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Old 10-31-2013, 02:46 AM   #5
Batmannerism
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Default Re: Which film is better? Thor or Thor: the Dark World?

Yo Thor-fans, I posted the review below, in the review thread.

Personally, I believe that Thor TDW is to Thor, what The Dark Knight
was to Batman Begins. In a word, escalation.

I'm not really a Thor (comics) fan, but I enjoyed Thor (2011) and loved Thor TDW.
My wife's a big Thor fan, and was telling me that TDW was going to be awesome, part way through the film, during the
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
assault on Asgard sequence
she leaned over and said "See, awesome"
and I had to agree.


Here's my review,
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
first up, this is just IMO, I'm an unashamed DC fan (MOS was my #1
film this year) and before this film wasn't the biggest fan of Thor. However, Marvel really kicked it up a notch with this one, a bazillion times better than Amazing Spiderman, and actually at least as good as Avengers, if not slightly better.

The awesome

1) Visuals, very, very, very good. Sometimes CGI worlds are obviously so fantastical that they can't be real ( something I notice about the Hobbit, and I was in that as an extra) but recently films like Oblivion, Man of Steel, and now Thor TDW have made completely fantastical environments
look actually believable.

I still don't like the pipe-organ look of Odin's palace, but the scenery looks great, particularly the palace interiors, where some intense fighting takes place.

This is especially so during the final Thor/Malekith fight, when hopping between realms.

2) Character development: Loki. Wow. Hiddleston hit one out of the park. He was superb as Loki, who's twisted, but has such a sharp wit and charm that he's tremendous fun to watch. We see that even the bitter, jealous Loki has someone he cares for.

Probably the best scenes are the cell scenes and his reaction to Frigga's death. Well written, and superbly acted, the film is almost as much Loki's as it is Thor's.

All in all, Thor and Loki's relationship is significantly developed by this film, Hemsworth does some solid work, but the stand-out performer is Hiddleston.

The very final scene of the movie leaves us with a host of questions, and questions we want answered. Ending with that image of a smirking Loki
on the throne, very well played indeed.



3) Frigga: appears in very little of the movie, pretty much to advance the plot, but Rene Russo does a great job with almost nothing.

Her Viking funeral scene was also well done.

4) Odin: The thing about truly great actors is that you forget they are who they are, and just think of them in the role. Hopkins is a short, plain -looking, dumpy man, yet fills the role of All-father brilliantly. IN this film he's very kingly, tough, uncompromising. You believe he's a king amongst the God-like Asgardians. Hemsworth is noticeably awed in his presence.


5) Pacing and Tone: Nice, very nice. The light moments and dark moments are set apart perfectly, so that neither seems out of place.

The only time the pace drags is after the prologue, up to where Jane
finds the Aether.


The good

1) Character development Thor: pretty good, we see a more serious side of Thor. He's continued along the humility path he started down in Thor (first movie). Hemsworth looks the part and while occasionally clunky, his Thor is generally likeable.

2) Character development Selvig, gets some great comic scenes. Skaarsgard does a great job with the material he's given.

3) Character development The warriors three, (Fandrall, Hogun, Volstaag)
Again, they don't get much to work with, but the bits they're in, they're a lot more interesting (not just comic relief, like the first film). Zachary Levi
was good as Fandrall (filling in for the forgettable other guy), and Ray Stevenson is always a laugh.

I'd add Sif, but she's woefully underused.

4) The Action: The fight scenes are pretty good, not as stylized or frantic as Avengers, but still enjoyable. The film has a very high body count (not as high as MOS, but a lot of Asgardians don't make it) as such
you feel there's a real threat.

Also, the assault on Asgard has a somewhat "Star Wars" feel to it, which ordinarily would seem weird in a Thor movie, but works in this one.
A really brilliant action scene is a mixture of audacity, skilfulness and pacing, this film has some good fights, but none that made my jaw drop.
(by contrast, the Hong Kong Kaiju battle-scene in Pacific Rim, made me cheer).

I did like the way that Asgardian "magic" had a more technological feel to it, as I said, sort of a Star Wars feel - but original Star Wars (so very cool ).


