Sense of Wonder: Hellboy 2 – The Critical Divide

Ron Perlman in HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMYIn a summer that saw critics and audiences often in agreement, the much-praised sequel fizzled at the box office

This summer, the critical divide is not so wide.
There is a common perception that a sharp division in taste separates people who pay to see movies and people who get paid to review them. Perhaps there is some truth to this, manifesting itself at year’s end, when  critics use their Top Ten lists to champion deserving little films that failed to find big audiences, but so far this season viewers and reviewers seem to be sitting on the same side of the aisle. Blockbuster hits like IRON MAN and THE DARK KNIGHT have won audience accolades and critical kudos in equal measure (even when, as in the case of INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULLS, the film was a tired retread); meanwhile, bombs like MEET DAVE were loathed equally by press and public.  Read More

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) – Film Review

I have a strong hunch you’re going to like this movie. A lot. You need not be familiar with its comic book origins. Or the just-released video game. Hell, boy, you don’t even need to have seen the 2004 film,of which this is the sequel.  The reason for this is because writer-director Guillermo del  Toro is a fine storyteller with a bravura visual palate. And he thinks you’re pretty smart too. Smart enough to embrace a movie that lets its fantasy characters exude real human emotions, all the while delivering on the spectacle summer audiences expect.

After a brief  revisitiing of the Hellboy mythology, we are introduced to the narrative backstory by way of a bedtime tale told to a young Hellboy (a.k.a. “Red”), a normal , exuberant child of the ’50s. It seems there has been a long held truce between Humankind Read More

Hellboy Journeys to LA Film Festival

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army The Los Angeles Film Festival revs up this week, starting on June 19 and running through June 29. A combination of independent films and Hollywood blockbusters, the fest includes numerous science fiction, fantasy, and horror titles, such as JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH and HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY.

Events include conversations with director Guillermo del Toro (HELLBOY 2), cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (PAN’S LABYRINTH), and director Edgar Wright, who will celebrate the U.S. DVD debut of the British cult comedy SPACED by screening two complete episodes. Read More