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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I continue to maintain that the least imaginative and cinematically
effective production group is not Michael Bay's, Jerry Bruckheimer's,
or that gleeful combination of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. It is
Marvel, who time after time think a hard punch is an effective punch,
color is the same as effect and shout equals passion. Their use of the
visual art of cinema is roundly uncinematic, just as Shanghai is
profoundly dumb architecturally and for the same reason.
They know this, and also know that their films may not be remembered kindly - affecting aftermarket sales. Of all the entertainment businesses, Marvel knows that markets change and the real moneymakers are those that can be sold into new media pockets.
So what do they do? Well, I have seen two Marvels this summer. With the latest X, they decided to add some story for a change.
But here they tried another tack, and it is worth noting. The dramatic world of Marvel is Greek with teen angst added in and everything taken to excess. There clearly was a market for that. But since the production of the films is so tightly controlled and homogeneous, to sell more tickets, you need a differentiator. The angst and volume is already stretched as far as they know how, so why not stretch the dramatic center from Sophoclesto Shakespeare. So bring in Branagh and allow him to populate the thing with actors who can appear 'Shakespearean.'
It is less important that we actually witness Shakspeare, the folds, introspections and narrative loops, than we think we do, we get stentorian presence. No one is going to deride Anthony Hopkins for this, because he is a lost cause among serious actors. But the real tragedy is Ms Portman, who with Skarsgård can really act and who knows how to support a vision like Kenneth would have for his 'Hamlet.' But that is not his job here. His job is to take loud things and give them the smell of Shakespeare.
Natalie, like her character, can only watch in horror as this is visited on her, and disaster is grown.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
Alright, back when this was into preproduction, I (and so many comic
book fans) were surprised when Branagh was slated to direct. Here we
have Thor the god of lightning and his mighty hammer, directed by a man
who works mostly around William Shakespeare plays.
Thankfully, this helps. A lot.
Almost every superhero movie (Marvel, lately) focuses on more action instead of character development. Sure, they may look awesome, but you get used to it. Branagh bravely steers away from this predicament and directs the actors with such skill and flair you may mistake this film for yet another Branagh/Shakespeare costume epic.
Make no mistake this is still a superhero film, with some nice special effects and a stylish production design for Asgard, but there's a nice human twist to the story - that of dueling brothers, or gods, or god- brothers... you get the idea. Chris Hemsworth looks just about right for the part and shows some charisma as well as the hero. Branagh has assembled an interesting mix of actors - we have the great Anthony Hopkins, the cute Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba and even Rene Russo. Tom Hiddleston however steals the scene as the mischievous brother Loki.
Here's another good thing about the movie - the story and acting outweigh the special effects and action sequences. For a superhero film, this is extremely rare. Branagh deserves kudos for the effort, however some parts do not gel in nicely and there's some action bits that are not too well-filmed.
All is forgiven though - "Thor" is an above-average superhero movie, not extremely exciting, but definitely intriguing. Fans of both comic book films and costume dramas will certainly enjoy this.
Two words of caution - one, keep an eye out for some cameos, both during and after the film. Two, for goodness sake do not watch it in 3D. I saw it in normal 2D and that's fine enough by me. I didn't see anything worth watching in 3D in it.
Overall rating: 68/100
To paraphrase wisdom from Talmud: 'Without the ability to forget, man
would live in a permanent, paralyzing fear of death.'
I am grateful human being can forget. If not, I would have paralyzing fear of watching another movie, ever again, scared that it might be as bad as this one. Which is probably impossible, but anyway...I am an optimist here...or pessimist, not sure...
If I wasn't clear enough: the movie is bad. If you want to watch super hero movie with (as Thor now has) 7.3 stars, go watch Bolt. Bolt will make you smile, at least.
