Archives for posts with tag: Chris Hemsworth

Grade B

 

The second of the Thor movies, “Thor: The Dark World” has the Universe threatened by an evil, elf ruler who wants to use something called the Aether (a powerful, energy source).  As Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth) goes from one world to the next to quell wars, as well as sulk because he misses his girlfriend (Natalie Portman), the evil guy and his evil henchmen are on the march to retrieve the Aether and bring destruction to every world he can reach.   Why?  Because he’s evil.

Hemsworth has a plan to destroy the evil elf dude, but it goes against his father’s wishes.   Hemsworth decides to do it anyway with the help of his “brother” Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and a few Earthlings who are in way over their heads.  The plan is risky, and failure means the deaths of gazillions of creatures in many worlds.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Thor: The Dark World” is the scene when ** SPOILER ALERT ** Hiddleston is told that his adopted mother has been killed in combat by the evil elf ruler.   Quiet and calm at first, Hiddleston suddenly destroys his room with his magic.  Earlier in the movie, Hiddleston uttered harsh words toward his adopted mother.

“Thor: The Dark World” was more fun than I thought it would be.  The action sequences were very good, as expected; but the dialogue and how the main characters interacted with each other were done very well, which has become the trademark of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.  Despite the alluring special effects and thrilling action scenes, the characters are the ones we truly connect to.

— M

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Grade B +

After finding the scepter of Loki, The Avengers decide to give Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo (playing Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, respectively) a few days to analyze the object.  The two Avengers’ meddling leads to the release of an artificial intelligence named Ultron who wants to destroy the planet.  With the ability to hack into mainframes, Ultron creates a robot body for himself that can match Downey’s Iron Man suit; and by stealing money from various accounts, Ultron gains the resources to create an army of robots that will help him kill all the Avengers and the entire human race.

“Avengers: Age Of Ultron” ushers in two superhuman siblings called Quicksilver and The Scarlett Witch who ally themselves with Ultron in order to get revenge against The Avengers.  Time is running out quickly for Earth’s superheroes, who have been dealt a near-crippling defeat by their new foes.  Ultron grows stronger each hour, and The Avengers must find a way to stay united if they are to have any hope of saving the planet.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” takes place during the opening battle sequence.  There is a slow-motion shot that shows all six Avengers (The Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye) on screen attacking the enemy.  It is something that will never be forgotten by all Marvel Comics fans.   My compliments to director Joss Whedon.

At second place for my memorable moment of this movie is the scene when the commander of the HYDRA base that is under attack by The Avengers asks his men if the superheroes can be held back.  One soldier meekly says, “They’re The Avengers.”

One small weakness of “Age Of Ultron” is that there is too much comedy in it.  Even Ultron cracks one-liners almost every time he is onscreen.  It also doesn’t help that half of the jokes don’t really work.  Despite this flaw, this Avengers movie is highly entertaining, more so for comic book fans.  The action sequences are amazing and the pacing is mostly fast, making the 2 hour 21 minute running time of the movie feel shorter than it is.

Forget Ultron, this is the age of comic book geeks like me who are gorging on one superhero movie after another.

— M

Grade C-

Dolph Lundgren plays the title role in “The Punisher,” a movie about an ex-police officer who becomes a vigilante after his family is killed by the mafia.  Donning the oh so fashionable, all black outfit that vigilantes prefer, Lundgren kills everyone who was responsible for killing his wife and two girls.  Of course, he doesn’t limit his punishment to those who directly turned his life upside down…all criminals are targets.

For those not in the know, “The Punisher” is based on a Marvel Comics character that I am very much familiar with.  I have to say I am very disappointed in this first movie adaptation of The Punisher character.  I must disclose that when I first saw this movie as a teenager, I thought it was cool…then again, I thought mullets were cool, too.  Gone is the fanboy who was just happy to see a movie about one of his favorite, comic book characters.  Now I can look at this 1989 film with a more critical eye.

The first thing I noticed was the music, and how it reminds me of something that I would hear from an action movie of the week on NBC back in the 80s.  That’s an insult, by the way.  Next thing I noticed were the action sequences that were not choreographed and executed well.  What is caught on film looks like something you would see in rehearsals.  Dolph Lundgren was a karate champion prior to becoming a movie star, but in “The Punisher” he moves like lumbering giant who always looks off balance.  Another big, negative aspect I noticed in this movie is Lundgren’s acting skills, or lack thereof.  This leads me to…

My most memorable, movie moment of “The Punisher” is the scene when Louis Gossett Jr. (playing Lundgren’s ex-partner in the police force) confronts Lundgren in his holding cell.  Lundgren’s sub-par acting ability is more pronounced when it goes up against the fine acting of Gossett Jr.  It’s like a stock, Honda Civic drag racing a Challenger Hellcat.  The difference is so shocking, viewers are forced to tell the weak party, “You have no business being here, dude.”

