A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Hellboy – Director’s Cut

March 1, 2010

Hellboy – Director’s Cut

Let me start out this project by saying that my wife and I own a lot of movies.  A LOT of movies.  I’ve worked in video retail for about fifteen years now.  With TLA Video in Pennsylvania, then with Suncoast Video and currently with Blockbuster.  Since 1997 I’ve been collecting DVDs.  My very first one was Woodstock (the film of the concert)  and at two or three DVDs a week the collection has expanded.  At this point it’s a compulsion.  I buy movies that I want to watch, someday, when I have the time.  But lately there seems to be so little time.  We have stacks of movies by the bed, in the corners, behind the chairs.  Some still in their plastic wrap.  Waiting patiently for that distant day when finally they can be enjoyed.

And now: that day has come!  Or at least it will.  We have resolved to watch every.. single.. movie in our vast collection.

What an appropriate way to begin this project.  In point of fact the top movie on the stack we approached was Hellboy 2, but in keeping with the rules we went to the first movie instead.  And again, in accordance to the rules we had to go with the director’s cut (part of a lovely 3-disk special edition.)  We started to watch it on my little laptop screen, figuring that we’ve watched the movie enough times that we could have it play somewhat in the background. But before we had even made it to the opening credits I had to take it out and put it up on the living room television.  It’s just too good a film to have playing in the background.  It deserves center stage.

In many ways Hellboy is a movie that very well represents our collection.  It’s a movie based on a comic book.  I decided a long while back to buy any and all movies based on comic books.  Some are good.  Some are… not.  But all have a passion behind them.  Like any movie I guess.  It’s also a movie directed by a great artist in Guillermo Del Toro.  His passion permeates every frame.  From the rich saturated color palette to the creepy clockwork Nazi it just reeks of Del Toro’s unique vision.

In Mike Mignola he found a great collaborator.  Mike’s creations are larger than life.  Hacked in rich shadows from his twisted pop-culture fueled psyche.  And Guillermo has brought them to rich vivid life.  Which is something impressive to do in a rollicking action adventure film.

I love the imagery of this film.  The Cthuloid tentacles and the mythos of Hellboy’s origins and destiny.  I love the riproaring adventure of it all.  The end-of-everything-we-know stakes.  The dry sense of humor.  But most of all I treasure the very human love story at the movie’s heart.

What a cast too!  I think this was the second movie I saw Jeffrey Tambor in (after Muppets From Space) and he steals every scene he’s in.  Which is a major feet when you’re sharing the screen with a ruggedly handsome and suave Ron Perlman with some of the best makeup in cinema history to contend with.  Selma Blair is wonderfully haggard as Liz, and Rupert Evans is so earnest.  (I remember being shocked by his accent when I watched the actor commentary track.)  John Hurt provides much needed gravitas and heart.  And how could I forget the graceful otherness of Del Toro regular Doug Jones combined with the dulcet tones of David Hyde Pierce?

In short (too late!) this is a spectacular movie with many a quotable moment.  I highly recommend it to one and all.

March 2, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,

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