Last night I saw Pan's Labyrinth. The short review: Hell yeah!
Pan's Labyrinth is a new take on a pretty familiar story. Young girl is dissatisfied with her life in the real world, and escapes (or is forced) into a fantasy world which may or may not only exist in her head, meets crazy creatures, overcomes obstacles, then comes home with a new perspective. You've seen variations of the story in the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Labyrinth, Neil Gaiman's Mirrormask and Coraline, and Spirited Away among others. It's one of my favourite stories, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.
Pan's Labyrinth puts some twists into the formula. Ofelia, the young girl in question, spends a lot more time in the real world than the fantasy one. She only jumps into the fantasy world for brief periods over the course of the movie. In fact, you could probably remove all the fantasy elements and still be left with a pretty good movie (albeit one I probably wouldn't have gone to see).
The art direction and creature design was all around incredible. This is only the second Guillermo Del Toro film I've seen (EDIT: Actually, I forgot about Blade 2, so this is the third Del Toro film I've seen. Thanks for the reminder, Slinky!), but I could still recognise his signature all over this movie. Ivana Baquero, the young girl playing Ofelia was really great. It felt a little like seeing Natalie Portman for the first time in The Professional, and I'd be surprised if she doesn't go on to do great things. Of course, with child actors it's always hard to tell how much of their performance is talent and how much of it is just having a really good director leading them, so I guess only time will tell. Doug Jones (who seems to be to Del Toro what Andy Serkis is to Peter Jackson) does a kickass job as two of the film's creatures. The man seriously has the most expressive hands in Hollywood.
Definitely go see this if you get the chance. If you do, tell them Eric sent you and you might win a prize! I don't know who would give you a prize for that, but there's still a very small possibility it could happen!
Speaking of subtitled movies, I finally found a copy of Turkish Star Wars on Google Video yesterday. And my life was then complete.