Friday, May 06, 2011

Escape to the Movies: "Thor"

I am aware, BTW, that I said "2001" instead of "2011." I hang my head in shame.

Intermission: "The Beaver."


Luc said...

I'm Pretty sure Cap. America will be great, no doubt about it.

On topic:

I HAVE to watch this movie!

Smashmatt202 said...

Oh my Norse god, I can't WAIT to see this movie!

Josh said...

BY ODIN'S BEAR! This movie was astoundingly good. Playing the whole idea of Thor completely straight in the film made for beautiful comedy. The only problem I had was that the last 3rd was rushed.

I really enjoyed how the 3d looked for the first time. The abstraction created in Asgard works really well for me. This was also why I thought the dialogue worked instead of sounding cheesy.
Like you said not a master piece, but it did get my fantasy hating friend excited for Avengers so I instantly recommend it.

Kyle said...

I'm seeing this tomorrow and I seriously can't wait.

Also, beard.

Dave said...

I'm really surprised at the degree to which Bob played Underthinker in this one.

Having seen it on IMAX 3D and non-3D, I can say there is a rather significant difference. But whatever.

The visuals of Asgard are stunningly gorgeous. The CGI is extremely well-done. The casting of Fandral and Volstagg (the latter being the guy who played Punisher in Punisher: War Zone) was extremely well thought out, and I don't think they're "waiting around for another movie". The term is called "supporting cast". Maybe you should look it up.

The story isn't nearly as one-dimensional as Bob makes it out to be. I'm surprised he neglects to mention Erik Selvig, the Scandinavian astrophysicist who grew up with stories about Norse mythology as a boy and the kind of refreshing lens he brings to all this.

Valkyrie is Odin's wife and Thor's mom. I say she played her part fine. Guess Bob wanted her whole schtick from the comics, eh? Yeesh.

There is a possible second Marvel cameo in the same scene to the one Bob speaks of, but the character (who I believe to be Luke Cage) goes unnamed. There is also a passing reference to the Hulk you should keep your eyes and ears peeled for.

It's a story about a boy growing to become a man. However basic that archetype is, this movie does wonderful things with it. Focusing on the romance schtick doesn't bare the same relevance, and I'm surprised that you'd even spend time in this video harping on it.

And finally.....

The reveal at the end of the movie is far from major at this point. It's gotten kind of groan-worthy, considering how much we've been hearing about it for a load of time now. Bob, seriously quit your fanboy schtick, because it's interfering with that.... oh, what's the oxy-moron you used..... "objective opinion" of yours.

And Beta-Ray Bill!? Seriously, Fanboy Underthinker....... no. To even think that such an obscurity would even be present in a second film marketed to a wide, general audience with some nods to the fans just screams of ignorance on your part.

As does neglecting to mention how much original content was invented for the sake of this film (characters included) and doesn't actually have anything to do with the Thor comics.

For everyone else, it's a really great film, and Bob's review (which largely screams of loads of stuff revealed on the internet before the movie came out and doesn't add in a perspective on anything novel) makes me question whether or not Bob actually saw the film, or if he just pulled a Gamespot and reviewed a press packet.


dkh said...

By the way Bob, just so you know, the idea that Loki is a god of mischief is a more modern interpretation. Trickster is more accurate and even more accurate is his original title, "The Doer of Good and the Doer of Evil." It really fits with his role in the film, where he's part megalomaniac, part tragic hero.

Tim said...

Good review. I definitely agree that Rene Russo was underused, which I think is the film's only true flaw. One good scene between her and either of the brothers or Odin would have set that right.

The one quibble I have is that I think you underemphasize how fantastic Loki works in this film, both as a character and in terms of Hiddleston's performance. Without giving too much away, he's a far more dimensional character than I ever thought would be presented, a quality that might be ascribed to Branagh's background since many of the turns his character goes through feel very Shakespearean with echoes of King Lear and Richard III. He manages to be surprisingly sympathetic in his way with some interesting motivations that caught me off-guard and Hiddleston is fantastic at hinting at the wheels turning in his mind at every moment.

@Dave: As a wiser being than me once said, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

Ok, so yes... Idris Elba was absolutely perfect casting despite any race issues. Him playing a black Norse god wasn't nearly as jarring as, say... an Asian guy dressed up in a samurai outfit playing a Norse god. (Seriously, was that from the comics or something? 'Cuz that character felt crazy out of place)

Anthony Hopkins, of course, steals the whole movie and I'm actually a bit disappointed that he'll probably have very little if any role in later Thor films.

Dave from canada said...

I’m sorry Bob but ‘not playing it safe’ is utter and total bullshit. The film has one of the most formulaic and trite plots in recent memory. Just as it was back in the 90s when it was called Disney’s Hercules. It’s so ridiculous that not only could I tell but around the 25 minute mark exactly how the “he gets his powers back” scene was going to play out, but when telling someone who has seen only 1 of the trailers just HOW predictable it was (my words being a variant of, if I give you any details you’ll figure it out), he accidentally spoiled himself by summing up the entire plot just from a single guess. The only surprise in Thor is that in 2011, a company would actually greenlight a script that telegraphs itself THIS badly.

Stuff I liked:

The lead. Dude reminds me of Heath ledger. Of the current crop of aussie action stars, he’s my favourite. He can be charming, tough, funny, drunken, you name it. I look forward to seeing him again.

