Movie Bites Review – Thor

Verdict: Watch it!
Rated: ♣♣♣♣
Watch in 3D? Yes

Here comes another superhero origin story for the next Avenger to be featured in his own self-titled film. Thor, a Godlike superhero, falls to earth forced to understand his father’s will. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly), this was a well done superhero film, there was a great mix of humor, drama, and action that left me wanting more, yet feeling satisfied with what I had seen. I’m really happy that we’re getting past the campy, B-movie style super flicks like “Batman and Robin” and “Spiderman 3” (although, I thought the first Spiderman was great).

The mighty Thor was played by a tall, buff, and charismatic Chris Hemsworth. He was great as he was able to pull off both the fierce and arrogant side of Thor as well as making the audience laugh as he made his way as a Norse God among mere earth mortals. He rounds up the movie with a few dramatic scenes that really make you feel for Thor.

Thor’s brother and nemesis, Loki, was played by Tom Hiddleston. He played the mischievous God well, as from the beginning of the movie until the end, you feel as though you could not trust him. The subtle dialogue in the beginning, and his actions throughout the movie have such power over our perceptions.

There were several key supporting roles, including Dr. Jane Foster and Thor’s father, Odin. Jane Foster was played by Natalie Portman. You know how I feel about her, from Your Highness. She is a highly talented actress lending her talents to yet another movie geared towards young men (Let’s see, Star Wars 1-3, V for Vendetta, Your Highness, No Strings Attached). In this movie, I feel as though the character wasn’t drawn out enough. She is the love interest of Thor, yet I felt like she was just the love acquaintance. Odin, played by Anthony Hopkins, is the narrator and key to much of Thor’s trials and tribulations. This would be the perfect movie to be watched by a father and son because of Odin’s influence in the movie.

The plot itself is typical for a superhero movie. You watch a superhero go through the trials put forth upon him to become the hero we expect him to be. In this story, though, we mix modern day earth with Norse mythology and aliens. I don’t want to give much of the story away, so I won’t go any deeper than this.

Favorite tidbits in the movie (WARNING: There are a few SPOILERS here)

There are a few scenes that I love from the movie. First, he’s at a hospital yelling “How dare you attack the son of Odin!”. Second, he gets hit by a car not once, but twice by the same person. Third, Stan Lee is a redneck truck driver. Fourth, Thor loves coffee so much he has a smashing time.

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Movie Bites Review – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Rated: ♣♣♣♣♣

In the year 1989, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade hit the theaters and earned a whopping $50 Million the first week of its release.  I didn’t watch it when it first came out, but I’ve loved the entire Indiana Jones series (okay, maybe not the fourth one so much) since I first watched them as a kid.  And today, it was on Spike TV and I couldn’t help but enjoy the movie all over again.  They don’t really make movies like that anymore, which makes me really sad.  You have all the action, and the subtle hints of comedy.  I’m going to do a quick summary, so if you haven’t watched it… wait… if you haven’t watched it, I’m very disappointed in you right now. Stop reading, and watch it NOW!

The movie started with Indiana Jones as a kid, and shows why he loves adventures, hates snakes, and respects the proper ownership of ancient artifacts.  Jones is hired by an art collector to find the Holy Grail, which Indiana’s father was searching for until he went missing.  The adventure takes them through Italy, Germany, and the Middle East.  Which results in a great mythical puzzle at the end.

Seriously, I am going to have to watch the entire series all over again.  And while we’re at it, let’s make sure we all watch Cowboy’s and Aliens!  Hopefully, there won’t be any crystal skulls.

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Movie Bites Review – Your Highness

Verdict: Watch it!

I had a lot of fun watching Your Highness this weekend and want to encourage you to check it out.  Based on the reviews, you could tell that the critics hated it.  Rotten Tomatoes gave this medieval comedy a low 29% (4/8/11) when we decided that we really wanted to watch it.  As you can see, we decided to listen to our instincts and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Prince Fabious (James Franco) goes on a quest to save his captured bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), from the clutches of the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux.)  He enlists the help of his good-for-nothing brother, Prince Thadeous, on a perilous journey to face a molestruous catfish seer, backstabbing assassins, a bunch of crazy naked people, and a horny Minotaur.   Joining them on the quest are Thadeous’ man-servant, Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker) and the fearless warrior girl, Isabel (Natalie Portman).

The acting in this movie… wait if you are watching this movie for the acting you are watching it for all the wrong reasons.  The movie has a lot of awkward situations, in-your-face funny scenes, and gratuitous eye-candy.  Women will love to watch James Franco remove his shirt the way teenagers and moms love it when Taylor Lautner removes his shirt in Twilight.  Men will love seeing Isabel’s backside as she dives into a lake.  Most of the fun was trying to see what was going to happen to the characters next.  What kind of trophies will Prince Thadeous bring home in triumph?  Will Fabious save Belladonna?  Find out when you watch Your Highness!

Rotten Tomatoes: 25 (4/10/11)
MetaCritic: 31
IMDB: 63

The movie left me wanting to play Shadows Over Camelot.  That’s a board game that we’ve recently been getting into.  I’ll tell you more about it later.

