HellBoy 2: The Golden Army Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
I like it. Yes, it’s true. Sometimes. a cover is a good representation of the movie within, and this is one of those times. I dig Hellboy, deal with it. He’s quite sexy with the groovy red skin, the stern Ron Pearlman face, and stumpy horns. The slip cover has that thing where you tilt it side to side and get the comic version of his face, and then the real one, and comic, and real..you get the idea. I’m not a fan of slip covers, but this one is reasonable and I did tilt tilt tilt a few times with a smile on my face.

The menu is irritating, with a scene from the movie slathered across the screen as if I want to see any part of it before I actually watch the friggin’ movie!! I guess I can’t have it all. I like the cover, the menu stinks, fair enough.

Features: 8/10

  • Schufften Goggle View – A look at at different scenes from different stages of post production. You can switch from view to view and see how they put all the special effects together.
  • Hellboy In Service Of The Demon (Full Length Documentary) – This is an excellent extra. A full length fly on the wall look at making the movie. If you have the time, it’s informative and really does showcase the director, Del Toro and his style behind the scenes.
  • Production Workshop Puppet Theater – More behind the scenes showing how they made real life puppets and creatures to fill the underworld of Hellboy’s universe.
  • Image Galleries – Photos..yea
  • Deleted Scenes With Optional Director Commentary – I like listening to Del Toro, so these deleted scenes are more fun with him explaining why he made the scene and why he ultimately cut it out.
  • Troll Market Tour With Director – This place is amazing and to get a non-movie look really shows the enormous effort this crew put into Hellboy 2.
  • Feature Commentary With Director – Again, I like listening to Del Toro talk, so this kind of turns me on beyond the actual content of what he’s saying, which is nice too:) He’s very detailed and passionate and organized which makes for a great exploration of his experience making the movie.
  • Digital Copy – Copy for your laptop or “other” device.
  • U-Control – Ugh, the bits and pieces might be good extras, but the U Control is a serious disincentive to watch them all. There’s too much interaction, too much fiddling.
  • BD Live Center – Some extra goodies to explore if you have a Blu Ray player that will access BD Live.

The Movie: 7/10
I get lost sometimes, not often, but every once in a while I let myself go into full movie fantasy mode. I can’t explain it. Some movies are eye rolling fests where every goofy effect, lame character, and pithy one liner make my mind wander to other things, like cleaning my bathtub. AND THEN some movies just suck me in hook line and sinker.

Hellboy was a lot of fun and I can still watch it over and over and enjoy it every time. I didn’t love it the first time, but it has grown on me. I like the world, the characters, the mythology. I can do without the angst of Hellboy, or just tone it down a bit, but other than that I am in their world from the first scene.

Hellboy II has all the same quirky ‘creatures’, lots of cheeky dialogue from our red friend, and the brewing love story amidst it all. This time, however, I really enjoyed the story of a lost Elven culture that has given the Earth to humans to run as they wish (who the hell knows why??). The prince dispatches his ruthlessness and tries to take back the world for his race. He’s very cool with a lot of smooth movies, heartlessness, and long flowing white hair.

The special effects are almost all top quality. My advice, completely and entirely ignore the flashback version of Hellboy as a, um, boy. It’s awful. You will get the quick telling of the story about the Elves vs. humans in history and the golden crown that controls the golden army, so don’t skip it. The opening sequence does have a very nice animation of the battles from a child’s imagination kind of point of view.

We meet up with “Red” and Liz as they are having an argument, I like that. These are not super heroes, they are just unique individuals who happen to be kind of extraordinary, but they still argue about toothbrushes and needing their own space.

Fishstick, the aquatic character is so much more intriguing and plays a larger role, which is fine with me. He has his own love interest and we see more of who he is beyond his spooky skills of reading minds, or getting vibes, or whatever he does.

There are several big battles, which is true to the first Hellboy. They don’t skimp on the action, that’s for sure. There are the “Tooth Fairies” in the beginning, little creatures that fly and eat bones, teeth, and everything else a human is made of..gruesome and cool. There is Wink, a huge dude with a spiney back and a retractable metal claw hand. He’s amazing and when you realize he’s a guy in an incredible suit, he’s even more fantastic. Love that guy.

The Troll Market is full of hundreds of creatures who inhabit an underworld we know nothing about in the first movie. I had a little problem with that, but I got over it because it’s so much fun to watch. It’s magical and brought back a little bit of childlike curiosity, which is a huge order for me!!

The golden army can’t be brought back to life, but if the golden crown pieces are brought back together they can take over the world, killing everything in their path. That’s a fine concept. I like it. Our crew goes to Scotland to find the army and encounter even more fascinating folks, a troll like dude on a cart, a winged creepy angel, and a boulder colossus, which is gorgeous.

Oh, this movie really did give me a chance to just let go and have a good time with my jaw hanging down and a smile on my face most of the time. Nevermind the flaws, that’s life. I enjoyed it and I look forward to any other Hellboy flicks Del Toro wants to make just for me:)

Audio & Video: 8/10 (By Ascully)
Another week, another big event movie on Blu-Ray disc. Hellboy 2 is a bit of a “take it or leave it” movie for me. I did enjoy it, but it wasn’t Earth shattering or anything. On the audio visual side Hellboy 2 is quite a dark movie and it suffers a little from this as there are some really muddy scenes. Detail is high and sharp though and most of the CG scenes (there are very few) do look amazing. The star of the show for me though are the costumes. Most of the creatures are just people in costumes, super detailed costumes that the Blu-Ray format showcases perfectly.

Universal utilize the DTS-MA 7.1 Audio format on this disc and I must say it’s impressive. You will be hard pressed to find a more active surround and bass heavy movie. The standout moment happens for me during the opening credits which are CG animated clockwork cogs being smashed together to form the logo of the movie. It’s an avalanche of sound that you will really appreciate if you like this type of movie.

Value: 5/10
I’m not paying almost 30 bucks for any DVD no matter what format or resolution or whatever. That’s my new rule. Come on people!!! Get over yourselves. Yes, this is a great collection of extras and a fun flick that was very enjoyable for me. NO, it’s not worth 2 tanks of gas!! (I drive a Chevy Geo Metro, small tank). I would watch this movie again for sure, but I won’t pay that much. I would rent it online, or wait for it to be on cable several hundred times and watch it then with commercials. If this Blu-Ray 2 disc set were to be $12-$15.00, I would actually buy a couple for Christmas gifts. Volume volume volume!! Sell more for a lower price, genius.

Overall Score 7/10