Movie – Thor: The Dark World: A-

thor dark worldA-
Very little of Thor 2 took place on Earth, and that pleased me very much. Despite my initial reluctance, I find myself totally on board with Movie Thor’s fantasy/sci-fi mashup and The Dark World offered that in heaping helpings. It has the humor the first Thor searched for but never quite found. The chaotic finale worked beautifully, and I found myself wanting to watch it again. Marvel has eschewed the grimdark superhero universe in favor of having fun, and it’s a winning strategy. People seem to like fun.

Bonus nerd rant: Why was Hogun essentially cut from the sequel? Asgard looked much better than before, looking less shiny and more Norse. Kurse looked like a Warcraft character which, astoundingly, is an improvement over the comics. Maleketh was equally improved. I liked the Dark Elves’ masks. Idris Heimdall finally got a moment of genuine badassery. Rant over.

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Movie – The Cabin in the Woods: A

A
Meta stories (stories referencing their own genre or creation) are tricky. They can derail easily. But with Joss Whedon’s hand guiding the script, Cabin in the Woods understood its roles and expertly poked at them while never failing at riotous entertainment. The film starts off quirky and smart, but not overly amazing, getting by with a wonderful dynamic between the two antagonists (for lack of a better term.) Then after one of most obvious deus ex machinas ever, a fantastic and frantic ending solidified the film’s genius.

Movie – Snow White and the Huntsman: D


D
I have a love-hate relationship with trailers. The creator of this trailer is some sort of marketing wizard. It’s as though they created an awesome trailer, and then someone filled in the rest of the movie with the muck that made up the majority of this film. It was full of confusing scripting/editing choices, often ignoring potential to pursue its disjointed script. Kristen Stewart was awful (and certainly not “The Fairest”), Thor was barely acceptable, and Charlize Theron’s Queen seemed forced, though I blame the dialog and director.

Movie – The Avengers: A+


A+
Avengers represents everything that is great about the summer blockbuster. It was witty, entertaining, and full of memorable moments. The characters were portrayed exactly as I’d hoped, with a surprising amount of depth given the limited amount of screen time available that comes from having such a large cast. My only real complaint was that the enemy aliens were fairly bland, though to counter that, their big snake ship things were fairly awesome.

Movie – Thor: B


B
I watched this movie with conflicting biases. On one hand, I’ve enjoyed all the Avengers set-up films so far and devour Norse mythology like it’s ambrosia. On the other hand, the trailers lowered my expectations so far that I almost considered not seeing it opening weekend (shocking!) It seems those biases balanced each other out; I enjoyed, but didn’t love the film. I didn’t exactly relish the sci-fi-ifying of the mythology but understand that’s probably the best way to believably incorporate Thor into the Marvel movie universe. Thor’s sudden character change was also a little abrupt for my tastes. But I liked the battles with Destroyer and against the Frost Giants. I just wish the Asgardians didn’t look like Power Rangers Space Force.