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Conde Koma
5/06/2011 10:32pm,
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v639/dboyzero/thor-movie-poster-thor-1.jpgThor
USA, 2011
Genre: Action, Superhero, Fantasy
114 minutes
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800369/

The Norse god of thunder is banished to Earth, where he must redeem himself in the mortal realm.

Kenneth Branagh, better known as an actor for his character roles and as a director for his Shakespeare films, makes the considerable jump to superhero action films with his vision of the mighty Thor, based on the popular Marvel Avenger. Carried by a fantastic cast including Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, and Stellan Skarsgard, Branagh also introduces American audiences to Chris Hemsworth as the titular hero and Tom Hiddleston as his brother Loki. Hemsworth, Hiddleston, and Hopkins all have outstanding performances as Norse gods, bringing the concept of flawed deities to life on the big screen. Unfortunately, while the dialogue is funny and pretty smart at times, the story as a whole lacked a solid structure or effective pacing. It does manage to get what it needs to across, but it’s a bit clunky on the way there.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v639/dboyzero/thor-movie-1.jpg

Visually, the film is very impressive. Props to Branagh’s extensive art and visual effects department, who managed to craft the gorgeous world of Asgard, home to the gods, yet still fit it stylistically into the greater Marvel movie universe. However, as impressive as the visuals themselves were, when it came to filming the actual actors on physical sets, the cinematography came off as incredibly amateur. Unsure of how to best capture the cast’s performance, director of photography Haris Zambarloukos’s only solution appeared to be tilting the camera for a dutch angle, again and again and again. Compounded upon the photography were some rather sloppy editing choices and fairly generic sound design and musical score. It’s truly disheartening to see such dedication to quality on one half of the production, but decidedly mediocre work for the rest.

Probably the most impressive aspect of the movie was Branagh’s handling of the action sequences. With no prior experience dealing with action or heavy visual effects, I imagine he gave a lot of flexibility to his art directors to handle those particular sequences. Regardless of how much he may or may not have had to do with their production, it’s clear that a lot of love for the character or craft went into their creation, because they will definitely set off even the most closeted of fanboys. Despite shortcomings in the non-superhero parts of the film, Thor is definitely worth checking out if you have any sort of vested interest in the Avengers or the superhero genre as a whole.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v639/dboyzero/Thor-Movie-Cap-hammer-1.jpg

Blog Link: http://fightfilmfriday.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/fight-film-friday-thor/

Hiro Protagonist
5/07/2011 5:11am,
Very good review, Condy.

I share your observations.

Basically, the movie sports astounding visuals, the best since the Star Trek revamp, and the cast blows you from your toes.

Sadly, like with all the new Marvel movies ever since - I think - Iron Man, considerable part of the story is wasted for the inter-movie metaplot, instead of being effectively used to develop the characters.

Granted, "Thor" minimizes those metaplot elements, but it still weakens the story; Brannagh managed to save the comic-booki-ish aesthetics, as well as the weak main character, but he can't save Marvel from itself. Destroyer, yawn. Yet another appeareance of the Shield guy, yawn. Every villain not dead, but stored away, yawn.

I fear for Captain America, guys. Because that movie, if it hits, will be the defining superhero movie of the decade. But since nowadays, every bigger movie either is prequel or sequel to something... Yawn.

It is Fake
5/07/2011 8:56am,
Sadly, like with all the new Marvel movies ever since - I think - Iron Man, considerable part of the story is wasted for the inter-movie metaplot, instead of being effectively used to develop the characters.Fanboy joined universe not a metaplot in the way you are implying. They said from jump these movies, minus the hulk, were made to introduce the Avengers.




Granted, "Thor" minimizes those metaplot elements, but it still weakens the story; Brannagh managed to save the comic-booki-ish aesthetics, as well as the weak main character, but he can't save Marvel from itself. Destroyer, yawn. Yet another appeareance of the Shield guy, yawn. Every villain not dead, but stored away, yawn.Disagree.




I fear for Captain America, guys. Because that movie, if it hits, will be the defining superhero movie of the decade. But since nowadays, every bigger movie either is prequel or sequel to something... Yawn.Nah. Don't mix Iconic with defining. Superman is an Iconic character and he hasn't had a defining movie in nearly 30 years. Captain America is Iconic and they never got one of his movies correct. I am actually hoping for an adequate movie.

Matt Phillips
5/07/2011 9:33am,
Fanboy joined universe not a metaplot in the way you are implying. They said from jump these movies, minus the hulk, were made to introduce the Avengers.

Cap was not a founding Avenger.



