Tag: Doug Jones

The Shape of Water

People don’t like Guillermo del Toro like I like Guillermo del Toro. Wanna know how I know? Because I gave Crimson Peak 3 stars. Great film, you should check it out. Decently creepy, and very beautiful.

Unfortunately, we are never going to get the Hellboy 3 he invisioned (now that the reboot is coming), but it seems to me like The Shape of Water is him telling an offshoot Hellboy story without needing Hellboy. Or at least, a prequel about Abe before he joined the B.P.R.D.

And I am a bit annoyed that this review is coming to you so late in the year, well after the wide releases, because I wanted to be in the forefront, waving my del Toro flag around, hoping that my eyes bleed from beautiful awkwardness.

There it is, love at first sight.

Way back a long time ago, long long ago. Let’s say the 1960’s. Yeah, that sounds good. Somewhere in Baltimore, close to DC, lived a mute girl by the name of, Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins). She led a simple life, generally alone in her world. She would wake up late at night, bathe, masturbate, eat, and head to work because she worked as an overnight cleaning lady.

She had a friend, Zelda (Octavia Spencer.) who worked with her and did all the talking for the duo. She also had a neighbor, Giles (Richard Jenkins), an eccentric artist who a lot of strong opinions on everything. But she has no one to love, to really be intimate with, outside of the occasional Giles snuggles.

Well, at work one night, a strange shipment comes in, and their head of security (David Hewlett) says it is their most important thing ever! It comes with its own team of scientists, led by Dr. Robert Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg) and some sort of federal agent, Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon). And sure enough yeah, it is some sort of Creature from the Black Lagoon! Or at least an Amphibian Man
(Doug Jones) from the Amazon Rain forest and rivers where he was worshiped as a god.

Oh fun! A creature that people are afraid of, who is being abused, who also has communication problems and is alone. Well, Elisa seems to have a connection to him. She feels his pain and wants to put him at ease. And when his life is on the line and other countries want him dead as well, she is going to have to put a lot more of herself out there than ever before.

Also starring Morgan Kelly as a below adequate pie flinger.

Michael Shannon desires only above average pie flingers.

At this day and age, it is very hard to give us a sort of “star crossed lovers” story and have it believable. We get it. People can be with anyone at this point. Romance against all odds.

So what about a woman and an amphibian man. Not a man who turned into a fish creature, but you know, some entity that evolved on its own, completely separate from humans, despite being humanoid. See, this is the new stuff that storytellers need to be tackling, the things that the Republicans have been warning us against.

Hawkins gives an astounding performance as our mute lead, and I am surprised there currently is not a giant campaign against her taking actual mute actresses work, or whatever. She does an amazing job, doing so much with those eyes and her smile. Shannon and Stuhlbarg are a bit cartoon-y, but that is okay given what they end up doing. Shannon’s villainness started off slow but really escalated near the end during the climax. I was very scared in the scene with Spencer.

Jenkins continues his eccentric small characters that he has been doing recently, and Spencer is unfortunately playing a role she keeps getting put into. She needs a better agent to showcase her range instead of the same thing over and over.

The film is stunning to look at, the Amphibian Man is detailed in every facet (and orifice). Doug Jones is finally being acknowledged for his astounding work in the creature field. There are so many positive things to say, but really, just see it for yourself for a different experience.

By and by, this is probably the finest piece of interspecies erotic ever written.

4 out of 4.

The Bye Bye Man

So many January films, so little time. In January, most of my reviews were of Oscar quality films, trying to catch up before the Awards ceremony of everything that would be nominated. So I missed a lot of January releases, and to be fair, a lot of them didn’t even have prescreenings.

The Bye Bye Man had a prescreening, it just wasn’t worth me leaving my house for.

January horror films can be some of the worst things to sit through. For some unknown reason, they really want to make January the second scariest movie after October. They really don’t have to try that hard though, given the quality of the movies that come out in that month.

It would be hard to find someone that isn’t scared of how bad things like I, Frankenstein are.

Yeah, still not as scary as The Legend of Hercules.

A long time ago, some weirdo with a rifle decided to kill his friends and family in a small suburb, then he killed himself. He kept saying “Don’t Think It, Don’t Say It.”

Now lets fast forward to the now times. A group of kids in college, ready to take over the world. We got Elliot (Douglas Smith), his girlfriend Sasha (Cressida Bonas), and their friend John (Lucien Laviscount). They get a house together off campus, you know, for college things.

Eventually, Elliot starts seeing some weird things occur with a coin they find in a night stand. This night stand is something they just bought in a sale and brought over to furnish the place. It is full of strange writing, erratic, “Don’t Think It, Don’t Say It,” like a crazy person.

Blah blah blah, a seance happens in their place, from another friend (Jenna Kanell), and things get even more trippy. The friends start to hallucinate, thinking of this Bye Bye Man fellow (Doug Jones), with a dog, and train sounds. Just acknowledging his existence is enough to get him to mess with your life, and so the more people you talk to about him, the more people who will die or get killed. Hooray!

Also featuring Carrie-Anne Moss, Erica Tremblay, and Michael Trucco.

This part is amusing if you imagine Abe Sapien from Hellboy coming at you instead.

You know what, if I was just analyzing the plot, or the acting, or the characters themselves, this would be an easy 0 out of 4. But I was intrigued by one, and only one aspect of the movie. The camera work was top notch. The opening scene really sort of drew the viewer in, with a few longer takes, having this random guy take a rifle and shoot his family and neighbors.

I really enjoyed the opening, which had a tragic moment happen in the bright sunlight, it felt fresh. And when it got modern, the film got darker. More scenes took place at night, or with tinted lenses to really give that…modern edgy look or whatever to them. Because now we are dealing with college students, living on their own, party party! The film got notably uglier, but the camera work was still pretty decent from my point of view.

