Hellboy: Director’s Cut, Blu-ray (2004)

by | Jun 12, 2007 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Hellboy: Director’s Cut, Blu-ray (2004)

Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor, Karel Roden, Rupert Evans, John Hurt
Directed by: Guillermo Del Toro
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Video: 1.85:1 Widescreen, 1080p HD
Audio: English and German 5.1 Uncompressed; English, French, and German Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Slovene, Turkish
Extras: Director’s audio commentary; “Hellboy: The Seeds of Creation” documentary; Three deleted scenes with optional director commentary; VFX HowTos; Make-up and lighting tests; Scott McCloud’s “Guide to Understanding Comics”; “Ghost Rider” preview
Length: 132 minutes
Rating: ****

Grigori Rasputin (who didn’t die three decades earlier) is employed by the Nazis to open a portal to hell during World War II.  During a failed attempt at opening the portal, Rasputin is killed but not before an infant half-human/half-demon crosses over from hell to Earth.  The red infant is discovered by the American military and later given the name Hellboy.  Hellboy continues to grow and develop great strength over the next sixty years, during which time he assists a secret government organization by fighting monsters and other dark forces. 

Present day followers of Rasputin revive him from the dead and he then unleashes a powerful demon called Sammael upon the world.  Hellboy’s mission is to defeat the demon Sammael and prevent Rasputin from permanently opening the portal between hell and earth.  Hellboy was directed by Guillermo Del Toro, a recipient of an Academy Award-nomination in 2007 for Pan’s Labyrinth. [The fish creature in this one appears very similar to the messenger creature in the later movie…Ed.] Del Toro’s excellence in direction is evident in this film as it has good pacing and the right combination of action and impressive special effects.  Ron Perlman is perfectly cast in the title role, bringing humor and humanity to the Hellboy character. [He has more depth and personality than any of the super heroes out there…Ed.]  Hellboy has repeat viewing quality and I recommend this film as a purchase for the science-fiction/comic book fans out there.

The HD video quality of this DVD is excellent.  Images are crisp with fine object detail.  Blacks are uniformly dark throughout the movie.  Colors are warm and vivid with nicely saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is well done with no major flaws or digital compression artifacts.  The overall audio quality is spectacular with the  uncompressed English PCM 5.1 track. The soundtrack actively incorporates all of the discrete channels into its mix.  Dialogue is natural sounding and properly positioned in the center channel.  The surround channels are aggressively utilized for sound effects and the music score, plus several split rear effects are discernable.  The low frequency effects channel is dynamic and powerful. [You may want to even turn your subwoofer(s) down a bit – they get a huge workout!…Ed.]    

 – Calvin Harding Jr. 

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