#1  
Old 02-18-2007, 05:28 PM
PAN'S LABYRINTH

For me, the great thing about the winter – besides Christmas – is that this is the time of year when we finally get to see some of the very best films. In October we got The Departed and The Prestige. In November we got Babel, Stranger than Fiction and The Fountain. And this December we got Apocalypto, Children of Men and this film; Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, which is yet again, another great film, and in my opinion one of my favorite films of the year. I know I've been saying that a lot this time of year, but it's so true. This is the last great film to what I have considered to be a relatively good year for movies. This year's Oscars are going to a very close race, and as I see it Pan's Labyrinth has already won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year. I shall accept nothing less; my mind is already made up.

In this dark, unique picture; part war-time drama and part horror/fantasy, set in 1944, during a Civil War in Northern Spain, it tells a story about a 12-year-old girl, Ofelia (played wonderfully by the young Ivana Baquero), who moves with her pregnant mother and new stepfather into a new home in the countryside. Her stepfather is Captain Vidal, played with a truly evil presence by Sergi Lopez, has been sent to this remote area to rid it of a small Republican militia. Disliked by the sadistic Vidal (who might as well be Hitler himself), Ofelia buries herself in fairy tales, and discovers an immense and ancient labyrinth guarded by a faun named Pan. He tells her that she is the long-lost daughter of the king of a magical underworld, and to regain entry to her kingdom she must carry out three tasks. So Ofelia enters a strange and no less dangerous world of fairies and extraordinary creatures to complete her tasks.

Director Guillermo Del Toro, whose largely known for such popcorn movies as Mimic, Blade II and 2004's underrated comic book smash-up Hellboy, is at the top of his game and taking a step forward; growing as a filmmaker. The film is both visually imaginative and brutally violent, and sometimes it's not always easy to watch, but Del Toro mezmerizes you so much you can't look away, even when you'd like to. This is a fantasy film where you don't just go to admire the visuals and fantastical elements that are on display, it's also a deeply emotional and sad film with real flesh and blood characters. At the heart of the film is a great performance from Spanish born actress Ivana Baquero, who delivers I think one of the best performances from anyone her age. This Labyrinth most certainly isn't a film for children. Pan's Labyrinth is rated a strong R for graphic violence, and is in Spanish with English subtitles (don't be a pussy, you can do it!). And for it's entire two hour running time I was instantly swept away with Del Toro's uncompromised vision seen through the eyes of an innocent child and I was left heart broken by it's tragic finale, and it moved me to tears. This is one of the best films of the year, and for filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro it is without doubt the finest film of his career. A true masterpiece. I was left stunned and utterly speechless.


10 / 10
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2007, 08:08 PM
SPOILERS*





Pan's Labyrinth is a hard film for me to review, not because it wasn't well done but because of the content in the film. The story about a little girl and her mother entangled in the conflict of the Spanish Civil War is fairly engrossing combined with the fantasy elements of the film. Everything about the film was compelling, especially the music, which embodied a haunting quality. However....I had a problem when it came to the graphic visuals used in the film. The film effectively makes use of the violence and grisly images, but to me it was just too effective. Certain shots, like when the captain gets his cheek sliced for instance, are uncomfortably engraved into my mind. The film as a whole made me feel very uncomfortable with certain bits of its imagery. When the end of the film had arrived I felt the resolve satisfied the plot, but I still felt terrible about everything that had happened to the characters. This film was masterfully crafted, but I have no desire to revisit it.

story/music/directing/visuals/etc.-8/10
personal enjoyment- 3/10
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2007, 11:43 AM
I, personally, felt this was the best film of the year
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2007, 01:58 PM
Beautiful movie. Tied with United 93 for my fave 2006 film.

