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Hellboy II: The Golden Army [movie]

Just got back from seeing this with my family, the Young Lady's best friend, and smillaraaq. I'm not doing a huge review, because I'm not a huge movie person ... but I enjoyed it. There was a certain amount of horrific nastiness, but most of it was over in about the first 25 minutes of the film. And yes, it was violent, but of the type of violence that any shounen manga fan would find quite resonable.

A couple of little points, some thoughtful, some just silly ... Ron Perlman really inhabits the character of Hellboy (note: I did not see the first movie). You only have to compare his performance as the adult Hellboy with that of the competent young actor who played the juvenile Hellboy in the introduction. I was constantly aware of the kid's makeup as makeup, but I completely stopped thinking about it with Perlman after the first minute or so. And he is such an excellent character for me, so reminiscent of so many wisecracking RPG sessions and snarky manga heroes. But when he starts trying to be friendly with the average man in the street, and fretting over why people don't like him, I whispered to smilla that he reminded me of a very large, red Goku. And she whispered back that his friend Abe Sapien was clearly Hakkai. And it was so true. Although when both of them get sloshed about halfway through the flick and started sappily maundering about love, the dynamic began to get more like just-buddies Gojyo and Hakkai.

See, everything comes back to Saiyuki eventually.

Anyway, the whole thing rattles along at a marvellous pace - I couldn't believe nearly two hours had passed when the credits began to roll.

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
smillaraaq
Jul. 21st, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
Ron Perlman really inhabits the character of Hellboy (note: I did not see the first movie).

Well, like I was saying, I have seen the first movie, and have been reading the comics for a decade, and I couldn't agree more. Perlman was born to play the big red lug. I couldn't be happier with the casting there.

Also, PAMCAKES!

Little Hellboy is unholy world-destroying love.

scans_daily has also had a flurry of Hellboy/BPRD love recently to go along with the movie. I'd particularly recommend this bit from Plague of Frogs, wherein Abe finally learns some of the tragic backstory of his mysterious origins, and The Wolves of St. August, my absolute favorite stand-alone short Hellboy piece (well, not counting "Pancakes", of course.) That one little ghost really gets to me every time...
telophase
Jul. 21st, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
I read a lot of Hellboy comics after seeing Hellboy I. I can see why a lot of my friends who loved the Hellboy comics hated the movie - the comic Hellboy is a bit older and a bit more world-weary, sort of the equivalent of a man in his 40s. Perlman plays movie Hellboy as in his early 20s, just really facing the world and trying to figure it out, although with a bucket of cynicism thrown in for good measure.

As for me, I love both Hellboys. :)

(And Cho - you need to see Hellboy 1! :D)
smillaraaq
Jul. 21st, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
Well, don't forget the comics jump around insanely in time -- there's stories set more or less in the present day, and others with a younger (but still adult) Hellboy running about in the late 1950s/early 60s. The world-weariness is a little stronger in the stuff with a closer to present-day setting where he's seen a lot more weird shit and had more friends die, including his adoptive father Prof. Bruttenholm.

Del Toro deviates from the fine details of the setting and character backstories, and plotlines, in numerous major and minor ways, but it doesn't bother me here because he doesn't really seem to have lost sight of the big picture; the grand pulpy feel of wisecracking weirdness with quite a bit of heart under the clobbering is intact.
telophase
Jul. 21st, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)
That's true. :)

I also really enjoyed the two prose anthologies, although I haven't really been able to get into the novels (I've got 3 or 4 of them, but it's been a while since I attempted to read them. XD)
smillaraaq
Jul. 21st, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
Yeah, the guy who's done most of the novelizations is competent enough, but having someone other than Mignola doing the writing feels almost as off to me as having someone other than Mignola doing the art. It's still a cool world, but I like the original flavor the best, not the variations. The shortfic anthologies are uneven, but when they hit they hit really hard. I really liked Poppy Z. Brite's take on Liz's backstory, for instance.

(Did you notice Roger the golem lurking off in the background at the beginning of this one? Cute touch, tho' it didn't make me squeal quite as much as the gratuitous pancakes in the first movie...)
telophase
Jul. 21st, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
If I ever see a Hellboy comic with competently-drawn feet, I shall be quite sad! XD

(No, missed that! XD)
smillaraaq
Jul. 21st, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
This is why the BPRD and Weird Tales stuff has just never quite clicked as strongly with me -- don't get me wrong, I still enjoy them immensely, but without that quirky stylized Mignola art, it just doesn't feel the same...I love his art, pointy feet and all. XD

(It's in the very beginning, when they're walking through the building and all sorts of business-as-usual weird crap is going on in the hallways and side offices as they pass...I wanna say he was up to the left of the screen. Looking quite dead, I guess with all the changes in this continuity he never got the zap of life...)
chomiji
Jul. 21st, 2008 11:37 am (UTC)

The Mr. says we have it around here somewhere, on DVD or tape or something. I have a constant resistance (which smilla has been having to deal with) to movie-type media in the home arena. I'm not sure why. I don't mind going out to a movie, with a group (and since they opened the Majestic 20 in Silver Spring, with stadium seating and decent restaurants and a Borders on the same block, we've been going fairly often), but I won't sit and watch stuff by myself, and even with just the Mr., it's rarely for me to sit and watch something all the way through.

fmanalyst
Jul. 21st, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
To me, the film just confirms one truth of our time. Whether they're willing to admit it or not, everyone is capable of singing along with Barry Manilow.
chomiji
Jul. 21st, 2008 11:39 am (UTC)

LOL! I certainly found myself singing along with them last night! (Did you every see Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's MirrorMask? I've certainly never felt the same way about the Carpenters' chestnut "Close to You" since then ... .)

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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