Film Junk Podcast Episode #176: Hellboy II and The Ruins


0:00 – Intro / In-house Stuff / TIFF
8:00 – Headlines: Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, Darren Aronofsky in Talks to Direct Robocop Remake, Alien 5?
24:48 – Junk Mail – dubbing vs subbing, Dave Chappelle, Boogie Nights, film school and George Harrison
54:50 – Top 5 – Movies from the First Half of 2008
1:00:55 – Review: Hellboy II: The Golden Army
1:20:42 – Review: The Ruins
1:28:45 – Trailer Trash: Max Payne, Hell Ride
1:35:08 – What We Watched: Wall-E, Basic Training, Titicut Follies
1:42:05 – This Week’s DVD Releases
1:43:02 – Outro

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  • swarez

    Luke Goss is a former pop singer where he preformed with his twin brother in the band Bros.

    He was also the main Reaper in Blade 2.

  • swarez

    Shit. You can’t embed a youtube video I guess so here’s the link.

  • You guys never saw Redbelt. Good movie.

  • swarez

    I’m very upset that you didn’t read my email. Too crass?
    Well here is a link to a completely unrelated video, but it’s damn funny.

  • Funny that you should do “THE RUINS” on your show today, I just sat down with it last night. It’s a solid little movie that goes for the jugular in terms of tough decisions and the consequences.

    I liked the nastiness though. It was well scripted, well acted (Jena Malone rocks my world) and well shot from the cinematographer, Darius Khondji who did My Blueberry Nights.

  • Hey Swarez, we should get to your e-mail next week… there was just an overabundance of junk mail this week.

  • And I just listened to the show, kudos for pointing out Darius Khondji there Jay. I jumped the gun with my comment and it seems redundant now! But Khondji is in the school of Deakins, Doyle, Storaro, Zsigmond and Beebe for working master cinematographers.

  • Oh, boy, Greg laughing was classic! One of the best shows ever, guys! I laughed my ass off!

  • rus

    Hey guys, great show again. My dog lies in my office and she got very nervous when Jay
    cough up his lung last week. I hope you are o.k.
    I had to stop the podcast because I wanted to see Hellboy before listening to the full
    discussion. I must say this film is nothing more than visual eye candy and I don?t agree
    with the reviews from your site and the 88% Rotten Tomatoes approval. Answer me this,
    how is this monster movie not just as grossly misplotted and underdeveloped from a story
    and character perspective as a Van Helsing, and Transformers. The monsters in this film
    are obviously motivated by a desire to do a cool thingies and have nothing to do with an
    overall story. What was the overall point of the plant monster and the winged, multiple
    eyed thingy? (I?m really getting tired of global warming being referenced in every film
    like the commies were in the films from the 50s and 60s) When you have all of these
    different monsters that are presented with awesome powers the overall affect is to dilute
    the entire cast of villains.
    The personal interaction between Hellboy and his clan are laughable and don?t take us
    deeper in to his mythology. Can you even remember any positive and creative choices made
    in the film that defined him as a hero?, I can?t. Plot devices and story direction are
    given to him and he does nothing to earn them. This film felt like Pan’s Labyrinth 2 and
    Del Toro is following the same path as his friend Robert Rodriguez were they try to cover
    their poor story development with crazy visuals. I guess what I?m saying is Del Toro is
    the best Art Director ever because you all drank the kool aid.
    As far as CG, Del Toro did nothing to fix the problem with the rubber masks limiting the
    movement of lips on Hellboy (young and old) he talked about in the first films DVD?!
    I?m really begining too worried about The Hobbit (Del Toro set to do in 2 parts).

    Rus in Chicago

  • Hey Rus, I think what it comes down to is that different people want different things from a comic book movie/summer blockbuster. If you want it to tell a deep story and have great character development, then Hellboy II may not meet those demands… but very few blockbusters do. The reason I liked Hellboy II so much is precisely because it knows that comic book movies are inherently silly and mostly about the art and visuals. Not everything has to have a reason for being there, as long as it makes people go “wow”.

    Now on the other hand I’m not saying comic book movies can’t be serious and deep (perhaps The Dark Knight will succeed on that front), and if you want to compare it to Transformers and any number of movies that people defend by saying, “I just went for the special effects”, then that’s fine. But for me Hellboy II is a lot funnier and has much more interesting characters and relationships going on that go beyond the visuals. If those particular characters don’t work for you, then I can see why you weren’t as impressed with it.


