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.
Kate Hudson chatted with David Letterman on The Late Show about how her mother mistook her for a boy when she was born. The explanation? She had a big head -- because, you know, that makes sense when identifying the sexes of babies.
Comedian Kevin Hart talked with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show about just how big of a deal he is -- and how he's a sex symbol. But he hasn't allowed fame to change him because he lives by one motto: "stay in your lane."
Seth Meyers caught up with Jimmy Fallon on Late Night and described his nervousness about speaking at the White House Correspondents Dinner this coming Saturday. Frankly, his nerves are justified, especially considering he's following the freaking president. Good luck, dude -- at least your mom will laugh!
Everyone who has been cast in Warner Bros. anticipated Superman reboot has more or less been around the block. From parental figures Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diane Lane) Kent to Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and main antagonist Zod (Michael Shannon), there are plenty of Oscar wins and nominations littered throughout the careers of these performers. To be frank, the most inexperienced actor in the cast (but no less capable) is the Man of Steel himself, Henry Cavill (though as a star of Showtime's The Tudors and a veteran of films like The Count of Monte Cristo and Whatever Works, he's not exactly new blood either). That is, until today.
Deadline is reporting that the studio has landed its female villain. Though the character is still unconfirmed (it could be Ursa, Zod's accomplice from the first Superman film and its sequel, or another Kryptonian lady named Faora who serves Zod loyally), it looks like German thesp Antje Traue may have the role in her hand. Not sure who that is? No worries, neither do we. All we can tell you is that she appeared opposite Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid in 2009's sci-fi/horror hybrid Pandorum and will star this year in the Renny Harlin-directed thriller 5 Days in August. Warner Bros. has been questionably silent on this rumor that's spread like wildfire over the interwebs for the last few hours, so I'm not entirely sure of the merit of the scoop. But she does bear a slight resemblance to Sarah Douglas, who played Ursa in the late '70s so I can see where this may be going.
We'll report back with confirmation as soon as we can.
Source: Deadline, Variety
The Revolutionary Road star will play General Zod opposite British hunk Henry Cavill as the young superhero - and director Zack Snyder is delighted with the casting.
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "Zod is not only one of Superman's most formidable enemies, but one of the most significant because he has insights into Superman that others don't. Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role."
Kevin Costner and Diane Lane will star as Superman's parents, while Amy Adams has accepted the role of Lois Lane in Superman: Man Of Steel, which is set for a 2012 release.
Even though recent reports stated that Metallo and Lois Lane's militant father would be the villains in Warner Bros. anticipated Superman reboot, it's now official: General Zod will make his triumphant return to theaters in December 2012 as Michael Shannon has been cast as the fan favorite character today. He takes over the role from Terence Stamp, who played the Kryptonian baddie in the 1978 original and its 1981 sequel, and joins Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane in the new production, which is set to begin this summer.
Zack Snyder is directing Superman: The Man of Steel for the studio while Christopher Nolan acts as producer/creative godfather to the new franchise, joined by his partner/wife Emma Thomas, Charles Roven (who worked with Nolan on his billion dollar Batman franchise) and Snyder's wife/partner Deborah. Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips of Legendary Pictures will executive produce. David S. Goyer wrote the screenplay based on his and Nolan's story.
The plan is to shoot this summer, though there's still more casting to get done. We need to know who will play second-tier characters like Jimmy Olsen and Perry White from The Daily Planet as well as who will appear as Ursa and Non, Zod's right-hand man and left-hand woman (both gave the Last Son of Krypton one hell of a battle in Superman II). While those characters may or may not be in the script, one thing is for sure: Snyder and co. have hired perhaps the perfect actor to play Zod. Shannon has a tremendous presence on screen, as anyone who's seen his work in Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire or Take Shelter (his most recent film credit which Sony Pictures Classics will release sometime this year) can attest to. He should prove to be a formidable foe for The Man of Steel as well as a great on-set collaborator for Cavill.
Multiple reports suggest the movie star is no longer attached to Snow White & The Huntsman and is now free to play a villain in Zack Snyder's new Superman film, opposite Henry Cavill.
