The Shape of Water (2017)

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor (Screenplay) Guillermo del Toro (Story)

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones

 

Plot: At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.


Tagline – Based on an idea by Daniel Kraus And Guillermo del Toro

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Spectacularly Beautiful

 

Story: The Shape of Water starts as we follow lonely mute woman Elisa (Hawkins) who works as a janitor in a secret government facility with her trusted friend Zelda Fuller (Spencer), Elisa’s silence helps the government know the secrets won’t get released with only her neighbour Giles (Jenkins) being anyone outside of work for her.

When a new creature Amphibian Man (Jones) is bought in with strict security officer Richard Strickland (Shannon) as the facility looks to experiment on the creature. When Elisa strikes up a friendship with the creature, she will do anything to make sure he stays alive and safe once the facility decides they want to examine his organs.

 

Thoughts on The Shape of Water

 

Characters – Elisa is a mute lonely woman that works as a janitor and only has one friend in her personal life. When a creature gets bought into her facility she sees the loneliness he is feeling and wants to save him, believing it to be her purpose. Amphibian Man is a creature taken from his home to be experimented on by the Americans, he is lonely and finds communication from Elisa comforting in his captivity, even though he is highly dangerous to anyone who gets too close. Richard Strickland is the man in charge of the operation with the creature, he wants to do harm and tries to intimidate the people who don’t want to follow his orders. Giles is the trusted neighbour that Elisa turns to for help, he is similar to him with his loneliness in the world too, while Zelda is the one co-worker that Elisa has to turn to and the one that translates her sign language. Dr Hoffstetler is the man that doesn’t want to see the creature hurt, for science and his true alliance in the world.

PerformancesSally Hawkins is fantastic in this role, her emotions are shown in every movement and expression on her face in a role with no words. Doug Jones has spent his career performing the odd roles being able to transform himself, this is his biggest and easily his best role to date. Michael Shannon in the villainous role shines just like we know he can every time. Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer and Michael Stuhlbarg complete the casting wonderfully playing the supporting roles just how they need to be.

StoryThe story follows unusual attraction, finding someone that accepts you to make you feel safe and how government will do anything to learn from an unknown creature. This is both magical, tragic and special from start to finish. Each side of the story shows how different people didn’t fit in during the early 60s and just how love truly works. This is an original story that plays on as many different emotions as it possible can.

Adventure/Fantasy/RomanceThis is an adventure like never before, it shows the risk taken to do the right thing for love, which helps play into this unlikely love story that captures you from the first moment, showing just how love can change you in a second. The fantasy elements are full blown what you would have come to expect from a del Toro movie now, both magical and fantastical.

SettingsThe settings keep everything safe, we have a faceless city with a secret facility which works because we wouldn’t have this facility in a big city.

Special EffectsThe effects used through the film keep everything looking fantastic through the film, nothing seems to look out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Bathroom flood.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I actually think this is flawless.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most perfect movies I have ever seen, if has heart in every scene and just makes you feel on edge to just where it will go.

 

Overall: Brilliant, stunning and fantastic.

Rating

 

 

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Crimson Peak (2015)

peakDirector: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro (Screenplay)

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver, Burn Gorman, Leslie Hope, Doug Jones, Jonathan Hyde

 

Plot: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds – and remembers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gothic Romantic Horror

 

Story: Crimson Peak starts with Edith Cushing (Wasikowska) looking back on here young life when she first saw death, when her mother died at the age of ten. Edith gets haunted by her own mother who warns her about Crimson Peak. Edith now a young woman has her life turned upside when mysterious strange Sir Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston) and his sister Lady Lucille Sharpe (Chastain) arrive in America. Thomas wins her heart but only after her father Carter (Beavers) dies and Edith returns to England with the Sharpe’s.

It becomes clear that the Sharpe siblings are up to something but the ghosts of the house seem to have ideas of their own in the form of warnings for Edith, but we are remained to wonder what are the secrets of Crimson Peak? Edith old friend Dr Alan McMichael (Hunnam) is investigating just what happened to Carter and once he uncovers the truth we will too.

