screen has something to do with why I re-read Lovecraft's works on a normal basis.
      • Always nice to meet a fellow fan of that wonderful silent film. Haven't seen The Resurrected; having looked it up, I'm going to check it out.

        Lovecraft's works are difficult to envision as films, for the most part. ATMoM is one of the oddest horror stories I think I've ever read; the protagonists spend huge chunks of time trying to understand the bas-reliefs. The script review indicates that deviation from the original does take place, with rather more action and some The Thing-like plotting. How anyone

        • The Resurrected is a modern day take on The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. It is lacking in some areas but it's fairly reasonable in a lot of aspects. It's not the greatest thing but having it come out like it did during the times when Brian Yuzna and Full Moon were butchering Lovecraft it was a welcome relief.
        • But c'mon, man! Shoggoth pudding! That would be awesome :)

          (deep announcer voice) Kids go CRAZY for Shoggoth Pudding!
          (cut to a bunch of kids in straight jackets; one staring at the wall drooling, one banging his head rythmically against a wall, one lying on his back and gnawing on a toe, then using the now-bleeding toe to draw MC Escher-like designs on the wall. In front of each is a spoon and an empty Shoggoth Pudding container)

      • by pla ( 258480 )
        I'd just hate to see another Lovecraft work botched

        I don't think we'll ever get to see a decent big-screen rendition of a Lovecraft work. His style just doesn't lend itself to what audiences want, and no studio will foot the bill to make a "true" production that only a handfull of purists will pay to see.

        That said, I could see AtMoM as reasonably adaptable to the documentary-horror subgenre without butchering it too badly... As long as it doesn't have the entire second half framed as one long flee-the
  • Guillermo del Toro's influence in this one. He does a great job of bringing fantasy world's to life, and I'm sure he'll be the perfect fit for The Hobbit.

    I enjoyed the movie overall, but at times it felt like they tried to hard to be funny. My wife and I both agreed that if it was just a little darker it would've been better, but it was still worth the $7.50/ticket to see it in theaters.

    • by us7892 ( 655683 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:32AM (#24182719) Homepage
      Is $7.50 the Senior discount for a Sunday morning matinee in Topeka?

      The Sunday morning matinee for Wall-E cost me $9.50!
      • That's gotta suck - I think ours in Fort Worth just went up to $7.50 for the nighttime showings. The Cinemark Tinseltown near us has great prices though - matinees are $4.

      • Wow, that's outrageous. We only paid $7.50 because it was a Friday night showing at the local Regal Cinemas. Lately we've been going to the Movie Tavern [movietavern.com] for their matinee. $5.00/person and you get lunch/dinner (extra of course) with it. I was really impressed with the place; clean, affordable, good service, decent food. The seats are padded office chairs and they have a bar in front of every row to place your food on. If you need a refill you flip a switch in front of you and they bring it out. I thi

  • by Neon Spiral Injector ( 21234 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:06AM (#24182355)

    Taco seems to make the same mistake that I hear other people saying. Guillermo Del Toro, was also largely responsible for the first Hellboy movie; writing the screenplay and directing.

    I do think he was given much more free reign on this one, and is reflected in the things Taco commented about.

  • Having had the displeasure of (continually) sampling the awesomely bad Mexican cinema of the 80s and early 90s, I am continually amazed at how good Mexican directors like Alfonso Cuaron and Del Toro have gotten, and I have to wonder how in the hell they did get that way considering the ambiance in which they were brought up.

    Having said that, I saw Hellboy II this weekend as well and I have to say I liked it as much as IronMan and WALL-E, so IMO it's a pretty freaking sweet movie.

