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.
Tracy Morgan has criticized Charlie Sheen for his recent antics. He said, "Charlie Sheen ain't funny to me. I think that's a trainwreck and I feel bad for his two little kids because they're the bodies being pulled out of the trainwreck. What's going to happen to them? But everybody thinks it's a joke. While this a-hole is going on stage making a fool of himself, his kids are going to suffer and don't even know it because this is a cycle of abuse. Life is what you make of it. IF life is hard then you've got to look at the mistakes you're making because as you get older life is supposed to get easier. That's what wisdom is for, that's what knowledge is for, that's what understanding is for." - Showbiz Spy
Khloe Kardashian told Us Weekly that she's been unhappy with her weight her whole life. Of how she looks next to her sisters, "The are 5-foot and 5-foot 2, so I look massive next to them. Everyone expects me to be 9 feet tall and 200 pounds." She said she started to put on weight after her mother divorced her father, Robert Kardashian Sr., and that she and her brother Rob took it pretty hard. "My brother [Rob] and I were always heavy. They gave us food to keep us comforted. All we did was eat crap." Her mom, Kris, recently criticized Khloe's weight gain because it didn't make her look as good of a spokeswoman for Quicktrim as her skinnier sisters.- Us
Katy Perry is suing an Australian magazine that reported she had an affair with her record producer, Benny Blanco, after she married Russell Brand. She is suing for damages and aggravated damages. She could receive a six figure settlement. - Daily Mail
The 54-year-old Sex and the City star has two failed marriages and an annulment behind her, but she can still see herself settling down with the right man.
But she tells CNN newsman Piers Morgan, "I'm also realistic and I think that one of the main reasons that people do get married is to create a home for children and that's not going to happen.
"But I find that there's very many ways to be a mother in the world and I have nieces and nephews and I have young actors who are trying to make a go of it and, in some ways, that's what I'm here for - to pass the baton."
Cattrall divorced her last husband, Mark Levinson, in 2004.
I don’t think most people realize just how much a billion dollars is and in comparison how poor most celebrities are. For example, you'd have to star in 50 movies and get paid a record $20 million to be a billionaire. Another example, in Arthur Russell Brand plays the son of a billionaire and his inheritance is in question when he refuses to marry Jennifer Garner. Now I would marry Jennifer Garner in a heartbeat for a billion dollars. Hell, I'd settle for a Big Mac and a Sprite. But there are some things I absolutely wouldn't do for a billion (like cheer for Duke). But that got me thinking, what would our lovely celebrities do for a billion dollars? Well, we sent out our little reporter gad-flies and asked some celebrities what they would do for a billion dollars (we're direct like that). There answers were thoughtful, humorous, insightful, and sometimes a little creepy but it goes to show that some people will go to any lengths for a buck. Well, a billion bucks, but same thing.
James Franco - After putting down a tome of Old English baking recipes slash poetry, a brief sparkle appears in his eyes before saying, "Hmm, I'd probably sit still for an hour. Can I write a thesis on this?"
Christopher Nolan: "I’d direct Alvin and the Chipmunks the Threesqueequel but only if it can kill off Alvin in the third act. And there's a giant speed boat chase that takes place IN YOUR DREAMS."
George Lucas: "I wouldn’t rape Star Wars again. JK! I’m already a billionaire! Suck it nerds! Star Wars 3D coming soon!" Skips off into the night yelling something that sounds like Jar-Jar over and over.
Hayden Panettiere: In a picket line protesting dolphin poaching cruelty, "I would slit a dolphin’s throat." Her fellow protesters turn on her and make fun of her tattoos.
Charlie Sheen: "I already starred in the worst fucking TV show in history and I’m not even close to a billion. DAMN. Wait, how much Sheen could a billion dollars buy?" He runs off to find a calculator and a sword. What the sword is for, no one knows.
Kim Kardashian - "I would endorse anything for that kind of money. Oh, no ones asking me to endorse anything? Fine, I guess I'll make another sex tape. But again, NO AERIAL SHOTS!"
Mark Zuckerberg - "That’s not cool. You know what is cool? TAKING OVER THE INTERNET." He tosses a lighter into a giant stack of money, "Good lunch break."
Paris Hilton - Sniffs, "I wouldn’t do coke for a week. Ok, 6 days. No, five. Yeah, I could probably do five."
