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Hellboy is a Decent Rental for Fans of Sci-Fi and Horror

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Comic book films are all the rage these days. Ever since movies like X-Men, Blade and Spider-Man conquered the box office, Hollywood execs have been scrambling to mine the latest hot property from the printed page. When done correctly, these films capture the wonder and imagination of their original source material (which is saying a lot). When they fail, as in the case of movies like Electra and The Incredible Hulk, they become bland exercises in mediocrity – something which the boys in Los Angeles are all too familiar with.

But I don’t want to be too hard on Hollywood. It’s not necessarily easy to adapt a comic book. First of all, it’s hard to pull off unless you have a king-sized budget (just imagine a movie like Spider-Man done on the cheap). Then you’ve got to find a director who can transfer the visuals of a comic book to the big screen (Sam Raimi comes immediately to mind). Then there are all the usuals like competent actors and a solid script, as well as that intangible “something” which seems to be ever-present in movies which really come together. All in all, not an easy task, but one that studios are more than happy to take on for the time being. That is, at least until the superhero version of Ishtar comes along.

This entrant into the Hollywood superhero sweepstakes is called Hellboy and was directed by Guillermo del Toro (most known for his work on The Devil’s Backbone and Blade II). Based on the comic book by Mike Mignola, the plot is as follows: Towards the end of World War Two, Nazi mystics led by Rasputin (Karel Roden) attempt to open a portal at Hitler’s behest and bring forth an alien god from the depths of space. They are thwarted by a group of American soldiers and a youthful occult expert named Trevor Bruttenholm. Rasputin is hurled into the portal and everything is once again right with the world. Well, that is until they discover that something came through the portal while it was open. That something happens to be a small demon, complete with an oversized stone hand and long red tail. The soldiers adopt the childlike creature (who happens to love Baby Ruth candy bars) and give him the moniker of Hellboy (Ron Perlman).

Fast forward 60 years into the future. Bruttenholm (John Hurt) is the head of the Bureau of Paranormal Research, and a slow-aging Hellboy is their chief monster hunter. Other members include Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), a pyrokinetic with emotional problems, and Abe Sapien (acted by Doug Jones and voiced by David Hyde-Pierce), an aquatic telepath. And the newest addition is John Myers (Rupert Evans), a young agent hand-picked by the very ill Bruttenholm to be his replacement. Meanwhile, we find that Rasputin has returned from the void, and he has horrible plans….plans which only Hellboy can help or hinder.

Before I go any further, let me say that Ron Perlman is the man. He has an uncanny ability to convey emotion through layers of make-up and prosthetics, no doubt a skill he honed during his stint on the television series Beauty and the Beast. And playing larger-than-life characters is what he does best, as demonstrated by standout roles in Alien: Resurrection, City of Lost Children, and Blade II. With his oversized jaw and atypical looks, Perlman has been embraced by a generation who grew up staring at Klingons, Sith Lords, and other assorted oddities.

Perlman is in rare form in Hellboy, possessing both the physical presence and acting ability to pull off the role of a big red demon. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a lot of help from his surroundings, especially the Del Toro script.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful movie to look at, and the special effects are really top-notch. Take, for example, a scene in which Hellboy glimpses a vision of a possible future Earth, complete with vast tentacles stretching across the sky and smoldering cities in ruin. It would no doubt be enough to reduce even H.P. Lovecraft to tears.

But there’s something missing among all the effects and attitude. For a movie which deals with mysticism and alien gods, Hellboy, ironically, seems to lack a soul. Most of the characters just seem to be going through the motions with no real direction in mind. Even the villains seem made of cardboard, and their nefarious schemes lack any real sense of urgency or dread. If an alien god was about to cross over into this world, don’t you think it should seem a little scary? Del Toro should have watched John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness to see how it’s done.

John Hurt, an excellent actor, is given very little to do as Bruttenholm. Even his illness is only briefly touched upon, robbing the movie of what could have been perhaps its most dramatic element. No, Hurt is mainly called upon to look dignified, something an actor of his caliber could pull off in their sleep.

