Tag: Stellan Skarsgård


Ah, is it happening now? Finally? The Dune movie?

Oh okay. Well, I got two Dune related stories to tell then!

The first is when I first heard about the book when I was in early High School. I was working that summer as a camp counselor, and one of my friends talked so fondly of the book Dune and wanted us all to read it. He never relented and eventually wanted to read it out loud to us one night to show how good it was. I was definitely asleep by the second page, woken up, and then again by page three. Nice.

Story two? Oh yeah, I actually saw the other Dune movie, in theaters, a few years ago, knowing nothing about the plot. It was a very strange experience, a weird film, but probably worth it on some level for pop culture history.

I have not been waiting on my knees for this version to come out, but I do like Denis Villeneuve films for the most part. The only one I didn’t love was Blade Runner 2049, which was visually pleasing, but a story I didn’t care about at all. Hmm, that was a sequel to a film from the 1980’s. This one is a movie remake that was first done in the 1980’s. I hope there is no more similarities.

Definitely more sand in this movie than Blade Runner 2049. 

We are still dealing with humans in this movie, don’t worry, it is just set like 8,000 years in the future.

House Atreides is our heroes? Well, at least our main family of character. They are some level of nobility and GREAT NEWS. They have been granted mining rights of the Spices from Arrakis. The Spices are the key to faster than light travel and longer life, and they can be rich from doing this.

The prince (?) Paul (Timothée Chalamet) has been having interesting dreams that seem to come from that planet, featuring a girl (Zendaya) that he can’t get out of his thoughts. Paul can also do mental suggestive thought things to make people obey him, which is cool. His dad (Oscar Isaac) is leading the convoy to Arrakis and his mother (Rebecca Ferguson) is mostly just trying to make sure Paul is ready to take over some day.

Needless to say, once they get to the planet, there are more shenanigans than they imagined. Stuff happens, people fight, people die, and sand worms.

Starring a whole lot of other people too, and even with 2.5 hours of screen time, a lot of them still don’t get a lot of screen time but might get more later? Well, if they didn’t die. We have Babs Olusanmokun, Benjamin Clémentine, Charlotte Rampling, Chen Chang, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Stellan Skarsgård, and Stephen McKinley Henderson.

This book invented sand worms right? Not Beetlejuice?

Ah yes, Dune, clocking in at 2 hours and 35 minutes. Is that enough time to tell some epic story that was 412 pages long? [Editor’s note: Wait, 412 pages long only? That is it? The audiobook is only around 21 hours?] Well, if you ask Villeneuve then that answer is heck no. Apparently he only agreed to do it if he could do two full movies and not cram it into one. Oh okay.

But…but…They didn’t really make this into a two part film? If they did, they would have likely filmed them at the same time. They would have officially made this movie called Dune: Part 1. [Editor’s Note: This movie is called Dune: Part 1 only on the film itself near the start, but not on any advertisements, or posters, or just…officially]. And you know what? A regular film going customer shouldn’t have to look for interviews with the director and others to see that this movie is only just half of a story. I think I saw one where someone involved said it feels like a complete story still, but I have determined that to be a lie.

This movie definitely just ends in what feels like half of a story. And part of that is extremely frustrating given how long it feels like it takes to just get to the planet itself. It is not like I had a watch to look at the whole time, but it is a significantly large percentage before our characters go to the desert land to start learning and doing desert stuff. So to me, this film feels dragged out. You know, like The Hobbit films.

Just a quick note. I am okay with the concept of two part films. Sure. But the parts should still feature complete arcs and feel like storyline elements were resolved and natural enough and not just cliffhangers or, worse, plateaus that gradually decrease over time. Lord of the Rings film feel like three complete films despite one overarching story. Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Part 2 and Hunger Games Mockingbird Part 1 and Part 2 both feel like one film’s worth of plot badly stretched over two.

I am now worried Dune will feel like that, IF the second part gets made. I certainly don’t feel appreciative that the film producers are using such guilt riddled tactics to ensure they make enough money so that their story could be finished, when they could have also just trusted their product enough to make the films and release them when appropriate. If they don’t ever release another one, then we won’t get a full film. If they do release another one, then we likely get one full film over two movies with arguably a lot of filler.

