Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Saving the world is a hell of a job.
In this continuation to the adventure of the demon superhero, an evil elf breaks an ancient pact between humans and creatures, as he declares war against humanity. He is on a mission to release The Golden Army, a deadly group of fighting machines that can destroy the human race. As Hell on Earth is ready to erupt, Hellboy and his crew set out to defeat the evil prince.
When Del Toro manages to get in his stride and gets to strutt his stuff like Mexico's Next Top Model, well I just find him irresistible.
His visual flair combined with his seemingly unending enthusiasm for what he is doing, do perhaps not necessarily guarantee that his films are good, but there's a good chance you'll have a good time.
In Hellboy 2, aesthetics, pacing, humour and action converge beautifully to create an outstanding, if a bit garish, adaptation of a maverick comic book. It's a shame Hellboy's character isn't explored a bit more in this sequel, but that lack of development is more than compensated by well executed and infectious fun.
I have nothing but love for this film, the characters in it and the fun it has in doing what it does.
You're in love. Have a beer.
oh, no my body's a temple.
Well, now its an amusement park.
Hellboy II thrives on its little moments like that. Abe Sapien and Hellboy sharing a six pack in front of a fireplace in a library, listening to love songs. The banter and camaraderie between the agents of the B.P.R.D is one of the driving points of this series.
The only problem is that its so dumb. Seriously who wrote this movie?
*written and directed by Guillermo Del Toro*
Yikes. C'mon Del Taco. It could've been a lot better than that. I mean the first Hellboy didn't have THAT great of writing but it wasn't really all at noticeable. Woah. I'm…
Screw your Iron Mans and your Dark Knights and your Incredible Hulks.
THIS was the best superhero film of 2008.
And that's real.
"I'm not a baby, I'm a tumour!" - Tumour-Baby
You read that right. There is a Tumour-Baby in this film, along the lines of Kuato in Total Recall. Its appearance comes in the middle of one of cinema's greatest achievements in terms of make-up. In the Troll Market, there are hundreds of detailed beasties that are as insane as they are amusing. This is Del Toro having an absolute field-day. The man's brain has been splashed all over the screen in the most glorious manner possible. This movie in terms of twisted imagination seriously rivals the Cantina Bar scene in A New Hope.
But Hellboy II isn't just aesthetically pleasing. It also amuses on a much more intellectual level than…
"Hey Corey, did you like all those Pan's Labyrinth creature designs?"
"Yes, I sure did, sir"
"Want like, 100 more of them?"
"And what do you think about Barry Manilow?"
"I grew up with Barry Manilow, Guillermo"
"How do you feel about Ron Perlman and Doug Jones in 50 pounds of makeup each drunk singing Barry Manilow?"
"I feel like you should marry me"
Unfortunately this is the last movie in Hellboy series (Oh crap!).
Both Hellboy movies are highly amusing and watching them is a pleasant experience, they are funny, action-packed, cliched and creative at the same time and above all intelligent. Having multiple supporting characters allows the movie to shift the focus to other members of the cast and that creates more joy. Golden Army returns with much better visual effects and a more complex story line and it has an astounding new character (Johan Krauss) that is even funnier than Hellboy and there are moments in the movie that he becomes the source of everything that makes this movie so cool. The two Hellboy movies show that comic book adaptations don’t necessarily need to be dark or tragic, they just need someone like Guillermo Del Toro who has faith in their entertaining qualities.
While lacking a small amount of the carefree spirit of its predecessor, 'Hellboy II: The Golden Army' builds on the mythology of the first film while still keeping the characters front and center. It unfortunately falls to bigger-budget Hollywood cliche's in the third act, but is nonetheless a fairly inventive and very visually intriguing film.
Special props to Ron Perlman for getting any characterization whatsoever through the layers of makeup and prosthetics, and to Doug Jones for making his wonderful Abe Sapian character stand out amongst such a lively cast. It would have been nicer if the movie had focused on them a bit more, rather than a sibling royal duo.
MY THREE WORDS
Relaxed, fun, flippant.
This series is turning out to be better than I ever expected. Great performances.
Sweet monsters. Nevermind that the film makes no sense, unsure if it wants to be your typical summer spectacle or an absent-minded detective story. And the villain is a Prince who's creating a civil war, much like the Spanish Civil War allegory in every Guillermo film. But hey, sweet monsters. I don't really think Del Toro gets English comedy, much of it too corny to induce hearty laughter - with the exception of the drunken monologue - and the jokes are so nerdy that they flew over my head. The action scenes don't really build. Characters come and go without consequence. But did I mention it had cool creatures? Seriously, there were like 20 different monsters.
The Hellboy movies are great for "that type of movie." Very entertaining and they look great. The sequel is at least as good as the first one.
The outline of the movie revolves a great deal around Ireland and Irish mythology: Nuada is the name of the first king of the mythological Tuatha De Danann people. The mythological Nuada bore the epithet "Silverhand" because, having lost his arm in battle, he wore a functioning silver arm. In the movie, Nuada's epithet is "Silverlance", and Nuada's father, Balor, has a mechanical arm.
This is one of the rare occasions where the sequel is better then the original. The original film was ok but I had a bunch of problems with it. As it felt basic an didn't seem to have it's own personality. It's bigger and better on a grand scale.
This film on the other hand is…
Guillermo Del Toro was told after he made "Pan's Labyrinth" that he needed to make this movie really good, otherwise everyone would think "Pan's Labyrinth" was a fluke. He clearly took that to heart since, whether you look at the theatrical version of "Hellboy" or the director's cut, this sequel defies all comparison. While still holding enough to make it recognisably a Hellboy movie, elements such as the troll market and the various fairy-folk hiding from the human world expand the mythology of "Hellboy" a great deal.
While the references to Lovecraft in "Hellboy" were mostly hidden by cuts, the incredible fantasy elements in "Hellboy 2" are utterly inescapable here. "Hellboy 2" refuses to follow the typical superhero movie structure and brings us something far more heartfelt and magical instead.
Ranked in my top 10 of 2008 here:
Inicio bastante regulero y en general inferior a la primera, pero los nuevos personajes (sobre todo el diseño de todas las criaturas), la fantástica acción y la gran dirección de Del Toro hace que vuelva a ser una entretenidísima película de acción y aventuras con ese toque clásico que tanto aprecié en la primera parte.
This is Guillermo Del Toro proving exactly how you mix personal themes and obsessions with popular mainstream moviemaking.
I cannot imagine what more a fan of these types of movies could want.
Bottom line is that, as far as my sensibilities go, this jumped directly into my Top 5 comic book flicks ever made.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- Superman II
- Swamp Thing
- Superman III
Leave me suggestions in the comments. Note: comic characters are not ALWAYS superheroes. Note #2: pre-existing characters only. No Unbreakable…
- North by Northwest
- The Birds
This list was inspired by a conversation on the March 2nd/9th editions of Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo's film review, where…