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Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Hellboy 2: Matinee. But you might justify full price if you still live in your parent's basement and they gave you a bump in allowance for the week. Gonzo: Rental.

Will I Own It On DVD: Hellboy 2: No. Gonzo: For the right price (i.e. heavily discounted).

1) As I've mentioned before, comic book/graphic novel movies aren't my favorite genre, however, I dug "Pan's Labryinth" quite a bit, so I decided to check out Guillermo del Toro's sequel to "Hellboy" despite never viewing the original. I doubt I missed many of the nuances through my decision, although I will rent "Hellboy" at some point in the future.

2) The visual effects for "Hellboy 2" are impressive. If different kinds of monsters, trolls, demons, etc. gets you hot and bothered, then you should run to this flick. A particularly intricate sequence involving a vast catalogue of creatures occurs at a hidden bartering market run by Trolls, and is a visual treat.

3) The main character, Hellboy, is a likable character and one that you can funnel a movie through thanks to his angst, his incredible strength and his love of television, junk food, Tecate beer and pussycats don't hurt either.

4) "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson" is a well-made documentary on the famous writer that serves as both an impressive monument to Thompson's accomplishments as well as a cautionary tale about living your own myth. By rounding out the latter part, it helps distinguish itself from other HST films floating around from years past.

5) The soundtrack is excellent, which makes sense given Thompson's love of music in both his writing and his life. The Rolling Stones, Warren Zevon, Jimmy Buffett, Lyle Lovett, Bob Dylan and many others score the sequences and they definitely aid the on-screen product.

6) It's semi-amazing how many cultural touchstones from the 60s and 70s that Thompson found himself right in the vortex as he rode with the Hells Angels, launched a crusade against Richard Nixon, attended the '68 Democratic convention, took acid with Ken Kesey, lived in the Haight-Ashbury district, and still managed to write "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

Overall, both "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army" and "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson" were solid matinee choices while the weather sat at 100 degrees in Austin this past weekend.

But if monsters and Gonzo journalists do absolutely nothing for you, then I would recommend saving your money altogether.



  1. JLee Says:
  2. I saw "Hellboy" this weekend too and liked it, but I lean toward enjoying the original more. This one was more mythical in nature whereas the first one had more of a cops and robbers day to day feel. But I agree about the character. He's awesome and I love the scene with him and Abe drinking Tecate.

  3. Heff Says:
  4. The Television trailer for this movie made me feel like I was playing "Doom" on my old Nintendo64 system. Doubt I'll go see the movie, but I may break out the Nintendo again now....

  5. Jlee - Interesting as I had no idea about the first movie's plot. I completely agree about the drinking Tecate scene as it was pretty damn funny and easily one of the best in the new film.

    Heff - I know what you mean. I get that feeling a lot watching trailers for this genre, and actually my brother recently bought a Nintendo on ebay for that same purpose, so I plan to reaquaint myself at some point in the future. Just for kicks. Ha.

  6. Gypsy Says:
  7. I don't get out to the movies much unless it's a kids film and neither of those movies sound like they will having me rushing to the box office any time soon.

    Nothing to do with your great reviews, just not my cup of tea.

    Glad you managed to get out of the heat for a while. It's quite chilly here and I'm loving every minute of it.

  8. "But you might justify full price if you still live in your parent's basement and they gave you a bump in allowance for the week"


    There isn't enough Valium to get me into see Hellboy, but I'm very interested in GONZO and for some reason didn't realize this was out. I figured it would be "saved" for a September release.

    Any plans to see HANCOCK? It was "ok"... it could have been great but to me, they knew they had a blockbuster so they didn't bother with writing/editing.

  9. Gypsy - I don't blame you as that would be my recommendation for most people who don't love comic books or Thompson's books. After my week of meetings and the weather, I just felt like hiding out in a movie theater & taking it easy over the weekend.

