Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Thoughts

Remember that old holiday song, "I Ain't Getting Nothin' For Christmas"?

That's kind of how I feel.

Oh, I trust my beautiful wife to put something REALLY nice under the tree for me this year. No worries there.

I'm talking MOVIES!

Usually this time of year there is at least one movie coming out on Christmas day for me to get fired up about. Not so much this year - the Christmas day releases this year are:

Bedtime Stories
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marley & Me
The Spirit
Valkyrie

Adam Sandler...GACK! Don't get me started.

Benjamin Button...interesting, but sounds like a slow moving drama. Like MEET JOE BLACK.

Marley & Me. I like Owen Wilson, but this isn't something that's going to make me squeal and jump up and down in my Transformerer jammies.

Valkyrie. Might be great...if I didn't already know the ending.

Some of you might say, "You're not excited about THE SPIRIT? C'mon, Park! Comic book movie!! Bang! Bang! Pow! Pow! Kaboom!"



Um...not really.

I don't really care much for the character (seems more like Dick Tracy with a mask) and it looks like SIN CITY, which kind of gives me a cold blanket feeling of "been there, done that."

But I could be wrong - the movie could be very good. As my friend Drew said, "C'mon, Park! It's Samuel L. Jackson playing a dude called The Octapus!"

Can't argue there.

So how am I going to fill my time over the holidays? I'm glad you asked. Well, Christmas Eve is going to one of the first trials of daddy-hood: staying up all night assembling a 200 piece wooden train set for my son. Could be a loooong night - should I prepare hot cocoa or whiskey? Hands up for cocoa? Whiskey?

Whiskey it is.

Other than that, my time will spent with the family, playing with my son, and taking care of the often-sick-with-pregnancy wife. And eating lots of turkey. Like Ralphie's dad - I'm a certified "turkey junky".

Which brings me to my other favorite activity over Christmas - watching Christmas movies. I have a list of "must watch Christmas favorites", and here they are, in order of preference:

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
2. A Christmas Story
3. Rankin/Bass Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
4. It's A Wonderul Life

CHRISTMAS VACATION is in my estimation the funniest Christmas movie ever, and I can quote it all day, but I'll just stick with one of my favorites for brevity's sake:

(Griswold exits garage with hockey mask and chainsaw)
Todd: Hey Griswold. Where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?
Clark: Bend over and I'll show you.
Todd: You've got a lot of nerve talking to me like that Griswold.
Clark: I wasn't talking to you. (looks at Todd's wife)

Classic.



Merry Christmas! Shitter's Full!



A CHRISTMAS STORY
You can watch it all day long on cable!! Inevitably I watch it 30 minutes at a time over the course of the day in non-consecutive increments. It gives it a kind of Quenton Tarantino feel with jumpy time lines. This film is set in my home state of Indiana. It gives me warm, nostalgiac feelings every time I watch it (even though I grew up in the 80's, not the 50's). Everybody had that one toy you would die for - mine was a Millenium Falcon. Still got it, too - its up in my attic! (Sometimes when my wife isn't home I play with it.)

P.S. Just kidding.

P.P.S. You know, out of context, that last statement is pretty dangerous. I'm glad nothing gets around on the internet. Yep, that should be pretty safe in cyberspace, yessiree.




RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER
More nostalgia for Christmas past. I used to watch the old Rankin/Bass Christmas specials every year - but Rudolph was my favorite. Probably because Yukon Cornelius was such a bad ass. If anybody deserved their own full length feature film, it was him.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
I can't help it. Whenever I watch it I tear up like a little baby. It gets me every time. But its hard to commit three hours to watching a film over the holidays, especially when you have a two-year-old. But if for some reason you HAVEN'T seen this movie...you should watch it. It is emotional manipulation at its best - the film just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside (like a "metaphorical Milennium Falcon attic canoodling").

But what do I REALLY want for Christmas - movie-related? How about some HOBBIT news? Wouldn't that be nice? Oh, well. Maybe next Christmas...

Happy Holidays to all you DTF Devotees out there. I hope your holiday week is all kinds of warm, fuzzy...and canoodly.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hellboy 2 Holiday Wallpaper

A dear friend and fellow fan, Alex H, was nice enough to send DelToroFilms a wonderful HELLBOY 2 Holiday Wallpaper. Great work, Alex!! Feel free to download and share with friends everyone!



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What To Do (and Eat) In Wellington

If you are a die-hard Hobbit fan and happen to be travelling to Wellington, New Zealand, here are a few things to make your trip worthwhile:

First, hit up the Weta Cave.

This "mini-museum" features props and displayes from your favorite WETA films, and has WETA merchandise available for purchase.

If you want to take a tour of some of the sites where Lord of the Rings was filmed, try Wellington Movie Tours. They have several different tours (full day or half day) that include lunch, and depending on which you choose, you can see up to 25 LOTR sites near Wellington, including a "Bush walk to Rivendell."

But don't limit yourself just to LOTR activities, check out the sites and the nightlife. Here are a few of Guillermo's favorite places to go:

DINING:

The White House Restaurant

Capitol Restaurant

Logan Brown ("FANTASTIC", says G)

SHOPPING:

Arty Bees Books

Dymocks

To find more things to do in Wellington, click here.

I've never been to Wellington - this is just a helpful guide to some cool things that have been highly recommended. Please feel free to post your recommendations below for others to read!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Doug Jones on 'Criminal Minds' and Other Stuff

Hey all - just a reminder to check out Doug Jones on 'Criminal Minds' tonight, 9:00pm (8pm Central) on CBS. Doug plays the captain of a Fight Club(!) and has this message for his fans:


I know, Dougie as the organizer/captain of a .... FIGHT CLUB!?!?!?!?
I said the same thing when they came to me with this offer, so please tune in
Wednesday night and tell me how I did.

Also, WHILE SHE WAS OUT, GDT's latest producing effort is opening this Friday, I think in limited release. Keep an eye out for it in a theater near you. Here is the movie poster, courtesy of themovieblog.com:



Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Doug Jones - The Gift

A wonderful gift indeed.

I got the chance to attend an "event" with Doug Jones at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. I say "event" in parenthesis because I'm unsure how to classify it - it was kind of a one-man-show-monologue entitled "Identity: The Man Behind the Mask".



Doug essentially gave a lecture on who he is as an actor, how he got to where he is today, and most importantly, how he found his identity. It was more like a performance than a lecture, and I thought Doug did a great job. The audience was really focused on every word - Doug has a great stage presence. He's funny and very likeable (as we all know) and I was surprised how introspective his story was. I was expecting more of a technical lecture on being an actor in Hollywood, but this was about a man finding himself, and I thought Doug had some interesting things to say. He started with his life as sort of an outcast goofy teenager, and went on to cover his "mime" period at Ball State, his first job as a salesman, his big break doing Mac Tonight! commercials, and finally his work with Guillermo Del Toro. I think Doug has done this kind of event before, so if you're lucky you'll get a chance to see it someday - I highly recommend it.

Below is a special treat - this was Doug's "finale" - a mime performance piece called "The Gift". I think it sums up well how Doug views his life at the moment, and how he gets the motivation to do what he does - which is act, travel, travel, act, sit through intense make-up sessions, and repeat. It is clear that you fans out there are what keep him going - so keep up the great support for Doug. THERE'S LOVE!

And now...The Gift:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bland. James Bland.

