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Pan's Labyrinth (DVD) (WS)
In a dark time for a young girl, Spain and the entire world, the haunting fantasies within her mind merge into reality, giving birth to a land of fantastical creatures and secret destinies--Pan's Labyrinth . . . El laberinto del fauno. 1944. Rural Spain. As Franco consolidates his brutal hold after years of civil war, lonely and dreamy Ofelia must come to terms with the cruelty around her. Living with her mother and adoptive father--a military officer under the Fascist government who is tasked with ridding last rebels from their area, Ofelia creates a fable, giving life to a secret inner world to help her cope with a world gone wrong. From acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro (Cronos, Mimic) and produced by Alfonso Cuarón, director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Y tu mamá también.]]>
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It was cool to bond over the artistry, mythical imagination and goodness of morels surrounded in a dark world.
He was super stoked to go to The Guillermo del Toro exhibit, 'At Home With Monsters'. It helped me convey the need to express artfully, thoughtfully and to recognize beauty in darkness without mindless violence.
I can't get into all of his stuff, but Pan's Labyrinth is where it's at.
I do not recommend this for young kiddos
There are parts I couldn't watch and were truly graphic.
I've searched for this video for quite a while and now I've finally been able to see it. Spanish is my second language, there were some words I didn't understand but I enjoyed the story. I don't know if the creatures were created by special effects or if they were disguises in which the the actors dressed, but they were unique and mysterious. I've suffered quite a bit in my life and it's caused me to empathize well with tragic stories. Sometimes things don't go the way you'd wish, this is what life is like and the important thing is that we stay good people ourselves. Good job Guillermo del Toro!
If you ever get the chance to see Guillermo Del Toro's travelling art exhibition, it is an amazing experience!
Top international reviews
This film is an outstanding work, with a multi-layered plot that fuses the grim everyday life of a young girl with a mystical place she can escape to. Very very good stuff.
Set in Fascist Spain during the second World War, Franco is in power and The Resistance is trying to make life hard.
When Ofelia's Mother marries Captain Vidal and gets pregnant with his Son, they have to move to the Country to be near him. When they are arriving and Ofelia's Mother tells her to ask the Driver to stop because she is feeling sick, Ofelia finds a rock in the road, realises it comes from a Statue nearby she put it back thus setting in motion a chain of events that will lead Ofelia on a dangerous course.
When they arrive at the Mill the Captain tells Ofelia it is the other hand that you put out to shake.....from that moment on Ofelia hates Capt. Vidal.
Mercedes the Housekeeper has a Brother in the Resistance and the Dr., who is employed by Vidal, is also sympathetic to their cause.
Pan's Labyrinth is the best film I have seen in ages. The SFX are incredible particularly Pan who is made to look so real that you can nearly imagine he is. The Fairies are well done too.
This is one of the best films I have ever seen. I have played this many times but I never noticed that in Carmens room the headboard features a Faun.
I just don't find anything bad to say about it so i guess i must rate it 5/5 ? sure maybe its a little cheesy sometimes, and there are some scenes where the actions of the characters annoyed me a lot, its an emotional rollercoaster but i think that is what artistic films are about?
The challenges of the mythical world are far less disturbing - or violent - than the real one, and it's all too easy to see why she wants to escape into the darkness of the labyrinth where at least the hope of something better exists. But then she's not the only one escaping into the imagination, as her mother sustains herself with a romanticised view of her meeting the captain that he has no interest in whatsoever. To him stories - even a part of his family history that has passed into local legend - exist only to be denied. Lopez's greatest sin isn't the pride that he admits to, or even that he is so pitiless, it's that he chooses to obey without question: the girl's small triumph is that she does not. And the triumphs in the film are generally small, quiet ones, where courage and fear go hand in hand, making the few acts of decency all the more important when they occur. There is one "saved by the cavalry" moment that at first doesn't convince but does prove to be there for a definite purpose that makes the ending all the more powerful.
But while there's a lot going on underneath the surface of the film, it doesn't crush it with the weight of its ideas. It's directed with a visual assurance and, at times, playfulness that sweeps you along, sometimes with delight, sometimes with apprehension, but never simply for the sake of a nice shot or a neat special effect (most of which are incredibly well integrated for such a low budget feature). The performances are superb, with Lopez somehow managing to avoid turning his irredeemable character into a caricature: this is an evil without conscience that is all too recognisable. Javier Navarette's beautiful score is also adept at walking the fine line between magic and emotion without crossing the line into schmaltz.
