The Scribbler Scratches Your Conformist Brain

The Scribbler

So, you know how people will say that nonconformists are actually conformists because they conform to nonconformity? Don’t listen to those people; they’re wise-asses without the wise. Nonconformity suggests a collection of people with staggeringly diverse tastes, personalities, aspirations, and ideals. Nonconforming groups like hipsters and hippies aside, it would be incredibly difficult to find two free spirits who think exactly alike. Now, take around twenty of those personalities, cram them into a single, sassy protagonist, and set her loose in a very tall halfway house for the socially and mentally inept; that there is the recipe for The Scribbler.

Suki, our delightful protagonist (played by Katie Cassidy), is afflicted with that brutal case of dissociative identity disorder, and flew the cuckoo’s nest all the way to Juniper Towers. Sometimes called the Jumper Towers due to the inanely high suicide rates within, this “psychiatric purgatory” is Suki’s final step on the road to normalcy. Doctor Sinclaire, Suki’s psychiatrist, employs the use of a seemingly volatile technique called the Siamese Burn; it is a form of electroshock therapy that regulates synaptic firing and effectively “burns away” excess personalities while counting those that remain.

The ScribblerThe Scribbler is given a vague presence early on in the film, but as the counter on Suki’s burn box shrinks, it becomes much more prevalent. Characterized as the film’s tentative antagonist, Suki is afraid that this mute but powerful personality is her true self, leading her to struggle with her ultimate goal: To follow through with Sinclaire’s treatment and risk losing out to the Scribbler, or to consider herself a permanent, incurable resident of the Jumper Towers and risk being incarcerated once more.

But then, a third option opens up. Out of the blue, Suki wakes up after a day-long blackout to find that her Siamese Burn box has been dramatically modified by none other than her brain-sister. Hogan (Garret Dillahunt), Suki’s long-time friend, tentative lover, and the only male patient in the Towers, samples the modified box and claims that it let him experience his true self. The stakes are raised all the more; if our protagonist were to use the newly modified box, who would she become? Suki, or the Scribbler? And why does Alice (Michelle Trachtenberg) keep pushing her down the stairs?

The ScribblerThis one’s definitely lacking in budget, but as far as B-movies go, The Scribbler is solid gold. Sure, it can feel a little nonsensically preachy at times, but that’s part of the charm. Up until the end, that is. The conclusion of the movie seemed rather… out of place. Epic, but out of place. Regardless of its shortcomings, the characters are strong (though most of them short-lived), the plot is gripping, and the musical score ain’t half bad. Watch you The Scribbler.

Matt Donato of WeGotThisCovered reveals the sad truth about poor little Scribbles: It yearned to be a cult classic and a seamless comic book adaptation, but lacked the chutzpa to pull it off. It seems the general consensus is that the conclusion was icky, but it is nice to see the Scribbler personality get some actual screen-time. Even if it is spent kung-fu fighting in the rain! Check out the WeGotThisCovered review right here, okay?

What the Hellboy

Hellboy

Apologies to anyone who thought my punny title insinuated a predominantly negative review. It’s actually more medium positive. Ahem. Shall we begin?

I didn’t know Guillermo del Toro did Hellboy. Huh! The costumes and CG definitely make sense now, which is to say, they’re over-the-top but tolerable… for the most part.

Hellboy is the action-packed story of a demon summoned into the world by Nazis only to be captured by America and raised to fight the forces of evil. Those of you who have played Bloodrayne basically already know the entire plot, so watching the movie is a formality. On top of the perfunctory involvement of the Third Reich in Satanic affairs, Grigori Rasputin is set in the seat of the antagonist. You’d think a perverted false-prophet freeloader would warrant a less important position, but there you go.

