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Buy Pan's Labyrinth 2006 Online (mkv, avi, flv, mp4) DVDRip
USA, Spain, Mexico
Drama, Thriller, War, Mystery, Fantasy
IMDB rating:
Guillermo del Toro
Ivana Baquero as Ofelia
Sergi López as Captain Vidal
Maribel Verdú as Mercedes
Doug Jones as Fauno
Ariadna Gil as Carmen Vidal
Álex Angulo as Doctor
Manolo Solo as Garcés
César Vea as Serrano
Ivan Massagué as El Tarta
Gonzalo Uriarte as Francés
Francisco Vidal as Sacerdote (as Paco Vidal)
Juanjo Cucalón as Alcalde
Storyline: In 1944 falangist Spain, a girl, fascinated with fairy-tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she's a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she will never prove herself to be the the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again.
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A brutal fantasy movie, Kids should not watch it
I am wondering for who is this movie. Kids should not watch this movie because of it's brutal, explicit scenes!!! Adults... they can, but the attention to detail and those beautiful landscapes contrasts with some shocking scenes and in the end the overall impression I cannot say that is not one of an enjoyable movie. And one more thing, there is no beneficent entity that will ask you to sign or give your or others blood for a "higher purpose"(Eg. give some blood for the Deadly nightshade-Atropa belladonna-root) so... this is a mixed story with, I would say, many demonic creatures. As someone before me commented this is a beautiful but dark masterpiece.
Strong contender for Oscar Best Foreign Language Picture
(Watched in Toronto)

Although "Pan's Labyrinth" didn't win the Palme d'Or in the 2006 Cannes Film Festival (neither did "Volver", incidentally), it's quite obvious that this movie is a major contender in various subsequent awards competitions, having got 8 wins and 22 nominations to-date, including Best Foreign Language Film nomination for the Golden Globe. Expect it to be similarly honoured at Oscar.

What sets this movie apart from other political fables and children fairy tales is that it dares to be as emotionally intensive as it is. The movie is shot almost entirely in a beautiful, Gothic, gloomy hue that makes you feel that you are watching something in a trance. A lot of film award judges obviously like it, looking at the several best cinematography awards the movie has pocketed. Meticulous attention has also been given to editing. For example, there's one scene of a conversation in a room, as the camera moves to let the back of a character cover the entire frame, then pans across, revealing the forest where the ensuing scene takes place.

The plot is a chilling and bewildering combination of enchanting fairy tale and brutally cruel reality, interlocked through 11-year-old Ofelia who, in the darkest day of the Franco's fascist Spain, accompanies her pregnant mother to live with her step-father, a military commander that is absolute personification of a blood thirsty sadist. The "reality" side of the story evolves around two threads - the heroic deeds of the freedom fighters and the delicate, risky childbirth. Director del Toro is not afraid to show such brutal cruelty and violence that will make even some sturdy-hearted among the audience flinch. But he is also playful enough to push things to such an extreme that the audience burst out in uncontrolled laughing, at the expense of the villain.

Caught in this cruel reality, Ofelia wants out. While it's next to impossible to get her mother to leave her step-father and she is too young to run away herself, she finds her escape in another world where she is a lost princess trying to return, through the help of a faun, Pan. But even in this fantasy world, there are beings, grotesque and cruel, that will give children nightmare.

The tapestry of the two threads is woven together just as skilfully as the art house and mainstream aspects of the movie are combined. Even better is the duality of Ofelia's fantasy world – whether it does exist or is only her imagination is left entirely to the audience's interpretation. I see a clue in the ending shots that might indicate that it's intended to be only Ofelia's imagination but I may be totally wrong. And it really doesn't matter because even if I am right, there is nothing to prevent those who find the cruel reality too much to bear from seeking solace in a happy fairy tale ending.

