Wow. I just got back from watching Guillermo del Toro's motion picture masterpiece, Pan's Labyrinth. I already knew he was genius from his works on Hellboy and The Devil's Backbone... but this film exceeded even my loftiest expectations. It somehow manages to seamlessly blend a brutal reality with fantasy in a way that doesn't totally suck. If you can stomach the violence (and don't mind subtitles), it's definitely worth a look.
Taking place in Spain during World War II, Pan's Labyrinth is a little girl's attempt to escape the horrors of war to a fantasy realm that has perils of its own. Along the way she meets some interesting friends and even more interesting adversaries...
About the only negative was having to see the film in a theater filled with idiots which included...
Whatever happened to the good old days when you went to the movies, sat down, shut the f#@% up, and watched the film?
Speaking of "the good old days" — I find it amazing how the "remastered" special effects they're sneaking into the original Star Trek series has reinvigorated the show. I just finished watching a remastered The Doomsday Machine, and it was pretty sweet! The originals could always hold their own against any of the crappy Trek spin-offs that followed, but now they're at a whole new level of greatness. And, unlike George Lucas shitting all over the Star Wars trilogy, the people working on Star Trek are actually respecting the source material. The stories and spirit remain unchanged... the show just looks fresher.
If only we could do the same for Jennifer Love Hewitt's freaky bangs on the first season of The Ghost Whisperer.
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J-Love still has some freakish hair on that show. But, I still watch it faithfully!
As far as Pan’s Labyrinth, I’ve been wanting to see that for a while. I heard it was pretty brutal, tho’.
Seriously brutal in parts… but not just for shock value. It is necessary to reinforce why this little girl would do the things she does to escape her reality for the promise of a better life in fantasy.
I’ve heard it’s excellent. But your experience is why I’ll only go to the theaters during the weekdays or weeknights.
I just got back from seeing Pan’s Labyrinth TOO. I loved it. It was more violent than I was expecting, but the violence was certainly not gratuitous. As you point out, it was necessary to understand the need for escape. I could have done without the do-it-yourself sutures, however. Yikes!
Just discovered you and your blog. I’ll be back to visit.
I just saw it yesterday as well! I was utterly impressed. A gorgeously shot film, and while the violence did shock me, it really fit the story. That little girl broke my heart.
Dang, I’m a die-hard Trekkie (I don’t like the term Trekker personally) and didn’t know they were remastering the originals like that!
Well, now I know what I’m getting next Christmas (assuming they’re all done by then). 🙂
Eeep! You made the Pale Man absolutely adorable and Pan a charming cutie! Sweet.
I always check in advance to see if a foreign film will be shown w/ subtitles. If not, I’ll wait for the DVD. Dubbing blows. I don’t consider reading a chore!
Heh, I’ll get off my high horse now…
The pan’s labyrinth is a great movie. I don’t know if Sergi Lopez is famous in USA but in France, he is !!!
I always love what you draw !!! 🙂
Firda and I saw it a couple weeks back at the theater. Thankfully we had a better experience with it than you.
Fantastic movie. I know it’s going to win a couple Oscars this year (likely for costumes, makeup etc).
And yes there were three or four scenes that I couldn’t watch and had to turn my head.
We recently watched “The Devil’s Backbone”, another older Del Toro movie. It was pretty good, a nice little ghost story. We have another one of his called Cronos which we need to watch as well.
Why the hell are these types of people at a movie this? Doesn’t make any sense.
Well, I usually go to the movies in Manhattan where I work — instead of Brooklyn where I live — because I find that the audience is F**KING NORMAL!!! In Brooklyn, the only large movie theater has morphed into a night club for teens. So, unless you go at a really off time to a movie that’s been out for a long time, there’s really no use in going there at all. There are some smaller theaters that haven’t really been kept up that well so you wouldn’t want to go there to begin with. Again, if you try to go there when a new movie comes out — Teen Nite Club Center.
Regarding the crinkling of the bag of chips, I have a friend who is notorious for doing that during movies. I went to see “HERO” at the Museum of the Moving Image and they do NOT let you into their theater with any food, drinks, or personal items. All bags have to be checked. At first I thought it weird, then I realized that they didn’t want people to make ANY noise during the film and I have to say, you really could have heard a pin drop. Never had that experience before. It was refreshing!!!
I never quite understood why people spent 9 dollars on a ticket to see the movie, but complained about the cost of food!
Watching at home is so much better. You can belch and fart at will… I mean you don’t have to worry about other folks. Ok I’ll shut up now.
(P.S. the translation code in at the top of the whole page)
I saw that just last night also! It was good but I did have to hide my head during the super brutal stuff. Going by the trailer I saw I had no idea that it wasn’t going to be fantasy for the majority of the film, but it was a great film anyway. Luckily the theater I went to didn’t have too many obnoxious people. The people in the row behind us left once during the trailers (and apparently were unable to move without brutally knocking into our seats) but they apologized at least. It was at the smaller theater here that tends to get the more “artsy” films. Thankfully, I think most of the teenagers go to the bigger Century 16 across town.
