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on 22 November 2012
DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE AMAZON DESCRIPTION. This steelbook IS region free. It was listed as such during during pre-order period but amazon changed description to B/2 a few days before release for some asinine reason and practically gave me a heart attack. ABC region free symbol is visible on back cover and on the disc. I live in region 1 and it plays fine.

run time is labeled incorrectly as well. this is the director's cut - 132 min.
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on 27 October 2004
When I first read about Hellboy I was a little unsure about the concept, don't get me wrong, I have a particular fascination for movies based on comic characters - especially Marvell comic characters, though being honest I'd never even heard of Hellboy, and based on what I'd read about the character; a red being/creature with one big stone hand/fist and a red pointed tail who, as a child was transported from another dimension (or hell if you like) during a Nazi experiment and is then captured and raised by a secret CIA type organisation and trained to fight evil in return for sanctuary just sounded a little too much for me. However, when I discovered that Ron Perlman (Blade2, Alien Resurrection) had been cast for the part of Hellboy, I decided to give it a watch, and I'm glad I did, it's brilliant!
Ron Perlman is a fine actor, and is brilliant as Hellboy. His fantastic deep rich voice and dry sarcastic wit combined with his cool facial expressions just bring the character to life in a way I don't think anyone else could... Ron Perlman IS Hellboy; He was made for the part!
The story/plot is pretty much standard fair; an evil adversary (Rasputin!) is planning to open a portal to hell and bring civilisation as we know it to an end, and yep you guessed it, Hellboy has to stop him. However, this evil enemy is also not of this earth and has the power to summon all manner of mythical creatures etc to help him achieve his goal; consequently the film is awash with all manner of high quality special effects and CGI, which only adds to this films appeal.
Definitely recommended, I loved it, I'm sure you will too.
Hellboy 2 is already underway; I just hope it's as enjoyable as this.
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2004
Yet another comic book adaptation comes to the silver screen, this time in the form of Hellboy. But this is different. Firstly the comic from which this originates is not that well known (I'd never heard of it before this movie came out), certainly when compared to Spiderman, X men etc. Secondly its main protagonist is not a human/mutant with deep psychological issues but a demon raised by humans, which helps put those nurture vs. nature arguments to bed.
In 1944 those pesky Nazis are looking to turn the tide of the war by utilising the powers of the occult. In case you're thinking this all a bit unlikely it's well documented that both Hitler and Himmler were interested in the occult and did indeed explore it as way of defeating the Allies. In cahoots with Rasputin for reasons that are never explained they attempt to open a trans-dimensional portal so hell can be unleashed on earth but their plan is foiled by an American Platoon (Surprise surprise) in conjunction with a paranormal expert Professor Bloom and all that passes through is a baby demon boy. This boy is raised as his own son by Professor Bloom and they both end up working at the top secret Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence. But Rasputin isn't finished yet and he returns 60 years later trailing fiendish minions and slobbering hell beasts in order to re-instigate his original plan. It's up to the Bureau to find a way to stop him. Fortunately help is at hand in the form of a psychic man -fish and a pyrotechnic woman who Hellboy..ahem has the hots for.
If all this sounds a bit silly, well it is, but then so is Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. This is in fact a supremely stylish film, entertaining, with a terrific central character. The real coup was made in the casting of Hellboy. Ron Perlman is a very under-rated actor and brings a cynical humanity to the character of Hellboy. Perlman radiates a visible personality through the makeup, making this unlikely hero the most believable part of the movie. In truth he acts every one else off the screen. Apart from John Hurt as the elderly Prof Bloom, who brings genuine gravitas and elderly insouciance to his role? Selma Blair is a little bland as the love interest Liz. Rupert Evans as Hellboys F.B.I. Minder Myers isn't given enough to do apart from stir up Hellboys carnal desires for Liz. Abe Sapien the man -fish is rather bizarrely voiced by David Hyde Pierce and his origin is never sufficiently explained. (The man -fish, not Hyde Pierce)
The production design is stunning throughout. And director Guillermo del Torro clearly has an eye for this type of dark fantasy . Apparently he turned down the latest Potter movie to make Hellboy. Good for him. MInor gripes could be made about the array of rather one dimensional foe Hellboys has to deal with. Multiple slimy tentacled beasties which although superbly integrated via the CGI lack variety and are a bit bland. Rasputin meanwhile lacks any emotional core to his evil so he just isn't convincing as an all conquering villain. His stitched up Nazi stooge is a genuinely interesting creation but isn't able to speak so is merely an excuse for some none the less visceral set pieces. Given that all the hordes of hell were presumably at the disposal of the production team I'd have thought some more radical and genuinely terrifying options would have lent the film a harder edge. But perhaps they wanted that 12A certificate more?
Still this is a tremendous film. Hellboy as an anti-hero is far more preferable to some pumped up uzi-toting oxo cube, spewing one liners faster than his bullets. Who can resist a 6 foot 5 inch demon with an enormous stone hand that files down his horns and goes through enormous stoogies like a well known European golfer? Yes indeed he, s one Hell of a guy.
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on 21 October 2008
As dark forces gather to hasten the Apocalypse, Hellboy fights fire with fire and humour in this mind-blasting supernatural action-adventure from visionary director Guillermo del Toro (Blade II, Pan's Labyrinth). Based on the comic book.

