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THE HULK VS. HELLBOY

Okay, did a little movie marathon last week Thursday with Sandy and we saw The Hulk and Hellboy II back-to-back. We both saw the previous prequels of these two films as well when they both came out a few years back and enjoyed both of them--even though the first Hulk was slammed by just about everyone--but REALLY enjoyed the first Hellboy! The first Hellboy was fantastic, capturing everything that made the comic book a hit perfectly. Hellboy was quirky but also noble and courageous. The supporting cast was equally brilliant with Abe Sapien and the Jeffrey Tambor character stealing every scene they were in.

The story had intrigue, action, humor and wonderful visual effects. An A+ movie and we couldn't wait for the sequel.

The sequel stunk.

And I don't know if we entered an alternate reality version when we walked through the theater doors last Thursday, or not, because all the reviewers gave this movie glowing reviews! Maybe we saw a different film?! Rene Rodriguez from Entertainment Weekly is usually dead on and I agree with her reviews 90% of the time...she gave it an A or an A- can't remember which but I was stunned!

Now I don't want to bash this film as I truly love Hellboy and Mike Mignola and Guillermo Del Toro but the film was just too goofy! Two minutes in I knew I was going to be disappointed. They went for camp and visuals in this sequel and seemingly only that. Focusing on what they thought made the first film so great...the quirky bits of humor that gave the movie such charm. But in focusing on that they abandoned the elements that also made the film AND the characters so great! Hellboy was turned into an adolescent goofball with a serious case of attention defecit disorder in HII. Gone was his nobility, his heart, his charm. Instead he only annoyed. They started the film off with him as a young boy..er, HELLboy. And although this start was very, very goofy--very over-the-top!-- it seemed intentional and I accepted it. I thought it was a cheesey, campy set-up for the terror that was sure to follow...wrong. The camp continued, never stopped. Then they followed with a knock-down drag-out fight between the now bickering couple in love, Hellboy and Liz Sherman. This was uncomfortable and didn't work. The first one ended with them finally realizing how much they meant to one another and now they can't stand each other? At least she can't stand him. And who can blame her, really, since they turned him into such an unlikable character here? ugh. And remeber how Hellboy saved Liz in the first film and how brilliant and beautiful that was? Ruined here. And, AND, they repeat this scene later in HII with Liz now having a similar scene with Hellboy now at death's door. Sheesh! (Liz also repeats her line from the first film about, "You should be running now." When she fires up at one point. Sheesh again.) They ruined Abe turning him into a stumbling bumbling lovesick puppy; they ruined Jeffrey Tambor's character turning him into a sniveling kiss ass taking away his pompous charm that made his character work so well in the first film; they ruined Liz Sherman turning her into a boring crank and they brought in the great character Johann Krauss from the comics and turned him into a character with really bad punchlines and a really bad german accent.

And all the creatures they rolled out? Too much focus on that here and at times it seemed as if they were doing it just for the sake of doing it. The entire Troll Market seemed very contrived and completely superfluous. And they just happened to stumble upon the missing princess there?! Come on guys, I know you can write better than that.

But the topper of the whole thing was when Hellboy saves the entire city from a building-sized monstrosity, also saving a baby along the way (and holding the baby through the entire fight BTW. Again, come on, guys!), and after saving said city and baby the entire crowd suddenly turns on the formerly beloved Hellboy calling him a menace and hurling objects at him as the woman whose baby he saved screams at him in terror grabbing the baby away as Hellboy stands there stunned. And then, THEN, Liz rushes to his side and actually says, "Can't you see he's trying to help you?! Can't you see?!!!" or something to that effect. ugh. Haven't we seen this scene before soooo many times? It's trite and it's implausable. Painful and I was surprised that two geniuses like Mignola and Del Toro would write this. I don't get it.

There were also a lot of convenient story devices which didn't play like them just happening upon a troll on a cart who just happened to know someone nearby who just happened to be able to heal Hellboy's terminal injury. How fortuitous for them. And why/how was Abe able to all-of-a-sudden be able to waltz around without his breathing device he needed and pointed out needing earlier in the film? And their hijacking the plane from BPRD headquarters without clearance even though there are armed guards all over the place? Right.

And I tell you, the only character in this film that I actually LIKED and admired/respected was the bad guy! He had nobility, purpose and a sad vulnerability...HEY! Waitaminute! Just like Hellboy had in the first film! Hmmm.....

If you just need visuals to make your movie going experience a good one this is the film for you as it's just one long Star Wars cantina scene. But if you're expecting the same quality, balanced movie that was the first Hellboy you'll be disappointed like we were.

Contrarily! we weren't expecting much from The Hulk and ended up enjoying it very much. Was it an A movie? No, but it was definitely a solid B. Good story, great acting, great action! Just what one would expect from a Hulk movie, right? Had the sadness we'd expect as well. A couple nice nods to Lou Ferrigno and Stan Lee and also Bill Bixby and the great nod to the old tv line, "Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry" I won't spill on how they changed this line but it was great and it was hilarious. They also threw in a nod to Jim Wilson and Jack McGee and a few other little things only the true Hulk afficianado will pick up. Making the Hulk talk was also great! Missed that in the first film and it was always my biggest gripe in the tv series when I was a wee lad.

The Hulk is a fun film people. Go see it. Hellboy II? Save your money.

