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Special Edition, Platinum
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Pan's Labyrinth: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)
Following a bloody civil war, young Ofelia enters a world of unimaginable cruelty when she moves in with her new stepfather, a tyrannical military officer. Armed with only her imagination, Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother. But soon, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and before Ofelia can turn back, she finds herself at the center of a ferocious battle between good and evil.]]>
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THOUGHTS: This is a great little Aesop's Fable-type movie. I won't spoil it by going further, but suffice it to say that I think that this is a really terrific movie, with plenty of heart to go along with the enchanting (and often haunting) visuals. The faun is a delight to behold; totally convincing as a character thanks to some fantastic make up, a touch of CGI, and a truly amazing physical performance by the incredible Doug Jones. Hey, Academy Awards people! Someone give this man an Oscar quick! Pan is at once forward, charming, mysterious, devious and at times frightfully ferocious. You never quite know what his game is, if he's a force for good or evil, and whether he can be trusted or not. Just a great, great movie. Some have complained that it is too slowly paced, but I think that's part of it's charm. Del Toro slowly lures you into the world he's trying to create, rather than jumping right in and throwing all of the best stuff in your face within the first few minutes. You have to be patient. If you do, you will be rewarded!
THE BLU-RAY: The hi-def presentation of this film looks gorgeous. Colors pop, scenes are sharply focused and the sound fills the room. Unfortunately for non-Spanish speaking viewers this movie is only available with English subtitles. No English dub track was created for it. I cannot fathom why the distributor (and Del Toro) didn't oversee the creation of a quality English language dub for the film. Still, it isn't too complicated to follow from a visual standpoint and the film isn't too dialogue-heavy, making the subtitles pretty easy to follow. My wife has a hard time with subtitles but was so enchanted by the film that she watched it several times; once in the original Spanish language and then a couple more times with the English subtitles on. She loved it and highly recommended it to her family & friends. I do too, but want to again stress that if you hate subtitles you may not enjoy it quite as much. But for everyone else, this a great little film that has a high replay value. Another wonderful film from Guillermo Del Toro. 5 STARS
I don't know much about cinema or story when it comes to reviewing, but I will say that the acting is great (The movie is in Spanish but that doesn't detract much from it at all), the music is pretty good, and the concept and appearance of all of the fantasy stuff is stellar. If you've seen Hellboy or Hellboy 2, you have an idea of the kind of creatures you're in for.
If you want something that's a bit of a thriller, bit of an R-rated fairy tale, this is a good choice.
And if that doesn't convince you, here's a quote by a good friend of mine to help convince you: "That little girl handled that stick-bug that looked like it had spent the last two weeks at the gym chugging whey powder and benching small children better than I handle seeing a bumble bee."