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Thor – Please Pass the Popcorn

May 11, 2011

I saw Thor in 3D last night with a bevy of friends and family.  No matter what you read next, it was a good show and a lot of fun.  Chris Hem-whatever was a great Thor, great actor; in fact, all the Norse legends were marvelously cast.  Really, they couldn’t have done better.  I loved the helmets, just glad I don’t have to wear one.  You’d need super-strength to hold your head up in one of those bad boys if they really were made of metal.

The take on Asgard was interesting.  Norse gods as aliens works, sort of.  It seemed at several points that Asgard was in our dimension/universe, yet clearly it was a Realm and not a planet. I probably missed something there.  And was Midgard (Earth) always one of the 9 realms?

We saw wonderful establishing shots of Asgard and yet because they were either on the rainbow bridge (cool) or what appeared to be the same room redressed to be several rooms, I never got a sense of what it was like to live there or that it was a functioning city.  No big deal, it was pretty.  The dimensional gate was fun to watch but seemed a bit Flash Gordon to me.  They walk through the gate, fly to Earth, and appear again with no apparent movement.  One or the other; either a transporter ala Star Trek or let’s see them deal with all that velocity upon exit on either end.  Just a nitpick, still fun.

Costumes were great.  Thor was probably the hardest to translate from the comics without looking dorky but they did a good job.  Thor’s comic book tights were traded in for nondescript leather pants and biker boots.  The tunic and cape were great and they wisely forsook the helmet most of the time.  The Hammer was true to the comics which took some work translating to the screen, but they kept it as is and downplayed the sillier stuff about the hammer.

I loved the Destroyer.  What a fond tip of the hat to Jack Kirby.

Okay, the “problem” (and I say problem in quotes because it worked okay, but…) New Mexico.  Again, pretty, appealing, but… flat.  Thor’s big push here is that he must fall in love with the people of Earth and be humbled in the process.  New Mexico seems an odd choice as an Earth representative.  Limited people interaction and the majority were SHIELD agents, hospital staff, and a merry band of three, Jane, funny girl, and funny-talking guy.

Is it me, or does Thor cry out for New York?  You want to see the worst and best of us, the Big Apple is the place to be.  Brash Thor would look down on the sweaty lot, then through some circumstance or the other, find the nobility in them.  After swallowing Loki’s deception, I wanted him to fly into a rage and be a danger and discover he’s as base as the rest of us.  As it was, his conversion into humble Thor was fast, out-of-character, unmotivated, and all the while predictable.

And yet still a fun time.

A note about 3D.  Like the people who said talkies would never replace silent films, until you don’t need the glasses, I’m saying 3D isn’t worth it.  Maybe it’s just me, but the glasses make dark scenes muddy and other scenes distracting (the director has to try and straddle 2D directing with 3D directing and the two are drastically different).

Oh, and Hawkeye, the Cosmic Cube, and Anthony Hopkins.  Fun, fun, fun.  Pass the popcorn!

(And a hearty THANKS to Mike and his amazing generosity; he is a true life Thor!)

Oh, and Green Lantern preview. Better luck next time, DC.  Some good effects, but man, something is way off.

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