Directed by Martin Scorsese
Produced by Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Riza Aziz, Joey McFarland, Emma Tillinger Koskoff
Screenplay by Terence Winter
Based on “The Wolf of Wall Street” by Jordan Belfort
I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. With THE WOLF OF WALL STREET this now makes five movies Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio have collaborated on and I’ve enjoyed all of them (yes, even “Shutter Island. So there.) up to now. It’s not that THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is a bad movie. At this point I don’t think that Scorsese or DiCaprio are capable of making a bad movie. But for me this wasn’t a very enjoyable or even satisfying movie.
It’s the story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) who in 1987 becomes a stockbroker at a well-established Wall Street firm. He’s as green as a Christmas tree until he’s mentored by his boss, Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey in a totally hilarious extended cameo) who introduces Belfort to cocaine and encourages him to adopt a lifestyle totally dedicated to making money and then spending it in as lavish a lifestyle as that money will buy.
To achieve this, Belfort decides to open his own firm, going into partnership with Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and hiring his friends, most of them petty drug dealers who Belfort trains to become as ruthless as he is in selling penny stocks. What are penny stocks you ask? Don’t worry if you don’t know. In one of the many breaking the fourth wall scenes in the movie, Belfort looks right at us in the audience and explains what they are and how he is able to manipulate them to grow his firm from working out of a dilapidated garage into a billion dollar company.
And as the company grows, so does the excess. Belfort throws lavish parties in his home and in the office. Parties with plenty of drugs, hookers and booze. Belfort quickly becomes hooked on coke, Quaaludes and prostitutes but his real addiction remains making and spending money. Money that comes in so quickly and in such quantity that he soon is being investigated by FBI agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) With the help of Brad Bodnick (Jon Bernthal) another one of his drug dealing friends, Belfort begins transferring money out of the country and into a Swiss bank. Belfort is starting to hear words from friends and family he doesn’t like. Words like “securities fraud” and “stock manipulation” which can earn you a twenty-five year government sponsored vacation, if you know what I mean. With the threat of the FBI breathing down his neck and his home life in shambles, what’s a multi-millionaire drug addict to do?
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET isn’t a story with a lot of surprises or twists and turns in the plot. We’ve seen it all before in other movies. In fact, if you’ve seen 2000’s “Boiler Room” starring Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel and Ben Affleck then you have seen it as that earlier movie was also based on Jordan Belfort’s story. But for me it really isn’t a movie with much of a story at all. And even though I enjoy scenes of debauchery as much as the next guy, after the ninth or tenth scene of DiCaprio and his cohorts banging hookers while snorting blow offa their boobs I was tired of it already. You don’t have to keep hitting me over over the head with it. I get it, these guys like getting high and screwing prostitutes. Okay, fine. Let’s move on and tell the story.
I will say that when the movie goes into comedy mode it is very funny. There’s a scene where Belfort overdoses on Quaaludes that is absolutely hysterical and had not only myself but the entire audience Patricia and I saw the movie with crying with laughter. Yes, it’s that funny. As I mentioned earlier, Matthew McConaughey is also very funny in his brief but pivotal scenes. Jonah Hill continues to amaze me as I don’t find him funny at all in his comedies but he always makes me laugh when he’s being funny in a drama. Rob Reiner and Kyle Chandler also provide more than able backup in supporting roles as does Margot Robbie as Naomi Belfort. She’s a triple threat in that she’s unbelieveably gorgeous, wonderfully talented as an actress and gloriously uninhibited. I was pleasantly and delightfully surprised to see Jon Favreau and Joanna Lumley also show up doing their usual excellent work.
But this is a movie that has a story that we’ve all seen way too many times already. It’s the rags-to-riches story of a guy with no conscience who rises to the mountaintop of power and wealth and brought down low by his flaws and weaknesses. There are plenty of individual scenes I liked a lot and made me laugh but taken as a whole, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET disappointed me. Still, it is a Scorsese/DiCaprio collaboration so that makes it worth one viewing at least. But if I were you, I’d wait to Netflix it. This isn’t a movie you have to rush to the theaters to see unless you’re a major Scorsese or DiCaprio fan.
