Hellboy: Blood and Iron
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Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, and John Hurt star. LOADED WITH BONUS FEATURES: Including Reversal of Fortune: Professor Broom's Story, Tales From the Tomb: A Look Inside Blood & Iron, Iron Shoes: The Animated Debut with Introduction by Mike Mignola
In some ways, Blood and Iron captures more of graphic novelist Mike Mignola's original vision than Guillermo del Toro's lackluster feature did in 2004. Hellboy, the demon brought into this world by the Nazis, but raised by "Professor Broom" to fight for good, was conceived as a drawing, not an actor buried under make-up and latex. The story, which incorporates elements from Mignola's "Wake the Devil" collection, sends Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and Prof. Broom to the haunted mansion of a vulgar millionaire. Hoping to cash in on the supernatural angle, he's filled the house with relics of "Blood Countess" Erzsebet Ondrusko (based on the 16th century Hungarian noblewoman Elizebeth Bathory), whom Prof. Broom defeated in 1939. It's really haunted, and the gang tackles harpies, ghosts, witches, werewolves, vampires, and the goddess Hecate. The key actors from the live action film repeat their roles as voices: Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Selma Blair (Liz), Doug Jones (Abe), and John Hurt (Broom). Perlman makes a suitably underplayed Hellboy, growling his annoyance at everything from a bad donut to a vicious blow from the iron-clad goddess. The limits of the animation would be less problematic if the direction were more dynamic. Tad Stones and Victor Cook don't get the needed power out of the action sequences, especially the prolonged battle between Hellboy and Hecate. It would be interesting to see what a talented director like Kazuhiro Furuhashi (Ruruoni Kenshin) or Hiroyuki Okiura (Jin-Roh) would do with this material. Blood and Iron will appeal to some "Hellboy" fans, but it lacks the dark panache of the original books. (Unrated, suitable for ages 14 and older: violence, grotesque imagery, potentially offensive religious imagery) --Charles Solomon
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Animation: animatrix/Dark Fury style artwork always a plus with me 5 star
Graphical quality: again 5 star not a glitch in it.
Sound: Scary good!!!! 5 STAR!!!
extras: some and really not that interesting. 3 star
aside from dull extras this film is worth every cent and its over an hour long vs dark fury *chronicles of riddick* is only 35 minutes! its a very good deal I was really surprised!
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Hellboy - Blood and Iron (Animated)
Taking that into account, though, the story is fun enough to watch and Ron Perlman's wry delivery of Hellboy's lines is always fun. There is nobody who could give life to this character other than Perlman.
The animation is well done and the story moves along with efficient pacing. One thing that could prove confusing to some (though I found it an intriguing story device) is the use of flashback in this episode. The main story moves forward, but the flashbacks move progressively backward. It has the effect of putting both a beginning and an end at both the beginning and the end of the movie.
If you already purchased "Sword of Storms', then don't miss out on "Hellboy: Blood and Iron". The animated comic book adventure is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format. The DVD has a rich and detailed video transfer that really shows off the animation. The 5.1 Dolby Digital sound is pretty good. Its supplemental extras include an extensive audio commentary with Mike Mignola and production crew, 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes (Reversal of Fortune, Tales from the Tomb, Iron Shoes & The Pennanggalan) and trailers of other animated titles. The interactive menus look great. Overall, "Hellboy: Blood and Iron" scores a "B".
But, of all of the different Hellboy "universes" out there, I'm actually beginning to enjoy the animated movies most of all (sorry, Mike!), largely because a) Professor Bruttenholm (how it's pronounced "Broom" I'll never understand) is still alive and active in Hellboy's life, which is very good for characterization possibilities, and b) while combining aspects from the comics universe more than any other (such as the BPRD's move to new digs in the Colorado mountains from their original Connecticut HQ [NOT New Jersey, though Jersey is, I guess, a funnier location]), the animated universe is a bit more, oh, _cheery_, than the current direction of the comics, and the movies just keep getting better as they go. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for happy endings, or at least satisfactory ones. Yes, Mike, one needs to put one's protagonist in tough situations for dramatic conflict, but jeez! Give the poor guy a break once in a while, can't ya?
I'd like to see an origins storyline (perhaps in the third animated, dealing with Lobster Johnson in the 40's), or even a romantic idea for the Big Red Monkey. But not Hecate; she's just not his type (and if you're not sure about that last, read the second graphic novel, "Wake the Devil." It's a good one [and at a nice price at Amazon!]. Aw, heck, get them all; you won't regret it!). ;->