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Working through the Hugo nominees is exposing me to a lot more parts of the sf world: it is a surprisingly good educational experience. I was vaguely aware of the Hellboy comics but had no idea that there had been a film version, let alone two.

I'll be honest: the most exciting thing about the film for me was that the climactic segment is set in a steampunk elvish subterranean vault under the Giant's Causeway. Unfortunately the local colour is just some aerial photography of the Antrim coast, before we return to location filming presumably somewhere in California (cloudless sky, wrong sort of vegetation, and crucially no hexagonal basalt pillars in sight) but I appreciated the effort (as I'm sure the Montenegrins appreciate Karlovy Vary and Lake Como in Casino Royale). The Bethmoora demon's Ulster accent was not quite as bogus as I had feared (John Alexander is Scottish). Apparently King Balor's lines are all in "Gaelic", which presumably means Irish; would be interested to know what any gaelgeori thought of this. Also "Nuala" and "Nuada" do not have three syllables. (Maybe two and a half, depending, but the stress is certainly not on the first 'a'.)

The special effects are great: thinking especially of the tooth fairies, the Elemental stomping New York, and the Golden Army reassembling itself; also Dr Kraus's ectoplasm and Liz Sherman's fiery manifestation. The script is OK, some witty lines, some interesting setup for future stories, but a lot of cliches. The plot is pretty straightforward. I will rank WALL-E ahead of this in my ballot.


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 10th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
(Maybe two and a half, depending, but the stress is certainly not on the first 'a'.)

I lost some respect for Adam Boulton a while ago when, covering a general election on the country adjacent to his own, he authoritatively told viewers that the governing party was "Fee-AH-na Foil". I'll forgive him mispronouncing Fáil, of course, but if he'd ever heard the name, he shouldn't have got Fianna wrong.

He also said that Fianna Fáil were equivalent to New Labour and Fine Gael to the Conservatives. Comments? I certainly didn't agree, except so far as electoral fortunes were concerned.
Jun. 10th, 2009 06:59 am (UTC)

I suppose one could argue that, from very different beginnings (nationalist populism v the trade union movement) FF and New Labour ended up in similar spaces wrt economic policy. But the instincts are still pretty different.

FG and the Tories are very different (and the Tories, desperate to reinforce tha impression, are now leaving the EPP-ED group in the European Parliament). FG has always aspired to be a centrist national coalition party - it was founded as a fusion of three disparate groups after all. Its economic polisies vary from centre to centre-right, where the Tories vary from centre-right to hard right. We are seeing a temporary convergence right now but that is even less substantial than the current convergence between FF and Labour.

The crucial difference, of course, is that FF are the natural party of government in Ireland, and the Tories are the natural party of government in the UK.
(no subject) - lasultrix - Jun. 10th, 2009 08:17 am (UTC) - Expand
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Jun. 10th, 2009 07:29 am (UTC)
Actually, they filmed mostly in Hungary, I think. :) Also, the first Hellboy movie is better. :)
Jun. 10th, 2009 07:35 am (UTC)
Wherever they filmed, it was certainly somewhere with better weather!
(no subject) - mizkit - Jun. 10th, 2009 07:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 10th, 2009 07:52 am (UTC)
It took me a while to discover that Nuala isn't meant to have three syllables thanks to an ex-boyfriend's mother (Aine) who always called her sister Noo-UH-luh. It was a good six months before I discovered it was a family joke and deliberately done to wind poor Nuala up. (I learned how to pronounce Maire correctly from the same family, when I studied Brian Friel's Translations for A level. My teacher had been calling the poor girl Mary for the several years he'd been teaching it.)
Jun. 10th, 2009 08:30 am (UTC)
Growing up next door to a Niamh (in South Essex) taught me that Irish names are not pronounced as they are written in English.

As a student in Coventry, I once heard a mother bellow to her daughter: "See-Ob-Han! Come here now!"

I still wince at the memory.
(no subject) - sammywol - Jun. 10th, 2009 08:36 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - sammywol - Jun. 10th, 2009 08:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 10th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC)
but the stress is certainly not on the first 'a' No shit! Not sure I can watch the movie now. I will be cringing just waiting for this moment, or worse, from the sounds of it, series of moments.
Jun. 10th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
Well, since Nuada and Nuala are major characters in the movie (he's the main villain), there are a lot of those moments. I was well aware that they were prnonouncing the names wrong, but it occurred to me that maybe they thought "Nuada" sounded too much liked "nude"!

Anyway, I got used to it very quickly and it didn't bother me after the first couple of times. I think it's still worth watching the movie, it is really quite good.
Jun. 10th, 2009 09:14 am (UTC)
The "Gaelic" should all be fine. It was actually authentic eighth-century Old Irish, and the dialogue was written by my colleague Patricia Kelly, who is the professor of Old Irish (together with someone else... possibly Proinseas Ni Cathain, retired professor Old Irish).

Jun. 10th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
I'll bet it isn't pronounced correctly in the movie, though... ;)
Jun. 10th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
John Alexander is Scottish

Is that who played that character? I was wondering, as his accent was refreshingly non-awful. But he's not credited with the role on IMBD (and nor is anyone else as far as I can see).
Jun. 10th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
My source is Wikipedia, which of course may not be accurate.
Jun. 10th, 2009 03:38 pm (UTC)
Did you review WALL-E anywhere?
Jun. 10th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
Yes, briefly, here.
Jun. 10th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
Yes the Nuala and Nuada made me grind my teeth and yell at the TV much to grutok's amusement

Edited at 2009-06-10 08:30 pm (UTC)
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )

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