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May 15, 2007

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DVD of the Week – Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

by RISHI AGRAWAL

When I originally reviewed Pan’s Labyrinth, I said that the fantasy elements were much stronger than the “reality” elements. The film is essentially a fairy tale set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War, but I felt that the backdrop dominated the story a little too much. I stick by my statement. However, I wanted to clarify something. The fantasy elements of Pan’s Labyrinth are some of the most original and evocative sequences I have ever seen. The “reality” storylines are also amazing, with rich characters and stunning scenery. It almost feels unfair to make a comparison, as everything in the film is integrated into a cohesive narrative.

Perhaps I was a bit taken aback by the poor marketing of Pan’s Labyrinth, which Helen posted about. And it seems strange to act defensive about a film that I really did love, which placed on my Top Ten list for 2006. But I still feel that I did not love the film as much as I should have. If you are in the same boat as me, and felt betrayed by a film that wasn’t what you expected, I would encourage you to watch the film again on DVD and try to look at it with a fresh perspective. I think you’ll find much to admire.

The DVD comes in two versions: the one-disc version and the two-disc version. Both versions include a video prologue by director Guillermo del Toro as well as a commentary track by del Toro. The two-disc version includes featurettes on The Power of Myth, The Faun and the Fairies and The Lullaby. There’s also, on the two-disc version, DVD comics, storyboards, and a director’s notebook. If you’re looking for a purchase, the two-disc version is only a few dollars more, and it seems like a no-brainer.

Original Commentary Track Review by Rishi Agrawal

Other new releases this week: Arthur and the Invisibles, The Fountain, The Last Sin Eater, Seraphim Falls, Stomp the Yard, The War Tapes


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  1. Jason Greenwood
    May 17 2007

    Guillermo del Toro made a deal with monsters as a kid, if they stopped scaring him, he would befriend them.

    Can’t Wait for HellBoy 2 and His Lovecraft adaptation of the Mountains of Madness.

    He puts as much love in making Pan to Cronos and Devil’s Backbone as he is to HellBoy to even Blade.
    –jason

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