5) The other Villains: Christopher Eccleston is predictably menacing as Malekith, but isn't given enough to work with, as probably 2/3 of his lines are in Elvish. He certainly looks scary and radiates evil, and I suppose he has to be a contrast to the joyful nastiness of Loki, but I think he could have had more dialogue to establish his motivations - he's just relentlessly
evil, and that's about it. A good performance but not a lot to work with.
Probably his only really engaging interaction with the other actors was the scene in which he and Kurse confront Frigga.

On that note, Kurse is pretty nasty, but after his transformation doesn't really do much acting, just growling really.


6) Music: hits a high point at Frigga's funeral, and otherwise frames the
story nicely. Possibly could emphasize the main character's motif a bit more, and have stronger overall motifs for the Dark Elves, and certainly
Odin and Loki deserve their own. But, overall, nicely done.



The reasonable

Natalie Portman. She's one of the greatest American Actresses of her generation. In this role, she's just really damsel in distress and doesn't do much with it. Less boring than Padme (from those dreadful Star Wars Prequels), but not a heroine that we really feel much for.

Yes, it's my bias, but she has none of the pluck, or smarts of Amy Adams' Lois lane. Portman does well with what she's given, I suspect its more of a writing issue, but all in all, not her best work.


The romance: a little unengaging, if there was a word for it. Not exactly forced, but it ain't Princess Leia/Han Solo or even Tobey Maguire/Kirsten Dunst (or even the tension of Famke Janssen and Hugh Jackman) if we're going to look at super-hero/fantasy genre romance.

Admittedly, the very end post credits scene where Thor does come back to Jane is a good moment, but all in all they're not going to be one of the
great on-screen couples. Having said all that, it works within the context of the film, you believe these people could love each other, but you aren't dying to see how/if things work out for them.




The unsatisfactory.

Kat Dennings, only because she's exactly the same in everything she does. Sarcastic, midly annoying and relentlessly playing the cute card.
She has the acting range of a cereal box - I suppose she does what she needs to do in this film, but the plot would have sailed along without her.


The post credits scene with the Collector. WTF ? I know that Marvel
has to set up other films, but Del Toro was simply awful - the Collector
in the comics, is an elder of the universe, a being of great and mysterious power. Del Toro's character was more like a hairstylist who runs a pawn-shop part time. It was utter crap.




IN CONCLUSION: For some comparison, I gave MOS a 9/10 but again
I'm an unashamed Superman fan. Pacific Rim gets an 8.5/10, as an
incredibly satisfying robot smashfest (not going to win any best actor
Oscars, but who cares ?) . For more comparisons, The first Matrix movie 9/10, The Dark Knight 9/10, Inception 9/10, the Avengers 8/10, X-Men first class 7.5/10, Lord of the Rings: return of the King 9/10.

basically, a 8/10 for me is a movie you walk out of feeling that you got
every cent of your money's worth, truly satisfying. a 9/10 is a movie that you don't want to end, and has moments you want to jump to your feet and yell "**** YEAH !" (haven't seen a 10/10 yet)


Okay, so on to Thor, 8/10. A very solid and enjoyable movie
That's saying a lot, as I'm not a Thor fan.
Before this film I didn't really care that much about Thor, and back in the 80's I actually read the old Walt Simonson stories that were the basis of this film. Those were pretty engaging (and visually mesmerising, because of Simonson's art), but otherwise I've always found Thor a bit boring....until now. I'm not quite a Thor-fan yet, but if the next Thor
film is as good as this one, then I might be.

I really enjoyed TDW. If you're a Thor fan, you'll simply love it, if you
liked Avengers or Marvel in general you're going to get your money's worth. A much greater scale than the first Thor, and much more enjoyable.


Trust me Marvel-maniacs, if you liked Thor (2011) and the Avengers,
you're going to love this movie. Like I said I'm not really a fan, and I thought it was Marvel's best outing in a long time (I enjoyed it more than
Avengers).

In TDW the stakes are higher, the visuals are stunning, the scheme is grander and best of all LOKI......Loki makes the film, stealing every scene he's in. Hiddleston was born to play the role, he's so much fun to watch.
If you liked Loki in the previous films, you're going to love what he gets up to in TDW, we see a much more complete character, rather than just the
jealous brother - Cain to Thor's Abel.

Okay, enough. So Thor (2011) was fun, (loved the Destroyer, and ****, they needed him in this movie !), but this one is a big step up.

Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

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