But yeah, sure, it is pretty.

2 out of 4.

Borg vs McEnroe

What is the deal with this surge of tennis movies? This year we have Borg vs McEnroe, at some point there is that documentary Love Means Zero, and last year had the Battle of the Sexes.

But it isn’t just a two year trend. Don’t you remember two years ago, that HBO miniature film? It was called 7 Days in Hell, and that one was a parody piece and about fictional rivals. Somehow that 45 minute feature led executives to put out two real tennis match movies relatively close together. Are people just running around buying out the rights to intense matches?

Then before this gets to the point of no return, then can we get someone to quickly film the Isner-Mahut match from a bit ago? That would be a marathon film if any. And don’t fill it with flashbacks. Start with the match. Then give us the night time breaks to get some other characters/story/anxiety in there.

The real reason for the film is to create this hair.

Set in 1980, history in Wimbledon was about to be made. Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) was the sexiest man alive, if sexiest man alive meant extremely skilled at Tennis. How can Borg, only 24, be the greatest Tennis player? Well, when he was 23, 22, 21, and 20, he won Wimbledon. That is four times in a row. And no one had ever won it five times in a row. Could he be that first person? He is young, he is strong, he is accurate. And hey, he keeps his emotions in check. He is so goddamn stoic, before, after, and during matches, he is like a robot. They went on to name the Borg hive race in Star Trek after him due to that personality.

So what is stopping him? Well, a younger up and coming athlete, John McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf), who, like all great rivalries, was basically the exact opposite. He was 22 at the time, American, and like America, he was rash, angry, and people didn’t like him across the seas. He was a firecracker, he yelled at the judges, he unnerved his opponents and was a thorn in the professional tennis world.

And they would meet at Wimbledon. If Borg wins, he makes history. If McEnroe wins, it dawns a new era of primadonna shit head tennis players.

What world do we want to live in!?

Also starring Stellan Skarsgård, Tuva Novotny, and Scott Arthur.

Really they are both rock stars if you think about it.

I have a general fondness for Tennis movies. I really can’t imagine one I really disliked. To be fair, outside of the ones I tagged up there, the only ones I remember right now at Wimbledon itself and…that’s it. And I liked Wimbledon.

It is a sport that definitely allows itself to be filmed in a way to really show the struggle between two athletic individuals. It doesn’t focus on nameless team players that are just background bodies, or shenanigans. Just playing some tennis balls.

Both LaBeouf and Gudnason give very strong performances as people with their own issues to deal with. The use of flashbacks really worked in this movie. We got a lot of flash backs for Borg in particular, to see how he developed into that type of player and why (hint, some bad stuff happened). And similarly, what McEnroe had to deal with, even as one of the top players of the world, how he never seemed to get his respect.

I kept the truth of the ending a secret from myself, which paid off big time. Real stories are cool, and they are better if you don’t know the final outcome.

Definitely a solid dramatic tennis movie. I’m talking acrylic court solid here.

3 out of 4.

Hector and the Search For Happiness

Happiness is a funny word. You know why. If you don’t, just say it slowly. I think there is a reason for that.

So one could say the search for happiness is a metaphor for coming out of the closet. I mean, you might be hard pressed to find anyone to say that, but theoretically someone could say that.

Regardless of how the movie goes, I am going to have that running through my head throughout the film.

Hector and the Search For Happiness. A movie about whatever you want apparently!

He is missing the most important fun accessory. A fanny pack!

Hector (Simon Pegg) isn’t happy and he wants to find it. That isn’t the full story of course. He is actually a psychiatrist and more bored with his life. He is also bored with all of his clients and finding himself unable to relate to any of them. He feels he can’t help because he isn’t personally happy. That doesn’t mean he is sad either. He is kind of blank on all emotions. And because he would like some emotions, he decides happiness is a good one to find.

So he leaves his girlfriend (Rosamund Pike) behind (rude) to go on a research journey.