News broke that Amy Adams had landed the coveted role of Superman’s girlfriend Lois Lane in the film over the weekend (27Mar11), while Diane Lane and Kevin Costner have already been confirmed as the Man of Steel's earthbound parents Martha and Jonathan Kent.
The Fighter star learned she would be putting on her reporter's hat on Sunday (27Mar11) after receiving the good news from director Zack Snyder.
The filmmaker admits it was no easy task casting the highly-coveted part - but he knew Adams was the one from the moment he saw her.
He tells the Los Angeles Times, "There was a big, giant search for Lois. For us it was a big thing and obviously a really important role. We did a lot of auditioning but we had this meeting with Amy Adams and after that I just felt she was perfect for it.”
The actress is the latest big name to join Snyder's new project - Kevin Costner and Diane Lane were recently confirmed to play Superman's parents.
Though Zack Snyder's new film Sucker Punch failed to connect with moviegoers on the level that Warner Bros. had hoped, his next film is looking better and better with each new casting announcement. First the wonderful British thesp Henry Cavill came aboard to star as Clark Kent/Superman, followed by the hiring of Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as his all-American Kansas parents Martha and Jonathan Kent. Now, the question of who will play his lovely leading lady has been answered.
The LA Times' Hero Complex just announced that Amy Adams (The Fighter, Enchanted) will take on the iconic role of Lois Lane, the superhero's longtime love interest and partner in delivering truth and justice to the people of Metropolis through their mutual place of employment, The Daily Planet. Though her exact prominence in the film, which is likely a reboot of the Man of Steel's entire cinematic legacy, is currently unknown, director Snyder called the part “a linchpin” to the project and believes that Lane should possess the contemporary appeal and spirit of the modern American woman.
“It goes back to what I’ve said about Superman and making him really understandable for today. What’s important to us is making him relevant and real and making him empathetic to today’s audience so that we understand the decisions he makes. That applies to Lois as well. She has to be in the same universe as him [in tone and substance],” said the filmmaker, who should begin shooting the picture sooner than later as we move faster than a speeding bullet toward its December 2012 release date.
It sounds like Snyder understands that behind every great man, even a Superman, is a great woman (he should know, as his wife Deborah is also his producing partner) and that spirit of team play and co-existence should be in tact in his film. I think that Adams is a wonderful actress, having been a fan of her work as far back as her brief appearance in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can. Though she often plays doe-eyed, sweet and innocent characters (like in 2005's Junebug and the fore mentioned Enchanted and Catch Me If You Can) she's also proved that she can be tough as nails thanks to her Oscar nominated turn in The Fighter. While I would've gone with someone who looks a bit more like the classic interpretation of Lois (usually a feisty brunette like Teri Hatcher or Margot Kidder) I have no doubt in my mind that she'll be able to pull off the fast-talking career gal routine with style and grace.
Source: The LA Times
Now that director Zack Snyder has locked in British actor Henry Cavill as the titular "Man of Steel", as well as Diane Lane and Kevin Costner for Ma and Pa Kent in Legendary Pictures' upcoming Superman reboot, all that remains is to find a suitable villain. And according to the little bird that's always talking to Deadline, Boardwalk Empire's Michael Shannon could be a top pick for the role.
With a terrific season of Empire now under his belt, and a number of memorable smaller roles in well-reviewed movies like Revolutionary Road, it's about time that Shannon get some big studio money for all his hard work. Plus, his face is certainly oddly-shaped enough to convey some serious malevolence -- in the right light.
Still, while rumors point to the possibility that he could be stepping into the shoes of Kryptonian villain 'General Zod', Shannon is obviously only one of several actors being considered for the undisclosed role. As always, we'll let you know when we hear more.
British actor Henry Cavill is preparing to play the young superhero, while Kevin Costner and Diane Lane will star as Superman's parents.
Recent rumours suggested Mortensen was in line to play villain General Zod, but Snyder insists he has no plans to cast the actor in next year's (12) Superman: Man Of Steel film.
He tells Latino Review, "Viggo is not going to be in the movie, let's say that right now. I can clear that up."