Its about time the wife and I got an evening free to go to the movies. We got our chance on Saturday - we got a babysitter for the evening (God bless grandparents!) and had our first "date" in several months.

We went to a great restaurant for dinner - the Kona Grill. I had some delicious Crunchy Crab and Philadelphia rolls - I love sushi. Also had a tasty glass of Italian wine.

Hey, we don't get out often, I might as well treat myself!

Off to the movie theater afterwards - I was very excited to see the new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. I've always been a big fan of the Bond films, and I REALLY enjoyed CASINO ROYALE. I totally agreed with the direction the producers took with that film - a more realistic (less "cartoony") Bond, with an emphasis on plot and espionage. Also, the last couple of Brosnan years, they started using CGI for stunts, and I think the vast appeal of Bond movies is the real-life stunt work. (If I ever see Bond CGI wind-surf a glacial tidal wave again, I will probably vomit.)

So, my review of QOS is this - it was a very average film, and I started to feel that the "old" Bond was starting to creep in. I guess old habits die hard.

I still think Craig is a great Bond. He has a harder edge than Brosnan and Moore, and probably Connery. But I think the plot of the film was pretty thin, and I think we were back to "gimmicky" plot devices. (A hide-out made of fuel cells - perfect for explosions...almost too perfect.) And the "super-villain" hoarding water underground? YAWN. And finally - one particular action sequence was over-the-top. Guys swinging on ropes and reaching for guns on a construction platform? I thought this was supposed to be a more "realistic" Bond? Let's keep to the basics, people!

Anyway, I know we'll see Craig again in a Bond movie - so my dream is for them to do a remake of Dr. No. I think there would be a great way to redo the film in a new, realistic way that fits more in what was started with CASINO ROYALE.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pinocchio Stop Motion Style

I asked Guillermo how his stop motion PINOCCHIO will be different from Tim Burton's successful stop motion films (THE CORPSE BRIDE, NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS). His reply was that PINOCCHIO will not be as sleek, and will be more "gritty" and closer to Jan Svankmajer's style.

I have embedded a YouTube clip of a Svankmajer work below to give you an idea:



Be patient with this project - GDT and Gris Grimly are still shopping this idea and haven't found a home for it yet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Mess of GDT Updates

Wow - today was a big morning - lots of news in the GDT camp. I thought I would compile it for everyone in the blog to make it easy on ya'

MIMIC

GDT: I'm working on [the Director's cut DVD]. I'm doing it. It's going to be as close to a director's cut as we can. We actually had a great experience the other day. We watched my original cuts, and we were like, "Oh my God, this is such a f--king different movie." ... We rescued it because I kept a copy at the right moment. I said, "In case it never happens, I'm going to distribute it at conventions.

CRONOS

GDT: I believe that very, very, very soon we're going to be announcing a very special Blu-ray edition of Cronos. And when you know who is doing it and how we're doing it, it will be more exciting. I cannot announce it properly, but we're doing a Blu-ray of Cronos, which is very exciting for me, because it's one of those movies that I think I want to revisit, retime, restructure the sound for the Blu-ray experience in a big way...

ATMOM

GDT: Part of the arrangement with Universal--in being essentially there for now until 2017--part of the arrangement was they would finance research and development for Mountains of Madness. And we are doing it. There are many technical tools in creating the monsters that don't exist, and we need to develop them. The creatures, Lovecraft's creatures, the tools that exist for CG and the materials that exist for makeup effects, you need to push them to get there and we're going to push them.

SPLICE (From ShockTilYouDrop)

"I met with Vincenzo for four hours this morning," says Del Toro "We went through the [recent] cut very carefully. I really came into that project because I admire Vincenzo. When I was reading it, I found it to be a really unique take on creatures. It's very seldom that you get a creature movie where they're willing to push the creature as a concept, to places that are uncomfortable to watch."

Brody and Polley spawn a female creature (pictured) after tinkering with human and animal DNA. But like Frankenstein's creation, their experiment becomes hard to control. "Sexuality is one of the many aspects of it. It's also not human, morally," Del Toro chuckles. "The choices of the creature are choices that don't have any human correlation. You might find a cat cuddly, but a cat is still going to scratch you whenever the f**k he wants. It's the same with this creature. Vincenzo is doing some really smart stuff. I really love what he's doing and it's the thinking man's creature movie."

HATER (From ShockTilYouDrop)

In spite of the rather old school aesthetic Bayona brought to Orphanage, Del Toro felt he was a perfect fit for this film which goes for the throat. "What is funny is when we talked about Hater and I told him what the final scene will be - it's an incredibly movie final scene that's not in the book - he said, I want to do it. Because it's a very contemporary movie, perhaps less so after the election, because I feel a huge breath of relief, but it's becoming very easy to hate. And what I love about the premise is that there is a righteousness. It's not a viral situation, not a contagion, it's a situation of a social disease. That we can road rage into murdering someone at any second. That it's a social epidemic is what attracted me. It's not a zombie movie. The people that kill the people can rationalize why they did it. That's what is scary about it."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Guillermo is a Fanboy at Heart

Check out this video from the new Hellboy 2 DVD - Guillermo working with Seth McFarlane. Proof that GDT is just a fanboy at heart.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Biting a Baby in Half

Our friends at TORN have provided us with a transcript of a chat with Anthony Moody, who recently had an extended interview with GDT. Moody mentions this fascinating story about Ofelia's encounter with the Pale Man:

By the way [GDT] also mentioned something really interesting which is when she goes into to see (and I forget the characters name) – the Monster with the eyes on his palm... [Sohaib: “Oh, the Pale Man]... Right! When she goes in to his lair and she takes the grape, he’d [Guillermo] originally wanted her to eat half the grape and then pull it back and show the other half of the grape in her hand and reveal that she had bitten a baby in half inside the grape.

So what do you think of this visual? For one, I regret that he wasn't able to put this visual in the film, be it budget constraints or simple choice. This is such an indelible image and something that I believe fits perfectly into how Pan's Labyrinth works as a film. 1) Guillermo wanted the film to convey a certain "uneasiness", especially in regards to the violence. This was his way to "put-off" viewers as to the violonce of the civil war. There was nothing glamorous about the deaths in this film. This image I think would inspire that same uneasiness. It would stay with you. 2) There is foreshadowing here, for sure - Ofelia's destiny is entwined with the fate of her little brother. Her choice to eat the grape against the rules, to rebel, signifies the power that she holds. But is the baby her brother? I don't think so. I see it more as a forecast for her own death.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Late Guillermo Del Toro Costume Ideas

Wow - I've only made three posts on my blog this month! I suck! Where has the time gone? Some of it has gone to building the new Hobbit Fan Portal Site, The Shire, from Del Toro Films. The rest has been work, work, work. Anyway...
Is there anybody out there looking for some last minute costume ideas for Halloween? Well, here are some easy last minute ideas from GDT's collection of films:

Jesus Gris from CRONOS: All you need is a gray hair wig, mustache, and a bow tie with a smart looking vest. Lastly a bandaged bloody hand and mysterious looking gold scarab prop.



The Blood Pack: How about getting a group of friends to dress as the "Blood Pack" from Blade 2? Just need some fake tattoos, black leather, and lots of chrome blades and weapons from the toy store!


