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Pan's Labyrinth - reviews

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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted December 12 2006 - 09:50 AM

Caught a DC screening, with a surprise 45 min Q&A with del Toro afterwards. A nice Monday surprise.

The film is utterly haunting, magical, meaningful, and rich. One of the best films I've seen this year (and it's been a GREAT year, in my opinion). The production design is as good as anything I've ever seen. The cast is excellent, and the direction is almost perfectly balanced between the two intertwining stories. I've considered del Toro a very good director, with immense potential. He's reached much of that potential with Pan's Labyrinth.

It's a very special movie. It's also R-rated, and quite so. I rarely exhort moviegoers to shift out of their paradigm (and this is well within most HTF members' paradigms) or "see this film"...but SEE THIS FILM. You (the royal you) will regret not seeing this one in the theaters. I think the official domestic release date is 1/12/07. The Foreign Language Film awards it's getting are well-deserved.

Hey buddy...did you just see a real bright light?

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Simon Massey

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Posted December 12 2006 - 11:43 AM

I'd agree with Chuck with the exception that I preferred Devil's Backbone so I only gave this 9.5/10. Posted Image

Seriously though, this is another great film and a perfect companion piece to the Devil's Backbone.

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Scott_MacD


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Posted December 13 2006 - 05:29 AM

Quite simply, it's the year's best film. Dazzling, scary, unrelentingly creative and passionate. It is as pure and deep as movies can be. Another triumphant vindication of our medium.

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Cory S.

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Posted December 29 2006 - 09:25 AM

I had the chance to check this out this afternoon. This is probably the most imaginative film of the year, given it's theme. On the whole, I enjoyed but I don't think I would put it up there with films such as The Departed, The Fountain, and Children of Men. This is definitely del Toro's best film, eventhough I have a soft spot for Blade II. I'm glad I had a chance to experience this film by a director who clearly knows how to create worlds.
"Because he's the hero Gotham deserves.  But, not the one it needs right now.  So, we'll hunt.  Because he can take.  Because, he's not a hero.  He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector.  A DARK KNIGHT."

#5 of 17 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 03 2007 - 03:48 AM

Had the opportunity to recently watch this film. With all the pre-hype my expectations were very high but nonetheless I very much enjoyed this film. My only disappointment was that there wasn't enough of the fantasy world explored here. Don't let the subtitles scare you -- after a while it becomes second nature to read while keeping yourself focused on the screen action. This is indeed one of the best films I have seen this year and I expect it's going to get a huge word-of-mouth once Oscar nominations start to roll in.


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#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted January 03 2007 - 04:30 AM

I finally got a chance to see this and I was very impressed with it as was my girlfriend, she had the same opinion as you Ron, she wanted more of the fantasy world but she liked the odd juxtaposition of the real world.....just not the amount of it. Posted Image
I on the other hand thought it was well balanced and quite an impressive film (don't take the kid's, that's for sure...it is QUITE violent), the equal if not indeed superior to Devil's Backbone, I will need to see it more than once to decide but it has stayed with me since we saw it which is always a good sign.
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#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Quentin



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Posted January 10 2007 - 04:02 PM

Finally saw this today. Such a rich, well crafted, beautiful, and haunting film. Clearly, it is so close to Del Toro's heart. Rarely do you get a chance to see a film where it is so obvious that it is a work of true passion and love by the filmmaker, but Del Toro's shines through here. While I also would have loved to see more of the fantasy world, I can understand why we don't. This is an adult film, and we adults aren't true believers anyhow. We're lucky we see any at all. The film's end moved me...but, one of the great things about it was that it is open to interpretation in a way I have not seen...maybe, ever. It could be heart-achingly tragic, or upliftingly happy. I'd love to get other's takes on it. My emotional reaction was the 'adult' interpretation - sad. But, I WANT to believe in the happy! Either way, this is my #1 film of 2006.

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Brent T

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Posted January 13 2007 - 12:16 AM

I had to drag my wife to see this film last night and she thanked me afterwards. This is one of those films that you just can not stop thinking about. We discussed it our entire way home and then for another hour or so as we sat on the couch. I am interested in knowing audience reaction at the end of the film. We saw it in a packed theater with people ranging in age from their teens to some I can only assume were in their 70s-80s. When the credits rolled it was dead silent and nobody got out of their seats. We all just sat there as a mass and tried to digest the last two hours of what we saw. It was one of those neat little experiences that only the magic of a theater can provide. I do not wish to discuss too much more on here until it has a wider release because I hate nothing more then spoilers, but please see this film if you can. IMO it has everything you could ever ask from a film, its simply brilliant.

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Chris Farmer

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Posted January 13 2007 - 11:13 AM

Saw it today, outstanding movie. I personally took the most optimistic interpretation. In fact afterwards it never even occurred to me that there might be a depressing interpretation. Even after learning other people don't take things quite so literally though, looking back on the movie I can't see any reason at all to turn from the way I took it to mean.

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   MikeRS



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Posted January 13 2007 - 12:33 PM


#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Abby_B


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Posted January 16 2007 - 09:24 AM

I saw this yesterday and I absolutely LOVED it. Beautiful and haunting, I'm still thinking about it, mulling it over 24 hours later and that almost never happens. Everyone, really, go see this film. It's beautiful.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Gabriel>P


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Posted January 19 2007 - 10:08 AM

Finally saw it today. Pretty amazing, though far more low key then you expect with all the hype. A few transitions seemed a bit odd, but it was great.

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted January 20 2007 - 01:26 PM

I'm not as high on this film as many others are. Perhaps it's the character of Capt. Vidal that just didn't work for me, basically evil incarnate, in this tale. I would call the film brutally unflinching, but its impact on me just left me cold or indifferent to the outcome, be it ambiguous or wide open to personal interpretation. After the film ended, some scenes just made me scratch my head as to why they were even in the film, besides to just make the viewer uneasy. The pacing of the film wasn't all that tight, and the intermingling of the real world and Ofelia's "mythical" world never meshed for me. I guess it's worth a matinee, but it didn't quite thoroughly work for me. I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B-.
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#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Kristian


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Posted January 20 2007 - 02:48 PM

I kind of wish there was a tighter director's cut of this film, with more of a focus on Ofelia. There were a few too many scenes with the resistance that didn't add a whole lot to the story. But that's really as negative as I can get about this film. Gorgeous visuals, hauntingly beautiful score and a heartbreaking central performance from young Ivana Baquero. Easily my favorite in a year that desperately needed some fantasy as an escape from all the forgettable films.
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#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Craig Beam

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Posted January 21 2007 - 12:26 PM

Just got home from seeing it, and I'm still buzzing. What a brilliant film!

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted February 01 2007 - 02:50 PM

Managed to see this in Atlanta ealier this week. Very glad I got to see this in the theater. What a haunting, intense, sad and yet beautiful film. It's really unlike anything I've ever seen before. Amazing that in the same year we get Pan's Labyrinth and The Fountain, with both films showcasing new ways of telling cinematic stories. 10/10

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   BrettV


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Posted February 03 2007 - 03:49 PM

I loved the film as well. Great characters, beautiful story, unbelieably rich visual canvas. I did, however, have huge problems with the sound of this film. The foley was way over the top and distracting in many cases. I thought the mix was subpar actually taking me out of the film a few times. Sound design was interesting, but again, the poor mix pushed everything way too in my face and reminded me that I was watching a film. Great movie, horrible sound.

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