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Posts Tagged ‘thor’

Update (9/28/11): September and October DVD releases offer a plethora of film goodness between X-Men, Thor, Tree of Life, and Captain America. Be sure to read my full reviews of each. Remember: don’t simply veg out but watch to be stirred to worship the One whose story is the only one that ultimately matters.

X-Men: First Class (September 9)

X-Men-First-Class-Quad-Poster

Apart from Tree of Life, this was easily my favorite movie of the summer. James McAvoy is tremendous as Charles and Michael Fassbender plays a very good Erik. This movie works because of those two and the man that Charles is and becomes. Read the rest of my thoughts here. This was definitely the X-Men movie I’ve thought this series could be. It’s not a perfect movie but the character of Charles is worth the watch.

Thor (September 13)

MANHATTAN

Cheesy at times and predictable, this movie actually works because of the charisma and humor of Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and the genuineness of Tim Hiddleston as Loki. By the way, while writing this I just realized that Hemsworth also played Captain Kirk’s dad in that powerful scene at the beginning of the latest Star Trek. Read more of my thoughts on Loki here.

Update (9/17/11)

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon (September 30)

This film was a complete waste other than the incredible special effects. The slow motion transformation sequences, the destruction of the skyscraper, and the battle sequences were phenomenal. That’s about all the good I can say. The flaws are comical. Megatron gets seduced by the token girlfriend. The Decepticons lay siege to Chicago and lock down the city. Then they somehow forget what cars the Autobots are, who very easily sneak into the city. The film attempts to make the humans more important and is laughable. You can only threaten to destroy the whole world so many times and be taken seriously. Would we really believe that the Autobots would leave? That Bumblebee would die? Also, if less than 10 or so Autobots can take on over 200 Decepticons, how did they lose the battle of Cybertron? Seriously, Optimus Prime probably waxes 50 Decepticons by himself! On top of all that comedy, the movie is absurdly long.

Update (8/31/11)

Tree of Life (October 11)

This is without question my favorite movie of the summer and 2011 [update: Warrior beats it out slightly…], for that matter. It’s such a profound movie experience that you have to just immerse yourself in and then engage with the world and imagery Terrence Malick presents. Grace versus the Law. Our deeply flawed sinful nature. Our loneliness. Eternity. Beauty. Many people have hated this film because it’s so different and non-escapist but I hope this type of film is the direction of movies, it’s a work of art that will move you if you let it. You can check out more of my thoughts here: the experience and sin & family.

Update (9/28/11)

Captain America: The First Avenger (October 25)

captain-america-movie-bucky

This movie was better than I expected, especially the first half of the film. The set up to the transformation and then to the initial battle is simply fantastic. I love how Steve Rogers emulates Jonathan of 1Samuel in his humility and friendship. Read my original thoughts here: Captain America: Steve Rogers is the Jonathan of the OT

A few other intriguing movies coming out:

Hanna (September 6): The dangers of homeschool? Training children to be assassins!

Fast Five (October 5): The dangers of 1000 foot cliff diving? None!

Update (9/28/11)

Winnie the Pooh (October 25): The dangers of honey? Obesity!

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“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22 ESV)

I’ve been in Sacramento on business all week but Wednesday evening I caught up with an old friend of mine and we decided to give the new Thor movie a shot. It currently has a 78% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and, apart from Roger Ebert, I’ve only heard good things about it.

In a previous post, I said the key with Thor was the question whether it was going to be Iron Man or Spiderman 3. I have to say it was definitely better than Spiderman 3 but not quite Iron Man. Kenneth Branagh does what he can with the strange locations and plot and the acting is solid – almost too good for the cheesy storyline. Hemsworth is funny and believable, Portman and Hopkins are solid, but Hiddleston as Loki practically stole every scene he was in.

Don’t even try to figure out the mythology and where is comes from. This is Marvel mythology not Greek or Norse! I think that’s where Ebert gets tripped up, he tries way too hard to read into this movie. Take it for what it is and then key on the father and son relationships.

The Tale of 2 Sons

I want to be careful to not give away too many spoilers here but what made this movie worthwhile is Loki and the contrast between him and Thor. Thor is the heir to the throne but brash, arrogant, eager to fight, and full of himself. Thor is hard not to like but his later transformation feels too sudden, too easy, and too thorough.

Loki, on the other hand, is constantly wrestling with his identity and where his place is. He feels inferior to Thor but not necessarily jealous. He has no desire for the throne merely for power but to justify himself. Loki’s drive to prove his loyalty to his father and earn his love is very striking.

Are you Loki?

Odin truly does not play favorites as their father. His reason to anoint Thor as king becomes obvious. Odin’s love for Loki is constant and caring, he never rejects him nor gives him any reason to try to earn it. Yet Loki still feels he has to. Loki does enormous damage in his process of establishing his own righteousness and justification before his father. He goes to extreme lengths to demonstrate whose side he is on and leaves a wake of destruction. Even then, Odin never wavers.