He travels to China, Africa, and LA, meeting a variety of people and incidents, all while writing notes and drawing cartoons in his journal. He takes this research game seriously. And yeah, now that is the full story. Monks, nightclubs, refugee camps, researchers.

Featuring a lot of people! Like, Christopher Plummer, Barry Atsma, Jean Reno, Ming Zhao, Stellan Skarsgard, Togo Igawa, Toni Collette, Tracy Ann Oberman, and Veronica Ferres.

Hector discovers unique and exciting fetishes along his journey.

I am happy to announce that my way of watching the movie totally worked. It added a whole new level to it, especially during the moments when he skyped back home to his girlfriend and fought over his journey. He just needed to be true to himself, you know?

Unfortunately, that is an add on bonus for me but not something the movie itself could deliver. So technically Hector only goes three places from London. I think what I want most out of this movie is just more. His journey seemed so much more epic in scale, only going to 3 (okay, kind of 4) places is disappointing. I wanted him to experience all sorts of cultures and lifestyles. But he really only got 2 maybe 3.

The ending itself is also super cheesy. Which fits because with the animations and writing on the screen, it is a kind of cheesy movie. It is a sort of strange dramedy, that is not as good at the drama portions as one would like.

Overall, it is just another average movie. It could have been a lot more entertaining, and didn’t suffer from bad acting at all. Just a weaker plot that makes the film hard to fully embrace.

2 out of 4.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron


Do I even have to write an intro? Yes? Well. Fuck. Okay.

The Avengers was stupidly successful. I knew it would be in 2008 or so. Everything Marvel has done has been covered in molten gold, but in a good way, not a Game of Thrones way. So of course everyone is excited about Avengers: Age of Ultron. Honestly, I am more excited about the next Captain America movie and some of the new heroes like Black Panther and Doctor Strange.

But hey. Ultron is cool too. I will take what I can get before we get 3 Marvel and 3 DC movies a year, plus random other franchises.

Cool to the touch that is. HA HA HA HA HA.
Shits crazy. If you haven’t seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet, then I can’t really help you. Spoilers on that front.

S.H.I.E.L.D. is gone, unless you watch the TV show then who knows. Hydra is fucking shit up. The Avengers have gotten together to stop them.

Our friends are all back, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

Remember the twins after the credits of the movie I just mentioned? Well, Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) are also thrown into the fray. An evil fray.

Here’s the important facts though. The Avengers get Loki’s staff back pretty dang quick. And using its power, Tony Stark wants to return peace to the world. He would love to disband the Avengers because he doesn’t want there to be a need for them. So he uses the staff to help begin to build some AI to help protect the world from more outside threats. Shit goes badly. We got a robot that wants to take out all the Avengers now. The Avengers bring threats. They are dangerous. Without them the world would be better. Tony accidentally made an Ultron (James Spader).

What? Is that not enough characters for you? Well fine. We have some other appearances of course, and I won’t tell you how big or small their roles are. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Heimdall (Idris Elba), and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). We also have newbie, Dr. Helen Cho (Claudia Kim), and of course Paul Bettany and ANDY SERKIS.

But Thor is my favorite so he gets his own picture, damn it.
For movies like this, there is no way I can get through these things without rambling and talking so much. So fuck it. Let’s go classic here. A simple pros and cons list of the movie. Well, a likes and dislikes. Yeah. And with fancy bullet technology!


  • Hawkeye. They heard the complaints about him in previous films and they made sure he was an important character. A lot was added to him. He had probably two of the best lines, did cool things, and was fantastic. Everyone should love him.
  • Hulkbuster. Hulkbuster guys. Hulkbuster. Amazing fight.
  • The plot elements in the film are definitely related to the first Avengers. Characters decisions are constantly determined to make sure they don’t redo what was done in NYC.
  • Characters shared the screen. It wasn’t just a one man show and his friends. A lot of characters got a lot of screen time. Most of the new guys got their motivations and back stories. Everyone got to fight and everyone fought hard.
  • It wasn’t an exact repeat of the first movie. There are similar elements, but the threats feel different, the arguments are different, and the jokes are different.
  • They didn’t dick around in the beginning, it starts with action and goes quickly into Ultron time.