The entire cast is wonderful but it is Ivana Baquero who will capture the heart of the entire audience with her portrayal of Ofelia.
The worst Del Toro so far
This is no doubt the worst movie by Del Toro so far, no matter what other people have said. The plot is simply ridiculously unbelievable, especially if you know a thing or two about recent Spanish history and are not caught in ideological mousetraps. The plot is similar to Del Toro's "El Espinazo del Diablo" (2001), but unfortunately it is much weaker. In fact, the viewer will not understand the plot at all unless he or she is mired in a certain ideology which Del Toro apparently shares with his leading actors. The absurdities and historical inaccuracies (especially those concerning Captain Vidal) are too gross and too abundant to list here, and the result is one of the most biased movies I have ever seen.
Closest Thing To Art That Film Has Experienced In Years
I just finished the movie today and I must say that this is by far one of the most artistic and beautiful movies I have seen in years. The producers of the film were right to call this a modern fairytale, since it has all the ingredients for an authentic Brothers Grimm story. Just don't expect there to be lots of happy faces in the film. This is a real, bloody (very bloody), moody, emotional fairy tale just like the ones in the past.

First of all, I have to say that the technical design in this film was astounding. The art direction was spot on for all the locations, whether its the imaginary world of the labyrinth or the mill that the fascists call their base. The music is some of the best I've heard in a film for a long time, drawing that fantasy feel of the movie perfectly and inspiring so many emotions in one chord than other films could in their whole screening. The sound was top notch as well, never sounding like just a compilation of reused sound effects. And of course, the make-up design is flawless and imaginative. The biggest shock was the cinematography. Now, I personally thought Children of Men should have got the Oscar for this, but understand now why this won. Each shot is beautifully staged, colored and detailed in a way that they cease to be movie shots and become portraits of art.

Guillermo Del Toro really surprised me. Not only did he assemble a surprisingly talented cast, but he was able to make you really connect with the situation. The characters are all well developed and the symbolism, though subtle, is so delicious that it makes me tingle with the thought of it. The dialogue is natural and authentic and he handles the film expertly to convey that timeless feel even through some of the film's harsher moments. You really feel this is a labor of love, since it bears its fruits at every scene. I didn't even mind that I had to read subtitles (which I think Del Toro knew that he would have to use it wisely, since the scenes are designed so you are not distracted reading the text to enjoy the scene).

If I had any complaints, its that some of the visual effect designs were sometimes inferior. They weren't bad, but they had some rough edges that should have been addressed.

I recommend this for anyone who has a strong stomach, an eye for art and a heart. It deserved all its Oscar wins and noms and should have won for its amazing music. This is the new standard for film art for the modern generation.
Beautiful, violent, magical and sad....
I was fortunate enough to catch Pan's Labyrinth last night as part of the 'Fright Fest' programme in London and was completely blown away. Guillermo Del Toro himself was present to both introduce the movie and to answer questions afterwards. He spoke very passionately about the film, and it was easy to see why. Guillermo Del Toro has created something very special - part war movie, part fantasy, that everyone should see. The film features a fantastic performance by Sergi Lopez as Captain Vidal and as central character Ofelia, newcomer Ivana Baquero delivers the performance of a seasoned veteran. If you are the type of person who is put off by subtitled movies, don't be. This is a very 'visual' film that does not rely overly on dialogue. This does not open until 24 November in the UK and 29 December in the USA but already I am looking forward to seeing it again (and buying the Special Edition DVD).This is the first time I've felt the need to write a review on here. Do yourselves a favour and go and watch it on the big screen.
Entartaining but not one of the very best movies from last year
When I heard first time about the movie made by the Mexican director Guillermo del Toro that was a mixture of many genres, including drama, fantasy, thriller, and fairy tale for adults that takes place in Spain of 1944 in two parallel words, one of unbearable bleak and horrifying reality, and the other of deliciously dark magic fantasy, I wanted very much to see it. I knew that the movie has been praised by many critics and has made hundreds top lists of last year, that it was nominated for countless awards including six Academy awards and it won three Oscars, and that it had received 20 minutes standing ovation at Cannes. The main reason for me was the fact that I love del Toro's earlier film, "The Devil's Backbone" (2001), the ultimate ghost story that goes beyond the genre and very successfully mixes horror, suspense, and coming of age during the war time story.