Crimson Peak brings us a complete mix of genre unlike anything we have seen before, this could actually be the downfall of this film though. We do get good elements in this film with the horror having the ghosts warning haunt, a mystery about what the Sharpe’s are really up to and the romantic angle between Edith and Thomas. I do feel they are sometimes overcrowding the angles but I do like the idea the horror doesn’t end being over the top. I do think this is a different style of film to the standard horror we are used to seeing which is a big plus really for the genre.

 

Actor Review

 

Mia Wasikowska: Edith Cushing is the young aspiring author who gets seduced by the charming Mr Sharpe. When her father dies she returns to England where she gets haunted by the ghosts of the mansion as she learns the secrets of the Sharpe’s. Mia gives a good performance but never really reaches the level we know she is capable off.edith

Jessica Chastain: Lucille Sharpe is the sister of Thomas, she keeps herself to herself but is always calculating her next move, and having a control over Thomas. Jessica does a good job in the final act but really doesn’t have much to do in the opening half of the film.lucile

Tom Hiddleston: Thomas Sharpe is the charming English man who comes to America, charms Edith and brings her back to his home in England to make her his wife. He does have a secret behind his motives but will he let love takeover. Tom does well in a role you could see him playing all day long.thmas

Charlie Hunnam: Dr Alan McMichael is the family friend of Edith who clearly has eyes for her and even after she leaves he decides to figure out what the secret about the Sharpe’s really is. Charlie gives a god performance but sadly doesn’t get enough screen time.

 alan

Support Cast: Crimson Peak doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast and the ones we see do a good job when needed.

Director Review: Guillermo del ToroGuillermo brings his own style to this film that we all know is what makes his so popular and you can see it all in every scene.

 

Horror: Crimson Peak only really uses the horror for the warnings for Edith.

Mystery: Crimson Peak gives us plenty to think about as we have to work out what the Sharpe’s motives really are.

Romance: Crimson Peak brings in a romantic story line where an older man wins over the heart of the young woman.

Settings: Crimson Peak keeps most of the setting in the isolated mansion in the middle of the English countryside which adds to the horror elements.
Special Effects
: Crimson Peak creates very good effects for the ghosts that feel unique for the film.

Suggestion: Crimson Peak is one to try, I can see people not liking this but I think it is rewarding in the long run. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Ghosts look great.

Worst Part: Not enough time on each genre.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Maybe on effects, make up and costume categories.

Budget: $55 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: Beware

 

Overall: A style of film we don’t see any more that will be remember for years to come.

Ratingcard

Guillermo Del Toro Weekend – Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

logoDirector: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Mike Mignola (Screenplay) Mike Mignola (Comic Book)

Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Alexander, Luke Goss, Anna Walton

Plot: 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.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Fair Tale Comic Book

Story: Hellboy II: The Golden Army starts with a quick recap on how Hellboy came about, before entering into a time period between the two events 1955. we see Professor Bloom (Hurt) (Returning after dying in the first film) telling a young Hellboy a fairy tale about the elves in their battles and the birth of The Golden Army. The story follows that a crown that can control the Golden Army is separated into three, one for the humans and the other two spilt between the Prince and Princess.

Back to present day we meet Prince Nuada (Goss) who comes to Earth to reclaim part of the crown given to the humans. Hellboy (Perlman) is still getting himself in trouble by being witnessed again, but he is struggling to cope with his new relationship with Liz (Blair).