10/10
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  #5  
Old 05-08-2007, 02:48 PM
amazing film, easily my favourite film of 2006, the cast is excellent, the characters and plot are very detailed and fully engaged my interest from the opening credits to closing credits. the sets and creature designs are wonderful to look at and the direction is absolutely brilliant. further cements Del Toro as one of my favourite directors...also just gets better on a second viewing

10/10
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2007, 02:39 PM
i thought the film was visually stunning and all together phenominal. I was very surprised and I enjoyed everything about it
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2007, 01:56 PM
My only complaint was that the little girl didn't spend enough time in the fantastical world. Other than that it's a very good film. I'll def. be picking this up next Tues..
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  #8  
Old 05-14-2007, 04:39 PM
I gotta say this was the best movie of 2006.
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  #9  
Old 05-31-2007, 01:51 AM
Totally different than what I expected going in, full of heart, hauntingly beautiful cinematography, spot on acting, and the fact that it was in another language didn't take away from anything. I expected Alice in Wonderland, I got a war story from a little girl's viewpoint, and it worked out great. 9/10
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2007, 09:10 AM
A beautiful, beautiful film. Very moving and engaging. One of the very few times that I really became invested in characters in film. I really felt for the poor girl and my heart was squeezed tight throughout the whole movie.

Needless to say, the visuals where astounding, the acting great and the story absorbing. As much as I liked Blood Diamond and The Departed, this one is simply my favorite of the bunch.

I will definitly be getting the DVD.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2007, 08:20 PM
In my top three from 2006; I loved the story and how well del Toro mixed reality with fantasy. A modern masterpiece that got screwed at the Oscars (in the Foreign Film category).

8/10
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2007, 12:24 AM
Pan's labyrinth was a visually stunning, well written film. I loved how the young girl's fairy tale world paralelled with the horrible things going on in the real world. I loved this film from the first scene to it's tear-jerking end.

**** out of 4 stars
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  #13  
Old 07-01-2007, 02:27 PM
#5 on my top ten of 2006.

http://www.joblo.com/forums/showthre...hreadid=111824

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  #14  
Old 07-14-2007, 07:49 PM



Pan's Labyrinth - 8/10

Guillermo del Toro's touching film about the power of innocence over evil was so much more than meets the eye.

Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is a young girl living in a war-torn Spain in 1944. Her mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil) has just remarried to a brutal captain of Spain's army (played amazingly well by Sergi López) and with her mother, have relocated to a small town in the country side, where a battle has been raging with nearby rebels fighting against the Spanish Army. On her first day there, Ofelia encounters what she believes to be a fairy, and over time, this fairy guides her to a labyrinth near the mill where she lives where she meets the Faun (Doug Jones). The Faun (aka Pan) tells her that she is, in a matter of speaking, the reincarnated spirit of a princess of a long-lost kingdom. In order for her to return, she must pass three tests to prove herself worthy of being by her father's side again. All the while, the battle between the Army and the rebels continues to get worse and worse, and Ofelia's mother, pregnant with a child, is getting more and more sick as the film progresses. Ofelia has to make the choice of whether or not she can complete the tasks without forsaking her mother.

I am a huge fan of fantasy films...usually. I love fantasy type films that either A) immerse you completely into a world that does not exist but is so complete and so amazing that you can believe it does (IE: Lord of the Rings) or B) fantasy films that have a combination of fantasy and realism, much like this film. One of the greatest aspects about Pans Labyrinth is that del Toro let you decide whether or not what Ofelia was seeing and doing was real. There were equal arguments made on both sides of the story that could support that either Ofelia just has a very powerful imagination or that the long-lost Kingdom did exist and the cast of magical characters were real. The film was done in a very realistic manner, giving it a lot of believability and depth. Having the war as a backdrop and showing a protagonist like Vidal made you root for Ofelia and truly feel her pain as she tried to escape such a brutal time. There wasn't a lot about this film that I did not like. The acting was incredible, especially by little Ivana Baquero, who pulled the weight of the entire film, and Sergi López, who brought a whole new meaning to the word evil. The writing, directing, cinematography, and especially Javier Navarrete's score only added more to the overall beauty of this film.

