Posts Tagged ‘Hellboy’

30 Days Challenge: Film Pt. 5

July 6, 2020

25 – A film you like that is not set in the current era

The Sting was made in the 1970s but is set in the mid-1930s. It stars Robert Redford and Paul Newman. It is one of the most quintessential con/heist movies in film history. Basically, the movie is a revenge story of a group of ‘honest’ criminals coming together to take out a violent crime boss. In some movies, this would be done by storming something and people getting gunned down over and over until somebody yields. In this movie, they decide to both embarrass and bankrupt their target. The movie has a lot of fun twists and turns and keeps you guessing until the end. Redford is arguably the main character as a hustler who goes on a journey to learn the ‘big con’ in order to achieve greater success and revenge. Paul Newman is also excellent as the mentor figure who comes up with the plan. A classic movie with a great plot.

26 – A film you like that is adapted from somewhere

At first glance, this movie is just a fun romp through the Southern United States during the mid-1930s (again). The movie is actually a loose adaptation of The Odyssey, a Greek epic poem (sequel to The Illiad) about the hero Odysseus’ long trip back from the Trojan War which is cursed by Poseidon. There is a cyclops, Sirens/Witches that turn people into animals, Lotus Eaters (who are actually Baptists), and so many more. It is a really clever take on the poem with certain things popping up that just fit with the famous book so well. The movie also mixes in a lot of the mythology of the Southern United States. For example, we have a stand-in for Robert Johnson and his famous deal with the devil. George Clooney is excellent as the central figure and Oddyseus stand-in. However, I really have to give more credit to John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson who are both brilliant as his compatriots. Nelson is especially great as the movie’s comic relief. Also a shout out to Charles Durning who once again plays a somewhat crooked and disingenuous politician. The movie is beautiful and it has one of the best all-time soundtracks.

27 – A film that is visually striking to you

I had to go with the original Candyman because of the imagery and the set design. Filmed in the actual since-demolished Cabrini-Green projects, the movie is fairly simple but brilliant. The movie has such good symbolism and imagery for a horror movie, similar to dreamlike imagery in Nightmare on Elm Street and Prom Night 2. However, a lot of it takes you by surprise. Some of it is even startling graffiti in the background which mostly covers a plot point that is only touched on. I wonder if the new version will go more into depth with it. Bees are featured prominently and that is incredibly strong imagery for me since I am very scared of bees. The movie plays a lot with allegorical and dream symbols which give more of an inner look to the title character rather than his victims.

28 – A film that made you feel uncomfortable

As a horror aficionado, a lot of films have definitely given me the willies and I considered using them. However, instead, I will go with the first movie I can remember that really gave me the willies (pun intended). The Temple of Doom has a startling amount of gross-out moments. There is the famous dinner scene with delicacies like monkey brains, tiger eye soup, snake surprise, and fresh beetles. Not exactly my cup of tea when I was a little kid and the scene is designed to make you squirm. Speaking of squirming, there is a scene when Willie has to press a switch to save Short Round and Indy but the alcove where the switch is is filled with all sorts of creepy-crawly insects. It made me shudder even as I was cursing her for hesitating. There is also the famous scenes of people’s hearts being pulled out of chests. On top of that, I was always grossed out by the scene where Indy is poisoned, just the look on Ford’s face as he acts it out.

29 – A film that makes you feel good

Hellboy was the movie that made me fall in love with Guillermo Del Toro but also Ron Perlman. The movie is very dark but Perlman’s Hellboy keeps cracking jokes and never gives up. The dialogue is also really good. The movie is about a group of misfits who are fighting against impossible odds. Perlman is so damn charismatic. However, we also have David Hyde Pierce with the beautiful movements of Doug Jones. Selma Blair is pitch-perfect as a pessimist who learns some optimism. John Hurt has the best dry sense of humor. There is also Jeffrey Tambor and Rupert Evans who are great as well. The movie is made by the dialogue and chemistry but the visuals also knock it out of the park. Part of what further endears this movie to me is the awesome director commentary and also a separate cast commentary with Ron Perlman. Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor, and Rupert Evans which both feel like watching the movie with friends.

30 – A film with your favorite ending

There were a lot of good choices here but I finally went with The Thing because the ending really stuck with me and continues to stick with me. I found myself nodding as it was happening and just thinking it was perfect as the credits rolled. For those who do not remember, The Thing is about a shape-shifting alien that slowly takes over a research base in Antarctica. After the base explodes, only two people remain alive: MacReady and Childs. The viewer cannot be a hundred percent sure that either is an alien or not. MacReady and Childs cannot be sure either. There is a silent agreement between the two as they realize that it does not really matter. They start to share a bottle of scotch as they slowly begin to freeze to death. That way, The Thing would surely be killed as well. Besides, they are in the middle of nowhere with no way of escape or shelter. It is an oddly hopeful ending for a dismal result.

