Posts Tagged ‘Thor’

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) — movie review
Today’s review is for the Marvel Studio comic book adaptation of the Thor character story: Ragnarok.  The movie came out last year, but because I rarely go to the theater any more and because I’m too cheap to pay full price for a movie, this review is from my first viewing of the movie which is now on Netflix.  For those not familiar with Norse mythology, “Ragnarok” is supposed to be the end of the universe and the death of the Norse gods.
Thor’s (Thor, the god of thunder, is played by Chris Hemsworth) father Odin (played by Anthony Hopkins) dies and his death frees Thor’s older sister Hela, the goddess of death (played by Cate Blanchett) who seeks to claim the throne of Asgard (the place where the Norse gods live).  Thor and his adopted brother Loki, the god of mischief (played by Tom Hiddleston) are defeated in initial combat with Hela, but manage to escape with their lives.
Thor is captured on a foreign planet by a former Valkyrie (played by Tessa Thompson) and meets and fights the Hulk / Bruce Banner (played by Mark Ruffalo).  Meanwhile, Hela goes to Asgard seeking the throne and her revenge.  Blah, blah, blah.  Most everyone dies fighting the goddess of death (makes sense), but a few escape, led by Heimdall (played by Idris Elba).
Blah, blah, blah.  Thor convinces Hulk and the Valkyrie to join him in fighting Hela.  They escape from where they are imprisoned and go back to Asgard to defeat Hela.  And then we all live happily ever after (kinda / sorta).
In my review of the first Thor movie, (this is the third in the series), I said it was a bit schizophrenic and needed to decide if they were going to have the movie in Asgard or on Earth.  This one is almost exclusively off-Earth – and it is much better for it.
This movie is fun AND funny.  It has the requisite fights and special effects.  The movie runs about two hours, but felt shorter to me.  That’s a good sign.  The movie seems to be an almost immediate lead in to the Avengers: Infinity War movie, and that’s okay.  It’s okay, because (like in Infinity War) almost everyone in Asgard dies and so, whatever happens to bring back everyone in Infinity War II, probably also brings back Asgard and all of the folks who get killed in this one.  I guess we’ll have to see, next year.
The movie tries to inject a bit of philosophy by repeatedly stating it is the people who make the place and not the place which makes the people.  It kind of works, but not really because the vast majority of the Asgardians are slain by Hela and the rest appear to face capture / doom at the closing credits.  Like I said, we’ll see…
Anyway, final recommendation: highly recommended!!  As stated earlier, this movie is both fun and funny, with action, lots of humor and great fights / battles / special effects.  I would say this ranks right up with Iron Man and the Black Panther as among the very best of the Marvel Studio’s comic book / movie adaptations.  It is rated PG-13, so it might be a little too intense for very young (pre-7 years) children.  As for 7 – 13, it’s probably not too intense, but it may get them too excited and have them running around acting crazy trying to imitate the movie.  Just sayin’…
On This Day In:
2017 For Some
2016 Fragile And Explosive, Provocation And Privacy
2015 Bound Up
2014 Economic Engines
2013 Weren’t You Supposed To Be Reading?
Absent Friends
Where I Stand
2012 Hangin’ With His P’s
Help Save
2011 Six Facets Of Good Leadership

