Tag Archives: Natalie Portman

Review: Thor: The Dark World

The_The_Dark_World_Poster1“Thor: The Dark World” is simply Marvel’s most fun movie.

Way back when, Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) father, Bor, supposedly annihilated a race called the Dark Elves, thwarting their attempt to shroud the universe in darkness using a weapon called the Aether. Trouble is, the leader of the Dark Elves, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), and a few cohorts abandoned their race mid-fight and managed to escape so they could get another chance to see their plan through in the future. In present day, about two years after the events of “Thor,” Thor is reveling in the success of his efforts to bring peace to the Nine Realms. However, before the Asgardians can enjoy this universal accord, the Nine Realms align, portals open, and the Dark Elves return.

“Thor: The Dark World” is easily one of Marvel’s most entertaining films. It’s got action, adventure, heart and some of the best superhero movie comedy. There are some logic issues, but the film is such a joy and thrill that the pleasure of the illusion leaves no room for misgivings.

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8 Great … Kids Behaving Violently

We’re about to see kids killing kids and the world loves it. There’s certainly a lot more to The Hunger Games than violence, namely honest relationships and exploring the effects of excessive government control, but hey — it’s a movie about 24 teens fighting for their lives in a televised battle to the death. So let’s have some fun with the idea of seeing a group of kids arming up in hopes of taking each other out by looking back at some of the most ruthless little ones cinema has to offer.

Hit Girl – Kick-Ass

I wouldn’t say violent children ever really went away, but Kick-Ass’ Hit Girl certainly made them cool again. This pint-sized superhero is as vicious as they come, showing no mercy, slicing off a guy’s leg, reloading her guns on the fly to take out a room full of Frank D’Amico’s henchmen and, my personal favorite, forcing someone to somewhat self-inflict a gunshot to the head via a knife rope.

To top it all off, Hit Girl makes her kills that much more memorable, dishing out obscene dialogue, like telling Kick-Ass that in order to get in touch with her “You just contact the mayor’s office. He has a special signal he shines in the sky; it’s in the shape of a giant c*ck … ” and many other lines not at all appropriate to reprint.

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Review: Thor

As someone who isn’t up-to-date on her comic book reading, these films tend to be a bit of a blur. However, lately, that sensation fades after the films’ releases. Thanks to Marvel, over the years, I’ve gotten to know tons of endlessly fascinating characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man and more. Of course there were less memorable ones like Daredevil and the Punisher, but rest assured, Thor certainly earns his place in the latter group.

Meet Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), the king of Asgard. As the aging Odin approaches the end of his reign, he must select one of his two sons, the all-powerful Thor or the magical Loki (Tom Hiddleston), to assume the throne. While Thor’s seemingly the favorite, his decision to travel to the world of the Frost Giants to violently put an end to their long-term feud with the Asgardians, leaves his father no choice but to banish him for the threat his reckless behavior poses to their people.

Thor arrives on Earth via a charged tornado, the force setting off the radars of a local cosmologist, Jane (Natalie Portman). Jane rushes out to the scene of the action with Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and their college intern, Darcy (Kat Dennings). That’s when she literally drives her truck straight into Thor. While Thor tries to figure out the oddities of this foreign realm, Jane and her team take him to be a guy who’s just out of his mind. However, as she starts to piece together the facts of his arrival and simply get to know Thor as a man, she’s compelled to believe.

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Review: Your Highness

Outside of a middle school classroom, sex, drugs and dicks aren’t inherently funny. In order for these subjects to actually be funny, they must be placed within a funny circumstance. Not only does Your Highness fail by attempting to tap into our juvenile sides trying to earn a laugh by throwing out one of these subjects at random, but even when it does contextualize their inclusion, it’s not particularly funny either.

Thadeous (Danny McBride) suffers from an extreme case of one-sided sibling rivalry. His older brother, Fabious (James Franco), is a mighty warrior, heir to the throne and the town golden boy. While Fabious is off on his epic quests, Thadeous lounges around getting high with his servant Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker). One day, Fabious returns from one of his missions not only victorious in battle, but with Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) on his arm, the woman he’d like to make his wife. Too bad on the day of the wedding the wicked Leezar (Justin Theroux) swoops in and kidnaps Belladonna for a dragon-spawning evil ritual.

