Hellboy II: The Golden Army
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Hellboy II: The Golden Army

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DVD

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Blu-ray

For a long time now comic books have been a rich source of material for movies. They provide the imagination and wonder that audiences always respond to. The problem was up until recently there was no way to realistically show what is routinely depicted in comics. In the old Superman television show and movies the act playing the man of steel would jump onto some mattresses places just out of the frame. Now with the miracles that computer generated effects can provide a man can truly seem to fly. It is a good thing that audiences are so willing to pay to see these new comic based flicks. It costs a lot to make them; at least make them well. Enter the era of the big budget blockbuster. This year alone we have seen major hits with ‘Iron Man’, ‘Batman’, ‘The Hulk’ and the one under consideration here, ‘Hellboy’. The combined box officer of these movies would fund a mid sized country for years. ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’ by self professed comic book maven Guillermo del Toro is part of the latest generation of films based either on comics or their more mature brothers, the graphic novel. With this new brand of flick the audiences have come to demand more than just a thrill ride of special effects for a couple of hours. They want an actual story that does more than give you time for a bathroom break. In some ways this is the sequel that would not die. The original ‘Hellboy’ movie was produced under Sony. The sequel has moved over to Universal. The did provide del Toro with a modest, by today’s standards, increase in the budget from about $66 million to $72 million. He did a lot with the money. This is an excellent example of how to make a comic book based movie. It will hold your interest with the story and give you a thrill ride to boot. Universal has a half dozen ways to get this film so pick one and enjoy.

The story for this film was done by Mike Mignola and del Toro. Mignola is the original creator of Hellboy in the comics so you couldn’t ask for a better source here. He is also one of the main contributors to Dark Horse Comics so he is one of the most respected members of the comic community. As for del Toro he started his film career in his native Mexico but made a bit of a splash in 1997 with the science fiction thriller ‘Mimic’. From there he went on to ‘Blade II’ and the original ‘Hellboy’ and has been tapped to create the much anticipated ‘Hobbit’ movie. In all cases he has directed what he writes. These are men who truly enjoy comics so they are able to reach the fan on their level. They know what is expected and they deliver it many times over. This also shows up with del Toro’s involvement with the animated features for Hellboy. In this time out they are not hindered with the required background and build up that a first movie has; before they had to go into additional details as to who Hellboy and his co-workers are. With this film there are a couple of flashbacks but they get right into the action. What really works in this film is how they paint the characters with a fine brush. They are fully formed human beings or lovable demonic creatures as the case may be. There is a touch of romance here as well as enough humor to keep this from being too dark and moody helping to keep its PG-13 rating. You normally wouldn’t thing that you would cheer on a huge red creature from the depths of hell as a hero but in this movie that is exactly what you will do. Hellboy (Ron Perlman) or as he is known to his friends, Red, is quick with witty banter as he tosses some hell spawn creature around the city of New York.

It takes a certain kind of director to head up a film like this. The difficult with helming a computer graphics heavy movie is most of the scene will be painted in over the green screen on the set. To do this the director requires a higher degree of imagination than normal. He has to see what has not even been created yet and mentally place it in his mind in order to provide his direction. Of all thee directors that have excelled at this task del Toro is among the best. His style is so natural that you frequently forget that what you are seeing is part of some large computer program. There is a look and feel here that draws you into not only to the action but the emotional story that holds it together.

Hellboy was originally brought to the earthly plane by Nazis hoping to use his demonic nature to control the world. He was adopted by the kindly Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (John Hurt) and brought up as a Catholic. With his tail, horns and huge stone right hand Red seems fearsome but actually he is a likeable sort who has a soft sport for kittens and Butterfinger candy bars. Now he works for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, an organization that has been in existence since the time of Abraham Lincoln. When things go bump in the night they bump back. In this story Red has to work with his friends and co-workers to fight off the Golden Army of demons from taking over the world. With him is his girlfriend Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) who is able to create fire with her mind, good thing Red is fire proof, and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), a telepathic human fish hybrid. Now that Brutterholm is dead the BPRD is run by a bureaucrat Tom Manning (Jeffrey Tambor) who has an antagonistic attitude towards Hellboy. As if fighting the underworld’s deadliest creatures isn’t enough to keep Red busy he finds out from Liz that she is carrying his child.

For a long time now comic books have been a rich source of material for movies. They provide the imagination and wonder that audiences always respond to. The problem was up until recently there was no way to show what is routinely depicted in comics realistically. In the old Superman television show and movies, the actor playing the man of steel would jump onto some mattresses places just out of the frame. Now with the miracles that computer-generated effects can provide a man can truly seem to fly. It is a good thing that audiences are so willing to pay to see these new comic based flicks. It costs a lot to make them; at least make them well. Enter the era of the big-budget blockbuster. This year alone we have seen major hits with ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Batman,’ ‘The Hulk’ and the one under consideration here, ‘Hellboy.’ The combined box officer of these movies would fund a mid-sized country for years. ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’ by self-professed comic book maven Guillermo del Toro is part of the latest generation of films based either on comics or their more mature brothers, the graphic novel. With this new brand of the flick, the audiences have come to demand more than just a thrill ride of special effects for a couple of hours. They want an actual story that does more than give you time for a bathroom break. In some ways, this is the sequel that would not die. The original ‘Hellboy’ movie was produced under Sony. The sequel has moved over to Universal. The did provide del Toro with a modest, by today’s standards, increase in the budget from about $66 million to $72 million. He did a lot with the money. This is an excellent example of how to make a comic book based movie. It will hold your interest in the story and give you a thrill ride to boot. Universal has a half dozen ways to get this film so pick one and enjoy.

