myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics Totally Biased Book and Movie Review: Pan’s Labyrinth Movie Review

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pan’s Labyrinth Movie Review

Pan’s Labyrinth

Starring: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Rated: R for graphic violence and some language

112 min

Drumroll please….

Ok, the musical accompaniment is probably not necessary. But here I am. Tah-DAH.

See? Drums would be nice after such a long absence.

I have no excuse. One of my many mantras…make no excuse unless you have someone to lie for you. And since no one was willing to lie about me having my leg removed due to the bite of a rare, hairy, spotted, STD-inflicted flea…. I have no excuse. Not that me missing a leg would be a reasonable excuse for not reviewing… I mean, you don’t need all ten toes to type, only four, right? And it’s not like I haven’t been reading and watching since I posted last, I have.

I’m just kind of lazy. I apologize to those of you who missed me, and to those of you who didn't, well, kiss my flea-bitten's in the garbage over there.

Ok, there, with that out of the way, let’s talk about creepiness.

The kind of creepiness that bubbles throughout the Spanish fairy tale, Pan’s Labyrinth (original title: El Laberinto del Fauno). When I left the theater, I was thinking hard, about the movie, its gruesome beauty, its wonderful special effects, its great acting… and also I was thinking about what kind of a sick, twisted-up mind comes up with the kind of creature that chases the little heroine during one bite-your-nails scene…. The thing sticks eyeballs in its palms and then hold its sharp-nailed, freakishly long-fingered hands up in front of its eyeless face, spreading the digits out- ewwwww. Excuse me while I shudder.

Ofelia, said heroine, has several enormous problems. The eyeball monster is only one of them. There is also the fact that her mother is having a very difficult pregnancy. There’s the mother’s new husband, a stepfather to rival the evil of Cinderella’s stepmama. There’s the fact that she has discovered this crazy, underground, magical kingdom of which she is apparently the long lost princess, and she has tasks to complete before she can return home. Tasks include but are not limited to; being chased by Eyeballs In Hands Dude, retrieving a key from the belly of a rather large and disgusting toad, and deciding just how much she can trust the faun who has revealed her magical destiny to her.

The faun itself is pretty creepy, but by creepy, in this case, I mean it in the… gee, I never thought of a faun as being covered with dirt and moss and making creaking sounds when it moves… kind of way.

Ofelia and her mother, Carmen, are in war-torn Europe, during World War Two. The Capitan, Ofelia’s badass (and not in a good way) stepfather is after those pesky rebels that keep going around thinking they are equal or something. Ofelia befriends Mercedes, the housekeeper, a kind, loving woman who takes the girl under her wing despite the fact that she has a few things on her mind too…namely her brother, the leader of the rebels, and that little problem of her boss being out for bro’s blood.

When I first saw the poster for this movie, I thought it was a kid’s movie. Note, doting parents of imaginative children like mine… this is Not a Kid’s Movie. (My thirteen year old enjoyed it, and didn’t complain once about reading subtitles, either! I wouldn’t have brought my ten year old on pain of death, on the other hand.) It is not rated R for the fun of it. I had to actually look away from the screen more than once, and swallow so as not to upchuck the popcorn I was merrily munching until the good old captain took a bottle to some poor peasant’s face. Yes, it’s violence, and of the graphic type. But it’s graphically wonderful too. Every actor in this film gives a spectacular performance. If the idea behind acting is to make us feel the character, his or her motives, ambitions, love and hate and, in some fun cases, seething worm-eaten madness... well then, this cast succeeds. The creatures populating the underground kingdom are wonderful and believable, if you have that kind of heart that beats twice as fast in anticipation of good old fashioned Brother’s Grimm-type fairytales. Not the one where the wolf and Red Riding Hood saunter off arm-in-arm to share scones with Gramma. No, this is the one where the wolf gobbles up grams and the little red-caped wonder, and then gets his belly chopped open by an enthusiastic woodsman.

I’m not talking about happily ever after. I’m talking about move you, grip you, and make you think about it as you’re falling asleep that night.

I give it 5 &’s…

&… the computer animation/graphics/whatever were wonderful

&…. The fairytale was spellbinding

&…. The WWII plot was skillfully woven right into it

&… the acting of everyone was pretty damn wonderful

&… that Eyeball Guy... he was like something out of Stephen King’s personal nightmare closet.

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Blogger Jay said...

The poster for this movie was on our movie theatre for months, months before it was released,and I'd never even heard of it. I thought it was a kid's movie too.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Crazy Professor said...