  • I've enjoyed Mignola's work for decades, but my wife has neither seen the first movie nor read the comics. However, she is not opposed to comic-based movies, and really liked Pan's Labyrinth. Would she be able to jump in and enjoy HB2?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      My wife had neither seen the first Hellboy movie, nor is she much of a fan of comic book movies in general. However, she really enjoyed this. There's an especially good scene with Abe and Hellboy and lots of Tecate that had us both just about falling out of our seats, we were laughing so hard.
  • by Rastl ( 955935 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:07AM (#24182375) Journal

    Response to this movie is turning into two camps - love it or hate it.

    I fall mildly into the 'hate it' camp. Too much of the director's vision, not enough freakin' story.

    Underdeveloped characters, waaaaaaaaaaaay too much CGI, overly cluttered scenes, eco-terrorist plot. All adding up to me literally yawning my way through the movie.

    The original movie appeals to me because of a strong story with supporting visual effects. This movie seems to be all about overwhelming visual effects with some story thrown in to try to pull them together.

    If this is what Pan's Labyrinth is like then I'm glad I didn't waste my time in seeing it. I don't see the director as 'visionary' any more than I see M. Night Wasshisname as a visionary.

    Harsh, I know. But I'm rather picky about how I spend my precious free time and wasting it on this movie just annoys me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer ( 890720 )

      Response to this movie is turning into two camps - love it or hate it.

      Followed by...

      I fall mildly into the 'hate it' camp.

      Seems to me that response is turning into two camps with a sliding scale of intensity.

      Personally, I must say that I mostly liked it with an undertone of ennui.

      And one more thing...

      But I'm rather picky about how I spend my precious free time and wasting it on this movie just annoys me.

      As opposed to wasting it reading a review of a movie you didn't like and then posting comments in the

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jdgeorge ( 18767 )

        As opposed to wasting it reading a review of a movie you didn't like and then posting comments in the discussion?

        Dude, the time he spends posting on Slashdot at work is not "free" time; he was getting paid for that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lord Apathy ( 584315 )

      You didn't miss anything with Pan's Labyrinth. There was no english sound track so if you didn't speak spannish you had to fight the subtitles to understand it. In a movie with visuals like that you can miss important stuff on the screen while reading.

      As for the story, it sucked.

    • by Bazouel ( 105242 )

      I have the same opinion as you about Hellboy 2, but as far as Pan's Labyrinth is concerned, it is totally different and way much better. You are truly missing on something if you do not see that movie at least once.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cgenman ( 325138 )

        Hellboy is fantasy escapism. Pan's Labyrinth is about using fantasy escapism to deal with the horrors of growing up in the middle of a war. It was a very different movie than I was expecting, but it was also far better. It isn't fantasy so much as a historical war drama with occasional fantasy elements. Highly recommended.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Shagg ( 99693 )

      M. Night Wasshisname

      M. Night Shamalamadingdong

    • "...I fall mildly into the 'hate it' camp. Too much of the director's vision, not enough freakin' story.

      Underdeveloped characters, waaaaaaaaaaaay too much CGI, overly cluttered scenes, eco-terrorist plot...

      I totally agree. I came away with the impression that they spent $80 million on CGI and about $2.75 on script work. The film needed far less flash and lots more plot development.

  • You should get out more.

    I watched HellBoy II last night and while I enjoyed the movie it mostly failed in my mind.

    The 'humour' early on reminded me of Men In Black, but MIB pulled it off better. The humour didn't last throughout the movie at the same level and style.

    The ending was lame and was predictable half-way through the movie.

    Wanted was a much better thrill-ride.

    • The ending was lame and was predictable half-way through the movie.

      Which ending?

      The climax? Yeh, I saw that coming really early into the movie.

      Or the final scenes, because not having read the comics I did not see that coming at all.