Captain Vidal: The ultimate GDT villain - all you need is a similar military uniform from your local costume shop, some dark shades, gloves...and a stitched up left cheek for the ultimate effect! If you have a daughter, dress her up as Ofelia (although my guess is she would rather be Tinkerbell or Hannah Montana).



Liz from Hellboy 2: Not much needed for this one, ladies. A gun, a BPRD belt buckle, a cross necklace, and you can probably fill in the rest with a visit to your local Goodwill store.


Guillermo, himself: If you are a "rotund" guy, just get some round specs, a fake beard (or a real one), black shirt, black pants, black leather jacket, and a leather notebook and you're there! This would be a great tandem costume if you had a buddy dressed up as Hellboy!


For the record, I'm dressing as "Helo" Agathon from Battlestar Galactica. My wife is dressing as his Cylon wife, "Athena", which is appropriate because she is about 3 months preggers!

I'm having me a Cylon hybrid - SWEET.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Smaug Designs: Howe and Lee

In a recent MTV Interview, GDT has indicated that some early design work was done on Smaug for THE HOBBIT:
I discussed the Smaug appearance with great detail with [Tolkien illustrators] John Howe and Alan Lee, and there's some illustrations that John did out of that meeting in London that approximate Smaug. I cannot say much more. He is becoming clearer and clearer.

I thought I would post some artwork from Howe and Lee to give you some indication on how the design *might* look. This will be GDT's vision, but there might be some common themes in the artwork that might translate to the design.

First, Howe:


What I notice with Howe's art is how the gold and fire illuminates Smaug and gives him a golden color. I wouldn't be surprised to see GDT use that in his design. Also, Smaug has a smaller head in relation to his body - almost like a Stegasaurus. What I wouldn't be surprised to see is the elimination of the "bat wings". Not that Smaug won't fly in GDT's movie - I just know Guillermo likes to think of completely original ideas, and we might expect a style of dragon wing that is completely original.

Now Lee:


I think you *could* expect to see Lee's "serpentine" version of Smaug - long and lean and very snakelike. The one problem I see with that is I would expect Smaug to be MASSIVE in the film - and the thin version of Smaug doesn't give off the same sense of power as a fat Smaug. But biologically it makes sense - Smaug could easily navigate the caves of Lonely Mountain if he was thin.

Also, I predict that GDT will go with the "snout" on the dragon face as Lee presents, even though it will be a challenge to get the character to "lip sync" with an actor's voice.

One last note: I think however the design turns out - it will make sense in one way: Smaug's appearance will be indicative of how he lives. So think about how a creature might look if it sits in a cave most of its life, hoarding gold. Would it have small eyes from sitting in the dark? Would it be lean, in order to navigate the cavern tunnels? Would its scales reflect the heat that it breathes to keep it cool? Would it seem wasted and whithered from being unable (and unwilling) to move? These are all things that Guillermo will consider when putting together a design - he will want the design to not only look cool, but he will also want it to TELL A STORY about the creature.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein

Guillermo recently made this statement on his FRANKENSTEIN project in an MTV Interview:

“It will be a completely different monster. If you want to get an inkling, I would love for Bernie Wrightson to design the creature....If you know Bernie and know how he designs, that’s the creature I want to do.”

Bernie Wrightson is a comic book artist and is well known for his horror illustrations. In 1971, with writer Len Wein, Wrightson co-created SWAMP THING for DC. According to Wikipedia, Wrightson spent seven years drawing approximately 60 detailed pen-and-ink illustrations to accompany an edition of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein.
Guillermo reportedly owns some of the original artwork.

Here are a few select images from Wrighton's FRANKENSTEIN that I like. You can view more here and here.



Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cheers and Jeers for the New TV Season

I'm slowly catching up on my television watching. The new season has been going for a couple of weeks now, so I'm ready to present my Cheers and Jeers for the new season (TV Guide, eat your heart out!)

Cheers:

Supernatural: This show keeps getting better and better. Bringing Dean back from the bowels of hell will add a great new subplot to the season. Sam is growing more and more powerful, which add even more mystery to the new season. Plus the show is damn funny and loaded with inside jokes for movie and music buffs.

Ghost Hunters: I am addicted to this show on Sci Fi. Most people will roll their eyes at the "experiences" caught on tape, but I think the show is great entertainment, and this season in particular has me scratching my head at some of the evidence from the other side.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: This show is tasteless, crass, and hilarious. It goes beyond politically correct and it just doesn't care who is offended. In my opinion, the funniest show on television. This year's season premiere involving cannibalism and hunting humans is par for the course on how far this show will go for laughs.

Jeers:

Heroes: A very disappointing season premiere. Lazy writing dogged this episode, with no logical setup to the "secret formula" being lost, and the revelation for concocting a "Heroes syrum" was much too simple. The Sylar moment with the cheerleader was worthwhile, but for now this show has a long way to go before it matches its previous brilliance.

Smallville: More of the same - Clark's identity is in crisis and he gets help from the cheesy Justice League. Worse, Lex Luthor is missing. My only hope is that Doomsday makes an appearance and the Clark/Lois romance finally kicks into high gear. Props at least for finally moving the farm boy to Metropolis and the Daily Planet - but when do we get to see the trademark glasses?

Unknown:

I didn't get a chance to see Fringe - I missed recording it. It will have to wait until DVD - do you have any early reviews?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Son Thinks I'm Harrison Ford

Today, my 18 month old son was looking at the big Empire Strikes Back poster in my office. I don't think he has ever really studied it before, so his grandmother picked him up and held him close. He immediately pointed at Princess Leiah and said "Mama." Then he pointed to Han Solo and said "Dada."


I love that boy.



Here is the poster. I have it autographed by several of the actors and is a prize possession of mine.


Friday, September 26, 2008

GDT To End the World?

Well, that's what I'm told from this snappy little blog entry I found today. Written by Jim Rohner, it is clever and worth the read, plus the title is eye-catching: News Headline From the Future: Guillermo del Toro Inadvertently Triggers the Apocalypse. My favorite quote:

After everything is said and done and the world has been ravaged by the cosmic battle and Satan and his followers have been sentenced to life without parole in an eternal lake of burning sulfur, God will have a heart-to-heart with Guillermo that will probably end with Him patting the director on the head and telling him "not to do it again**" before patting the lovable little scamp on the head and ushering him off to go play with his friends...

Anyway, a fun read - Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

GDT on Ghosts, Death, Religion, and the Movies

Every once in a while I stumble onto a truly great Del Toro interview. I found one today that I absolutely love. Please click over to Pixel Vision and read the full interview, preferably on a comfy sofa with a cup of gourmet coffee. For any GDT fan, it is a wonderful read.

If you don't have the time, here are a few of my favorite moments, posted here just in case the interview goes offline one day.

GDT on the Paranormal
You realize a lot of what animals do naturally; humans do through two levels of thought. One is conscious and the other unconscious or subconscious. Animals don’t have that problem, they have just one single ball of thought or a single ball of being. Our problem is that we divide things that may be instinctive and collective and we have compartmentalized our perception so strongly that we only get them in glimpses and I think this is where the idea of the Jungian archetype comes to work. We all have these images that can recur and that’s where people talk about angel visitations, alien abductions and fairy visitations all being one and the same with different types of logic working from different cultures. I believe that there is a whole dimension that I wouldn’t call supernatural but “supranatural,” that I believe in. I believe I saw my mother walk past our living room. My father and brother and I saw her four hours before she arrived home because she had missed her plane in another city. That astral projection all three of us saw. I saw a UFO once and I know it was a UFO because it was not a normal plane or Venus or Mars or anything like that, it was [irrefutable]. I know there are things that you shouldn’t deny until you experience them, so I have a very magical, experimental sense of the world.