Rupert Evans and Selma Blair also suffer from the poor script. A romance between the two is teased, but it is quickly dropped as the final act of the film draws near (another wasted opportunity). Blair spends most of the film slinking around in black and looking glum, and one wonders why our protagonist would be so smitten with her in the first place (unless, of course, it’s simply because she’s the only woman he knows). Evans (as John Myers) is a major player in the early part of the film, but seems to recede into the background and almost disappear by the end. True, Hellboy is the focus of the film, but it’s a little odd to feature someone so prominently in the early stages and then pull them away as the picture wears on. Even Jeffrey Tambor as Tom Manning seems to get more screen time down the stretch.

But the villains are what really keep Hellboy from rising above the rank of simply average. In a film like this, the antagonists are all-important. Heck, they’re all-important in every action movie. Just look at a film like Die Hard. Would John McClane have seemed half as heroic if he didn’t have a villain like Hans Gruber to match wits with?

As the central villain, Rasputin is a major letdown. He has potential to be sure, but that potential is buried beneath a mountain of generic villain-speak. In fact, the clockwork nazi named Karl Ruprecht Kroenen seems to be a far more interesting villain, although the script quickly runs out of ideas and just ends up thrusting him into a generic battle with our hero. Even the final monster, which is supposed to be the primary threat, is disposed of in short order (leaving the climax of the movie feeling very incomplete).

Hellboy is worth the price of a rental, if for no other reason than to see Perlman in action and admire the special effects. But don’t snap it up expecting the character depth of Spider-Man or the supernatural energy of Blade. Like the mystical villains which populate its landscape, Hellboy talks a good game but ultimately has nothing to say.

Home Improvement

Beautiful Wooden Gift Ideas 2022

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Beautiful Wooden Gift Ideas 2022
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One of the best gifts to get someone is a gift that can remain on display for years to come, like a well-built wooden present. But exactly which types of ideas will make the right impact on your loved one? 

If you’re trying to show your love and appreciation for someone else, here are a few beautiful wooden gift ideas worth adding to your shopping list. 

Celebrate and Memorialize With Personalized Signs

There’s always something to celebrate in your loved ones’ lives. In some cases, this may be an achievement like graduating college, moving to a new home to start a family, or even getting the job of their dreams. Of course, there are also difficult occasions that we may wish to memorialize and work through collectively, such as the passing of a loved one or a pet in the family. 

Hardwood signs fit well into almost any space and allow you to forever capture these moments that are important in our lives. Personalized hardwood gifts like these can easily be hung or displayed proudly on a shelf as a token of your appreciation for that person and all that they represent to you. Every time they look at their gift, they’ll think fondly of both what it represents and the person who gave it to them!

Capture Moments Forever With Stunning Picture Frames

Immortalizing your favorite moments with your loved ones framed perfectly in your favorite picture frames can be a great way to grow your connection with those closest to you. Whether you’re a fan of natural wood products or recycled wood products (a better option for those who are eco-friendly in your family or friend group), there are plenty of great products out there designed for any space. 

Decorations and Ornaments

Decoration

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Small wooden crafts are great gifts to get those who want to spruce up their space and have something

sentimental around that they can cherish. For example, if their indoor plants are looking a bit bare, wooden ornaments that can hold a photo or feature an important date can be a great present to give them that they can use year after year. 

Furniture and Decorations

If you’re looking for something that can be used throughout the year instead, there are tons of wooden items that will be greatly appreciated. These include children’s toys or benches, small personalized wooden coasters or trays, or even items they can hang around the house like clocks.

If your budget is a bit higher, you may want to invest in some nice furniture or extravagant pieces like a Grandfather clock that they’ve been looking to buy for themselves. Items don’t have to be expensive to be thoughtful, but these gifts are sure to be greatly appreciated and taken care of for years to come. Put simply, the only limit to what type of decorations and trinkets you can get for your loved one is your imagination! 

Wood Is Timeless and Sturdy, Just Like Your Love!

Finding great presents that are thoughtful, functional, and well-built can feel like a difficult feat. However, wooden gifts meet all of these requirements, giving your loved ones something that they can enjoy and display for years to come. That being said, there are so many great ideas out there that it can be hard to sift through all of the wonderful suggestions and find something that pertains to your relationship with family, friends, or your partner. 