IMDb wants the reviews to be 10 lines at least, so I must write some more. Here it comes:
Actors: 1) Thor guy was actually pretty good. I was surprised to see him decently convincing in different moods, but the script didn't give him a chance. 2) Natalie Portman - I mean, I love her, really I do, but this was ridiculous. 3) Stellan Skarsgård I liked him. Not sure anymore. 4) Sir Anthony he is a great guy, really. In this movie? Well
To be fair to the actors, screenplay was catastrophic. I guess no one could survive this one.
Kenneth Branagh was the director. I stopped liking that guy after he broke up with Emma Thompson. This movie was just a confirmation that I wasn't wrong.
Good luck and don't watch this. Go ride a bicycle. Or rent some good movie.
Other than the Dark Knight best superhero movie to date. I don't know what else a COMIC book fan could want out of this film. I liked this take on Thor, one of my all time favorites. Sometimes critics forget some movies are supposed to be FUN!... THOR is great FUN! Chris was great as Thor and so was the rest of the cast. Loki was better than I could have hoped for. Go see it and let's hope the rest of the super hero films coming out this year are just as great. CAPTAIN America!!!!!!!! can't wait!!!! Then the Avengers Next! Man I feel like a kid again. All these action comic films bring back the memories of reading comics and wishing there were good films to match. If anyone remembers the 70's attempts at these characters you know how great it is to finally have good versions of some of these HEROES! Keep it up. Don't listen to the people that didn't like this movie, they obviously don't know what comics really represent to kids and adults alike.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Thor was a risk to bring to the summer multiplexes. Lets face it, there
is a lot to cram into a 2hr film, especially one that is built for the
summer crowd. But Branagh is able to mix equal parts Asgard gravitas
and earth levity to make a film that is thoroughly enjoyable.
Most of the praise should go to Chris Hemsworth who wields the hammer with all the confidence in the world. He was one of the few actors that was in both "rhelms" and he was able to give Thor the right amount gravitas and levity when it was required. Sir Anthony Hopkins is the perfect Oden. Tom Hiddleston has garnered considerable attention for Loki, and I agree he is good. But the supporting actor/character I was most surprised by was Natalie Portman's Jan Foster. This is probably the first role I have seen her in where I got the sense she was totally at ease and having a blast. I expected her to just kind of walk through this film, but she brought as much to this as she did in Black Swan. Totally different role and character and totally different chops needed, but none the less she takes a possible throw away character and gave her some life.
The film does a lot of jumping from earth, back to Asgard, back to earth, back to Asgard, etc. So the pacing is an important thing. For the most part I thought the pacing was handled well, though I thought the final act did feel a bit rushed. The 2nd act suffers from the origin dead zone that is inherent with these films. But again, Branagh shows why he was the perfect director for this film.
I did not see this in 3D. Mainly because it is a post-production 3D converted film. So I can't attest to how good the 3D is. The effects are good, the sound design is perfect, with the sound of the hammer being a major highlight. When Thor wields it with all his might, you feel it.
Very good performances and capable directing make this a fun movie to watch. Be sure to stay around until the very end of the credits as we are given a peek at what looks like the villain in The Avengers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Kenneth Branagh, the man who brought us Shakespearean masterpieces such
as 'Hamlet' and 'Henry V', directs 'Thor', a marvelous summer-starter
(even though there's still one month till summer begins).
'Thor' stars Chris Hemsworth, a relatively unknown actor, as, you guessed it, Thor. Now from the trailers, it seemed to me that this was going to be yet another wannabe superhero flick with kick ass special effects and fight scenes, lacking any depth, and starring a talentless six-pack. Well I was wrong. 'Thor' is probably Marvel's best film, and I'd even go as far as saying that it is the third best superhero film of all time (right behind Christopher Nolan's masterpieces).