  • by splatter ( 39844 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:16AM (#24182503)

    Saw it this weekend. The plot was long & drawn out. A little over a 2 hour film with all the trailers. The love interest plot was cheesy, as were the elves. Visual effects and the actor playing hell boy was good, new actor playing fish stick. German frauss

    Don't worry about the spoilers, you know whats going to happen by 20 min into the film, the plot is pretty translucent. Not a whole lot of new ideas.
    1) LOTR man / elf pact gone wrong - Check
    2) One crown to rule them all (need I say more) -check
    3) Goofy (corsecan brother's with out the weed) twins feeling each others pain - check
    4) Secret withheld by girl but known by mind reader until he spills it - check
    5) What is with these freaks heads? (seriously castles?)
    6) New agent hard nosed / by the book then turns rebel with the group.

    I could go on....
     

  • I really loved what Del Toro did with several of the scenes (The dolls in the intro, the forest god, the elven throne), but much of the rest of it just seemed... lame and obvious, like any other mainstream action movie. What resulted was this strange combination of beautiful moments juxtaposed with predictable one-liners.

    I'm glad I saw it, but I really wish it had felt like Del Toro's other work. I suppose he did it to attract a proper American audience?

  • The elven world is very much Del Toro's designs.

    Um, no. The main elf is lifted from The Witcher. Take one look. Do it.
    His father is a copy of Theoden from LOTR. The female elf is (fittingly enough) an Eowyn copy, with a paler complexion.

    As for the other design, it's lifted too. The Troll Market is a rubberstamp copy of Neil Gaiman's hidden market in London. The ogre is straigth from Warcraft.

    Entertaining, it may be, but original, it ain't.

  • So, CmdrTaco says that Pan's Labyrinth is a "detailed, intricate, subtle work." If you've seen it, do you think the fantasy stuff is "real" or not? If it is real, the little girl's experiences are a ray of light in a dreadful time. If it's not real (maybe she's taking some of that morphine) then her death is really quite tragic and awful, even compared to all the other events.
    If you've seen it, what do you think? I think "not real" and my wife thinks "real".
    • by n0dna ( 939092 )

      While we're OT, I have to say I thought Pan's Labyrinth was a horrible movie.

      Maybe if Pan had actually been in it, or the Labyrinth had been shown, then it might have mitigated some of the bland story, the rubber frog, or stupidly gratuitous violence.

      Seriously. It was billed as a fairytale, and it wasn't.

      Admittedly, the "Hands" monster scene was pretty awesome though.

    • by hiryuu ( 125210 )

      If you've seen it, do you think the fantasy stuff is "real" or not? If it is real, the little girl's experiences are a ray of light in a dreadful time. If it's not real (maybe she's taking some of that morphine) then her death is really quite tragic and awful, even compared to all the other events.

      I think the beauty of it is in asking not whether it is real or not, but how much you want to believe it's real. How terrible it would be to contemplate the sad, brutal reality in which she lives and dies and kn

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke ( 6130 )

      If it's not real (maybe she's taking some of that morphine) then her death is really quite tragic and awful, even compared to all the other events.
      If you've seen it, what do you think? I think "not real" and my wife thinks "real".

      One, the other, or both depending on my mood and what I decide to focus on. One thing I like about the movie is that it is open to multiple interpretations.

      On the one hand, nobody but her ever sees any of the bizarre things. On the other, her mother does actually start to get bet

  • Taco I think you gave Del Toro's characters too much credit. Really, I was disappointed with the elves, goblins, and trolls. In Pan's Labyrinth, the graphically intriguing characters were important and had important roles. In Hellboy 2, the commercials and trailers promised us much the same but the movie failed to deliver. The only really original character that moves the plot forward is the one with the mushroom-like head and over a dozen eyes. But we see him for what, 5 minutes and then never again?
  • I didn't realize that "mythos" is the collective noun for elves.
  • I mean, we have all the copyright thugs going around chasing after people, and here you go, chatting up a movie!

  • A new good guy is sent in from the BPRD to reign in our uncontrollable hero

    While he's at it can he also rein in [wsu.edu] the use of that word? Or can we also look forward to a rain of terror followed by a veil of tears and, when worse comes to worse, a damp squid?