If you’re ready to give those closest to you a gift that represents your love and dedication, use some of the beautiful wooden gift ideas above as inspiration to build your shopping list. No matter what type of gift you decide to give them, the thought and quality of your present is sure to put a smile on their face!

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The Joys of Living in Luxury Apartments

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Texas developer pays $15M for site of planned apartments in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood

You’re tired of living in your small, boring, and white-walled apartment, but you don’t want to purchase a home that requires a lot of work. You’ve heard of luxury apartments and their amazing features. So, are they everything they say they are? Look at these reasons you need to choose a luxury apartment for your next home.

9 Reasons Why You Need to Upgrade Your Home

  1. You’re Always in a Prime Location

Luxury apartments are usually in the heart of booming businesses or swanky suburbs and offer a lot of walkability. Many times you can rent a luxury apartment next to parks or trails, while also being nearby your citi’s hottest shopping and entertainment districts. 

Big Bonus: Most luxury apartments have 24-mini markets and complimentary coffee bars, so you can stay home when you really want to. 

  1. Your Pets are Treated With Prestige

There are pet-friendly apartments, and then there are luxury apartments where your pet is considered a resident. For instance, you won’t find private bark parks or paw spas in basic apartment complexes. 

Big Bonus: Leasing teams in luxury apartments put residents first, which is why most have treats and bandanas waiting for your dog when you’re done spending quality time using their pet-friendly amenities.

  1. A Great Place for Work and Play

If you’re like most people, you need to work at some point. With today’s ever increasing remote work, luxury apartments are the best place to earn your paycheck from home. Not only do floor plans provide ample space for a home office, they also have community features like multipurpose meeting rooms for business and entertaining.

Big Bonus: The floor plans in luxury apartments are thoughtfully designed and offer uniquely elegant features. For example, you might find pop-out desks, under-counter beverage coolers, and smart home features.

  1. There’s Nothing Like Summer in Luxury Apartments

Summer amenities are definitely something to behold when you live in downtown apartments or apartments nestled in the suburbs. That’s because they always have stunning and breathtaking pools. Spend your time soaking up the sun in submerged loungers on a rooftop pool with stunning views.

Big Bonus: Luxury apartments don’t stop at the pool. They often feature extravagant private cabanas, hot tubs, summer kitchens, and outdoor televisions.

  1. You Definitely Won’t Need a Gym Membership

The fitness facilities in luxury apartments are top-of-the-line, and include many pieces of equipment you wouldn’t find in basic apartment complex gyms, like rowing machines and cycle studios. Many luxury apartments also offer a separate space for yoga and other group fitness classes.

Big Bonus: Luxury apartments often have outdoor fitness areas, too. You might rent apartments that feature golf courses, pickleball and tennis courts, or even supply community bicycles so you can explore your neighborhood with ease.

  1. They Go Above and Beyond With Entertainment

When you live in regular apartments, you might get a clubhouse with comfortable seating. However, the entertainment and community spaces in luxury apartments have entertainment features that make you feel you live in a resort. You’ll find things like media lounges and pool tables to fill your free time.

Big Bonus: Most luxury apartment properties have monthly resident events where you can sip on craft cocktails, play games, and get to know your neighbors.

  1. You Won’t Find a Better Way to Relax

You’ve worked the day away, tackled your fitness routine, and now it’s time to relax. Thankfully, luxury apartments have your back, literally. Most luxe properties have private day spas and massage rooms for you to reserve at your convenience. 

Big Bonus: You get a golden glow for free in your luxury apartment complex, because many have tanning beds. Some super luxe properties even offer spray tans, so you can be bronzed for summer.

  1. Don’t Worry About a Hotel Room for Your Guests

One of the worst parts about having friends and family in town to visit is that they have to stay in a hotel. When you rent a luxury apartment, you’ll most likely have a guest suite available for your loved ones. That way, you can spend more time together and less time traveling back and forth.

Big Bonus: How many times have you arrived at your basic apartment complex only to have zero parking available? Most luxury apartment complexes offer reserved and covered parking for your vehicle.

  1. Your Valuables Are Always Secure

Luxury apartments use state-of-the-art security equipment to keep you and your things safe. This means you can find cameras monitoring every inch of the property and smart locks to ensure only residents have access to your building.