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Spider-Man: Homecoming”  –  movie review
On last Wednesday, my son (James) and I went to see the recently released “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017) staring Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man and Michael Keaton as a surprisingly good villain: the “Vulture”.  Ok.  Let’s just say it…  This is THE BEST Spider-Man movie EVER!  No, it’s not particularly true to the comics from the 1960’s – they play fast and loose with some of the characters, but trust me…   This is a GREAT movie!  Of course I mean comic-book movie and not Oscar-worthy drama, but even then, it’s still pretty good.
Robert Downing Jr. has some significant cameo time as Tony Stark / Iron-Man.  Maybe a little too much…  But, I found it made up for leaving out the traditional “origin story” which should have happened in this – with it being a series re-boot and all.  Filling out the main roles: Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds (Peter’s best friend and fellow nerd), and Zendaya as Michelle (“M.J.” – Spider-Man’s future “luv” interest).  And, of course, Stan Lee has his token “minute-of-fame” / cameo.
Does the movie work?  Yes!  Holland is a better Parker than Toby Maguire and a better Spider-Man than Andrew Garfield.  For one thing, Holland actually looks like he could go to high school.  Prior versions of Parker did not.  (There, we can finally admit it.)  Junior College definitely, but not high-school.  Plus, Holland plays both Spider-Man and Peter as a kind-of goofy teenager.  So, the main actor was a good match to the role.
How about the special effects?  Okay, not so great.  The costume was blurry against the green-screen “most” of the time.  Did it hurt the movie?  No.  At least I didn’t mind it (too much).  Action?  Got it in spades!  History?  The building lift scene is almost exactly the way I remember it from the comic book 40+ years ago…  Awesome!
Final recommendation and what’s next?  This is a great summer action movie!  Highly recommended!  Bring on Civil War II, Thor, the Black Panther and the next Avengers movie…  I can hardly wait.
On This Day In:
2016 The Responsibility Of Freedom
2015 Face It
2014 Honoring Firefighters
2013 And Never Will
2012 The Human Adventure Continues
2011 Almost Never

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Captain America: Civil War (2016) – movie review
Okay!  Last night I finally got around to seeing the latest Marvel Comics movie: Captain America (3): Civil War.  Actually, this is more accurately titled Avengers 3 (Lite).  “Lite” in the sense there are no sightings of Thor or the Hulk.
So, the premise is: what happens in the real world when aliens attack the Earth and we’re protected by “super-heroes” and “meta-humans”.  The argument is that the “normal” humans (via their politicians) will try to control (regulate) the actions of the super-heroes to “sanction” their efforts to protect humanity.  Team Iron Man believes there should be some regulations.  Team Captain America believes you can’t trust politicians or governments and super-heroes have to be able to act on their own personal beliefs on what constitutes the best interest of humanity.
This is an old argument which does not need a great deal of exposition here.  My personal bias is Team CA, but that’s just me.  So much for plot, is the movie any good.  Yes!  This is probably the best “team” movie I’ve seen.  The only one which comes close is The Guardians Of The Galaxy.  All of the “new” Avengers are present, plus a couple of “new” heroes: Spider-Man, Ant Man / Giant Man, and the Black Panther.  A whole bunch of heroes!  But they all get their individual moments and nobody gets out-and-out lost.  This is mostly because it’s such a LONG movie – almost 3 hours.  But the thing is, if the movie had had an intermission, I would not have minded it being longer.  There was a ton of action and a whole lot of story.  And it all worked together beautifully.
If there is one problem with the movie, the bar is now set very high.  My prediction: get ready for some troughs.  Which will be too bad, because I’m looking forward to new singles (Spider-Man, Ant Man (2), the Black Panther, and, probably most of all, Doctor Strange.  If they are even close to this movie, they’ll be pretty good.  Only time will tell…
Final recommendation: a must see movie if you are a comic book, sci-fi, action / adventure, super-hero movie genre movie-goer (obviously I AM)!   This is a must see on the big screen movie!!
On This Day In:
2015 I Resemble That Remark… (5!)
2014 The Writer’s Dilemma
2013 Just Paying The Rent
2012 Remembering…
2011 A Little Farther