Agares Be Damned – A Hellboy Story

April 1, 2020

Agent Meredith Harper had been first on the scene, there had been reports of screaming and gunshots. Headquarters had gotten wind of the situation through FBI channels and had locked things down. Local authorities were advised that everything was fine and that it had all been a false alarm. The location was an art museum after hours so there was not much worry that the public would get in the way or figure things out. Merry had been ready to scout things out herself through the power of her third eye but there was a problem. One of the amulets tied to her wrist had started to glow and float. The various amulets acted as warning signals for different kinds of supernatural threats. The red one, the one that was currently going off, was for demons.

She was trying to look casual as she waited outside of the museum for backup. She leaned against a wall and started to review demon protocols on her phone. She was pretending to be bored but she was still a newbie and she felt like she was vibrating. She hoped backup would come soon. Due to her psychic powers, there was a chance that she would have been given a job at headquarters or a field office like other seers. Such talents were often used to guide agents where they were needed most to save the most lives. However, she lacked the gift of foresight and had begged to go into the field anyway. Now she had to prove herself.

A large truck turned onto the street and pulled to the stop right in front of the museum, parking next to a fire hydrant. Merry walked over to the truck from the passenger side. She heard the driver’s side door open and heavy boots hit the payment. A seven-foot-tall, red-skinned demon with broken horns and a long coat came around the front of the truck smoking a cigar. It was the legendary Hellboy and Merry found herself blushing and blinking in surprise before she regained her composure.

“Director!” she said, a bit too loud. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Director Hellboy grinned as he stomped out his cigar on the pavement. “Well, I was in the area so I thought I’d kick some ass,” he said. “What’s your name again newbie?”

Merry was momentarily thrown off by the use of the word again. “Agent Meredith Harper, sir,” she said and saluted.

Hellboy waved his hand as if trying to waft away smoke. “Don’t call me sir and don’t salute,” he said. “People call you Merry, right?”

Merry’s eyes went wide. “Uh yes,” she said, nearly saying ‘sir’ again. “How did you… we haven’t met, right?”

“Not until now,” Hellboy said. “Liz put together a dossier of every agent on staff with pictures. I need to know who’s putting their asses on the line out there while I’m stuck with paperwork. Well, while I stick Abe with the paperwork.”

“Agents Sherman and Sapien,” Merry said. “Wow.”

Hellboy let that go. He was kind of amused by the hero-worship and at least Merry was not staring at his horns like a lot of the other newbies through the years. “Well,” he said. “Let’s do this thing.”

“Without backup?” Merry asked, surprised.

“They’ll be here soon,” Hellboy said. “They’ll seal things off. In the meantime, let me show you how it’s done.”

“Sure,” Merry said, throwing away all of the protocol that had been drilled into her during training. She followed Hellboy as he started toward the museum entrance.

“By the way,” Hellboy said. “I love your amulets. Very old school. The tech always jams up.”

“Thank you!” Merry said. “I keep saying the same thing but nobody listens.” This drew a chuckle out of Hellboy.

They made their way into the museum. Merry drew her service weapon and Hellboy drew the legendary Good Samaritan heavy pistol. Merry pried her eyes away from it and focused in. They made their way through the museum until they reached the main hall. The double doors were closed but Merry could smell the iron smell of blood coming from the room.

“I smell it too,” Hellboy growled. “This is it. You ready?”

Merry nodded although she was not entirely sure she meant it. However, she was side by side with a legend and how was she supposed to say no? Everything would be fine. While all of that was going through her head, Hellboy slammed his rocky right fist into the double doors, knocking them both off of their hinges. They moved into the room and Merry saw dead bodies everywhere and the blood she could practically taste as the smell filled her senses had painted the room. An empty frame for a painting sat on an easel in the middle of the room. In front of that was a gray-skinned male demon who growled as they approached.

“Of course,” the demon said. “My traitor cousin shows his face.”

Hellboy looked annoyed. “Cousin?” Hellboy asked. “If you were on my family tree then you fell off and rotted.”

“There are many of us, traitor,” the demon said. “My name is Agares, Duke of Hell also known as The Want of Man.”

“All I want from you,” Hellboy said. “is to go back where you came from.”

“My too-trusting followers released me from that painting where I was trapped by Merlin,” Agares said. “I won’t be going back there.”

“Then to Hell it is,” Hellboy said and leveled the Good Samaritan at the demon’s head. Merry followed suit and aimed her weapon.

“Are you sure you want to do that?” Agares asked and waved his hands.