Big Bonus: Luxury apartments realize that meal delivery services are a great way to get a fresh and fast meal. That’s why many offer cold storage package rooms, so you don’t have to worry about your food spoiling while you’re away.

Are Luxury Apartments Worth It?

Absolutely! If you’re a person looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle and incredible perks, then you won’t find a better home than a luxury apartment, because they have the space and features to facilitate a carefree life. The only choice you need to make is which property has the amenities you need to live your best life! 

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Tips for Buying BBQ Covers and Maintaining Them for BBQ Season

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BBQs are a great way to cook food in your backyard. Investing in BBQ covers will help keep them clean for the season.

1) BBQ Grill Covers

Protect BBQ grills from dust, sunlight, and other environmental elements. If you have a BBQ cover, make sure it is large enough to fit over your BBQ grill in case of wind or rainstorm. Measure before buying! If not, then buy an enclosure that can be used with a BBQ grill & go for additional protection.

2) BBQ Gas Grill Covers –

It’s best to get one that matches the size of your gas BBQ, so if you get one that fits perfectly, it will protect better against elements like wind and moisture than a one that is too large or too small.

3) BBQ Portable Grill Covers

When the BBQ grill is not in use, get a BBQ portable grill cover to protect it against dust and debris. If you live in an area where there are lots of storms, make sure the BBQ portable grill cover has vents for water drainage to avoid rusting on the BBQ.

4) BBQ Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your BBQ grills regularly will help them last longer. Try using steel wool for cleaning cast iron BBQ grills, while brass brushes can be used on stainless steel surfaces. If gas BBQs are exposed to moisture during storage, remove the propane tanks and let them dry out completely before reattaching them to avoid corrosion inside the BBQ.

5) BBQ Cover Safety Tips

If you are using a BBQ cover for the first time, make sure to disinfect them by washing them with water and mild soap or hydrogen peroxide solution. Let it dry completely before putting it on your BBQ grill. If you are storing BBQ covers away during the summer season, always let them dry out fully before packing them up, especially if they have been exposed to moisture during storage.

With BBQ season just around the corner, barbecuing enthusiasts are getting ready to fire up their charcoal and gas grills. If you’re looking for a protective cover for your BBQ grill, you can get one designed specifically for your BBQ type at. These high-quality BBQ covers will protect your barbecue from the elements and keep it in great shape so that you can use it all summer long.

However, if you want to get the most out of your BBQ cover and prolong its life, here are 10 tips:

Let it air dry after cleaning

Protect it from direct sunlight

Remove any dirt or debris before putting on the BBQ cover

Clean stains immediately to prevent them from setting

Do not overfill the BBQ cover

Don’t drag the BBQ cover on rough surfaces

Custom-fit covers are more likely to fit better and last longer

Always dry off your BBQ before putting it into a BBQ cover

When using a BBQ rotisserie, place a BBQ grill mat under the spit or skewers to prevent black marks on the BBQ cover

Maintain your BBQ’s original shape by taking off any clips or strings from inside the BBQ cover.

Choosing a high-quality BBQ cover is essential to protecting your barbecue from damage due to elements such as water, dirt, debris, and sun exposure. That being said, since most barbecues are stored outside during use, they can be prone to damage from rain and moisture. If you’re looking for BBQ covers that can withstand rain and moisture, look for BBQ covers labeled as water-resistant or water-proof. BBQ covers are generally made from vinyl, nylon, or other synthetic materials.

If your BBQ grill is in need of some tender love and care to get it ready for BBQ season can help. From BBQ accessories such as BBQ rotisseries and containers to BBQ tools such as tongs and spatulas, they have all the BBQ supplies you need to keep your barbecue beautiful so that it will be a great addition to your outdoor cooking experience all year long!

Conclusion:

With BBQ season just around the corner, BBQ enthusiasts are getting ready to fire up their charcoal and gas grills. However, if you’re looking for a protective BBQ grill cover that can withstand rain and moisture, look for BBQ covers labeled as water-resistant or water-proof. BBQ covers are generally made from vinyl, nylon or other synthetic materials. If your BBQ is in need of some tender love and care to get it ready for BBQ season can help. They have all the BBQ supplies you need to keep your barbecue beautiful so that it will be a great addition to your outdoor cooking experience all year long!

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