It's a remarkable film, the only new one that I saw last year that I'd genuinely say is one of the greatest of all time. It's been years since I was so affected by a movie that I had to see the very next show. Practically perfect and definitely one for the collection,especially in the two-disc edition which boasts surprisingly good extras that aren't just the usual self-congratlatory promo pieces.
It follows the story of a young girl, Ofelia, who along with her heavily pregnant mother, are moving in with her mother's new partner, a captain of the military. The story is set during the Spanish Civil war and as such the story unfolds in and around the military outpost where the captain, Ofelia and her mother are stationed.
Ofelia is an inquisitive youngster and she soon starts to see things around the camp that are not what you could call normal! Eventually she meets the Faun, Pan, who gives her three tasks and this forms the real backbone of the story. As Ofelia works through her tasks her situation becomes more desperate as her mother becomes ill during pregnancy and the camp comes under threat from rebels...
The film is very dark and fantastical but with a more adult tone; it's a fantasy of awesome imagination but not for the smallest children. Which leads me on to my next point - the Captain is one of the best villains I've seen in ages. He's thoroughly ruthless and you see pretty early in the movie what he's capable of and from that point on you want him to get his!
A mention should be made of the picture quality of this disc which is outstanding. I recently bought a full HD TV and have been enjoying watching my DVD collection upscaled through my PS3. I noticed as soon as this disc started to play that the picture was utterly superb - the best DVD I've yet seen in terms of picture. Having been getting used to bluray recently most DVD's are almost immediately recognisable as a DVD but Pan's Labyrinth looks awesome. It's a shame they didn't manage to get a DTS soundtrack on there too!
Anyway, I don't want to reveal too much of the story which is very well told. It's nothing particularly new but is told so well it works wonderfully. If you like fanatsy you'll love this. There's a good twist at the end too.
Mixing magic and reality as per the genre you have in one story a fairy tale being told of a young girl who escapes into a private world away from the dreadful daily horrors of the real world at war. Her fantasy world contains all the creatures of mystery and the best that cgi and animatronics can offer. In the other real world the film tells the absolutely brutal story of a unit of the fascistic, utterly cruel Nationalist Army fighting the last stragglers of the defeated republican government `army' in the rain-drenched hills of Northern Spain.
What has the film got? The cinematography is superlative and the palette of the film, the cold greys, greens, browns and blues of the `reality' and the warm golden oranges of the fantasy world, is entirely convincing. The acting from the mesmerizing performance of the child actress playing one of the leads - what a find she is! - (effectively the film has several 'leads') to that by the minor role players could serve as a template of how to act full-stop. The action itself is beautifully directed whether the scenes are of quiet pathos or stomach-churning violence, by the excellent and sure-footed Guillermo del Toro. (By the way, the `15' certificate is a bit of a surprise for me - I've seen less violent `18' films.)
Both stories of the film work very well. Do they work together once the director has put them together in one place side by side? Well... almost. I enjoyed, if that's the right word, the reality scenes more than the fantasy ones but I've never been a fan of fantasy and its paraphernalia so that's probably why. Hence the four stars above instead of five.
N.B. It is not a film to see if you're feeling low. It's unremittingly sombre and sad with no comic details whatsoever. The relief for a viewer comes rather in the form of the fantasy world visited by the young heroine (for us just as it does for her). There could be no happiness and laughter in this film and this makes it tough-going. It's never boring but it's certainly tough-going and this is something to bear in mind before you sit down cheerfully to watch it.
All that said the film stands head, shoulders, torso what have you above most of the films released in 2006 and deserves the plaudits it has received.
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HOW GLAD I DID NOT! "The Orphanage" happens to now be one of my favourite films of all time, and a real two-finger salute to all these tacky gore fest horror movies spilling out of hollywoodland at the moment.
Any way, to the point (I know this isn't a review on the Orphanage!), because I liked that film so much, I decided to get Pan's Labyrinth since I enjoyed the directing style and the cinematography.
All in all, this film also flies up to the peaks of my list of fave films... it is a BEAUTIFUL film visually, unique story, wonderfully played out, well acted (I guess! considering it's en espanol!) - if you appreciate films for their content, the thought that goes in to realising an idea in to film and are comfortable with a fantastical story line - you will simply LOVE this film
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besides that it was really really good and the ending was a nice and dark. the woman who plays the nanny is amazing I really liked her, she was my favourite.