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Hellboy (**)
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Written by Guillermo del Toro, based on comic books by Mike Mignola
Principal Cast
Ron Perlman -- Hellboy
John Hurt -- Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm
Selma Blair -- Liz Sherman
Rupert Evans -- John Myers
Karel Roden -- Grigori Rasputin
Jeffrey Tambor -- Dr. Tom Manning
Ladislav Beran -- Kroenen
Corey Johnson -- Agent Clay
Bridget Hodson -- Ilsa
Kevin Trainor -- Young Broom
Doug Jones -- Abraham 'Abe' Sapien
Brian Steele -- Sammael
Brian Caspe -- Agent Lime
James Babson -- Agent Moss
Stephen Fisher -- Agent Quarry
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Hellboy Hellboy is a minor but fairly entertaining superhero film. The problem with the film is that Hellboy is impervious to harm. The best action movies feature a vulnerable hero in a tight spot: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Die Hard, Titanic. When you have an invulnerable hero, such as Superman or Hellboy, you have to focus on the supporting cast, which is done very successfully in Superman - the Movie and in Smallville. There are some very nice supporting cast moments in Hellboy, the best of which is a quiet conversation between Hellboy and a small kid on a rooftop, while Hellboy's best girl quietly starts to fall for one of his handlers on a park bench below. If the big action set pieces were as good as the character bits, this would be a very good movie. But they aren't. In fact, they are almost totally forgettable. In fact, I've forgotten them.

I like the fact that Hellboy is the only superhero I know of with a cat. Superboy had Krypto, the Superdog. Batman has Ace, the Bat Hound. Wonder Woman had Etta Candy -- no, sorry about that, I didn't say that. Aquaman had a pet fish, Hawkman had some pet birds (kind of), Ant Man had some pet ants. The Martian Manhunter had Zook, but if it talks, I don't think it really counts as a pet, does it? But Hellboy is the only superhero who likes cats.

There is a nice credit cookie, sensibly situated less than a minute into the credits. I rather like sitting through a long credit roll after a grand emotional experience like the original Star Wars, but this cookie would have gone unseen had it come a minute later.

Copyright © 2004 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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