One word of advice: the movie is rated R but I honestly think that it earned and should have gotten the NC-17. There are many scenes with graphic language, drug use and explicit sex. This is a movie that pushes the R rating as far as it can go and I ain’t lying. In fact, I can’t remember the last movie I saw before this one that used the ‘F’ word and it’s variations so many times. So don’t go see it and then complain about the language, nudity, sex scenes and drug usage ‘cause I’m telling you. It’s there, there’s a lot of it and Martin Scorsese ain’t the least bit shy about showing it to you.
Right about now you’re screaming; “Jeezly! Not another Year End Best/Worst Of 2013 List!” And I can’t say I blame you. I musta read about a dozen of them alone today in between shopping and going to see GRUDGE MATCH. If you want to blame somebody, blame The Loyal & Faithful Readers of this blog who emailed me privately or contacted me on Facebook to ask me why didn’t I do a Year End Best/Worst Of List.
My reason for not doing one is simple: nobody cares. Each and every one of us has our own personal lists of what we think is the best and worst movie of any given year and 9 times outta 10 you can never change a devout movie fan’s idea of what that is. So I’m not going to give you a list of what I think the Best and Worst Movies of 2013 are.
But what I can tell you and what I think is more useful to you is to tell you what my Favorite movies of 2013 are as well as the movies I Wish I Had Never Seen. These are the movies that stuck in my head for one reason or another and either made me leave the theater with a goofy grin of pure enjoyment or else storm out wishing a pox on the heads of the filmmakers and threatening the manager of the theater that I would be back with a bag full of Molotov cocktails to blow the stinkin’ joint to hell for wasting my time and money.
Now I just know there are some of you who are going to say; “Hey, where’s STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS?” Or “How could you not have ONLY GOD FORGIVES on your stupid list?” It’s simple. This list is of my Favorite movies of the year. And while I liked STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS enough to write a review of it, it was far from being a favorite of mine. And ONLY GOD FORGIVES is a movie that works waaaaaayyyyyy to hard to try and convince that it’s about deep, dark, angsty characters with multiple layers of meaning and dimensions when it’s actual little more than a modern day spaghetti western on steroids. That’s not to say I didn’t like it and I do recommend that you give it at least one viewing. Especially if you’ve seen VALHALLA RISING and DRIVE and liked those. But again, it didn’t turn my crank enough to get on this list.
And one more thing. You’re going to notice some movies on this list that were not in theaters during 2013 like THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY. That’s because I didn’t see it until this year thanks to a free weekend of HBO. Some of the others I watched on Netflix. That’s another reason why I didn’t want to call this a “Best Of/Worst Of 2013” List becaue that meant I’d have had to leave off some movies I really liked a lot.
Okay? Okay. Read, enjoy and thank you for visiting The Ferguson Theater during 2013. I had an absolute blast writing these reviews and I hope to continue doing so in 2014 for the continued enjoyment of both you and I. Happy New Year and God Bless.
MY FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2013:
Iron Man 3
Pain & Gain
Tai Chi Zero
Tai Chi Hero
That Guy…Who Was In That Thing
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Legend Is Born: Ip Man
The Way Back
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Movies I Wish I Had Never Seen In 2013:
A Haunted House
This Is The End
The Last Circus
Vanishing On 7th Street
When The Last Sword Is Drawn
Madea’s Witness Protection
Directed by John Landis
Produced by George Folsey, Jr and Ron Koslow
Written by Ron Koslow
INTO THE NIGHT is one of those movies that when I describe the plot and name the actors in this movie even my highly knowledgeable friends who know their movies tell me I must be making it up, gotten two or three different movies mixed up together while whacked out on caffeine and Benzedrine or plain out don’t know what I’m talking about. I can’t blame them because it seems as if INTO THE NIGHT is truly one of those 1980’s movies that have been forgotten. Considering the cast and the director, I’m really surprised it’s not become one of those cult movies that stays alive through word of mouth. I remember seeing it during its original theatrical run and just recently saw it again for the first time since ’85. It’s a light movie, running on the slimmest of plots, quirkiness and the likeability of its two leads. There’s also a truly extensive cast made up of some really unusual actors you wouldn’t expect to find in this kind of movie and cameos by nearly two dozen popular directors and screenwriters of the 80’s
Ed Okin (Jeff Goldblum) is a man deeply depressed with his boring life, his dull job and his sour marriage. So depressed that he can’t sleep. He tells his best friend Herb (Dan Aykroyd) that his last good night’s sleep was in 1980. Herb tells Ed that he needs some excitement in his life. He advises Ed to catch a red-eye to Las Vegas, gamble, get drunk and get laid. When Ed catches his wife having sex is their own bedroom, he decides to act upon that suggestion.