GDT on Death
I hate facing the death of another. I can’t stand somebody else’s pain. I can stand my own very well and I can stand my death. We all have a list of things to do in life: sorry man, but that includes dying. So, you go through life putting your shoes on, taking a cab; at one point you’re going to have to check (makes check sign with finger) dying, and it’s as important as taking a cab – to me. So, in that I believe that I’m immortal, because I don’t give a crap about death anymore. I used to be obsessed with dying and upset about death, but there came a point in my life after the kidnapping of my father that I started relinquishing all that. I said “not important anymore” and I’m at peace. I think the true concept of a miracle, as I annunciate in Cronos, the true concept of immortality is not caring how you die. The true concept of Pan’s Labyrinth is not about dying but about rebirth: she’s reborn, that’s why the blood is there. People say, in western culture, blood means death, but to me it means life – someone is starting to live again. And that’s why the film is so full of maternal and birthing and fallopian, almost uterine, imagery.

Politics as Fantasy
When you’re arguing about whose side of the concept is better – politics are completely a fabrication. I was talking the other day to Neil Gaiman. He said to me, “You realize, don’t you, that we are at war? The pope is at war with many religions as to whose imaginary friend is strongest.” I think that’s a great way of putting it. I mean my imaginary friend is stronger than yours? It’s all cosmologies that we fabricate or chose to believe in. I don’t think one is inherently wrong or one is inherently right. I think that we as humans tend to fabricate things to keep us apart and I believe it’s just as easy to believe in the things that unite us. I believe it’s a defect of mammalian territoriality to invent those borders. So yes, politics, borders, geography, time, space: it’s all a fabrication. To me it’s all perception. All fabrication is a form of imagination.

GDT on Success
I always say that success is not measured by outcome. Success is measured by fucking up in your own terms. That’s success. Trying and failing: that’s success. We live in a world where we say: which movie succeeded this year? “Well this one made $300 million, this movie made $1 million, so the one that made more was more successful.” Or: “This movie was critically praised, and this one was not, so the praised one was successful.” I don’t think so. Success doesn’t have to do with how many people a film connects with but how deeply it connects with them. How that movie becomes a tool for them to construct their philosophy, cosmology and reality. That’s success for a movie. And if it reaches a lot of people deeply, that’s great, but if it makes one person unable to leave the theatre because that person’s crying; that’s success.
G: You make it sound like a religious experience.
GDT: It is! We don’t go to church on Sunday: we go to the movies. So, when you go to the movies and you get the same crappy old sermon, you get angry. You go, “What a piece of shit!”
G: The world’s bigger than that.
GDT: The world is. But when you go to the church, or the movies, and you get a fresh perspective on an intimate truth, you come out of the theatre converted: believing again in the power of movies. It’s a religious experience and an intimate experience and that’s why when we don’t like a movie we get that pissed off and when we like it we get so jazzed.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Hobbit Day

Today is the day to celebrate all things Tolkien!

September 22nd is Bilbo and Frodo Baggins' birthday. Well, sort of. Hard core Tolkien fans will tell you that the Middle Earth calendar is slightly askew from our own count of the days. Nevertheless, this is considered Tolkien week, so be sure to pop in your LOTR DVD's or crack open some Tolkien-authored literature.

If you recall, THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING opened with the Shire celebrating Bilbo's birthday.

So if you want to plan a party, anything with ale, dancing, food, tents and fireworks seems appropriate. You may even find some interesting Tolkien events going on near you! Check your local papers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Drood: Dickens and the Staplehurst Crash

Many have expressed curiosity in GDT's interest in the DROOD project, which is one of the films he is slated to make in the Universal deal.

Here are a couple of items to stoke your curiosity:

First - the film would be based on Dan Simmons' upcoming novel, DROOD. Here is the product description from Amazon.com:

On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens--at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world and perhaps in the history of the world--hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever. Did Dickens begin living a dark double life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London mere research . . . or something more terrifying?Just as he did in The Terror, Dan Simmons draws impeccably from history to create a gloriously engaging and terrifying narrative. Based on the historical details of Charles Dickens's life and narrated by Wilkie Collins (Dickens's friend, frequent collaborator, and Salieri-style secret rival), DROOD explores the still-unsolved mysteries of the famous author's last years and may provide the key to Dickens's final, unfinished work: The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Chilling, haunting, and utterly original, DROOD is Dan Simmons at his powerful best.

Second is this link to a letter written by Dickens following the infamous Staplehurst train accident - the historically real "disaster" referenced in the description above. It describes a bloody scene that no doubt affected Dickens profoundly.

Judge for yourself how this might fit in the Del Toro canon of films.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

GDT Article in FILMINK Magazine

FILMINK magazine ran a feature on Guillermo and Hellboy in their September Issue - they were nice enough to send us a copy of the article! Click on the image below to view a large copy. Enjoy!


You can learn more about FILMINK magazine at http://www.filmink.com.au/. The magazine is on sale in newsagents across Australia and New Zealand and is available through special order via email at http://us.mc533.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=filmink@filmink.com.au.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh, Crap! What's Next?

By now you have seen the report from Variety - GDT has committed to a four picture deal with Universal. So what does this mean exactly for the future? Specifically, you might be asking, 'What happened to Hellboy III?' or 'What about Mountains of Madness?'

Here are the movies GDT has committed to, according to the Variety article:
  • Frankenstein
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Slaughterhouse Five
  • Drood

The deal goes up until 2017, so that means, at most, shooting four movies in a little more than five years (after Hobbit production ends). Wow - that seems like a tall order. I wonder if maybe Guillermo has "dibs" on these movies and he gets done what he can in that time frame. If so, then what we see from Guillermo in the next 10 years may come down to priorities. Since Guillermo would probably never tip his hand publicly, here is how I see GDT's priorities for the next decade.

1. The Hobbit - no doubt about this one. Guillermo is going to ride this hoopty until the wheels fall off. Definitely a passion project for him, and one that he is sure-fire committed to completing as his next project.

2. Hellboy III. "What?", you say. Well, this is about Guillermo's priorities - and I see his #2 priority being to complete the Hellboy trilogy. This is his passion project, and I know he desperately wants to complete the circle. It is a long shot, but there is definitely, a chance that Hellboy could return. HB2 is doing very well overseas, and as Guillermo has said publicly, Universal is still waiting to make a decision until "the last euro has dropped". Guillermo's long term commitment to Universal could be a "gesture of faith" to the studio in hopes they will continue to support his pet project. Don't rule it out - HB3 could happen.

3. Drood. I know GDT is a fan of Dickens and this shows promise to include one of GDT's favorite literary figures and mix it with some gothic themes - we'll know more when the book comes out. I have this ranked next mainly because of Guillermo's appreciation for Dickens (he has referenced him many times - so I'm assuming he's a fan!) and because Universal execs have reported they believe this would be a likely film to follow The Hobbit.