I'm upset that I waited this long to see it. Like Apocalypto, it was one of those films that came highly regarded, and I always feel apprehensive when seeing a movie that was so well received by critics and others in the filmmaking world, because I usually don't have the same taste. However, Pans Labyrinth did not disappoint and was a very touching film.
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  #15  
Old 07-15-2007, 12:59 PM

Okay guys. All of your ranting and raving has convinced me to go see the film. I may even go buy it next weekend. I will say it does look visually stunning from the few pictures I have seen. Well thats all for now GOoD JOURNEY my fellow schmoes.
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  #16  
Old 07-15-2007, 02:41 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by teenkiller
Okay guys. All of your ranting and raving has convinced me to go see the film. I may even go buy it next weekend. I will say it does look visually stunning from the few pictures I have seen. Well thats all for now GOoD JOURNEY my fellow schmoes.
I'd say it's a safe blind buy. It really was fucking amazing.
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  #17  
Old 07-15-2007, 04:05 PM

Okay I'm sold. Besides I need SOMETHING to watch while awaiting THE SIMPSONS movie. Next weekend it is... Well thats all for now GOoD JOURNEY my fellow schmoes.
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  #18  
Old 07-15-2007, 11:07 PM

Okay so I'm hanging with my friend a couple of hours ago and he starts telling me about this awesome movie that he bought called, you guessed it, Pan's Labyrinth. Now I'm just being fucked with. I'm REALLY looking forward to this one now... Well thats all for now GOoD JOURNEY my fellow schmoes.
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  #19  
Old 07-16-2007, 12:03 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by teenkiller
Okay so I'm hanging with my friend a couple of hours ago and he starts telling me about this awesome movie that he bought called, you guessed it, Pan's Labyrinth. Now I'm just being fucked with. I'm REALLY looking forward to this one now... Well thats all for now GOoD JOURNEY my fellow schmoes.
Lol. I was controlling your friend's mind to make him tell you about it. Call me Xavier!
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  #20  
Old 07-16-2007, 12:20 AM

DAMN YOU CHARLES YOU BASTARD!! You didn't have to mind control my friend you know. You could have just slipped me a subliminal message or something. Well thats all for now GOoD JOURNEY my fellow schmoes.
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  #21  
Old 07-16-2007, 04:02 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by teenkiller
DAMN YOU CHARLES YOU BASTARD!! You didn't have to mind control my friend you know. You could have just slipped me a subliminal message or something. Well thats all for now GOoD JOURNEY my fellow schmoes.
But it was so much fun to see the look on your face and the realization in your eyes when he mentioned Pans Labyrinth. I could tell that you were wondering "is this a coincidence?" No, my friend, it wasn't!
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  #22  
Old 07-22-2007, 04:05 PM

Well I went to the store today and checked on Pan's Labyrinth but unfortunately it was on sale for $26.99. As much as I would like to see it I'm just not going to be shelling out $30 for it. I wouldn't even do that for most movies that I KNOW I like. Well thats all for now GOoD JOURNEY my fellow schmoes.
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  #23  
Old 07-22-2007, 05:05 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by teenkiller
Well I went to the store today and checked on Pan's Labyrinth but unfortunately it was on sale for $26.99. As much as I would like to see it I'm just not going to be shelling out $30 for it. I wouldn't even do that for most movies that I KNOW I like. Well thats all for now GOoD JOURNEY my fellow schmoes.
It was on sale for $30? Good god, man! No, that's a bit too much, like you said. Well, see if you can't find someone who owns it and borrow it, or go rent it!
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  #24  
Old 08-24-2007, 05:46 PM
I know I stated that I would never revisit the film in my initial review, but I was curious to see if my opinion would change on a second viewing. I enjoyed it a ton more than I previously did, perhaps on the first viewing I was in some sort of weird mood. Definitely one of the best films of the year.
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  #25  
Old 08-27-2007, 07:03 PM
Great movie. Probably last year's best film behind The Departed.
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  #26  
Old 09-22-2007, 04:46 PM
A fine movie yes, though the ending was surely the weakest link. The golden halls and stuff just didn't fit into the film's stylish, dark athmosphere. A bit cheesy at times but in the other hand, all fairytales are - 8/10
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  #27  
Old 11-11-2007, 11:12 AM
Took me a while to actually watch this film but when i sat down and did. I was amazed by it.

It's an absolutely beautiful film. But tell me, did it not win best foreign film? Because I myself thought it should have been nominated in Best Picture, full stop. Best film of 2006. Without a doubt.
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  #28  
Old 11-12-2007, 12:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahayzer View Post

It's an absolutely beautiful film. But tell me, did it not win best foreign film? Because I myself thought it should have been nominated in Best Picture, full stop. Best film of 2006. Without a doubt.