Special features:
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary.
- Featurettes.
- Hellboy: The Seeds of Creation Documentary.
- Director's Commentary.

Audio format: English 5.1 | English PCM 5.1 | Spanish 5.1 | Spanish PCM 5.1
Video format: Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Subtitles: English Hard Of Hearing | English | Hindi | Spanish

Notes:
- This is the Director's Cut of Hellboy which includes 12-13 minutes of extra material put back into the film.
- The Spanish audio tracks are in Castillian Spanish not Latin.
- The Subtitles options extend to the special features. All special features have subtitles in English, Spanish and Hindi languages.

If you speak english or spanish this has to be the best edition around. I believe the USA edition doesn't have Spanish subtitles and the other editions doesn't have subtitles in the special features so this is the best edition to buy.
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on 28 March 2007
I love this movie and think Ron Perlman is the perfect Hellboy. I loved the story, all of the special effects and, especially, the cast.

The Blu-ray is equally fantastic; the picture quality and lossless PCM soundtrack are amazing. This is a definite A+, must have Blu-ray if you like this movie.

I imported this to the US and it plays on US players (it is encoded for all regions) so if you cannot wait for the US release later this year and want a sure thing, great import this is a great one.
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on 13 June 2008
First off, all those who think this rendition of a comicbook hero fails, have missed the point: Hellboy is very much an ANTI-HERO. How many big-and-bad action heroes do you know who like cats, and eating chillie? Hellboy would rather be eating chillie, and sitting among his many cats, than fighting evil. The juxtaposition of this big softy fighting evil monsters and the undead, accentuated by his comical self-deprecating one-liners which he mutters after vanquishing a villain, is funny. He'd rather be doing anything than fighting evil, and it's this conflict within him which forms the foundation for the film.

'Hellboy', to me anyway, was always a good old fashioned, tongue-in-cheek, good-versus-evil romp and there's now't wrong with that.
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on 9 January 2013
This 2012 limited steelbook edition Blu-ray contains the following special features:

Director commentary
Making Of documentary
Deleted scenes
Production workshops
Understanding Comics with Scott McCloud
Trailers

The DVD set I bought in 2005 has all of the above, plus the following:

Director intro
Composer commentary with isolated score
Branching comics
Set visits
Storyboards
Screenplay
Script supervisor's book
Director's notebook

Selma Blair intro
Character biographies
Storyboard/scene comparison
Multi-angle breakdowns
Character sculpture vid gallery
Poster explorations
Filmographies

Ron Perlman intro
Cast video commentary
Comic-Con 2002 Q&A
Production Design galleries
Mike Mignola production art
Concept art galleries
Comic art pinups
+ easter eggs

NOT COOL, SONY.
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on 31 October 2004
When I first read about Hellboy I was a little unsure about the concept, don't get me wrong, I have a particular fascination for movies based on comic characters - especially Marvell comic characters, though being honest I'd never even heard of Hellboy, and based on what I'd read about the character; a red being/creature with one big stone hand/fist and a red pointed tail who, as a child was transported from another dimension (or hell if you like) during a Nazi experiment and is then captured and raised by a secret CIA type organisation and trained to fight evil in return for sanctuary just sounded a little too much for me. However, when I discovered that Ron Perlman (Blade2, Alien Resurrection) had been cast for the part of Hellboy, I decided to give it a watch, and I'm glad I did, it's brilliant!
Ron Perlman is a fine actor, and is brilliant as Hellboy. His fantastic deep rich voice and dry sarcastic wit combined with his cool facial expressions just bring the character to life in a way I don't think anyone else could... Ron Perlman IS Hellboy; He was made for the part!
The story/plot is pretty much standard fair; an evil adversary (Rasputin!) is planning to open a portal to hell and bring civilisation as we know it to an end, and yep you guessed it, Hellboy has to stop him. However, this evil enemy is also not of this earth and has the power to summon all manner of mythical creatures etc to help him achieve his goal; consequently the film is awash with all manner of high quality special effects and CGI, which only adds to this films appeal.
Definitely recommended, I loved it, I'm sure you will too.
Hellboy 2 is already underway; I just hope it's as enjoyable as this.
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While some good directors never quite "get it," it took Guillermo Del Toro only one misfire -- the icky, slow-paced "Blade 2" -- to get the whole comic-book adaptation thing right.

