Posts Tagged ‘Thor’

thor_3_ragnarokThe big rumor right now is that Thor 3 will bring to the films the Ragnarok storyline from the comics. While there is validity to the claim, I’m not really buying it. Would the studio really want to jump on Ragnarok that fast? Bringing Ragnarok will effectively take Asgard out the future films as it basically gets destroyed with only a chunk surviving (floating over Broxton, Oklahoma of all places).

As much as I want to see Asgard brought to Oklahoma (cause, seriously, I really really really really do want to see that), we haven’t really got to explore Asgard or its many wonders and peoples in the first two films. I know they only have so much of a shelf-life on both the actor’s contracts and people’s interest in Thor, but shouldn’t they wait till at least one more film before basically dropping the big hammer?

Perhaps that’s just a personal preference…

I’m sure we’ll hear more about this once Captain American 2 hits theaters.

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thor the dark world posterThe long/short review: an enjoyable romp with very little substance.

One can definitely tell the change in director between these films as in the first Thor there was a Shakespeare undertone, dry humor and smirking wit along with some masterful turns at character development and story telling. Thor 2 is put together more like an action flick where it’s all about the explosions and one-liners.

Do I like action flicks all about explosions and one-liners? Yes, I enjoyed Avengers, didn’t I. But that was the purpose of that film, to bring together characters who were already individually explored and see them work together. In Avengers, character development, save a few key scenes, is pretty much left to be explored in their individual movies where a more direct focus would serve the characters better. We see this in Iron Man 3 where not only does Tony get his own villain but he battles his personal demons and fears as well. That’s what Thor 2 should have been about, continuing to grow Thor as a character through an actual plot arc rather than the typical action style of laying it all down at the end for a quick wrap up.

This really is an example of how bad it can be to ‘just give the audience more of what they want’ rather than ‘making a movie that their audience will love’.

Here is my breakdown, spoilers ahead.

Thor – I always thought that he got the shorter end of the stick in the first film when it came to character development. His motivations were just a bit more petty and his sudden shift to not being such a douche was too quick and unearned. There isn’t so much of a problem like that in Thor 2 because there is no character development, at all. From the beginning he’s just this guy who is trying to be a good son while pining over the woman he loves. At the end of the film, he’s still trying to be the good son while pining over a woman. The only thing that changes is that he has the guts to tell his dad that he doesn’t want to be king and instead continue to hit things with hammers and love a Midgardian. While the argument can be made that this is indeed character development in that he chooses to accept that he doesn’t want to be king, etc, it feels very lazy and simple. After losing his mother and brother, there isn’t any true thought to how this personally effected him or his decisions. As stated before, there is a quick wrap up at the end to say ‘yep, I haven’t changed, this is what I want to do’ and that’s it.

Jane – I didn’t care much for her in the first film because I thought Portman, who is a great actress, just kinda walked through the role and there was no chemistry between her and Hemsworth. As a character though, she was pretty cool. She was this super smart scientist who was trying to awesome things because she was a scientist trying to do awesome things. In Thor 2, she’s reduced to a woman who has apparently been moping around because Thor never called her back. Sure, she was doing sciencey things, but not because “hey, science!” but because she was looking for Thor. Then when Thor snubbed her, she stopped with the science. Huh? I’m sure it hurt to see him come to Earth in Avengers and not bother to call her or even drop a note, but why the hell did she decide to stop doing science because of this? She was a scientist before Thor, she can continue to be a scientist now. Hell, if she was that mad that he never called her, why isn’t she trying harder to find a way to Asgard just so she can slap him? But nope, her entire reason for doing anything worthwhile in life (or I would assume seeing how dedicated she was in the first film) ceased to be because Thor never called her back. Even at the end of the film, she’s moping because he hasn’t come back in two days. And for a lot of the film, she’s just standing there doing nothing because the focus is on Thor/Loki (which I’ll get to in a minute) and she’s almost forgotten about in many scenes. She does have a few moments of her being a freaking scientist and thinking as such, but it’s all framed by the fact that she now exists solely as a love interest to Thor. (But at least we were spared any horrible cat-fighting between her and Sif.)

Loki – He stole the show in the first movie where he got some perfected paced and designed character development,  and in Thor 2, pretty much every awesome moment can be attributed to him. He was much more jokey in this film, spilling out one-liners like the class clown who is hiding just how sad he is in. He also had a stronger reaction to Frigga’s death. It puts him in a lot of pain, pain he even tries to hide from Thor through illusions. But, much like Thor, there is no development. Loki is stuck, he’s played his hand as the ‘would be king’ who is rightly pissed about his parentage issue… and he continues to do so because he believes he needs to save face. Then he fakes his death (which, let’s be honest, we all saw coming) and somehow takes Odin’s place (which, okay, that was an awesome twist). There is no development, he’s still the same person he was at the beginning of the film, just in a different place. Throughout the film, though it is very hilarious, he’s just there to crack one-liners and play off Thor. It’s the few moments he’s not doing this that he truly saves this film.