At the airport Ed stumbles upon a hideously brutal murder committed by four Iranians (one of them played by John Landis) and helps the beautiful jewel smuggler Diana (Michelle Pfeiffer) get away. Diana and her now dead partner have smuggled six priceless emeralds from Iran into the United States and now an eccentric assortment of extremely dangerous individuals are after her. Diana begs Ed to help her get to one of her high-powered friends who can get her out of this situation. It’s a situation that Ed really wants no part of but how can you say no to Michelle Pfeiffer?
The emerald plot is just a MacGuffin to introduce Ed to a nighttime world he had no idea even existed up until now. During the course of his two night long adventure he runs into a variety of oddball characters such as Diana’s brother Charlie (Bruce McGill) an Elvis impersonator, a charming hit man (David Bowie) and a French criminal mastermind (Roger Vadim)
And then there are the cameos: David Cronenberg, Jim Henson, Jack Arnold, Paul Bartel, Johnathan Demme, Richard Franklin, Colin Higgins, Lawrence Kasdan, Paul Mazursky, Amy Heckerling. And that’s not even half of ‘em. You could watch the movie just for a drinking game where every time you see a director in a cameo, take a shot. Trust me, you’ll be stretched out on the floor before the movie’s half done.
Fortunately the cameos don’t get in the way of the cast that has to do the heavy lifting; Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Farnsworth, Irene Papas and Vera Miles. Most of the movie is actually on Goldblum and Pfeiffer as with such a large cast, characters come and go pretty quickly but they have a nice chemistry together. And Michelle is most definitely easy on the eye. And Jeff Goldblum had the trademark on this type of role back in the 80’s: a slightly eccentric everyman who seems to be always two steps behind everybody else but once he knows the score, rises up to meet the challenge and ends up three steps ahead by the time we get to the end credits
If there’s any problem I have with INTO THE NIGHT is that director Landis tries to have it both ways: he sets out to make an eccentric, quirky comedy thriller with occasional shots of slapstick but he insists on having scenes of pretty brutal violence. There’s one really jarring scene where it takes four men to drown one woman that I really hope Landis wasn’t playing for laughs as there was nothing funny about it. And the shoot-out at the airport near the end of the movie is a bloodbath Sam Peckinpah would be proud of. But I have no problem at all with B.B. King singing a couple of great songs on the soundtrack, including a kickass cover of “In The Midnight Hour” and the theme song “Into The Night.”
So should you see INTO THE NIGHT? Sure you should. It’s an undemanding, entertaining little movie that goes down real easy. You don’t have to burn up brain cells trying to figure out the plot or delve into the motivations of the characters. Just sit back, watch and have fun with it. It would make a good Saturday night double feature with Martin Scorsese’s “After Hours” a movie it shares the same sensibility with. Enjoy.
Directed by Neil Jordan
Produced by Susan Downey and Joel Silver
Written by Roderick Taylor, Bruce A. Taylor and Cynthia Mort
Maybe because she’s been around for so long we tend to take Jodie Foster for granted and forget just how terrific an actress she is. I remember first seeing her in the psychological thriller “The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane” way the hell back in 1975. And in recent years I’ve tremendously enjoyed her in “Maverick” “Contact” “Anna And The King” “Flightplan” “Inside Man” and of course, “The Silence of The Lambs”. She’s one of the few child actresses who successfully made the transition to adult stardom. She enjoys great critical and financial acclaim and it’s sort of amusing to me when I read professional critic reviews of movies she’s done such as “Flightplan” “Panic Room” and “Silence Of The Lambs” all of which are actually Grade B potboilers in art house movie drag as is THE BRAVE ONE.
Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) has a life that appears to be perfect. She’s the host of a highly popular radio talk show and she’s engaged to be married to a drop-dead handsome doctor (Naveen Andrews). That life comes to a tragic and brutal end one night. While walking their dog, Erica and her boyfriend are attacked in Central Park.