And yet, that is the only positive notes. As I already said, plot bad, acting bad, characters bad. Tone was bad too. Mythos for The Bye Bye Man was all over the place. It really made writing the whole movie quite easy when you can just say the characters hallucinate whatever with extreme detail to get them to do anything. It feels lazy.

Also our star, Douglas Smith? Honestly, he has such an uncharismatic face, it is annoying to watch him for most of this film. Which is mean. I don’t hate you as a person Douglas Smith, but you don’t match the role that you were given.

This film is an easy pass, but it will probably have thirty sequels, because YOLO.

1 out of 4.

The Watch

The Watch had a lot of negative press surrounding it. Unfortunately its first previews started to appear right before the Trayvon Martin shooting down in Florida. Which was done of course by someone on a Neighborhood Watch patrol. Bad timing indeed!

But really this has very little to do with the plot of the movie. Because this movie is dick jokes and aliens.

Mouth face
Lets count how many dicks and aliens you see in this scene.

Evan (Ben Stiller) is a normal middle aged man living in Suburbia in Ohio. He founds a lot of clubs and cares for his community. But bad things happen. Very bad things. Like the security guard at Cotsco, HIS STORE, was brutally murdered and had his skin shaved off. Pretty damn gross. He realizes the cops in the town are pretty incompetent. There are only eight, and the main two hate him (Will Forte and Mel Rodriguez). Plus they think he is a suspect, since he had the ability to get into the store!

Well damn. So Evan founds the Neighborhood Watch while his wife (Rosemarie DeWitt) is away for a weekend, but interest is limited. He gets Bob (Vince Vaughn) a rich man who loves capitalism, but has to raise his daughter (Erin Moriarty) mostly alone because his wife travels for business, and really just wants some nice man friends. There is also Franklin (Jonah Hill) who now lives with his mom, wanted to be a cop, but failed all the tests, including the mental one. And Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) who also really wants to just hang out/fit in after a divorce, and has an Asian fetish.

This rag tag group of people are forced to do mundane things, until…Evan hits something with his car. And it has green slime! And there is a weird ball that explodes whatever they point it at, assuming they actually finger all the holes. Turns out it is Alien technology, and they might be dealing with a giant alien invasion in their small town Ohio!

I’m sure the creepy skin talking neighbor (Doug Jones) has nothing to do with it. Also Nicholas Braun is in this movie, as guy trying to get with Bob’s daughter. So you know he is going to get fucked up as well. And why does Evan not want to have sex with his own wife? Damn it, Evan.

Oh, so he lets out his steam another way? Do go on.

DICK JOKES. Dick jokes on dick jokes on dick jokes.

Honestly, I’d say that 85% of the humor in this movie was about the male genetalia. It just kept coming up, and came quite frequently. The other 15% would be spread out between some racial/ethnic humor, bromance, and then miscellaneous. But wow.

I didn’t think the plot was that bad. But a movie needs to penalized if it strikes the same funny chord as its go to mechanic. Thankfully the dick jokes were actually, mostly, well connected. But at the same time, it got quite annoying.

Vaughn played a character he always does, and Stiller basically the same. I would say Ayoade and Hill brought something different, since at least with Ayoade he hasn’t really been in an American film yet, and Hill got to play a pretty psychotic military character.

So sure, a bit disappointing, but thankfully it wasn’t complete trash.

2 out of 4.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Hellboy II: The Golden Army made one of the worst mistakes ever. The worst being releasing your movie the same date as The Dark Knight.

So instead it id the second or third worst mistake ever. It released in theaters the week before The Dark Knight. Sure, all the fanboys would go to see both. But people who only watch once a month, or random viewers who had to choose between two “comic book movies” meant Hellboy II would lose every time.

This is a shame, because Hellboy II ended up being better than Hellboy in every way. (If I had to review Hellboy, I’d probably give it a 2 out of 4. Interesting, but not my favorite. Cool concept, falls short.)

Hellboy II
That outfit? All make up, no CGI. What!?

Hellboy (Ron Perlman) is up to his same antics. He hates being locked away, wants to be free. Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), who can ignite herself and other objects on fire, is now his “girlfriend”, but they are fighting as they live together. Why? Because she is pregnant (awkward). It is causing things in the B.P.R.D. to be quite a mess. Abe (Doug Jones), the fish man and Tom (Jeffrey Tambor), the director, are worried the antics will cost them jobs.

Well Prince Nuada (Luke Goss), an ancient elf is pissed off. He wants to return to the surface world, reignite the golden army of indestructible robots, and kill all humans. His race disagrees, so he kills a bunch of them. Not his twin sister, Princess Nuala (Anna Walton) though, because if one of them gets hurt, so does the other. So he causes problems and Hellboy uses this opportunity to join the world!

This causes a new director to come in, Johann Krauss (Voiced by Seth MacFarlane), an old being who is now all gaseous and shit. And German. Now they have to run things by the book, and figure out how to find out whats going on with the elves.

More fights happen, unexpected love between fish and elf, giant plant beasts, close deaths, certain destruction, and golden armies.

abe hellboy
And probably the best version of “Can’t Smile Without You” of all time!

As expected, I loved this movie. As I said, the action is better, the story is better (general rule in the sequel, since you don’t have to waste as much time with origins), it is funnier, and introduces great new characters.

It might be closer to the comics too, but I still haven’t read them. I am anxiously waiting an ending to the saga with a Hellboy III. It might be a few years from now, but they keep claiming he will eventually destroy the world, as that is why he was summoned in the first place, so that shit needs to almost happen.

Oh yeah, and I am pretty sure Hellboy is how Ron Perlman normally looks, and every other time is him in make up.

4 out of 4.