HellboyThe story resembles something out of a comic book (which it is): Spunky, strange-looking heroes with unusual superpowers, and villains looking to do something outlandishly evil and apocalyptic for no real reason. Take Abraham Sapien, one of the non-combat sidekick types. He’s a fish-man with the “unique” frontal lobe that lets him read minds and sense the timelines of objects he touches. Or Liz Sherman, a humanoid pyromancer with a past full of bullying and misfortune, who so happens to be Hellboy’s love interest. Hellboy himself gets immunity to fire and a big stone hand that he uses for smashy fun time. I suppose his tail counts as a part of his hero loadout, but he only ever uses it to steal a six-pack of beer, so I’ll leave that judgment up to you.

HellboyThe deal is, the Nazis want to use Hellboy to open up a special gate that will free a terrible Eldritch beast and subsequently turn Earth into Hell. They begin their devious scheme by releasing a hellhound called Sammael, the uh… dog of many titles. He regenerates from grievous wounds and lays plenty of eggs, so most of the fight scenes are engulfed by his generous presence. This is rather unfortunate, because several of the concluding fights seem particularly quick if not rushed, whereas ol’ tentacle chops gets three or four chances to hump Hellboy to death. No humping actually happens, okay?

Despite its sometimes icky CG and silly-angsty sense of humor, Hellboy is a fun movie to watch. It’s two hours long, which unfortunately doesn’t manage to escape the inescapable time-crunch of turning a written work into a movie. It’s not too harsh an impact, though, so despite the fact that you’re going to wish Hellboy spent a few more minutes slapping the giant purple tentacle cactus, you’ll be satisfied with the film as a whole.

HellboyKim Newman of Empire Online liked del Toro’s movie adaptation of Mike Mignola’s comic. It’s a comic, by the way. Thought you should know. As it turns out, Guillermo remained extremely loyal to said comics, so fans will be able to enjoy a good watch without too many “THAT NEVER HAPPENED” moments. And newcomers might have reason to check out the source material! Here’s the alt review link for your perusing: http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=9788

The Butterfly Effect, A Temporal Tragedy

The Butterfly Effect

When I saw Ashton Kutcher on the cover of The Butterfly Effect, I had several serious doubts regarding the content of the movie, specifically the quality of the acting and the overall tone. I was wrong on both counts, and surprised to find that the ending was the most depressing thing ever. More depressing than the fact that this movie has so many spoilers that I’m going to have to divide an entire section off just to review it normally. That in itself is worth positive mention.

This first part is not spoilers. Evan Treborn (Kutcher) suffers from sporadic blackouts in which he is not aware of what he is doing, nor does he remember once they end. As a child, he was friends with a shy girl named Kayleigh, a quiet boy named Lenny, and an asshole named Tommy. Unlike every Stephen King movie you’ve ever seen, these kids are more than fluttery, brainless balls of cheer and ignorance. Their activities definitely affect their future selves, causing them to carry forward severe psychological scars.

The Butterfly EffectYou see Evan keeping journals of his daily activities, particularly the bits in which he blacks out. They play a huge role in the film, but I can’t tell you why until you hit the spoiler section. Oh, wait, there it is-

SPOILERS BEGIN NOW. In his college years, Evan discovers that by reading his old journals, he can temporarily jump back in time and change his actions. The blackouts were caused by his future self taking over. Time travel, eh? Now the title of the review makes sense. With this power, Evan tries to forge a perfect future by meddling with the past. Every time he changes something major, he wakes up in a new timeline, and is assaulted by years of new memories rushing into his brain, causing cerebral damage and nosebleeds. A little crazier with every jump!

In most jumps, all he does is make things worse. He changes from sexually abused to amputee to prisoner (not necessarily in that order) to… well, I can’t spoil the final jump. Everyone connected to his life suffers in some way, making each timeline imperfect, thus unacceptable. The end is bittersweet, but sad enough to leave a lingering gloom while the credits roll. All I’ll say is that he finally finds a way to make everyone happy.