In fact, just about everything is right with "Hellboy" -- Del Toro crafted an action blockbuster with a grimy, slimy cult-movie feel and a quirky sense of humor. It's graced with excellent acting, spectacular action scenes, and the trappings of clockpunk and Lovecraftian horror -- not to mention that it stars a six-foot-tall scarlet demon with a soft spot for kittens.

In 1944, young Professor Broom accompanied an army regiment to a remote Scottish island, where the Nazis -- led by Rasputin -- were about to open a portal to another world, and allow the vast tentacled Ogru Jahad (Seven Gods of Chaos) to enter our world. Rasputin and the Nazis were destroyed, but something came through the portal -- a baby demon, whom Broom names Hellboy.

Fast-forward sixty years -- a grown Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and his fishy friend Abe (Doug Jones) are working at a paranormal government agency that specializes in policing the supernatural, with the weirded-out Agent Myers (Rupert Evans) just joining the team. Soon afterwards, Hellboy is called on to kill Sammael the Hellhound -- but it turns out that Sammael can replicate himself indefinitely.

As Hellboy and his team try to hunt down the remaining Sammaels, the dying Professor Broom (John Hurt) finds that a revived Rasputin and his immortal Nazi followers have orchestrated all this. And Rasputin is continuing to pull the strings behind the scenes -- including using Hellboy's love Liz (Selma Blair), a depressed pyrokinetic. And when Hellboy suffers a devastating loss, his journey will take him right back to his roots -- and the potential destruction of the world.

Watching "Hellboy," it's easy to see how Guillermo Del Toro because world-famous for the exquisitely dark "Pan's Labyrinth," and why he's been chosen to direct the forthcoming "Hobbit" movies. This adaptation could have just been another paint-by-numbers comic-book story, but Del Toro gives it the kind of grime, quirk, brains and heart that a lasting cult movie should have.

Part of that cult appeal is "Hellboy's" distinctive look, with Lovecraftian tentacle-gods and some steampunky details. And the action scenes are pretty spectacular -- trains, slimy hellhounds, sword-swinging Nazis with chopped-up faces, giant clock cogs, and a fiery explosion in a mental asylum. And there are some truly spectacular action scenes in a vast underground labyrinth, full of ancient hammers and collapsing bridges. There's just enough action and grossness, without going overboard.

But Del Toro is able to balance out the action with some truly touching moments, such as the aged Broom's final scenes in his firelit study. And there's a lot of dark humor here as well -- and not all of it is Hellboy's dry one-liners. The movie is liberally peppered with dark humor moments ("1945, you mean. Hitler died in '45." "DID he now?"), including some hilariously macabre scenes involving a bad-tempered Russian zombie ("This is Ivan Klimatovich. Say hi, Ivan." "Go that way, Red Monkey!").

Most importantly, Del Toro is able to give his characters little human quirks -- hair plugs, love of cats, and Hellboy sanding down his horns in the morning. Perlman is simply amazing as "Red," whose gruff scarlet exterior hides a kindly, affectionate heart. Not many actors could emote through that many prosthetics (including a very lifelike tail), but Perlman makes it look natural.

Though he's playing a ninetyish old professor, Hurt plays his role with a quiet, powerful sense of goodness. Jones and Evans also do excellent jobs, one as an erudite psychic fish-man ("We lead a charmed life," he observes as cockroaches skitter around him) and an earnest young agent. Selma Blair is the one downside -- she sort of mumbles in a monotone most of the time.

"Hellboy" is one of the best comic-book adaptations that Hollywood has turned out, primarily because of the darker, eerier aesthetic Guillermo Del Toro brings to it. Definitely a must-see.
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on 1 January 2008
This is an incredibly well-presented DVD set, which contains one of the most uniquely dark and compelling comic book adaptations in recent years. The Reel Collection currently consists of quite a varied and yet oddly modest compilation of films, spread across genres as varied as horror, the historical war movie, science-fiction and some of the great modern classics of cinema. So I doubt that anyone except the most die-hard of film-buffs could justify to themselves purchasing all twelve of the movies in this eclectic compilation, at least not purely for the sake of owning every edition. But going by the quality of this particular example, I have to admit to being tempted myself.

I bought this DVD because I wanted a special edition of this film, a film that in my view breathes new life and dynamism into one of my favourite comic book creations and this edition is nothing if not special...

The Case - composed of a durable, thick card depicting a great image of the film's hero and with an aperture that reveals the tin inside.

Interior - thick protective black foam protects the old-style replica film reel tin that holds the two DVD discs - one for the film and the other for the special-features.

Art Cards (x4) - can be found stored behind the foam. These glossy high-quality images depict some of the best characters and scenes from the movie. On the reverse of each is a short anecdote on the making of the film.

Last, but not least - the menu's and extra's are well-presented and completely comprehensive, just as with the normal 2-disc version, no fan of `Hellboy' could wish for more. In conclusion - I recommend snapping up your copy before it disappears forever.
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