Britney Spears - "Not make my own decisions." -issued through a publicist.
Conan O’Brien - "I guess I'd perform one of Leno’s monologues." He pulls out a rubber chin. "Oh, this was rhetorical? Crap."
Tyler Perry - Emerges from a bathtub of money, "How about I give you a billion dollars for an Oscar?"
Jaleel White - " *sigh* Did I do thaaaaat?" Another chunk of his soul dies.
Matthew McConaughey - He puts down the bongos, never bothering to cover his exposed nether-region, "Wear a shirt, bro. A button-down shirt. With all the buttons."
Paula Deen - "I would give up butter" she says while licking butter off a spoon. She was mixing a bowl of sugar and butter.
Richard Gere - A single tear falls on his cheek, "I'd make all those rumors true and stick a hamster up my pooper." He goes off into his daughter's room. A child's scream is heard through the locked doors.
Tyler, The Creator - After stopping running around the studio, he thinks and says "Wipe My Ass."
Gary Busey - *bites head off a goat* "What was the question?"
Brooklyn Decker - "I would get a breast reduction surgery."
(NOTE: NO ONE GIVE BROOKLYN DECKER A BILLION DOLLARS)
Hoo boy, did By Virtue Fall score big in the casting lottery. (I’m assuming that’s how these things work. There’s some giant bingo machine with actor’s faces on it? No?) The film managed to round up a nice little ensemble to compliment already-signed Eric Bana. We’ve got James Spader, Carla Gugino, Ryan Phillippe, Treat Williams and Kim Coates all joining the film that follows an ATF agent (Bana) who becomes enemies with a fellow agent after one of them frames the other. And it looks like quite an impressive cast.
The film comes from Up in the Air co-writer Sheldon Turner who is making this his directorial debut.
Also, the ATF sounds like the least imposing organization of the government, but I think that’s because they leave off the E at the end of the acronym. It’d be kind of hard to stop the hoards of 12 year old boys from lining up to work in the government program that dealt with explosives. BOOM.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
The writing team of Jeremy Passmore and Andre Fabrizio have been hired to pen the script for DMZ. I guess we should just be happy they actually hired writers for this film. It follows a group of international soldiers who go into the Demilitarized Zone between the two Korea's to retrieve a fallen satellite. But they discover something more sinister than North Koreans in the zone. The dialogue duo Passmore and Fabrizio have several projects coming out, the most notable being The World After while Passmore wrote MGM's ever-shuffling Red Dawn remake.
Charlie Sheen was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles yesterday morning, after complaining of severe stomach pains. No word on if his severe stomach pains were brought on by the sheer excitement that a briefcase full of cocaine brings him or the pressure of creating his "porn family" in the house of Vanna White's ex-husband. Either/or I'd say. - Contact Music, TMZ
TMZ spoke to Kacey Jordan, a porn star who was with Sheen for 36 hours prior to him being taken to the hospital and there's video of her saying everything that happened. Her story is completely and honestly true and valid and legitimate and has been corroborated and is completely factual and is just as perfect as a 5 tier cake, where all the layers are admissions of honesty. - TMZ
A woman is suing P Diddy for being responsible for the collapse of the World Trade Center, among other things. She is requesting $900 billion in child support and $100 billion for loss of income. She claims she was abused by Diddly from 2001 to 2010, that he put her child in a wheelchair, sexually abused her children, took a chip from a Mississippi casino that was worth "$100 zillion" that belonged to her, and stole her hospital keys. - Radar
Piers Morgan, being the tough piece of clumped up granola that he is, asked Kourtney and Kim Kardashian what their talents are. They responded that their talent is marketing, which is as true and/or believable as a squirrel in a wheelchair going up on stage during a camp talent show and tap dancing. - CNN
The reality TV star dated the singer briefly in 2007, but an intimate clip the couple recorded was made public.
Kardashian admits she was devastated by the leak, but she's heaped praise on American football player Bush - who she began dating later on in 2007 - with helping her through the ordeal.
She tells Piers Morgan Tonight, "There's this, you know, embarrassment and shame and so much that comes along with it. And I think that I was so lucky to find a boyfriend at that time in Reggie - we were together for four years - and that was something that he really helped me through.
"He picked me up when I couldn't pick myself up. That's what my family was for as well. So, I feel like I've dealt with it and now I move on from it."