When Prince Nuada decides to declare war on the humans he must first kill his father before leading his people into battle, he must find his sister Princess Nuala (Walton) who has the final part the crown. Hellboy and his team with their new leader Johann Krauss must learn to work together to stop the elf war.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army is by far the most unique comic book films I have seen, I loved the full blown fairy tale side to the story that made the villain almost the most important because he is actually fighting for what he believes to be right. Unlike most films were there is evil is all about destruction this one wanted power. I do think this is the most underrated comic book of recent years. The only negative side to this film would be that the character bought into make a future character no longer exists in the film. (8/10)

Actor Review

Ron Perlman: Hellboy is still struggling with the loss of his father as well a struggling with his relationship with Liz. He must work with a new leader who he doesn’t get along with as thy enter the elf under world to save the world again. Hellboy also tries his hardest to be accepted by the world who starts to question his motives. Ron continues to shine in this role using his flair throughout the film. (8/10)hllboy

Selma Blair: Liz Sherman is the love interest of Hellboy who ha the ability to turn into fire, she makes for great partner in combat as Hellboy can’t gt hurt by fire but she wants to live a normal life too. Selma does a good job building upon her character from the first outing. (7/10)liz

Luke Goss: Prince Nuada is the elf prince who wants to go back to war with the humans from the elf underworld. He wants to take his place back believing the humans are no longer worthy of walking the Earth. Luke does a good job in this role making for a good villain. (7/10)prince

Anna Walton: Princess Nuala is the twin sister of Prince Nuada who still wants to respect the ways of her father and must team up with Hellboy to prevent her brother from committing his war. Anna does a god job making for a god supporting character addition. (7/10)princess

Support Cast: Hellboy II: The Golden Army builds on the supporting characters added with brilliant fantasy characters bought into the elf world as well as the returning characters working with Hellboy.

Director Review: Guillermo del ToroGuillermo brings us his fantasy element to a comic book making him the absolute perfect choice to direct. (10/10)

Action: Hellboy II: The Golden Army is filled with action pack battles against different fantasy figures. (8/10)

Fantasy: Hellboy II: The Golden Army puts us in the middle of a battle between elves and human giving this a real fantasy feel throughout. (9/10)

Settings: Hellboy II: The Golden Army creates a mix of real settings and fantasy underworld settings that make this a much more beautiful film. (9/10)
Special Effects: Hellboy II: The Golden Army brings us stunning effects to create the alternative world for the action to take place. (9/10)

Suggestion: Hellboy II: The Golden Army is one all comic book fans just have to watch. (Watch)

Best Part: Getting drunk.

Worst Part: Though John is written out easily enough I feel his character still had something to add to the story.

Action Scene Of The Film: Planet creature in Brooklyn.

Funniest Scene: Locker room fight.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: There is constant talk of a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Nominated for one Oscar

Box Office: $75 Million

Budget: $85 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: From the visionary director of Pan’s Labyrinth

Trivia: David Hyde Pierce did the voice of Abe Sapien in Hellboy (2004), while Doug Jonesplayed the physical part. For Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), Jones also does the voice. The reason is because the producers hoped Pierce’s name would make the first film a box-office smash. But he refused to be credited because he felt Abe Sapien was Jones’ work, and as such did no promotions or interviews, or even attended the premiere.

Overall: The most unique and brilliant comic book film.

Rating 85

Guillermo Del Toro Weekend – Hellboy (2004)

lgoDirector: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Peter Briggs (Screenplay) Mike Mignola (Comic Books)

Starring: Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair, Rupert Evans, Karel Roden, Jeffrey Tambor, Doug Jones, Brian Steele

Plot: A demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Great Dark Comic Book Film

Story: Hellboy starts in 1944 Scotland as we follow young soldier Trevor Bruttenholm as an experiment involving the paranormal is being performed by the Russian’s while our American’s are trying to stop it. Grigori Rasputin (Roden) plans to open the gates of hell and releases a demon that will help the Russian’s win the war. While the American’s do prevent the event happening the gate was open long enough for a baby demon Hellboy to come through and befriend Trevor who ends up becoming his father.

