Tag Archives: Chris Hemsworth

Putting the Hammer down

A hairy man sorts out his foes...

A hairy man sorts out his foes…

Screencaps? Faffing about with my video software?  Must be summer movie trailer time.

Behold!  It’s “Thor: The Dark World”, with a teaser glimpse for your perusal and edification!

I've heard of protecting Alt Kids from society's abuses, but this is ridonkulous..

Loki is Emo – confirmed…

Expect to see his Norse Godliness in modern-day London, hints at a romantic triangle, lots of action and a last-minute cameo appearance by Loki-chops, with Tom Hiddleston apparently channelling Dani Filth from CoF for reasons best known to the costume department.  Me likey.

“Thor: The Dark World” opens in good, bad and indifferent cinemas on October 30th in the UK and on November 8th in the US.

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Very Metal “Thor The Dark World” teaser poster drops

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So, when did Thor join Sabaton?  Just wondering.

The second cinematic adventure for the exquisitely coiffured son of Odin will be with us in November, and to whet your proverbial whistle for Tuesday’s teaser trailer, here’s a Marvel-supplied poster of the Norse God bringing his own, oddly-accented brand of thunder and bad assery.

As the first “Thor” outing was probably my favourite of the stand-alone “Phase One” series of Marvel films, I’m truly on board for what the House of Ideas’ cinematic brains trust delivers with this movie, even if I’m going to miss original director Kenneth Branagh’s love of a ‘Dutch’ angle.

Still, most of the other principals are back, Christopher Eccleston is bringing his own brand of Mancunian melancholy to the villain role and it’s being helmed by a regular “Game of Thrones” director (I suspect that there’s rather less scope here, however,  for non-stop pillaging, politicking and the other less salubrious fantasy stuff for which that HBO show is becoming increasingly famed…).

I expect good things…

 

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Month Late Film Reviews – “Snow White and The Huntsman”

There’s something to be said for going to the movies a little after everybody else has moved on to the new hotness.  The cinema is less crowded, as everything’s now gone digital, there’s no obvious degradation in image or sound quality and the ‘talk and text’ crowd are elsewhere: What’s not to like?

Well, it helps if the film was worth the wait and, in this case, I’m not sure that it was.

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I had been quite looking forward to this movie since the first trailers arrived and promised a fantasy-centric take on the fairy tale and subsequent glimpses at footage promised a film which isn’t entirely delivered by the end product.  British director Rupert Sanders certainly can deliver eye-popping special effects, decent action sequences and clearly works well with his cinematographer Greig Fraser – the imagery throughout the film is up there with anything that you’ve seen from Peter Jackson or Guillermo Del Toro (the latter influence being particularly evident in an encounter with a troll, which is right out of Pan’s Labyrinth‘).

Where this film really falls down for me is in the way that it betrays the logic of the story it has telling – though this is a fantasy flick, you might reasonably expect there to be some logical consistency at play somewhere in proceedings, as to suddenly ditch the rules of the world you have created betrays a certain lack of confidence in your audience or your tale.

Let me give the example which really rankled with me – as the audience, we find ourselves inhabiting a world where trolls, dwarves, magic and all manner of High Fantasy tropes wander the countryside in clear defiance of Him Upstairs and what organised religion would have us believe as the established order of things.   We get frequent references to Heaven and a central character reciting the Lord’s Prayer at one point.

We’re not dealing with a C.S. Lewis-like, heavily foregrounded religious analogy – we’re watching a story which desperately wants some of that sweet, post-“Harry Potter” fantasy cinema cash and yet gets scared enough of offending devout believers with disposable cash that it has to find some, wholly inconsistent way of abruptly jamming unwanted Christian dogma into a film not requiring any such addendum to work well – it’s so out-of-place that it genuinely annoyed me.

How Very Black Metal? None More Black Metal. Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna in “Snow White & The Huntsman”…

Besides, I can’t imagine many God-fearing families being that delighted with their carefully screened outing to the cinema when the film also tries to interject a rather better-handled and more interesting feminist subtext into the story – for the most part, I actually warmed more to the villain, Queen Ravenna, than the titular heroine, especially when we get a brief flashback to her childhood and events which offer context for her behaviour, whilst not condoning it.   She’s bad to the bone, but we can legitimately blame Patriarchal Royalty for the rot setting in and wholly buggering things up for the citizenry.  Huzzah!