4. Frankenstein. I see this as next on the list. I believe Guillermo has a strong connection with this project (he is a big-time Frankenstein afficionado). And I think this project has the perfect mix of fantasy, horror, and weighty themes that GDT loves to explore. Plus Universal would love to get a big $$$ project from Guillermo right out of the gate, and I think Frankenstein fits the bill.

5. Slaughterhouse-Five. Given GDT's pattern of alternating between big studio popcorn movies and art-house films, I see Vonnegut's masterpiece coming up next. Of all the films on Guillermo's plate, I think this one has the best chance for an Academy Award. The book is a beautifully powerful science fiction novel, and I think Guillermo is anxious to show his cinematic chops on this one, not to mention get a chance to wear his emotions on his sleeve.

6. ATMOM. I think the previously mentioned films will take Guillermo right up until 2017, so he might get a chance to shake things up a bit. I think by this point, depending on the success of the previous films (specifically Frankenstein), GDT has a chance to convince Universal to do At The Mountains of Madness. I say he "gives it the old college try" once more. If unsuccessful, he moves on to either Jekyll or Saturn and the End of Days.

This priority list probably goes beyond the year 2017, so I'm banking on an "extension". Keep in mind I have no "inside" info from Guillermo - this was just a fun guess on what might be next based on my own opinions and circumstantial evidence. We'll have to check back in 10 years and see how much I got right (if any!)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Perlman Rides on in New F/X Show

Ron Perlman is starring in a new show on F/X called SONS OF ANARCHY, about a motorcycle gang in California. I got a sneak peek of the first two episodes and it looks like the show has a lot of potential. It is edgy, raw and violent - and I liken it to a Biker version of The Sopranos, with Perlman in the Tony Soprano role as the leader of the gang. I will post my full review at DelToroFilms.com before the premiere on September 3, but for now, check out the official website here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"Jerry" Rests on the Shoulders of Ball State Students

Ball State University is redefining the term “educational film.”

During the hot summer months in Muncie, IN, Ball State University filmed its first professional, commercial film – MY NAME IS JERRY, starring Guillermo Del Toro favorite, Doug Jones.

And it is being made with the help of veteran filmmakers…and BSU students.

Producer Rodger Smith, director of the Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education (IDEE) and director Morgan Mead were able to convince the College of Fine Arts at Ball State to help finance the film, and in return, students at the college get to be part of a real commercial film…and perhaps get a head start on a dream career in the film business.

“We want situations where we can take students and put them into a real live situation where they are either using tools that they’ve already learned or they’re developing new tools by being in that environment,” says Smith. But he adds, “For that to be successful, the project has to have some sort of successful outcome, i.e. a product – one that has commercial value.”

Enter Doug Jones – a marketable name who has graced the screen in the Academy Award winning PAN’S LABYRINTH, and the blockbuster films FANTASTIC 4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER, HELLBOY, and HELLBOY II. Not only is he a renowned actor in Hollywood, he is also a Ball State alumn, graduating in 1982. His participation, along with a strong script by Mead and fellow alumn David Hamilton (who is a professional scriptwriter in Los Angeles) was enough to greenlight this commercially viable immersion project about a middle aged man who escapes a mid-life crisis by associating with young people from the punk rock scene.
Director Morgan Mead, Doug Jones, and Katlyn Carlson

The students, who are diligent and professional on the set, are getting rave reviews from the industry professionals. Actor Don Stark, perhaps best known for his role as Donna’s dad on THAT 70’S SHOW, plays a main character in the film

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years, and this is one of the best experiences I’ve had. When you work with professionals that are coming to do it for the love of the project, its not for money,” he says. “And when you’ve got students who are wide-eyed and wanting to learn – they haven’t been tarnished by the Hollywood scene. They don’t know what they can’t do, therefore they can do everything.”

Doug Jones is more than impressed…he gets emotional about these young filmmakers. “I could cry,” he says. “These kids are amazing.”

The kids do everything on the set –acting, costume and makeup, working crew, assistant directing…even marketing and administrative work. Aspiring actress Betsy Holt is still in awe of the experience.

“I stay up with Doug Jones until 3am at the Sunshine CafĂ© and read lines with him. How cool is that?”

For those serious about turning this experience into a career, Smith acknowledges that it is quite a challenge.

“The best most of them can hope for is a job as a PA [personal assistant]. That’s where everybody starts, but it’s also they don’t know enough to be more than that. They need to spend 2, 3 or 4 years on a set, and they get enough skills that they can be a third A.D.”

This project, he says, gives them a head start on their goals. “These kids are picking up that kind of experience,” he says. “You can only get that [experience] from doing a commercial film. You just can’t get it any other way.”
MY NAME IS JERRY will be released in 2009.
All photos by Kyle Peters.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Hellboy II Character Graphics

Here are some new Troll Market character graphics for y'all:







Friday, August 15, 2008

Hellboy II Character Bios

Here are some fun Hellboy 2 character bios for you:

character bio wink Image

character bio johann Image

Character Bio Liz Image

Character Bio Prince Image

about_character_bio_1 Image

about_character_bio_2 Image

character bio angel Image

character bio princess Image

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

'Skin & Bones' Review

I finally got around to watching Doug Jones's FEAR ITSELF episode, "Skin & Bones." Doug had some really great moments, playing a rancher ("Grady") who has returned from being lost in the wilderness and has somehow acquired a supernatural taste for human flesh.

This was the first time I can recall Doug being really E-V-I-L. Like a violent kind of evil. If you ever meet Doug, he is such a kind and generous soul, so it is fun to see his talents as an actor shine through - he really is able to inhabit the soul of Grady.

One thing that really stands out for Doug is how he uses his hands so expressively. I have a feeling that this is one of the things that Guillermo likes about Doug. His hands move at times in an almost "other-wordly" manner - it creates a "dreamy" or "supernatural" effect in his performance. His portrayal of the faun in PAN'S LABYRINTH is a great example of his hand motions, and I think this episode of "Skin & Bones" showed it as well. There was a moment when Doug's hand reaches out to open a barn door that was positively chilling.

Overall I thought the episode was average. I had never watched a FEAR ITSELF episode before, and I was hoping it would be a show that I could set the DVR for every week. Unfortunately, I thought it eventually went too heavy on the cheap scares and horror, and could have benefited from a little more psychological drama and character development. But that's the difference between "good" and "great". "Skin & Bones" was just a "good" show - but still, it is a quality "horror" program returning to network television. For that reason alone it will get my support.

Doug had a tough role, and he made it work. His performance was chilling and spooky. Can't wait to see what he can do with a more understated part in MY NAME IS JERRY.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The "X-Files: I Want To Believe" Review

I'm a huge X-Files fan - I've seen every episode (I think) and even recently bought the new X-Files comic book written by Frank Spotnitz. I love the characters, I love the mythology, I love everything about it.

So how did I like the new movie, X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE? I liked it. It probably played more like a TV movie - it was very low budget - but the characters were consistent and it was an above average thriller. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time.

Hell, it was just great to see Mulder and Scully again.

The film is, as they say, a "stand-alone" episode outside of the alien conspiracy mythology. It merges well with the final television episode as we see Mulder and Scully continue their romantic relationship - but it is very subdued and secondary to the plot, which starts as an investigation into a missing FBI agent, but quickly becomes an X-File as the FBI discovers a strange link between the agent, a number of missing bodies, and a pedophile with ESP.

