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Pan's Labyrinth
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Ivana Baquero, Maribel Verdu, Sergi Lopez, Ariadna Gil
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Picturehouse
Web Site: www.panslabyrinth.com
Kiddie Movie: Teens can probably handle, and like it.
Date Movie: It is sort of sad.  Let her cry on your arm.
Gratuitous Sex: Nope.
Gratuitous Violence: Some scenes might make you squirmy.
Action: Not really many chases.
Laughs: Nothing really.
Memorable Scene: When the Captain is self-, well, I'm not going to give it away.
Memorable Quote: Nothing stood out.
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Produced By: Bertha Navarro, Alfonso Cuaron, Frida Torresblanco, Alvaro Augustin

Pan's Labyrinth
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 1:52 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right

I will warn you right now, since the people sitting behind me in the theater didnít seem to know, but if you choose to see "Panís Labyrinth," the movie is in Spanish with English subtitles. Me, Iím not usually a fan of subtitled movies, hell, Iíve even knocked off some rating points for having to read during a film, but not for "Panís Labyrinth" because even though I had to read the story, I loved it. Even so, I will also warn you that itís sort of a weird film. Iíll do my best to give the storyÖ

Itís 1944 and weíre in Spain. Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her pregnant mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil) are traveling to an outpost where Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez), who is Ofeliaís step-dad and the father of whatever is in Carmenís belly, is trying to hold his fascist outpost against the guerillas hanging out in the woods. We are also introduced to the fairy tale story of a girl whose soul is waiting to be reunited with her father, a King in a magical kingdom. Anyway, on the way to the Captainís pad, Ofelia seems to release this crazy mantis-looking bug that follows her to the outpost, where there is also this wacky labyrinth. Afraid of her new life in the country, Ofeliaís mantis bug turns into a fairy, and leads her, at night, to the labyrinth, where she learns that she is the Princess waiting to be reunited with her King father, but only if she can accomplish three mystical tasks. So, while Ofelia is in her adventure world of a giant toad, Faun (Doug Jones), and this weird creature with eyeballs in his palms, there is the rest of the world going on around her.

Yup, mom is pregnant but not doing too well with the child. The good Captain, meanwhile, enlists the doctor (Alex Angulo) to make sure the pregnancy goes to term, even if it means choosing the captain's new son over the life of his wife. Also going on is the Captain and his war, where one of his servants, Mercedes (Maribel Verdu), is aiding and getting supplies to his enemies.

So Ofeliaís fantasy world is somehow interacting (sort of) with her mother and stepdadís real world, and somehow all of this works.

Now doesnít this also sound like it might be a nice story for the kids as well? Well, leave them at home because this is an adult movie (although the teens would probably be okay with the violence), where we are in a time of war and people get shot and tortured, Mercedes is good with a knife, and I got real squirmy in my seat when the captain, well, I wonít spoil it.

Sure, the fairytale part of the movie might want to stop you dudes from seeing it, but there is some good fighting, and the Captain is an asshole. The movie does a fantastic job of mixing remembering when you were a kid and could live in your own world while the real world around you was going to shit, with the reality of the real world, which is going to shit. The film is also visually stunning, from the wacky creatures to the gritty shots of the war going on. And lastly, the movie is brilliantly acted by a bunch of people who I have no idea who they are. You can easily get wrapped up in the world of Ofelia, Sergi Lopez plays a complete asshole well, and Maribel Verdu as Mercedes is fantastic, taking in Ofelia as her own, yet being the rebel helping those in the woods.

Look, "Panís Labyrinth" is sort of artsy, but if you like anything dealing with fantasy, and some war thrown in, you will probably like the movie. Hell, it might even help you learn some Spanish. I was wrapped up in the film, from beginning to end, and it didnít even have the prospect of gratuitous sex. Itís 4 Ĺ stars out of 5 from me for "Panís Labyrinth." One of the best mixes of brutal reality and wondrous fantasy I have seen in a movie in a long time.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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