So, to sum up – the story wants to be kind of feminist and yet God-fearing, whilst originating from an American media conglomerate who would be queueing up to condemn the desirable, simple-minded monarchy depicted as being essential to the well-being of a country in their product.  Yes, no confused messages there at all.  Ahem…

The acting’s reasonably okay, which is the biggest surprise that I took away from this film – Charlize Theron is superb as Ravenna, getting her teeth into the heavily costumed, frequently hysterical wronged queen and budding despot in a way that she wasn’t allowed to in Ridley Scott‘s largely bobbins disappointment, “Prometheus” (blame an underwritten role for that one).  She steadfastly dominates the screen whenever she’s appears,  in a turn which somehow bestrides the middle line between high camp and convincing character turn.

“You take the left 500 Twi-Hards – I’ll take the 800 on the right…”

She’s mostly matched by Chris Hemsworth, who is likeable if not always completely understandable as the unnamed Huntsman – he’s a chipper and convincing action hero in this foray outside the Marvel Cinematic universe and he does a good job of showing something of an arc between the alcoholic bum we meet at the outset of the film and the rather more engaged, focussed hero with a cause we see the climax of the film.  His accent, though, is utterly ludicrous – a generic Celtic mash-up hailing from somewhere between Melbourne and Glasgow and never quite settling in either for more than twenty seconds at a time.  It’s to his credit that this doesn’t detract from his other work in the role.

To Kristen Stewart, then – she’s genuinely quite good.  If the “Twilight” flicks have put you off watching her in anything else, try to get over that and give her a chance in this film, as she does the best accent of any of the non-Brits on show and makes for a pleasingly matter-of-fact fairytale heroine, low on vanity (everybody in this film has to cope with being soaked by a seemingly omnipresent, roaming rain cloud which is so prevalent in scenes that you expect to see it in the cast list somewhere) and high in earnest conviction.  She copes well with a dreadful, cod-Shakespearian speech which is meant to rally the troops at the end and instead just baffles – they all suit up and follow her, so I suppose it worked.

In the supporting cast, I should mention the likes of Nick Frost, Brian Gleeson, Ian McShane, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Bob Hoskins and Ray Winstone, who assay your Seven Dwarves despite not being of applicable stature – there’s some serious, undercover effects wizardry at play in their scenes but the film doesn’t seem to know quite what to do with what is a daft amount of acting talent – if a sequel does arrive, we might hope that the makers find these guys something decent and worthy to do in it.

Overall, then?  Decent but not earth shattering – a high fantasy tale which seems a little embarrassed of its roots and wants to ground the action in an occasionally glum, realistic milieu which should help provide a comparison to the fantastic elements when they arrive but instead just helps to make the film’s identity that bit more confused.  Some decent acting and amazing technical feats are rather undercut by a script which doesn’t really have a concrete point of view – if I graded films, I’d probably give this a C.  There’s definitely room for improvement in many areas, which is what a sequel should set out to do.

And if they could avoid having the endlessly annoying Florence & The Machine on the soundtrack next time around, that would be quite lovely…

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“Avengers” premiere – early buzz leaking out…

Yep, not enough awesome in that pic.

So, there’s this small superhero flick opening in a few weeks – you may have read the odd post about it on this blog?

“The Avengers”  (or “Avengers Assemble“, if you live in a small and confused island in Northern Europe) had a glitzy premiere in Los Angeles last night and has prompted very positive early reactions from the jammy sods press types who were lucky enough to see it.

My personal highlight of the Tweet-fest,  from noted contrarian and geek critic Devin Faraci of BadAssDigest

“AVENGERS is good enough to make me forgive IRON MAN 2“.