The movie steamrolls into a classic horror X-File, and my only complaint is that the film doesn't "go for it" with some over-the-top shocking horror. It is content not to take any risks and just tell the story. Which is fine, because, as I said, I'm just happy that the X-Files are back.

This film is very entertaining, and I think even the marginal X-Files fan, or even someone that appreciates a great horror/crime story will enjoy it.

Monday, August 4, 2008

GDT News of the Weird

A couple of weird news stories hit the internet recently, concerning our man, GDT:

The first is Guillermo describing a "Close Encounter" to he had when he was 15 and living in Mexico:

He explained: "I was with my friend in Mexico and we saw a light moving over the highway. It jumped all over the sky.

"We started beeping our horns and flashing our lights - and suddenly it jumped around 60km closer.

"We raced back to the city. It started following us."


The second story is a from an interview with Selma Blair, who says GDT advised her to go on an acid trip to help "overcome her doubts and insecurities."

"You know what Guillermo thinks? That I should go to Amsterdam and take an acid trip and it would fix my head. I think he could be right, you know."


After reading the latter story, I couldn't help but think of that old Motley Crue song:

He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood
He's the one that makes ya feel all right
He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood
He's gonna be your Frankenstein.

Except on the last line, replace "He's" with "Doug Jones".

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Guillermo's Rune Alphabet

In a recent article about the HELLBOY II ARG, ARGNet has posted Guillermo's Rune Alphabet that was "spread throughout the entire underworld in Hellboy II". The translator below was to be released during the HELLBOY II ARG, but was never needed since gamers were able to break the code without help.

This should be a fun little item to use - an "ancient" alphabet created by Guillermo himself. Bonus points to anyone that uses them in a tattoo (Geez, I've been obsessed with tattoos lately.)



Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Doug Jones is 'Skin & Bones'

On Thursday, July 31, our pal Doug Jones is starring in Skin & Bones an episode of the NBC horror show FEAR ITSELF.


Here is a description of the show's plot from an article in Fangoria magazine: "..it focuses on Grady, a rancher who returns to his horse farm after a week lost in the surrounding mountains. His emaciated appearance is startling enough, but his loved ones soon discover that what now resides inside him is far worse.."


I have never watched this show, but I'm excited to see Doug carry a horror story - it sounds great. Director Larry Fessenden spoke very highly of Doug's performance, saying, "He is so spectacular, it’s really remarkable and I believe it’ll be remembered as an iconic episode, and this little minifilm of Doug’s performance."


So be sure to watch tomorrow, support Doug, and let us know what you thought of Skin & Bones.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

MY NAME IS JERRY Trip Preview

Hi, everyone. As many of you know, I made the trip to Muncie, Indiana, on July 27th to meet Doug Jones on the set of his new film, MY NAME IS JERRY. I had a great time - Doug was wonderful and was gracious with his time and allowed me to ask A LOT of questions. I will have a full report at some point, but it will take me quite awhile to go through all my taped conversations, as I not only spoke with Doug, but I spoke with cast and crew. I also took a few pictures.



But I know many of you have some questions you are dying to ask, so here we go - DOUGIE FAQ'S!

What was it like to meet Doug?

A real trip - the man is a goofball. A very friendly, outgoing goofball who makes you feel like an instant friend. I first saw him on set while they were putting down the marks for a scene, and he walked over and gave me a big hug. Later, before I really got to sit down with him, he was striking a silly pose in his wardrobe for the scene - a snappy business suit and tie. Its obvious the crew loves him - he is not just approachable, but he often approached THEM, which caught some of the young students off guard (My Name is Jerry is an immersion study/work project with Ball State University). Doug is also very sincere and passionate about his work - especially MY NAME IS JERRY, which he has often called his "dream project." He is very grateful for his chance to be a leading man in a film - and he feels the pressure a bit and is working really hard to give his best performance. When I finally sat down with Doug, we had a chat for what felt about 30 to 4o minutes or so, and he was funny, enthusiastic, down-to-earth, warm, intelligent, caring, and goofy. I can tell you that he loves his fans, and he loves meeting them at the many conventions that he attends. When my meeting with him was finished, it felt like I made a new friend - and its a great feeling to have someone you respect return the favor.

What is MY NAME IS JERRY?

My Name is Jerry is an independent film starring Dougie that is being produced by the College of Fine Arts at Ball State University, the Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education, and Clothespin Films, LLC. Doug plays a forty-something door-to-door salesman ("Jerry") who, in the midst of a mid-life crisis, finds excitement when he meets Jordan, an engaging young punk rocker. The comedy/drama centers around Doug's encounter with the punk world and his reconciliation with his daughter, who hasn't seen him in nearly 10 years. What is truly special about this production is A) Doug gets to step out from the makeup and prosthetics and carry a film as the lead actor and B) The production is an immersion project with Ball State students, who work on set with professionals to learn the ins and outs of the film business. Part "B" is very important to Doug and the producers (Bruce Economou and Rodger Smith), as it is giving young men and women a real jump start towards their dreams to work in the film industry.

Did you get to see Doug dressed up in "Punk" wardrobe?

Unfortunately, no. He was doing a scene at the office - but perhaps this production still will work for now:




It may take me several weeks to transcribe my interviews, but I promise you will really enjoy my set report when it is published. Doug talked about all the stuff you love to hear about - Guillermo, the Silver Surfer, Frankenstein, The Hobbit, his fans, etc.. Be patient!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Dark Knight Review

Like everyone else in America, I saw The Dark Knight (but not until I had shelled out my $$$ to see The Golden Army the previous weekend). As expected, it was a great movie, but after such blockbuster weekend, my expectations were pretty high. I did not think it lived up the hype - for that kind of jack ($154 million opening weekend), I'm expecting a timeless classic. In reality, I don't believe it is as good as Batman Begins. However, Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker IS timeless. An amazing performance - one that will be forever remembered. It makes Nicholson's Joker in Burton's Batman look like a goofball. This Joker is psychotic, and when he makes you laugh, it is a nervous laughter. You just don't know when he is going to fly off the handle and do something really sinister.

So here are some thoughts on the film:

  • When Batman Begins came out, I remember Michael Caine talking about how Nolan convinced him to be a part of the franchise. Caine said that Nolan explained Batman this way: "Superman is the way the United States views itself. Batman is how the U.S. is viewed by the rest of the world." Armed with that information, I couldn't help but notice that The Dark Knight is a true post-9/11 film. It is very politically charged and ties in metaphorically with the U.S.'s current war on terror. I believe the Dark Knight's message is that when you fight terrorism, there are things that you have to do that are going to be hated by the rest of the world - you have to be "something other than a hero." I believe this correlates to the U.S.'s unpopularity throughout the world due to its involvement in Middle East conflict. Heavy stuff for a comic book film, but I truly believe this is part of what Nolan is trying to say with this movie.
  • Again, let me just say that Ledger was AMAZING. And his "pencil trick" was the greatest magic trick I have ever seen. Wow.
  • I loved the movie, but my one problem was that the plot was hard to follow at times. It is a dense story line, especially for a 2 1/2 hour movie. I had to really concentrate to follow along.
  • I thought the way Harvey Dent was "turned" made a lot of sense, and his character worked into the plot perfectly. I'm always worried that too many villains will muddle up a movie (see Spiderman 3). Bruce Wayne's character was essentially diminished in The Dark Knight, but really, after Batman Begins, what more was there to tell? My one complaint with Dent was that his "accident" was a little anti-climactic. I was expecting a big explosion and a horrifying transformation, but I just got a small fire and a cut to a hospital room. Bo-ring!

