» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

July 16, 2008
RATING: 5/10
You have to admit that it's almost not worth me writing a review of anything like Hellboy, a comic book character that I happen to know nothing about but one that you happen to know everything about. If I say it's phenomenal, purists will turn up their noses and insist that a filmic version can only sully the glory of the original blah-de-blah. If I say it's not phenomenal, I'll be told that I could never understand the sophisticated dark comedy of the comic book series. Even though director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) is becoming an individual brand name himself, the Hellboy films still carry the mark of the red beast, and the movies seem to be less about del Toro being dreamy and more about a superhero making wisecracks. So you see, I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't.

Well, I'm going to take the low road and infuriate every dude I know, because apparently they all view Hellboy as an essential thread in the fabric of their youth*. The fact remains, this movie is neither good nor bad. It is merely forgettable. The most solid 5/10 movie I've seen in a long time. My criteria for painting a film this neutral tone of dishwater beige in my mind is simple: If I have to struggle to get a clear memory of the film after only a few hours, and if I have to cringe during more than a couple of lines while watching it, and if I have to cry to the heavens - "When will it all end?? I'm tired and hungry and disinterested!" - then I categorize this film as unalterably ordinary.

Sure, the big, red guy's one-liners are generally funny. And the monsters he brashly destroys on behalf of the FBI look really cool. And as my husband sulkily reminds me (already mad and I haven't even finished writing this yet), it's not every day that you see some superheroes getting drunk on cheap Mexican beer. All those things are just great. No one's career was ruined by this movie, but no one's going to do that thing where they turn to their friend while in line at Starbucks and say, "Actually, Hellboy II is really good. It's like an actual good movie. I mean, I went into it with low expectations, so I was really super impressed." This is no Iron Man. The story was dumb, the writing spotty, the acting is lackluster, and while it's a beautiful, magical miracle that Red (the titular giant devil-type demon with a massive stone hand and a frightening jaw line) and Liz (played by Selma Blair, 'nuff said) are going to have a baby, the mind recoils in horror when thinking about how that baby was actually created. Oh God, I just thought about it again. And again. And again.

Blech, I think I'll wrap this up so I can go back to thinking about Wall-E nonstop. Does it really matter what I think, anyway? Maybe some of you who loved Pan's Labyrinth might still be on the fence (don't get your hopes up), but it seems like most people are either predisposed to love this movie or hate it. That's OK; they're allowed to waste their energy duking it out over this mediocre piece of ectoplasm. The rest of us can turn our hopes and dreams towards The Dark Knight. And if that fails us, there's always Pineapple Express. And if that fails us, then there's Wall-E 2: Eve's Revenge**. What I'm saying is, it's summer, and it's not super hot out. Save your money and your time for when there's a movie worth seeing. In the meantime, go outside and play frisbee golf or something.

*Which is weird, because in my recollection, they all spent their youth playing Doom and watching Salute Your Shorts.
**This doesn't exist (yet), but I think my friend Thara is working on it.

TRAILER: www.apple.com/trailers/universal/hellboy2thegoldenarmy

SEE ALSO: www.hellboymovie.com

Susan Howson
A staff writer attending graduate school in Richmond, VA, Susan Howson cannot be persuaded to stop talking about movies.

See other articles by Susan Howson.



If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.


LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!