Jul 162019
 

Hellboy is just another movie with too many cooks in the kitchen although I’m not entirely sure even if Neil Marshall had full autonomy this would’ve been all that better of a movie anyway.

 

 

Hellboy
(2019)

Genre(s): Horror, Fantasy, Action
Lionsgate | R – 121 min. – $44.95 | July 23, 2019

Date Published: 07/16/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Neil Marshall
Writer(s): Mike Mignola (comic book); Andrew Cosby (screenplay)
Cast: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim, Thomas Haden Church


DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Pre-Visualizations
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2


Audio (4K/BD): English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C


Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 1.5/5


Plot Synopsis: The story finds Hellboy (DAVID HARBOUR), working with the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.) headed by his father, Professor Broom (IAN MCSHANE). Their latest assignment finds them on the trail of evil forces attempting to re-assemble ancient sorceress Nimue aka The Blood Queen (MILLA JOVOVICH) who was dismembered and body parts placed all over the world by King Arthur and Merlin. If she is put back together, all sorts of wretched evil will be placed on the world in the form of a deadly plague. Along the way, Hellboy joins forces with a psychic/telepath named Alice (SASHA LANE) and British paranormal agent Major Ben Daimio (DANIEL DAE KIM).

Review: Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, every other studio has attempted to develop their own comic book inspired Universe, the biggest of course was Warner Brother’s DC which was met with much disappointment, even I personally liked those movies… for the most part. Lionsgate decided to re-launch the Hellboy property where the first two movies were met with modest success, though not enough for a single studio to keep it (Sony released the first, Universal the second). So, now we get Hellboy 2019, a movie with plenty of rumored behind-the-scenes turmoil however the while the final product was poor, can’t say even a smoothly run production would’ve made for that much better of a movie.

It’s been a while since I last watched either of Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy movies but remember enjoying the first while finding the sequel to be at best lackluster. As I mentioned, with the rash of superhero movies, it’s probably not a big surprise Hellboy would get another look yet still, even by Hollywood standards, felt unnecessary. I went into this version with fairly low expectations and can say, those were pretty well met. My first impression was the movie was just downright dull, with zero energy and utterly soulless. Not once I could see why this movie needed to exist, but beyond that, didn’t hold very much entertainment value.

The plot in and of itself was okay and the acting at least was serviceable, although star David Harbour, and it’s hard not to make the comparison, was not even remotely close to possessing the charisma that Ron Perlman brought to the role, something discernible despite being caked in make-up and prosthetics. Having said that, and I suppose if Perlman never played the part before, Harbour did a satisfactory enough job, going up against a poorly written script — Andrew Cosby (feature film debut but also created Syfy series, Eureka) is the solely credited writer, but there were plenty of other hands involved.

The supporting cast was alright. Ian McShane I feel was solid as Professor Broom, bringing a different take compared with that of John Hurt; rising star Sasha Lane (American Honey) has a few okay sequences as the clairvoyant with the ability where the recently deceased can speak through her; and Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-O) served well as a government agent with a monster hiding inside. Together they made for an okay core of the B.P.R.D. that the studio had hoped would continue on for at least a sequel (even teasing Abe Sapien at the end).

I would say it’s a shame this didn’t work out or even that were was some potential, but frankly there wasn’t. Directed by Neil Marshall, albeit perhaps in credit only, Hellboy is an ugly looking movie where Guillermo Del Toro’s talents and style were sorely missing. Is it the worst superhero movie or even the worst of 2019? Absolutely not (see Batman & Robin or Superman IV), but it was poorly produced with 3-4 viewpoints (the age old too many cooks in the kitchen) where anyone could see Hellboy was D.O.A.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.25/5


This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is the redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Tales of the Wild Hunt: Hellboy Reborn (1:11:28) is a 3-part making-of documentary (The Forever Warriors: Story and Characters, Ye Gods and Devils: Creatures and Gear, Rise of the Blood Queen: Production) featuring interviews with the cast and filmmakers (suspiciously missing is Neill Marshall) alongside some behind-the-scenes footage. Unsurprisingly sanitized with no mentioning of any potential conflicts behind the camera…

Deleted Scenes (7:56) – Here we get three scenes that, for one reason or another, were eliminated. The movie was long enough as it was, so not sad to see these gone.

Previsualization (7:18) is a compilation of three key scene comparisons of the pre-viz.

 


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 4.75/5


Lionsgate releases Hellboy onto the 4K Ultra HD format, along with the included Blu-ray, presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfers, respectively. Although this is a darkly lit movie, and is dark in tone in general, it is still pretty impressive, detail is sharp throughout in both the close-ups and background objects, blacks were stark without appearing crushed and aided by the HDR, there was a nice boost to the colors, particularly noticeable in the reds on Hellboy himself.

AUDIO – 4.5/5


The movie includes a boisterous Dolby Atmos track. The bulk of the movie does give the front and rear channels a fine workout and although I can’t say it’s the best sounding amongst the Atmos or DTS:X tracks I’ve come across, it’s certainly effective. Dialogue comes out with nice clarity and the action sequences set off the LFE channels giving the floor a good rumble across the floor and walls.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Hellboy is just another movie with too many cooks in the kitchen although I’m not entirely sure even if Neil Marshall had full autonomy this would’ve been all that better of a movie anyway. That said, while Harbour doesn’t hold a candle to Perlman’s version, there was some potential there, shame the script and behind-the-scenes drama didn’t help. This 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo pack offers up great video/audio transfers as the bonus features were well put together.

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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