Nah. Don't mix Iconic with defining. Superman is an Iconic character and he hasn't had a defining movie in nearly 30 years. Captain America is Iconic and they never got one of his movies correct. I am actually hoping for an adequate movie.
You no like Death Too Soon?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nS0GdGHfAOY

Hiro Protagonist
5/07/2011 10:01am,
Fanboy joined universe not a metaplot in the way you are implying. They said from jump these movies, minus the hulk, were made to introduce the Avengers.

I recall that, but I'm growing a bit weary of it.
Like, Sam Raimi's Spiderman movies, or even Nolan's Batman movies (which I didn't particularly like) gain a lot of their strength from being closed systems. I would wish they would do so with the recent Marvel movies as well.



Nah. Don't mix Iconic with defining. Superman is an Iconic character and he hasn't had a defining movie in nearly 30 years. Captain America is Iconic and they never got one of his movies correct. I am actually hoping for an adequate movie.

Not sure how you mean that - I am thinking more in terms that the superhero genre would be much more entertaining if there were a few more experiments with the stories. Like, as the CA movie seems to attempt, period pieces.

"With great power comes great responsibility" has been kind of overdone lately, as far as I'm concerned. What I would like to see are more unconventional attempts - The Shadow with Alec Baldwin, or that superbad Phantom movie, they were at least unconventional, compared to the kind of assembly line productions we have been seeing over the last few years.

"Assembly line" not meaning that they were necessarily bad - just a bit unoriginal.

It is Fake
5/07/2011 10:26am,
I recall that, but I'm growing a bit weary of it.
Like, Sam Raimi's Spiderman movies, or even Nolan's Batman movies (which I didn't particularly like) gain a lot of their strength from being closed systems. I would wish they would do so with the recent Marvel movies as well.They were and they decided to do something different from DC. X-men(3), Blade(3), Daredevil (1), Elektra (1), Punisher (3), Original Hulk, and the 70's movies all were closed. I'm glad they are trying something new. You don't have to like it, but knowing that right now none of the DC universe is slated to cross sucks.




Not sure how you mean that - I am thinking more in terms that the superhero genre would be much more entertaining if there were a few more experiments with the stories. Like, as the CA movie seems to attempt, period pieces.Experiment? Cap is a WWII character they are doing source material. I don't call that an experiment if it is the history of the Character. The Dark Knight was defining and it was set in Modern Times. They experimented with making Batman basically a supporting actor in his own movie. IMO that was a gamble and an experiment that worked.




"With great power comes great responsibility" has been kind of overdone lately, as far as I'm concerned. That's the basis of Marvel.


What I would like to see are more unconventional attempts - The Shadow with Alec Baldwin, or that superbad Phantom movie, they were at least unconventional, compared to the kind of assembly line productions we have been seeing over the last few years.
We will disagree as those weren't unconventional as that is their source material. You may have been surprised because, maybe you don't know the genre. I'd argue those were a product of their times. They followed the Raiders of the Lost Arc and Romancing the Stone framework IMO.



"Assembly line" not meaning that they were necessarily bad - just a bit unoriginal.You follow the source material and cater to your market. Alienate you fan base and it is hard to get funding. That's why all comic book movies have "easter eggs" hidden regardless of company.

Snake Plissken
5/07/2011 10:39am,
They were and they decided to do something different from DC. X-men(3), Blade(3), Daredevil (1), Elektra (1), Punisher (3), Original Hulk, and the 70's movies all were closed. I'm glad they are trying something new. You don't have to like it, but knowing that right now none of the DC universe is slated to cross sucks.
I disagree with Daredevil/Elektra.
I think they fully intended on introducing Elektra in Daredevil, only to spin-off.
Now Ghost Rider......







We will disagree as those weren't unconventional as that is their source material. You may have been surprised because, maybe you don't know the genre. I'd argue those were a product of their times. They followed the Raiders of the Lost Arc and Romancing the Stone framework IMO.

You follow the source material and cater to your market. Alienate you fan base and it is hard to get funding. That's why all comic book movies have "easter eggs" hidden regardless of company.
I would agree with 'Fake.
Even taking something like Road To Perdition, History of Violence, Tank Girl, Mysterymen, G-Men from Hell, Timecop...films that were unconventional, they still conformed to the conventions of their original concept.

It is Fake
5/07/2011 10:42am,
I disagree with Daredevil/Elektra.
I think they fully intended on introducing Elektra in Daredevil, only to spin-off.
Now Ghost Rider......They are their own universe. I consider that Daredevil 1a. The problem was removing Daredevil from Elektra because, they are inextricably intertwined.

