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Posts Tagged ‘anthony hopkins

Thor (2011)

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The beginning of a fantastic superhero-filled summer.

My first association with Thor began when I was just a kid.  My comic-book loving brother had Marvel characters galore coating his walls and I used to stare at them, with zero comprehension of who they all really were.  Probably the best that I’ve really known Thor, though, was in Adventures in Babysitting.  Don’t judge, Thor has a pretty big impact on bad-A car dealers, too.

I’d watched the trailer for Thor over a dozen times at my job.  They play the. same. commercials all day long.  Excitement turned to boredom, boredom turned to mockery, and mockery turned to WTF Kenneth Branagh is directing this??? And then back to excitement.  Needless to say, I was anxious to see what the distinguished English actor/director of Henry V would bring to the table.

Thor.  The god of thunder.  The son of Odin, king of Asgard.  So basically once upon a time, like a billion years ago or whatever, Asgard and the Frost Giants were at war.  Those snowy dudes wanted all-ruling power over the nine realms, including our blessed Earth.  When Asgard blew them over,  the Asgardians took their little ice trophy, the Casket of Ancient Winters.

Flash forward to present, and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is about to assume the throne – even over his adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).  Those same, frozen, frisky sonofaguns went and ruined his big day by trying to steal back their power…thing.  Thor is kinda pissed, thinks he’s king already, and decides to take matters into his own hands and kinda starts up some war again with those frosty idiots.  Odin (Anthony Hopkins) realizes that, oh wait THOR can’t be king right now.  He should probably go grow up a little bit.  On Earth.  Without powers.  And kinda without his hammer, too.  Things get worse upstairs when Odin has some kind of stressed-induced heart attack thing and falls into his get-better “Odinsleep.”  Loki takes over as king and he wants to run things a little differently…

First of all, does anyone else feel like laughing every time the name “Thor” is used in casual conversation?  Because I do.

I also have to give credit that it was exactly what I was expecting.  A good story, good action, some cheese, and a lot of great stranger in a strange land moments (which I applaud for being highly entertaining, but not overbearing and distracting).  As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t been too exposed to the Thor-verse, so I wasn’t sure how Marvel would mesh with Norse mythology.  After this movie, however, I’m definitely jumping on the bandwagon and I’d call myself a Thor-fan.  While I don’t consider it up to par with the Spiderman movie franchise nor Christopher Nolan’s Batman(s), it does have some surprisingly deep facets to the story – all thanks to Loki.  Loki’s character was the best developed out of anyone else in the ensemble (especially compared to Thor, who became a good boy remarkably quick).  His disturbed countenance and spark of evil are perfectly portrayed, as well as his deep confusion.  I was half rooting for him.  He sold the movie for me and I’d recommend it if only for him.

I think my main complaint was the lack of character development in Thor.  Maybe I’m just not buying the I-am-a-better-person-because-of-a-woman-even-though-I-just-met-her-yesterday plot device anymore.  (Speaking of which, Natalie Portman is in freaking EVERYTHING this year!)  I actually really enjoyed Portman’s performance as the storm-chasin’, researcher/scientist Jane Foster.  Even if I were a science nerd, though, I don’t think I’d be  head over heels for some larger than life specimen from nowhere just because I wanted answers.  I thought that Chris Hemsworth played the two extremes well, but there just wasn’t enough script in the middle to fully appreciate the leader that he turned into.

And how ’bout that Asgard?  The rainbow bridge was as beautiful as I could have imagined it.  Good on ya, folks.  The towers, waterfalls, castles, and landscapes were all breathtaking and god-like.  If I had their kind of power, that’s where I’d live.

We’ve also got things to get us more pumped for The Avengers – Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) played a bigger role than in previous Avenger-precursors.  SHIELD was all over the place trying to figure out that goshdarn hammer, stuck in the ground like Excalibur.  The intrigue builds for the mega-mashup coming in 2012.  But I don’t think of Thor as simply an extended trailer for The Avengers.  I think it’s a great stand-alone flick and I’d welcome a sequel.