Erica is beaten so badly that she’s in a coma for three weeks while her boyfriend dies on the operating table. Erica recovers and tries to put her life back together. But she knows she’s not the same person she was before that night. In a very real sense she died as well and she struggles to deal with her traumatized emotions and find a way to re-integrate her shattered psyche.
Erica grows increasingly frustrated with the lack of police progress in finding her boyfriend’s killers and tries to buy a gun. Driven into a fit of anger because she refuses to wait the required 30 days, she purchases one illegally and goes out at night, deliberately setting herself up as a victim and before you can say ‘Charles Bronson’ New York’s crime rate drops sharply as there’s dead bodies of would be rapists, stick-up guys and muggers littering the streets.
Complicating the situation even more is Erica’s relationship with Detective Mercer (Terrence Howard) who is assigned to investigate the vigilante slayings. At first, Erica manipulates Mercer because he’s a fan of her show and she plays upon that to get close to him and find out how far along he is in his investigation. But as they grow closer and more trusting, Erica discovers a true respect and even admiration for both the cop and the man. At the same time, small things Mercer notices start to add up and he starts to have a horrible suspicion that his newfound friend may be the vigilante killer. But Erica can’t stop her nightly activities, especially when due to a really bizarre twist, she discovers the identity of one of the men who killed her boyfriend and if she can find one then she can damn well can find the others…
When I saw trailers for this movie I was convinced this was a remake of the classic 1974 “Death Wish” starring Charles Bronson and directed by Michael Winner. It’s a film that after all this time probably still is the definitive thriller advocating vigilantism as a legitimate response to the problem of urban crime. And after seeing THE BRAVE ONE I really think there’s enough similarity to the earlier film that it can legitimately be considered a semi-remake. But it’s the way that the movie is acted and filmed that elevates it. I mean, after “Death Wish” there were plenty of movies produced back in the 70’s and 80’s with the same revenge plot but those were filmed with a lot less pretension than THE BRAVE ONE is. It’s a movie that works hard at trying to be a serious, mature study of a how a woman deals with a life-shattering trauma. The direction is measured and even because the movie is determined to be taken seriously. As a result the tension is dialed way down until the last fifteen minutes. In fact, if the rest of THE BRAVE ONE had been as exciting and as suspenseful as the last fifteen minutes we’d have really had something here. As if is, we end up with a movie that tries to be both a character study and a urban thriller and really doesn’t know which one it wants to be. The material of THE BRAVE ONE is solid pulp/grindhouse exploitation but the director and the actors play it as if they’re all going for next year’s Oscar.
Now, that’s necessarily isn’t a bad thing. Hey, it worked for “Silence Of The Lambs” which has similar B-movie elements that was elevated by the talent of the director, actors and crew to winning five Academy Awards (and I firmly believe that Jonathan Demme included Roger Corman in the movie as a sly nod to the exploitation roots of that movie) but I don’t think that THE BRAVE ONE is going to pull the same trick. It takes itself way too seriously and spends way too much time trying to be deep and meaningful when what it needed was more thriller elements and more cat-and-mouse between Erica and Mercer.
That’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable. It’s worth going to see just for the performances of Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard, both of who are stunningly good. One of my favorite underrated actors, Nicky Katt is here as Howard’s wisecracking sidekick who brings some much needed humor to the movie. Mary Steenburgen plays Erica’s boss and she does her usual solid supporting role.
So should you see THE BRAVE ONE? Sure. Especially if you’re a fan of Jodie Foster and/or Terrence Howard. It’s a well made psychological revenge thriller and on that level it’s worth your time. Enjoy.
SOLOMON NORTHUP’S ODYSSEY
The Freemantle Corporation/Past America, Inc.
Directed by Gordon Parks
Produced by Yanna Kroyt Brandt
Written by Lou Potter and Samm-Art Williams
Based on “Twelve Years A Slave” by Solomon Northup
Talk about stumbling over a treasure. Here’s a movie I had no idea even existed, much less expected to be able to watch. First let me explain how I found it: I usually watch Netflix on the Vizio Blu-Ray player in the basement and my wife has the Roku box upstairs if she wants to watch something on Netflix and not disturb me while I’m writing. Today I borrowed the Roku box as it has movie channels on there where I can usually find movies that I need for research for my Better In The Dark podcast.