The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star is well known for her extravagant purchases, recently revealing she spent $115,000 (£76,000) on a designer watch.
But Kardashian insists she always gives away 10 per cent of her earnings - and is committed to helping her mother, Kris Jenner, fund a church initiative in Calabasas, California.
Speaking on Piers Morgan's CNN talk show, she says, "Whatever it is, I give 10 per cent away to the church and that's what I was taught. Every year. Absolutely.
"There's a charity that I work with a lot that I donate money (to) all the time - the Dream Foundation - and my mom has helped create a church, so we help fund that. It's in Calabasas."
The brunette beauty also reveals she's regularly asked to help out organisations financially - but she's picky about which ones she supports.
Kardashian adds, "As long as we give back and help out any organisation that is close to our hearts. It's not just (about) giving away, it's about finding something that you really connect with. So many people ask us to donate money here and there and some things just don't make sense to me, and I don't feel connected or passionate about that certain thing. So when I find something it makes it so much more meaningful."
The full interview will air in the U.S. on Thursday (27Jan11).
‘How’d you get to be so smart?’
S01E14 When I saw the previews for this episode, I had a brief glimmer of hope that maybe Hawaii Five-O was doing something different this week. “What’s in the box?” the ads kept asking me. And leading up to the episode, I actually wanted to know. However, if you ask me what's in the box now my answer would be “Who cares?”
Spoiler: the thing in the box was a head. Not the most original way to go, but I don’t think the writers were worried about an unprecedented reveal. It was just a marketing grab to get the viewers into it and, wow, what a cop out. If you’re going to tease us with mystery, why on earth would you answer it in the first ten minutes of the episode? They could've played a little hard to get. Hell, ask Daniel Dae Kim. Lost teased us for six years, that little bitch.
But let’s go through the grading, shall we?
‘If this were Chips, I’d be Estrada and you’d be Wilcox’
The riffing between Danno and McGarrett gets special mention this week. The writers got meta! Oh snap (Actually it's kind of cool when you write meta with an exclamation mark; it looks like it says metal which is totally metal. Meta!). So we got McGarrett and Danno tossing around little quips about police procedural shows and remakes! Oh how clever. No, seriously. It's nowhere near Community's level of awareness, but damn it feels refreshing. Still this begs the question, if they’re aware of Chips wouldn’t they also be aware of the original Hawaii Five-O? Then wouldn’t they realize what they’re doing when they say “Book’em Danno?” Am I thinking too hard about this? Probably. Also, CBS really knows their older audience considering the first scene was basically a warning against purchasing stuff online.
Do we get any Grace Park in a bikini? Not even close. Now, I am a huge fan of Grace Park the actress. Sure, I talk a lot about how beautiful she is (which she is) but in the end, she is a competent actress deserving of every role she is given. But holy shit she should not be the one interrogating people. I know she was trying to be intimidating but she just failed epically. I was actually laughing when she tried to get the guy to confess. There should be an award for not breaking up in a scene because I don’t know how that guy didn't. I would’ve been laughing my ass of if Grace Park was trying to get me to confess.
‘Blow flies. Usually find them around dead bodies.’
As for the stunt of the week and gratuitous product placement, we go two-for-one today! I’m not a car guy but I’m pretty sure that chase scene was nothing more than an excuse to push Chevy’s new model. Again, not a car person, but I’m fairly certain a consumer grade car bought off the lot could not outrun several police cars in a high speed pursuit. Especially a car like the Cruze; But that’s just my opinion.
UPDATE! Just checked with my former Motor-Trend subscribing gear head of a brother and it is a Chevy Cruze. Still wouldn't outrun a police vehicle though. Also - Danno just tucking and rolling out of a moving car? Pretty sweet and simple effects used there. The first time I watched it I thought it was actually Scott Caan doing the stunt but there's a quick revealing cut right after he lands and pops up.
‘A little boy is without a father because you wanted to take the easy way out.’
Overall, this was athriller of an episode that turned into a run-of-the-mill hostage situation. I mean, how cliche can you be, handing off money on a pier to someone? Then we catch the bitch at the airport and she’s a cold-hearted woman. Of course. And since we can’t end on that downer of a note, McGarrett decides to grant citizenship to his new found friends because he’s that sweet of a guy. Bring on the coda with a Chips marathon. Not the best episode of Hawaii Five-O, but it's nice to see them aware of it.