The screenplay was fine, but somewhat cliché.  The CGI and action were fantastic and entertaining and the costumes made them gods look awesome.  The secondary characters were good too for the most part (Kat Dennings was getting on my nerves a little bit) with good performances by Stellan Skarsgard, Rene Russo and Colm Feore.

Branagh, you da man.  Thor is a popcorn flick well-worth the popcorn and the price of the movie ticket, too.  7/10

84 Charing Cross Road (1987)

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Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft star in a quiet and charming movie about the letters corresponded between single New York gal Helen Hanff (Bancroft) and the employees of a London bookstore found at 84 Charing Cross Road.  The film is not long, nor is it exciting.  The plot ventures no further than small character insights and the letters we are privileged to listen in on.  It feels like we are glimpsing in on some real life, as if the director’s goal was not to entertain us with some fantastic story, but more to give us a taste of people you see everyday.

As a book lover and adoring all things London – this was my cup of tea.  Even without my endorsement, though, it’s a movie without fault.  The script is excellent – insightful, moving, delicate, and clever.  The pace may be slower than your average flick, but its scenery and style interestingly highlight the passing time between the late forties to late sixties.  The cast is perfect: Anne Bancroft plays a no-nonsense, confident, energetic, and intelligent woman who loves books and cigarettes.  Anthony Hopkins is superb as the bookstore owner Frank Doel giving a reserved yet complex performance.  Also featured in this film is the ever-so-wonderful Judi Dench as Frank’s wife – she’s young, and she’s different but she’s great. (surprised, aren’t you…)

This film is not for everyone but is a gem nonetheless. 9/10

Written by laurenthejukebox17

June 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm

please, don’t shoot me

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Should you happen to read this post and the thought crosses your mind that someone who has not seen these movies is obviously under-qualified to write a movie blog… keep in mind that I’m only 18-years-old.  I’ve still got time.  This whole list thing is all very embarrassing, so give me kudos for admitting my shortcomings to the world.  It goes something like this:

Movies I haven’t seen (but should have)

30. Alien (1979)

This would be higher on the list, but I have seen a LOT of this movie.  The problem being, I can’t remember if it was Alien or Aliens… all I remember is Sigourney Weaver, violence, and aliens.  Which is basically common knowledge.  So I just need to sit down and watch the whole thing.

29. Bonnie & Clyde (1967)

A bank robbing couple?  I’m there!  Why haven’t I seen this movie again?

 

 

28. The Usual Suspects (1995)

Despite my interest in Kevin Spacey, no dice.  I haven’t seen this one either.  Though, I must add, my interest in this film grew after I moved to Tahiti, so I haven’t really had a chance to see it.  See, now I’m making you feel pity, rather than disgust.

27. Harvey (1950)

I’ve seen….. roughly 80% of James Stewart’s movies.  Just not this one.  Ironically enough, I became more interested in seeing this after watching Donnie Darko.  You know, giant rabbits?

 

26. His Girl Friday (1940)

Basically the same thing as above.  I’m a hard core Cary Grant fan since birth, but I’ve never seen this one.

25. L.A. Confidential (1997)

Kevin Spacey.  Russell Crowe.  Guy Pearce.   David Straithairn.  Why haven’t I seen this yet?

 

 

24. The Big Lebowski (1998)

I really haven’t seen that many Jeff Bridges movies, to be honest (and embarrass myself further) so I’m not sure why I’m choosing this one as the “one to see” but I’ve always had this off-hand interest in “The Dude.”

23. Shadowlands (1993)

Despite my love for C.S. Lewis and Anthony Hopkins…

 

 

22. Waiting for Guffman (1996)

Oh have I heard so much about this movie.  It’s Christopher Guest, after all, that can mean nothing but good.  It’s my kind of movie, and seems like my kind of humor.  I can’t wait to see it one of these days.

21. Capote (2005)

I’ve been dying to see this movie ever since it was released.  We even rented it, but for some reason I wasn’t able to watch, so my mom saw it by herself.  She raves about it, and I’m still dying to see it.

 

20. Twelve O’Clock High (1949)

Gregory Peck, how I love you.  I can’t believe I haven’t seen this movie of yours.

