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July 04, 2022

A Weekend with Hellboy and Mamma: Movie Reviews

By Lydia Manx

Hellboy II : The Golden Army

This weekend I was determined to see at least one of the summer blockbusters before they went to DVD. As I get older it seems like the movies hit the stores before I even realize they aren't playing locally. So after work on Friday I stopped by Costco and picked up some passes. I can't rationalize the obscene gas prices much less the utterly bizarre movie prices but I can soften the blow with two tickets for twelve dollars and change. Yeah, I can be cheap. After all, I even put a bottle of water in my purse because somehow paying nearly three dollars for water is beyond wrong. My nephew picked the movie because he has to be good for something.

He was going to drive but when he pulled out a sandy surfboard from the front seat I said, "Hell, no. Get in the car." Besides my air-conditioning works all the time not just when the windows are all down and he's driving ninety miles an hour.

He took advantage of Starbucks free Orange Mango Banana protein drink offer Friday and Saturday. Anyone with an active Starbucks card could get complimentary drink. I passed.

I'd seen Hellboy and have the DVD somewhere in a stack of movies but didn't watch it recently. Naturally we were teased with fifteen minutes of trailers. He text messaged various titles to himself so he'd remember to look them up when he got home. I sat back and waited for the air conditioning to kick in. That was the other reason I thought a movie would be nice. Humidity a tad high and temperatures not much better it seemed like a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

First thing I liked about the movie was the visual impact. Big screen aside there was tons going on to watch and study. I'd already seen the director, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth earlier this year and wanted more. I picked out the bits and pieces I want to see again once I buy the DVD and just sat back and watched the movie.

I want the book Hellboy's daddy, played by John Hurt, was reading to Hellboy in the beginning. I collected fairytale books on and off for years and really think I need it to complete my collection. Ron Perlman has the character down well I forget how much makeup he has to be wearing. The story didn't always go where I thought it would but still kept to the basic formula. Luke Goss played the villain well and I was pleased to see the pretty boy's platinum locks fly as his character did some amazing moves.

The movie was only rated PG-13 for some language, violence, sci-fi action. I guess sci-fi action is scary but not overly scary? I thought it was pretty graphic but since it was only blood and guts it must have been deemed okay. There were some goofy bits like the nod to romantic love songs. I won't spoil but I wanted an adult beverage. The best lines came when Hellboy handed Abe Sapien a beer. Abe quite properly replied, "Oh, my body's a temple." To which Hellboy answered with, "Now it's an amusement park."

Not an earth-shattering movie but I really enjoyed it. Now the next one up today is supposed to be Mama Mia. Stay tuned and if I last I will give my take on it!

Mamma Mia

Oh my momma! I am not a huge fan of musicals as a rule. I was spoiled having enjoyed my first Broadway play actually in New York. Broadway plays were certainly not what I expected. I'd done plays in high school and gone to things here on the 'left' coast so when I saw my first run Broadway play I was a tad surprised. Theatres in New York were dirty, crammed into old buildings and the smell of old musty people and fears. Then the house lights dropped and the magic began. Stage actors work their craft and cause the audience to be pulled into another world.

Even getting to the play was a treat. My boyfriend taught me in New York there were a few rules. Never carry all your money in one place. Have a spare twenty for 'mugging money' in a different pocket. When riding the subways only go with him because he didn't want to have to put my picture up on milk cartons. And most importantly when hailing a cab only accept rides from the large checker cabs. Thus I went to see plays dressed nicely after having had a delicious dinner, usually in Little Italy, nestled next to my man in the back of a giant cab. Then I'd wander inside avoiding the old oddly shaped stains I convinced myself had to be coffee stains, right?

Today I drove in and parked, missing the yellow cab, and then waited out front to meet up with my friend and her daughter. We'd made arrangements to go to the 5:45 show. I was there early and waiting. The crowds wandering were nothing like on Broadway but scary in their own way.

Driving skills seem to disappear once you clear seventy and are driving cars in the 75,000 to 90,000 dollar range. And those pesky red painted curbs that mean fire lane to the rest of us -- don't apply anymore than the octagonal shaped red sign with the big word STOP in white. Obviously age and money render both normal traffic rules null and void. The four or five near crashes made me rethink where I was sitting when my friend arrived. She'd nearly got hit head on by one of the bad drivers. Then we started noticing the parade of Botox faced women. Plucked, pulled and chemically enhanced as needed and often. Eight movies or so to choose from we didn't bother to check we knew they were going to Mamma Mia.

I had heard the sound track a few weeks ago when with my niece. It didn't prepare me for Pierce Brosnan's musical ah...attempts? I later found out from my dad that his wife and kids had encouraged him to have voice lessons. I shudder to think how he sounded before the work. Every time he broke out in song my friend and I broke up. Thankfully the couple behind us found it as funny as us.

Christine Baranski played one of my favorite characters. She was Tanya a thrice married and divorced lady with some serious plastic surgery done. While busy with the lotions and potions she lovingly slathered she admitted it was just to be able to drink before eleven am. Again my little section found that pretty darn funny. I think Botox prevents women of a certain age from laughing with us. It couldn't have been that they didn't find it funny. And don't miss that Ms. Baranski showed her moves and danced her ass off. Any woman with four feet of legs, it seemed, who can kick a leg over her head with little effort has my respect. Her tan was deep and her laughter contagious.

Meryl Streep plays her role well. I appreciated the humor and was surprised by her voice. She brought the role to the big screen well. Her competition was the scenery. I wasn't shuffling in my theatre seat trying to wonder if the building had rats like in the Broadway productions but glued to watching the blue skies steal scenes with the ocean and rugged Greek coastlines. I was compelled to find out where it was so lush and scenic. Skopelos is off the coast of mainland Greece in the Aegean Sea. Naturally part of the beauty comes with the fact there's no airport but an hour long ferry ride from Skiathos.

The entire cast had a golden tan and a glow about them while they danced and sang through the movie. We didn't stay for all the credits but ducked out to get out of the parking lot stock car derby. Both of us weren't quite sure of what we thought. Her daughter loved it and will probably buy the soundtrack. I probably laughed in all the wrong parts but overall it was a musical. Give me Hellboy any day.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2008-07-28
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