The Din of Inequity

The Din of Inequity

...yes, I spelled it that way on purpose.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Hellboy? Hell Yeah!

Last night Girlygirl and some friends and I went to see Hellboy*. I can happily report that it was pretty good. I'm only passingly familiar with the comics--in fact the only fan-like judgment I can pass is that Ron Perlman looks amazingly like the pictures in the comics. I mean exactly. And when they put that makeup on him, whoa! It's uncanny. OK, cheap joke, but if you've seen the guy it's no mystery why he's so often cast as one stripe of monster or other. Fine actor, though, and I always get a charge out of seeing unconventional-looking folks working steadily in Hollywood.

Apart from the amazing makeup job, I can't say if it does the comics justice. It does pretty well by the audience, and that was all I really cared about. It's not great art, but it's pretty much the best you can hope for in the superhero genre. I hope you weren't looking for a real review of this movie, or even anything to back up the headline. This is all you get about Hellboy--it was good.

I grew up reading Marvel comics (I'm not one of those idiotic DC fans, or the even stupider "readers" of crap like Richie Rich, Archie, or--heaven spare us--Sad Sack), and was a major consumer of them up until about age 15 or so. Since then I've stuck pretty much with the odd trade paperback compilations or so-called underground comics (almost exclusively the extremely snarky offerings of Peter Bagge and Daniel Clowes). Still, I'm a major fan of the idea of superheroes, and it's really only in the last year or so that I've given up on the idea that someday I will manifest superpowers of some kind. It wasn't as if I clung to a positive view that one day I would, so much as that I'd never acknowledged the fact that it would NEVER happen. I admit there's a fine line between believing that one day you'll be invulnerable and simply never having considered the likelihood that you won't, but it was a surprising realization to me that I even fell in the latter category. I never knew I was that kind of nuts.

Anyway, with my one-time major fandom, I like to see the superhero movies. Hell, I had actively and openly been waiting for a credible Spider-Man live action anything since I was about 7 (yep--28 years or so at the time the movie came out). What pleases me is that Hollywood, because I was almost exclusively a Marvel fan, is most actively mining my childhood favorites to throw up on the big screen. Granted, they have produced (and continue to plan) serious missteps--I cannot see myself going to see The Punisher, though I liked the limited-edition series (the only comics I bought regularly in college), because the idea's too thin (and it looks shitty), I have serious problems with the Fantastic Four as a family sitcom-like thing (such are the current plans), and Daredevil was flat as a pancake (the best I can say about it is it's not actually as bad as you remember)--but they have also put together some credible pictures. The X-men series has been very good so far, Spider-Man was worth the wait, and I thought The Hulk was genuinely brilliant**.

Where was I going with all this? I've totally lost the thread. I don't guess I really had one, when you get right down to it. It's like that sometimes around here, especially on Monday, and especially after the time change. I was talking to a friend about it on Saturday evening, and he was complaining that the time change in the Spring wipes him out for a week. I scoffed, but here I am, so sleepy I can hardly string two thoughts together, unless they're totally unrelated. Maybe I'll just let this peter out, and hope for better combobulation tomorrow.

*The wife and I go to see most of the superhero flicks that come out together (both willingly), which is nice, and I think kind of rare. As you know, it all fits with me, but Girlygirl--in addition to an apparent passion for indulging my more childlike interests--likes fantasy stuff, will read comics enthusiastically if infrequently, and likes action flicks as much as the next person, but hates to see bloody violence. The comic book genre generally offers tons of action and fantasy, and also a short supply of (human) blood. So we go to these movies, and usually both like them.

**I have no idea why people thought it was crappy. It's a very thoughtful piece, nicely directed (the lead actor sucks, but that happens sometimes), and the editing is amazing, showing an uncanny grasp of the appeal (rather than the limitations) of the comic book format. I can only point out that the folks who hated The Hulk and the people who turned the Farrelly Brothers into a market force are the same people. If you liked Crouching Tiger, and actually understood it, then with an open mind you could like The Hulk too.

|| Bikeboy 1:50 PM ||
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