No more spoilers! The most prominent theme in The Butterfly Effect is causality; action, consequence. The title would suggest as much, but the movie delivers an unorthodox interpretation of the matter.
The Butterfly EffectSpeaking of unorthodox, Ashton portrays Evan’s psychological changes very well, managing to translate the kid Evan’s personality over consistently, and vice versa. It’s interesting to see a goofy actor take on a serious role, and it tends to incite… unfulfilled expectations. You won’t laugh that much, but you’ll feel connected and curious.

It’s an excellent watch, but certain points get a little difficult to bear, what with all the drama pouring out everywhere. I’d recommend this movie to people who like being on the edge of their seats, because there are many climactic moments and twists to throw you off the predicted path.

Scott Chitwood of ComingSoon liked The Butterfly Effect, citing the only negative aspects to be Ashton’s thematically abnormal role and the excess nudity. I agree with the first, but I think the second part plays second fiddle to the conclusion. If you were a kid, you wouldn’t want to understand the final message. Hell, I’m not sure I’m able to come to terms with it. Shame I can’t spoil it. Here’s the link, be sure to watch the movie: http://www.comingsoon.net/news/reviewsnews.php?id=3122

Blood: The Last Vampire, 90 Minutes of Murder

Blood: The Last Vampire

Blood: The Last Vampire is exactly what’s written on the tin. It’s about a Japanese vampire named Saya that hunts down demons for a secret government agency while disguised as a schoolgirl. You get to see her slaughter a lot of things while pushing through sub-par plot and dialogue. Also, the special effects are and I quote from my first viewing of the movie, “No” on a scale of 1-10. I’ll complain more after I get further into it, so prepare yourself.

Saya has to go to a Japanese all-girls school in an American military base to beat down a pair of demons disguised as humans. Saya gets to wear a cute little schoolgirl outfit because reasons, and it’s really easy to tell which girls are the demons because they’re colossal jerks and try to kill a transfer student with katanas. Saya’s agents clean up the mess she makes of the demons, and the military fellas on the base start asking questions.

Blood: The Last VampireOh no, Onigen, the ultimate super powerful demon, is coming to town to kill everybody! That means all the demons that have blended into society get to come out and wreak havoc. Their poorly rendered 3D bodies get to slightly damage poorly rendered building chunks and then they get cut to pieces by Saya. Good plan, right?

There’s some more stuff about transfer student’s dad, and then she hangs out with Saya and the both of them go to face Onigen together. Despite the icky quality of the film, I shouldn’t spoil anything except for the fact that the big reveal is actually pretty stupid and royally clichéd.

Now to complain about things! Yay! I’ll start with the fact that the demon outbreak fight scene is strung the hell out. Slow motion every other second, the same slash being played over and over again for like sixty different generic demons… Ugh. It’s rare that I actually lose immersion during a fight scene and wonder to myself, “Are they done yet? Geeze Louise.”

Blood: The Last VampireThe constant and intrusive flashbacks aided in giving Saya some backstory, but it’s the same old, same old. She met her old master, trained under him, then Onigen killed him and she swore revenge. Also she had a boyfriend but her vampirism made her eat him. Tasty!

The last complaint was the terrible effects, but I already gave that enough mention that saying it again would be like packing this review with so much filler that it begins to resemble a movie called Blood: The Last Vampire.

I think I’ve made my point. Despite the overall poor quality it does have some pretty nice scenes near the beginning, however, so feel free to watch the first half hour or so before dropping it like an unwanted child on the doorstep of a random kung-fu master. Can you dig it?

Oh dear LORD it’s a movie based off of an anime. That explains everything. Holy hell. Ross Miller of ScreenRant will explain to you everything that I didn’t initially understand. He’ll let you know why the CG is forgivable, why the action is better without wire fighting… I don’t know. I need to look a few things up. Excuse me: http://screenrant.com/blood-the-last-vampire-reviews-ross-15155/

Brave Breaks the Princess Standard

Brave

Tell me, my charming reader chum, who is your favorite Disney princess? Snow White? Sleeping Beauty? Tiana? Rapunzel? After seeing Brave, Merida shot to first place. As stated in the title, Brave broke the princess standard, something I haven’t seen in the Disney formula for years. No prince charming that the princess is bound to from the beginning? A strong, independent female lead who values her freedom? Wh… what the hell is going on? And why do I love it so much? I’ll tell you why. It’s silly, dramatic, and delivers a sweet yet prominent message that’s easy to comprehend. This is a movie for Disney fans of all ages.