    “Can you even remember any positive and creative choices made in the film that defined him as a hero?”

    I thought the moment in which he’s put in a position to destroy the ‘plant monster’, only after being reminded that it’s the last of its kind, was pretty interesting. Especially considering the ‘us against them’ argument the Prince tries to push on him.

    Also, I think the fact that he had to go easy on the main villain in order to protect the girl that his best friend is in love with was an interesting plot device as well.

    “What was the overall point of the plant monster and the winged, multiple eyed thingy?”

    While the ‘winged, multiple eyed thingy’ may have served only two purposes: two look cool and to save Hellboy, the plant monster, as i stated above, was there to put Hellboy in a position where he has to consider where his loyalty lies…protecting Human who don’t appreciate him, or siding with his own kind, monsters. A tough choice considering the woman he loves is human.

  • Goon

    the winged monster is death, and aside from saving hellboy and looking cool, is planting seeds for Hellboy leading to the destruction of the world – his destiny which has been poked and pushed from him in both movies, in what is likely to be a 3rd Hellboy film.

  • Greg has the most infectious/contagious laughs ever.
    Lovin it.

    Ok, back to the show.

    PS – Jay, if you really have all those pains you describe, you need to get checked out. That does not sound good. Fuck the internet and get to a doctor. I have two friends right now going through some pretty serious shit and I don’t need it on another friend.

  • Thanks for the concern Andrew. If things don’t shape up in the next week or two, I’ll probably head back to the doctor. This time I will not tell him I’ve been reading the internet.

  • Oh my goodness, this episode cracked me up. I couldn’t contain my laughter walking down the street while listening to it. Fun show.

  • “there was just an overabundance of junk mail this week.”

    Man, this site has grown since I sent in the lone email suggesting my favorite remake of all time. I think it was the episode where Nacho Libre was reviewed?

  • And it’s weird that (supposedly) it’s Reed who eats all the most horrible foods in the world, but it’s Jay that ends up with the horrible stomach/colon-related diseases.

    Perhaps they share more than conversation in all those lunchbreaks!

  • I think we’re connected somehow. He’s the E.T. to my Elliot. Only rather then traveling to other planets collecting plant samples, he travels to discount stores collecting 90 cent jugs of bbq sauce that he’ll never use.

  • rus

    I must say to all, I did enjoy Hellboy II more than bad versions of visual eye candy movies like Van Helsen and Transformers. I’m just amazed how the aesthetic choices in this Del Toro feature cover such bad story and character development. I was thinking later about the ONE big hero moment for Hellboy is completely illogical. Earlier, the elf prince uses the “I challenge you line” with the old king elf, what happens? He has to fight through the Elf King’s guards. Hellboy uses this same challenge but first, there is no way he should have knowledge of it since he was not there, and secondly, he gets to fight the elf prince one-on-one while the robotic soldiers stand by! I know there is a certain leap of faith and loose ends in these types of movies yet the heroic climax of this film was totally wasted. The multi-eyed winged thingy is another example of poor character development, why is Hellboy not remotely active in the decision to go to this spot, why is everything given to the Hellboy’s clan – “Go here” “Proclaim your love here” “Now I shall remove the shard for you”. These are first year screenplay writing mistakes. Compare this to GOOD comic book movie situations where the hero and villains are active and doing things that allow us to understand their internal workings more. Like Peter Park allowing the robber to go, Peter Park struggles with making a living or selling out, the love triangle in X-men, the development of the Joker’s character in the Burton Batman. Why are you guys giving this movie a pass? Just admit you are hypnotized by the shining object. We need to demand more from these movies or they will continue to be watered down.

  • rus

    oh, and for the CG nerds out there the problem with rubber masks limiting Hellboy’s lips is driving me crazy and I feel betrayed by Del Toro! Why was this not fixed after the first film, he talked about it! He CGs Abe’s eyes, what, too lazy to do a couple scenes with Hellboy’s lips – much more important to making the audience identify with Hellboy. Lazy ass Spaniard! He missed a great opportunity on the awkward non-kiss scene! What was that? Head touch? What, was the studio scared about bestiality overtones? No, they didn’t spend the time and money to do it right and knew they couldn’t with rubber lips. Why didn’t they comically stretch Hellboys lips out for a big pucker? Dam, f*ck!