Hellboy (2019)

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Plot

  • Hellboy and the B.R.P.D. have to stop the impending plague being threatened by the Blood Queen.

Pros

  • Special effects were good, albeit CGI feeling.

  • Same tone as original two films.

  • David Harbour did a decent job as the new Hellboy..

Cons

  • Plot development woes, just like the other two Hellboy films.

  • The Blood Queen is relegated to the long list of forgettable and underdeveloped antagonists.

  • Special effects lost the hand-fashioned feel of the previous two instalments.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this newest instalment or reboot of Hellboy. Whichever it is, I don’t care. It had the same feel and vibe, with Hellboy being sarcastic and smug no matter the situation. It could have been Ron Perlman at any point, really. I know it’s a Hellboy film, but boy do the other characters feel underwhelming. Luckily, Ian McShane makes any character cool and Milla Jovovich is always a fun draw. I’m presently unsure if we’ll ever see a sequel to this iteration, but I enjoyed it enough to say I’d see a follow-up. If you liked the other two, you’ll find things to like about this one.


Dracula Untold (2014)

Starring: Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Charles Dance, Zach McGowan

Plot: The untold story of how Vlad III became Vlad the Impaler, who then became Vlad the prince, who then became Vlad the father, who then became Dracula, which means son of the devil

Review: So for my first review on the new site (looking sharp by the way) I decided to watch Dracula Untold because I was feeling nostalgic for this Dark Universe that was supposed to happen with this, Tom Cruise in The Mummy, with smatterings of Russell Crowe as Jekyll & Hyde, and I wanna say Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man, so there was a a lot of potential to have a lot of fun with these movies, but that has since fallen through and nothing may be happening for it, which is unfortunate because that means I watched this movie for nothing.

I’d like to start by saying I like Dracula and most Dracula movies, but this isn’t a Dracula movie. This is a weird romance/war/fantasy movie that has a guy turning into Dracula and being very annoying while doing it. Luke Evans (The Hobbit) as the titular character kind of steered me in the wrong direction because I don’t particularly like him as an actor and couldn’t find him convincing as super dope and suave Dracula, but he wasn’t Dracula, so it doesn’t really matter. Charles Dance (he plays Tywin Lannister on Game of Thrones) plays the vampire who turns Vlad into Dracula should be playing the real Dracula, this guy oozes suave. but for some reason they put him in a cave and made him all stupid looking.

The movie moves forward in an exceptionally linear form and has very few, if any turns. Sultan Mehmed II, played by Dominic Cooper (Preacher) is technically the villain, but about halfway through the movie Vlad wants to turn into a Vampire so he can become a monster to save his people, because people don't always need a hero, sometimes they need a monster to keep them in line. So the movie pits a villain against a villain with another villain being a puppet master. Not convoluted or stupid at all, really.

But I did learn some things about Vampires that I didn’t know before, which was kinda cool. I learned that Vampires have super hearing, to the point of he can hear a spider wrapping its web around a fly and that Vampires, maybe just Dracula specifically, somehow can control the weather and makes lightning appear when he’s angry. I’ve been reading fantasy for years and didn’t know that about vampires, so I’m all the better for it.

Oh! I also learned that vampires become vampires not by having their blood drank, but by drinking the blood of a vampire instead! Dracula became Dracula by drinking the blood of the other vampire, way cooler than the other way. I also found out that if he feeds within 3 days he’ll become a vampire, but if he doesn’t he becomes mortal again. But, if I’m watching this movie right, it’s feeding of any type, not just on flesh. He gets very uncomfortable around his people eating completely cooked meat, but can go into his tent and get a good 30 of his 45 second bone time with his wife before he realizes that he wants to suck her blood.

I don't mean to bash this movie, but it’s really dumb and a stupid premise. No one cares how Dracula because Dracula, they wanna see him fuck people up and then get a stake through the heart, amitirite?!