  • Um. Ultron. I think. I mean. It is iffy. But from the many trailers, I expected him to be a bit scarier overall. He had creepy elements. Especially early on. But then he seemed to turn into a mostly joke cracking villain without the fear.
  • Vision. I liked him but I don’t think they did a good enough job explaining him or giving him more things to do. He felt a bit wasted.
  • Time. The movie is 140 minutes or so, but there are several times when the thing still feels rushed, especially in the 2nd and 3rd acts. There is a lot going on and a lot I liked, but some things made no real sense. Better explanation or more cutting would have helped a ton.
  • Love. There is a romance in this movie. It feels…forced and awkward the entire time. It helps lead to some of these moments where you’d like more explanation.

Also, under both categories I could say the Future. This movie does a lot to set up future movies. Future Thanos battle. Elements for the Black Panther movie. Elements for the next Thor and the Civil War (Although I thought they should have gone way stronger on that side). At the same time, this film kind of feels like a big stepping stone for the future instead of its own amazing event. Too much focus on the later movies, which we know the next many years for and not enough about Ultron.

Overall, AoU is really fucking entertaining. Make no mistake. It was a nice ride, and good action and all of that. The characters are the ones we love with new ones you will love as well. But I think it had enough disappointing aspects associated with it to make me not as excited as I had hoped. With all the set up, I think the Civil War movie will be the one that all this hype has been leading up to. Makes sense, because after it is when we start getting all the new characters outside of Ant-Man.

Go see it. Go see it multiple times. I will buy it as soon as I can for sure. But you know, not perfect.


3 out of 4.


Alright, fine. Disney is going full money grab. Disney Princess line is a success. Frozen has made multiple billions from sales and merchandise. They have bought Marvel and Star Wars. They want all the money on the planet, that is the only way to describe them right now.

Because if they keep making live action movies of their animated classics, they get to print even more stacks of cash out, keep up any copyrights they have (totally researched argument, this could be a false statement), and re design the character as see fit. After all, most of the early princesses are pretty passive people and terrible role models for women. They can make all of these women stronger independent ladies. They can make the movies more exciting or just tell a better story.

The first attempt was Maleficent, which I thought was terrible. The changes they made (all of it) were terrible, and instead of getting a bamf villain, we got a misunderstood fairy who spent a third of the movie just watching a girl grow up. We are getting Beauty and the Beast which I already have issues with casting wise, but I will tease and not talk about it until that review comes out in 2016 or whenever.

So now we have Cinderella, which for the most part, looks to be the exact same story. Maybe some more details, but exactly the same story with all of the same songs. Wait, what, no songs?

We are just getting fancy dancing? WHO WILL SERENADE ME?

Ah little Ella (Lily James). Living on her slightly big house with servants and shit. A loving family. Her dad (Ben Chaplin) is a merchant w ho goes on trips a lot, leaving her with just her mother. Did I say mother? Just kidding. She died. She told her to always be good and nice to people, because that was her gift.

Eventually the dad was feeling a bit lonely and he also wanted to be nice. So he heard about a lady who needed help, who was also now a Widow with two daughters. He wanted to marry her and move them in so that Ella would have friends and a family again.

Hah. Just kidding. New mother is a bitch (Cate Blanchett). New sisters are whiny bitches (Sophie McShera, Holliday Grainger). And of course her dad kicks the bucket too while he is out on a trip. Fuuuuuuuuuuck.

So they are poor now. They have to let go all their workers leaving just poor old Ella to make the food, clean the dishes, and help her “family” have some sort of luxury. She is too gosh darned nice.

So when the local Prince (Richard Madden) is going to have a ball to find a wife before the King (Derek Jacobi) croaks. Of course Ella can’t go because of bitches. Then we have a fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter), transformations, glass slippers, running, big search, and maybe some more shenanigans you don’t even know about.

Also with Stellan Skarsgård as a Duke and Nonso Anozie as a captain! Wait, no, his name is officially Captain it looks like.

Yep, none of them are blonde, therefore they are all evil.

