After so many calories of romantic-comedy cheese last week, it's a relief to find a couple healthy doses of fantasy hitting DVD today. While I'm embarrassed that I've yet to catch The Fountain (especially considering the film has such a sharp divide between lovers and haters... read Cinematical's DVD review here), I could get lost in Pan's Labyrinth over and over again.
During last fall's Oscar rush, much was made over the supremacy of "The Three Amigos," Mexican filmmaking pals Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu, who both individually and collectively soaked up the love for Pan's Labyrinth, Children of Men and Babel. Now word is they're shopping a 5-picture deal together for the unbeatable price of $100 million. Cuarón and González Iñárritu are obviously massive talents (though the latter is kind of a sadist, I must say), but after Pan's Labyrinth, I'd pay $100 million, plus a kidney or two, for five more del Toro movies. Labyrinth is a near-perfect film, a "fairy tale for adults," as the refrain goes, that's shocking and magical and heartbreaking and breathtaking and completely unforgettable. Ivana Baquero is Ofelia, an imaginative young girl who meets her wicked stepfather (Sergi López) as the evil general is trying to crush the last of The Resistance toward the end of the Spanish Civil War. Ofelia escapes the war fought on her doorstep by living in the fantasy world she's introduced to by Pan (Doug Jones), a faun in the backyard labyrinth. Does this fantasy world actually exist? It's hard to tell, though we were surprised by Del Toro's forthcoming answers in an interview he did with Moviefone last year. (Don't read if you'd rather not know.) The 2-disc DVD of this shoulda-been major Oscar contender will please fellow faun-lovers: It comes with all the bells, whistles and featurettes you'd expect. The only thing missing: commentary from Pale Man.
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