And don't even get me started on Spider-Man 3 which we just saw on DVD a couple weeks back! Holy God was this a bad movie. We actually felt awkward while watching it and embarrassed for Toby McGuire. This was almost, ALMOST as bad as Batman and Robin folks. Almost.

Word.

r

p.s. Comic-Con International this week! I'll be camped in artists alley so stop on by! We can debate the film reviews if you'd like. I'm right, though, just so you know.

UGH!

Been awhile but I have about 12,000 reasons why I haven't blogged in 2-3 weeks. My house looks like a bomb went of inside. As some of you may know, my roofer botched his job 6 weeks ago and as a result rain came inside by the bucket full (literally) and cause severe damage to 3 levels of our home. We're now starting week 7 of Hell here at casa Koslowski and it looks like we've got a couple more weeks to go. Saying that this has been an inconvenience would be putting it very mildly.

Here's what we've all had to do as a result of 4 nincompoop roofers who were too friggin' lazy to just DO THERE JOB AND TARP THE EXPOSED ROOF!...

We have had to move three full rooms full of furniture, books, boxes, clothes, etc. into the other already FULL rooms of our home so the workers could do their work. One of these room was my studio...a lot of shit up there! Nowhere to go with all this shit. Nowhere to go.

No. Where!

So we had no choice but to have an impromptu Rummage Sale. Move it all right downstairs and out onto the front lawn and sell it. Sell it all. Did pretty well actually.

I am now set up working on a crummy old desk in the dining room of our home where we also have boxes full of crap stacked high.

The workers are constantly coming through and kicking up dust and asking questions and moving stuff and I'm moving stuff for them and they're sometimes here at 8 am and sometimes don't show up until 6 pm at night and the whole thing has been an ordeal that makes me want to punch my fist right through someone's throat then pull the body down the front stairs and hurtle it right into that massive eyesore of a dumpster that's been parked out in front of our house for the past 2 weeks!...

Breathe...must remember to breathe.

Oh yeah, I see that a few kind neighbors have been secreting their own shit into our dumpster at night as well. Isn't that just lovely.

I would be remiss to point out the absolute joy we have derived from having to deal with the Insurance Agent as well. Can anyone say "stress"?

OH! OH! I almost forgot. After the roof was finished some 4 weeks ago--all brand spanking new and lovely and all--we had some follow-up rainfalls. Not nearly as bad as the "houses being swept away" rainfalls we had that started this whole ordeal but a couple pretty significant ones nonetheless.

Guess what?

Aha...yep...you guessed it! More rain coming into our house!!!! Yessir, more rain trickling in. So we call good ole Skip Kubiak once again and tell him rain's coming in. He curses, acts shocked and promises me a crew right away. Two days later they show up, caulk around a window and with wide grins assure me the problem's solved in there broken english.They spent about 15 minutes here.

Oh, two three days later we have another rainfall. Guess what? Yep, you guessed it! More leaking.

And I should point out here now that the interior repairs now have to wait because they can't put up new drywall if there's still water coming in, right? No they cannot.

So I call good ole Skip Kubiak again (he's the roofer BTW in case you didn't know) and tell him we still HAVE FRIGGIN' WATER COMING INTO OUT FRIGGIN' HOUSE! he assures me that a crew will be there first thing in the morning to fix it. I request a crew that I can communicate with. I don't think it's too much to ask for at this point, do you?

2 days later they arrive.

They're up there on the roof for about 10 minutes and they're done. You gotta be kidding.

I go outside and get the lowdown from crew number two. Apparently there was a hole the main guy could fit his fist into on the dormer where the leak was coming in. Apparently a hole that size isn't visible to the other, previous crews. He says it's fixed now and we shouldn't have any more leaks. So I relate this news to the interior work crew and they proceed with the fixes inside.

We've had a couple light rains since. No leaks. Not yet. But let me tell you that we sit here sweating every time we see even a light gray cloud hovering above our house up there in the sky. And if we hear the distant rumble of thunder I pee my pants a little...just a short little squirt, but I pee myself nonetheless.

So, the ordeal continues. And this is why I have been remiss in my blogging duties fair friends. Forgive me.

In other brief news...

WizardWorld, Chicago was a great show for me. I sold a lot of stuff and sketched my butt off producing some of the finest con sketches I've ever produced. But the show took a very sad turn when the news of Michael Turner's passing hit. His long battle with bone cancer came to an end the Thursday night of the show. He was only 37 years old. I only met Mike a couple times at the big card tournaments there but we hit it off rather well. He seemed to appreciate my bawdy poker table talk and we shared quite a few belly laughs together. He was truly a nice guy and I was very saddened to hear of his passing. The world of comics and the world in general has lost one very nice human being and Lord knows we need more of those.

Next week I'm off to Comic-Con and will be camped in Artist's Alley, so if you're going make sure to come by and visit. I can also be found wobbling through the streets of the Gaslamp District at night buzzed out of my gourd on Guinness beer. So if you bump into me there give me a big bearhug and let's knock back a few together.

Thassit! Still haven't seen the Hulk yet cuz of alla the b.s. going on here but I plan on that tomorrow! And then Hellboy II. Finally caught Spider-Man 3 on dvd the other day...wow. This is a very, VERY close second to Batman and Robin for worst movie ever friggin' made, folks. We were embarrassed for Toby McGuire. This movie sucked ass so bad it was awkward to watch. Sam Raimi lost his mind on this one and please, Note to Producers, do not let these directors write their scripts! Total suck-assishness on this movie from start to finish. wow.

word.

r

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