The cast with one major exception was good. Hopkins was slumming it but even then he was still fun. The chick who played Portman’s assistant was so much better at her job that it was a tragedy she wasn’t the leading lady.

Shield getting their ass kicked. I hate shield and Nick fury. They are dicks. Watching them get their asses handed to them was extremely gratifying.

LOKI. Not since 300 have I wanted the villain to win so badly. He got more development than any character even if most of his actions don’t actually make a lot of sense given what is learned about him. The question of his lineage (not at all a spoiler if you are a mythology geek) only serves to try to justify things he had already done before he knew about it. It’s sloppy. But the actor does a hell of a job with it.

Sleipnir has 8 legs. Yes.

The cameos, while just as in your face as iron Man 2, were better integrated into the story, and weren’t distracting wastes of time designed to remind you to watch captain America in a year. They are there, if you notice them, good. If not, you don’t lose anything.

Humour. It’s a very funny movie. Due in large part to some impressive but scant physical comedy from Thor and Portman’s sidekick.

It’s better than iron man 2 in that it isn’t a commercial. It’s an actual movie. Just an incredibly generic one.

Design. Asgard looks awesome. Not just the architecture, the sky and the landscape. Pity every other place in the movie looks dull and asgardians in the real world end up looking like an ep of Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog.

The Captain America trailer looked really good. I was expecting THOR to be the standout and Cap to be the letdown. I can only hope I had that backwards. But from what I’ve seen, the only major issue is with the lead. Everything else looks great.

Dave from canada said...

Stuff I hated:

3d. Apparently this was not post converted. I can only imagine how terrible post coverted 3d must look. Why can Paul Anderson make a great 3d movie with the umpteenth RE film but Kenneth Fucking Brannagh can’t make a decent 3d superhero movie.

Massive inconsistencies. They call the Jotuns frost giants for the first 5 minutes, then switch over to calling them Jotuns. I KNOW what they are, but your average viewer ain’t. It’s said that losing the rainbow bridge would be extremely bad....yet the movie makes it clear it isn’t actually needed. The Jotuns are never presented as anything but inherently evil sadistic monsters....yet apparently killing them is wrong.

JMS. Can we please stop asking him to write things? He’s not good at it. Makes him a big picture guy like lucas and he’ll create interesting worlds as long as none of the characters is female. NEVER have him write people. He does not understand that people’s emotions and dispositions do not randomly change from scene to scene because the plot demands.

Portman. Ok so she’s gotten the increasingly meaningless best actress Oscar for appearing in a glorified exploitation movie and having her face digitally grafted onto a dancer who did all the work. Can we please put her on the fast track to a halle berryish set of terrible movies that destroy her bankability as a star so we don’t have to deal with her again? She’s a terrible actress, she damn near ruins every scene she has, and has apparently contracted whatever disease James Van der Beek had in the 90s that prevented him from delivering any line without ending in a smile.

Weak action scenes. Iron man had short but awesome action scenes. Thor has short but crappy action scenes plagued by too much closeup, pr too many wide shots. The hammer is barely used and only a couple of times to do anything interesting. And most of the action scenes are forgettable. I saw it last night and I can’t remember how he beats the destroyer. My mind jus goes blank after a certain point and I can’t remember.

All in all thor is a fairly mediocre film that has no business not being excellent. It has SO much going for it in casting, and crew and design and attention spent on it. There’s one sequence where the destroyer does the typical ‘’robot turn around’ bit that nearly made me gasp from the sheer amount of attention to detail that went into that one scene. They didn’t have to do it, but they did. But the end result is so much less than the sum of its parts.

Honestly, I think THOR stands as a good example against what marvel is trying to do. As much as I’d really like the avengers to rock and Joss Whedon to finally get the mainstream attention he deserves, I really think we are headed for a letdown. Iron man was a bit of a fluke, and I did enjoy the HULK (granted, I liked the original, if only for being so visually interesting.), IM2 was a joke and thor was...ok. If avengers isn’t SPECTACULAR, then this whole venture will have been a waste of time.

BTW, a thought just occurred....Joss Whedon is fond of killing off beloved characters to prove how serious the situation is. And honestly he’s only gotten more sadistic over time to the point where you can tell he isn’t done something simply because only one of your favourite characters has been permanently killed off.

Obviously he can’t kill any of the avengers. They have their own movies to go to. And killing off your new additions like Hawkeye or Hill won’t have a big enough emotional impact. And the go to guy to screw with in the avengers is off making his own movie. So I suppose what I’m wondering is...does anyone else think that Agent Coulson is in all likelihood going to be killed off onscreen to prove that Thanos/loki/Kang/MODOK/ whoever the avengers villain ends up being is serious?

KevinCV said...

Great review, Bob. I'm totally looking forward to seeing this. As I've said, my mom wants to see it, too. However, she's probably got other reasons than myself. ;) Keep up the brilliant work! Oh, and "Clod of Blunder"? Am I detecting some self-deprecation on your part? Just wondering...

TheDVDGrouch said...

Just got back from seeing it. And your 100% right it had the best Marvel movie score to date.

CraftyAndy said...

I never get how people see the look, and premise as flat out "rediculus." I mean that in a sense that imaginative fantasy is somehow inherently stupid and childish, and a lot of people in that respect dont want to see it, instead they go see something "real" like fucking FAST and Furious! or anything with call of duty soldiers.