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From visionary writer/director Guillermo del Toro (director of Blade II, 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 Defense, 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 theyprotect, they stand as the key line of defense against an evil madman who seeks to reclaim Hellboy to the dark side and use his powers to destroy mankind.
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
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The plot of this film is pretty interesting, the action sequences are great, and I personally love the CGI seen in this film. The overall movie quality is great, and the story is enjoyable, but I have one problem with the film.
There is so much going on in the film and I'm sure the producers didn't want to make it extremely long, however, there just isn't enough time to develop many of the characters in the film. Hellboy is really the only one that gets much of a significant development in the film, with 'Liz and Myers getting a bit of a side-car ride, but Abe gets nothing in the film and Hellboys "father" doesn't have much development either, so it was a little disappointing to learn so little about the characters the movie invests in, but nothing so big I would say the movie isn't worth watching.
Hellboy is a wonderfully entertaining movie I've enjoyed through several viewings. I have to like a movie a lot to want to watch again!
Lots of other reviews cover the story which seems to honor the graphic novel universe very well. I would not imagine anyone else but Ron Perlman playing the lead role of Hellboy himself. Brilliant! But don't discount the supporting cast (excellent as well), quality of the writing, special effects and great use of music and pacing to keep the story moving forward.
Jeffrey Tambor's role also stands out as he plays the administrator who lives to be a pain in the *** to Hellboy.
Hellboy hits all the right spots for me and has been an entertaining watch that has me laughing out loud every time I see it. Ron Perlman's Hellboy knocks it out of the park with his big stone hand. That's a 5 star movie experience to me.
As far as I am concerned, this film has everything- constantly witty and clever dialog, believable acting, first class sets, great special effects- and most importantly for me, mythological power. What does make a man a man? If you raise up a demon from the deepest pit of hell to know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, does that make him a man? Yes, if you teach him that he has the power to choose his own path- and he takes it. It is even more impressive when the subject has no hope of salvation, yet he chooses light and good for their own sake. And it doesn't hurt to teach him the meaning and power of love. That's the other thing about this film- it turns out to be one of the best love stories that I've ever seen.
I would by this DVD again for my permanent library without the slightest hesitation. I've watched it through several times and always came away with a sense of... inspiration.
As far as I am concerned, this film has everything- constantly witty and clever dialog, believable acting, first class sets, great special effects- and most importantly for me, mythological power. What does make a Man? If you raise up a demon from the deepest pit of hell to know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, does that make him a man? Yes, if you teach him that he has the power to choose his own path- and he takes it. It is even more impressive when the subject has no hope of salvation, yet he chooses light and good for their own sake. And it doesn't hurt to teach him the meaning and power of love....
I'm sure the extra features on the second DVD are first rate, but before I look at them I'm going to watch the entire film on the first disk over again.