Welcome back to another edition of Unhappy Hour, pop culture fiends! Man, the world of celebs, TV, and movies sure does test our limits at every turn. Life is just so rough. But, that's why holiday weekends like Memorial Day are so important. You could blame your penchant for summertime brews on the stress of like, work, or something, but believe us: These pop culture happenings are worse.
Besides, what a better badge of pop culture honor is there than answering the inevitable "What's got you so stressed?" question with something like, "My favorite TV show won't be back until September, okay? LAY OFF!"? Now, sit back, work out that grilling arm, grab a beer, and get ready for the most ridiculous goings-on from the week of May 21.
Beware! This post contains spoilers from Revenge, American Idol, and Glee!
Have Some Light Beers By The Grill
Is That You, Jack? Alex Cross Renders Matthew Fox Unrecognizable
It already broke our hearts to see Matthew Fox go alternate-universe Jack when he ended up with that pesky DUI, but now, he's looking like a lesser version of The Dark Knight Rises' Bane. Why is this happening?
Alison Brie Is Off the Market, Boys
The darling actress known for her roles on Community and Mad Men has reportedly been dating Dave Franco for months now. They even buy groceries together and hold hands. Boys, I'm sorry. Ladies, prepare for the moping. So much moping.
Kristen Stewart Wore These Lizard Lady Pants In Public
Just click. And accept this preemptive apology: We're sorry. No one should have to see those pants.
Battleship Already Got Us Drunk Once
Some boats make you seasick. This boat gives you the drunk-person wobble.
Grab a Rum Punch, Heavy on the Rum (Mini-Umbrella Optional)
Bill Clinton Was Caught Chilling With Porn Stars In Monte Carlo
Because as Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy says, our good opinion once lost is lost forever? Oh well. Party on, Mr. President.
Glee's Season Finale Was a Nonsensical Journey to No Where
Graduation didn't clean up any of our McKinley set's issues. It just took the riff-raff and brushed it under the rug. And then it sent Rachel Berry to New York in a Cracker Jack Flight Attendant suit four months before she's supposed to start college. Hot. Mess.
Idol's Cute-Southern-Boy-Loving Army Triumphs... Again
Look, Phillip Phillips is fantastic. And adorable. And talented. And did we mention how adorable he is? He's great. It would just be nice if for once, since the time Jordin Sparks took the title, we didn't see the Cute Southern White Boy's win coming from a mile away.
Take a Trip to Long Island... Iced Tea
Revenge is Done Until September. And Victoria Might Be Dead.
It's bad enough that we have to live without the Hamptons melodrama until September, but now we can't be sure our beloved Queen Victoria Grayson will be around come premiere time. In the final minutes of the Season 1 finale, Victoria supposedly died in a plane crash, but we refuse to believe it. Revenge without Victoria is like a nice glass of scotch... minus the scotch.
Showrunner Dan Harmon was fired from Community
So much for #SixSeasonsAndAMovie. The man whose slightly worrisome brain spawned the pop culture darling that is NBC's Community, has been shoved off the poop deck of his beloved ship. This is the darkest timeline. Prepare your black, felt goatee.
Justin Bieber Just Ruined Your Childhood
This is almost the limit for weird celebrity behavior, give or take a Kanye West pants malfunction: Justin Bieber's has a nickname for his genetalia. Oh, but it gets worse. The nickname is Jerry, which started a Twitter phenomenon of ardent fans promising to be the Tom to Bieber's Jerry. (Shudder.) Hanna Barbara, we've failed you.
Nicole Kidman Gives Zac Efron a Shower of Sorts in Their Cannes Flick
Yep. This is the limit. This is just about as much as we can handle. Nicole Kidman's character bestows a golden show upon Zac Efron in their new movie The Paperboy. And no, I will not be footing the bill for your subsequent therapy sessions upon reading that sentence.
What do you think was the most despicable pop culture story this week? Sound off in the comments!
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler. [Image: ABC] More: Unhappy Hour: 10 Ways Pop Culture Gave Us a Reason to Drink
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.