“Hell” isn’t so hot

Apr 072004
Authors: Jeremy Anderson


Movies based on comic books are a dime a dozen anymore, but if

“Hellboy” is any indication, this franchise is in serious danger of

imploding on itself.

Hellboy is probably the least recognizable of the comic book

heroes who have made the transition to the big screen, so it is

unfortunate that his debut takes place in such a lackluster movie.

I was unfamiliar with Hellboy before his movie, but afterward I was

left feeling that I hadn’t been missing out on anything


The plot revolves around a mysterious organization known as the

Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, which houses such

outcasts as an amphibian-man who can read minds and the title hero

who is an indestructible brute. Hellboy is a bright red demon from

hell that came to earth through a portal opened during World War II

by evil Nazis. Despite his hellish origins, monstrous size and

fiery hue, Hellboy grows up to become a gruff, everyday Joe with a

heart of gold.

Rasputin, benefiting from the power of eternal life, sets in

action a plan to take over the world by reopening the

aforementioned portal and unleashing the seven gods of chaos to do

his dirty work. Naturally, Hellboy and his X-Men-like band of

friends set out to save the world.

Well, at least that’s what I saw happen when I pried my eyelids

open to stay awake. I don’t know if I have ever had a tougher time

not falling asleep in a movie theater in all my life, especially

during an action movie.

The by-the-number action sequences seemed surprisingly sparse,

or maybe it’s just that the ones that are in the movie are anything

but memorable. I was more excited by my fear of being heard snoring

during the action scenes than I was by the scenes themselves.

What I was most looking forward to in “Hellboy” were some new

movie creatures and you would think a movie featuring a portal for

unleashing demons of chaos would more than fulfill my expectations.

Sadly, only one type of creature gets any quality screen time and

while they look cool from a distance, they appear too much like

people dressed up in big, rubber suits when they come in for close


About the only thing “Hellboy” has going for it is Ron Perlman,

who slips into the role of the superhero like he was born to do so.

Perlman, the Beast from the ’80s TV series “Beauty and the Beast”

suffers romantic pining once again, this time for a pyrokinetic,

though otherwise normal girl named Liz, played flatly by Selma

Blair (“Cruel Intentions.”)

Comic book enthusiasts may find more to like than I did, but I

thought “Hellboy” was one of the corniest and least entertaining

films in the typically fun and enjoyable genre of comic book


1.5 out of 4

“Home on the Range”

A traditional animated feature from Disney about three cows,

voiced by Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench and Jennifer Tilly, who become

“bovine bounty hunters” in order to save their farm which is under

threat of foreclosure. Randy Quaid lends his voice to the

money-hungry villain, Alameda Slim.

Disney’s latest effort probably won’t stand the test of time as

well as several of their beloved classics, but it is fast, fun and

entertaining enough for kids to enjoy and for adults to have a good

time as well. Some quality country crooning by Bonnie Raitt, Tim

Mcgraw and others helps bolster the story nicely.

3 out of 4



Rating: PG-13

Run time: 2 hours 1 minute

Showing at: Carmike 10 and Cinemark 16

“Home on the Range”

Rating: PG

Run time: 1 hour 16 minutes

Showing at: Carmike 10 and Cinemark 16

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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