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Hellboy Returns (Sort of…)

This is an image of Ron Perlman as Hellboy from Guillermo Del Toro’s 2008 movie, Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

If anyone could be said to be destined to play a character it’s Perlman, who’s Hellboy looked like he was pulled from the pages of Mike Mignola’s comic.

Flash forward to 2017 when the third film (Del Toro always intended to make a trilogy featuring Hellboy) was for a time considered, then abandoned.

For awhile it appeared that that was the end of Hellboy movies for the foreseeable future, till we learned that there would indeed be another, though without the participation of either Del Toro or Perlman.

This time around Hellboy will be directed by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday) and played by David Harbour (Stranger Things).

And I admit that it bothered me.  Guillermo Del Toro is for my money one of the most visually interesting directors working today and to have someone else do what would have been the final chapter in his penultimate Hellboy story somehow felt…wrong.

And to be sure, the way Del Toro either abandoned projects or had them fall apart for one reason or another didn’t exactly assuage my unease.

I mention all the above because today an image was released of David Harbour as Hellboy and it looks…pretty damn good!

He’s certainly more vascular than Perlman’s version of the character.  And for me he visually gives off a very Conan-vibe, circa 2011 and Jason Momoa.

I also like the moodier way he appears to be photographed.  With Guillermo Del Toro I felt that he made sure that you were aware that you were watching a comic writ large, which was his intention.

Neil Marshall may be taking an entirely different route in that the producers are working with a hard-R, as opposed to a PG-13 rating–thanks Deadpool though Blade should get the real credit–so a more visceral, physical feel is likely what the new producers are looking to achieve.

‘Pacific Rim’ Review

Pacific Rim

“Guillermo Del Toro approaches giant robots and monsters with a genuine love for the subject matter, and it shows on the screen.”

I saw Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” yesterday evening, and enjoyed myself immensely.  He seems to understand that, if it’s just about the robots, you might as well make a ‘Transformers’ sequel and call it a day.

Which is why he tries to make it about people as well, which I’ll go into a bit more later.

The film revolves around a rift that opens in the Pacific Ocean.  This rift is a doorway for strange, alien creatures called kaiju, which appear without rhyme or reason and seem to exist exclusively to menace humanity.

Initially, we respond to this threat by creating giant robots, called jaegers (German for ‘hunter’) that are controlled by two pilots (the scheme works by each pilot controlling half of a hemisphere of the giant robot’s “brain”) via “The Drift,” a method for the minds of the pilots to bridge their individuality, and act as one.

As the film begin, we witness the destruction of the American jaeger – the jaeger program is a world effort, so I assume that there are, or were, robots representing nations other than America, Russia, Australia (or was that New Zealand, I am not sure) and China – known as Gipsy Danger.

The jaegar program is abandoned for, pardon the pun, monstrous walls which would surround costal cities, though this doesn’t go well because the kaiju seem to be increasing in strength and ferocity.

What surprised me most about ‘Rim’ was the way that Guillermo Del Toro kept working humor into the film.  Speaking of which, Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”) and Burn Gorman (“Torchwood,” “The Dark Knight Rises”) were extremely welcome as two scientists working on a parallel track to determine when and why the kaiju attacked.

And it wouldn’t be a Del Toro film if Ron Perlman didn’t make an appearance (as a criminal specializing in the selling of kaiju organs).

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Ron Perlman: A Class Act

image courtesy of Chud.com

Actors are often portrayed as a vain, selfish lot; an impression they don’t always attempt to undermine.

So, imagine my surprise to hear that Ron Perlman endured four hours in the makeup chair to once again become Hellboy, not to film a sequel to Hellboy II: The Golden Army, but to make a wish come true.

The wish Perlman worked to realize was that of a little boy named Zachary, who’s undergoing treatment for leukemia.

His desire was to meet and become Hellboy.

It was facilitated by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Spectral Motion, the special effects house that worked on both Hellboy films, among many others.

This is why Ron Perlman is a class act, whom I can’t wait to see in Hellboy III, a class act all the way.

And in reference to that Hellboy sequel, it could happen.  It earned $165 million on an $85 million budget, so as long as Perlman and Guillermo Del Toro want it to happen, it probably would.

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