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…hammer away

At this point it should come as no surprise that the Marvel Universe has pulled together another great story, yet “Thor: Ragnarok” still seems to be blowing everyone’s minds. Not that I blame them. It is incredibly well told and continues to do a great job of interweaving the ever-growing list of franchises.

Of course, it’s been a good long while since we had a standalone “Thor” movie, which may be hard to believe, mostly because we had “The Avengers,” to get us through, not to mention the constant parade of the (excellent…mostly) Marvel movies in the meantime (eight total…but who’s counting?). Read the rest of this entry

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…Elevate

Avengers Age of Ultron

You want to protect the world, but you don’t want it to change. You’re all puppets, tangled in strings… strings!

– Ultron “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

With “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” director Joss Whedon faced the impossible task of topping the success of 2012’s “The Avengers.” Thankfully, Mr. Whedon did not fall victim to the temptation to try to outdo the original film. 

After all, if Age of Ultron tried to up the ante on the original film, we most likely would have been forced to sit through a three and a half hour spectacle that would have called into question just how many Hulk smashes and Thor hammer throws you can fit into one film versus how many you should. Read the rest of this entry

…Take A Swing At It

20140716-071559-26159340.jpgThe Marvel Universe has caused quite the stir in the comic-nerd world this week.

If that last sentence made any sense to you, then you’re probably already well aware of the big news. For the rest of you, Marvel announced this week that Thor is going to be a woman.

Yes, that’s the same Thor portrayed by Chris Hemsworth in the Thor and Avengers films, and no, he’s not literally becoming a woman.

However his hammer, Mjölnir (yes, the hammer has a name), will be changing ownership. Read the rest of this entry

…nail it

The wonderful brilliance of “Thor”  was (and is) that it was able to take the extreme leap from a fantastic, futuristic world of the gods to the very real-world middle of Roswell, New Mexico with brilliant wit and charm. It has all of the action and super you expect from a comic book story with the surprise, dramatic flare, and wordplay of a Shakespearean drama. And given that  the endeavor was helmed by Sir Kenneth Branagh that was of little surprise to anyone.

Its sequel “Thor: The Dark World”  takes the same plunge (this time with Alan Taylor in the director’s chair) and continues what “Thor” started beautifully.

“Thor: The Dark World” picks up where “The Avengers” left off. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has returned to Asgard with his villainous adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in tow. Loki is sentenced to imprisonment (a light sentence given his crimes against humanity) and Thor settle back into the monotony of the day-to-day life of a demigod, pining for the forbidden (by his father Odin [Anthony Hopkins]) Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Read the rest of this entry

…Change the Reflection


Snow White as an action hero—it seems like a crazy notion. Most of us grew up with the Snow White who talks to woodland creatures, and sings catchy tunes about the joys of doing household chores.

In director Rupert Sanders’ “Snow White and the Huntsman,” that Snow White is no where to be found.

When the evil sorceress Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and her creepy brother (Sam Spruell) invade Snow White’s (Kristen Stewart) father’s kingdom, young Snow is forced to spend most of her childhood locked in a tower.

Despite her lack of human contact, she still manages to grow into a kind and beautiful young woman. Unfortunately for her, Queen Ravenna discovers that her power and beauty are fading, and Snow White’s heart is the only cure.

Thanks to a rusty nail and some surprising agility, Snow manages to escape.

Not one to give up so easily, Ravenna hires the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to find Snow in the Dark Forest. Of course, nothing goes as planned, but in the end good wins. Although, with a few detours from the usual story (don’t worry the dwarves still make an appearance).

Truer to the original Brothers Grimm tale “Snow White,” gives the power back to the story’s namesake. As the cautious, but strong Snow White, Kristen Stewart shows that she may just stick around after the “Twilight” series ends.

As the Huntsman, Chris Hemsworth continues his summer of blockbusters. While he’s traded in his hammer for an axe, it’s not much of a departure, but he does play the part very well.

Of course, the show stealer is Charlize Theron. Ravenna is an complex character, and far more interesting than her vain predicessors. For a modern actress, it’s a fine line to cross, and Ms. Theron does it beautifully.

“Snow White and the Huntsman” introduces a new audience to this timeless story. It keeps it classic while adding a modern touch. And reminds us all that not all problems can be solved with a nice long nap.
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