Posts Tagged ‘Hellboy 2’

A Bakeoff Without Any Cookies

Last night Evan and I went to the Oscars Visual Effects Bakeoff, an open-to-the-public screening of the 7 contenders for the 5 VFX Oscar nominations. The Academy theater was packed — we had to wait in a line that wrapped around the building into the alley, though thankfully it moved pretty quickly.

The films on the lineup: Hellboy II, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Iron Man and Australia.

It was fun to see Hellboy II again, projected on the Academy’s giant screen. Focusing on the visual effects made me appreciate some of them even more, especially all the detail on the giant green Elemental monster.

The Mummy had a really impressive fight scene between terracotta soldiers and skeleton soldiers. Journey to the Center of the Earth I found a bit gimmicky, with its 3-D effects, which I understand are very technical and hard to do, but felt like they made me focus on the 3-D aspect instead of what was really going on. It was also sort of funny to see two Brendan Fraser flicks back to back.

Benjamin Button was really impressive — I had no idea that Brad Pitt played the character from start to finish and has his aged or “youthened” (the VFX team said they called the process “youthening”) face put on various actors’ bodies.

The Dark Knight was great — and it was the third time I’d seen it — and I forgot how awesome Iron Man was. That suit, the robots, the flying and the fighting were all really cool. I especially enjoyed how the suit came together when the robots put it on Tony.

Australia was a bit more puzzling because the effects were much more discreet. The film has a really beautiful look, and apparently a lot of that was done with set extensions — the VFX crew said that only one scene in the film didn’t have effects shots. It was just tough to tell where the reality ended and the effects began, which I guess was the point. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to check out a before and after of the shots.

We don’t get to vote or anything, but it was neat to be at least privy to part of the process. There were also short introductions and Q and A sessions along with each reel.

Monster Madness: The Hellboy II DVD Release Party

The top of a “burning trash can” table

Last night, Evan and I went to the Hellboy II The Golden Army DVD release party (boy, that’s a mouthful). It was quite an event, and it looks like quite the Blu-ray DVD, with tons of special features, a 2 and a half hour documentary on the making of the movie, a director’s notebook, lots of commentary, a comic book creator and a “goggle view” that lets you see the movie in various stages of visual effects. We can’t wait to get our hands on one and check it out with our new Blu-ray player, which is still in the box.

The party was a major production, which transformed the club Element into a scene from Hellboy, complete with monsters, burning trash cans, and actors from the movie.

Evan and me with a monster

Evan and I had fun taking photos with the monsters who did an incredible job in their elaborate costumes. We’re pretty sure they couldn’t see a thing, and saw quite a few of them being led around the room slowly by hand. Some of their costumes were huge, too, and Wink’s mouth and hads were radio-controlled making him unbelievably life-like.

Evan and me with the enormous Wink

Guillermo Del Toro also gave a presentation about the Blu-ray’s special features, making sure to rib on the cast and costumes in his typical fashion. He’s also hosting the first-ever in-Blu-ray live chat on Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 6 p.m. PST, which anyone can join by signing up at and submitting questions via the “Directors Chat” tab in “My Account.”

Guillermo Del Toro introducing the Hellboy II DVD

There was also a rather funny panel discussion with Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor, Doug Jones, Mike Mignola, a Dark Horse exec and Guillermo. We learned that Guillermo liked to call Jeffrey Tambor “Jeremy” and Guillermo said that Selma and Doug “learned everything they know about handling a weapon from Charlie’s Angels.” The actors confirmed that and Selma added that when using her fake gun, she would say “Bang bang,” when it was supposed to go off, and she had to be reminded to keep quiet during her close-ups. Doug talked about the elaborate costumes he got to wear during the shoot since he played three characters, and they all talked about their favorite monsters — most were partial to the incredible Angel of Death.

Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor, Doug Jones, Mike Mignola, Dark Horse exec whose name I can’t remember, Guillermo Del Toro

After the party, we went to an Italian restaurant next door to the club with the DVD producer, Javier, and his girlfriend Orso (the ones we baked the cake for), a concept artist, Francisco, and a few other people. We didn’t get DVDs, but we did get Golden Army toys and a big hug from Guillermo.

See the rest of our photos in Evan’s Facebook album.

First Look: Hellboy II The Golden Army DVD Release Party Swag

Tonight Evan and I went to the Hellboy II DVD release party. It was great — they turned the Hollywood club Element into a scene reminiscent of the Troll Market in the movie, complete with plenty of monsters, like Wink and the Butcher Guards, and tables that looked like burning trash cans covered with Hellboy II-branded plexiglass. Guillermo Del Toro made a presentation to show off some of the new Blu-ray DVD’s features, like the goggle view, which allows you to see the movie as it was shot and in two stages of temporary visual effects, and he also showed some behind-the-scenes footage from the set. Then there was a panel, with Guillermo, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, Jeffrey Tambor, Selma Blair, Doug Jones and a Dark Horse exec, which had some funny moments, mostly from Doug and Jeffrey.

More to come about the event tomorrow, but for now, check out our swag. Unfortunately we didn’t get our own Blu-rays, but we did get Golden Army toys.

Go See Hellboy II: The Golden Army!

In case you haven’t noticed (we hear there’s quite the publicity campaign going on), Hellboy II is now out in theaters. Of course we think it’s great — Evan worked as the first assistant editor — but we’re happy to see that lots of critics have agreed, too. So take a couple hours to go check it out, and let us know what you think!

Check Out the Hellboy II Trailer

Check out what Evan’s been working on for the past seven months — and what he’ll be working on for the next six months.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army trailer

You can also watch a bigger version on IGN.

More Saturday Fun: Hellboy 2 Wrap Party

As if we didn’t do enough on Saturday, what with our big lunch and art fair excursion, Saturday night was the Hellboy 2 wrap party at Hemingway’s. There were snacks, some good chocolate cake and lots of dancing. The music was a fun, eclectic party mix that made me feel like I was at a bar mitzvah. They even played Hava Nagila. Seriously.

There were tons of people there and we didn’t know a lot of them, since Evan works in the office and not on set, but it was good to see the people we did know.

Of course, now, leave it up to me to get a bizarre but not serious injury–alcohol in my eye. We were on the dance floor when some Hungarian song came on, and the Hungarian crew went crazy. They were standing around in a circle, clapping and jumping up and down around a few drinks. One guy picks up one of the drinks like he’s going to take it as a shot and instead of downing it, either ends up spilling or throwing it–and a good portion of it landed right on me and Evan, including in my eye. Ouch! It stung! And to make matters worse, when I turned around, grabbing my eye, a drunk girl elbowed me in the head. And to only add to this brief moment of chaos, we were in the process of asking the photographer to take a picture of us, and he was still trying to set up and take the photo while I was temporarily blinded. Thankfully, Evan ushered me off the dance floor, I went to the bathroom and dabbed at my eye to try to soak up the strong drink and salvage my makeup, and we took a photo when we got back on the dance floor a few minutes later.

All in all, though, great night. Saturday was just a whole great day, actually.