Guillermo del Toro
What really sets Hellboy aside from any other standard action flick is the way it handles its characters. Instead of just throwing tons of action scenes at us (which it does), it also allows us to connect with the film's main players, including the always brilliant John Hurt and the sexy Selma Blair. Still though, I found a few of the characters fairly one-dimensional. For example, even though I liked Myers (the good-looking FBI youngster) and Tambor (the dickhead boss), I felt the delivery of those characters was too standard and by-the-numbers to bring anything interesting to the playing field. I did however enjoy the presence of Abe Sapien (voiced by David Hyde Pierce), who although didn't contribute much to the film, was still fun to look at. Another character who I was totally hip to was the dual-blade wielding baddy. He was kicking my ass left and right with some major cutting up of scenery (get it? do ya? heh heh, I crack myself up). One of my minor beefs though is some of the CGI in the film. I was really looking forward to Blair "lighting up", but when it came to the fire, the computer generated look was way too obvious to really enjoy it. With that in mind, you can easily put that aside for the incredibly well-done graphics throughout the rest of the flick. It's still noticeably CGI, but time is really showing improvements in look and movement. I deeply feel a moment of silence is in order to Del Toro for creating such a beautiful and compelling world within Hellboy. Lets hope the sequel coming 2006 can live up to the terrific original.
Director's Cut Version of the Film - Well, this one's a "duh"! Personally, I don't think this version of the film really 'changed' much aside from making it a bit more smooth in transitioning. The big question is really, which version is better? Hmm, well, both are equally good, but I guess I'd go with this one, simply because of what accompanies it.
Audio Commentary with Guillermo Del Toro (Director's Cut exclusive) - A very welcome addition that shows off Del Toro's awesomeness. He gives many tid-bits about his background and a closer look into the movie. There are very few 'silent' bits, so we are constantly entertained by the man's ability to talk non-stop (as well as learn some neat info along the way).
Video Introduction (by Del Toro) - Basically a quick clip showing what's on the first disc. It's fun to see Del Toro as usual, but that's about it.
Composer Commentary with Isolated Score - Considering that I felt the music really enhanced the movie, this was a cool extra to check out. There are some interesting things to be said, and when he's not talking, we can really hear the music stand-out on its own ground. I never realized how dark it felt.
Branching DVD Comics drawn by Mike Mignola, with text from Del Toro - We are treated to 8 little comics with some slightly animated areas and scrolling text to give details. You can access them through an index or while watching the movie. "Right Hand of Doom" Set Visits and Factoids - Similar to the "braching comics", only a billion times cooler. We get 8 down-and-dirty looks into what goes on in a movie set, which can once again be watched with the movie or selected seperately through an index. What a great extra!
Storyboard Track (updated with hundreds of new pics for this dvd set) - A synchronized storyboard to audio version of the film. I can't imagine how much time the artists spent making these things, but it sure seems like they had a jolly-good time drawing billions of different angles. And boy do they look terrific!
DVD-Rom Features - Screenplay, Script Supervisor's Book, Director's Notebook.
Video Introduction (by Blair) - Another unnecessary intro that's fun to watch despite being pointless. After all, Selma Blair is hot (but she kinda seemed bored here).
Hellboy: The Seeds of Creation (2 1/2 hours) - Easily one of the greatest behind-the-scenes features I've ever seen. It automatically makes this DVD worth owning. We get tons of in-depth info about creating Hellboy from comic to movie, designing the real-life Hellboy, working on the visual effects, designing the sets, doing stunts, and a hell of a lot more! Friggin 'A' man!
Deleted Scenes (with optional commentary from Del Toro) - We get 3 scenes: "Breaking the Ice Wall", "Car Ride", and "Russian Warehouse". Most of them are in the extended edition, but I enjoyed listening to the commentary. Character Bios (written by Del Toro) - This comes hand-in-hand with the Filmographies, or at least it says it does. The link says "Filmographies and Cast Bios", but I couldn't find the darn things! The only thing that shows up is Filmographies.......mistake? Possibly.
Scene Progression - Strangley enough, this extra is absent from the list on the features slip-case (either that, or I'm blind). This is basically showing the stages through one of the scenes in the movie. Pretty neat.
Motion Board-A-Matics - Think storyboards, only animated. I thought it was a nice inclusion, but doesn't stray too far from the multi-angle feature.
Multi-Angle Storyboard Comparisons - This is pretty self-explanatory. Comparing storyboards and final product, simple and sweet.
Maquette Rotations Gallery - A cool look at 8 different sculptures used during filming.
Trailers and TV Spots - A number of trailers and previews to check out.
Filmographies - A list of the films the cast and production members either starred in or worked on. These used to be really common, but I haven't seen them that much recently. Poster Explorations - A very fulfilling look at different trials for Hellboy posters.
Weblink to Hellboy Merchandise - A link to a site....wahoo!!!! Previews - A bunch of trailers for other films.
Video Introduction by Ron Perlman - Take what I said about the other intros and replace the names with Ron Pearlman. Voila!
Cast Video Commentary (with Perlman, Blair, Jeffrey Tambor, and Rupert Evans) - This basically shows you not only a bunch of the cast commenting on the movie, but also shows how a commentary is made. We see the four members talking, plus a little box in the lower left hand corner containing the movie.
Visual Effects How-To's - The slipcase says "Production Workshops" as a seperate feature, but it's really both this feature and the one below. Here we get to see how they did a few of the scenes, mainly ones consisting of fire. Once again, pretty darn cool.
Make-up and Lighting Tests - They did a great job capturing the look of Hellboy, and they show how they tested it right here.
Q & A Archive: Comic-Con 2002 (with Del Toro, Mignola, and Perlman) - Watch as these three bad-boys chat about their film during a comic-con panel. To be honest, I don't know what's the point of seeing this after everything else we've been through. Still nice to have I guess.
A Quick Guide to Understanding Comics with Scott McCloud - He explains the historical aspect to comics....umm....I only read comics to laugh, so this didn't interest me too much. Director's Notebook - It sure looks cool, but it's more for looks, not to read. Now THIS would've made a nice inclusion to the dvd-set if replicated (see 'miscellaneous' to understand more clearly).
Photo Galleries - Not really something I care to much about. Mike Mignola Pre-Production Art - I love Mignola, so this was a treat for me. We get to see a bunch of art stuff you wouldn't even expect.
Conceptual Art Galleries - Very nice looking concept art. Man, this film sure had a lot of art...
Comic Book Artists Pin-Ups - This was cool. Different styles of Hellboy art representing artists' renders.
Previews - More trailers of various movies.
Miscellaneous: This beautiful looking set is presented in three slip-cases covered by a box with some nice Hellboy design art. On the slipcases, we get a list of features on each disc, plus a nifty picture of the three 'freaks' (Hellboy, Firestarter, and Sapien). But wait, there's more....well, kind of.... We get a strange inclusion here; a replicated version of Rasputin's journal made by Mike Mignola. Sort of odd (considering it isn't in the film), but still fun!
Whew! I'm spent... There you have it folks. Hours and hours of bonus material to make any Hellboy fan have a wet-dream.