A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 4 – Hellboy: Blood & Iron (animated feature)

Hellboy: Blood & Iron – March 4, 2010

We’re on to day four of our little project and we’re still on Hellboy, but this is the last of it. This is another animated feature like last night’s, so I won’t dwell much on style, but I will say that I was right about the timeline. These are definitely set pre-movies. For one, the professor is still alive (and this one deals with a lot of backstory for him) and for two, despite Liz’s obviously amped up skill set, she’s definitely young. But then there’s also an argument for this being a slightly different continuity. Like when the owner of the haunted house they’re investigating says he knows all about the BPRD and Hellboy and Abe and Liz. He knows them by name and has a picture taken. Soooo, not so classified?

I find it interesting that Golden Army and Sword of Storms dealt with a particular cultural mythology (Celtic and Japanese respectively) while the first movie and Blood & Iron are more looking at demons and spirits without a specific or single cultural mythology. True, the first movie went to Russia and Rasputin was the big bad, but there were also Biblical demons and a giant Cthulhoid tentacle beast descending from the sky and it started in Nazi Germany under the “occult” umbrella term. This one, on the other hand, starts out with Elizabeth Bathory and a haunted house. I don’t have anything super insightful to say about it, I just like that it’s not all one or the other.

The story’s good enough, even if it does toss in Hecate and harpies gathering victims and blood for Bathory and some wolves with glowing eyes. There are some allusions to Hellboy’s greater destiny and some outright statements about it but they don’t amount to much. But then, I wouldn’t expect them to in an animated direct-to-DVD feature when there was a second live action theatrical feature in the works.

Aside from the big A plot, I still love the little details. Things like the team discussing everyday stuff like pastries with reference points like “Oh right! That thing we dealt with! With all the arms!” I do enjoy seeing them as a team without the whole world exploding and all of them having angst fits with every line. And the quips and chatting between the team members is great. I don’t really know how I feel about their liason agent, voice by Peri Gilpin, but she’s not bad. I get the feeling every so often that she’s flirting with Hellboy, but I could be reading more into it than there is. And then the BPRD emblem on the butt of Hellboy’s gun? Nice. It wouldn’t be strictly necessary and you only see it for a moment, so it’s nice that they tossed it in there anyhow.

Like the other three, it was fun. Not my favorite (that would be the first movie) but fun. I will say that I think I can now safely say that it’s a good plan to either watch Hellboy with limited knowledge of the mythology/folklore it’s pulling its plots from, or stash away your mythology/folklore critic until you’re done unless you plan on poking at that aspect of it. It’s sort of in its own little world where everything’s all mashed together and there’s a special club for evil folks who want to teach Hellboy the special handshake.

And that’s it for Hellboy. Knowing is up tomorrow.

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March 4, 2010 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron

March 4, 2010

Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron

Well here we are on the last Hellboy movie in our collection.  Blood & Iron is the second animated Hellboy movie, and the first movie we’re watching that we own but I haven’t watched before.  The first of many.

We start out today with opening narration from John Hurt as Professor Broom.  Which is nice, since I missed him in the first animated movie.  It also sets up the chronology of the series, confirming Amanda’s suspicions that the animated movies take place before the first movie.  Indeed as the movie progresses it jumps about in time creating a whole backstory involving Broom and an encounter he once had with a nasty vampire woman in the 30s.  It flashes back many times, going deeper and deeper into the matter of his original encounter.

I would say that on the whole this is not a Hellboy movie really.  It’s a Professor Broom movie that happens to have Hellboy and the rest of the BPRD in it.  And, really, I’m okay with that.

There’s also a lot of set up for the apocalyptic confrontation that DIDN’T happen in the second feature film.  There’s talk about how Hellboy is a demon, and how he’s not meant to be helping humans: he’s meant to be ruling over them.  I do like that contradiction and juxtaposition in the Hellboy mythos.. maybe someday there will be a third feature film which explores it more.  Until then we’re done reviewing Hellboy though.

March 4, 2010 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment