Not only is he a brilliant director, but Guillermo del Toro's witty and personable too, as he charmed a roomful of us at the launch party for the Blu-ray release of Hellboy II: The Golden Army last night at the club Element in Hollywood. In his lilting Spanish accent, he explained the DVD-making process and described the wealth of special features available, prompting laughs along the way.
"We recorded the process of making the movie in an obsessive, compulsive, sometimes horrifying way, to provide a behind the scenes that is very thorough and even sometimes shameful to witness. You see us go through the entire process, when everyone is a director. You see how circumstances change your mind, budget change your mind, weather, change your mind. You can see behind the scenes with the set visit [featurettes]. A lot of times you get these obscene requests from friends and family: "When you gonna invite me to the set?" I tell them, it's boring as f***! People think moviemaking is all champagne dreams and caviar whatever, it's not - it's gritty work. It's like carpenty, without the head injuries. The set visits were done in a very witness-your-death way. There's no editorializing, but some swearing. You can see the way the set works. But unlike being on the set you don't get catering and you're allowed to leave."
He showed us the director's notebook that comes in the collector's edition, which contains del Toro's drawings, concepts and details about making the film, and announced a date for the first-ever BD live chat, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. "We put a man on the moon, have our first African American president, so we're going to break new ground and have the first ever BD live chat." Find out more on how to participate.
A panel discussion with the film's stars Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Jeffrey Tambor and creator Mike Mignola followed del Toro's presentation. When asked about coming back for the commentary, Selma answered: "I was trying to be very careful on the commentary. I've burned myself on previous commentaries. I'm a commentary ruiner. I think I probably talked about what fish roll I ate or something. Something irrelevant, as usual," she laughed. Somehow, we doubt that.
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I loved this movie. I can't wait to try the BD live thing.
"Welcome to the party, pal."
"I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."
"When am I gonna learn how to punch?"
"These go to eleven."
"Benjamin, have you ever been severely beaten about the face & neck?"
"Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."
"Jessica's got cable."
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