Thor (2011)

With The Avengers having recently been released, I thought it would be a great idea to look back on all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films that have been released (read: search engine optimization).  The only one that I’ve already reviewed is Captain America so feel free to go back and read that one after reading this stirring bit of literature I’m probably not going to provide you with here.

Of all the Marvel movies that have been made and were rumoured to be being made, I thought that Thor would have been the hardest sell to mainstream movie audiences.  I don’t know much about the comic book version of the character, other than he fucking bored me.  I didn’t expect the cinematic interpretation of the Norse mythology behind the character to be anything even remotely approaching interesting.  And then a funny thing happened: Kenneth Branagh was named as the director and I thought to myself that at the very least, it’s going to be high quality boredom.  I just wasn’t expecting a movie that was a fun popcorn summer blockbuster, but that’s exactly what Branagh delivered.

Of course, all the directing miracles in the world wouldn’t be able to save a Thor movie if the actor playing Thor was completely unsuited for the part (I’d use Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze from Batman & Robin as an example but fuck that, that movie had more problems than just one miscast).  Thankfully, Chris Hemsworth got the part (and doubly thankful that Triple H didn’t), and as a heterosexual male, even I had to admit that dude was ripped.  He was Thor.  He also had a weird Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You accent going on for the whole movie, which was somewhat disorienting, but whatever, he was great.

Honestly, the entire movie was pretty great all around, visually stunning, great casting, super performances and a surprising amount of fun.  I might have truly loved it if I was completely familiar with Asgaardian stories and such, but let me just give it a solid thumbs up mark.

4 / 5


My Week with Marilyn (2011)

No matter what you think of the term “biopic”, this movie – in my opinion – certainly should be classified as one.  It features a talented modern day actress portraying an iconic, world famous actress during a brief period in their life.  It might not highlight all the trials and tribulations that legendary figure made during their lifetime, but it serves as a window, a time capsule to attempt to show what they were “really like”.

Like most biopics, My Week with Marilyn features a performance that borders on imitation, with Michelle Williams portraying Marilyn Monroe as she works on the film The Prince and the Showgirl with legendary actor Laurence Olivier (Kennth Branagh).  Williams deserves much praise for her acting, as does Branagh, but the tale the film attempts to tell is nothing more than what amounts to a fluff piece about Monroe.  It’s decently made, but ultimately the story doesn’t really lend itself to numerous re-watchings.  See it for the performances, but don’t go in expecting to be wowed by the rest of the picture.  It’s pretty much Me and Orson Welles but far less entertaining.

3 / 5