You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.
As soon as we acknowledge
this Supreme Designer/Architect,
Who has erected the beauteous
fabric of the universe, our minds
must necessarily be ravished with
wonder at His infinite goodness,
wisdom and power.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Here's what remarkable men
have asseverated about the
world's bestseller:

"I believe the Bible is the best gift
God has ever given to man. All
the good from the Savior of the
world is communicated to us
through this book."
-- President Abraham Lincoln

"For we must consider that we shall
be as a City upon a hill. The eyes of
all people are upon us. So that if we
shall deal falsely with our God in this
work we have undertaken, and so
cause Him to withdraw his present
help from us, we shall be made a
story and a byword throughout the
world." --John Winthrop, Governor
of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1630

"It is impossible to rightly govern the
world without God and the Bible."
- President George Washington

"The Bible is no mere book, but a Living
Creature, with a power that conquers
all that oppose it." - Napoleon

"That Book accounts for the supremacy
of England." - Queen Victoria

"If there is anything in my thought or
style to commend, the credit is due my
parents for instilling in me an early
love of the Scriptures. If we abide by
the principals taught in the Bible, our
country will go on prospering and to
prosper; but if we and our posterity
neglect its instructions and authority,
no man can tell how sudden a
catastrophe may overwhelm us and
bury all our glory in profound obscurity."
- Daniel Webster (Founding Father)

"The Bible is worth all other books which
have ever been printed." - Patrick Henry
(original member of the Continental Congress)

"The Bible is the anchor of our liberties."
- President U.S. Grant

"It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially
a Bible-reading people. The principals of the
Bible are the groundwork of human freedom."
- Horace Greeley (Editor)

"That Book is the rock on which our Republic
rests." - President Andrew Jackson

"In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible
has never failed to give me light and strength."
- Gen. Robert E. Lee

"Bible reading is an education in itself."
- Lord Tennyson (Poet)

"So great is my veneration for the Bible that the
earlier my children begin to read it the more
confident will be my hope that they will prove
useful citizens of their country and respectable
members of society. I have for many years made
it a practice to read through the Bible once
every year." - President John Quincy Adams

"The existence of the Bible, as a Book for the
people, is the greatest benefit which the human
race has ever experienced. Every attempt to
belittle it is a crime against humanity."
- Immanuel Kant (Philosopher)

"The New Testament is the very best Book that
ever or ever will be known in the world."
- Charles Dickens (Author)

"All human discoveries seem to be made only
for the purpose of confirming more and more
strongly the truths contained in the Sacred
Scriptures." - Sir William Herschel (Astronomer)

"There are more sure marks of authenticity
in the Bible than in any profane history."
- Sir Isaac Newton (Scientist)

"Let mental culture go on advancing,
let the natural sciences progress in
even greater extent and depth, and
the human mind widen itself as much
as it desires; beyond the elevation
and moral culture of Christianity, as
it shines forth in the Gospels, it will
not go." - Goethe (Author)

"I have known ninety-five of the world's
great men in my time, and of these eight-
seven were followers of the Bible. The
Bible is stamped with a Specialty of Origin,
and an immeasurable distance separates
it from all competitors."
- W.E. Gladstone (Prime Minister)

"Whatever merit there is in anything that
I have written is simply due to the fact that
when I was a child my mother daily read
me a part of the Bible and daily made me
learn a part of it by heart." - John Ruskin
(art critic and social commentator)

"The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the
poor and oppressed. The human race is not
in a position to dispense with it." - Thomas
Huxley (Author & Scientist)

"The whole hope of human progress is
suspended on the ever growing influence
of the Bible." - W.H. Seward (Secretary of State)

"America was born a Christian nation. America
was born to exemplify that devotion to the
elements of righteousness, which are derived
from the revelations of Holy Scriptures. Part
of the destiny of Americans lies in their daily
perusal of this great book of revelations.
That if they would see America free and
pure they will make their own spirits free
and pure by this baptism of the Holy Spirit."
--President Woodrow Wilson

For Christians, the life and death of Jesus
are the ultimate expressions of love, and
the supreme demonstrations of God's
mercy, faithfulness, and redemption.
Since Christ's miraculous Resurrection
on Easter, more than 2,000 years ago,
Christians have expressed joy and
gratitude for this wondrous sacrifice
and for God's promise of freedom for
the oppressed, healing for the broken -
hearted, and salvation. --President
George W. Bush

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly
or too often that this great nation was
founded, not by religionists, but by
Christians; not on religions, but on
the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this
very reason peoples of other faiths
have been afforded asylum, prosperity,
and freedom of worship here."
--Patrick Henry (original member
of the Continental Congress)

God designed humans to want to
believe in something. That's the
image of God that is in us. But as
G. K. Chesterton famously put it,
when we reject the God of the
Bible, we don't believe in nothing;
we believe in everything -- including
Little Green Men. - - Chuck Colson

I am trying here to prevent anyone from
saying the really foolish thing that people
often say about Jesus Christ: "I'm ready
to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher,
but I don't accept His claim to be God."

