Monday, May 30, 2011

Thoughts on Thor and Movie Theaters These Days with the Previews and the Loud and the I Don't Know What

...I liked it! Roger Ebert was all, "it doesn't stack up to more epically serious superhero movies of recent times, like The Dark Knight or Spiderman," but I say GOOD. This is about a dethroned Norse God traipsing around Earth. I don't want gritty Gotham skyscrapers or emo-pants Peter Parker whining up the joint.

Pauline Kael (because I never have ever mentioned her here before) once said, and boy am I paraphrasing, "if you can't appreciate good trash, you can't appreciate the movies." And that is exactly what Thor is. Good trash.

There were some things that bothered me, sure. I really like the relationship between Chris Hemsworth's titular beefcake and N.Po's Jane Foster, but we should have seen more of a build-up to it. There was that sort of squashy scene around the fire where they talk sexily about science and magic (an aphrodisiac thrown out there for all D&D players?), but is that really enough to highlight why Thor suddenly decides to become one a'them long-haired peace-niks instead of one a'them long-haired Viking warriors?

I mean, Branagh should have at least included a scene where Jane shoots him a run-down about why violence be bad, and how everybody should get together and lurve one another (while giving his abs the once-over), so we could at least see how that seed first gets planted in his mind. As played out on screen, I interpreted his change of heart stemming from how his inability to pick up his hammer and finding out Loki's taken charge of Asgard humbled (i.e. damn humiliated) him. So I was a little surprised everyone started crediting this newer, genter Thor to the love of a good mortal woomin.

But like I said, I warmed to their relationship anyways, because of Hemsworth and Portman's performances. I hate to say, I always thought Portman, though obviously an adequate and occasionally strong actress, was a little low on charm--her slightly tinny voice can really grate on the nerves--but she brought a silly, harried, fun quality to Jane that immediately made her likable. And I found Hemsworth attractive, so what? My mom and I originally wanted to see the movie because of our mutual creepy (on my part) crush on Anthony Hopkins, but Hemsworth weren't nothin' to spit at.

And it's not because I specifically go for that blond, buff body type. I don't, actually. In fact, if he had spoken in a Sly Stallone or Vin Diesel monotone rumble, I most definitely would have been all blech with him. But he brought the proper gravitas and clear diction to his role, and so, basically, it worked.

I also liked how they didn't make Loki a black-and-white bad bad bad guy. Fits into his original mythological role of taking moral ambiguity to Catwoman-level heights. Hey, when he was king, did he remind anybody else very vaguely of The Monarch from The Venture Bros? I mean, obviously the outfit's not exactly the same, but the way he wore it on his slight frame and with his slicked back dark hair...if he'd had but a nasal voice and a floating cocoon...well, anywho.

But: I now have a reason aside from my crippling poverty as to why I should skip movie theaters and just wait for everything I want to see to come out on Netflix. And that reason is movie theaters suck. At the risk of sounding like a geriatric misanthrope--which deep in my black, twisted heart, I truly am--I maintain the movie itself was shorter than the combined commercials/previews. And gah! The loud! So loud! Everything was loud! Once the previews started, it was like Green Lantern wanted my ear drums to explode! You're supposed to use the ring for good, not booming and clanging and car throwing and so forth! Don't be a Sinestro, GL! C'mon!

And what's with that self-serve butter dispenser crap for the popcorn at the theater we went to? You can't do that to someone like me. I won't stop! I need mediation, or I'll go too far! So my kernels ended up way too saturated, and I felt like liquid death afterward.

And what about that airline food, anyways? And what about Scarecrow's brain?

Also: was it another unique trait of the theater we went to that the chairs were super fancy? You could recline in them and put your feet up and everything. We attended the 2-D showing, but I noticed we were in the same theater as the 3-D viewings. Are awesome chairs a general commodity in 3-D theaters? Because I'm still not going to 3-D movies, yo.

Poor Rene Russo didn't get a lot to do, did she?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

For the first time finally saw King's Speech and Smiles of a Summer Night, proving I'm a crappy film buff

And here are a few quick, stray observations:

King's Speech
1. Pretty good, though like most film snobs, I think Social Network deserved the Best Picture Oscar over it. Got a little cutesy toward the end.

2. However, Firth really, really deserved his Oscar. He made what could have been a pathetic ass of a character incredibly sympathetic, until he was almost excruciating to watch. But not excruciating in an overindulgent, masochistic way some actors do, thinking they're great artists, when really, they're just overdoing it. Excellent job.

3. I'm also really, really, desperately in love with him. Which is another testament to his talent, since I adored him even when he was breaking down in tears, whining about not wanting to be King. Again, another actor might have made me want to slap him, but instead I really felt for him over his predicament. Poor royal blighter. Would marrying me make you feel better? Cuz I know it would me.

Smiles of a Summer Night

1. Is it even possible for Swedish women to be ugly, or even just average looking? Because they're really starting to hurt my generic American feelings.

 2. Gunnar Bjornstrand looks uncannily like Mirror Universe Spock. Maybe that's why I find him strangely attractive and compelling, given my romantic inclinations toward Leonard Nimoy's Mistah S.

3. Why, why, why do I always root for the one couple that never works out? C'mon, this is getting ridiculous! What was she thinking? Henrik was such a krak. Such a krak.

A few other items of business:

1. Aren't you proud that I broke my blog's recent cycle of posting YouTube clips? I don't know why that trend was bothering me, but it was.

2. According to Google translate, krak is Swedish for douche bag. Only there should be an umlaut over the -a, but I forget how to do that online.

3. Really? You miss the YouTube videos? Then here are some clips of Bertie Wooster set to Weird Al Yankovic, apropos my last post.

Happy, you demanding kraks?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"...And they call him Red-Haired Tom!"

Any Jeeves and Wooster fans afoot? Good. Because if you are indeed a proud member of the Drones Club, you'll most likely be well acquainted with this clip:

But wait! There's more! Are you acquainted with this, an actual full recording of "Forty-Seven Ginger Headed Sailors," orchestrated by Jack Hylton, and uploaded to YouTube by apparent fellow vintagephile GrammophonPlatten?

No, you weren't? Well, now you are. You're welcome.

P.S. Sometimes I go with the most rational option in the debate, and decide I'd of course rather marry Jeeves, what with that awesome bulging brain of his helping me out of scrapes and pretty much solving all my problems all the time always. Not to mention those manly broad shoulders and vaguely cheeky smirk.

But then again, sometimes I'd think it would be very fun and low-key to tie the knot with Bertram. He is all sorts of adorable after all, what with his piano playing, police helmet snatching, and general standing around like a loony sheep. And hey, let's be brutally honest here: he's got the clams, the bread, the do-re-me. Mooooonnnneeeeys. Thoughts?

P.S.S. At what point did my blog become a Frankensteinian concoction stitched together from YouTube clips of classic miscellanea? Huh.