SRP $28.95 1.85:1 PCM 5.1 SONY

Director Guillermo Del Toro has finally gotten some of the acknowledgement he deserves after the cross-cultural acceptance of his masterpiece, "PAN'S LABYRINTH." While "HELLBOY: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT" is not in the same league as "Pan's Labyrinth," it's as different and innovative. Based on a comic book, "HELLBOY" is far from the regular albeit, "superhero" environment of DC comics.  The best part of the film, its beginning, takes place in WW2, with Nazis aided by an evil Russian, are trying to secure world domination by opening a portal to another dimension. Before the allies succeed in stopping them, a baby devil creaks through the cracks of the portal, and into the hands of a loving and doting professor, the creature belongs to the side of good. The film jumps to the present day and the professor, dying of cancer, needs to find another caretaker for the grown "hellboy," while at the same time, stopping new threats from the likes of a revived "Rasputin" and other evil cohorts.

There is very little predictable in the film, and that speaks for its success. While some may not like where "HELLBOY" goes, at least one can't claim they've gone there before!  Even the unrequited love angle to the story is semi-captivating!

SONY has provided a 1080p/MPEG-4 transfer with the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  Although the previous dvds of the film and "director's cut" were all impressive, SONY has really improved upon it greatly with the blu-ray.  Many of the scenes are in darker settings, wherein a prominence of blue occurs.  Even within these hues, the detail is magnificent!  In brighter scenes, the colors are extremely vibrant and the detail all the more exquisite. It's a great transfer. there are plenty of scenes that jump off the screen.

SONY has provided a PCM 5.1 mix.  While the various Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes provided are fine, and even aggressive, they're no match for the PCM mix, available in both English and German.  The aggressive mix is pumped up much more with greater clarity and deeper bass in virtually every scene.  The action sequences are filled with panning and discrete effects, but even more leisurely paced moments provide a great display of ambient effects. It's terrific!

SONY has included the great 2 hour documentary found previously on the "director's cut" dvd. There are also deleted scenes and one of two previously available audio commentaries.