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Hell, cowpies and every girl’s dream

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Ever ask yourself, isn’t it time they made a movie based on an underground comic book about a cigar smoking demon who saws off his horns and fights evil for the bureau of paranormal research and defense? If so, today’s your lucky day. Hellboy has arrived.

Director Guillermo Del Toro ( Mimic, Blade 2) stays faithful to the original Mike Mignola comic and delivers a visually stunning action movie with a nice dose of humanity and romance. And it goes like this: Back in the day, the Nazi’s, evil bastards that they were, hired an evil monk to open the gates of hell and unleash a heavy hitter to help them kill everyone. Good plan, except the Americans stopped them just in time and the demon, Hellboy, was raised by an American scientist to fight evil for the FBI. Suddenly it’s the present day and Hellboy leads as normal a life as any demon can. He’s even in love. The evil monk, pissed off and holding major grudge, comes back with a vengeance and it’s up to Hellboy to save humanity.

Comic book stuff, but actor Ron Pearlman plays Hellboy superbly, bringing humour and human emotion to the role. Del Toro’s action sequences are spectacular and the film was shot in the Czech Republic so it has that dark, gothic, evil comic book feel that fits the story perfectly. Basically, Hellboy rules.

From good comics to crappy cartoons Disney’s Home on the Range is about a cow who farts a lot trying to save her patch of paradise from an evil land grabber. The cows win in the end, which doesn’t come fast enough. Voiced by annoying sounding Rosanne, bored Randy Quaid, and I-really-need-the-work-because-everything-I-do-sucks-so-much Cuba Gooding Jr, Home on the Range is nowhere near as much fun as throwing dried cow pies at your buddies’ heads. Even kids should be able to see through this crap.

And as if we weren’t sick enough of Hollywood trying to put "cool" stuff together to make a buck Walking Tall stars The Rock (who rules) and Johnny Knoxville (who kinda rules) in a remake of an old revenge flick from the early ’70s. The Rock is a special forces guy who comes home to find his town corrupted by a casino/drug scene and he decides to become sheriff and lay the smackdown. The Rock is poised to be the next big action hero and Knoxville steps up as a decent funny sidekick, but Walking Tall lacks the social commentary of the original and the script could use some tightening. Decent, if you’ve got nothing better to do, but it won’t change your life.

However, The Rock totally kills it in the DVD of the week, which is The Rundown. These days action movies are pretty basic but The Rock really proves himself in this one. The opening scene alone is worth the price of the rental. He’s no Angelina Jolie but The Rock has me sold. The age of the ’roided out, muscle-bound action star is over, but The Rock has the right mix of charisma and humour to bring it back but better this time, without the stupid accent. (Can you really believe Schwarzenegger is an elected official? What’s wrong with that country?)

Besides all that, the only other movie opening at the Village 8 has got me really perplexed. It’s called The Prince and Me and it’s a romantic comedy about the Prince of Denmark (yeah he’s clever enough to quote Hamlet) falling in love with a regular girl (Julia Stiles, acting as well as she ever has). The movie is completely chick-flick, and young chick flick at that. But I like Julia Stiles and the girl I want to spend most of my time with hates her. Therein lies the problem.

Can I convince this amazing girl to accompany me to a movie so obvious and witless yet featuring a hot chick living every girl’s fantasy – to hook up with a prince. I bet I can. The Prince and Me is total Cinderella-style, school-girl escapism. But I’ve got no problems with that: Julia Stiles rules, deal with it baby.

At Village 8 April 2-8: Hellboy, The Prince and Me, Home on the Range, Walking Tall, Ladykillers, Jersey Girl, Scooby Doo 2, Taking Lives, Starsky and Hutch.

At Rainbow Theatre Apri. 2-8: Lord of the Rings.

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