It did not win best foreign language film. The Lives of Others won instead.
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  #29  
Old 11-12-2007, 07:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahayzer View Post
Took me a while to actually watch this film but when i sat down and did. I was amazed by it.

It's an absolutely beautiful film. But tell me, did it not win best foreign film? Because I myself thought it should have been nominated in Best Picture, full stop. Best film of 2006. Without a doubt.
It was as I love movies stated Lives of other that won, which is also a fantastic film too.
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  #30  
Old 11-12-2007, 01:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cermond View Post
A fine movie yes, though the ending was surely the weakest link. The golden halls and stuff just didn't fit into the film's stylish, dark athmosphere. A bit cheesy at times but in the other hand, all fairytales are - 8/10
I agree, the fairy tale kingdom could've been scaled down a lot more -- I found it not unlike the stylish universe of the Star Wars earlier episodes compared to the roughed-over one of the latter movies. It made sense that the kingdom (and Faun) was restored with the coming/return of Ofelia, but it seemed too much compared to the crumbling beauty of the rest of the movie.
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  #31  
Old 11-12-2007, 05:29 PM
it was #3 for me in 2006, i had never been so mezmorized by a story. and the evil general guy? talk about top notch acting gone unnoticed.

10/10

(i also liked it much better than Lives of Others, which did win)
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  #32  
Old 11-14-2007, 08:24 AM
Such a good year at the movies.

9/10 as it now stands.

PANS, THE FOUNTAIN, V FOR VENDETTA, and CHILDREN OF MEN, were by far and away my favorite movies i saw last year.
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  #33  
Old 11-14-2007, 08:26 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemovies View Post
It did not win best foreign language film. The Lives of Others won instead.
BOOOOO!

I thought Pans was much better and actualy thought it had won.
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  #34  
Old 11-14-2007, 02:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemovies View Post
It did not win best foreign language film. The Lives of Others won instead.
Pan's losing to Lives is just another of the jokes for that Academy Awards.
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  #35  
Old 06-17-2008, 02:10 AM
Just an absolutely beautiful movie.
This film's creativity & emotion are elegantly entwined in a manner that blurs the barrier between the "real" world & the fantasy dimension, almost beyond physical distinction.
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  #36  
Old 12-08-2008, 11:06 AM
Pan's Labyrinth provides an interesting insight into an Alice-like girl's escapism during a time of war. 6/10.

A wonderful idea, but there were too many gievances I had with it.

Some stunningly beautiful creations, such as Pan and Pale Man, are unfortunately let down by various eye-sores, particularly a poorly created Giant Toad.

There's also the politics to contend with, the films left-wing bias will likely be a hindrance to some viewer's enjoyment.

One area I find no fault with is the acting. Ivan Baquero is excellent as Ofelia. But it is Sergi Lopez who steals the show. It is in the scenes they share together which provide the film with its best and most thrilling moments.

Last edited by Leonidas.300; 12-08-2008 at 11:10 AM..
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  #37  
Old 12-10-2008, 07:11 AM
I love this genre... did not like this film... perhaps my expectations were too high.

It had some nice moments with the girl and the mother, and it was beautiful visually, the monsters were scary etc....

But I was still let down.
5.5/10

Last edited by Major Mojo; 12-10-2008 at 07:13 AM..
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  #38  
Old 12-10-2008, 11:08 AM
One of 2006's very best. It should've won Best Foreign Language Film without a doubt. The Lives of Others was mediocre.
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  #39  
Old 01-13-2009, 03:24 PM
I waited a long time to see this, because I really didn't think that I would like it, boy was I wrong, it was so good, I loved it, it was nothing like I thought. highly, highly recommend this. 9/10
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  #40  
Old 01-15-2009, 11:04 AM
I just watched this over the Summer, and loved it. Personally, it's my all-time favorite fantasy film. There is definitelly some mucho messed up imagery, and great writing. I recommend this to any fans of the fantasy genre, the visuals are just astounding.
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