CAUGHT A SCREENING of Hellboy II last night with Sir Hitchcock and Mr. Golden. Considering that Pan's Labyrinth is likely the standard-bearer for Guillermo del Toro's work of late, a couple things stood out: First, the go-bump-in-the-night imagination on this guy is something special. The death of a plant God and, later, an incarnate of Death itself are breathtaking. You gotta think del Toro has a leg up on Burton these days, at least as far as creepy-crawly ghouls go.
Second, speaking of stories, Pan's Labyrinth was an exceptionally carefully wrought fairy tale. Del Toro makes good use of his dramatic flair in Hellboy, too, but he's not nearly as meticulous about it and I suspect it's because the characters and plot lines aren't wholly his own. The best ones in Hellboy are the ones he brings to life himself. The mechanization of the golden army is good, but the everyday, otherworldly interactions in the troll market are great. Kinda makes you wonder what's gonna he's gonna do with the Hobbit.
And after the movie I finally paid a visit to Habitat (988 Manhattan Ave; Greenpoint, Bklyn; (718) 383-5612).
Kevin has been raving about this place for weeks, as have several other Greenpointers I've bumped into. The decor is something like a backyard patio tucked away inside what appears to be minimalist concrete facade, but given the suburban overtones of the interior, maybe it's just the basement foundation. It's all very inside-out (and with Planet Earth DVDs constantly playing above the bar).
There's food to be had (though, does one really want to eat while watching Planet Earth?). Pairs of sliders, baskets of waffle fries, mac n' cheese, ham and swiss, etc. I had the black bean and cheese empanadas, a term usable for any fried, pastry-encased food classier than a Hot Pocket. I'm not saying they were bad, they were actually quite good, reasonably priced at $6 for a pair served with mixed greens. The beer list was interesting if not ambitious, $5-7 a pint.
MIKE EATS NEXT TIME: Perhaps. The wood slabs served up as coasters are neat.