It turns out, Cinderella doesn’t have a lot going on with its plot. I mean, in its basic form, girl is living with step family, doesn’t get to have fun. Some magic happens, she gets to have fun, and a Prince saves her and they live happily ever after. Not a whole lot going on for Ella. She just cleans a lot and is really nice. Fuck, so many times watching the movie, I was just thinking that she should just lock her fucking house doors when they go out to town and be done with it all.

But her niceness meant she just had to get shit on for years or months or however long the time line happened? Man. What a beta.

Okay, boring character aside. Boring plot aside. They don’t really change anything at all from a story sixty five years ago. They have a bit more back story and some more late game scheming, but literally nothing new and so it isn’t a surprise.

The only people who seem to have any amount of personality are the bad guys!

But despite all of it, is is indeed a pretty movie. Visually stunning, outside of one terrible CGI scene involving the pumpkin to carriage (it was gross and the humans looked fake during it), it was just an incredibly beautiful film. They really did great work in the costume and make up department, so you can expect an Oscar nomination there. Overall though, just too much filler and time wasting, especially at the ball.

Also, I feel uncomfortable with Skarsgård having a biggish role in a PG movie after seeing Nymphomaniac.

2 out of 4.

Nymphomaniac Vol 2

When I first started the two Nymphomaniac movies, I figured I would just watch them back to back, get all four hours done with and have a unique, if not disturbing, experience. After all, the original movie is 5.5 hours and was split into 2 two hour movies for practical reasons. A lot hit the floor.

But if you remember my Nymphomaniac Vol 1 review, you might recall that I just needed a break. I couldn’t do it right after the other. Just intense subject matter with a lot of themes on top of it.

I figured enough time had past though, possibly way too much time. Had to read an outline of part 1 before I watched Nymphomaniac Vol 2. Make sure I was in the right frame of mind and all, you know. But no matter how much prep I thought I had before delving back into this story, I certainly now know it could have never been enough.

I am reusing the same first picture too, damn it. We determined

The story continues right where it left off in part 1. But Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is going down a much darker path now that she finds herself in relationship with Jerome (Shia LaBeouf). At least Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard) is still there to hear here story, not judge her, not get excited, and offer advice as to why people or she acted the way they did.

Darker path indeed. We have some hard stuff in here. Mostly due to her issues with her relationship with Jerome, she lost the good feeling down there and really wants it back. Sure she accidentally also had a kid. But responsibilities aren’t important. Getting that urge back is.

So she started to experience a lot of new things. Strangers of another language barriers and BDSM mostly. So much went down that it of course affected her parenting and lead her to support groups, and eventually using these skills she has learned through the years to help shake down people for cash.

But maybe there is a reason for all of this. Maybe things are going to start finally looking up.

Also still featuring Christian Slater, along with Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth and Jamie Bell.

This one was actually the safer of two potential images.

Just like my last review, let’s just say that this movie is hard movie to talk about. After all, a lot of this is about her experiences and it is a continuation. I don’t want to give things away, as I know most people who read this review wouldn’t have seen part 1, but since this is a continuation, part 1 knowledge is necessary.

I felt very uncomfortable during several scenes, but also found these darker plotlines a bit more interesting than the first volume. I am sure I gasped at more than one occasion, staring in disbelief at others. So much shocking material, but the movie itself isn’t just a shocker meant to put you on guard. There are deeper themes and elements going around to make sense of the chaos.

And shit. You know what? Life is hard, is the basic theme of the movie. No matter your position in life and circumstances, you will have faced hard experiences and hopefully you can over come them.

I think it ended on a strong, if not shocking final two hours, and am glad I didn’t leave super disappointed like Melancholia.

3 out of 4.

Nymphomaniac, Vol I

Hoo, boy. Here I go. I am about to watch a movie called Nymphomaniac, VOL 1. That tells us that there are two volumes. Oh jeez, this is going to be something weird alright.

Directed by Lars von Trier, who gave us Melancholia, which I hated, and AntiChrist, which I don’t really want to see. This is supposed to be the end of some sort of some Depression Trilogy with the other two movies, so that doesn’t seem cheery.

I also know the original version of this movie was not split into two parts, but five and a half hours long in one go. That is a shit ton of movie. A movie about sex. For the two parts, about 90 extra minutes was cut overall, giving us the 2 two hour films.