As Fabious regroups his men to embark on a new quest, to rescue his love, his father, King Tallious (Charles Dance), decides Fabious should recruit one more, Thadeous. So the brothers, Courtney and Fabious’ Elite Knights ride off to Leezar’s tower. Along the way they battle beasts, other warriors and even themselves. They also come across Isabel (Natalie Portman), a warrior herself with a similar score to settle.

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Oscars 2011: Forget Who Should Win, This Is Who I Want To Win

With just a day left to go until the big show, I’d like to bet you’ve had enough Oscar predictions – especially considering quite a handful of the biggest honors are considered locks. Well, I offer you something a little different; not who I think will win, but who I think should win.

Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Every Best Picture nominee achieves some degree of filmmaking prowess, otherwise, they wouldn’t be nominated in the first place. Rather than pick apart the elements and compare the contenders by the writing, directing acting, etc., this category comes down to something far simpler, yet something tougher to achieve – poignancy. Which of these films moved me most? Toy Story 3 left me in tears, 127 Hours with a knot in my stomach and Inception with my head spinning, but it was The King’s Speech that was overwhelmingly rousing. This is such a special film for so many reasons and those reasons will likely be rewarded in the other categories, but in terms of the Best Picture Oscar alone, my fingers are crossed for The King Speech based on its incredible ability to connect my heartstrings to those of the characters in the film and tug on them all the way through.

I’ll Be Pissed If This Wins: Inception
Inception may be endlessly interesting and responsible for countless summertime debates, but an Oscar for Best Picture? Come on. On top of that, even after all the discussions, who can say they really understand the movie through and through? It was fun while it lasted, but Inception’s infinite twists and turns aren’t enough for the film to stand the test of time as well as its contenders.

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Review: Black Swan

As is said in the film, ballet isn’t for everyone and neither is Black Swan, which really should be considered an honor more than anything. The film is overwhelming in every sense of the word and could just be too much for some to handle. But, if you have what it takes to absorb this wild mixture of personalities, visuals and nightmares, the result is profound. This is easily one of the most emotionally impactful films of the year and is something that will certainly haunt you long after the credits roll in the best possible way.

Natalie Portman is Nina Sayers, a professional ballet dancer desperate to be in the spotlight. When the lead dancer in her company, Beth (Winona Ryder), is forced to retire, Nina finally gets the opportunity to audition for the lead role in their production of Swan Lake in which the White and Black Swans are played by the same performer. When the director, Thomas (Vincent Cassel), tells Nina she’s a natural for the role of the elegant and pristine White Swan, but lacks the natural sensuality required to play the Black Swan, Nina’s only chance to get the part is to give into Thomas’ sexual advances.

Once Nina is named the Swan Queen, the pressure to perform consumes her. Not only is her ex-ballerina mother (Barbara Hershey) keeping an incessantly watchful eye on her, but Nina herself must keep an eye on her competition, specifically the new free-spirited performer Lily (Mila Kunis). Lily embodies everything Thomas imagines the Black Swan to be, something Nina cannot achieve no matter how much she rehearses. As opening night draws near, Nina’s obsession with perfection becomes increasingly suffocating, disturbing and dangerous.

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Cinematical Seven: The 7 Strongest Survivors of ‘Mars Attacks!’

Bust out your Slim Whitman records because the aliens of Mars Attacks! are back. Nine years after the film hit theaters, Warner Home Video is letting us enjoy the absurdity on Blu-ray and now that we’re getting alien invasion movie after alien invasion movie, the genre could use some comedic relief. We get a little of every type of humor in this one from political satire down to dark comedy, all of which are undeniably memorable and still hilarious even after multiple viewings.

However, even though Mars Attacks! is certainly a comedy, many of the main characters meet grizzly ends at the hands of the violent invaders. On top of the on screen casualties, Mars Attacks! also faced a painful destruction at the domestic box office. It opened with just $9.4 million and only went on to make $37.8 million in total. Even with the additional $63.6 million it accumulated overseas, there was no overshadowing the heaps of mixed reviews. Mars Attacks! now stands at a rotten 50% on the Tomatoemeter and a weak, but somewhat respectable 52 on Metacritic.

Mars Attacks! may not have emerged victorious in the eyes of the money-hungry studio folk or the critics, but that’s not to say the stars headlining the film met the same fate – even if they were annihilated in the film. In fact, Mars Attacks! must have taught the cast and thing or two about survival tactics because just about every member has eluded a beating in their careers at some point since that film hit theaters. Check out the most impressive survivors of Mars Attacks! after the jump.

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