From the beginning, Merida is bombarded by instructions on how to be a perfect princess. Her mother, Elinor, is the prim and proper queen of a seaside Scottish Highland kingdom. When she calls upon the three clans of the Kingdom to compete for Merida’s hand, the princess sabotages the archery competition by taking part and winning her own hand.

BraveThis is where a twin set of plots come in. One is relevant to the prologue of the movie, in which a young Merida discovers a will o’ the wisp and learns that they’re said to guide travelers to their fate. In a desperate attempt to stop her mother from controlling her life, she makes a deal with a witch in order to “change” her. This turns her into a bear, and the change will be permanent on the second sunrise. Simultaneously, the three clans and the kingdom are bordering war because of the insult presented by Merida’s refusal to marry. There’s a lot to fix.

It’s a fair balance between silly and serious, the darkest aspect has to be Mor’du, the black bear that took King Fergus’s leg. He (not Fergus) nearly ate Merida when she was a child, and he appears again several times to do the same. He’s also the center of a few big reveals, so don’t set him aside as the obligatory antagonist. There’s more to him, eh?

There are many likeable characters in this particular Disney flick, the scenery is just gorgeous, and the plot is just the right distance from the Disney formula to feel both new and familiar. Brave has taken a lot of crap for being bland, unoriginal, boring, and many other negative adjectives generic critics can throw out, but I personally guarantee that if you do watch, you’ll enjoy yourself. Merida’s a sassy lass, and the three clan leaders and their children are very silly indeed.

BraveYou see, this is what happens when the formula is broken. The moment these critics realized that Brave wasn’t a permutation of the typical formula, they rip at it for “trying too hard,” being unoriginal, and all that rot. You can take all those blatantly negative reviews and put them aside; on its own, Brave is a wonderful family movie, and you’ll have to gauge its quality for yourself rather than listen to pretentious and jaded reviewers shovel their empty opinions onto it because it’s fun to do. It could become a favorite, it could be vanilla, but that’s up to you to find out. If it was outright terrible, I’d let you know, wouldn’t I? But it isn’t, so you should probably go out and give it a view.

CinemaBlend’s a trustworthy source of quality reviews, I’ll have you know. I’m aware of the fact that I often spend too much time criticizing critics, but I do it for a reason. Genuine unbiased reviews are hard to come by with all this “pay for ten of ten” nonsense floating around. Anyhoo, Brave doesn’t deserve all the crap it gets, and if you read this review right here, you’ll get a good idea of why: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Brave-5895.html

9 A Grim Kind of Happy

9

9’s a VERY short movie title. I think I’ll call it Tim Burton’s 9. But as it were, Timur Bekmambetov is a producer of this movie, too. Their initials (middle names exempt) are the same, so the title is now Double TB’s 9. Teebeenine? With all that unrelated crap out of the way, I’m sure you’d actually like a review.

9’s not your typical post-apocalyptic movie. Where another director might use zombies or gun-toting mercenaries, Tim Burton would use dolls animated by a fragment of a human soul. The plot isn’t terribly complicated, but it still manages to fill 80 minutes without any major lulls. Considering it was based off of an 11 minute short, that’s particularly impressive.

The story begins with 9 waking up in the room of the scientist, confused and alone. He meets 2, who gives him his voice and is inadvertently captured by the “Beast,” a giant dog-like creature left behind after the world-ending war. A little backstory: The scientist created a highly intelligent and creative A.I., which was seized by the military government and forced to make war machines. Long story short, the machines went berserk and shrouded the Earth in a deadly poison gas.