That's all folks! Go see HB2! It is 5th at the box office after being passed up by DK, Mama Mia!, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Hancock (which came in at #2??). Come on, people - Hellboy deserves better!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The (Very Late) ORPHANAGE Review

I FINALLY saw The Orphanage (hold your applause until the end, please.)

Wow, what a haunting film. I can't think of a movie I've seen recently that touched so many emotions in me. Maybe PAN'S LABYRINTH was the last. This film held true to my expectations of a creepy ghost story - but it delivered so much more. In the last twenty minutes, the film elevates itself above the typical haunted ghost story into a work of art depicting insanity, fear, grief, and hope. This is a very powerful film.

****** SPOILERS *********

A couple of notes:

I've noticed that ever since I've become a father, it is much more difficult for me to watch a young child die on screen. It is especially difficult for me when the child dies alone - as was the case with Simon. The vision of Simon - dead on the cold floor of that basement - haunts me still this morning.

Also, it bothered me that Laura committed suicide. I just felt it cheapened her story - a convenient plot device, but not something that I held entirely true to her character. After all, Simon was going to die anyway at some point - that was clear from his illness. And it bothers me when seemlingly noble characters take this "selfish" route (it rarely seems like a tragic act to me anymore). Laura gets rewarded for killing herself by reuniting with her son and finding happiness. I would have preferred an ending where Laura simply died from grief. That is a more tragic ending to me, and a much more noble death.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Art: Nuada's Spear and Street Musician

Here is some more art for you:

Prince Nuada's Spear
Francisco Ruiz Velasco: This drawing is an early version of the Prince's spear, created by Pablo Angeles. The main idea was for the spear to be a kind of telescopic device, so when it is short it can be used as a double-bladed sword and then extend to a spear. All the weapons of the Elf royalty are richly decorated. We were trying to stay away from Celtic motifs and create our own patterns. In the end we moved the design toward more Oriental and Islamic ornamentation.



And also, here is the Street Musician from the Troll Market:






Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Cool Hellboy Tattoo

Hi everyone! Sorry it has been so long since I posted. I've been sick with the flu. I'm back up to speed now so I thought I would post something quick. Below is Mignola's concept art from the "game board" in the Angel of Death's lair. It depicts Hellboy's destiny regarding the End of Days:


Does anybody else think this would be a cool tattoo? I don't have any myself, and don't plan on getting any (my obsessive indecisiveness being the reason), but this seems to lend itself well to a really cool arm or ankle tattoo.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

THE SPOILER FREE REVIEW! Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

I love pizza. Everybody loves pizza. If you don't love pizza, you suck.

Now imagine one of the best chefs in the world made you a pizza. Extra toppings. Crispy crust.

The woiks.

That's what HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY felt like: The best ever party food whipped up by one of the best chefs in the world.

A feast. Pure bliss.

Pure fun.

I loved this movie. I loved it for so many reasons. I thought the first HELLBOY was very good - but this blows it out of the water. It no longer feels like Guillermo's adaptation of Mignola's Hellboy - this feels like GUILLERMO'S HELLBOY. The first film seemed a little restrained at times. Guillermo was still growing as an artist in 2004 - he was still feeling his way around making a pop culture film.

Then he made PAN'S LABYRINTH and the world went bonkers over it. And with the affirmation that people will love a 100% Guillermo movie - unrestrained, undeterred - Guillermo has finally unleashed his Frankenstein monster.

A lot of the things I love about Guillermo as a person are in this movie. Now, I can't say I know Guillermo that well, having only met him once, but I know he is a) a funny guy, b) loves monsters, c) loves makeup, costumes, and real sets, and d) loves Hellboy.

The movie is a banquet for the eyes. The sets are beautiful. The colors are eye-popping (bright, comic book look-and-feel), and the monsters - oh, the monsters! There are so many creep crawly weirdy nasties in this movie you can't keep track of them all! Seriously - I'm going to have to watch the movie in slow motion on DVD because the most intricate crazy creature designs will run through the frame in about 2 seconds.

So what's it all about? Well, I'll try to make this spoiler free as possible because I like to see a movie without knowing ANYTHING about it - and I know a lot of you fans feel the same way. Let's just say Hellboy is facing an identity crisis, a relationship crisis (with Liz), and a work crisis (his new boss - Johann!). And it doesn't help that an Elven king is looking to destroy the world - hey, that sucks, doesn't it? So how does Hellboy deal with all this pressure? The answer will make you laugh, and will be totally unexpected.

That's right, laugh. A lot! This is a classically funny movie. I've always thought GHOSTBUSTERS was the watermark for the fantasy, sci-fi comedy. This movie is even par, I think. And this will surprise a lot of people - especially those who are expecting a faithful adaptation of Mignola's comic. Well, those comic-crusaders may be in for a bit of a disappointment. This is a much funnier movie than I would have ever have expected - but I love the movie for it. Guillermo really runs with every character and knows what can make them funny - much the same way a veteran sitcom writer for a classic show like CHEERS or NIGHT COURT would understand how to use a character for laughs. And Ron Perlman and Doug Jones put on tremendous performances - blending action, emotion, and humor in such a perfect way to make their characters spot-on cool. Put those guys in for Saturn Awards. They are terrific.

But don't worry - there is plenty of action to go around. Huge monsters, bio-mechanical gorilla-ogres (What is Wink, anyway?), and Luke Goss (another great performance) playing a villain with a real motive - the kind of ambiguous character that Guillermo revels in. You can't hate him, because you know he might be right...This has some of the best choreographed fight scenes I've seen Guillermo do. With Big Red pulling the punches (as cocky as ever), how can you not love it?

Really - this may seem like a big love fest for a guy that runs a DelToroFilms website, so regardless, trust me when I say this is one of the best movies of the year. Go see it, go buy the DVD, go tell friends. It will be worth it.

And then go buy some pizza. Extra toppings. Crispy crust.

The woiks.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hellebration 2008, Part 3

I'm back!! Literally, I'm back home again in Indiana! Sorry it took so long to post....where was I?

Oh yes, the pre-party! As I said, I finally got to meet GDT. He was everything you would want him to be - super-friendly, smiling, giving everyone hugs. When I told him I was "Parker" from DelToroFilms he gave me the fist-bump and a huge hug. It was great! I had my DelToroFilms t-shirt on and he said "Nice shirt." I joked that they were selling them at Frederick's of Hollywood now and he asked if they came with nipple clamps. The guy is on my wavelength - at least comedy-wise.

He took me up to the bar at the restaurant and ordered a Mexican pork dish that was fabulous. This seemed to be his favorite dish at Loteria, and he was having everyone try it. At one point he tied a scarf around his neck like a waiter and was serving food to everyone - pretty funny.

Everyone had a great time at the restaurant, GDT made sure to talk with everyone. Unfortunately, MTV showed up and started interviewing him, so that kind of took away from the event. But at least all the fans had each other to talk to - we really became fast friends and continued to chat and hang out over the course of the entire evening.