I hoped and expected "Pan's Labyrinth" to be as compelling, insightful, interesting, and engaging as "The Devil's Backbone" was. I finally saw "Pan's Labyrinth" couple of days ago and I was disappointed. The movie has an interesting concept, even if not original one. It brings to mind many famous works of literature and the earlier movies about the little girls escaping their dreadful realities of war or death of the loved ones or all sorts of abuse in the world of their imagination such as "Forbidden Games", "Spirits of the Beehive" (which "Pan's Labyrinth" tried to be but never was), the later also takes place in Spain during the Civil war, as well as "Wizard of Oz", "Alice in Wonderland", "Legends and Myths of Ancient Greece".

One movie that "Pan's Labyrinth" has been often compared to is Terry Gilliam's "Tideland", his fairy tale for adults, his "Alice in Wonderland meets Psycho" which also tells the story of an 11-years-old girl and her world of imagination. "Tideland" was released last year and was either ignored or hated by majority of critics and left many viewers puzzled and confused. I am not completely in love with "Tideland" but I found it much more interesting that "Pan's Labyrinth" in all aspects. The main difference between the two - Gillian does not present reality in his film in the simplistic way and does not divide his characters to devilish monsters or shining knights the way Del Toro does in "Pan Labyrinth".

I am not sure what the target audience for Del Toro's film is? Its story (the writer/director was nominated for the best screenplay and I found his writing the weakest and most ridiculous part of the movie) is so naive and primitive that you would think the movie was made for children but its shocking violence and horrifying tortures are not easy to watch even for adults. Another problem is with the characters. I know I should sympathize with Ofelia, and who would not feel empathy for an 11-year-old girl who had to live through the death of her mother and to confront her monstrous step-father but if frankly, her character is not very interesting. As for visual effects and cinematography, the film looks good but not especially spectacular or breathtakingly beautiful. Of five Oscar nominated films for best cinematography from last year, at least three seemed to be more interesting. Gilliam's "Tideland" that was completely ignored by the Academy, is always technically superb, visually arresting and much more impressive than "Pan's Labyrinth".

I should admit that at least one scene in "Labyrinth" was absolutely brilliant - dark and scary it came directly from Francisco Goya's terrifying painting, "Saturn Devouring His Children" and it was extremely imaginative. I would not go as far as calling "Pan's Labyrinth" a bad movie and give it one star. It is not bad; it is just not as great as I thought it would be. As for all the awards, "The Devil's Backbone" is much more deserving than "Pan's Labyrinth" and that's the film I would give a standing ovation to.
Visual feast for the eyes
If there is one thing I can guarantee with this review it's that you will not see another movie like Pan's Labyrinth the rest of the year. In English or in Spanish.

With its dark imagines, brutal violence and terrifying fantasy creatures, I challenge you to find a film on par with Guillermo del Toro's vision of a young girl in Spain circa 1944 who endures the growing pains of a new family while imagining a world where creatures that would give Stephen King nightmares surround her and coax her into various tasks of passage.

Pan's Labyrinth is a movie almost too complex to explain. There are two tributaries of plot. One involves the real world where Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her pregnant mother travel to their new home amidst the violence of the Post-war Fascist repression. While adapting to new father whose penchant for sadism is wiggle-in-your-theatre-seat cruel, young Ofelia takes comfort in her mother's arms. But when her mother has complications with her pregnancy, Ofelia quickly finds retreat with the unusual characters including nymphs and fairies that lead her on three tasks that suggest the offer of reclaiming a throne.

The second story surrounds this journey into fantasy and I have yet to find the words two hours after the screening to describe the various characters that include a huge toad with a secret key hidden inside its belly and a creature that eats young children and has eyes on the palm of its hands.

Creepy stuff. Think Big Fish is written by Clive Barker.

Writer and director Guillermo del Toro (The Devil's Backbone, Hellboy) spins a whimsical story that is as engrossing as it is repulsive. The war scenes are brutally realistic with bullets not being spared for the long suffering, and a torture scene that includes utensils marked for your father's toolbox gave me the heebie jeebies a la Hostel. Guillermo is able to walk a thin line with confidence and with this entry, he secures his spot as one of the most interesting directors working in the mainstream today.

Pan's Labyrinth received a 22 minute ovation when appearing at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. I can't in good conscious share the same enthusiasm. But on the other hand I can't deny that this was an incredible spectacle that definitely deserves multiple viewings to fully appreciate the beauty amongst the violence and the creativity of the storytelling among the dark corners where creatures lurk and adventures await.
I saw this at this years FrightFest Film Festival in London and absolutely loved it.