9The first struggle is with the Beast. 9 and 2  face off, resulting in the elderly 2 being whisked away to the factory, along with a mysterious little device. After 9 unites with the rest of the numbered crew (1-8), 9, 6, and 7 set out to rescue 2.

You know what, let’s make this easier. Identities to names, GO:

  • 1: The elderly control freak that is scared of everything.
  • 2: The elderly inventor who explores and collects stuff.
  • 3-4: The mute twins that capture images with their eyes.
  • 5: The good natured, one eyed doll that helps 9 repeatedly.
  • 6: The oddball that has the most knowledge about the “device.”
  • 7: The lady-warrior that has too many moments of badass.
  • 8: The big beefy jerk with all the weapons. Also 1’s bitch.
  • 9: The curious protagonist. Creative and clever on the spot.

9The final struggle is with the scientist’s A.I., brought back to life after 9 connected the device to it. It begins to develop more war machines, trapped in its volatile cycle even without soldiers to fight. Then again, 1-9 could be seen as the enemy soldiers.

My issue is, the dolls all harbor a piece of the scientist’s soul. The scientist claimed that the Machine was incomplete because it lacked a human soul. Throughout the movie, the Machine tries desperately to absorb the fragments of the scientist’s soul to complete itself. Even though you’re meant to empathize with the doll people, you kind of wonder what would happen if the Machine acquired all nine pieces. Would it gain a higher intelligence? Would it give up on the imaginary war and try to repopulate the planet with machines? Wait for it… 9 2, the Machine’s Story.

9 isn’t a movie you’d want to miss if you’re into Tim Burton’s stuff. Josh Tyler of Cinemablend thinks that 9 isn’t up to scale, regarding proportions and distance. He could be going a little harsh, since the movie is based off an eleven minute short. If the focus was on them walking, there would be lulls. The terrible kind that I was talking about. But still, it’s a fair point. Here’s the review link: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/9-4159.html

Scott Pilgrim vs The World – More Wimp than Jerk

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

I’ve got nothing against Michael Cera. He’s a cool guy, great in all his soft-spoken roles. I’ve got nothing against the Scott Pilgrim franchise. On the contrary, I’ve read the books and played the game. But even though I saw the movie first, I don’t think Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a good movie. The only reason I think this is because Michael Cera doesn’t properly portray the wannabe lady-killer jock jerky-jerk that Scott Pilgrim is. Instead, he makes Scott look like an awkward wimp that has his badass moments. It makes his relationship with Ramona look forced and stupid. Oh! Synopsis, right.

Scott Pilgrim dates a high schooler. 17 years old and Chinese, Knives Chau is adorable and impressionable. She loves Scott’s band, Sex Bob-omb, and thinks he’s a total stud. His life is great! And then he has a dream about Ramona Flowers and meets her at a party. What else can he do but obsess? Why, he can cheat on Knives, of course. After an awkward seduction, he convinces Ramona to give him a chance. Of course, he waits a bit before breaking up with poor Knives. In fact, his cool gay roommate Wallace Wells has to offer him an ultimatum in order to get him to break up with her. Anyway.
Scott Pilgrim vs The WorldDuring one of their band’s gigs, Scotty boy is attacked by Matthew Patel, the first of Ramona’s Seven Evil Exes. From that point on, our protagonist’s life descends into a real shit-storm of drama. Knives is stalking him, his traumatizing ex, Envy Adams is in town, and she’s brought an evil ex with her. Lucas Lee the pro-skateboarder turned film star came first, though. It seems like everyone wants to kill Scott now that he’s dating Ramona. Worst of all, Ramona’s got some lingering issues with one of her exes from New York. Gideon Gordon Graves, the big bad final boss.

I’m not gonna write out the whole movie for you, because it doesn’t exactly have a complex plot. The movie doesn’t, I mean. It obviously had to omit some of the finer details and backstory in order to shave off enough time to avoid making a modern day video-game oriented Godfather or Titanic. Unfortunately, this also drastically dunks the quality of the movie for those who have read the graphic novels. To be expected, but obnoxious nonetheless.

