Tag Archives: Thor: Ragnarok

Countdown to ENDGAME | Thor | Ragnarok


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Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Thor | Ragnarok

Thor Rag

It is said of Thor | Ragnarok that director Taika Waititi allowed his cast to improvise wildly on set. Re-watching the movie, it is obvious this is true. The film is almost as fun as the Guardians of the Galaxy installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has a villain in Cate Blanchett’s Hela that is far superior to any adversary the Guardians faced. Add to the mix a truly wonderful character in Valkyrie and you have all the ingredients of a superior superhero film if…

… you ignore the fact that the deus ex machina at end of the movie and the salvation of the Asgardian people is, essentially, the exact same one utilized at the conclusion of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

This movie is a significant set up for Infinity War, far more a lead in than Black Panther, which immediately precedes it. It also is significant fun in its own right. Far superior to Thor: The Dark WorldRagnarok is more confident and knows what it wants to accomplish. It closes a number of plot lines while advancing others. Great movie. Great performances. Great fun.

(But it does have THE WORST soundtrack – bracketing Immigrant Song – of all the Marvel movies – it is really bad)

Thor | Ragnarok is a terrifically fun movie and, when it opened last fall, I gave it FOUR and a HALF AIR CRAZY CAMEOS out of a possible FIVE. 


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Scourge
  • Hela, Goddess of Death, sister of Thor and Loki
  • Valkyrie
  • The Grandmaster
  • Korg
  • Thor’s new “Thunder” power

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • Thor starts the film by informing the audience what he has been doing since we last saw him: he has been searching for the Infinity Stones and he has not found any.
  • Thor has an extended (albeit utterly unnecessary) conversation with Doctor Strange.
  • “Fake” Infinity Gauntlet – apparently the gauntlet that Odin has (along with some other trinkets in his trophy room) are fake. When Hela gives Scourge a tour, they also pass the Tesseract – the Space Stone – one of the Infinity Stones Thanos will pursue in Infinity War. Did Loki steal it before the destruction of Asgard, by-the-way?
  • Oh, so this is where the Hulk has been!
  • We know from Infinity War that things for the Asgardian refugees did not go well.

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Countdown to INFINITY… Thor | Ragnarok


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ONE A WEEK UNTIL Avengers Infinity War opens in May!

Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther

Week Seventeen: Thor | Ragnarok

Thor Rag

It is said of Thor | Ragnarok that director Taika Waititi allowed his cast to improvise wildly on set. Re-watching the movie, it is obvious this is true. The film is almost as fun as the Guardians of the Galaxy installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has a villain in Cate Blanchett’s Hela that is far superior to any adversary the Guardians faced. Add to the mix a truly wonderful character in Valkyrie and you have all the ingredients of a superior superhero film if…

… you ignore the fact that the deus ex machina at end of the movie and the salvation of the Asgardian people is, essentially, the exact same one utilized at the conclusion of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

This movie is a significant set up for Infinity War, far more a lead in than Black Panther, which immediately precedes it. It also is significant fun in its own right. Far superior to Thor: The Dark WorldRagnarok is more confident and knows what it wants to accomplish. It closes a number of plot lines while advancing others. Great movie. Great performances. Great fun.

(But it does have THE WORST soundtrack – bracketing Immigrant Song – of all the Marvel movies – it is really bad)

Thor | Ragnarok is a terrifically fun movie and, when it opened last fall, I gave it FOUR and a HALF AIR CRAZY CAMEOS out of a possible FIVE. 


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Scourge
  • Hela, Goddess of Death, sister of Thor and Loki
  • Valkyrie
  • The Grandmaster
  • Korg
  • Thor’s new “Thunder” power

CONNECTION(S) TO INFINITY WAR:

  • Thor starts the film by informing the audience what he has been doing since we last saw him: he has been searching for the Infinity Stones and he has not found any.
  • Thor has an extended (albeit utterly unnecessary) conversation with Doctor Strange.
  • “Fake” Infinity Gauntlet – apparently the gauntlet that Odin has (along with some other trinkets in his trophy room) are fake. When Hela gives Scourge a tour, they also pass the Tesseract – the Space Stone – one of the Infinity Stones Thanos will pursue in Infinity War. Did Loki steal it before the destruction of Asgard, by-the-way?
  • Oh, so this is where the Hulk has been!
  • Clearly the Asgardian refugees encounter Thanos’ ship and, well, given that Thor ends up flying through space until he slams into the Milano, the ship of the Guardians of the Galaxy, things do not seem to go well.

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And There Came A Countdown To INFINITY…

Avengers Infinity War will open on May 4. Let me go out on a limb here: it will be one of the most successful movies of all time. I cannot wait for it.

You are among the millions who have watched the trailer, right? No? Take a moment. Click below. I will wait.

Okay, the question is: how do you get ready for Avengers Infinity War? What should you do and how should you do it?

We here at And There Came A Day are here for you. Last week, I saw a a tweet that suggested that, if you watch one Marvel movie a week beginning in the first week of 2018 and screen a subsequent Marvel film weekly, you will complete your preparations the very week Infinity War opens.

