Friday, June 8, 2007

HELLBOY (Guillermo del Toro, 2004, USA) Mexican director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone) brings Mike Mignola's pulp comic creature Hellboy to life in this imaginative, action-packed, and surprisingly heartfelt super-hero flick that rises above the dreck of the genre. Ron Perlman was just born to play this role and he gives an emotional dimension to the character that makes him all too human. Hellboy struggles with his inherent nature and must make the ultimate choice: follow his preordained path and bring about the Apocalypse (where he will rule over the scorched earth), or choose to love his friends and fight the evil demons of Chaos! I recommend this two hours of fun! (B)

Format: Blu-ray: This director's cut Blue-Ray disc is encoded with Sony's 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 codec and looks awesome! Colors pop off the screen and black levels are deep without loss of detail. The highly detailed image reveals every pore of Hellboy's red skin and every tiny crack and abrasion of his horns. There is excellent contrast between light and dark scenes (even areas within the same frame) and detail never waivers. This is the best image I've seen on Blue-Ray. The uncompressed PCM 5.1 English soundtrack shook the room. There are many quiet atmospheric scenes that are dialogue heavy and clarity was perfect. The action scenes made excellent use of the rear surrounds.