Quick Review: Thor: The Dark World

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It was one of those movies which I enjoyed immensely as I walked out of the theater, but hasn’t withstood the test of time very well.  Tom Hiddleton steals the show as the charming and cunning Loki, whose character is infinitely more interesting than Chris Hemsworth’s titular character.

The filmmakers have once again tried in vain to emancipate Thor from the land of one-dimensional protagonists.  The character was utilized to full potential in “The Avengers,” when Thor was able to feed off of other more charming characters such as Iron Man, Captain America, and even Hulk.  It shows that, perhaps to the detriment of the character’s solo franchise, Thor is most appealing when part of an ensemble cast.

“The Dark World” is directed by Alan Taylor, already an established figure from directing episodes of “Game of Thrones” and “The Sopranos.”  Compared to his predecessor, Taylor’s darker, grittier style transfers well onto the big screen, and provides the franchise with a much needed change of pace.

Thor will next appear in the 2015 Avengers sequel, likely to be followed by “Thor 3” in 2016.  It’s probably for the better for the franchise to take a break, as audiences will no doubt suffer from ‘Thor fatigue’ if anymore comes out anytime soon.

Quick Movie Review: The Lone Ranger

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While it currently holds a 31% ‘Rotten’ rating at Rottentomatoes, what surprised me about the reviews is the viciousness of some of the critics when they attacked it.  For example, the film was put into Peter Travers’ Scum Bucket for “The ten worst movies of summer 2013.”  Really?

Yes, it was unnecessarily violent whether onscreen or implied, to the point where anyone under the age of fifteen probably shouldn’t be seeing it.  Yes, it was too long; at the bloated length of 149 minutes, I’d say the film could have been at least 15 minutes shorter without sacrificing anything.  But other than these shortcomings, the film was pretty much a Western version the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, which is perfectly fine by me.  It has the same director and main star as “Pirates,” Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp respectively, and boasts the fun and excitement that propelled “Pirates” into a billion-dollar franchise.  I’m not sure what more the audience can ask for.

The way in which the critics panned “The Lone Ranger” reminded me of the vitriol they used when they slammed Michael Bay’s “Transformers” films.  I must say, I can’t possibly lump the two together, as the “Transformers” films, particularly 2 and 3, were much worse.

“The Lone Ranger” brought about moments of Indiana Jones-esque fun that reminds people why they go to the movies, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Quick Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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Much praise has been lauded onto the sequel to 2012’s “The Hunger Games.”  The film is well-directed, intense throughout, and boasts strong performances by a large ensemble cast, lead by currently the hottest actress in Hollywood, Jennifer Lawrence.

The biggest obstacle faced by filmmakers today is making familiar plot lines interesting and fun to watch.  We have seen stories like these a thousand times before, but what separates the good from the bad is the execution of the story, the post-production, and the ability to avoid awkward, unintentional laughs.

It had occurred to me today that the story of Katniss Everdeen, a tale freedom and (reluctant) heroism set in a tumultuous political climate and led by a symbolic figure, is pretty much a carbon copy of the story of Maximus Decimus Meridius from “Gladiator”, played by Russell Crowe.  I’m sure many others can name stories similar to this.

“Catching Fire” isn’t remotely genre-breaking, but it’s darn good entertainment and certainly worth the price of the ticket.

Hello, I’m Back! (Again)

The notion of having to experience something for yourself in order to understand it has never been more applicable than here.  It has always been said that one of the most difficult things to do when it comes to any skill or hobby is to commit to and keep up with it.  I was on a pretty decent streak at the end of last year (a year ago) and earlier this year.  And, like a drug addict who has gone cold turkey, I stopped writing after the “Fast & Furious 6” review, in MAY.

I cannot recall why I stopped, but I’m back.  And hopefully this time, I’m back for a long, long time.

Chiefly responsible for bringing me back to this blog is my current job.  Working at a secondary school, I am, for the first time since my University days, exposed to the stimulating world of academia.

I can’t stress enough on how grateful I am of where I work right now.  I have been socially connected to so many new people, students and teachers alike.  No matter how tired I am, my day always lights up when I see my students.  This kind of feeling can’t be faked, and I feel blessed and lucky that I have found a job that brings such level of joy.

As a result of my brain having been rebooted because of this job, I will now resume my blogs.  Expect more movie reviews, musings, and lots more to come!