Guillermo del Toro

Hellboy (2004) Retro Review

Episode 219: Hellboy (2004) Retro Review

You voted, we answered! It’s time for a Retro Review of 2004’s Hellboy from Guillermo del Toro starring Ron Pearlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair, and Doug Jones!

We talk casting, aesthetics, story, fun facts, and more from this live action re-imagining of the Dark Knight. Before that, we talk the latest news in entertainment including our thoughts on the first trailer for MCU’s WandaVision and our first trailer for Season 2 of The Mandalorian! We also talk She-Hulk casting, Harley Quinn, and Supergirl.

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A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Hosts: Rae Stewart | Derreck Mayer | Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor: Derreck Mayer

Music by Flying Killer Robots

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Hellboy (2004) Retro Review

The Netflix Cometh

Over the course of 2016, Netflix is rumored to be releasing 30-something original programs, which more than doubles their original content available now.  They’ve managed to be the industry leader when it comes to how we watch television, seemingly always one step in front of every other channel (I know it’s a streaming service, but it’s a full blown channel too).  Its unique platform, allowing it to act without the national censors and maintaining its ability to get outside programming as well, Netflix has made itself a household staple next to a fridge and a bed.  There is literally some original programming for everyone available. Not only do they provide the content, but the content itself is some of the best stuff on television.  You can’t tell me that Orange is the New Black and House of Cards hasn’t deserved every single Emmy and Golden Globe. Netflix is becoming the only television service you need.

Wanna know what your 2016 television schedule should be? Check out some of the more promising shows in the list below:

Chelsea Does

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Chelsea Handler moves from late night to binge television with a four-part documentary series featuring subjects that she finds personal and social connections to: marriage, drugs, Silicon Valley, and racism.  Scheduled to premiere Saturday, January 23rd.

3%

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This dramatic thriller focuses on the daunting statistic that only 3% of people succeed.  It will be following characters attempting to seek the “better life” and their triumphs and struggles.  The show will both film and debut in 2016.

Fuller House

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In a brilliant attempt to tug on everyone’s nostalgic heartstrings, the 1980’s and 90’s classic sitcom Full House is retold through the perspective of a grown DJ Tanner. Recently widowed, she will be joined by her younger sister Stephanie and life-long friend Kimmy Gibbler in the effort to raise three boys, and Kimmy’s teenage daughter. Scheduled to premiere February 26.

DreamWorks 

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Among the many Netflix shows this year, we’ll be seeing multiple animated shows from DreamWorks.  This includes the recently announced Voltron reboot and Guillermo Del Toro’s Trollhunters. These will be joining the likes of The Adventures of Puss in Boots and Dinotrux.  The alliance between DreamWorks and Netflix has only gotten stronger which means we can only expect more.

Marvel

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Marvel and Disney have also increased their bonds with Netflix by adding to their original Defenders lineup.  Originally, the plan was for 4 series, each featuring one of the Defenders in an intense story arc. However, within days of the Daredevil premiere, we knew that was going to change.  Now Daredevil has a second season beginning March 18th featuring Marvel fan favorite, Punisher.  Jessica Jones lacked the same kind of hype but received equally admirable critic nods.  Luke Cage is in production as we speak and the rights to other darker Marvel characters are rumored to be explored. Chances are the Defenders is added to the MCU Phase 4 lineup and we see a Blade, Cloak and Dagger, and Punisher series.

The Crown

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A dramatic portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign over England, this series will explore many different time periods and the prime ministers who were there to help lead the country.  With a strong cast of Claire Foy as the Queen herself, Matt Smith as her husband Phillip Mountbatten, and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill, the 10 episode run will likely fulfill your every British need…unless you watch Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, or Sherlock.

The Frontier

game-of-thrones-star-lands-leading-role-in-netflix-original-western-frontier-716666Jason Momoa leads a cast of fur traders in, you guessed it, frontier America.  What plans to be a brutal look at life in the harsh elements of 18th century North America could just be the replacement for Justified and Deadwood everyone has been clamoring over.  Prepare yourself for hatchet fights and tense showdowns between Native tribes and Europeans.

 

As the year rolls on, we’ll be seeing more shows out of Netflix and you can bet that we’ll be there to cover them all.  In the meantime, is Netflix your drug of choice?

The Netflix Cometh

Crimson Peak: A Spoiler-Filled Review

Crimson Peak is a new horror film from famed Director and Writer Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth). I, for one, am a huge fan of Pacific Rim and can’t wait for the sequel. Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland (2010)), Jessica Chastain (The Martian, Interstellar, Zero Dark Thirty), and Tom Hiddleston (Thor, Avengers, and the upcoming Kong: Skull Island), along with Charlie Hunnam (Pacifc Rim, Sons of Anarchy).

Crimson Peak Summary

The film takes place during the late 19th century, beginning in the United States and then spending the second half of the film in England. In short, Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) joins Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) at their old, run down mansion in England. The whole story is odd to me, but here’s the basic rundown with spoilers. Edith comes from money, lots of it. Her father was a hardworking man who has made something of his life and in turn, Thomas Sharpe comes to America in search of money. The Sharpe family had money at one point but it long since gone, their home literally falling apart back in England. Thomas Sharpe has a plan to get money rolling back in using the red clay under his property but he needs funding for his excavation machine. Crimson Peak EdithEdith’s father turns down his proposal. Meanwhile, Thomas takes an interest in Edith. Things seem nice at first but, long story short, Edith’s father uncovers incriminating evidence against Thomas and tells him to break Edith’s heart and leave, even paying him a decent sum of money to do so. Then, not surprisingly, Edith’s father is murdered in the wash room by an unknown figure… we are to assume it’s Thomas or his sister Lucille. Edith quickly marries Thomas. In fact, it seems that she does so before the funeral even occurs but either way, she moves to England, selling off everything she and her father owned and is in the process of transferring his family’s wealth into Thomas’s name for use on the excavation equipment, theoretically.