Thor/Loki – The Thor/Loki dynamic is an interesting one and there are a lot of fans both of this as a non-romantic pairing and as a romantic pairing. Loki is also a fan favorite with a movement to get him his own movie. This is where the ‘giving fans more of what they want’ turns sour because this film is pretty much just two hours of Loki and Thor banter, sometimes serious, often for laughs. You know that moment in Avengers where Thor says “listen well brother,” gets knocked down by Iron Man, and Loki goes “I’m listening”… yeah, imagine that for two hours. While yes, it’s really funny and I laughed a lot, I did often find myself going “where is Jane?” or “what about the Elves?” Literally, Jane disappears from view for a good ten minutes at two different times just so that Thor and Loki can banter with each other. It’s not like she’s not around, she’s literally in the same ten square feet radius, but is removed from frame and nearly forgotten about. As much as the Thor/Loki stuff can be fun or even emotionally dramatic, here is was played not like Shakespeare, but like Michael Bay.

Frigga – What the heck? Thor takes repeated poundings from the Hulk. Loki gets stabbed in the chest (maybe, sorta, not sure where the illusion started there). But Frigga gets a dagger in her and dies almost instantly? Gah! I know she was going to die but did they have to make it so easy? Esp after she put the smack down on the Dark Elf? This part pissed me off the most… but mostly cause Frigga is awesome and played by an underrated but also awesome actress. I really hope a future movie is Loki going to Valhalla to get her back… I really do… I any case, she was both soft mother and badass warrior and all in a very small space of time. Writers, take note.

Odin – Worst. Father. Ever. But what else is new? The fact that he was actually being reasonable there at the end should have been our first clue that he wasn’t actually himself.

Darcy – Almost makes up for Jane. She’s sassy, knows her level of intelligence in comparison to Jane, and where she falls in the hierarchy of the film, and she owns it.

Erik – The only character that truly seemed to have any kind of real development from the Avengers film. Basically, after what Loki did to him, and with him being just a person and not a trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, he’s pretty much off his rocker. This is totally legit and I applaud that they actually went there and showed that everything is not all happy smiles after events like what happened in Avengers.

Malekith – Our villain of the weekmovie. Eccelston is a great actor but he, like many others in this film, has little to work with. Again, he’s just a device to allow for the Thor/Loki banter.

Overall – It was a fun romp of a film but it was more of a filler episode than a film in its own right. I laughed, I smiled, I got pissed at a character death, but in the end I felt like I hadn’t actually gained anything from the experience regarding the characters. I’ve heard that a good 20-ish minutes where cut and that truely could have made all the difference in giving us more of the depth we needed rather than the silly one-liners.

In conclusion: Was it enjoyable? Yes. Was it disappointing? Yes

Funny how that works out sometimes.

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Thor: The Dark World: Prelude #1Doing comic book tie-ins are actually a really good idea, as long as they are done well. They’re basically all the extra scenes that got cut out of the movie because they really weren’t needed but would have been nice to see.

That’s pretty much what comprises this particular tie-in.

We know Thor gets to Earth using dark magic and Jane is shipped off to Norway, but here we see it happen.

The best part is the little things, such as Frigga being the one to see that Loki is still alive. I really hope she gets some face time with Loki in Dark World because even if Odin is suspect, she always treated him as her son.

As for Thor himself, he learned that every action has consequences… and this is definitely one of those moments where the bigger picture is about to come crashing down on him.

Just… couldn’t they have done a better cover?

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Thor: The Dark World has released its first trailer which can be seen on youtube here.

Now, the big thing that I know a lot of people are talking about is Loki, specifically his hair.

Thor-Dark-World-Trailer-1

Let’s look past that for a moment and take in the bigger picture. In mimic to Avengers, Loki is in a prison cell and giving a ‘how desperate are you’ speech, only this time he refers to himself rather than the Avengers. He views asking for help, any help, as a sign of weakness and a character flaw to be exploited.

Thor also says “when you betray me, I will kill you”, note the when… now, is this in response to something Loki says such as ‘You know I’ll betray you’ or he is just coming out and saying that Loki is completely irredeemable at this point and is going to betray him no matter what? I really hope it’s the former.