19. Spirited Away (2001)

I remember watching  the Oscars when Spirited Away won Best Animated feature.  I thought, (being  eleven) what the heck IS that?   Since then, I’ve heard nothing but critical acclaim and  I am now very anxious to cross this off my list.

 

 

18. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Best Actor win (classic film fans will hate me for saying that, ha) plus Director, Picture, and Screenplay wins… I should probably see this movie one of these days.  It’s a favorite of my parents.

17. The Hustler (1961)

Ever since I saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for the first time I’ve been in love with Paul Newman.  I’m pretty far behind on his filmography and this is the first on my list to see.  Plus I dig the poster.

 

 

16. The Great Dictator (1940)

I grew up with Charlie Chaplin, and Modern Times is one of my all-time favs.  I’ve yet to see this classic, though.

15. The Deer Hunter (1948)

These are getting kind of repetetive aren’t they?  Christopher Walken’s Oscar winning performance, Meryl Streep’s first nomination and Best Picture winner deserves (more likely than not) SEVERAL viewings, and I haven’t even seen it once? WTF?

 

 

14. The African Queen (1951)

My mom has raved about this movie, and I love me some Bogart.  Since its recent DVD release, hopefully I can check it off soon.

13. Schindler’s List (1993)

Yeah… like I said.  Don’t shoot me.  I know this is an excellent movie, I’ve seen several scenes in fact.  I know I should see this movie pronto.

 

 

12. Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Honestly, I may have heard of this movie ages ago but I didn’t REALLY know about it until just a few years ago.  My interest piqued when I went through my Stanley Kubrick obsession phase and read absolutely anything I could get my hands on about him.

11. Out of Africa (1985)

Meryl Streep.  Robert Redford.  In the same movie.  I promise, I’ve seen SOME movies.

 

10. Annie Hall (1977)

The ultimate Woody Allen.  Ranked #4 in AFI’s 100 Laughs series.  Won the Oscar for Best Picture, Director, Actress, and Screenplay. This is a bad caption.

9. Sophie’s Choice (1982)

In case I haven’t made this clear, Meryl Streep is my favorite modern actress.  Someday I’ll do a post especially for her because I just love her so (and I’m still pulling for another Oscar!)  Sophie’s Choice won Meryl her Best Actress Academy Award and is, perhaps, her best film to date.  Or so I’m told.

 

 

8. Die Hard (1988)

Seriously?  I haven’t seen DIE HARD? Yeah, I know.  I suck.  I lurve Alan Rickman too, so it’s really a shame I haven’t seen it.

7. The Graduate (1967)

“Mrs. Robinson you’re trying to seduce me… aren’t you?”  Basically I already love this movie.  And I knoow I love Dustin Hoffman.  But, all I really know of it is Anne  Bancroft’s sexy legs.

 

6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Jack Nicholson in a mental institution?  1 of 3 movies to take home the big five Oscars?  Man, I gotta get me some of this action.

5. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

One of Johnny Depp’s billions with Tim Burton.  Yeah, I can’t believe I haven’t seen this one either.  It’s totally my kind of movie.

 

4. The French Connection (1971)

The most famous chase scene of all-time.  One of my favorite actors, Gene Hackman.  Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Actor winner.  I cannot describe the anticipation I have to one day see this movie.

3. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Another Hopkins.  And (like Cuckoo) 1 of 3 to win the big five Oscars.  (In case you’re wondering, the other is It Happened One Night. I’ve seen that one!)

 

2. Citizen Kane (1941)

Wow, this is really getting embarrassing now.  I’m pretty sure I’ve previously lied to people about this one.  See, my family and I were going through the AFI 100 movies list and we just… didn’t make it that high!   I’ve sort of had this two year hiatus of serious movie-watching through this whole Tahiti excursion, and seeing as I don’t have as much access to what I want, this one has had to wait.

1. The Godfather (1971)

It’s a sin, I know, not to have seen this movie.  Forgive me.  I want nothing more than to repent, and quickly.

Yeah.  I know I suck.  There are many more great movies I haven’t seen (I won’t name them, however, or NO ONE will read this blog!)  but these are just the ones that I, personally, can’t believe I haven’t seen.  Now go ahead.  You may mock me all you want.