Now that we are at the mansion, creepy things happen. Edith sees ghosts, terrible ghosts, which are portrayed in a very unique way. We quickly figure out that a lot of murder has occurred in this home and Edith is becoming ill, likely due to some kind of poison. Meanwhile, back in the United States, Crimson Peak Thomas SharpeDr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam), who had taken an interest in Edith, is not convinced that Carter Cushing’s death was an accident but apparently no one else cared to investigate. More on that later. McMichael leaves the U.S. to find and presumably rescue Edith. During this time, Edith discovers that she is in fact being poisoned via her tea that is prepared by Lucille and that Lucille and Thomas have been planning this murder all along. What’s more important is that we finally find out that this mansion is Crimson Peak. Why is this important? When Edith was a child, the ghost of her mother came to her and warned her to beware of Crimson Peak. She doesn’t discover this nickname until it’s far too late and she is quite ill.

Thomas begins to have doubts about the murder because he has fallen in love with Edith. We find out that Thomas was married before and that at least three other woman have been targets of this nature, all now dead. THEN we find out that Thomas and his sister Lucille have an intimate, sexual relationship between the two of them, even producing a child at one point… which Lucille murders. Alright, so Dr. McMichael shows up, tries to take Edith away but is stabbed by Lucille. Thomas then takes advantage of the situation to pretend to kill McMichael to he can save Edith. Thomas is killed by his own sister in a fit of rage. The final battle, so to speak, takes place out in the snow between Edith and Lucille, with McMichael slowing bleeding out in the mines. Edith is victorious thanks to a timely appearance of Thomas’s ghost, which distracts Lucille long enough for Edith to bash her head in with a shovel.

Okay, so that’s what happens.

What I Liked About Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak is a beautiful movie. The colors, the costumes, the digital effects of the ghosts, all beautiful. I love the time period and the style of the film. I truly felt part of that era and the characters felt at home in that time. The state of the mansion was never questioned. It was ready to fall apart. All of the sets were designed perfectly, though overly dramatic at times.

Crimson Peak Lucille Sharpe

The acting was also pretty solid. I thought Jessica Chastain stole the show with her character being the most consistent and threatening. I also truly enjoyed Jim Beaver’s performance as Carter Cushing, as short as it was. He was perfect for the role and I’d wished he had survived if only to see him in another scene.

What I Disliked About Crimson Peak

I did not like this movie. I did not enjoy it and I would not watch it again. Why? There are several reasons. First, the whole plot is thin and illogical. Thomas Sharpe travels the world pretending to look for money and then winning over daughters from rich families. Then his sister dispatches with those families, forcing the daughter to be the heir to the fortunes. Thomas marries the woman and waits out Lucille to murder her in some way, usually poison. Let’s put aside how expensive it is to travel the world (the siblings had been to Italy, France, and the United States among other places), wouldn’t it be infinitely easier for Lucille, as a woman, to win over a single male with money? Second, they are only in this situation because they refuse to leave their family house which it turns out they hate anyway? All this while the siblings have a romantic relationship. Okay, let’s put that aside for a minute and focus on the murder of Carter Cushing. This is a decent sized man, nearing 60. He is preparing to shave in a fairly large wash room that has several attendants. While alone… completely, 100% alone for some reason, with no attendants anywhere in earshot… Lucille sneaks in (a woman in a men’s room in the 19th century) and is able to slam Cushing’s head against a sink not once but several times, literally crushing in the skull in more than one spot. Then, he is left dead on the floor, blood everywhere. She magically slips out. Then, no one wants to investigate the death. Everyone, except Dr. McMichael, believes Cushing slipped and hit his head….. half a dozen times and hard enough to not just knock himself out, or split his head open, but to literally crush an entire chunk of the skull, exposing the brain. Alright, let’s put that aside. Then, Edith quickly sells everything she and her father owned, marries Thomas and moves across the Atlantic, when not a week before, she was desperately trying to get her memoir published using every connection she had. Why did she give everything up so quickly? She was hurt and sad, of course, but she seemed very conscious and alert by the time she arrived in England. This decision seemed completely inconsistent with a character we are to believe is intelligent and level headed, though stubborn.  Finally, everything is so contrived. They sell clay which turns the snow red which is why it’s called Crimson Peak. It’s the dead of winter, so the Post Office is closed and that’s the only building anywhere near Crimson Peak. No police officials or lawyers want to investigate the violent death of one of the most prominent men in the city but the doctor who just got back in town is a resident Sherlock Holmes… which is also referenced early in the film for, I suppose, foreshadowing. Everything is so heavy handed. Edith’s memoir includes ghosts but it’s not a ghost story. The ghosts are just a metaphor for the past. Guess what? That’s actually the synopsis for the film she is in. Crimson Peak has ghosts but it’s not a ghost story. They are there to warn about the past.

Crimson Peak Conclusion

Crimson Peak Sharpe Family

In the end, it’s a wonderfully beautiful film that falls flat for its contrived, heavy handed, ridiculous plot. The actors are solid with Chastain stealing the show. If you love horror films, you might enjoy some aspects of this movie but if you take a minute to think about the plot and everything that it takes to get you to the climax and resolution, you’ll realize that this is a poorly orchestrated story.

I give it 2 poisoned cups of tea out of 5.

What did you think of Crimson Peak? Comment below with your thoughts!

Crimson Peak: A Spoiler-Filled Review