I intend to follow the schedule below (which in NOT the order in which the movies were released, but the order in which they took place) and post my reviews weekly.

We will see how it goes… I suspect it will go very well.

Get ready, world, for the Avengers to assemble again!

January 1 – 7:  Captain America: The First Avenger

January 8 – 14:  Iron Man

January 15 – 21:  The Incredible Hulk

January 22 – 28:  Iron Man 2

January 29 – February 4:  Thor

February 5 – 11:  The Avengers

February 12 – 18:   Iron Man 3

February 19 – 25:  Thor: The Dark World

February 26 – March 4:  Captain America: The Winter Soldier

March 5 – 11:  Guardians of the Galaxy

March 12 – 18:  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

March 19 – 25:  Avengers: Age of Ultron

March 26 – April 1:  Ant-Man

April 2 – 8:  Captain America: Civil War

April 9 – 15:  Doctor Strange

April 16 – 22:  Spider-Man: Homecoming

April 23 – 29:  Thor: Ragnarok

April 30 – May 6:  Black Panther

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Thor | Ragnarok – A Movie Review (Spoiler Free)


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RagnarokThor | Ragnarok’s director Taika Waititi’s imagination seems to have been given free reign by the higher ups at Marvel Studios and the resultant movie, wisely, breaks with much of the formulas of previous Marvel films. The Marvel movies are typically very good and certainly make money hand-over-fist, but their patterns were beginning to calcify. The stories were beginning to be all too predictable. The plots repetitive.

Giving creative people freedom to explore what these characters may become and allowing these creators to make changes to them is a bold and good impulse. While trying to be too bold with Marvel characters may have cost Edgar Wright, the original  director of Ant-Man his job might have, seen through the lens of James Gunn’s unpredicatble success with The Guardians of the Galaxy led to Waititi’s Thor | Ragnarok. Choosing talented people and letting them make the movies they envision may be the new Marvel method.

If so, bravo Marvel. Keep movies like this one coming. 

Thor | Ragnarok is one of the zaniest, craziest, over-the-top movies I have seen in quite a while. Evoking for me memories of the off-the-wall insanity of The Lego Movie and the first Despicable Me (the writers/directors of those had to be altered in some fashion, right?), Thor | Ragnarok plays like some kind of  joyous, Technicolor LSD trip, juiced up on steroids.

The basic plot of the titular hero attempting to stop”the end of everything” on his home world Asgard is not stunningly original. The execution, however, is anything but boring and the over 2 hour running time of the movie flies by before one can catch one’s breath from laughter.

There is a lot of fun being had in Thor | Ragnarok. The returning assemble is clearly having a lot more fun than the did in the relatively deary last entry Thor: The Dark World (possibly the low-water mark for Marvel Studios) and the additions to the cast are winning and delightfully entertaining.

Tessa Thompson, as Valkyrie, is a wonderful creation. As removed from her comic book origins as any character in a Marvel Studios movie has been, Thompson captures the audience with a Han Solo like bravado and a strength of performance so natural that the question of whether she can stand toe-to-toe with the ever lovable Chris Hemsworth never arises in the audience’s mind. Her Valkyrie may be the first original lead character in a Marvel Studios film and, if she is any indication of where these movies can go if they jettison the source material with a little more freedom, more power to them.

Cate Blanchett gives a delicious performance as Hela, the primary antagonist of the movie. Rumor has it that she took the movie on the urging of her young son who wanted to see his mom in a Marvel movie and she should thank him if that is true. She has more fun destroying things and people throughout the movie and is more fun to watch doing it than the majority of Marvel villains. Though her motivation and plot is no more complex than most of the other evils Marvel heroes have faced in this vast movie mythology, her performance forgives that failure utterly.

And Jeff Goldblum is all anyone could want him to be and more. There is no “top” he will not soar over and each scene he is in seems more ridiculous and terrific than the last. Though few will be clamoring for a Grandmaster movie, I imagine we will see much more of Goldblum in Marvel Studios movies to come. I eagerly await that.

Outside of the strong and winning performance by Hemsworth, the rest of the returning Thor Players seem to know they are in something special, too. Tom Hiddleston remains the best of the Marvel antagonists and his Loki continues to engage and surprise. The Warriors Three are here and more than adequate with the little they are allowed to do. It was said that Anthony Hopkins turned down reprising his role as Odin until he read and loved the script. Though his part is small, it is great to see him here having fun and providing the gravitas that only he can. Idris Elba’s Heimdhal might be the most heroic character in the movie and I would loved to have seen more of him. He and Hemsworth have an easy chemistry and they are great to watch together.