Fast-forward to the present time 2004 (year of release) where Hellboy is a myth, a cover up in America. Rasputin is bough back from the dead by his loyal followers, while Hellboy (Perlman) gets a new partner John Myers (Evans) who receives the tour from professor Bruttenholm known as Broom (Hurt). Hellboy is about to come up against the very man who bought him into the world Rasputin who is long thought of to be dead while facing personal problems with his old flame Liz (Blair) and his father Broom.

Hellboy is a comic book film that is different to everything we have know, it focuses a lot more on the paranormal side of effects. Even though this comes off with similar styling as the comic book film it doesn’t have a super strong villain where it tests the hero to make the right decision. This film is over ten years old and I can safely say I would rather watch this than most of the Avengers universe films. This is fun action pack and just enjoyable without losing the darkness in the story. (8/10)

Actor Review

Ron Perlman: Hellboy is the demon who comes through a portal where he spends his life fighting the paranormal for the Americans. He is the anti hero we haven’t seen in comic book films before he just wants to be accepted by has to spend his time in hiding. Ron did a great job as the anti hero using his charm and physical image to make a great performance. (8/10)hellboy

John Hurt: Trevor Bruttenholm is the man who raised Hellboy as well as running the paranormal investigation unit for the American government. He always protected Hellboy through the worst times and has know searched for his replacement due to his terminal illness. John gives a good performance in the mentor role which works for the film. (7/10)brom

Selma Blair: Liz Sherman is the former member of the team who is trying to live a normal life but when her abilities flair up again she returns to fight along with Hellboy to stop the gates of hell opening. Selma was a good supporting character and love interest with our hero. (7/10)iz

Rupert Evans: John Myers is the new recruit sent to the paranormal section where he must learn the ways as Hellboy is picky about who he works he proves to be a good ally even if they don’t see eye to eye to start with. Rupert does a solid job but doesn’t seem to get the character development he needed to have. (6/10)jon

Karel Roden: Grigori Rasputin is the man who released Hellboy that now wants to continue bringing his vision of pure evil to the world from beyond the grave. Karel does a good job in the villain role that doesn’t rely on strength rather than brains. (7/10)rasputin

Support Cast: Hellboy has a supporting cast that includes the supporting villains that has one assassin that is very cool but otherwise most of the support cast is the disposable characters.

Director Review: Guillermo del Toro – Guillermo dos a great job directing this dark comic book film that really works making this entertaining but still unique to the genre. (8/10)

Action: Hellboy has some very good over the top action but doesn’t have a true stand out moment though. (7/10)

Fantasy: Hellboy brings us the into the world where demons are just past the other dimension. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: Hellboy brings us into a future world where the end could come from something different. (8/10)

Settings: Hellboy uses settings you would expect to see with the genre being used. (6/10)
Special Effects: Hellboy has great effects throughout that help work with the story. (8/10)

Suggestion: Hellboy is one for all comic book fans to enjoy because it just feels different the superhero films. (Comic Book Fans Watch)

Best Part: Hellboy is a great character.

Worst Part: I feel like it would have a bigger following if it came out now.

Action Scene Of The Film: Train chase.

Funniest Scene: Liz and John’s date with Hellboy watching

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes has one.

Post Credits Scene: There is one.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $59 Millions

Budget: $66 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

Tagline: Give Evil Hell

Trivia: Doug Jones‘s (Abe Sapien) voice was dubbed by David Hyde Pierce, but Pierce refused a credit, because he felt that Abe was entirely Doug’s creation and did not wish to detract from his performance.

Overall: What the comic book genre needed, something different.

Rating 80

Guillermo Del Toro Weekend – The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

logoDirector: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Antonio Trashorras, David Munoz (Screenplay)

Starring: Fernando Tielve, Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi, Inigo Garces, Irene Visedo, Junio Valverde

Plot: After Carlos, a 12-year-old whose father has died in the Spanish Civil War, arrives at an ominous boy’s orphanage he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets that he must uncover.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Ghost Story

Story: The Devil’s Backbone starts with the death of a young boy Santi (Valverde) whose body get dumped by the boy who finds him. We move to see Carlos (Tielve) being taken to an orphanage while his father goes off to fight in the Spanish Civil War. It doesn’t take long fr Carlos to see the ghost of Santi but while investigating Carlos makes friends with a couple of boys in the orphanage along with running into the bully Jaime (Garces).

