Richard sat down with “Hellboy” star David Harbour to talk about how he prepared to play Big Red.
“Because the [Hellboy] outfit is so extraordinary, the latex mask and the body is so big, I needed something to rehearse in. They can’t apply it [for rehearsal] because it requires however many thousand dollars a day to apply that makeup. So I went to Paragon Sports in New York and made myself this homemade Hellboy outfit. I bought a wetsuit and all this hockey padding. I sewed together two big catcher shin guard things and put a hockey glove on the end of it. Then I got a wig, put some coffee cup holders for my horns, and put little weights on my face so that I could feel the tension that. It was a whole sports rig.”
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Hellboy” starring David Harbour as Big Red, the stop-motion animated “Missing Link,” the Ethan Hawke bank heist “Stockholm.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the reboot of “Hellboy” starring David Harbour as Big Red, the stop-motion animated “Missing Link,” the Ethan Hawke bank heist “Stockholm” and the kid-friendly “Mia and the White Lion” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
How does the new, rebooted “Hellboy” differ from the Guillermo Del Toro films that introduced the hell spawn character to filmgoers? The title character looks basically the same, red skin, sawed-off-horns and wise cracks his way through battles with supernatural creatures, just like the older movies. What is different is the attitude. Del Toro’s films were idiosyncratic action adventures with a supernatural twist. The new movie, directed by Neil Marshall, feels more like playing a game of Dungeons & Dragons as Judas Priest blares in the background.
This time around “Stranger Things” star David Harbour plays the wise cracking half-demon, an employee of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.), an organization founded by his adopted father (Ian McShane) to combat various occult threats. Several battles with undead English giants, a vampiric Lucha libre wrestler and a massive, angry pigman lead him to the world’s biggest threat, Nimue the Blood Queen, played by Milla Jovovich. From her Big Red learns of his true origins as she tries to convince him to embrace the dark side and help her bring on the apocalypse.
“Hellboy” Mach 3 feels more down-and-dirty than the other films. It plays up the “boy” part of Big Red’s name as he comes of age. He’s a motor mouth with a devil-may-care attitude. “I met [Egyptian deity] Ra once in the underworld,” he says. “He was a close talker.” Beneath the bluster—and his giant stone arm—however, is a more complicated guy, someone born a monster with noble aspirations. Covered in layers of make-up, Harbour hits the right mix of smart aleck and conflicted guy, giving the character an aura that falls somewhere between grandeur and silliness, superhero and supernaturalhero.
But the movie is not all Sturm und Drang. Marshall makes sure Big Red is frequently raising hell and often covered in buckets of blood. “Hellboy” gory and grimy, loud and proud, more horror than fantasy. It’s fun, if a little wearing after the ninety-minute mark.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the reboot of “Hellboy” starring David Harbour as Big Red, the stop-motion animated “Missing Link,” the Ethan Hawke bank heist “Stockholm” and the kid-friendly animal flick “Mia and the White Lion.”
From the Edmonton Prime Times: “A year or so ago moviefone.com asked, ‘Is April the new October?’ Their question had nothing to do with a change in the weather or the fact that April is the seasonal equivalent of October in the Southern Hemisphere but with the number of horror films set be released in the fourth month of the year. Perhaps it’s the relentless rain or maybe it’s because taxes are due but April is now the most terrifying month on the calendar, in the theatres anyway…” Read the whole thing HERE!
Few modern directors raise the hair on the back of your neck like Guillermo del Toro. From the eerie Pale Man character in Pan’s Labyrinth to the deadly mechanical scarab of Cronos, he has trained viewers to expect the unexpected.
His latest, Crimson Peak, is a spooky thriller starring Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston that del Toro describes as an “almost classical gothic romance ghost story,” before adding, “it has two or three scenes that are really, really disturbing in a very, very modern way.” Also expect a fest for the eyes. “I’m not giving you eye candy,” he says. “It’s eye protein.”
Films like Pacific Rim, The Devil’s Backbone and Hellboy have made del Toro a fan favourite but for every film he makes there is Internet buzz about the movies he didn’t make.
“I’m famous for the ones I turned down,” he told me a few years ago in a candid conversation on my radio show.