Hellboy seemed to be reacting to something that Merry could not sense. She reached out and touched the Director’s arm and opened her third eye. She watched as out of the shadows, an old man and a gaunt man in a suit stepped out of the shadows. Merry recognized them from their portraits hanging back at headquarters.

“I know how tired you are, my son,” Trevor Broom said. “It’s time to finally rest.”

“We can take over from here,” Thomas Manning said. “We know you just want to go back to the field. We can take charge again.”

A single tear slid down Hellboy’s cheek. Merry could see that he was buying the illusion. Hellboy started to lower his weapon. She had to act. She activated her third eye again and shoved her own vision into Hellboy. She wanted to show him that he was being tricked.

“There’s nobody there, sir!” she shouted.

In an instant, Hellboy’s vision cleared and he brought Good Samaritan up again. Merry joined him in shooting at Agares whose eyes went wide. He vanished. They waited for several tense moments and Agares did not reappear.

“I told you not to call me ‘sir’,” Hellboy said after a bit.

Media Update 8/22/19

August 22, 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home

After the crowning moment of Avengers Endgame, the MCU has to find a way to continue and this is the first movie to lead the way. This is the first movie to really address the post “Blip” world which is confused by some time travel. However, Peter is also still in high school and has to navigate that confusing mess as well as the loss of his mentor and being a hero. Tom Holland continues to be such a good Peter Parker and Spider-Man, so quick-witted and naturally gifted at humor and drama. Zendaya returns as MJ, and she is such a great character to have around and she is given more to do in this movie. Jacob Batalon returns to steal many scenes as Ned, this time along with comedy partner Angourie Rice as Betty Brant. Jon Favreau and Marisa Tomei are delightful returning as Happy Hogan and Aunt May Parker. We get the return of Samuel Jackson and Cobie Smulders as Nick Fury and Maria Hill, trying to figure out where they fit in. Finally, Jake Gyllenhaal is so good as Mysterio. The Spiderman movies are continuing the new trend of good villains and I love it. I definitely recommend this movie as it is packed with action, comedy, and a compelling story.

The Boys

I am not the biggest fan of comic books that get dark and graphic just for the sake of shock value. Often these comics are deeply racist and misogynist and just needlessly dark. I am specifically calling out Frank Miller, Mark Millar, and, I guess, Garth Ennis. Thankfully, people are getting better at adapting these sorts of things. While Frank Miller is unsalvageable, the Mark Millar series Kickass was redeemed through its adaptation and made more palatable. The same is true of The Boys. The creators of the show have adapted the comic book to have a serious message in our current climate. This show does have a good message. In a world where the United States has tons of superheroes, we see a more realistic fallout. Superheroism has been consumed by capitalism and cynicism. Superheroes have become sponsored, corporate entities and that has led to them becoming hedonistic, sociopathic creatures. The show examines what it is like inside of their world but also what it is like to be a normal, powerless person. It is a really dark show but it has a point. I hope people see that point instead of just reveling in the ultraviolence and sex. I definitely recommend it but it is definitely triggering so be warned.

Hellboy (2019)

The 2004 version of Hellboy made me a fan of Guillermo Del Toro and Hellboy, both of which I was not fully aware of yet. When I heard about that this new movie would be taking the place of a third Del Toro Hellboy film, I was disappointed. When I found out that David Harbour was getting the lead role, I was pleased and intrigued. I was willing to give this one a try. The movie set itself apart from the original while still staying fun and honoring the source material. The movie is R rated and they have a lot of fun cursing and getting bloodier. Harbour is definitely a great choice for Hellboy. He is funny but also good at being moody and dramatic. Milla Jovovich plays the villain, an ancient witch in one of her more charismatic roles that I have seen. In this movie, Hellboy gets new sidekicks in the form of Sasha Lane and Daniel Dae Kim, both of whom are a lot of fun. Ian McShane puts in his usual strong performance as Hellboy’s father figure. The special effects were fantastic and there was a lot of inspiring fantastic imagery. My only problem is that the script needed further editing and there were probably two or three movies jammed into one movie. I recommend it as I do not believe that it earned its abysmal Rotten Tomatoes score (I think some critics were overly bitter about Del Toro but they should have just gotten over it).

Music of the Week:
Ari Lennox – BMO

Depeche Mode – Useless

Grace VanderWaal – Waste My Time

Blameshift – The Enemy You Need

F. Virtue – License and Registration

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Comic Books Adapted”
– I watched more Stargate Atlantis Season 1
– I watched more How to Get Away with Murder Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more Riverdale Season 3
– I watched more iZombie Season 5
– I watched more Wynonna Earp Season 3
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I started Game of Thrones Season 4
– I started Mindhunter Season 2

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