Monday, 25 April 2011


Despite being the proud owner of no less or more than 12 X-Men comics I am a real fan of all things Marvel and comic book adaptations in general with the exception of Superman which I never fully understood.

When Chris Evans was announced as Captain America I was super excited as he is my guilty pleasure actor and whenever The Avengers movie was announced I was even more delirious as it meant that Robert Downey Junior, Chris Evans and potentially Edward Norton would all be in the same film.

Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America were all fine with me as they are based in the real world without any non scientific powers. I could never fathom how Thor would slot into this Marvel universe but there was never any doubt that I would be there to see this film.

PLOT: Thor (Chris Helmsworth) is banished from Asgard by Odin (Anthony Hopkins) after he is tricked by Loki into breaking a long held truce. Thor, now mortal, is sent to earth where he meets Jane (Natalie Portman) a scientist who is equal parts smart and hot. Thor’s hammer plays hard to get and SHIELD get involved. Hawkeye makes a cameo and Samuel L Jackson does not. The family turmoil continues until the big show down between Thor and Loki takes place. END PLOT

Iron Man 2 was an summer action flick with delusions of grandeur in that it had Stark's breakdown forced into the second act in an attempt to add some drama. In contrast Thor is a drama with some action scenes added in to keep the tension high.

I think the difference between the two lies with the director. Favreau is great at summer fluff but Thor went a different route and hired a Shakespearian actor/director (Branagh) to take the helm. This worked so well as the drama between fathers/sons and brother/brother was utilised to the full.

The family drama remained at the core of the movie but once Thor got to earth there were some genuinely funny fish out of water comedy moments. Thor’s expression of hunger (this mortal frame requires sustenance) has already been stolen by me and will be used to death. Thor managed to be equally light hearted and serious with neither feeling out of place.

Chris Helmworth is a big, lumbering, super muscled and tanned Aussie who shouldn’t have progressed further than Summer Bay but he is very good as Thor. He has the charm, looks and charisma of the late Heath Ledger and it was hard shaking this thought off during the film.

I love Natalie Portman in anything (except films which star Ashton Kutcher - I don’t love her that much) and she was fine in the usual female love interest role which required her to be totally uninvolved with the action.

Anthony Hopkins is perfect as Odin and effortlessly commands authority and respect from the people of Asgard and the audience.

The action is fun and there are a couple of nice little set pieces based in Asgard but the earth action scenes were the best.

I was worried about Thor fitting into The Avengers team before I saw the film. Now I am worried about The Avengers fitting in with Thor.

Thor had the potential to a camp cheesy wreck and I wouldn’t have been surprised if it went the same road as Clash of the Titans but as usual all my preconceptions were thankfully wrong. Thor is the strongest movie Marvel has produced in a long time.

I will be seeing Thor again before my Easter break is up - it has been a long time since I have watched a film twice in the cinema. The bar has been raised. Captain America has a lot to compete with and even the appearance of Chris Evans wont be enough to suffice.

Thor gets 9/10. I absolutely loved it.


  1. Great to hear, looking forward to seeing it now! I like Portman but I was forced to sit through that Kutcher movie, oh the horror!!!

  2. I refused to put myself through it!

    Thor was just so much fun. I went in with low expectations and was just so pleased with what I saw

  3. Well I now feel less hesitant about seing this in two days time. The trailers didn't lead me to expect much. At the end of the day it has got to be better than HAVING to sit through F & F 5 because there was nothing else to choose from!!

  4. My expectations were very low and I think this contributed to such a gushy review. A day later and we are all still talking about it.

    F&F5 is long forgotten but the only thing that remains is a sudden urge to download RnB music which will swiftly pass

  5. Oh you poor English!! you are also subjected to the inhabitants of Summer Bay!!! It has been stable fare on NZ telly for centuries, as are all the Aussie soaps.
    I had to come back and read your write up after having seen this earlier today. It does have some good lines and I did laugh, but by god there were some awful ones too!
    Enjoy it I did and i left well satisfied, but I personally won't rave over it as I'm seriously in need of something a bit more intellectually stimulating cinema wise at the moment, and the only threatre that can do it is closed!! ( Shreiks of anguish ).

  6. I am not adverse to intellectually stimulating cinema but I do embrace all comic books films with greater enthusiasm than most!