Mike Mignola and del Toro did the story for this film. Mignola is the original creator of Hellboy in the comics so you couldn’t ask for a better source here. He is also one of the main contributors to Dark Horse Comics so he is one of the most respected members of the comic community. As for del Toro, he started his film career in his native Mexico but made a bit of a splash in 1997 with the science fiction thriller ‘Mimic.’ From there he went on to ‘Blade II’ and the original ‘Hellboy’ and has been tapped to create the much anticipated ‘Hobbit’ movie. In all cases, he has directed what he writes. These are men who truly enjoy comics so that they can reach the fan on their level. They know what is expected and they deliver it many times over. This also shows up with del Toro’s involvement with the animated features for Hellboy. In this time out, they are not hindered with the required background and build up that a first movie has; before they had to go into additional details as to who Hellboy and his co-workers are. With this film, there are a couple of flashbacks, but they get right into the action. What works in this film is how they paint the characters with a fine brush. They are fully formed human beings or lovable demonic creatures as the case may be. There is a touch of romance here as well as enough humor to keep this from being too dark and moody helping to keep its PG-13 rating. You normally wouldn’t think that you would cheer on a huge red creature from the depths of hell as a hero but in this movie that is exactly what you will do. Hellboy (Ron Perlman) or as he is known to his friends, Red, is quick with witty banter as he tosses some hellspawn creature around the city of New York.

It takes a certain kind of director to head up a film like this. The difficult with helming a computer graphics-heavy movie is most of the scene will be painted in over the green screen on the set. To do this, the director requires a higher degree of imagination than normal. He has to see what has not even been created yet and mentally place it in his mind to provide his direction. Of all the directors that have excelled at this task del Toro is among the best. His style is so natural that you frequently forget that what you are seeing is part of some large computer program. There is a look and feel here that draws you into not only to the action but the emotional story that holds it together.

Hellboy was originally brought to the earthly plane by Nazis hoping to use his demonic nature to control the world. He was adopted by the kindly Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (John Hurt) and brought up as a Catholic. With his tail, horns and huge stone right hand Red seems fearsome, but he is a likable sort who has a soft spot for kittens and Butterfinger candy bars. Now he works for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, an organization that has been in existence since the time of Abraham Lincoln. When things go bump in the night, they bump back. In this story, Red has to work with his friends and co-workers to fight off the Golden Army of demons from taking over the world. With him is his girlfriend, Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) who can create fire with her mind, good thing Red is fireproof, and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), a telepathic human-fish hybrid. Now that Brutterholm is dead the BPRD is run by a bureaucrat Tom Manning (Jeffrey Tambor) who has an antagonistic attitude towards Hellboy. As if fighting the underworld’s deadliest creatures isn’t enough to keep Red busy he finds out from Liz that she is carrying his child.

Universal has provides no less than six ways to get this film. We can discount the full-screen version right off the bat since you are going to want to see every pixel for this movie. Two of the releases are in Blu-ray providing a video and audio resolution that is incredible and will show off your home theater to the envy of the neighborhood. The three-disc DVD has all the extras of the special edition plus a disc containing a digital copy of the film to transfer to your PC, MAC or another digital device. This is better than the first and is a must-have.

bulletDisc One:
bulletAudio Commentary
bulletRon Perlman, Selma Blair, Rupert Evans, Jeffrey Tambor - Stars
bulletGuillermo del Toro - Director, Mike Mignola - Co-Executive Producer
bulletRight Hand of Doom Set Visits (8)
bulletFeaturettes - 1. Hellboy's Cartoon Recommendations (4)
bulletPicture-In-Picture Storyboard Feature
bulletBranching DVD Comics By Mike Mignola (8)
bulletDVD-ROM Features:
bulletDirector's Notebook
bulletPrintable Script
bulletScript Supervisor's Book
bulletDisc Two:
bulletTrailers
bulletTV Spots (9)
bulletHellboy: The Seeds of Creation Documentary (150 mins.)
bulletComputer-generated Animated Scene Breakdowns (4)
bulletBoard-A-Matic Storyboard/Scene Scene Comparisons (5)
bulletDeleted Scenes w/Optional Commentary (4)
bulletScene deconstruction with Guillermo del Toro
bulletKroenen's Lair Storyboard to Film Comparisons (4)
bulletText/Photo Galleries:
bulletFilmographies
bulletPoster Explorations

Posted 10/31/08                    Posted    01/29/2019

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