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I Just Got Back From Massachusetts, And Boy Is My Butt Thor

Yesterday, I (shudder) drove down to Massachusetts to reconnect with an old friend -- and we went to see Thor.

In IMAX 3-D.

And damn, was it good. Probably the best Marvel superhero movie after the first Iron Man.

My friend has zero interest in superhero movies, and she loved it. It was very Shakespearean -- which should come as no surprise, considering that it was directed by Kenneth Branagh.

I admit that I went in having my doubts. For one, in the comics, Odin is portrayed as almost a giant, and I don't think of Anthony Hopkins as a particularly large man. Secondly, the actor who plays Heimdall The All-Seeing, Sentry Of The Gods, is a Britsh black man -- not exactly what one would expect from a Viking god. And the guy who played Volstagg The Voluminous, the extremely large member of The Warriors Three, and open Falstaff knockoff, was not only not sumo-sized, but had played The Punisher -- Marvel's Rambo knockoff who came out years before Rambo. I thought it was a role made for John Rhys-Davies.

But I was pleasantly astonished. Anthony Hopkins -- is the Allfather. Idris Elba brings such an amazing presence -- he just exudes strength and solemnity and resolve and gravity that I can't imagine any other actor pulling it off. And Ray Stevenson (Volstagg)... well, he was OK.

This was my first IMAX experience. The glasses were a bit odd over my regular glasses, and the 3-D effects reminded me of the Magic Eye books, where I could often see the "layers" of the 3-D depths and it got a bit blurry around the peripheries, but it was impressive. I dunno if "almost double the ticket price for non-3-D" impressive, but for some films, I can definitely see it being worth it.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Marvel movie without some great Easter Eggs for True Believers, and subtle references to other Marvel movies and characters. The Army "Archer" is named Barton -- as in Clint Barton, or Hawkeye. When the Destroyer first shows up, someone speculates that it's "one of Stark's" -- as in Tony Stark, Iron Man.One guy mentions a scientist who was doing research into gamma rays, and now nobody knows where he is -- a scientist named, I suspect, Bruce "The Incredible Hulk" Banner.

And tying them all together? SHIELD.

Oh, and stick around through the credits. As every single Marvel movie teases the next one, this one is no exception.

The culmination? One phrase.

Joss Whedon's The Avengers.

I'll SO be in my bunk.

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Comments (10)

I question the part where H... (Below threshold)
James H:

I question the part where Heimdall says there were no hammers of mass distraction in Midgaard.

That's one thorry review.</... (Below threshold)
epador:

That's one thorry review.

The surprising aspect was t... (Below threshold)
cirby:

The surprising aspect was the well-done physical (and other) comedy in a couple of places. Very nice.

The lead? Yeah, he really was Thor. Did the character proud. The guy who played Loki did an amazing job, too. Both of them went from being fairly unknown to Name Actors in the course of one movie...

I'm not really intesrested ... (Below threshold)

I'm not really intesrested in all this super hero, comic book imagery that crowds the airwaves and theaters, but I've always been a fan of Branagh.

My son has been itching to see this ever since the trailers appeared online. I may just have to take him.

Thanks for the heads up.

I liked Diana Rigg as Emma ... (Below threshold)
tomg51:

I liked Diana Rigg as Emma Peel.

Oh.
Nevermind.

If Joss Wheden is also the ... (Below threshold)
Hank:

If Joss Wheden is also the guy who wrote the short lived but unbelievably great series Firefly, then I expect The Avengers will be a great take-in.

I admire Whedon's work, too... (Below threshold)
James H:

I admire Whedon's work, too, though I (paradoxically) hope that he embraces the Avengers as a straight-up superhero flick. With Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

Having a Thor butt is what ... (Below threshold)
Rich Fader:

Having a Thor butt is what you get for visiting Barney Frank.

You voluntarily went to..ga... (Below threshold)
Don L:

You voluntarily went to..gasp..Massachusetts?

I'm glad you enjoyed it Jay... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

I'm glad you enjoyed it Jay.

I thought it was just awful. Very dissapointing.

Ah well, i'm sure Joss Whedon will be great!




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