Thor-Dark-World-Trailer-2

It also looks like Jane is being turned into a ‘damsel in distress’ in this movie which is annoying. But not nearly as annoying as the hint of a possible love triangle in this as well. When Jane is talking about ‘being from two different worlds’ which is how a lot of Dear John speeches start, Sif gets a nice glowy shot of her not looking very happy. Seriously, if these two characters are reduced to two women fighting over Thor in Dark World I’m going to be thoroughly annoyed and disappointed.

Thor-Dark-World-Trailer-3

Frigga, on the other hand, looks ready to take everyone down. Rene Russo is a very underestimated actress in my opinion and I love that there is, hopefully, expansion on her character in this. Frigga is the freaking Queen of Asgard, not a title she could hold by being meek in any way. I would also like to see what her relationship with Loki is right now. She said she always saw him as a son to her… but after all he has done?

Overall, looks very on par with the first movie though a little darker to go with the title I suppose. Can’t wait to see more trailers and sneaks as we get closer to it’s November 8th release date.

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CinemaBlend – Man Of Steel’s Faora Revealed In Action Figure Form

CinemaBlend – Man Of Steel’s Amy Adams Performs Classic Lois Lane Moment For Jay Leno

ComicBookMovie – Could We See A Fully CG Character In X-MEN: DOFP? – this article not-so-subtle hints that the Sentinel could be the CGI character and this would make the most sense, if there to do the big, bulky robotic hunters then CGI would probably be the easiest and cheapest route to take

CinemaBlend – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Set Photo Reveals Some Nausea-Inducing Equipment

CinemaBlend – Iron Man 3 Lego Sets Feature Possible Spoilers

BleedingCool – Marvel Increases Market Dominance In January 2013

ComicBookMovie – SPIDER-MAN Test Reel Shows Added Musculature to Tobey Maguire’s Costume

ComicBookMovie – Marvel VFX Exec. VP Talks THOR: THE DARK WORLD, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY And More

CBR – How much does Thor’s hammer weigh?

CinemaBlend – Ben Affleck Was Asked To Play Batman In The Justice League Movie?

io9 – Myths About Joss Whedon (That Keep Non-Whedonistas Away)

deviantArt – ai-eye

Two Faceby ~ ai-eye

Two Face by ~ ai-eye

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Justice League Movie CastIt’s not been confirmed but the line up for the new Justice League movie Warners Bros has slated for a 2015 will be: Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and The Flash.

This seems likely as while there have been others in the Justice League at various times, these five are perhaps the most notable, which is a good thing seeing as there is no word yet if Henry Cavill and Ryan Reynolds will be reprising their roles as Superman and Green Lantern. We already know Christian Bale will not be reprising his role as Batman as the JL movie will be removed from Nolan’s Batman universe and Batman could be rebooted as early as 2017. So, assuming Cavill and Reynolds are back, then their movies would be the ‘set up’ or ‘phase one’ of the DC Film-Verse which would culminate in the Justice League movie, but three out of five major characters will not have an origin movie.

Good thing these characters are recognizable… but are they really anymore so than the Avengers cast before the ‘Phase One – Avengers Assembled’ films were released:

The Avengers poster by Mondo

The Avengers poster by Mondo

Batman and Superman are basically Iron Man. It could be argued that when Iron Man came out he wasn’t that recognizable beyond people knowing his name but the first movie catapulted his status to that of Bats and Supes. Phase One hadn’t really started yet so that movie counts. When Phase One really got going, you’d have to have been living under a rock not to have heard of Iron Man.

Wonder Woman is pretty much The Hulk. Both had wildly successful tv series, but ever since they’ve had issues with getting a decent movie off the ground and/or getting decent people to play them. They’re fairly recognizable characters though no one can name a single person in these character’s rogue’s gallery or their origin story beyond a few tidbits, unless they were already fans.

Green Lantern is Captain America. You can’t not have heard of these guys if you poked your nose anywhere around the comic-verse, but other than having one crappy movie (Captain America in 1990, Green Lantern in 2011) and being in other character’s animated shows, they haven’t gotten much love outside the comic-verse.

Flash, well, he really is Thor. They are two characters who people have heard of but get confused with other characters (mythology, Flash Gordan, Venom (true story!)). Also, they’re two characters who have had tv shows and movies no one remembers.

As for Black Widow and Hawkeye, they will be represented by whatever little-known-outside-the-comics characters end up getting picked for the supporting cast. They will then see skyrocketed comic book sales, their own solo titles, and possibly their own movie.

But again, only two of these characters (possibly one if they want to strike the tragedy that was Green Lantern off the record) will have introduction/origin movies. Will this help or hinder the effort?