“The Punisher” also suffers from so many plot holes that if the movie was a ship, it would sink in two inches of water.  In the movie, people think that Lundgren the cop is dead, killed with his family.  Here’s the plot hole regarding that: Lundgren is a big brute, walking around in an outfit that looks like he bought it from an Army/Navy surplus store; he rides an extremely loud motorcycle; and he doesn’t bother to disguise his looks (doesn’t wear shades, a hat, fake moustache, etc.).  He walks and rides around in the daytime…and no one notices!  Get the hell out!

Want more?  Okay, lets talk about the dialogue.  As an example, look at the torture scene of Lundgren at the hands of the Yakuza.  Lundgren’s lines — and his delivery of them — are so atrocious that I thought it was written by a lobotomized, 14-year-old screenwriter who was high on cocaine.  This scene is so laughably bad it is one of my memorable moments of this movie.

“The Punisher” failed to live up to its potential because too many people didn’t have what it took to make this movie better.  I do find this movie entertaining, but mostly for reasons not intended by the filmmakers.

— M

Grade B

You’ve heard of the saying “truth is stranger than fiction?”  In general, that’s a load of b.s.  What truth can compare with “Star Wars” or “The Lord Of The Rings?”  But in the case of “Moby Dick” and the true story from which Herman Melville based his novel on, the truth was much stranger — and horrifying — than fiction.

“In The Heart Of The Sea” tells the harrowing, true tale of the sailors of the Essex, a whaling ship from Massachusetts that was hit and sunk by a Sperm Whale.  The crew to was forced to use their small, whaling boats as lifeboats; and they crammed as much supplies as they could salvage from the sinking Essex.   Hundreds of miles from the nearest mainland, their supplies didn’t last long; and, ironically, fish was not readily available in the part of the ocean that they were in.  Thirst and hunger would turn the survivors to the only food source available: each other.

One of my memorable, movie moments is the scene when the crew of the Essex hunts its first whale.  Chris Hemsworth, playing the First Mate, harpoons the giant creature and takes Hemsworth and his men on a “Nantucket sleigh ride.”  The whale swims deep into the sea, desperate to escape the men who are trying to kill it.  Running out of oxygen, wounded from the harpoon, and tired from the struggle, the whale surfaces and Hemsworth makes the killing blow.  The whale spouts up blood and soon dies.  The men rejoice at their first kill…but Hemsworth isn’t so pleased with having to kill this majestic creature.  It’s his job, yes, and he needs the money to take care of his family (a wife and baby on the way); but he knows what he does isn’t completely justified.

My most memorable, movie moment of “In The Heart Of The Sea” is the scene when Hemsworth’s whaling boat has its first casualty: a sailor who has died from exposure, starvation, and thirst.  The other survivors are about to throw the body into the ocean; but Hemsworth has other ideas.  He tells his men that “No right-minded sailor discards what might yet save him.”

At first the sailors only eat the ones who have died.  But when the bodies have been consumed and the survivors were still out in the ocean, they begin to draw lots to decide who would be killed so that the others may live.  “ITHOTS” doesn’t delve too deeply into the cannibalism parts of the movie, rather it concentrates on the relationships of the sailors among themselves and their general fight for survival; and in the capable hands of director Ron Howard, it does that very well.

One bit of fact about the true story of the men of the Essex that I don’t recall was put into the movie: after the ship was sunk, the captain wanted to head for some islands that he knew they could get to before their provisions ran out; but his men scared him off with tales of cannibals in those islands.

— M

The 2012 version of “Red Dawn” has North Korea using EMPs (electro-magnetic pulses) and cyber-warfare to weaken America’s defenses in order to drop their troops onto U.S. soil and finish the job using conventional warfare.  Chris Hemsworth, playing a U.S. Marine Corps vet on leave to spend time with his family, turns his brother and other High School kids into an irregular, fighting unit that puts a serious kink into the invading force’s operations in Hemsworth’s home town.  The name Hemsworth gives his unit?  Wolverines!  Cool, huh?  I think I would name my unit Ladybugs.  Imagine the morale problem my enemies would have if they got their butts kicked by a group called the Ladybugs!

For those of you young enough to not know that cell phones used to be the size of bricks, “Red Dawn” (2012) is a remake of a 1980s movie of the same name.  Which is better?  The original, but not by much.   I was surprised that I liked the remake as much as I did; but hey, I have to give credit to the 2012 version: it’s entertaining, moves at a fast clip, and it had one big, dramatic moment that got me really emotionally involved in the movie.

That dramatic moment is my most memorable, movie moment of “Red Dawn” (2012).  It is the scene when Hemsworth’s father has been captured by the North Koreans, and is being used to tell his children to come out of hiding and turn themselves in to the invading soldiers, who supposedly will give them fair treatment.  The father is handed a microphone, and he tells his children that he loves them; and that he wishes for them to do what he would do: to fight and kill the enemy.  The unexpected direction of the father’s speech is not taken well with the North Koreans, and the father suffers for it.