I will try my best to be a grown up about all of this.

It was also pretty hard to find some PG pictures. Gotta have some standards.

Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) has done a lot in her life. Sometimes, multiple people at the same time. That’s right, Joe, a woman, liked sex. Get over it prudes.

But now she has found herself lying homeless in the streets. Thankfully, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), a local, has taken her off the streets to get her some food and help, in exchange for her life story.

So that is exactly what we get, or at least half of it in this first volume. We learn about her family, in particular her father (Christian Slater). He was a nice guy, and stop it, stop where your mind is going. A movie about sex doesn’t mean everything is about sex, he could just be nice.

We found about her experiencing sexuality as a kid, losing her virginity to Jerome (Shia LaBeouf), as a teen (Stacy Martin) entering public sex competitions with her friend (Sophie Kennedy Clark), breaking up marriages making irate wives (Uma Thurman) and even being a prostitute for awhile.

All of it being told, while Seligman relates his own stories and tales he has heard to her experiences.

Although his experiences don’t involve too many train gang bangs.

Hey, this movie has a lot of intense subject matter, so I will try to break it down.

At least in volume 1, they are not making an argument that her life is horrible due to her addiction to sex. Or at least, not from what I can tell. She doesn’t get shunned for being promiscuous, she is just able to more or less live out her life. Sure, she gets upset and sad over events and some are related to sex, but it isn’t the cause of all of her problems.

It also isn’t a porno. Sure, there is sex in the movie. And some of it graphic in nature. You might watch it and go “Holy shit, that is real sex. In a movie! I saw penetration!” Well, apparently all of the sex scenes were done through CGI stuff. So all of the sex scenes were set up very specifically, needing certain angles and shots for what was planned. And then it looked really real, making it a bit uncomfortable, but it wasn’t.

So how about the movie? Well, as a stand alone volume, I think it had some strong moments and some weak ones. There are five to six stories that are told, so of course not all of them will be hit or miss. But yeah, about 50-50 for me.

Kind of interesting film, didn’t go super hard in the first volume, so wondering where the rest of her story is going. By itself? It’s okay.

2 out of 4.

The Railway Man

The main reason I wanted to see The Railway Man was because of the song they used in the trailer. You know the one. From The Thin Red Line.

God Yu Tekkem Laef Blong Mi” . Seriously, put that song in a trailer, I am going to try and watch your movie. I will also be pissed if your movie isn’t epic enough to warrant the use of that song. Thankfully, Mr. Nobody used it in its movie, and it deserved it.

So, just saying, The Railway Man. A lot of pressure on you to not fuck this one up.

Line Up
They get bonus points for making a World War II movie without Nazis, though.

Eric (Colin Firth). He’s got a secret. He’s been hiding. Under his skin. Wait, no, that is Mr. Roboto. Sorry.

Eric really likes trains. He always has, likes to ride them, knows what makes them tick, knows a lot of trivia. He also served for Great Britain in World War II. While on duty, his company had to surrender to the Japanese military and their unit was taken to work in camps. What did they have to work on? A railroad! The Burma Railway, to be historically accurate. How zany.

Speaking of coincidences, he also met his now wife (Nicole Kidman) thanks to the trains. Trains are really a big part of this guys life.

But he actually does have some pent up secrets. Some things happened to him while he was in that POW camp. Things done to him by Takeshi Nagase (Hiroyuki Sanada), the official translator for the Japanese that he would rather keep buried. But it turns out that Takeshi is still alive, in Japan, and wasn’t taken as a war criminal like the rest of Japanese soldiers from that camp.

This is good, if Eric was the kind of guy to enact revenge. But he wouldn’t do that at his age, would he?

Also starring Stellan Skarsgard as one of his old friends, and Tanroh Ishida and Jeremy Irvine as the younger Takeshie and Eric. I will let you figure out who goes with who.

Don’t just assume races stay consistent, is all I am sayin’.

I don’t think the entirety of The Railway Man lives up to the song. It’s sad, but true.

