Back from seeing Hellboy II: The Golden Army, which we'd been really looking forward to.
Non-spoiler version: visually stunning (Guillermo del Toro is apparently to direct The Hobbit, and I can't wait to see his version of Middle-Earth); plot somewhat more coherent than the first one; emotion pitched a little obvious at points; and is it really too much to ask to have a summer movie without subtext—or text, actually—that makes me want to tear my hair out?
Yes, my prior post was a reaction to this. I don't actually object to Liz telling the Angel of Death to save Hellboy even though his destiny is to destroy the world, because destiny, pfft, I don't believe in it. But I very much object to Abe just handing over the final piece of the crown, and to a lesser degree to Liz and Hellboy phrasing the conflict and resolution of their relationship problems as "me/you or the world?" That is not a good question.
Also, the whole thing with the Princess was just pathetic. Chad and I both agree: she should have issued the challenge! Since it's a big summer superhero movie, then she names Hellboy her champion and things could have proceeded in the same fashion from there—though I would have liked the threat that eventually causes her to kill herself to be much more serious, because if you're going to fire a gun that obvious, it's better to do it in as impressive a fashion as possible. The way she actually did it was pretty anti-climactic (one little knife from behind? Just yell, already, Hellboy tosses the crown to Liz to melt and kicks the Prince's ass again. Everybody lives! Simple.).
Though, hey, at least this massive example removes my desire to go through the other plot-induced stupidities and passivities the movie inflicts on her.
(There are effectively no women in The Hobbit. I'd actually be inclined to think this was a good thing for purposes of the movie adaptation, except that I'm sure that they'll feel obligated to shoehorn some in.)
Also, all the reviews mention the battle with the
beanstalk forest elemental, which is indeed visually stunning, but the music and the dialogue and everything that goes with it was like being hit over the head. Dial all that back by half, at least, and I would have been actually moved rather than mildly irritated.
Speaking of that sequence—I don't think that the setting-up of Hellboy's rejection by, and alienation from, society was very smoothly or convincingly done, either, but that's an obvious sequel hook and could probably be saved for whatever movie covers it (I presume the one that goes into his destiny to destroy the world).
But yeah, visually amazing. Loved the puppets, the freaky swarming tooth fairies, the troll market, pretty much every fantastic creation in the movie. del Toro is going to do amazing things with Smaug and the Lonely Mountain, that's for sure.
You know, at this point I'm not sure whether to pin all my hopes on The Dark Knight or dial my expectations way down, when it comes to story rather than spectacle. (Still haven't found time to watch Batman Begins.)