The Good

This film is certainly a title that will appeal to the core audience who purchases the PSP. The films accessibility and portability should be a treat for the fans.

The Bad

The movie looks a bit too dark on this small screen. Sometimes it seems like the PSP was overwhelmed by the scope of the action sequences.

It is a very interesting idea to have a group of people be outcasts in a society that "only they can protect." Honestly, I expect nothing less from Guillermo del Toro who has seemingly made a career out of taking big films and making them small and personal. One could also make an allegory that a movie like Hellboy is speaking to our times. While this movie still falls very much into the genre conventions of a "comic book" film, the characterizations here seem to go deeper than other similar fare.

Perfectly suited in theory for the PSP format, Hellboy is the kind of film that will fit in perfectly with any gamers/movie buffs collection. The only problems that I really noticed were that in many spots this movie was just too dark. Something tells me that in trying to get this movie onto the UMD format, they had to cut certain corners, hence, the darkness. Also, I think Hellboy might be a bit too big for the screen of the PSP. I find this ironic because the "talky films" that would play very well on this system, are certainly (on the whole) not the kinds of movies for this audience.

Features

No extras came on this UMD.

Video

Widescreen. There are no black bars on the top or bottom of the screen and this is a good thing, because the the action doesn't need any less room to operate on. My biggest complaint with how this movie fared on my PSP was that it was just too dark. Okay, I know that this is the way that Hellboy was shot but I don't think the compression down to the UMD format was any help. Also, maybe my face was too close to the screen, maybe the PSP system is too clear but I saw some "video noise" in a few spots. These were very minimal though.

Audio

Stereo - Nothing too special about the audio other than that on the PSP everything seems sharper. The soundtrack in Hellboy has been used to good effect because it really adds a sense of bigness to an already big movie. While I didn't think that there was really anything about the score that stood out, it did strike all the right chords with me as a viewer. When you watch a comic book movie you have come to expect certain things. A big screen and a big score are mandatory. Thankfully, both of these things came across here.

Package

This miniature cover comes in the standard plastic case. The front photo features Hellboy, Liz Sherman and Abe Sapien in a photo I recall being used for this movie's original cover. I am probably wrong about that though. The back cover features a description of this movie and a technical specs list. There is also some more Hellboy imagery on here as well. Nothing is really too special about this cover, but I think for now, with UMD titles still in their infancy, that is alright. Lord only knows what's going to happen when they ramp these things up...

Final Word

I didn't see Hellboy in the theater. After watching it on my PSP I wish that I had. This movie is big and overblown but I love that Guillermo del Toro never takes things too over the top, and he also isn't afraid to let his camera linger on his characters. I never felt rushed when I was watching this movie and I also never felt that there were any obligatory scenes just to set up the action. As I said above, Hellboy is very much a comic book movie made by a man with many different sensibilities.

Hellboy was released April 2, 2004.