Snake Plissken
5/07/2011 10:46am,
They are their own universe. I consider that Daredevil 1a. The problem was removing Daredevil from Elektra because, they are inextricably intertwined.
That makes sense and I will buy that explanation: The Millerverse.

While I always liked the Daredevil stories that had Kingpin, Punisher, Bullseye....he always did seem to be on his own little island, with only the occasional visit from Spidey.

It is Fake
5/07/2011 10:53am,
Unbreakble was, for me, one of the more original and unconventional stories. It took typical superhero convention and turned it on its ear.

Snake Plissken
5/07/2011 10:59am,
Unbreakble was, for me, one of the more original and unconventional stories. It took typical superhero convention and turned it on its ear.
True.
It wasn't burdened by preconceptions of source material and was able to create its own mythos without fanboys bemoaning any changes.

If Rafe wants to use the Phantom and Spirit and Shadow style crime-noir stories, I would suggest Darkman as being closer to the bill.

What about things like Ghost World, Crumb, American Splendor? Non-superhero comic movies.

It is Fake
5/07/2011 11:01am,
Yes, Darkman was close as well. The only problem was it reminded me of a re-imagined Swamp Thing.

Haven't seen those three. I just recently got back into arthouse/indie films.

Matt Phillips
5/07/2011 11:08am,
That makes sense and I will buy that explanation: The Millerverse.

People forget that it was FM that introduced an entire generation to Ninja cool with the Hand. Before DD #168 I had only vaguely heard of Ninjas (as a variant thief class in D&D). I did see Miller drawing Elektra fighting some Hand ninja in late 1980 (He draws her starting at the tip of her Sai LOL) but didn't even recognize them as such because that was before I even had an archetype to associate with what a ninja should look like yet(!) No Hand = No ninjas in GI joe = no ninja craze (= no Ashida Kim, etc)




While I always liked the Daredevil stories that had Kingpin, Punisher, Bullseye....he always did seem to be on his own little island, with only the occasional visit from Spidey.

Although it was before Miller's run, Black Widow was practically Robin to DD's Batman when I was in grade school. Why they associated her with the Iron Man movies escapes me (ouside of her first appearence being in TIIM)

Snake Plissken
5/07/2011 11:11am,
Yes, Darkman was close as well. The only problem was it reminded me of a re-imagined Swamp Thing.
Haven't seen Man-Thing, though I doubt I'll miss anything cuz I did see both Swamp Things.


Haven't seen those three. I just recently got back into arthouse/indie films.
Ghost World is great. Granted, it has awesome hipster-chick eyecandy in the embodiment of Scarlett and Zora. Steve Buscemi has a nice role and is supercreepy, as always.

Paul Giamatti does a nice job of Harvey Pekar, whom I only really knew through his Letterman appearances. His acting is kinda suffocating, in as much as the guy is just such a neurotic ball of failure, you just want to stop the movie, turn it off, go outside and get some sun on your face and fresh air in your lungs and thank whomever that you aren't him.

Crumb, I am sure is *good* but it was just too much of a mess for me. I couldn't finish it. It kinda skeeved me out cuz he's just such a creep.

Snake Plissken
5/07/2011 11:13am,
People forget that it was FM that introduced an entire generation to Ninja cool with the Hand. Before DD #168 I had only vaguely heard of Ninjas (as a variant thief class in D&D). I did see Miller drawing Elektra fighting some Hand ninja in late 1980 (He draws her starting at the tip of her Sai LOL) but didn't even recognize them as such because that was before I even had an archetype to associate with what a ninja should look like yet(!) No Hand = No ninjas in GI joe = no ninja craze (= no Ashida Kim, etc)

Frank Miller is to blame for Ashida Kim.
Get a rope.



Although it was before Miller's run, Black Widow was practically Robin to DD's Batman when I was in grade school. Why they associated her with the Iron Man movies escapes me (ouside of her first appearence being in TIIM)
because she was banging Tony Stark in the Ultimates series, which is essentially the framework for Marvel's movie vision.

It is Fake
5/07/2011 11:20am,
Although it was before Miller's run, Black Widow was practically Robin to DD's Batman when I was in grade school. Why they associated her with the Iron Man movies escapes me (ouside of her first appearence being in TIIM)There were two popular Universes in Marvel. The Ultimates and the one you are talking about.

Since the build up to the Avengers movie they have been mixing elements of both into the movies. In the newer Universe, which is completely separate from the original, BW is part of the Avengers which are called the Ultimates.