  • by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:35AM (#24182749)

    Just saw it last night.

    I am a Hellboy fan, and have seen the first movie.

    I enjoyed Hellboy 2 last night, it was quite good. Worth a trip to the theater.

    Lots of action, funny parts, plenty of beautiful cinematography, good acting. Pretty much can't go wrong.

    If I really wanted to be a hard critic there were a few things I could say.

    1) So much eye candy. In some parts there was so much beautiful cinematography and action going on it was hard to take it all in. It makes me want to watch it again so I can see in more detail everything that is going on.

    2) It seemed to me that a lot of star trek red shirts (BPRD normal human agents) get killed off and the main characters don't seem too upset. Could be they are just used to it by now, came across more callous than it should have been I thought.

    3) I didn't buy into Abe's love interest 100%. Though I could rationalize it perhaps that he is inexperienced in love and perhaps more infatuated or desperate so I can let it slide.

    Oh and I also thought Jeffrey Tambor was very good in his role. I also really liked how the very beginning of the movie started, though I was initially a bit skeptical. Very Creative. There are also a few laugh your ass off parts which are lots of fun, particularly in a theater setting.

    • 3) I didn't buy into Abe's love interest 100%. Though I could rationalize it perhaps that he is inexperienced in love and perhaps more infatuated or desperate so I can let it slide.

      I agree with most of your points, but not the Abe thing.

      For an ordinary person (or whatever) it would be a stretch for him to fall so completely so quickly. But you forget the did mind-meld-thing early on, who knows what he learned or how intimate something like that can be. The resulting knowledge/experience might have been eq

      • Yeah I had thought of that. As I said he had a lot of "outs" that could possibly explain the story. It wasn't something that was explicitly stated though, so if was just one of those things that left me wondering how reasonable his actions where.

        I mean he compares his with Hellboy's relationship, which was not only longer, but they literately went through hell together. Lots of history. If Abe's special connection with her was at cause, and didn't have a lot of experience in the field, and/or was very lonel

  • by Jack9 ( 11421 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:37AM (#24182785)

    I'm not a baby, I'm a tumor.

  • Is CmdrTaco unaware that del Toro directed the first Hellboy movie? He certainly didn't have quite the same license to create his own vision then as he does now, but he is the guy who got the first one so very right.

  • Seems a little condescending to still be calling him a boy.
  • Dee Bradley Baker plays Klaus in American Dad. Not Seth MacFarlane.

  • Is the writer's strike still going on?

    I ask this because the trailers for this film, like most of the others this season, have boiled down to "come see the amazing special effects!"

  • What, they got a new lead for the sequel?

    I wonder if Zelma Blare is playing Liz.

  • As a fan of the Mike Mignola comics and the first movie, this movie just seemed like a pale imitation of the Hellboy I envision. It had its good moments, but there are far more interesting stories in the comics to adapt to film.

    More Hecate and Baba Yaga, less pseudo-Tolkien Elf lore!

    • by nomadic ( 141991 )
      As a fan of the Mike Mignola comics and the first movie, this movie just seemed like a pale imitation of the Hellboy I envision. It had its good moments, but there are far more interesting stories in the comics to adapt to film.

      Were the comics actually good? I always assumed it was the typical early 90s let-the-artist-do-the-writing-too which basically killed the industry.
  • My daughter and I both enjoyed the movie; the humor was even better than the first movie. I also agree with Taco's appraisal of Wall-E and Iron Man. That being said, the movie was not perfect. The puppets acting out the Elf/Human war in the beginning was definately a WTF moment, and went on far too long. Selma Blair and Jeffrey Tambor's characters are annoying. Krause could have used a little more character development (what was the deal with his velvet pouch of rings?). But Ron Perlman is perfect as Hellbo
  • by Snaller ( 147050 ) on Monday July 14, 2008 @01:20PM (#24184421) Journal

    Bring on Mamma Mia! *g*

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