Thor: The Dark World – Film Review

Thor The Dark World

I may or may not have fallen asleep the only time I attempted to watch Marvel’s Thor on DVD but based on my enjoyment of the sequel I will put this down to my own lack of sleep rather than blame the film. I have however seen (Marvel[‘s]) (The) Avengers (Assemble) so wasn’t completely without backstory as I went into Thor: The Dark World this week. What you need to know before the film begins is that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is from the kingdom of Asgard, has a massive magical hammer, and is in love with an Earth-born scientist called Jane Foster (Natalie Portman in red wellies). Thor’s father is Odin (Anthony Hopkins) king of Asgard and his evil adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is in prison for doing all manner of naughty things to New York.

In Thor: The Dark World Jane is looking for an AWOL Thor and in doing so comes across some evil magic goo that threatens her life and draws the unwanted attention of dark elf (seriously) Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) who has plans to use the goo to destroy the universe because what else is an evil guy going to do? With his true love’s life under threat Thor takes Jane back to Asgard and is forced to team up with Loki against Odin’s wishes to save absolutely everyone in the Universe. Cue lots of fighting in the fantastical world of Asgard and also on Earth… in Greenwich of all places.

Thor The Dark World - Tom Hiddleston

While the film opens with a slightly exposition-heavy sequence, and takes itself a little too seriously when focussing on just the Asgardians in Asgard, as the plot moves on and we get to see more of Foster’s team and the irrepressible Loki things become much more fun and far less serious. Yes, the core of the film is about a dark elf trying to destroy the universe but the various set pieces and dramatic moments are nicely punctuated with moments of comedy provided by Hiddleston, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård, and good old Chris O’Dowd. For a film that looks more like a fantasy adventure than a superhero film to have such a great sense of humour is a real relief and had it been a little more poe-faced I doubt it would have been watchable, certainly not enjoyable.

The other pleasant surprise that Thor: The Dark World presents is that none of the film takes place in America. With the Avengers franchise being such an American product it was nice to see a film in the series that alternated between Asgard and London without ever feeling the urge to cross the Atlantic. It is rare to see the climactic scene of a major Hollywood release take place in Greenwich and seeing Thor utilise some of London’s trademarks will provide plenty of amusement (and confuse anyone with a basic knowledge of the London Underground).

As much as Thor: The Dark World want to impress you with its stunning visuals, world-ending plot, and explosive action it takes very seriously the task of entertaining its audience. I am not a diehard fan of Marvel’s output and if we’re honest with each other (and I hope we are) I was dreading the screening a little bit. I need not have feared as the result was a delightfully silly and resolutely epic film that goes to show what a piece of pure entertainment should look like.

Thor: The Dark World is on general release in the UK from 30th October 2013.

The Cabin in the Woods – Review

I have a film theory degree so I should probably be able to form actual words about that, but, holy shit.

The Cabin on the Woods is released on Friday 13th April 2012

Special guest review courtesy of Rach from nph-fan.com

Cabin in the Woods – Trailer

Thanks to MGM having a minor financial collapse, The Cabin in the Woods has been waiting to be released since 2009. I’d all but abandoned hope of ever seeing it in the cinema but this past week the film has gained a release date, poster and its first trailer.

Written by Joss Whedon (of Buffy fame and Dollhouse shame) and Drew Goddard (Cloverfield), The Cabin in the Woods stars a host of attractive young things alongside acting heavyweights Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. I sadly spoilt myself long ago with the twisty parts of the plot, suffice to say that this is Scream meets Hostel via every other horror film.

For my taste the trailer sells the film short and gives far too much away (hence the lack of a dissection) but is embedded below regardless:

Interesting to see that there is no mention of the film being released in 3D, when the 3D conversion was at one point blamed for the film’s delayed release.

The Cabin on the Woods is released on Friday 13th April 2012 and I’m excited.

Orange Rising Star Award 2012 Nominees

This week the nominees for the 2012 Orange Rising Star Award were announced. With voting handled by the Great British Public, this is the one time we get a say on who wins a proper award. It is our duty as UK citizens and internet based film fans to have that say and vote. Let’s have a completely objective look at the nominees.

Jessica Chastain
Appearing in no less than five films this year, Chastain has burst out of nowhere to become a big upcoming presence in modern cinema. Highlights for me include Take Shelter and Coriolanus.

Eddie Redmayne
With the look of a male Gemma Arterton about him, Redmayne has only one major release this year, and it isn’t out until tomorrow. Still, having the lead role in My Week with Marilyn amongst so many British stalwarts is impressive.

Adam Deacon
A good handful of films out this year and yet the only roles I am likely to have seen Deacon in are the two separate characters he’s played on Casualty. Anuvahood did look amusing though.

Chris Hemsworth
From Home and Away to playing Thor, God of Oversized Hammers, Hemsworth has come a long way in the past four years. FUN FACT: He also did one episode of Neighbours.

Tom Hiddleston
Hiddleston is all over the shop starring in everything from comic book blockbusters to arty family dramas, from Woody Allen to The Deep Blue Sea. His face terrifies me slightly but we shouldn’t hold that against him.

Jennifer Lawrence
Lovely Jennifer Lawrence went on from her Oscar nominated performance to play Anton Yelchin’s love interest twice and to take on the role of a blue X-Person. Soon to be heading up the Next Big Franchise, Lawrence’s star is on the rise.

Felicity Jones
HELLO! No, I must remain impartial. Since getting the nod from us early last year (way before everyone else), Jones has been on a dramatic rise topped by a win at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Not bad for a Brummie.

Chris O’Dowd
After slogging away on Channel 4 since 2006, O’Dowd has hit the big screen three times in the past two years. It was his appearance in Bridesmaids which everyone actually noticed though, providing a much-needed core to a fun but messy comedy.

There are your eight nominees, who will you vote for? We are remaining totally impartial…

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