Cameos (and extended cameos) abound here. The Hulk is featured and Mark Ruffalo is just what we want him to be. And the Hulk is more than we could have hoped for. Marvel has finally figured this character out and while he might never headline a movie, if they can continue to hew closely to this arc, fans should be happy. Benedict Cumberbatch shows up as Doctor Strange and, while it was nice to see him, his scenes actually do very little to advance the plot of the movie. They might, in fact, be the only place where Thor | Ragnarok slips into fan service. As a fan, I was okay with this… The other cameos are so spoiler-y they cannot be mentioned but an audiences will be delighted by them.

Taika Waititi makes very few missteps here. His choices are bold, bright and fun. However, the movie is not perfect. Karl Urban’s Skurge is, unfortunately, never fully realized. And, while the antics of the movie are fun and amusing and the stakes seem high enough for a superhero movie like this one, I fear there is not a lot of heart at the center of Thor | Ragnarok. Perhaps there does not have to be. After all, this is a big budget, big action entertainment. Maybe it does not need to be more than that. The movie delivers everywhere it should. There may have been the potential to deliver just a little more. May have.

Thor | Ragnarok plays something like a mix of Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers and that is a great tone to strike. It is grand. It is a Jack “King” Kirby comic book played out before one’s eyes. It is a terrific two hours at the movies.

It is, as the Hulk might say, a smash.

THOR | RAGNAROK receives FOUR and a HALF AIR CRAZY CAMEOS out of a possible FIVE.

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What Do YOU Need To Know Before Age Of Ultron?

UltronAvengers: Age of Ultron opens in just over two weeks. People like me have been ready for this since the last frame of Avengers un-spooled three summers ago. People like… most everyone else in the movie going public … are looking forward to the movie, too, I am sure, but they may not have hung on all the details and minutiae between the two movies. So, as a public service, here’s all you need to know!

IRON MAN WAS WORSE, IS BETTER

After saving New York from an alien invasion in Avengers, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, jr) further committed to a romantic relationship with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow )went through a rough stretch of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, saved the life of the President of the United States, fought alongside Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle), and hired former SHIELD agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) to work for Stark Industries. He also destroyed all his Iron Man armors. All this happened in Iron Man 3 (reviewed HERE). He seems to have fully recovered from PTSD and has built new armors judging from The Age of Ultron previews. We may or may not see Pepper in the movie but we know we will see Iron Patriot.

CAPTAIN AMERICA HAS A HARD LIFE

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier (reviewed HERE)Cap found out that S.H.I.E.L.D. was infiltrated for years by Hydra, a Nazi off-shoot, and had to destroy the organization. He also discovered his best friend, Bucky Barnes, who was thought to be killed during World War II was actually still alive. Good news? No, because Bucky had become Soviet super assassin The Winter Soldier who beat Cap in battle at the end of Winter Soldier. Rough life, Cap. I bet you liked the mid-20th century better.

S.H.I.E.L.D. IS NO MORE

Following the events of Captain America: The Winter Solider, the covert spy organization no longer exists in the form it had in previous Marvel movies. Though some agents are trying to hold it together, S.H.I.E.L.D (and erstwhile director Nick Fury [Samuel L. Jackson] who has let the world think him dead since the end of The Winter Soldier), is not the force it once was. “So what’s with that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D show? It shows the activities of former S.H.I.E.L.D agents, led by fan-favorite and new S.H.I.E.L.D Director Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) trying to keep the group running. No word on whether Coulson (who died in Avengers, remember?) or any of his team will make an appearance.

THOR SAVED THE WORLD. 

In Thor: The Dark World (reviewed HERE), everyone’s favorite, hunky Asgardian Thor (Chris Hemsworth) saved the world but lost his mother. Oh and he fought Loki, his brother, again. And Loki kind of won. But Thor doesn’t really know it. Don’t expect to see Loki in Age of Ultron. We’ll see him again in Thor: Ragnarok in a few years.

THERE ARE MIRACLES IN THE WORLD

The “stinger” scene after The Winter Soldier introduced us to “the twins” who were called “miracles” by a character named Baron Von Strucker (I suspect his movie backstory will come in Age of Ultron). These two are the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). There is a massively complicated comic book history here, but all you need to know is this: they are powerful “miracles” who will play a big role in the movie. They are not “mutants.” That term, along with those characters most associated with it – The X-Men – is owned by Fox.

TONY STARK MADE A BIG MISTAKE

In the comics, Ultron is created by an Avenger: Hank Pym also known as Ant-Man. Now, Ant-Man isn’t in Age of Ultron. He’s got his own movie coming out in July and Hank Pym in that film is not a contemporary of the Avengers as he’s played by Michael Douglas. Ignore all that. This movie features Tony Stark creating something that lead to Ultron. Nice work, Tony.

J.A.R.V.I.S. MIGHT HAVE  A BIG MOMENT

J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just Another Really Very Intelligent System) is the computer system that is the I.T. behind Iron Man. Edwin Jarvis, as established in Agent Carter, was Howard Stark’s butler whom, presumably, Tony Stark knew as a child. J.A.R.V.I.S. is voiced by actor Paul Bettany. Paul Bettany is playing android superhero The Vision in Age of Ultron. Is it possible that J.A.R.V.I.S. becomes The Vision?

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