When Santi gives Carlos a warning that many people will die Carlos finds himself in trouble with the janitor as we learn of Dr Casares (Luppi) smart ways of working out which children are working together. Once Carlos has proven he can be trusted he befriends the children as he learns about the adults as well as what is meant to have happened to Santi. All this as the war starts to move closer to the orphanage putting everyone’s life in danger.santi

The Devil’s Backbone is a film that manages to mix a ghost story, heist and war film genres that make each scene different without forgetting the previous scene. I love the ghost story element because it fits into my favourite idea of haunting to solve or warn. The heist shows how far one man will go to get money and the war side gives the film the tension that something terrible could happen. This is a must for all horror fans and is easily one of the best ghost stories you will see. (9/10)

Actor Review

Fernando Tielve: Carlos is the young boy dropped of at the orphanage as the war continues, he has to deal with normal school issues while being haunted by the ghost of a former student trying to give him a warning about what will happen at the orphanage. Fernando does a good job in the leading role dealing with all of the tragedy of war and being stuck in an orphanage. (8/10)

Federico Luppi: Dr Casares is the man at the orphanage who looks after the student medical side but is also the person the principal turns to when it comes to solving problems the boys could have started. He treats the boys well and shows them all respect and all he asks it to see it in return. Federico does a good job in this wise man supporting role. (7/10)

Marisa Paredes: Carman is the principal at the orphanage that knows how much of a struggle having al of these boys will be and she leaves for her own nightmares of when she lost her leg. Marisa gives a good performance in the authority role without being too strict. (7/10)

Irene Visedo: Conchita is the attractive maid working at the orphanage that is in a relationship with Jacinto but deep down she is still very young at heart and not ready to be part of his evil plan. Irene does make for a good supporting character and shows a strong side by the end of the film. (7/10)

Eduardo Noriega: Jacinto is the janitor of the orphanage but he is trying to rob the safe, when things get out of hand he is responsible for many of the children’s deaths but he just won’t give up on getting his money. Eduardo is a great villain of the piece who is only out for himself as the story unfold, he actually makes you hate him which is what a lot of villains can’t do. (8/10)

Inigo Garces: Jaime is the bully to start with but soon becomes good friends with Carlos, he was with Santi when he was killed and knows who didn’t it but it too scared to speak up about who did it. He gets a chance to make up for his mistakes in the final act as he can help Santi’s spirit finally rest. Inigo does a good job in this role showing mature side even though he is still young at heart. (7/10)

Support Cast: The Devil’s Backbone has a supporting cast that includes the rest of the people inside the orphanage, they don’t get many lines but are important to the final outcome.

Director Review: Guillermo del ToroGuillermo give us a masterpiece in the ghost film genre that will leave you shocked by the final moment. (10/10)

Horror: The Devil’s Backbone doesn’t hit the full blown scares but when you first see Santi you will be scared. (8/10)

Settings: The Devil’s Backbone keeps most of the setting inside the orphanage which shows how isolated the children are from the rest of the world. (10/10)
Special Effects: The Devil’s Backbone uses great effects to create a new looking ghost which hasn’t been repeated since. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Devil’s Backbone is one for all the horror fans out there to watch, I do feel even the none horror fans will enjoy this. (Watch)

Best Part: The story is brilliant.

Worst Part: Won’t appeal to the subtitle haters out there.

Scariest Scene: Peeping through the key hole.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $4.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: What is a ghost?

Trivia: Described by Guillermo del Toro as being a sibling film to Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) (this being the masculine “brother” film, and Pan’s as the feminine “sister” film).

Overall: Brilliant, Magnificent just how many words can I use to describe this?

Rating 90