The ending is fantastic. The encounter between the two older men, combined with flashbacks during World War II. It was very dramatic, tense, and even a bit beautiful. It really kept you glued to the screen.

On the other hand, the first half of the movie tended to drag on. I think it is because see the meeting of Eric and his wife play out, then they are married. They have to give us that whole story. Then we have to have flashbacks of the POW camp. Finding out that the guy is still alive doesn’t even happen until the second half of the film.

It was quite a bore, and ruined the much better ending a bit for me.

This is a true story, but things were changed enough to ramp up the dramatic elements. I don’t care about that. I just care that presumably the beginning wasn’t changed enough to make it more interesting, just the ending. Come on. Enhance All is a way better option than Enhance End.

2 out of 4.

Thor: The Dark World

I have a confession to make. I really really enjoyed the first Thor movie. I enjoyed it far more than everyone else I know.

It gets a lot of negative attention compared to the other Phase 1 Marvel films, and personally I disagree. I enjoyed it probably the third most out of all of the films, after The Avengers and Iron Man. It had comedy, it had action, it had Norse mythology, and well, it had Thor. Like a lot of people my age, I first heard about the God of Thunder from watching Adventures in Babysitting, which lead to discovering the Marvel version. I think that film was received as well only because he wasn’t as well known as the rest of the Phase 1 heroes.

So, Thor: The Dark World has an upward battle to climb.

“But we will make that climb, together, brother!” – Loki, in a very specific genre of Thor fanfiction.

This film takes place just as Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is proving why he deserves the “Mighty” adjective, by bringing peace again to The Nine Realms after the Bifröst was destroyed in the first film. He has been very busy, and could not return to Earth except for exceptional circumstances for that reason.

Unfortunately the Convergence is about to occur, where the nine realms line up perfectly. It happens every 5000 years, and causes all of the realms to be a bit wonky, creating portals to each other and messing with gravity/physics. It has also awakened an old threat, King Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) of the Dark Elves, who tried to destroy the universe at the last Convergence. He used an ancient magic source called the Aether, which has been hidden for thousands of years. But guess who found it? Oh that meddling Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and her team (Kat Dennings, Jonathan Howard)!

At the same time, monarchy based drama in Asgard is occurring, as Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and Frigga (Rene Russo) are planning on making Thor the next king, given the recent actions of Loki (Tom Hiddleston). But Thor’s love for a mortal is worrisome, and a cause for concern that he might be focusing too much of his attention on just one realm.

It isn’t too bad for Thor I guess. He just has to save his very fragile love from the powers of the Aether, watch out for Loki while he is imprisoned in Asgard, deal with potential enemies on all sides, and try to stop an ancient race from destroying the universe. Probably just another Wednesday for him.

Thor: The Dark World features a whole lot of other actors, including the returns of Sif (Jaime Alexander), Heimdall (Idris Elba), Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) and The Warriors Three (Ray StevensonZachary LeviTadanobu Asano). Well, Asano really wasn’t in this movie much, and Levi replaced Josh Dallas, but hey, Stevenson is still there! Also introducing Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the second in command to Malekith.

Also, the Dark Elves in general reminded me of really strange Putties.

One thing I learned from watching Thor: The Dark World is that Chris Hemsworth definitely helped cement himself as the only man who can play the God of Thunder. Over the summer, huge contract negotiations were taking place between Hemsworth and Marvel, the latter who claimed that they don’t need him in The Avengers 2:Age of Ultron, they could just hire someone else, and refused to budge. Well, eventually they budged, thanks to the help of Robert Downey Jr., so presumably both sides reached a worthwhile agreement.

Thor: The Dark World more or less gave me everything I wanted in a sequel movie, expanding on a lot of areas that the first film established. It still has the same level of comedy, so we aren’t just dealing with a serious space fantasy drama. The chemistry between Hemsworth, Portman, and Hiddleston is electric, allowing the story to flow just a little bit better. The film also takes place a lot more off Earth compared to the first film, allowing the use of new landscapes and helping separate the franchise from the rest of the Avengers movies.

The does come with a downside, however. With a lot of the film set off world, we are given many more scenes that are heavily CGI’d in order to create the scene, which gets tiresome after awhile. I’d like more of it to be grounded in areas that aren’t created by green screens.