Finally, it was time to hop on the shuttle and go see the movie!! GDT ditched his ride I think and jumped on the bus with us. In the process, some guy off the street he happened to walk by asked what was going on and GDT pulled him on the bus - we had to explain to him that we were going to see a premiere of Hellboy 2. The guy couldn't believe his luck - he had seen nearly all of GDT's movies and had a smile on his face the rest of the night. Since he was coming from the grocery store, he had ice cream that melted in his backpack, but he told us later it was worth the sacrifice.

GDT rode in the passenger side of the bus and as we were making the trek to the theater, he grabbed the intercom and start giving us the "Hollywood" tour - cracking us up by pointing out the shady tattoo parlors and offering a prize to the first to spot a cross-dressing man.

When we got to the theater at the Academy (yes THE Academy), we piled off the bus, but a guy out front told us we were in the wrong place and had to walk around the building. Which was kind of funny, so the fans and GDT hiked it around to the side of the building together - it was worth it because we got some swag at that entrance - a booklet, a comic, and some rubber Hellboy horns for our head.

As we walked into the theater, GDT pulled me aside and told me I was a "great man" for what I was doing with the website. I get extremely shy and modest when I get compliments, so my head went down and immediately started babbling about how it was his fans that were truly great - which is absolutely true. It was a nice moment - I hope I made a better impression with him than how I visualize it in my head. Fan paranoia, I know.

Doug Jones was sitting two rows ahead of me in the theater so I got to say, "Hi" and I locked down and interview with him this month when he is in Indiana shooting a movie. Can't wait for that! Doug is a wonderfully friendly, generous soul. AND a helluva actor - he is fantastic in HB2.

Oh, yes, the MOVIE. You probably want to hear my review, don't you? Well, you're going to have to wait because I need a whole new post for that one. Let me just say that it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! Come July 11th, you guys are in for a big treat!!! I'll get my spoiler-free post up soon enough.

After the movie, the cast (everyone but Ron, who is filming is new F/X TV show) , Guillermo, and Mike Mignola came out for a brief Q/A. Not a lot of "scoops" from the Q/A, but a lot of great stories from Guillermo and cast about their hijinx on the set. My favorite was Guillermo talking about filming a scene with Doug and Selma where they had to fire guns while standing back-to-back, and he had to try to keep them from doing cheesy Charlie's Angels poses. Funny, funny stuff.

Following the screening, we went to a lobby-type area for appetizers and meet-and-greets. I got to talk with all the stars and get their autographs. Here is my brief summary:

Selma Blair: She was very friendly and approachable (despite labelling herself as anti-social during the Q/A). I kept our conversation short, just asking for her autograph and telling her I thought the movie was great. My wife jumped in and got her autograph for her boss, telling Selma that "this should get her a promotion", to which Selma laughed and said "Thank you."

Anna Walton: She was very sweet and very pretty. She seemed tall as well, not sure how high those heels were. I chatted with her briefly about what she has going next and she mentioned working on The Mutant Chronicles and a new TV series based on Robinson Crusoe.

Luke Goss: Dude was cool as can be. You might think there were all girls standing around him, but when I was there it was all guys! He was a trip - talking about how cool it was to do all the weapon work in the movie, particularly with Prince Nuada's spear. He loved it and joked about even doing the moves with his BBQ tools when he is grilling out. I got to speak with him for a few minutes, probably longer than anyone, and he was extremely gracious and friendly.

Doug Jones: Doug's the best with his fans, he has a legion of "Fan Sapiens" who all love him - with good reason. I got his autograph real quick and we talked about getting together in Indiana to talk about his independent flick he is filming at Ball State University. That should be later this month, or early August. I can't wait.

Guillermo: This was the third chance I had to talk to GDT that evening, so I wanted to make it quick because he had a legion of fans wanting to speak with him. It took me almost 45 minutes to make my way through the crowd - the man is so gracious with his time. He complied with every autograph request, flipped through countless art portfolios, and gave everyone his undivided attention - making it a special moment for each and every fan. The guy is a dynamo. I felt kind of guilty taking his time again, but I wanted to get his autograph on a Hellboy book so I would have everyone's signature that was at the event. He again gave me a great hug and signed my books. I hope to have the chance to speak with him at length at some point and really get ask him some good questions - but for this event I kept it brief and thanked him for everything. He said something to me as I left which was hard for me to understand with his accent and I am hoping he didn't ask me a question because I laughed and told him "I would see him later." More fan paranoia, I guess - I shouldn't obsess so much. Anyway, it was great meeting him - I hope to do it again for The Hobbit.

That pretty much spelled the end of the evening - soon they cut the lights and ushered the fans out to the buses.

I also want to say how great all the fans were at this event. I've known most everyone from the message boards, but this was the first I had met them in person. Everyone was friendly, funny, and just a pleasure to be around. GDT could not have a better "family" to be a part of - I enjoyed meeting every one of you and I can't wait to see you again.

I finished off the evening by sharing some Tecate beer with some fellow fans - I can't believe we didn't get a visit from security. We were pretty loud. But we were drinking and celebrating and enjoying each other's company- a perfect end to the trip.

Thanks again everyone, and thanks GDT!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hellebration 2008, Part 2

Hi gang!

Just getting up and moving from an incredible night! It is almost 11:00 here - I was up until 3am talking to our fellow fans (and having some celebratory Tecate beer in honor of Big Red).

The evening kicked off with a shuttle ride from the hotel to Latoria Grill, a new Mexican restaurant in LA that GDT has an owning interest. The pre-party group was small - a limited guest list. This was made up of hard-core fans that have been posting on DelToroFilms since its inception (and some other guests like Tad Stones).

I had never met Guillermo in person - amazing, isn't it? That's just the drawback of living in Indiana - I don't make it to LA much, as you might guess. I thought I would be nervous, but I really wasn't. It felt kind of like meeting just another fan - only I wanted to make sure I made a good impression.

Whoops! Gotta go...more partying awaits. I'll fill you in on the BIG EVENT in the next post!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hellebration 2008, Part 1

Hi everyone-

I'm blogging from beee-autiful Hollywood, California, site of the 2008 Hellboy 2 Fan Premiere. I got here yesterday at around noon and the weather is gorgeous. Universal Studios has set me up with a nice room in the Renaissance Hotel on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland. All the great Hollywood landmarks are here - I can see the big "HOLLYWOOD" sign from the Hotel, we are right next to the famous Chinese Theater, and the Walk of Fame goes up and down Hollywood Boulevard.

The first day was spent meeting friends from DelToroFilms, the Hellboy Message Boards, and other fans. Hooked up with Spyda, Andrew, Tim, Erin, Kirk, Katie, Seth, and Kim (I hope I included everyone) the first night for dinner at the Roosevelt Hotel. Had a great cheeseburger as we talked about movies, comics, and basically got to know each other. It was a great time!

This morning I got up and had a coffee as I sat out and stared at the HOLLYWOOD sign. Another beautiful morning. My wife and I met up with everyone again this afternoon - with a lot of new faces - Kate, Laurence, Stephanie...just to name a few...we met at Mel's Diner for lunch and we filled up two tables!! A great fan gathering and the big event hasn't even started yet. Everyone is really excited and the few who have seen the movie say it is really amazing. I can't wait.

Now I'm resting in my hotel room and getting ready for the big night. A shuttle leaves here at around 5:15pm for a pre-party, where we will meet Guillermo and chat a bit before the big screening. Following the screening there will be a Q&A with GDT, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Luke Goss and Anna Walton.

I'll try to check in again tomorrow with the full report on tonight's festivities!