The entire theme of the books, movie, and game is one collective goofy tribute to retro-gaming. The graphic novels stray from the video-game genre the most, however. In all six books, the plot plays out more like an action hero teen drama more than a level-by level hallway of challenges. The only spectacularly linear aspect to it is the one-at-a-time battles with the evil exes.

Scott Pilgrim vs The WorldSo what can I say? Rent the movie first to test the waters. If you like the theme, the gist of all the characters, and the cheesy humor, then it’d probably be a good idea to get the books. They’re no longer at the peak of their popularity, so you can probably get them for a much more reasonable price. Think of them as a much more aesthetic and detailed take on what the movie presents. If you like those, then by all means, go get the game. You can get it on the Playstation Network or the Xbox Live Arcade bauble for maybe five or ten bucks. It is the full tribute to retrogaming, complete with music by the fantastic soundchip band Anamanaguchi.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about that. Good franchise, good stuff. The movie’s icky because of Michael Cera. That is NOT what I envisioned Scott’s hair to look like in real life. Geeze Louise. Done.

 

Aaron Weiss of CinemaFunk hasn’t read the books, but certainly has the right idea about the movie; nostalgia. It makes you think about back-in-the-day scenarios about comics and 8-bit vids that progressed level by level. I don’t think the movie was too long, though. But then again, it’s kind of predictable/pretentious to expect the movie to be a carbon copy of the books, so maybe reading this review would be better for you than mine: http://www.cinemafunk.com/movie-reviews/scott-pilgrim-vs-the-world.html

The Rocky Horror Picture Show! Oh, Rocky!

The Rocky Horror Picture ShowMusical theatre isn’t exactly something everyone can pick up and love. Perversion and funky humor, on the other hand, seems to be more widely accepted. Same with skimpy outfits and transvestitism. So why not mash all of them up and make Tim Curry wear drag? That is correct, lads and lasses. It’s time to learn about The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This is a film adaptation of a cult classic play that’s been loved ever since its first performance. It’s not one of those six hour dramas with complicated plots and subplots that’ll have you digging your fingernails into your chair with tension, but it’ll certainly have you shivering with anticip… pation! The Rocky Horror is more about enjoying the ride and the tunes. You won’t be satisfied with watching it once. Let’s talk plot.

Brad and Janet are driving to meet Doctor Scott after a wedding and find themselves stranded after a wheel blows out. They decide to ask for help at a nearby castle (yes, castle) and find themselves pulled into a raunchy world of cross-dressing, incest, and spontaneous song and dance. Like Disney if it was done by a watered down Playboy black sheep, right?

The Rocky Horror Picture ShowDoctor Frank N. Furter and his servants are celebrating the discovery of the means to create life from nothingness, and Brad and Janet witness the birth of the obscenely hunky Rocky. Oh, Rocky! Turns out Frank N. Furter just wanted a big piece of man meat for himself, and he certainly succeeded. Then, after pulling that off, he proceeds to seduce both Janet and Brad, after which Janet seduces Rocky.

The arrival of Doctor Scott marks the beginning of Frank N. Furter’s treachery, as he captures Brad, Janet, Rocky, Doctor Scott, and his servant Columbia with a beam that turns people into statues. Instead of doing anything legitimately evil, he makes them perform a floor show while dressing everyone in feather boas and corsets. Especially Brad. It’s probably one of the better parts of the movie. Oh, but. Beware of boobs, because Columbia gives an arbitrary flash just to keep you interested. It’s that one thing in the movie you’re expecting the whole time, but it only ever happens once.

