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Hellboy II: The Golden Army - 4K UHD Blu-ray Review

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army

2004’s Hellboy was a well-received if unspectacular performer at the box office, and the studios were not in a hurry to spend on another one. Undeterred, Guillermo Del Toro pressed on pitching various iterations of what could be the follow up. Oh, and since he had some time to kill, made the Oscar winning classic Pan’s Labyrinth. That little win allowed the director to pick anything he wanted, and what he wanted was another Hellboy.

"With its amazingly proficient combinations of imagination, horror, humor, mythology, fairytale, and human relate-ability, this Del Toro led niche shows what can be accomplished in the right hands"


In this one, we begin with another John Hurt narrated summary of what Big Red will end up facing. Told in a flashback, with a young Hellboy being read a bedtime story, we’re informed that long ago magical creatures embattled man, due to the misguided decision of an Elf king to follow his evil son’s advice and create a Golden Army, capable of wiping the human race from the face of the earth. Regretting that choice, the king broke his crown—the only means to control the army—into three pieces and scattered them to the four winds.

Cut to modern-day and that evil son, Prince Nuada’s (Luke Goss) hatred of human’s has festered and grown legion, and now he is trying to reassemble the crown and finish what he tried to start all those centuries before. Hellboy, feeling somewhat sympathetic toward the prince’s attitude toward man, is conflicted as he has grown tired of being a magical being always being controlled and fear by those he protects.

This was great! It didn’t just run the sequel playbook, gave all returning characters a new arc that builds upon the first one and extends it into new territories. This one eschews the Nazi elements and goes full tilt into mythological tropes and Del Toro’s fairytale leans. Its’ oddball humor continues and is refined in this one. It’s well written, knowing its characters well and giving us interesting new protagonists and antagonists to complicate Hellboy’s life.

Perlman effortlessly works his extensive make up, and renders Hellboy real again; he is at his laconic, mischievous best in this role. Former Bros singer, Luke Goss, gives Del Toro another solid performance as Prince Nuada. Just like his mutated vampire character from Blade 2, he is otherworldly and threatening and looks like he could do it in his sleep. They emboldened the colors on Abe Sapien for this one, really punching up the blues, and gave him a romance no less.Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Production design, as it always is with Del Toro films, is mind-blowing in its imaginative scope and detail. I will confess to being a little bit over Del Toro’s predilection for slimy, tentacle things, but it’s his style and he does it well. The rest of it, with its otherworldly textures, you could spend a lifetime pouring over the intricacy.

With its’ amazingly proficient combinations of imagination, horror, humor, mythology, fairytale, and human relate-ability, this Del Toro led niche shows what can be accomplished in the right hands (and dismally fall flat in the wrong ones: Hellboy 2019, I’m looking at you, you piece of shit!). It is a niche though, what film buffs call a cult favorite. I am part of that cult, I guess, and if you are too and haven’t seen this, a treat awaits you. I loved it. But as good as these films are, they just don’t seem to make enough bank to incite the studios to keep making them. Sadly, Del Toro and Perlman, despite their willingness, would not get to make another. It isn’t due to Golden Army’s quality, I promise you.

4/5 stars

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

4K

4K UHD Details:

4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD

Home Video Distributor: Universal
Available on Blu-ray
- May 7, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS:X; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 Spanish: DTS 5.1; French (Canada): DTS 5.1; Portuguese: DTS 5.1; Japanese: DTS 5.1
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K Blu-ray: Region free; 2K Blu-ray: Region A

VIDEO:

Again, just like the first 4K film, this one is a thing of beauty. A heavily effects laden film, it’s an up-scaled 2K re-master but don’t that dissuade you. This is a spectacularly good picture, handling film grain subtly and color masterfully. Details aren’t really that much more impressive than the blu-ray, but the depth of color and blacks are a step up in 4K. HDR is what really highlights this transfer’s merits, really punching the warmer colors that sparkle in the predominately darker hued production throughout. There is depth and dimension in every scene, and a credit to all who made the film from set designers and effects artists, their work—now 12 years old—still amazes at this resolution.
4/5

AUDIO:

Perfection incarnate, this 7.1 DTS-X mix is bombastic, nuanced and thrilling to sit through. One of the most layered and detailed soundtracks I’ve heard at home. It puts every speaker through its paces constantly, surrounding you with scene specific noises at every turn. Environmental effects, shifting through the channels, render the film real. It’s definitely one to use to show off your sound capabilities.
5/5

SPECIAL FEATURES: SHIT! Another 4K release with sweet stuff all offered in the way of supplemental material. You do get two carried over from other releases commentaries, of course an included blu-ray that does not have the awesome 155 minute making of documentary from the previous blu-ray. I’m giving this section 1 and it’s lucky its even getting that.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Audio Commentary: Director Guillermo del Toro.
  • Audio Commentary: Cast Members Jeffrey Tambor, Selma Blair & Luke Goss.

Special Features:

SHIT! Another 4K release with sweet stuff all offered in the way of supplemental material. You do get two carried over from other releases commentaries, of course an included blu-ray that does not have the awesome 155 minute making of documentary from the previous blu-ray. I’m giving this section 1 and it’s lucky its even getting that.

Blu-ray special features

  • Audio Commentary: Director Guillermo del Toro.
  • Audio Commentary: Cast Members Jeffrey Tambor, Selma Blair & Luke Goss.
  • Troll Market Tour with Guillermo del Toro
  • Production Workshop
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Zinco Epilogue Animated Comic
  • Comic Book Builder

Gallery

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 1/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3.5/5 stars

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and some language.
Runtime:
120 mins
Director
: Guillermo del Toro
Writer:
Guillermo del Toro
Cast:
Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones
Genre
: Action | Adventure
Tagline:
Believe it or not - he's the good guy.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Dr. Manning, suck my ectoplasmic schwanzstucker!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 11, 2008
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 7, 2019.
Synopsis: The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

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