Like RW, I prefer watching movies at home.
Not because of any belching or farting, but I have not yet discovered a way to disarm my stupid people magnet.
For some reason, stupid people always sit near me and talk loudly. Like the guy who asked “What city is that?” during the opening credits of Philadelphia.
I prefer any stupid comments made during a movie to be my own.
Also, I like being able to pause a DVD for a break without missing anything. And the special features on DVDs. And the fact that thanks to Netflix, I can see 10 to 20 films in a month for what it would cost me to see two in the theater.
I’ve been meaning to add Pan’s Labryinth to my list. Thanks for the reminder!!
Rude people at movies… To be honest, I’ve not had too many problems over the last 20-25 visits to the theater. Mostly because most of the people that are normally rude were at the Friday or Saturday showings. Sunday showings are great here in Salt Lake… mostly empty.. maybe 10-15 people max.
Great job on the Pan’s characters. I plan to see this movie soon.
my distaste of jennifer love hewitt runs so deep that i can’t even watch the commericals, let alone the show. i’ll take your word on her bangs.
Hah, I too am a JLH hater but do watch the show…I have no idea why.
We never go to the movies unless it is some major awesome blockbuster that has to be seen on the big screen with quality sound. And ever since we got our huge ass projection TV, we have even lowered those standards. Shawn always sits in front of a kid who is kicking his chair and behind stupid giggly twatty teens.
I think I might have to wait for this one to come out on DVD. I’ve overdone the violent, depressing movies so far this year!
I was doing a little reading on Doug Jones, and I thought, wow, it must be weird to be him. I mean, he’s cast as Abe Sapien in Hellboy, and then he plays BOTH major monsters in Pan’s Labyrinth? I don’t know how I’d feel about being the go-to guy when a director needs a freakishly skinny, tall, mutant-looking actor…
So I’m not the only one to have made mention of JLH’s bangs in a post. I did that too and got blasted. Sheeesh.
Good to hear about Pan’s Labyrinth, though. I really want to see that.
Avitable… Your chances are far less likely then (because there are less people) but I tend to attract the dumbasses, and end up with idiots no matter when I go. It’s very frustrating, because I don’t remember so many problems even ten years ago.
Lori… There were many parts of the movie that were cringe-worthy, but it didn’t lessen my enjoyment any. I just cover my eyes and start squealing like a little girl, and it’s all good! 😀
Frances… I just can’t get over how lush the visuals were. They were wondrous, when needed. Horrifying, when required. And overall brilliant. It is truly a masterpiece.
Kapha… Oh yes! The new special effects are mind-blowing. The episodes are so amazing to look at, that they are ripe for attracting new fans!
Undisciplined… Oh I can’t STAND dubbing. It totally ruins the nuance of the original vocal performance! The only bummer is that I often have to see the film twice so I can figure out what visuals I missed as I was reading. With this film, that won’t be a problem! 🙂
Laurence… He is not well-known here… but he should be!
Troy… If it doesn’t win Oscars, there is no justice. Forget best “foreign” picture, it’s best PICTURE material easy. Chronos is okay… but nearly as good as Pan’s Labyrinth or Devil’s Backbone (which I loved).
Eve… I would love… LOVE… if theaters would check baggage and enforce snacking bans. It drives me nuts that I pay major bank to listen to idiots be idiots instead of enjoying the film!
Bre… No doubt. Especially since the concessions are about the only way that theaters make money now-a-days. The studios take most of the grosses, particularly for the first couple of weeks when ticket sales are highest.
RW… Next time I drop by unannounced for dinner, I’ll be sure to leave before you start the videos!
Shannon… I thought the fantasy was actually a pretty small part of the film… but that could just be that I was hiding my eyes for a lot of the “reality” scenes which made them seem longer! 🙂
Suzanne… YES! STUPID PEOPLE MAGNET! THAT’S WHAT I HAVE TOO! When you figure out how to get rid of that, please let me know!!
ChillyWilly… Ah yes. Salt Lake City is fantastic for movies on Sunday! I’ve been to many a film at The Gateway to kill a boring Sunday, and have always ended up with a small audience too.
Ms. Sizzle… They’re much better now. In the first season, they were horrifying. So bad that I could barely focus on anything else! Her stylist should have been shot!
Diane… It was only depressing depending on how you looked at it. Also… IT’S ONLY FEBRUARY! You’ve got a lot of year left to be dismissing a large genre of film this early! 🙂 As for Doug Jones… since Del Toro directed both films, I can only guess that he likes working with him! Did you know he’s going to be the Silver Surfer in the upcoming Fantastic Four sequel as well?
Kapgar… This is about my third time writing about her hideous bangs from season one. Most people tend to agree that they were pretty bad. Terrifying even.
Eye hands guy scared me and gave me nightmares. And I bawled at the end. Brilliant movie.
Really wanting to see Pan. It’s actually playing in my little town so I ought to get down there before they yank it.