    In terms of Marvel offerings I do think that Thor is one of the strongest films they have produced in a long time.

    Hopefully the other theatre will reopen soon. I now have a mental image of a man standing outside padlocked cinema doors in the rain on his knees screaming ;-)

  7. Ha ha ha ha!! Believe it or not you aren't far from the truth!! With petrol the price it is traveling out of town just adds more to the price of going to the flicks, especially if you go two or three times a week which I frequently can do. It can easily lead to spending $100 or more ( approx 30-35 Pounds!! ).
    I just came over to say I feel a bit of a wally. Your profile says United Kingdom so I assumed England! so when I read in your post on Thor the name Belfast I felt a bit stupisd as UK denotes several countries doesn't it?!
    It is somewhat perplexing that many forums and blogs do that though in not giving UK residents the choice of which country they come from. I would rather peolpe know I from Ireland than the broad UK, which could be anywhere. It is like saying Australasia which could be either Oz or NZ...and I ain't no bloody Ocker!!
    Oh..Sarah's Key..quite brilliant. I read on IMDB that it won't be released in the US and UK until later in the year. It has been released pretty much evrywhere else though. I'm struggling to write a review though. Have made about five attempts and scrubed them all. I just can't get what I want to say out in a way to do justice to such a fine film.
    Funny, it is a French film, and yet it hasn't been released UK wide yet even though there is only a small creek called the English Channel seperating the the two!!

  8. Oops sorry..I had to come back and question your patriotism as it is Kate and Wills big day!!!!!!! I suppose you are stuck in front of the telly soaking it all up? God I remember Charles and Diana's as an 11 year old. It was the middle of the bloody night here before she even arrived at Westminster!
    So for me no sorry I won't be staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning!! I just hope Kate really knows what she has got herself into because I'm sure the paparazzi are going to hound her senseless now.
    Goodnight from down under!!

  9. I read your English comment and laughed as I broad Irish. My mother has watched Neighbours since the day it aired - she blames being pregnant with me!

    I am patriotic in the sense that I fully support the fact that all major royal events usually lead to a day off work!

    I will admit I flicked it on to look at the dress and have gone back out into the sun again.

    I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Sarah's Key now although chances are it will skip the cinema and go straight to dvd here but that doesn't really matter.

  10. That is probably harsh - Will and Kate do seem like a sweet couple!

  11. A day off work...bah! we didn't get that!! I've read this morning that we as a country are 'royal watchers' as a huge amount of people stayed up to watch it. All this while there are those clamouring for us to become a republic!! I think they are a small minority though.
    Sarah's Key is doing very well here at the Kiwi box ofice. It is at eight which is prety good considering it isn't a main stream film. Does show how good it is as it hasn't had any promotion outside of word of mouth. Strange to think that in a country with a bigger population than NZ that it could straight to DVD. Number one? F & F 5!!
    Am fortunate as a local cinema is going to play several classics next week, Charade and Lawrence of Arabia. So lucky to have three (plus one temporarily closed ) within such a small radius, which is fantastic as two play much outside of the mainstream and the odd classic. Can't believe it, and it will be an expensive week as Source Code starts on Thursday.

  12. God I hope I'm not doing this Irish thing to death but it has got me to thinking of how many Irish films I have seen. Not many I think. The Wind That Shakes the Barley I watched some weeks ago and reviewd. Do you know Once? I saw that several years ago ( 2008? )and really liked that. He is a talented musician and it was quite a nice gentle natured feel good film. Besides those two I'm at a loss. More may come to me later.
    Lets put it back on many NZ films make it to theatres in the Emerald Isles? ( and please don't say LOTR's!!! ) I'm suprised because some blogs I've read do have reviews on a few Kiwi films, particularly Scotland of all places.

  13. I wouldn't worry Fast Five made it to the top of our box office too and beat the competition by a good couple of million which is unusual for us as the gap isn't normally so large.

    You are lucky you have a cinema close at hand which plays all the oldies. The big cinema in Belfast does an older film but again very mainstream (last few times it was The Shawshank Redemption and Face/Off)

    I haven't seen that many Irish films either. The ones you have mentioned then others such as Angela's Ashes and The Magdalene Sisters. We don't have a big film industry.

    I don't think I could name a Kiwi film without cheating on imdb! If you recommend a couple I will hunt them out though. If I am looking for non mainstream cinema I tend to go for something Asian or Spanish!

