ased on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.
Initial release: April 10, 2019 (Indonesia)
Director: Neil Marshall
Based on: Hellboy; by Mike Mignola
Production companies: Lionsgate, Dark Horse Entertainment
Producers: Lloyd Levin, Lawrence Gordon, Mike Richardson
ROTTEN WATCH PREDICTION
When in doubt with a comic book franchise, you reboot the thing. Fourteen years after our hornless, crimson protagonist emerged from the fiery cauldrons of the underworld, we get… well, the same thing happening in this new movie. Hellboy is back to fight evil and navigate a world that doesn’t take too kindly to demons patrolling the streets.
The original movies in the franchise, Hellboy (81%) and II (86%) starred Ron Perlman and had Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro as the director. Neither are back for the reboot, which now has David Harbour as Big Red and Neil Marshall (Doomsday – 51%, The Descent – 85%) at the helm. It looks quite a lot like the original movies, right down to the costume. Hell (pun intended), it’s kind of tough to even tell Harbour and Perlman apart here. The new Hellboy looks every bit as fun as the original, but I’m not sure critics will take to it as warmly just because it looks so much like a carbon copy. More than anything else I think that keeps the Tomatometer score a little lower than the originals.
The body switch/body change comedy seems to have been around practically forever. We get multiple looks at this theme each year, and it’s coming back around again this time with Little. A hard-charging and rude corporate executive (Regina Hall) is transformed into a 12-year-old girl (Marsai Martin) overnight. She must then navigate a world in which she’s just a kid, with all of society treating her as such. These movies tend to fall flat in my opinion because the theme is over tread and the jokes remain sophomoric and easy. But I will say, Little does look like it has some laughs in it.
Issa Rae, the star of HBO’s Insecure,gets her first shot at starring in a movie with Little, and the trailer suggests that she’s part of a winner. Sure, the jokes aren’t groundbreaking, but the timing looks on, and the leads are all tremendously talented. Director Tina Gordon hasn’t had much critical success in the recent past, helming Peeples (37%) and penning What Men Want (46%), but I think this latest finishes better than both of them.
Missing Link comes from Laika, a stop-motion animation studio that’s brought us huge critical hits like Coraline (90%), ParaNorman (88%) The Boxtrolls (76%), and Kubo And The Two Strings (97%). That’s a heck of a run of success, and Missing Linki looks right in line with their other work. It’s sitting at 85% with 27 reviews posted on the Tomatometer, with critics praising both the visuals and the story.
Laika’s latest is mostly a monster-out-of-the-forest buddy comedy about an explorer (Hugh Jackman) who finds a Yeti named Susan (Zach Galifianakis) and tries to acclimate it to the human world while also finding it’s ancestors. It looks every bit of the heart-warming and hilarious story for which the animation studio is known. Considering Laika’s track record and the early buzz, I think it’s safe to say they have another hit on their hands with Missing Link.
“My job is: protect the world from boogie monsters!” With the movie opening in theaters later this week, Lionsgate has launched one final red band trailer for the new Hellboy movie, directed by Neil Marshall (of Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday, Centurion). This fresh reboot of the live-action Hellboy series re-casts the main role, with David Harbour playing the big red guy with horns and a stone arm. This final trailer really plays up the hard-R rating, with excessive violence and gore and language throughout. But is the movie any good? You’ll have to see it this weekend and find out. The full cast includes Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Daniel Dae Kim, Sasha Lane, Thomas Haden Church, Penelope Mitchell, Sophie Okonedo, Brian Gleeson, and Kristina Klebe. Who’s planning to go? Anyone? Likely Hellboy fans only.
Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy (David Harbour), a demon caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge. This new Hellboy is directed by English filmmaker Neil Marshall, director of the films Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday, and Centurion previously, as well as a segment of the anthology film Tales of Halloween, and a few episodes of the latest “Westworld” and “Lost in Space” TV shows. The screenplay is written by Andrew Cosby and Christopher Golden, based on the Dark Horse comic books first created by Mike Mignola in 1993. Featuring music composed by Benjamin Wallfisch. Summit + Lionsgate will release Marhsall’s R-rated Hellboy movie in theaters everywhere starting on April 12th this month. Who’s planning to go watch this one in theaters
The tropes of the American Western have had a surprisingly wide influence. Its heady mix of self-sufficiency and violence, often presented as a necessary but natural manifestation of a hero’s morality, has spread like seeping blood into nearly every kind of popular modern storytelling. Even sci-fi stalwart Star Trek was initially pitched to network executives as “Wagon Train to the stars.” The bones of the western are just that: a skeleton, ready to be fleshed out with any number of new looks.
This week offers Valley filmgoers a chance to catch three films that chart part of the western’s history in American cinema. Along the way they touch on musical theater, kung-fu, and sci-fi movies. Catch all three and see the breadth of this tradition.
The newest film in the bunch is also the one that has arguably moved the farthest from Western tropes: the Neil Marshall (The Descent) reboot of Hellboy. A sci-fi fantasy that features a half-demon hero who fights the supernatural in defense of his adopted human world, it is brimming with giants, ancient sorceresses, and shape-shifters (Stranger Things’ David Harbour stars as the titular boy). But it also borrows imagery straight out of a shoot-em-up matinee, with Hellboy’s long duster and pistol making him into a gunslinger growing tired of the game, even if this particular sheriff has a giant stone forearm and brick red skin. Perhaps not coincidentally, his father figure in the new film is played by Ian McShane, who is perhaps best known of late for his work on the R-rated western series Deadwood.
If you’re after a more traditional Western, you won’t want to miss The Searchers, which screens at Amherst Cinema as part of the theater’s Print the Legend film series. The 1956 film, directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne as a Civil War veteran who has dedicated his life to searching for his abducted niece, has become one of cinema’s most influential films — even if you’ve never seen it, you will recognize some of its most iconic shots, which have been echoed in countless films across many genres (Tarantino fans will experience some deep déjà vu). In particular, look for the famous “Doorway Shot,” in which Ethan (Wayne) is framed by a cabin entrance as he contemplates the end of his long journey.
As with so much of American history, the story of The Searchers is a tangled one. Based on actual events — a young woman was indeed abducted by Comanche raiders — the truth of the story is not carried over to the film. That narrative evasion (and, more widely, the depiction of the Native Americans in the film) makes The Searchers more complicated for modern viewers; lecturer Nina Kleinberg will be on hand at the screening to introduce the film and lead a Q&A about its cultural and cinematic legacy.