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?