If you haven't heard of the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" yet, you've probably been offline for the last week or so. Hello, here to fill you in! The challenge is meant to help raise awareness, and donations, for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. To participate, you are supposed to videotape yourself while pouring a bucket of ice water on your head, then nominate your friends to take the challenge. Recently, more and more celebrities have been participating and nominating their celebrity friends. It's been raising a lot of awareness, as well as creating a lot of hot men in wet t-shirts.
Draco Malfoy (I'm sorry, Tom Felton)
Nominated: Ron Weasley (okay, sorry again, Rupter Grint), Josh Gordon, and Paul Hodge
Nominated: His 3rd grade teacher Don Padget, his first acting coach in New York Bob Luke, and his teacher Pat Jackson.
Nominated: Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie, and Sebastian Stan
Nominated: Irving Azoff, Kanye West, and Susan Sarandon
Nominated: Prince Harry
Nominated: Sophia Smith, Pharrell Williams, John C. Reilly, and Will Ferrell
Nominated: Cub Swanson, Peter Tunney, and Olivia Culpo
Nominated: Nick Jonas, Alex Pettyfer, Nelly, Alanna Masterson, and Diplo
Nominated: Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska, and Marilyn Manson
Nominated: Robert Pattinson, Matthew McConaughey, and Eric The Actor
Nominated: Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, and Matt Niven
Eddie Redmayne & Jamie Dornan
Eddie Nominated: Sally Light and Jamie Dornan
Jamie Nominated: Andrew Garfield
Nominated: Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, and Mark Ruffalo
Robert Downey Jr.
Nominated: Chris Hemsworth and Vincent D'Onofrio
Nominated: Louis Tomlinson, John Terry, and Novak Djokovic
Post by Chris Pratt.
Nominated: Gregory Smith, Nick Offerman, and Dave Bautista
Nominated: Benedict Cumberbatch and Luke Evans
Nominated: John Green, Nat Wolff, and Dylan O'Brien
Nominated: Joe Maganiello
Nomiated: Jimmy Fallon, Steve Higgns, and The Roots
Nominated: Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum, and Brad Slater
Check back to see if some of these other Hollywood hotties have taken the challenge! Tweet us which celebrity you want to see take part in #ALSIceBucketChallenge!
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Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel
On the off chance that you’ve managed to avoid the Internet, television, newspapers or other people for the last few months – in which case, welcome back! That one Iggy Azalea song is still a thing and Legolas and the Biebs are feuding now – allow us to remind you that Guardians of the Galaxy opens today. Although, chances are even the most remote parts of the world are still abuzz at the chance to see Andy Dwyer, Neytiri, and the Vin Diesel-tree save the universe. As with every major and minor cultural event, Twitter is full of people sharing their excitement, opinions, criticisms and photos of the snacks they got at the concession stand. And even though celebrities might have cooler jobs and better hair than the rest of us, they too are unable to resist the allure of the latest Marvel movie, or the joy of tweeting about it.
Some of them couldn't contain their excitement (or their cosplay costumes):
So excited for Guardians of The Galaxy! Gonna see it dressed as my favorite character! #GOTG pic.twitter.com/MTWNCBTVRv
— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) August 1, 2014
A few couldn't resist bragging about being into Guardians of the Galaxy before it was cool:
I have been excited for #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy since @prattprattpratt had a gut and @KarenGillan2 had long hair! CAN'T WAIT @JamesGunn!!!
— Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) July 30, 2014
There were a handful of concise reviews:
Guardians of the Galaxy is the best one.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 1, 2014
And discussions about who really stole the show:
I loved GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. It's funny and has heart but the big revelation was how great @DaveBautista is as Drax.
— Gerry Duggan (@GerryDuggan) August 1, 2014
But mostly, people just wanted to share a few general observations about the film:
Of all the “blockbuster summer movies” so far this summer the only one people seem to be talking about is Guardians of the Galaxy
— Colin Hanks (@ColinHanks) August 1, 2014
Just becuase you're in show business, that doesn't mean you won't fall in love with Chris Pratt:
The Year of Chris Pratt begins...now. #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) July 31, 2014
Although he might have some competition in the celebrity friend/nerd cred department:
Let’s talk for a second about @leepace in #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy. Flawless. That is all. Go follow him. Before everyone else does.
— Nathan Fillion (@NathanFillion) July 29, 2014
And there was absolutely nothing that could potentially cause people to overreact and start reports of a feud. Nothing at all.
Good luck to Mr @JamesGunn this weekend. Truly one of the good guys x
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) August 1, 2014
You can catch Guardians of the Galaxy in theaters everywhere to judge it for yourself. And then tweet about it, of course.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.