The best scene in the movie comes just before the end, there’s a big battle between the Vlads and the Sultans on top of a cliff that’s like… well, they say out of range for a cannon, so conservatively 250 feet? Napoleans cannons were in and around 1450 metres, but that’s a couple hundred years after, so I’ll just go easy and say 250 feet. So Dracula is flying around as a swarm of bats and realizes that the other bad guys are in his castle on top of this 250 foot cliff, trying to throw his wife off. He flies up there in time to kill the guys trying to kill his wife, but then she falls to her death. Falls 250 feet and DOESN’T HAVE A SCRATCH ON HER, but is definitely lying from internal bleeding, but ALSO has time to tell Dracula to drink her blood so he can become a vampire to save his son, who has been stolen by the Sultan. He doesn’t want to, but she says he needs to do it before she dies so he can save their son, so he does. She doesn’t die from the 250 foot fall, nor the I’m clearly dying monologue, but from him sucking her blood. He then goes and kills the Sultan in a pretty lacklustre fashion, but says as the Sultan is dying “My name isn’t Vlad anymore, it’s Dracula, which means son of the Devil”. His name was always Dracul, so he added an A to it, and Dracul only loosely translates to son of the Devil, but is more known as meaning son of the Dragon, but that’s not the worst thing about this movie.

It was supposed to be in the Dark Universe as I said, so it fast forwards approximately 500 years (doesn’t say, but looks today-ish) and Dracula is walking around, finds his reincarnated wife and spouts a line from a poem to her, one we hadn’t heard them speak of the entire movie, but he knows it’s her favourite because it speaks of a yearning of two souls across time.

I fact checked this movie, it takes place in 1442, Vlad the impaler would have been 13-17 years old, and his first reign started in 1448. He also technically died in 1442 as this movie shows, but doesn’t die in real life until 1476-1477 or so. I understand that it’s a fantasy movie, but get some number right. Looks sloppy and dumb.

Don’t waste your time like I did, and if you had already wasted your time, I am sorry.

Welcome To Marwen (2018)

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Plot

  • After a savage attack, a man uses actions figures, his dolls, and his imagination as his road to recovery.

Pros

  • Special effects were dynamite.

  • Story had a warmhearted feel.

  • Steve Carell is great, as usual.

Cons

  • Geez, does there need to be one?

Final Thoughts

What can I say? This is a nice movie about moving forward, onward, and upward. Through whatever means necessary, in this case with action figures, dolls, and imagination; there's probably very little we can't overcome. With subtle references to addiction, hatred, and violence; Welcome To Marwen never gets too heavy while delivering a heavy story and that's a tough line to walk. I appreciate how such heavy subject matter was portrayed using special effects to make the imagination come alive. I finished the movie with a smile on my face and I feel like that was the goal. Success, I'd say.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

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Plot

  • A fragile truce between the humans and elves is at risk when the elven prince decides to call upon an invincible army to punish the humans for their reckless greed and careless behaviour.

Pros

  • This film felt better explained and fleshed out than the first one.

  • The practical effects and costuming were stunning.

  • The elven prince was a far better antagonist than the first film's Rasputin.

  • The denouement had real consequences.

Cons

  • A main FBI agent character from the first film is done away with needlessly.

  • The Golden Army never really felt like the threat that it was hyped up to be.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed the first Hellboy film enough to warrant viewing the second. I don't know of a single conversation I've had about these films where I wasn't told "the second one is better than the first" and after finally watching it, I have to agree with that sentiment. It was fun and after seeing a small and rushed first film, this one felt like it had infinitely more room to breathe. While all the characters were able to be fleshed out more, the imminent threat of a Golden Army felt shallow at best. With the film having a relatively light tone, it never felt like there was any actual stress or tension about an invincible army being used to destroy humanity. Ah well, no movie is perfect.

Hellboy (2004)

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Plot

  • After a portal is opened to another dimension, a creature ends up on earth only to be raised by humans and is trained to fight otherworldly threats.

Pros

  • The special effects are great, considering the movie is now fifteen years old.

  • The creatures and costumes are really great looking as well.

Cons

  • The plot was pretty thin.

  • Nothing was fleshed out properly.

  • Characters suffered as a result of the poor pacing etc.

Final Thoughts

I've been told about the Hellboy film for a long time and finally decided to give it a go. This was an okay first film in the series but wasn't amazing by any stretch to me. I was definitely excited about the practical special effects and costuming that I saw and did feel like the delivered world with otherworldly creatures and magic was feasible. I wish the film would have fleshed things out more as it felt rushed and didn't quite have the payoff it deserved. I guess I can see the draw that's resulted in the huge fanbase because it is a fun sci-fi action flick, enjoyable enough to finish and follow up with the sequel. One final note is that I wish there was more screen time given to the villain, Rasputin. He could have been great but along with everything else in the film, he was left a shallow, generic, and forgettable character. Shame, really.