So I’m going through the various movie channels and search through Popcornflix and I’m gobsmacked to come across SOLOMON NORTHUP’S ODYSSEY, a film aired on PBS’s American Playhouse anthology television series back in 1984. It was later released on video under the title “Half Slave, Half Free” but the source material is the same as the movie “12 Years A Slave” released earlier this year to great critical acclaim.
It’s Avery Brooks playing Solomon Northup in this version. We see how he’s offered a job playing violin in Washington, DC by two supposedly respectable white men who are prominent in the entertainment field. Solomon is drugged and wakes up in chains. He’s been sold into slavery, an inconceivable notion for him as he was born a free man and is a well-know, well liked prominent member of his community in Saratoga New York. He’s a homeowner, a husband and father of two. None of which makes a lick of difference now. His first taste of his new life is to be beaten to a crisp by his new master who wields a huge wooden paddle so viciously that he breaks it over Solomon’s back.
Renamed ‘Platt’ Solomon is hijacked to New Orleans and sold to Mr. Ford (Mason Adams) who isn’t all that bad a master, all things considered. He’s a lot better than the sadistic Epps (John Saxon) who sees right away that Solomon is a lot smarter than the other slaves and he doesn’t like it one little bit. Luckily Solomon has the wisdom of Noah (Joe Seneca) an older slave to educate him in how to live his new life.
There’s some significant differences between this version and “12 Years A Slave.” Of course, this being a made for television production the language and violence are dialed way, way way down. You won’t hear ‘nigger’ being tossed off every thirty seconds and in fact, I do believe it’s only used once. There’s a scene before he’s kidnapped where Solomon and his wife Anne (Petronia Paley) argue over money which gives some added motivation as to why Solomon takes the job. Except for that first beating we don’t see any real physical violence being inflicted on the slaves. And the really bizarre relationship between Epps and his wife that was displayed in “12 Years A Slave” is non-existent here. What really sets SOLOMON NORTHUP’S ODYSSEY apart from that later movie is that SOLOMON NORTHUP’S ODYSSEY occasionally goes back up north to see how Solomon’s wife Anne is dealing with the sudden disappearance of her husband. We see her get a letter that Solomon has managed to smuggle north and her efforts to get him freed, pleading with their white friends to get involved and use their influence.
The acting in this movie is more than capable of telling such a powerful story. Avery Brooks and Joe Seneca are nothing less than wonderful in their scenes together and John Saxon also steps up to the plate and displays far more range here than I’ve ever seen him in anything else he’s done. Avery Brooks is excellent at playing a man placed in the most degrading and dehumanizing of situations imaginable and still holding on with both hands to his dignity and self-worth.
And I’ve convinced that Steve McQueen, the director of “12 Years A Slave” must have seen this movie. There are whole sequences in his movie that he lifted from SOLOMON NORTHUP’S ODYSSEY shot-for-shot or I’m a string on Solomon’s fiddle. But that’s okay. If you’re gonna swipe, swipe from the best and Gordon Parks is most certainly one of the best.
So should you see SOLOMON NORTHUP’S ODYSSEY? If you’ve seen “12 Years A Slave” I definitely say Yes. It’s a fascinating story and it’s even more fascinating that this earlier version was made back in the 1980′s and apparently forgotten, even with all the publicity “12 Years A Slave” has gotten. I’m hoping that when “12 Years A Slave” is eventually released on Blu-Ray, SOLOMON NORTHUP’S ODYSSEY is included. If you’ve got a Roku box, it’s on Popcornflix. It’s also available on Amazon Instant Video. You can see it for free on Popcornflix.com and I’ve provided a handy link below. Enjoy.
Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios
Directed by Alan Taylor
Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Story by Don Payne and Robert Rodat
Based on “Thor” created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby
“Malekith” and “Algrim/Kurse” created by Walt Simonson
Out of all the Marvel superheroes who have starred in movies I think it’s safe to say that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has the largest and most diverse supporting cast. On Asgard there’s his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) his mother Frigga (Rene Russo) The Warriors Three: Voluminous Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) Fandral The Dashing (Zachary Levi) and Hogun The Grim (Tadanobu Asano) the warrior maid Sif (Jaimie Alexander) The all-seeing guardian of The Bifrost and The Rainbow Bridge, Heimdall (Idris Elba) and Thor’s adoptive brother, the ever scheming, always manipulative trickster Loki (Tom Hiddleston)
Then on Earth we’ve got the love of Thor’s life and brilliant astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) her mentor Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and her intern Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) who in this adventure has an intern of her own, Ian (Jonathan Howard)
That’s a lot of characters for one movie and we haven’t even gotten to the bad guys yet: Malekith, king of The Dark Elves of Svartalfheim (Christopher Eccleston) and his right hand elf Algrim (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) who is transformed into Kurse, a terrifying creature of immense power capable of going toe-to-toe with Thor. But you know what? The screenplay is very well put together so that each and every one of these characters has something to do and each has their own part to advance the story. Even when a character is off screen for an extended period of time, there’s a logical explanation for where they are and what they’re doing and why we’re not seeing them. Each and every one of them also gets their own scene where they get a chance to shine. It’s a credit to the skill and generosity of the director, Alan Taylor that he manages that with slowing down the plot or making THOR: THE DARK WORLD feel cramped with unnecessary scenes.
After the events of “The Avengers” Thor, The Warriors Three and Sif have been busy restoring peace and order to The Nine Realms. Loki is being held in the dungeons below Odin’s throne room. Odin is well pleased that his once arrogant and knuckle-headed son has grown up and is seriously contemplating turning over the throne of Asgard to him.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Jane Foster is in London pissed off because Thor hasn’t come back to Earth for her as he said he would. She’s been neglecting her research but Darcy Lewis pulls her back in by taking Jane to an abandoned warehouse where objects are appearing and disappearing into invisible pocket wormholes. Jane finds out where these objects go and that leads her to being infected by The Aether, a weapon of hideous power capable of destroying the universe. Malekith, his lieutenant Algrim and his army of Dark Elves are awakened by The Aether’s release and go in search of it, the intention being to…well, destroy the universe, what else?
But by now, Heimdall has alerted Thor that there’s something wrong with Jane and so Thor brings her to Asgard to try and remove The Aether from her and that brings Malekith and his Dark Elves to attack Asgard itself and from then on its hammer time.
For those of you who complained that there wasn’t enough of Asgard in “Thor” this movie is for you. Most of the action takes place there with occasional side trips to Earth to check up on how the mortals are doing as they gradually come to realize that the Nine Realms are aligning themselves in a rare Convergence that will link the realms. Keep your eyes on Kat Dennings during the Earth scenes as she provides most of the humor and does it with flair and a wicked delivery that strikes exactly the right tone for the situation her character is in.
Chris Hemsworth gives us a Thor in this one who has learned how to care for others and put their needs ahead of his own and so he’s a much more heroic character here than he was in the first movie. Anthony Hopkins is his usual magnificent self as All-Father Odin while Rene Russo has a kickass fight scene that makes me wish Mrs. Odin had way more screen time.
But it’s Tom Hiddleston who walks off with the acting honors in this one, of course. The relationship between Odin, Thor and Loki is a complicated one and the three actors get the most mileage out of it, giving it a near Shakespearean level of emotion. Hiddleston and Hemsworth especially shine during their scenes together when Thor and Loki have to team up to take on Malekith and they not only make quite the formidable team in battle but they honestly confront their feelings about each other and their relationship to their father.
THOR: THE DARK WORLD is visually quite magnificent and if you know your Kirby and your Simonson you’ll be able to see their influences on Asgardian architecture, clothing, armor and weaponry. I liked the story a lot as it expanded and enriched Thor’s universe and as I said earlier, didn’t leave any of these characters out of the adventure. Even Mjolnir gets a nice bit of characterization as we see just how seriously the enchanted hammer takes its command that it must always return to Thor’s hand. There’s a lot of really great fight scenes and some tragedy that is truly gut wrenching but there’s also just enough humor so that we know to take it all seriously but not too serious that we can’t relax and have fun. I’d love to sit down Zack Snyder and his “Man of Steel” screenwriters to watch THOR: THE DARK WORLD because this is the way to make a superhero movie. Stop reading this review and go see THOR: THE DARK WORLD right now.