For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. (Romans 10:3 ESV)

How often do I do this myself? Do I hear God’s words to me, that I am his beloved son with whom he is well pleased? Do I walk in the freedom that I am His, fully paid for, fully his son, with nothing to prove? Or I do I seek to establish my own righteousness, trying to serve him out of a need to earn my adoption, out of a need to affirm myself on my own? The movie Thor is a great illustration of what happens when even a seemingly innocent desire to prove my place at the table leads to destruction and potentially the loss of it all. Don’t question God’s heart towards you, He is for you and He will never leave you nor forsake you.

    The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)

UPDATE 5/12/11

Here is James Harleman’s Review (good thoughts):


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Is there a thing of which it is said,
        “See, this is new”?
    It has been already
        in the ages before us. (Ecclesiastes 1:10 ESV)

It’s almost cliché now to say that there are no more original ideas, but this summer may be testament to that at least in Hollywood. Seriously, I look at what is coming this summer and it’s ridiculous. I collected comics as a kid but are those the only stories we have left to tell? Also, did something happen once the 21st century hit that movie producers received clearance to bring back everything from the 80s? These are my first thoughts at some of the movies coming out soon.

Thor (May 6)

thor-poster-intl-01.jpg

I was never a huge Thor fan in all my comic book collecting. I always thought his costume was ridiculous. The new Thor? His costume might be worse as they bring the tale to a live action film. You can try to make it cooler but it’s the same old funny get up. However, the real question with all of these comic book adaptations is: Will they be Iron Man/Dark Knight or Spiderman 3/Fantastic Four? Thor looks like another clunker like Spiderman 3 but there is just one thing: It was actually directed by Kenneth Branagh. That gives me just a little hope that there might be some depth to it.

X-Men First Class (June 3)

This is the 5th movie that’s been made in the realm of these characters, this being another origin story harking back to when Magneto and Professor X were young. Looks interesting but you run into the same problem that you always do with many of these movies: too many characters to try to highlight just waters it all down and wrecks any semblance of a plot. One of the writers, Brian Singer, also did the first 2 X-Men movies (also the awful 2006 Superman Returns), not necessarily giving me any hope for an intriguing plot but it should be a lot better than the weirdness of X3.

Super 8 (June 10)

Written and directed by JJ Abrams (with some involvement from Steven Spielberg), this is one film that looks promising. Will it be the Inception of 2011? Probably not, but with Abrams at the helm, you know the story will be solid and there might even be some actual character development. Is it another alien movie? Who knows, I simply appreciate how the trailer leaves a few things to the imagination as opposed to most trailers that pretty much tell you the entire story (see any trailer for a comedy).

Cars 2 (June 24)

With any other studio, this film would beg the question: Why a sequel other than for the merchandizing and money? However, with Pixar and knowing how good Toy Story 2 and 3 were, count my kids and I in. When is the last time Pixar has tossed out a terrible showing? Even Ratatouille is a solid film.

Transformers 3: Return of the Plot Dark Side of the Moon (July 1)

Transformers 2 was a great example of why a franchise needs a reboot. I’m a child of the 80s and loved the first Transformers. I think I didn’t even see the second film until it had been out on DVD for a long time. Was there even a script for that film? I could just see them filming it telling Shia LaBeouf to run around acting like there were huge robots lurking about. What’s that thing about the matrix? Why are they in the desert? What are the parents doing there? Who cares, let’s blow stuff up and watch Shia running around with that freaked out look on his face and we’ll make a few hundred million dollars. Translation: I’ll take a pass on the third film directed by the same man starring the same people.

Harry Potter and the Death Hallows: Part 2 (July 15)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You’re either in or out on this series, there’s no casually going to see a Harry Potter film. Where am I at? Count me in. We know how it ends and the final sequence is so intense in the book, I have high hopes for the cinematic version. I’ll probably write more about this series after this finale is released.

Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22)

Yes, it’s another comic adaptation but I might be more stoked to see this film than Super 8. The original Captain America finally in a decent film fighting the Nazis in World War II? Tommy Lee Jones? Tickets, please. So many potential themes going on here from the classic moralism of good against evil presented in our present denoblizing culture to the wrestlings of a weak man becoming the strong one, there could be a lot of meat here.

One side note: a Green Lantern movie? We can’t get a decent Spiderman movie with Venom or straightforward Hulk film but we’ve got a Green Lantern movie coming out?

The Smurfs (July 29)

Yes, this is no joke. Yes, it’s not even a cartoon but a live action film. Yes, it’s even in 3D. Is this for kids or adults? Could I even explain what the Smurfs are to my kids? Studios (and moviegoers) have way too much money to burn…

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (August 5)

I know this film stars James Franco, who I really like, but how many times can this series be rebooted? Why? I don’t understand the fascination with this series and why we need to keep bringing it back! Planet of the Apes to me will always be this absurd scene from the first film starring the late great Charleton Heston:

Conan the Barbarian (August 19)

I can’t even link to the trailer, I was laughing so hard. One final horrendous reboot to cap off the summer season.

In Closing…

There are loads of other movies coming out besides these and hopefully there will be a few diamonds in the rough. However, be careful not to waste your time or money on surface level junk masquerading as mere eye candy. Some films might be worth a shot, but with 95% of these films – why not enjoy the extra daylight and connect with your neighbors?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8 ESV)

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