South Park Self

have you seen his arms? those are good arms to have.

thor-dark-world

In the Department of Trundling Off Happily Alone To See Sunday Morning Movies (it's a thing), I saw THor: THe Dark World on Sunday. (For some reason those Hs really wanted to be capitalised so I'm allowing them to kick up their little heels). It was really rather a lot of fun, rating highly enough that it's probably not a bad film even given my superhero-metre's embarrassingly low threshold of enjoyment. The fast-becoming-traditional random observations follow, suitably vague so as to avoid spoilerage.

  • This is a particularly loopy mix of science fiction and the purely fantastic, but it pulls it off mostly by not quite taking itself seriously - there are some lovely moments of humour in the film, it's far less straight-faced than the first one.
  • There are enough plot twists in this that I rather enjoyably didn't see all of them coming, although to be fair it was a Sunday morning before my first cup of tea. (A deliberate strategic choice on account of how I hate having to duck out of today's really long movies because of a tight bladder).
  • The film offers, thematically, a complete mirror inversion of the Thor/Odin set-up in the first film. It's surprisingly thoughtful and makes interesting points about power and war. Also, I like both how Thor is being characterised, and how Chris Hemsworth plays him. He's kinda sweet and, like Riley, something of a doofus.
  • Is it just me, or does some miraculous Bechdel-test-passing miasmic force of not-actually-conventionally-awful-gender-roles somehow cling to the Thor franchise? It's by no means perfect, we still have Jane Foster being damselled all over the show, but she does continue to kick science butt and trade sarky dialogue with Darcy, and it was enormously refreshing that the only really gratuitous, lingering, objectifying camera shot in the film (apart from the Mercedes ad which preceded it, in which I disgraced myself with a fit of the giggles because, really, overcoded car porn) was the one of Thor's naked, glistening biceps. If we have to live in a media world given to objectification, at least it can damned well be equal opportunity objectification. Also, Sif. And Frigga being a warrior queen.
  • Loki is simply delicious. I do not at all get Tumblr's preoccupation with Loki as a desirable romantic option (because honestly, mass-murdering psychopaths are even less redeemable than most of fanfic's bad boyfriend choices), but he's trickster god to the hilt in this and has some really good sarky lines. Possibly I might be tempted to attempt to redeem a mass-murdering psychopath if he's sufficiently linguistic.
  • Extremely cool dark elf spaceships, interesting space-warping grenades, Christopher Ecclestone chewing evil scenery with commendable restraint, Heimdall kicking arse and taking names, incredible floating things, gravity inversions, and an extended action sequence which gives free play to the bastard offspring of a dodgy threesome between a superhero showdown, an Elder God summoning and a game of Portal.
  • A perfectly, deliriously wonderful cameo of Chris Evans doing an impression of Tom Hiddlestone's impression of Loki doing an impression of Chris Evans's Captain America. That man's actually a sneakily good actor, particularly when taking the mickey out of himself. (Still love his turn in Scott Pilgrim.)
  • It's worth sitting out the credits, because there are two easter eggs - one fairly standard just after the main credits, and one right at the end which gives a wonderful, whimsical, random closing image which kicked me out of the cinema in a happy state of giggle. As did the film, actually. Not profound, but fun is likely to be had.

Subject line is, of course, Buffy, about Riley, circa Season 4, "Something Blue", which is coincidentally quite one of my favourites because Buffy/Spike.
As I have said elsewhere, as a warning to viewers, especially those in other parts of the world: this movie is absurdly unrealistic! You can't get from Charring Cross to Greenwich by three stops on a tube train. It's more than 3 stops, and you need to change twice and get onto the DLR. Or possibly get on an overground train from Waterloo, though I don't know the timetable for that. Humph.

The "dark elves who want to destroy the universe" part though, that was fine. Though I would have had no idea that Christopher Ecclestone was in it unless I'd been told.

Edited at 2013-11-20 10:49 pm (UTC)
Err. . . I thought Waterloo Station was built as the London terminal of an overground railway. I've caught overground trains there, to the south coast, many times. It's upstairs from Waterloo Underground.
I spent the next few minutes after the Thor/train scene wondering why he didn't simply fly. Because really. Urgent supervillain-thwarting is more important than cute awkward Norse gods in crowded Tube trains.
Waterloo is indeed a major London rail terminal. Greenwich has an overground railway station too, so if one was at Charing Cross and wanting to get to Greenwich in a hurry, an option may be: Northern line one stop southbound to Waterloo, then find a suitable overground train outbound stopping at Greenwich. I have no idea if and how frequent these trains might be, though.

It just seems more direct than Northern line one stop southbound to Waterloo, circle line eastbound to Bank or Tower hill, then a DLR train towards Lewisham. Not only are there more changes, but the change at Bank or Tower Hill aren't simple "cross from one platform to another" affairs.

Edited at 2013-11-21 11:02 am (UTC)
Pretty sure you could get a train direct from Charing X to Greenwich, or else walk over Hungerford Bridge to Waterloo East and train from there. Tube would be completely ludicrous, yes.
You are right as usual, Charing Cross also has overground trains and The train finder thing indicates that it's a 15 minute journey, trains once very 10 minutes.

> Tube would be completely ludicrous, yes.

Exactly! It makes the movie unbelievable. Far more than dark elves battling Norse space-gods and trying to destroy the universe. Multiverse. Whatever.
Well sure. Easy to believe in dark elves battling Norse gods, because they totally could be doing that and we just wouldn't know. Lying about the Tube, however – we KNOW that's all wrong.

> "Right as usual"
I should get that on a T-shirt. Save everyone the time and potential embarrassment of ever doubting me.
Great film, really enjoyed it. The director's past experience directing Game of Thrones shows in the film's stronger characterisation and grittier, more earthier feel; a nice change from Branagh's previous gleaming yet clinical effort.

Also, gratuitous Thor shirtless scenes FTW.

Definitely agree, I did like the grittier feel - interesting given that the film's overall tone was actually lighter than the Branagh version. (Which I also liked, mostly because I blame him entirely for the slightly more acceptable gender politics).
Reading The Magician Kings seems to have completely ruined trickster gods for me. Am completely unable to see them as fun any more, only as really really nasty psychopaths. So, yes, am with you on the bewilderment of Hot Loki (I mean... *really?!*), and slightly ambivalent even about Loki as entertaining character. Except he is, clearly. Except still.
Possibly I might be tempted to attempt to redeem a mass-murdering psychopath if he's sufficiently linguistic.

I get that. I mean, some things are important.