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The Intern (2015)  —  movie review
Last night I watched a very entertaining little comedy from last year – The Intern.  The movie stars Robert DeNiro in the title role and Anne Hathaway as the young, entrepreneurial business founder who learns: “Experience never gets old”.  Yeah, that’s the movie’s tag line.  But, believe it or not, for what seems like a over-produced “Hallmark” movie, it works.
DeNiro plays a 70-something, retired widower who is just trying to stay active and feel like he is contributing something with his life.  He applies for and gets a senior (citizen) intern position at an internet company so he can find out what this technology stuff is all about.  Hathaway is youthfully offensive, but like everyone else in the company, warms to “the old guy” who just wants to help any way he can.  In the end, they (of course) become best friends.
The movie is very cleanly shot with a light comedic touch and there is actually a great deal of adult – if uncle / niece – ish  – chemistry between the two actors.  In a moment which almost breaks the fourth wall, Jules (Hathaway’s character) says to Ben (DeNiro’s character) that it was nice spending a few minutes with a male having an adult conversation which wasn’t about her business.  The movie could have very easily gone in a different direction, which would have been predictable (but creepy-ish), but instead adds Rene Russo as the age-appropriate romantic interest for DeNiro.  (One question:  When did Russo become an attractive older woman?)  I am obviously dating myself, but my mind’s eye still sees her in “Tin Cup” and “Lethal Weapon” —  and, ok, maybe “Thor“, too.  LOL.  Their “relationship” is the basis for the two best sight gags in the movie.  Hint – suggested sexuality.
Is the movie believable?  As a business movie, no, not really, but really, who cares?  It is what it is…  a light comedy about relationships which mildly pokes fun at the young and hip as well as at the elderly (without being mean-spirited to either).  I thoroughly enjoyed it and my final recommendation is:  highly recommended!
On a side note, back in 2000, I interviewed for a senior manager position at a dot-com and I showed up on-time, dressed in a dark blue, three-piece, pin-striped suit, white buttoned-down shirt with a striped tie and wearing black wing-tips.  I was interviewed by five or six different managers and executives over a two-day process / series of meetings.  Everyone was in jeans or shorts.  It was in July and warm.  I could soooo relate to this similar scene in the movie!  LOL.  Talk about producing flashbacks…  And, yes, I too got the job.  Unfortunately, the company was short-lived; and my job, even shorter.
On This Day In:
2015 Reality == Perception / (Times Reported * 10)
2014 Tear Da Roof Off Da Sucka
2013 Exposed Spirits
2012 Ow-ow
2011 Focused Relatives

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Sometimes it can be a real effort to keep up with some of the things I’m trying to get across on this site.  Generally, I’m just commenting about things I see happening in my life or around me.  I try to relate my observations, books I’ve read, movies (and TV) I’ve seen, poetry and music I’ve listened to (mostly what’s moved me).  Occasionally, I want to say something, but I’m waiting for something else to happen or for an idea to gel in my head.  Sometimes the thing is important, usually it’s trivial – but it ends up being a blog-blocker anyway.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the Avengers movie.  I held off on reviewing it because I wanted to see it a second time (this time in 3D), before I cast anything in stone (or as “stone” as a blog can be).  Anyway, I’ve not been able to get around to a second showing, so I’m just going to go ahead with my review of my initial sitting.  If you see only one comic book / super-hero movie this year, the Avengers should be it!!  

This movie has all the great things about a great action movie – heroes, believable villains, action / fights, special effects, reasonable story / plot, and a little romance and something hard to find in most movies – pacing.  But most of all this movie has two things:  it has humor sprinkled in liberally and it has the HULK!  Now if you’ve seen the other two Hulk movies, you’re probably saying, “yeah, right!”  Well, I am!  Downey (as Tony Stark / Ironman) carries the movie with wit and panache, Thor and Captain America provide the beefcake, and then the HULK shows up to steal the last 20 minutes.

Unfortunately for Batman and Spiderman, both to be released later this year – the bar now seems set impossibly high…  We’ll see.  Bottom line:  Highly recommended!!

Last night I completed “Weaving The Web” by Tim Berners-Lee (1999©).  Now, in case you’ve been living under a rock, TB-L is the man who invented the World Wide Web.  He also invented web servers and web browsers.  He came up with the ideas and then worked it out with a colleague (Robert Cailliau) and a student intern (Nicola Pellow).  This book is the story of what they did and how they did it.  It is a story of insight, foresight and individual effort to turn an idea into a grass-roots movement, into a world-wide phenomenon, into the World Wide Web we know today.  