The Rocky Horror Picture ShowThe rest is one huge spoiler, something so enormously unexpected that it still gives me a laugh to watch, and I’ve seen it more than twenty times at this point. I can say right here and now that Tim Curry is the star of The Rocky Horror for a reason. Frank N. Furter makes The Rocky Horror. Between killing his ex-lovers, humping everything that moves, dancing in drag, and playing with dye to make sexy men, he’s pretty great to watch. But don’t take my word for it. Have a watch and see for yourself. I personally guarantee that it’ll be one of the greatest and strangest movies you’ll ever see.

Despite the fact that the site’s called BadMovies, Andrew Borntreger gives The Rocky Horror Picture Show a positive review. It is indeed difficult to understand just what message this freakin’ movie’s trying to send, but if you check out his lessons learned section, maybe it’ll become clearer. I got a good laugh out of that. Here’s the link, anyway: http://www.badmovies.org/movies/rockyhorror/

Pan’s Labyrinth is A-MAZE-ing


Pan's Labyrinth
Sure, the title isn’t funny, but the fact that Pan’s Labyrinth had to be tagged as “not a children’s movie” while being sold is. You look at the front and think it’ll be some cute story about a little girl in a fairy tale world, and then realize that you’re wrong; so wrong that you’re probably going to cry.

Pan’s Labyrinth is a story about a little bookworm, Ofelia, traveling out into the woods of 1944 fascist Spain with her pregnant mother and sadistic army officer stepfather. She discovers a mysterious insect that leads her through and ancient, broken labyrinth, dropping her off in what appears to be a well dedicated to a mythological god. A faun appears before her and explains that she is the daughter of the King of the Underworld, and that she has to accomplish three tasks before the moon is full.

I should note that Underworld in this context doesn’t mean Hell; it just means a world underlying the “real” world. Just thought I’d clear that up. Oh, and while I’m clearing things up, this entire movie’s in Spanish. No dubs, only subtitles.

Onward. As she departs from the well, the faun gives her a book that explains the three tasks as they occur. The first is to crawl into a dying tree and feed a giant toad a set of three stones in order to kill it. She manages to pull this off, but ruins the dress and shoes her mother gave her accidentally. The tree was messy and muddy. Poor girl.

Pan's LabyrinthBefore she can accomplish the second task, her mother begins to hemorrhage; a complication with her pregnancy. When she returns to the faun, he scolds her for not following through, but then gives her a mandrake root to put under her mother’s bed in a bowl of fresh milk. So long as she keeps the milk fresh and the root fed with two drops of blood each day, her mother’s health will improve.

A halt in the partial synopsis here to state that there are actually three perspectives going on throughout the movie. Ofelia’s is one. Then comes Mercedes, a servant to the fascist officers occupying the area. She’s spying for the rebels in hiding, and helping them by sending food and medicine. Finally, there’s Captain Vidal’s (Ofelia’s stepfather, the sadistic officer) perspective. He’s busy hunting rebels for the most part, so he doesn’t really ever join the party until Ofelia’s mother’s condition worsens, or when he begins to find clues linking Mercedes to the rebels. It’s high tension, bound to keep you on your toes until the very end.

Pan's LabyrinthYou know what, skip the synopsis. I don’t want to ruin it all. I’ll just leave it a little ruined. A major point I’d like to make is that Pan’s Labyrinth has no serious flaws. The acting is great, the emotional scenes hit home, the tone is dark and somber, and the visuals are, for lack of a less clichéd word, stunning. Seriously. That faun is freaky looking. And wait until you see the Pale Man of Ofelia’s second task. Yucko. The conclusion will definitely leave you wondering what really happened, since mixing fairy tales with reality never really tends to create a definitive plot. An ambiguous, satisfying ending, more or less. You’ll like it.

Lexi Feinberg of CinemaBlend shines the spotlight on this movie’s tendency to make you feel pretty bad about everything. It is, in essence, the anti-Disney movie of the year. Every time something changes, it drags the tone deeper down into the swirling black abyss of hopelessness. Shame, eh? Here’s the link, just in case you want to double-check and make sure I’m not making this up: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Pan-s-Labyrinth-1832.html