DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005
Starring Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair, Rupert Evans, Karel Roden, Jeffrey Tambor, Doug Jones, Ladislav Beran, David Hyde Pierce (voice)
Written By: Mike Mignola, Peter Briggs, Guillermo del Toro
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Buy on Amazon.com
I never got a chance to see Hellboy in theaters because I was on vacation at the time, I heard good things about it though. Now it’s on 2 disc, fully loaded DVD, and it’s certainly a cool movie.
I never read the Hellboy comics so i’ll try to explain the premise of the story without screwing it up. I’ll probably screw it up though. The opening scene takes places during WWII and a younger Trevor ‘Broom’ Bruttenholm (John Hurt plays the older version) and a group of U.S. Soldiers locate the Nazis doing something fishy. Then they see Grigori Rasputin (Karel Roden) leading some cult experience with a bunch of scientists and it looks like he’s trying to open a portal to hell. The U.S. Soldiers attack and something escapes the portal and Rasputin dies. Rasputin’s enforcer, Kroenen is some masked bad ass kung fu swordsman and tries to hold off the soldiers. The soldiers think they killed him off but he vanishes. Eventually after the battle, they discover some red little devil with a giant hand, and Bruttenholm becomes a father figure to the creature and names him Hellboy (Ron Perlman).
Years later Bruttenholm starts up a Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense and they fight mystical creatures and Hellboy is apart of it. Hellboy just wants to be like every other human: smoke, drink beer, watch some sports and pick up chicks. But since that whole I look like a devil thing, it kind of makes him stay inside all the time. Though i’m not sure if he has a choice. He drills down his horns to make himself look more human. I think he should just go with the horns because he looks pretty badass with those on his mellon. There’s other creatures and mutant like people among the Bureau like Abe Sabien (Doug Jones, Voiced by David Hyde Pierce) and Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) who’s a person who can’t really control her fire-starting. Also, a young FBI agent, or an agent from somewhere named John Myers (Rupert Evans) gets selected to be Hellboy’s new partner. They don’t get along really, especially when Myers starts to move on Liz, who Hellboy has a thing for. They find out that Rasputin has been brought back from the dead and wants to use Hellboy to re-open the portal and bring on the apocalypse. Of course, they try to stop him.
I wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to like the movie. The trailers sort of had a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen feel to it, and that wasn’t really a good thing. BUT after seeing the movie, I thought there was a lot of cool things about it. Ron Perlman was born to play Hellboy. They act similar and his facial structure fits the Hellboy profile, well minus the horns, unless Ron Perlman drills those down too. I thought Ron Perlman played the character great and gave a lot of funny one-liners, something this type of film definitely needed since it was so dark. And it’s a good thing that this movie wasn’t all in CGI or it might have looked really stupid. Thankfully some directors feel they can use makeup and still achieve what they want to do. Though some CGI is used in this, which I felt was mediocre but the story balances out. This isn’t some movie where the special effects are just featured and then the story is the backdrop to it (*cough* Star Wars *cough*). But another thing I liked about the movie was Abe Sabien. I thought he was really good, well the scenes he was in. David Hyde Pierce did the voice-over work for him, and the character had a likable quality to him, too bad he wasn’t in a lot of the movie. Selma Blair was ok, nothing to special with her character. I didn’t even recognize John Hurt as the role Father/Bruttenholm until I looked up IMDB. He was also really good in the movie. I also thought the villain Kroenen was the highlight of Hellboy, besides Hellboy of course. All his fight scenes kicked ass and he looked really menacing. Rasputin was kind of a weak villain, and thought they could have done something better with him. Oh, one thing I love about the movie is the film score by Marco Beltrami. I think this is his best score to date, and I love the “________ Funeral” song. It’s a really beautiful song and almost makes me cry haha.
This DVD has a behind the scenes featurette that is longer than the actual movie! The feature comes close to 2 1/2 hours and it’s obviously real in-depth. It’s all in sections so if you don’t want to sit through it all, you can always pick up later. Which is something I did. The feature focuses on pre-production, the stunts of the film, lots and lots of behind the scenes footage and on set footage, prosthetic and make up stuff, animation, scoring, editing, and the movie premiere. So basically they cover every aspect that needs to be covered. You can really get a sense that the director Guillermo del Toro loved this story and really got into this project, that’s why there’s a sequel coming in 2006. Other extras include some weak deleted scenes, decent “on set visits,” DVD comics, Character Bios and some more stuff. I’m not sure why there’s a 3 disc DVD set coming out in the fall for this, maybe more footage added back into the movie but this DVD has a lot of stuff on here already. If you saw the movie and liked the film, get this. If you didn’t see the movie, maybe rent it first to see if you like the movie before buying. Comic book fans will most likely want to buy this though. I’m definitely interested in seeing the sequel now.
Video Introduction by Guillermo del Toro Audio
Deleted And Alternate Scenes
And Much More!
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Running Time: 122 minutes