Guillermo was there to introduce it and you can tell it really is a film he loves and is passionate about.

He referred to it as a sister movie to The Devils Backbone.

Anyway . . . so the film starts and I must admit I was expecting a lot more of a fantasy film however it is more of a 70/30 split between historical era movie/fantasy fairytale.

Don't let this put you off though, the film really is stunning and brilliantly acted. The little girl carries pretty much the whole film on her shoulders and does so with the skill of Atlas himself!

The violence is graphic and the monsters are scary but it is probably one of the most gorgeous and personal films from a director for a long time!

Give it a go if you can get to a screening, DON'T WAIT FOR DVD, it really does need to be seen on a big screen!
Clever pretenses but shallow and insincere
Synopsis: In 1944, against the backdrop of the rise of General Franco's fascist regime, a young girl on the verge of adolescence, tries to dodge the fears of growing and horrors of the historical moment through her magical fantasies.

While El Laberinto del Fauno definitely shows that the director has some skills (as it kept me involved for all of its duration), it's quite disappointing in itself. Why is that? The bulk of the film is about the horrors of reality, however those are depicted through extremely graphic gory sequences which do nothing to convey the plain, blunt, basic nature of true life horrors, because they all revolve around the figure of fascist Captain Vidal, who is basically manically depressed, a psychopath, and whose overstated displays of violence are really of no purpose in themselves, other than making it obvious for the most distracted viewer how sick the man is (and just look how much emphasis was put on the discovery of the connection between the doctor and the communists, it's like they're assuming you're not paying attention.) At some point the recurring, unnecessary outing of Vidal's sadistic personality started to feel trite, effectively neutralizing the power of the representation through desensitization.

In the end, the depiction of the fascist regime appears flat, simplistic and two-dimensional, too much like a kid's vision of history, bad vs good, black and white - almost Stephen King-ish in its oversimplification.

On the topic of the role of holocaust in movies (and anything else resembling that): every piece of film which deals, even remotely, with it, inevitably clads itself in self-importance, expecting the viewer to accept whatever is shown on the silver screen with a nod and utter respect for the sorrows the victims of those historical moments had to endure. So let me state this again: no matter the respect we owe to those victims, by no means your movie has a right to have this respect trasferred upon itself, unless it's _thoroughly_ _deserved_.

El laberinto is clever in sidestepping the overused holocaust focusing instead on a part of history which is connected to it but mostly unknown outside Europe. If El Laberinto had been any good in offering a believable representation of this close-to-forgotten memory, it would have restored it, thus gaining a right to be lauded, but as it is, it just used the historical backdrop to gain undeserved recognition, the filmic equivalent of an attention whore.

The fantasy parts, which revolve instead around the labyrinth and his ambiguous guardian, the faun, offer much more space for subtleties, which is quite likely an intended inversion of attributes, though lacking the flair Tim Burton has for this kind of device, and as a result this ambiguity feels only necessary to make the cardboard reality part more acceptable, but useless in itself. Subtleties for the subtlety's sake. The fantasy parts also come out as more genuinely disturbing than Vidal's outbursts.

A wealth of little details has been disseminated in the script, but not enough attention has been spent on interweaving them with the plot in a meaningful way. They just look a lot like the icing on the cake: 'look mommy how deep I am' rather than a functional part of story telling.

All of these elements persuaded me that El Laberinto is narcissistic exercise where all the movie maker has been thinking - You'll *have* to notice how good I am! - and for this very same reason ends up being shallow and fake, lacking a core of truthfulness.

PS: and for the 20+ minutes of standing ovation, either it was staged or a fantasy with no more substance to it than the ones of the main character.
Pan's Labyrinth is a dark, enchanting and charming film set in Spain during a civil war. There are moments of terror in this not for kids flick. The practical effects in this film are top notch. The monsters are visually amazing and serve their purpose. There is a certain scene with a monster that really just makes you shiver. The acting, dialogue and plot are all great. I don't have a single bad thing to say about this work of art. Recommended to anyone above the age of 15.
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