    Anonymous Boxer - Glad you liked that line as I almost deleted it. Ha. And Gonzo just came out Friday in Austin, and is probably rolling out slowly around the country. It will probably be on DVD soon too as most documentaries seem to transition rapidly. Finally, I figured 'Hancock' was really solid, but I just haven't been able to make myself go see it. I'll catch it one day on an in-flight movie at the very least.

  10. Linda Says:
  11. Glad to hear the Thompson doc is good. I've been looking forward to that one. My daughter is a journalist, and her dog's name is Gonzo. When she rented Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas she told me it was nothing I'd be interestied in. So, of course, I watched it, loved it, read the book. I should read the book again. Hellboy has always been a little out of my reach. I should give it a chance, even if it's just for the visuals. I heard someone else talking about the scene in the Troll market, sounds like it's worth a look. Thanks for the reviews!

  12. BostonPobble Says:
  13. Here you go ~ in the first Hellboy: Soldiers find a boy. From hell. Name him Hellboy. Raise him to fight bad guys in spite of his stuck-at-age-15 mentality. He falls in love. She doesn't love him back. She changes her mind when she thinks he might die. Lots of shit blows up. Now you don't even have to rent it unless you want to. I *loved* it. :)

    And I didn't even know Gonzo was out. Will have to look for it when I come out from under my rock. Thanks.

  14. Linda - I felt the same way about 'Hellboy' and that's why I haven't seen the first one. I gave the second one a chance for your reason as much as anything, and for that genre, it was pretty enjoyable (visually - no doubt). And the Thompson doc is good, so you should definitely check it out since you delved in 'Vegas' as this will round it out nicely.

    Bostonpobble - Thank you for the plot synopsis. I like the character of 'Hellboy' quite a bit after seeing the sequel. I think I'll still rent the first one at some point as I hate to leave things alone when they're not fully completed (mild OCD that way). As for Gonzo, it's definitely worth a rental at the very least as it might be hard to find on the big screen.

  15. Mr. DNA Says:
  16. You forgot to mention that Gonzo is a must if you want to try and impress all of your friends who worship the man because they were told HST was cool.
    Wannabe hipsters LOVE that dude.

    (Full disclosure; I will see it. Because I also long to be cool.)

  17. Miss Ash Says:
  18. Big Money no Whammy!! I'm going to save my money and my brain from this one!

  19. I enjoyed Hellboy well enough. I haven't even heard of Gonzo. Perhaps I'll have to check it out. But first, Wall-E (it's ok, I'm going with a girl).

  20. And now that I've read the comments, I'll go ahead and suggest that you not pay full price for Hancock. To me it seemed like they got about half way through and didn't know what to do for the rest of the movie. I know some critics really like the "two stories" it tells, but it should have been a whole lot better.

  21. Mr. DNA - Yeah, I noticed some of that in the audience for 'Gonzo.' I was first introduced to HST by my Dad and later a journalism professor in college. I've actually read all his stuff, which is where I really started to respect his work. Regardless, you should definitely check it out sometime.

    Miss Ash - That is probably a wise decision. There will be something along the way soon enough that demands some of your money & needs to be seen.

    Native Minnow - I think "Wall-E" is fine either way as it's supposed to be a good flick (but the girl part helps - I will not lie). Ha. And thanks for the thoughts on "Hancock" as that's about what I was thinking after watcing the previews and reading some reviews. I'll catch it at some point I"m sure, however, I'm in no rush to get there.

  22. cats Says:
  23. they've been running hellboy 1 for a few weeks now on one of the cable stations. but, i've been enjoying the commercials they've been running including the one where hellboy is interviewed by james lipton of inside the actor's studio.

    i'll probably wait for it to come out on dvd since i never get to the movies anyway. and if i'm going to treat myself to a comic book movie this summer it will probably be the dark knight with heath ledger.

  24. Cats - 'Batman' is supposed to be very good, so that is probably a better bet. But I want to see this Lipton interview with Hellboy as I bet that's pretty damn funny. I'll look for it on Youtube. Thanks.


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