The plot is as follows... Thor, the bloodthirsty warrior and heir, is banished from the eternal kingdom of Asgard by his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), after disobeying his command, to a distant realm... called Earth! Now he needs to get back, but his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who was previously living in Thor's shadow, is proclaimed temporary king after his father collapses on a staircase, or something, and he doesn't want to let his cool brother back home, so Thor has to stay on Earth, with all the puny beings. He then falls in love with Jane (Natalie Portman), who is somewhat of a scientist, and changes his mind from "kill everybody who threatens my well-being" to "now wait a second, let's reason a bit here".
The movie's directed by Kenneth Branagh, the director of masterpieces such as 'Henry V', in which his also starred in, and received two Oscar nominations for both directing and acting. He may also be known to some as the goof-ball professor Gilderoy Lockhart from 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'. Here, he takes a break from acting, or producing, or writing, and just directs this masterpiece. Hollywood is really heading in the right direction with hiring artsy directors to direct explosion-explosion films. Another great example would be the upcoming 'Captain America: The First Avenger', directed by Joe Johnston, who brought us the very good coming-of-age story, 'October Sky'. I hope 'Captain America' is gonna be as good as 'Thor'. A part inside me somehow doesn't want it to be better, I don't why though.
Alongside Hemsworth, star Jane's friends Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), and Darcy... something (Kat Dennings); Thor's friends Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Sif (Jaimie Alexander), and Fandral (Josh Dallas/Cary Elwes-lookalike); and the nosy SHIELD agent, Coulson (Clark Gregg). The ensemble cast all give great performances, which aren't meant for you to remember, aside from Ray Stevenson, who is always awesome.
The movie references a few other superhero films/comics, which is quite appropriate given the fact that 'The Avengers' movie is getting closer and closer. We can also see Jeremy Renner in a cameo probably as Hawkeye, he's also gonna play Hawkeye in 'The Avengers'. And, I didn't stay in the theater until the credits were over, but IMDb tells me that Samuel L. Jackson has a cameo after the credits as Nick Fury. - How exciting! I'm thinking of seeing it again just for that.
'Thor' is the second superhero film out this year so far. The previous one was 'The Green Hornet', which was just a horrible attempt at mixing comedy with action. 'The Green Hornet' was however the first 3-D superhero flick. 'Thor' is in 3-D too, but I'd rather go with 2-D on this one, since there are too many shiny lights in the Asgard scenes, which would make my brain explode with 3-D glasses on.
There are five superhero films in 2011, three of them are still unreleased. They are: the crappy '...Green Hornet'; the amazing 'Thor'; the comes-out-on-my-birthday 'X-Men: First Class'; the gonna-be-awesome 'Green Lantern; and my most anticipated film of the year, 'Captain America: The First Avenger'. I sincerely hope that they are all on the level of 'Thor'. I don't like repeating myself here, but something inside me forbids me from wanting the other films be better than 'Thor'. Maybe I'm crazy, I don't know.
'Thor's special effects are spectacular, and deserving a Best Visual Effects Oscar nomination. From the epic battle scenes between the almighty gods, to the amazing scenes in Asgard, 'Thor's special effects are probably the greatest ones I've seen since 'Avatar', yeah! Plus, 'Avatar' kinda sucked from the story perspective, and 'Thor' is good on every level, so 'Thor' > 'Avatar', that's probably gonna set a certain individual off, I hope.
Anyway... Under Branagh's gentle direction, 'Thor' is by far one of the best films of 2011, and right behind Nolan's Batmans as one of the greatest superhero films of all time, featuring a star-making turn by Chris Hemsworth - a Hollywood newcomer with a six-pack, and brains!
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Heimdallr is black. Huginn and Muninn are missing. Bifröst is made out
of rainbow not some sparkly glass. Heimdallr is missing his horn, and
gold teeth. Why does he turn his head all the time as if he sees those
he's speaking with? I mean the lad is blind. And what's up with the
Asian fella? It's Norse mythology not Asian or African, not being
racist or anything but the Norse gods really aren't meant to be black
But then again if you've never bothered reading anything about the Norse mythology and don't really care and just want to see a action movie go ahead and watch this Hollywood version of Norse mythology.
