30 Second Reviews of Hell Boy, Jersey Girl, Hero, and Shaolin Soccer

by Mike Shea on 16 September 2004

Hell Boy is another example of a good movie ruined by dialog. Watch Hell Boy and imagine how much better it would be if Hell Boy's dialog was limited to only the bare necessities. His conversation with the pyro girl, his description of what he whispered to the Great Old Ones to get her spirit back, but none other. He would be far scarier and far more interesting with fewer lines of dialog. Movie writers would do well to Murder their Darlings as James Patrick Kelly writes. Kill those idiot lines of dialog.

The rest of the movie has a very cool Cthulhu style of rendering hell and the demons inside. It does, however, also suffer from a overuse of special effects. I remember how little we saw of the alien in Alien and how much scarier it was because of that. I don't want to know what the demons all look like; let my imagination fill in the blanks.

Still, Hell Boy was better than I expected it to be. Its worth a rental.

Jersey Girl wouldn't have ever made it onto my list if it hadn't been a Kevin Smith romp. Like Chasing Amy, Smith writes a story that goes far beyond dick and fart jokes. He has explosive moments of dialog and some very realistic characters. Though its a love story (a love between a father and daughter in this case), it is still quite enjoyable. Take your lady to see it and tell her its a chick flick. This way you get a free pass for Resident Evil 2 without having to see something as horrible as Ya Ya Sisterhood.

I also saw Hero in the theater a couple of weeks ago. This kung-fu opera is beautiful and very well done both in effects, story, and costume, but I felt like it hung onto each powerful scene just a little too long. Like Hell Boy, it suffered from a lack of editing. How emotional should I get watching the same three people kill themselves? If you like Crouching Tiger, you'll like this one.

I also finally rented Shaolin Soccer. The preview is better than the movie. Stick to watching that over and over instead of watching the rest of the movie.

Send comments to mike@mikeshea.net or follow @mshea on Twitter. If you enjoyed this article, please use this link to Amazon.com for your next online purchase.