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PCR # 210  (Vol. 5, No. 14)  This edition is for the week of March 29--April 4, 2004.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

 by Mike Smith
"Dawn of the Dead" review....H.G. Wells "Things to Come" (1936) on OBC....Goodbye J.J.
 by Andy Lalino
Whitewolf Games....Wizards of the Coast
 by Joshua Montgomery
The Great Battle of "We the People of the US" and Free Speech
 by Dylan Jones
Dating Sims
 by Clayton Smith
Collecting in he New Millenium - Part 2: Sports Cards
 by Brandon Jones
Scooby Doo 2....WizKids/Hero Clix
 by John Lewis
We Must End This Now!...Going Ape....Passing On....Meet The Beatles, Part 11
 by Mike Smith
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Columbia Pictures     
Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor and John Hurt
Directed by: Guillermo del Toror
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 12 mins

Batman. Superman. Spider-Man. Hellboy? The latest comic book turned movie character is one that isn't as popular as some of his comic/film counterparts. But with this film that should all change.

Much has been written about the various Nazi experiments of the 1940s. Apparently one of them was based on opening a door to another dimension in time and enlisting the aide of various demons from the past to side with Hitler. With the help of Gregori Rasputin (yes, THAT Rasputin) and Hitler's top assassin, whose constant wearing of a specialized gas mask makes him look like Darth Vader in an SS Uniform, the portal is briefly opened, resulting in a spectacle taken directly from the end of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." When the ruckus is over, and the American soldiers have arrived to save the day, all that remains is a creature mistakenly referred to as a red ape! After being bribed out of hiding with the help of a few Baby Ruth candy bars, the red ape turns out to be a small child. However, his odd features, including a tail, let us know he's not just an ordinary youngster.

Jump ahead to the present day. The celebrity television shows and tabloid newspapers are battling themselves for footage and photos of a certain entity they refer to as Hellboy. Like the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot, Hellboy is thought to be imaginary. If not, one expert suggests, why would all of the footage and photos of him be out of focus. Of course, Hellboy is real. He spends the majority of his time eating pancakes, smoking cigars and constantly filing down the devilish horns he was born with, hoping that will make him fit in. He is working for our government and the man who first offered him a Baby Ruth, a scientist he refers to as Father. Now in his 80s, Father realizes that the Nazi plan of the past has been resurrected, and that Hellboy must be the one to defeat it.

As an actor, Ron Perlman is one of those that you recognize but can't remember his name. That's because his greatest performances have been buried under tons of make up. In such films as "Star Trek: Nemesis," "Blade 2," "The Name of the Rose" and, most notably, the television series "Beauty and the Beast," Perlman did excellent work. And, like in "Beauty and the Beast," in "Hellboy" he utilizes his voice and mannerisms to his best ability. What could have been a one joke character is fully fleshed out by his performance. Like the odd kid in school who wants to fit in, Hellboy does his best to please those around him. Throwing out one liners and sporting attitude to spare, Hellboy is easily the coolest comic book hero to come along in a long time. The rest of the cast is just as good. Blair does a fine job as a former love interest who also has a secret. Tambor is his usual bumbling self as head of the FBI and it's always great to see the underrated John Hurt (Father) on screen. But it's Perlman's show and he delivers on all counts. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Hellboy"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Hellboy" is ©2004 by Mike Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2004, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.