My biggest issue from the film actually has to do with the editing. I found the scene transitions really distracting, as on more than one occasion it felt like we were cut far too quickly to another scene, almost cutting off lines by the characters. We weren’t always allowed the appropriate time to even acknowledge what was just said, before having to focus our attention elsewhere. It made the pace of the film seem a bit off to me, and not what I would expect from a film at this scale.

Most likely Thor: The Dark World won’t get anywhere as close to touching the amount of money that Iron Man 3 brought in. I hope that doesn’t detract Marvel Studios from eventually bringing us more Thor outside of The Avengers.

This film had an excellent amount of drama, action, and comedy to help create a fantastic theater experience, but has some technical aspects that distract me from giving it that perfect rating overall.


3 out of 4.

The Avengers

If you haven’t heard of The Avengers, then fuck you.

In 2008 a great thing happened. Comic book movies kicked ass. The Dark Knight, Hellboy II, and Iron Man came out, in reverse order between May and July.

After the success of Iron Man, they quickly announced their three (turned into four) year plan. After Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk. Then another Iron Man movie. Then Thor. Then Captain America.

Then? The fucking Avengers. Each hero getting at least one movie before hand, bringing them together for an epic never before seen in film. It’d be like if the Lord of the Rings had a movie back story for Legolas, and the other people I don’t remember.

How many more nerd hits can I get before the actual review? Not sure. But needless to say, this movie has been something I have been waiting four years for, and it delivered in every way possible. May the Fourth be with us indeed.

Didn’t even tell Steve about casual Fridays.

The movie begins with the Tesseract (introduced at the end of Thor and in Captain America) going crazy. S.H.I.E.L.D. is going crazy, red alerts. Agent Coulson is trying to catch up Nick Fury on the cube, but unfortunately is is confusing. We also get to meet Agent Maria Hill (Robin from HIMYM). Because we need more than 1 woman character in this movie.

Either way, turns out it opens a portal from another part of the universe, and out pops Loki! He fucks shit up, takes the cube, and also takes Professor Selvig (From Thor) prisoner, along with some other members. And well, he is thinking about using that unlimited energy source to open up a permanent portal, bring up an army of space aliens, and you know take over/destroy Earth. He is mad at Thor and Asgard for kicking him out, so he wants vengeance on the world Thor loves so much.

Fighting demigods means you need to bring in the big guns. S.H.I.E.L.D. attempts to do just that. Getting in touch with Thor is hard, but not Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, or Hawkeye. They also need Bruce Banner (Hulk), but only to use his brains for finding the cube, definitely not for Hulking. (cough).

So what is the movie about? Stopping Loki before he takes over the world. Trying to not resort to nuclear bombs. Trying to see if a team made entirely of egos (and Captain America) can actually work together and not fight it out. Trying to control the Hulk. And so much destruction of Manhattan.

Hey, Pepper Potts is also in this movie.

Fight fight
Again, they first have to work out their own differences and motives.



After Disney bought Marvel I didn’t even think this would be possible, but this is the first of the Marvel films to have the full Disney backing and they didn’t disappoint. The movie has everything. You will laugh and cry, be excited and maybe scared. You will laugh and be excited a lot though more than the others, and it feels like nonstop action too. A good feeling for a movie that clocks in over two hours.

The amount of extra nerd detail put into it, small moments watching the Avengers team up and use specific movies? It is amazing.

In case anyone is curious, next year we are supposed to get Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, and then 2014 a sequel to Captain America, probably taking place in WW2 still, before the frozen events.

A sequel to Avengers isn’t likely until 2016 or so, which is good them to not be rushed. They gave a middle of credits hint to the sequel too, and it looks great. Probably a Dr. Strange movie is in the works for 2014/15, and maybe even Ant-Man. With a Joss Whedon movie, I was surprised there was no Nathan Fillion cameo as Hank Pym.

I have a good feeling I will be seeing this movie in theaters again, and many times in the future on Blu-Ray. Just think, we also get The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, and Amazing Spider-Man this summer.

4 out of 4.