Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thor gets hammered

A piece of advice: do not pay good money and waste two hours of your life watching Thor. Not on Tyr's day, Woden's day, Thor's day, or Freya's day. Not, that is, unless you are about twelve years old or have children that age who want to go see the movie.
One major problem with it is that the story focuses on a conflict in far off galaxies between Thor's people (who are alien beings taken to be gods when they visit the earth) and some chaps called Frost Giants. Humans are largely extraneous to the happenings.
A second issue is the lighting; James Cameron got it right first time; he knew every frame had to be brightened to the nth degree to make an impact after passing through the dark 3-D viewing glasses. No other director has quite understood that, and Kenneth Branagh certainly didn't get the memo.
Kenneth Branagh: he had an extraordinary talent for making Shakespeare's words understandable to wide audiences. Actors in productions of Shakespeare usually leave me trying hard to catch what's being said, though I've read most of the plays, some of them multiple times. Branagh had a rare gift. Maybe he still has it, I don't know if he's still acting on stage much.
With Thor, though, he's seriously compromised his reputation as a film-maker.


seana graham said...

Don't know if I'll see Thor, but I do agree with you on Branagh's gift for communicating Shakespearean language. People like him as Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander, but I'd say that playing a morose Swede is severely underusing his talents.

adrian mckinty said...

Girish, Seana

Do you think thats why the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes have generally been kind? Is Branagh coasting on his reputation and all the goodwill?

Girish Shahane said...

I'm mystified by reviews, sometimes. Like, critics were so positive about Spiderman 3. And I watched Up In the Air on TV the other evening and wondered again why it was taken for a minor masterpiece.

Vijay Chaitanya said...


I've seen Thor and liked it. Its no Dark Knight, but I liked it for the same reasons I liked Iron Man-1. I agree that the movie could use some brightening up in places but fortunately it doesn't have the annoying motion-blur of bad 3-D. Maybe you would be more interested in Thor's next movie(The Avengers) when he would be saving humanity :)

Girish Shahane said...

Yes, Marvel's rolling out the whole pantheon, isn't it?

Sahej said...

heh ya Thor was kinda predictable but I got to see this ad (english dubbed) during the interval, which was a real wtf moment.

seana graham said...

The critics haven't been that kind to Branagh's other directing efforts, so I doubt it's that. I think they just bought the hype. I don't know anything about how movie reviewers work, but I see it in the book industry all the time.