Let’s look at the Phase One movies, here is a breakdown of how much money they made at the box office thanks to Box Office Mojo:

2008Iron Man – 318mil domestic – 585mil total (for comparison)
2008Incredible Hulk – 135mil domestic – 263mil total
2010Iron Man 2 – 312mil domestic – 624 total
2011Captain America – 177mil domestic – 367mil total
2011Thor – 181mil domestic – 449mil total

2012Avengers – 623mil domestic – 1.5billion total

Not only did the individual origin movies not come anywhere near Iron Man (save maybe Thor’s total take), even Iron Man fell into the shadow of the Avengers film itself.

Why is this so? Was Avengers just that much better than all the other movies?

While it was quality, you also have to take into account that Avengers pulled together fans of every single one of those characters. Those who watched Iron Man may not have cared to see Thor. Those who watched Captain American possibly didn’t care about The Incredible Hulk.

So the question now becomes… how are the sequels going to do? How many people who didn’t care about Thor and Loki went out and watched Thor after they watched Avengers? How many of those will be going to see Thor: The Dark World when it comes out? We won’t really know for sure until we see the numbers.

Superman's_Profile_picture by ~Agustinus

Superman’s_Profile_picture by ~Agustinus

How does this affect the Justice League movie?

Avengers may have needed to let you get to know the other characters because it couldn’t rely on the draw of Iron Man and comic readers alone, but Batman and Superman are guaranteed to be a big draw. Not only do they have masses of individual fans (which goes well beyond the comics) who want to see them, but they want to see them interact. No matter the quality of the movie, we can expect to see very large numbers out in mass for opening weekend.

But what if the Justice League movie is terrible?

Then back to the drawing board with no money lost on origin films that went nowhere, but also, like Green Lantern, it might be years before they touch on the character ever again. Though they could go the route of making tv shows like Arrow and Amazon which is in pre-pre-production. They have a lot of options, only a few we’d actually like to see.

But what if the movie is actually really good?

Those who went to go see Bats and Supes are introduced to three other characters that, if they are done right, will basically have the ‘Hawkeye effect’ and people will want to see them in their own movie. This means when WB sinks money into a WW movie with the same actress, in the same universe, then they are guaranteed better returns than if they tried to go solo before Justice League, an idea that they had but seems to have been dropped.

The only issue would be that they couldn’t do prequel movies because that would be annoying, but it would be easy enough to put their origins in there as either a quick 15 minutes at the beginning or parceled throughout the film (as long as it’s done right).

So, is it a smart move by Warner Brothers to work backwards?

They’ve already been accused of trying to ride on the back of the Avengers box office smash… but then Batman and Superman are literally much bigger characters in their own right and could carry a team-up movie with so much ease it should be criminal. The fact they haven’t done it before now should be punished as a capital offence. Maybe it took a kick in the pants for them to get around to it but it was a long time coming.

As for GL, WW, and Flash… I think the fact that Green Lantern made 116mil domestic, half of that on opening weekend before the news came down of its quality, proves that the audience is there for these movies, maybe not 300mil domestic like Iron Man right now, but they are there. But really, as long as they start putting out good films, they will be able to hold against Disney/Marvel, if not surpass them… but with a rash of really bad superhero movies in Green Lantern and Superman Returns, and the retirement of the Nolan-verse Batman movies, they need a shining beacon of ‘yes, yes we can make good movies!’.

Man of Steel logoWe do have Man of Steel coming up later this year, but will that be enough? We were already let down by a Superman movie and so wary eyes are on this film. If it’s a great film then it will definitely help the cause, if it terrible then at least it could be kicked under the rug.

In the end, the Justice League movie is the crux of the entire DC film franchise. Supes and Bats will always have their place on screen but if Justice League fails then it will take everything else down with it. If it succeeds then it is a literal blank check for Warner Bros to bring all our favorite DC characters to life.

So yes, this really is the best move by Warner Bros. Marvel’s Avengers had a fairly blank slate to start with while Justice League has a lot of recent history with most of the characters, either through failed movies or the failure to make a movie. They need a reset button, they need a point to start, and this is it.

Granted, the reset button does look an awful lot like the self destruct button… but that can be entertaining in its own right.

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Thanks to ComingSoon.net, we have the first official synopsis of Thor: The Dark World.

Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.  In the aftermath of Marvel’s “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

It’s kinda generic you know? He fights this bad guy who is apparently badder than Loki, he’s going to be reunited with his love interest, and ‘have to sacrifice everything to save us all’… like we haven’t seen that before in a thousand and one movies. We knew Malekith and Jane were going to be in the movie so nothing new there either. In fact, it’s pretty much what we already knew only ‘official’.

Though… we can be thankful for the lack of spoilers. 😉

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