South Park Self

you've forgotten the thaddle, thilly (1)

As promised, I trundled off to see Thor on Wednesday evening, which in the event was a bad idea. Not because it was a bad movie, but because Wednesday evening before a public holiday was unholy busy (I thought it would be safe with Thor being near the end of its run, but nuh-uh), and I have a well-defined bite-people response to crowds. It's also a godawful way to watch a movie - the theatre was filled with chatting, sweet-paper rustling, cellphone beeping, and lame laughter when Agent Coulson asked if Thor's training was in South Africa. It was also a fairly small cinema, which mitigated against the big-screen immersion experience I wanted quite apart from the crowd disruptions. It's a bad sign when you know perfectly well there's a Joss-directed Nick Fury easter egg after the credits, and you can't bear to stay in the cinema long enough to see it.

Still, while I couldn't quite give myself to the film in the way I think blockbuster popcorn fantasy, particularly superhero fantasy, requires, it was a lovely movie. A bit odd, to come out with the prevailing impression that Thor, and particularly Thor, was sweet. It's an extremely character-driven film; Thor himself is a sort of naive, simple jock character who's all about the buddy experience with Sif and the Warriors Three (and I do love a good ensemble superhero battle, possibly as a result of ineluctable D&D imprinting); his character arc and development are inevitable but rather endearing, and the moment of self-sacrifice surprisingly poignant and real.

I was impressed with Chris Hemsworth in the role - he's amazingly likeable, quite apart from being quite amazingly ripped. (The scene with him in jeans and no shirt produced a sort of gasping, self-fanning impression of "...shoulders... (faint)" which is nicely echoed by Jane Foster and which suggests the concept of "godlike physique" has been properly embodied). Hemsworth had a good chemistry going with Portman, it was a believable attraction, and rather pleasing to see female astrophysicists doing their maverick, dedicated thing. Fumbling, goofy, doomed, mortal/immortal geek/jock romances ftw. Also, hooray for Kenneth Branagh, and his beautifully British tendency to cast really good actors. Odin and Loki were also excellent, and I am absolutely behind the concept of Idris Elba as Heimdall.

I loved the film visually - Asgard itself, while occasionally overwhelmingly gilt, has some moments of true magic, and the flat, dramatic wastes of New Mexico are an interesting counterpoint. Also, all the flashy special effects bits with Thor and the hammer made my simple, pervy-superhero-fondling heart very, very happy. Plus, bonus deep space panoramas. The visual designers clearly have a love affair with the Hubble telescope, as do all right-thinking people. The heavy astrophysics/Einstein-Rosen bridge stuff is also surprisingly effective in grafting the whole unwieldy mythological Norse edifice onto a contemporary science-fictional setting. Really, Iron Man shouldn't exist in the same universe as Thor, but the film's lightness of touch, and general refusal to explain gods-as-aliens beyond a certain point, actually made it work.

So, yes. I liked this film. Another one for the DVD collection, which is less of a testament than it may sound as currently the DVD collection has acquired a Katamari-Damacy-like momentum and is attracting practically anything to its giant, accreting mass with little actual care for quality. This one, however, I'll watch again. Leaving aside my characteristically helpless "yay superheroes!" response, I like these people.


(1) I gloss the subject line because it's going to be absolutely incomprehensible otherwise. My late father used to recite the little piece of doggerel it came from quite often, in an absolutely characteristic index to his sense of humour. The rest of it goes: Thor the thunder god rode out,/mounted upon a filly,/"I'm Thor!" he cried./The horse replied... &etc.

  • Current Mood: amused pleased, but misanthropic
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re: your subject line - my dad also likes the same piece of doggrel, which I recognised immediately. It must be embedded somewhere in the 1950's SA culture, I'll ask him where it comes from.

We also enjoyed Thor enough to see it twice. I also really liked the characters, and found the whole arc an interesting psychological metaphor.

Spoiler warning - It was so sad when he couldn't lift his hammer.

I liked the whole blurring of advanced science and magic, the 'hammer forged in the heart of a dying star' sounded like neutronium to me, until I read this on the dangers of neutronium..
http://io9.com/5805244/what-would-a-teaspoonful-of-neutron-star-do-to-you

Finally you aren't missing much without the post-credits scene, it was very short, and didn't add much.
Oh, cool, I didn't realise the Thor verse had that much currency - it's always lovely when you realise a family joke has much wider applications. I wonder where it originates. Google is unhelpful. I suspect a movie, if it reached Zim as well as SA.

I didn't miss the post-credits scene, that's what YouTube is for. There must be five or six versions up there, all shakycam in a cinema and with inane voice-overs. You're right, hardly worth waiting for.
1) were the pecs CGI?

2) Bifrost looked cool, but the whole idea of riding your horses over to the teleporter was a bit silly.

3) You neglected to pass the "I'm Thor!" "use a thaddle, thilly" thing on to me, so I heared it from a DM we both knew.

On the whole, it was a very enjoyable popcorn movie though!

Edited at 2011-06-17 09:01 am (UTC)
Actually, I rather enjoyed the slightly steampunk elements of Asgard, which existed fairly peaceably with the insane futurism and the mad medieval gods. The whole thing is such a total embodiment of a mixed metaphor, I'm not going to carp at horses. Hell, in the Norse mythology Loki gives birth to horses. Also, I loved that floating road to the teleporter. Cool sparkly effects from the horses' hooves.

I believe that the pecs were entirely genuine. I'm having shameless flashbacks to Ursula Vernon - "Man, I just wanna climb those abs like a tree".
Nope, not cool.
I officially register a complaint.
You glory in obscure lit. etc. references in your subject lines. I get about 1 in 20. Then you use one which it *utterly obvious to me* and for once give it a footnote?

Utterly unacceptable, I am afraid. Please return to darkest obscurity forthwith.

I remain &c.
w_n
Dear Madam,

Please accept our heartfelt apologies for the error. We have traced it to a misattribution of the quote in question to family rather than more generally widespread sources. The employee concerned has been severely disciplined both for inaccuracy and for sheer bloody-mindedness. We trust that your subsequent interactions with Extemporanea, Inc, will result in the high standard of satisfaction you have come to expect.

Apologetically,
The Management
Thank you.
I look forward to a return to general bafflement with occasional bursts of smug understanding.
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