    It will be interesting to see what you think of Source Code! We have Insidious tomorrow night which I am looking forward to

  14. I forgot about Angela's Ashes!! I haven't seen it as I wondered how the book could possibly be made into a movie. I have read the first three McCourt books and maybe I should see it!
    NZ hasn't a big film industry either. We used to have alot of overseas movies made here because it was cheap to film here. I think the last major one was The Last Samurai. apparently mister Cruise made himself vewry popular with the locals during his time here. After LOTR the government of the time stuffed that up by imposing all sorts of taxes and it killed it all off. Stupid, stupid, stupid, nothing but mindless greed I'm afraid. Problem is that by doing so our local industry has been starved of funding and very few Kiwi movies are now made. The last one being Love Birds. I wrote a review several months ago.
    It is incredible to think that a city the size of Belfast doesn't have an alternatve cinema. Most bigger cities in NZ do. I now realise how extremely lucky I am!! Npaier and Hastings are only about 15kms apart with a combined population of about 120,00 and we have 4 cinemas, three of which are multi screen.
    In Napier we have the Century Cinema which is in the local museum. It is the one that has shut as the whole museum is being re-built. Now I have to go out to Havelock North which plays the same type of movies, and is more expensive!! The Century and Readings is great because it is only 4km away from home and I can often walk and save on petrol.

  15. Angela's Ashes is a good film but it wont surprise you to learn that the book is far better.

    I think Northern Ireland is starting to become more accessible for filming in as Game of Thrones was shot about 15mins from the town I live in.

    We are within driving distance of a good few cinemas too but none of them is an alternative one! If we had one I know I would be there are much as the regular cinema. The cinema in our town has only been opened for a few months so we are saving a fortune in petrol not having to drive out of town for a mid week trip

    We tend to go every Saturday afternoon when we are in Belfast - the cinema is nicer but it is more expensive than home

    I love the idea of having a cinema in a museum though!

    I would hate to tally up how much I spend per year in cinema tickets. I think I would scare myself - but I have a feeling you would spend a lot more than me!

  16. Thor looks a bit Clash of the Titans-esque to me, which can't be good. But it can't be any worse than that so it'll do for a bit of fun. That big robot looks a bit dodgy though.

  17. I did look Titan-esque which is why everyone was worried about it or at least went in with low expectations. It is a far better film than Clash.

    The big robot is okay - it is only in a few scenes

  18. Whew! At least I'm not taking up all the comment space! A cinema in a museum is a good idea isn't it! It started out as an auditorium and it has a small stage in front so when the screen isn't in use there is chamber music etc. It is all tied in with the museum being the 'culural centre' of the city. The type of film played there is definitely not main stream I know now how lucky I have to have it here !!
    I spend probably close on $2000 + a year on the flicks. I have kept all my ticket stubs for the last four years and it is a pile 4 inches thick!! But movies are a hobby and as the proverb goes 'If your hobbies aren't costing you money it is time to get a new hobby'.
    I suppose with no wifey or kiddies I have also got the time in which to go. I don't think about what I spend a year as it is pointless. Who wants to sit at home all might or spend all their money boozing it away at the pub?!
    I spend alot to because the Century has an annual International Film Festival and when it plays over 30 movies at $12 a pop and you see nearly all of them then what I spend each year certainly adds up. The festival is expensive because it is concentrated over two weeks whereas normally I'd only see on average one to two a week and the cost isn't so bad.

  19. $2000 is a lot although I can't imagine I am far off it when dvd purchases are thrown in! I used the buy dvds as soon as they are released but I tend to shop online and look for bargains a lot more now (although there are a few that need to be bought right there and then!)

    $12 a time is dear whether it be a film festival or not. 3D films for us in the fancy cinema comes to about £9 although with conversation rates etc it might work out the same

    I am the same though - no kids at present and generally alcohol free so I am making the most of it

    I used to keep my stubs too as they used to be little cardboard tickets but now they are just paper receipts which don't sit nicely in the purse!

    My friend used to carry hers everywhere with her and we always consulted the tickets if we hadn't been in a certain screen for a while and needed to know the last film we saw there (which was always of great importance)

    We have Hanna to look forward to this weekend. I like the cast so I have high hopes