As I watched this movie, I wondered if I could do what the Wolverines did: live out in the forest, starving, freezing, no bathrooms, no hot showers, risking getting shot or blown up with a grenade…ummmm, no.   I like to be comfortable.  I freak out when I get a little chip on my sports car.   I like doing my business in a clean bathroom, with four walls and a roof, and plenty of toilet paper and clean, running water.   So…if the North Koreans want NYC, they can have it.  I always wanted to move out west, anyway.

M

“The Cabin In The Woods” is like a love letter from Director Drew Goddard and writer Joss Whedon to all horror fans out there.  The scares, the thrills, the laughs, the suspense, and the nudity from various horror flicks are mashed together into one, derivative and yet original (I know, they should be mutually exclusive, but when you’re talented as hell, you can create wonders) movie!  Elements from “The Evil Dead,” “Hellraiser,” “Cube,” “The Truman Show,”  werewolf movies, slasher movies and zombie movies are all present.

“The Cabin…” has five college students on a weekend trip to a filthy ass cabin in a filthy section of the woods to have fun.  What they don’t realize is that every move is being watched by people who work in a large, underground complex beneath the cabin.  The five students are to be sacrificed in very cruel ways.  Why?  That’s what you’ll enjoy finding out when you watch the movie.

The puppet masters below the cabin are mostly male geeks; and there’s a scene when they are all gathered to watch the monitors in order to catch a glimpse of young, nubile boobies.  It is a scene that is funny and twisted at the same time, because the workers know that the people they are watching will die very horrible deaths.  But, work is work, and the puppet masters pull levers and press switches to lock doors, open trap doors for monsters to come out of, and emit mind altering drugs that make the sacrificial victims more stupid in order to make them easier targets.

Just to show you how very well written and directed this movie is: the combination of horror and comedy almost always ends up in a disaster, similar to what you would get if you combined a politician with a child molester.  Very, very few writers and directors have the talent to pull off a horror/comedy combo.  Whedon and Goddard are the select few, and I salute them for giving us one of the best movies I have ever seen.

There are many memorable, movie moments in “The Cabin In The Woods.”  My most memorable one is the scene where one of the underground puppet masters mentions that the college student who is a pot head seems to be more aware of what is happening — possibly because he’s been smoking so much pot for so long that he has become immune to the mind-altering drugs that the puppet masters have secretly given him!  Score one for the potheads of the world!  Smoke that s*#t, and open your mind to the conspiracies all around you!

Me, smoky tasting/smelling whisky is my drug of choice; I let it numb my body and mind.  I don’t need to be aware of the conspiracies of the world, because I already know the end game: total enslavement for the masses.

M

We are introduced to one of the Avengers in this well-made, fun movie that gives us the background of Thor.  Thor is an immortal warrior of a place called Asgard, where the majority of the warriors dress like they are going to the gay pride parade in Manhattan.  Hey, if you’re going to die in battle, at least have the decency to look fabulous, right?  Give me two snaps up if you agree!  Anyway, Thor is the son of Odin, who is the ruler of Asgard.  Thor, being young and full of piss and vinegar (sounds like the contents of a tampon), commits acts that go against his father’s wishes.  On top of that, he royally insults his father; and Thor winds up being banished to Earth without his powers or his mighty, hammer weapon, Mjolnir.  Loki, Thor’s jealous bro, is left mostly unchecked in Asgard to do evil things that put the universe in danger.

Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, and he does a very good job of doing so.  He looks and acts like the God of Thunder, and his character is very likeable, especially when he does heroic acts as a human, knowing that he can be killed.  Natalie Portman plays Thor’s love interest; and she’s cute and she’s intelligent and she’s a spitfire…and I keep thinking of those lesbian scenes in “Black Swan.” In other words, it’s always a pleasure to see her onscreen.  We also have Kat Dennings, who I think is more adorable than Portman, even though they made Dennings into a geek in this movie.  Her comments about Thor’s looks are enjoyable; and I would love for Dennings to say those things about me.

“Thor” has action, romance, violence, comedy, drama, eye candy for men and women, a solid script and good direction and editing.  What, that’s not enough for you to watch this?  Then you’re just hard to please.  What do you want me to say?

My most memorable, movie moment is the sequence when Mjolnir comes back to Thor after he proves himself worthy of the mighty weapon.  It’s one of those dramatic, heroic moments that by now you all should know really gets to me.

When I was young, I wore a homemade cape, pretending to be a superhero.  I think I would still look good in a cape.  The problem is, I’m short; and most capes are made for tall people.  It’s hard to look heroic when you trip over a cape and your face is mashed against the pavement that is covered by grease, spit, dog doo-doo, discarded food, and thousands of chemicals that will give you dozens of cancers.

I guess I’ll just stick to treating people the way I want people to treat me.  To some that is considered honorable, maybe even heroic.  No cape needed.

M

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