Indeed a quick Google search reveals a list of hit films he said no to.
The script for Se7en came his way but was judged to be too cynical for del Toro’s tastes. Horror hits Blade: Trinity and AVP: Alien vs. Predator went to directors David S. Goyer and Paul W.S. Anderson respectively when Guillermo declined because he was too busy getting his version of Hellboy to the screen.
I asked him about that period. “To get Hellboy made you turned down…” “A lot,” he said, finishing my sentence.
More recently he walked away from The Hobbit, a decision he called “extremely painful,” and took a rain check on Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens because “basically I have so much stuff already of my own, and I’m pursuing stuff that I’m generating already.”
One project has kept the del Toro fan base purring for years, a proposed version of Frankenstein.
“This is the one that I pursue and drop. It’s daunting. This is the most important story in the history of narrative. The most important book in my life is Frankenstein and the most important movie is James Whale’s Frankenstein.
“It’s like that girl you have been dating for 35 years and you can’t say, ‘Would you marry me?’
“I read the book and realized nobody has done the book. It is amazing to me that nobody has done the emotions that are in the book. The way I want to treat the one I do is not to be slavish to the book but create the same effect the book has which is the incredible journey of the creature.”
I ask if he has any second thoughts about the films he turned down.
“Every movie I have left behind or not done I don’t regret at all but there’s one that I can’t help but wonder (about), Prisoner of Azkaban. I really loved the books. I don’t love all the movies but at that stage I saw the first two movies and they were a little too happy for me. I thought, ‘Do I really want to go on and try to change the entire universe like that?’”
The job of directing the third Harry Potter movie eventually went to one of del Toro’s friends, Alfonso Cuarón. “When I saw that movie I told Alfonso, ‘I love you and I hate you. You made a great movie.’ That’s the only one that went away that I will always wonder about.”
I own a lot of DVDs and Blu Rays. In fact, if you poke around the closets, drawers and hidden nooks of my house you’ll uncover old VHS videos and a handful of laser discs as well.
Trouble is, I rarely ever watch them. Given my line of work as a film critic I like having instant access to my favorite movies, but until the day comes when I can erect a giant screen in the den and have 50 people over to watch them with me, my preferred way to see a film will always be in the cinema, surrounded by strangers.
I love a big picture, big sound and hearing the reactions from an audience. There is no better sound than 500 people laughing at the same thing, or a few hundred gasping simultaneously in horror. Movies bring us together and, for my money, are best experienced in large groups.
So, when Cineplex asked me to help program the Great Digital Film Festival I was thrilled. Instead of rooting through dusty piles of DVDs to see some of my favorite films I now have the chance to see them the way they were meant to be seen, on the big screen.
To choose the films programmer Matt DeVuono and I asked ourselves one question, What movies would we like to see again on the big screen? Seems easy, but we’re both film geeks and the list quickly got unwieldy. We pared it down, looking for connections and anniversaries in amongst all the cool titles we had chosen. Eventually we had a list that included everything from all the X-Men movies, to retro cult hits like The Rocketeer and The Monster Squad, and a twofer from Guillermo Del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy. We also programmed 25th anniversary screenings of Darkman and Dick Tracy, Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2, and for sci fi fans, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Alien and Aliens.
Another of the great pleasures of helping to put this together was the chance to sit and speak, exclusively, to Guillermo Del Toro about the making of Pan’s Labyrinth. It is a beautiful film and he was very open and honest about the challenges of bringing his vision to the screen. That interview will run just before the movie on the Monday and Thursday of the festival.
The Great Digital Film Festival is the country’s only national film festival, but more than that, it’s a way to reconnect and remember why we loved these movies in the first place.
Cineplex’s Great Digital Film Festival is on right now at 26 theatres across Canada. Check out pristine prints of sic fi, horror and genre favourites like The Monster Squad, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Darkman, Dick Tracy, Alien, Aliens, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2 and much more! Find out details HERE!
As an added bonus at screenings of The Monster Squad, Darkman, Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2, Dick Tracy, Richard will introduce the movies on the big screen! The Monday February 2 and Thursday February 5 screenings of Pan’s Labyrinth will feature Richard’s exclusive interview with director Guillermo Del Toro on the making of the film!