I do realize it's based on Marvel's comics about Thor but it still doesn't make up for how wrong everything in Asgard or Jotunheim looks, not that I've been there, but it just doesn't look right to me.
This is a fun movie with a lot of nice humorous touches. It is as much
fun as Iron Man with perhaps just a little more depth to the back
OK the whole thing is a crock from a scientific or mythological point of view... but who cares? If you are the sort of person who complains because James Bond can't really have an invisible car then maybe you should get a life.
If you want to spend a couple of hours being entertained by an action movie that is also complex enough to argue about in the bar later, then this absolutely hits the spot. Portman and Skarsgaard are almost only cameos and Hemsworth practically carries the film, but the cast all deliver well.
This is entertainment that sits fairly and squarely in the 'let's pretend a little bit' camp and rewards the viewer with some good action scenes, a plot that has some substance, and a few good gags along the way. Go see it if you want a couple of hours fun. NickB
Thor is a bit of a harder sell as far as comic book characters go. I
mean, how do you transform an ancient Norse god and 60's comic book
character into something a modern movie going audience is going to
like? Start with great casting (Chris Hemsworth is a dead ringer for
Thor), add a brilliant screenplay by J. Michael Strazynski, and mix it
with top notch special effects and you end up with a movie that is
halfway believable (in a comic book way) and very entertaining.
Thor is an arrogant, perhaps spoiled, young warrior that seeks glory for himself and Asgard but nearly reignites an ancient war with the Frost Giants in the process. For his arrogance and poor judgement, Thor is stripped of his power and banished to Earth by Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and his hammer lands in New Mexico and becomes something akin to the sword in the stone of Arthurian legend, "Whoever holds this hammer, should they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor". All of this is a result of the subtle manipulations of Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who seeks power only for himself. Throughout most of the film Loki works from the shadows to manipulate people and events towards an end of his design, as only the trickster god can do. Thor must then work to reclaim his power and stop his brother's machinations, gaining some wisdom and humility along the way.
There is really very little to dislike about the film, other than a couple of minor casting decisions, Hogun, one of the famed warriors three, is apparently Asian for some reason, and Heimdall is black. Both choices seem odd for Norse gods but it doesn't really harm the movie, they just seem out of place. I would have liked to see Thor get beat up a bit more in the final two fight scenes with The Destroyer and Loki as both were relatively short and could have benefited from a couple of extra minutes. Overall Thor is a very fun, very entertaining comic book movie that only heightens my anticipation for the upcoming Captain America and Avengers movies.
Although having originally balked at director Kenneth Branagh for casting Chris Hemsworth in the lead of this film, i have to say i was presently pleased with the job he did in this. Now as you will see in this version Chris Hemsworth is ribbed and cut however I was hoping he would've used a wrestler such as the likes of Paul (Triple H) Levesque he's way more massive in the body building sense then Hemsworth is. Im sure however that Hemsworth is a better actor. Needless to say the film rocked and turned out to be one of the better comic book adaptations i have seen to date. Branagh carefully handpicked his cast in this with the end product proving this immensely. After being cast out of his mystical city of Asgard by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) Thor is sent to earth with his famed hammer. He is befriended by scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and with her team they follow Thor as he treks to find his hammer. Upon finding the mystical and powerful weapon he cannot seem to pull it from its place embedded in earth. This leads him and his friendly band of scientists to find out as to why he has come to earth and deemed powerless. It takes a powerful Asgardian foe that comes down to earth to destroy Thor and with malicious intent to do more harm then good to earth's mortal citizens, to give Thor what he needs to conquer and rejoin his father as a King in Asgard! Kenneth Branagh in his first comic book super hero genre type film did a superb job in retelling what is one of my favourite heroes that the great Stan Lee crafted in his comic book series. Seeing Thor only left me craving to see 2012's The Avengers that will be directed by Joss Whedon.
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