I recently injured my mousing hand and have not been able to spend more than a few minutes online or typing. I pushed myself and worked anyway, and paid for it by making my injury worse. So, unable to do anything that required using my right hand for a few days, I decided to watch my favorite movies. Out came Iron Man (Iron Man 2 is awesome, btw!), the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (HB2).
For the past three days, it's been HB2 that I've watched, including the special features (especially the training sequence for Prince Nuada, which was shortened considerably in the final release). The next day, I watched it with the actor commentary on, which included the voices of Luke Goss (the prince) and two other characters. Today, I watched it a third time with the director/producer's commentary -- Guillermo del Toro.
He's a master at creating villains who are 3D -- not flat personas, but living breathing people. Nuada makes mistakes and does some things right; he has morals and values, and actually has a stronger role than the main characters. He stole the entire show. For being a bad guy (and I mean B-A-D), he is extremely sympathetic. Some of this is del Toro's writing, other parts the actors' ability to express nuances of emotion, even behind all that makeup. I can't recommend this movie highly enough. Nuada is sultry, and his relationship with his twin sister in the film is highly sensual.
Luke Goss Sans Makeup
In the movie, there's a seven feet tall monster named Mr. Wink, and he is not a CG character. An actor wore a 140 pound suit and others manipulated some of its features remotely. Ron Perlman (Hellboy), who is well over 6 feet tall, tackles the guy in one scene, wrapping himself around one of the creature's legs. Del Toro creates as many physical props as possible, and in this movie, nearly 99% of what you see on screen was actually there.
I had just finished watching Pan's Labyrinth by Del Toro, and noticed that some of the fairies from that movie were in this one as well. According to him, HB2 is one of his three favorite movies.
It's definitely one of mine! I found Pan's Labyrinth quite disturbing. Although both that movie and this one contain violence,
I'll let you in on a little secret. I have a page on my website dedicated to Prince Nuada. I created a character named Pietas back in 2004 in the first version of At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, and one of the reasons I bought HB2 was to study Luke's moves and gestures, in order to have a good model for further writing about Pietas. Like Nuada, Pietas is a villain -- but he's 3D as well. No one is truly all bad or all good. I like to give my characters flaws, and Pietas has more than his share. Pietas is featured in the upcoming For Women Only, releasing from Loose Id on June 15th. Check out the Pietas page here: http://kayelleallen.com/ideas-pietas.html
One more thing about Luke Goss; he has a twin brother. Imagine two of these guys! I'm off to rest my hand per doctor's orders, but will be checking for comments during the day.