That is the one thing we must not say.
A man who was merely a man and said
the sort of things Jesus said would not be
a great moral teacher. He would either be
a lunatic -- on a level with a man who says
he is a poached egg -- or else he would be
the Devil of Hell.

You must make your choice. Either this Man
was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman
or something worse .... You can shut Him up
for fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a
demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him
Lord and God. But let us not come up with any
patronizing nonsense about His being a great
human teacher. He has not left that option
open to us. He did not intend to. -- From
Case for Christianity, by C.S. Lewis

"Let every student be plainly instructed and
earnestly pressed to consider well the main
end of his life and studies is to know God
and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John
17:3)." - - - The Laws and Statutes of
Harvard College in 1643

"All scholars shall live religious, godly,
and blameless lives according to the rules
of God's Word, diligently reading the Holy
Scriptures, the fountain of light and truth;
and constantly attend upon all the duties
of religion, both in public and secret."
- - - Two central requirements in Yale
College 1745 charter

If you stop believing what your professor
told you had to be true and if you start
thinking for yourself you may come to some
conclusions you hadn't expected. You may
find the Bible makes more sense than you
thought or were told to think. Allow yourself
to be ruined, ruined with regard to what you
always thought could be true. Can you believe
what you don't understand? You and I believe
everyday what we don't understand unless it
comes to the issue of salvation.
- - - Dr. Woodrow Kroll

There is simply no historic foundation for the
position that the Framers intended to build the
'wall of separation' that was constitutionalized
in Everson. The 'wall of separation between
church and state' is a metaphor based on bad
history, a metaphor which has proved useless
as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and
explicitly abandoned. - - - Chief Justice of
the US Supreme Court, William Rehnquist

In 1796 the US Supreme Court issued this
ruling, "By our form of government, the
Christian religion is the established religion,
and all sects and denominations of Christians
are placed on equal footing." Some 57 years
later, after Congress was petitioned to separate
Christian principles from government, in 1853
the House Judiciary Committee issued their
formal report, including these words: "In this
age there is no substitute for Christianity.
This was the religion of the founders of the
republic, and they expected it to be the
religion of their dependents. The great vital,
conservative elements in our system is the
belief of our people in the pure doctrines
and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus
Christ." - - - Dr. Gerald Beavan

"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men,
to own their dependence upon the overruling
power of God and to recognize the sublime
truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and
proven by all history, that those nations only
are blessed whose God is the Lord."
-- President Abraham Lincoln

Trust in yourself and you are doomed to
disappointment; trust in money and you
may have it taken from you; but trust in
God, and you are never to be confounded
in time or eternity. - D.L. Moody

Faith and love are apt to be spasmodic
in the best of minds. Men and women live
on the brink of mysteries and harmonies
into which they never enter and with their
hand on the door latch they die outside.
- - GK Chesterton

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Whoami

P.S. Here's some blogs that I found
of interest
as I negotiated my way
through cyberspace:

Every Student
Religion Comparison
Around the Well
Danish Cartoons
Arabic Cartoons
Muhammad or Jesus???
Answering Islam
Is Jesus God?
A Short Look At Six World Religions
God's Word in different languages...
How to become a Christian
Who Is Jesus?
See The Word
Watch The Jesus Movie
Spanish Cartoons
German Cartoons
Chinese Cartoons
Italian Cartoons
Greek Cartoons
Japanese Cartoons
Portuguese Cartoons
French Cartoons
Hindi Cartoons
Russian Cartoons
'Thought & Humor'

Only one of these is amalgamated with me -
can you determine which one??? Tell me
sometime what your thoughts are about
all this:O)

6:31 PM  
Blogger The Pagan Temple said...

Hey, get that leg out of that garbage can. If you don't want it any more, send it my way, I promise I'll take good care of it.

Do you have AIM?

11:21 AM  
Blogger Meowkaat said...

Jay, it'll scare you...did you see the eyeball monster???? but you will probably like it. :)
Professor Crazy, I don't know how I accidentally approved that rambling bit of advertising... but enjoy the exposure while you can. Did it ever occur to you, leaping from blog to blog like a warty toad, bloated with your own ideas, that people might already have "figured out" their spiritual path... and that you are doing nothing except turning peeps off from 1. Religion 2. America with things like the above? Jesus said to practice your spiritual life in private, not out of the street corner, blah blah blahing where everyone can see you. I'd bet you just "lost" another few souls for the Big Guy, buddy, because they don't want to become what you are.
Patrick! I don't have AIM... I have msn messenger and I am trying to figure out how to make trillian work.

9:42 AM  
Blogger The Pagan Temple said...

Ok, ok, I'll just be satisfied with the leg for now. Seriously, if you ever do get AIM, get AIM PRO, the other versions aren't worth a fried diddly fuck.

And since I know now you didn't really want Professor Crazy's comments-

Hey Professor, kneel down and pray on these nuts.

12:20 PM  

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