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The Black Swan Experience: I Was Perfect – April 2, 2011

A reader just passed along this note about a Black Swan preview night.  I thought it was strange, since the movie has come out a while back.  And the movie is on DVD/BluRay starting this week. Well, it’s a free showing, and there will be prizes.  I wonder if Natalie Portman or Mila Kuniz will be there.  If so, that would be awesome!  Anyways, it’s in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Check out the invitation here.

RSVP for you city here.

There’s a little web game you can play, but it’s kind of lame and just ends up with a video clip of the movie designating you as a black or white swan.  I got the black swan.

Click here to try.

Here’s the video I got.


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Movie Bites for March 25, 2010

I didn’t really find any movies that interested me this week.  There’s the obvious no-brainer blockbusters movie Sucker Punch, the movie I feel like I would want to watch Miral, and the sequel to a surprise hit movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules. However, my movie pick of the week is I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love you. It’s a Brazilian movie that seems like it would be an instant classic.

Movie Bite of the Week

I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love you

Genre: Art House & International, Drama

Synopsis: José Renato, a 35-year-old geologist, is sent on a fieldtrip to the scrublands of the Sertão, a semi-arid isolated region in the northeast of Brazil. The goal of his survey is to assess possible routes for a water canal from the region’s only voluminous river. For many of the region’s inhabitants, the canal will be a lifeline, the chance for a future and a source of hope. But for those living on the canal’s direct course, it means only requisitions, departure, and loss. Many of the properties through which Renato passes will be flooded; many of the people and families will be relocated. As the fieldtrip progresses, it becomes clear that Renato shares something in common with the places he visits: emptiness, a sense of abandonment, and isolation. His geological research is slowly pervaded by a sensation of groundlessness, an incessant pining for his ex-wife, and a yearning to return home. But he presses ahead, continuing the trip in the hope that the voyage can somehow transmute his feelings. This haunting, melancholy, and resourceful film takes the form of a first-person travelogue, communicating its unseen protagonist’s sensibility and state of mind through an impressionistic photographic record of the landscapes through which he travels and the people he encounters, and his own nakedly revealing, confessional narration. A simple but beautiful film which glides fluidly and elegantly across the borders between fictional narrative, documentary, and experimental filmmaking, I TRAVEL… is difficult to categorize but impossible to resist.

Stars: Irandhir Santos

RottenTomatoes: 100
Metacritic: 89
IMDB:  73

Movies Mentioned in this Post:

Sucker Punch

Genre: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Synopsis: “Sucker Punch” is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what’s real and what is imaginary. She has been locked away against her will, but Babydoll (Emily Browning) has not lost her will to survive. Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four other young girls-the reluctant Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), the outspoken Rocket (Jena Malone), the street-smart Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and the fiercely loyal Amber (Jamie Chung)-to band together and try to escape a terrible fate at the hands of their captors, Blue (Oscar Isaac) and Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino), before the mysterious High Roller (Jon Hamm) comes for Babydoll. Led by Babydoll, the girls engage in fantastical warfare against everything from samurais to serpents, with a virtual arsenal at their disposal. Together, they must decide what they are willing to sacrifice in order to stay alive. But with the help of a Wise Man (Scott Glenn), their unbelievable journey-if they succeed-will set them free..

Stars: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish

RottenTomatoes: 29
Metacritic: 52

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules

Genre: Drama, Kids & Family, Comedy

Synopsis: In this sequel to 2010’s surprise hit, Greg Heffley, the kid who made “wimpy” cool is back in an all-new family comedy based on the best-selling follow-up novel by Jeff Kinney. (Kinney’s Wimpy Kid” series has thus far sold 42 million books.) As he begins seventh grade, Greg and his older brother – and chief tormentor – Rodrick must deal with their parents’ misguided attempts to have them bond.
Stars: Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Robert Capron

RottenTomatoes: 44
IMDB: 45


Genre: Art House & International, Drama

Synopsis: From Julian Schnabel, Academy Award (C) nominated director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Before Night Falls and Basquiat, comes Miral, the story of four women whose lives intertwine in the starkly human search for justice, hope and reconciliation amid a world overshadowed by conflict, rage and war. The story begins in war-torn Jerusalem in 1948 when Hind Husseini (HIAM ABBASS, The Visitor, Amreeka) opens an orphanage for refugee children that quickly becomes home to 2000 orphans. One of the children is seventeen year old Miral (FRIEDA PINTO, Slumdog Millionaire) who arrived at the orphanage 10 years earlier, following her mother’s tragic death. On the cusp of the Intifada resistance, Miral is assigned to teach at a refugee camp where she falls for a fervent political activist, Hani (OMAR METWALLY, Munich, Rendition) and finds herself in a personal battle that mirrors the greater dilemma around her: to fight like those before her or follow Mama Hind’s defiant belief that education will pave a road to peace.

Stars: Freida Pinto, Hiam Abbass, Willem Dafoe

RottenTomatoes: 13
Metacritic: 46
IMDB: 59

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