The book is relatively easy to read and pretty lacking in computer mumbo-jumbo, but it is not read without some effort (or at least some prior understanding of web / computer history).  I found TB-L’s ideas about the future of the web (the “semantic web”) to be very interesting and, looking back, I wish he had spent more time explaining it more clearly.  As it is, I went on to Google and TED to get more information about it.  Having just skimmed the surface, it is obvious this is where the future of information retrieval is going.  My challenge (or the challenge for any IT professional) is getting up to speed and grasping more than just the theory behind it.  That will require hands-on experience though and other than using my own time, I don’t see how that will happen (at work).

Anyway, it’s nice to be able to look ahead and see where the world is going…

Bottom line: I highly recommend this book to anyone in technology and anyone who wants to be reasonably well paid in the next 20-30 years.

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Back on 17 July 2010, I added two pages for two of my favorite poems (sonnets) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  I also added a post (Browning…) which included a little poem I used to read on the bus going to school.  I noted in the post that I wasn’t sure I was remembering it correctly (or well), but it now seems I got it pretty close.
Today I was going through one of my old journals and found the source and then was able to look up the whole of the poem – which I have also added as a page off of my Poems tab.
The poem seems to go by a couple of different names.  One is “Song” and the other is the first line of the poem: “I prithee send me back my heart”.  The author is Sir John Suckling.
The particular verse I really like is:
But love is such a mystery,
I cannot find it out:
For when I think I’m best resolv’d,
I then am in most doubt.
It turns out the other verses are fairly good too.  Anyway, I hope you have a moment to enjoy the poem (and maybe take a second look at Browning’s sonnets).
Tonight I finally got around to watching the “Thor” DVD my son (James) gave me for Christmas.  We saw the movie when it was out at the cinema and both enjoyed it.  I actually think I liked the movie more this time.  I seemed to follow the story more and got more out of the dialogue (which was actually pretty funny).  I did find the movie did not translate to the smaller screen as well, though – particularly the scenes in Asgard.  Strangely enough, the scenes where Thor uses Mjolnir (his magic hammer) seemed more realistic on the smaller screen than they did at the theater.  So, like I said, mixed reactions, but I enjoyed it.
More good news:
I got off the phone with my brother who reports his doctor got the final results of the biopsy on his throat and it confirmed the preliminary finding – there is no cancer in his lymph nodes.  Very good news to start the weekend.
And lastly: Go Niners, beat the NY Giants!!!

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I went to the theater today to catch the latest Marvel Comics movie: THOR.  The movie is supposed to be the first of the summer’s blockbusters and it’s a fairly good rendition of the comic book character into the realm of film.  It is an action film.  It is a special effects film.  It is a good comic movie (much better than DareDevil or Hulk 1).  The problem is I think it tries to do a little too much.  I felt as if it should have been a heroic Norse god movie or a Earth super-hero movie.  Instead it tries to be both and from that attempt, both sides are just not quite right.  Don’t get me wrong.  It has funny moments, but they are almost predictable “alien on Earth” moments / lines.  Somehow, it’s entertaining, but not quite satisfying.  (And that’s before you start to think about holes in the plot…  Just remember it’s just a comic book movie…)

I recommend it and I will certainly buy it when it comes out on DVD, but it’s a chocolate sunday without the cherry on top.  It leaves you wanting a little bit more.

As a childhood comic book collector we are definitely in the golden age of comic book movies.  Multiple Superman and Batman versions; Spiderman (X3); X-men (X3) with another on the way; Hulk (X2); Wolverine; Fantastic Four (X2); and a number of other minor comic characters.  I’m looking forward to the new X-men, Captain America, Green Lantern and the Avengers – all coming soon.

Orange Inside
Hil and I have spent the last two evenings watching two 9th inning Giants victories.  Last night’s was a come from behind win; tonight’s was a get ahead, they draw even, we win it in the 9th.  The torture is back!!  Go Giants!!  The National League West leaders (Colorado Rockies) are in town with a four game lead (now cut to two).  The Giants have had pretty good pitching so far this season, but not great team defense or offense.  Now, we’re starting to come back to form. 

Happy Mothers Day!
Tomorrow (Sunday) is Mother’s Day.  Everybody please remember to give your mom a call and / or drop by to see your mom.

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