Yoink!  Not that “Iron Man 2” was that bad – that Monte Carlo fight scene kicks all kinds of booty – but it’s probably the biggest misstep in Marvel movies to date.  Another movie in a young series which ends with an extended action sequence which plays like a rejected pitch for a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots movie is not my idea of moving the franchise forward – I’m guessing that the team dynamic of the Avengers squad may have something to do with Faraci’s reaction.

Joss Whedon, nerd-father rising. Haters to the left, if you please...

Your actual, proper reviews are still embargoed but I don’t see that state of affairs continuing much longer if this early buzz is any indicator…

 

 

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“Snow White & The Huntsman” – second trailer ups the fairytale ante

Hmm...pretty fantasy gubbins, ahoy.

In the battle of duelling “Snow White” movies, I long since pledged my viewership to Brit helmer Rupert Sanders and his “Snow White & The Huntsman” effort – despite multiple viewings of differing trailers, I’ve not been able to warm to the Tarsem Singh-helmed Julia Roberts-starring “Mirror, Mirror”, which seems to be going down a fluffy sitcom direction which will doubtless speak to a lot of folks.

I’m just not one of those folks.

My cautious nerd-jones for the Kristen Stewart/Chris Hemsworth/Charlize Theron effort has been stoked somewhat by the second trailer for the film, which is now online.

Ooh - she's SO evil.

And, no, it’s not due to Charlize wearing a lot of milk and not a lot else – I’m going with the trailer’s frequent bat-shizz insane flights of fantasy, bonkers action and epic scale shenanigans which promise that, if nothing else, this will be a feast for the eyes.

It’s due to open on June 1st, opposite that Ridley Scott film we were discussing the other day – option paralysis engage!

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“The Cabin In The Woods” reviews appear online

It’s a good time of year to be a Joss Whedon fan.

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The end of April sees the “Buffy”/”Angel”/”Firefly”/”Dollhouse” auteur directing some small-scale, low-budget superhero flick or other, but in the meantime we get to see the long-delayed meta-aware horror pic he wrote and produced with Drew Goddard, “The Cabin In The Woods”.

As the film has now previewed at the South By South West festival, the first reviews are beginning to escape from the restrictive bondage of their press embargo and – wouldn’t you know it? – they’re really quite good.

Den of Geek has a nice, non-spoiler appreciation of the film for you and IndieWire’s review is equally complementary, bar some issues with ultimate reveals (for that reason, I’d suggest not clicking onto it if you want to go into the film devoid of foreknowledge).  What Culture! also seem to dig it – and I’m now racking my brains to try and second guess what the last reel reversal so often alluded to in these reviews could possibly be?  Bruce Willis is a ghost? Keyser Soze is Verbal Kint? Soylent Green is people?

The film opens on Friday April 13th (I see what you did there) in the UK – I’ll see you in the queue…

 

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“Avengers” Assemble new trailer…

Is it the end of April yet?  No?  Oh well, I suppose that I’ll just have to make do with this new trailer for Joss Whedon‘s upcoming “Avengers” movie.

Hulk like trailer! Trailer full of Hulk Win! Hulk smash aliens good!

Of course, you’ll be noticing the odd title change that the film’s had in Europe – presumably so as not to convince the three people who went to see the ill-advised Ralph Fiennes/Uma Thurman “Avengers” movie back in 1998, the Marvel film is now “Avengers Assemble” in my neck of the global woods.

Well, at least they're not calling it "Super Happy Marvel Team Up Explosion", I suppose...

So, why not head over to our friends at The Mary Sue and get your face smacked up by the new hotness?  If you have Fan/Nerd/Geek Squee, prepare to unleash it.

Guys, what was that thing about Joss Whedon randomly killing us off for giggles?

Once you get past all of the urban combat stuff which looks neat but uncomfortably close to the mise-en-mayhem of Michael Benjamin Bay, there’s a bunch of new stuff in this trailer which had me air-punching and chuckling at the massive scale madness and the toys that Whedon has to play with.

Hawkeye, in the air, shooting arrows at suckers, like a boss...

There may well be a distinct lack of posting on April 26th, by way of an advanced heads-up – it appears that I’ll be too busy picking my jaw up off the floor to do much in the way of blogging…

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