Thor: The Dark World (Marvel Cinematic Universe #8) (MCU Phase 2 #2)

One problem that comic book universes in general and the MCU in specific have always had is that of scale. How in the world do you have a man in a suit, a literal ‘god’, a rage monster, a super soldier, and a couple … regular people ever interact on the same scale? For the most part, it’s hand waved away. Everyone is paired up with an opponent of roughly the same power level and we move on with our lives.

No where those is this contrast more apparent than in the Universe of Thor. The people of Asgard are supposed to be gods. They live thousands of years. We’ve seen them shrug off some pretty crazy weapons. And yet here they are, dying to spears and falling rocks. It just doesn’t make any sense.

I mean, there are any number of brilliant CGI shots of the weird world of Asgard, and it at least has a much bigger scope than the first Thor, but it still feels … hollow. It’s a pity, because I enjoy Thor’s super powerful fish out of water story well enough in the combined movies, but this is not my favorite of the combined films.

So it goes.

It’s always interesting to re-read my older reviews: see below)

Original 2013 review:

The first Thor was a bit disappointing.

There, I said it.

It could certainly have been worse, but it really felt like the entire movie served solely to set up Thor12 for the Avengers. It wasn’t terrible, it just … was.

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Iron Man 3 (Marvel Cinematic Universe #7) (MCU Phase 2 #1)

For some reason, I Iron Man 3 as a fairly week entry, but looking back to when I last watched it in theaters (see below)… I actually liked it about as much then I do now.

On one hand, I really do still think they absolutely nailed Robert Downey Jr. as Iron man. He can do both funny and broken pretty well and has more than a few chances for each this time around. I know now (and didn’t then) that there wouldn’t be an Iron Man 4, but he still did an amazing job in this last solo outing and in the teams ups yet to come.

Otherwise, I actually really liked Gwyneth Paltrow’s as Pepper Potts. It’s good seeing her as both a foil for Iron Man and actually being a badass in her own right.

Ben Kingsley still steal the show, although this time around I’m coming to see just how much range there was in Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian. He pulled down on his luck geek up through brilliant and crazy mirror to Tony Stark all the way to fire breathing baddie pretty darn well so far as action movies go.

One that I didn’t mention last time around, but made all the more apparent I think having just seen in her in Godzilla vs Kong) was Rebecca Hall’s performance as Maya Hansen. She does smart conflicted scientist very well in both films.

Plotwise, it was a fascinating way to deal with PTSD, even if does feel a bit sudden (although PTSD can do that) and could really have used a bit deeper dive (not really room for that in a summer blockbuster).

Other than that, feel free to give my previous review a look. I haven’t really changed my opinion much, but it’s interesting to see the two 8 years apart. A lot can change in 8 years… Both so far as the MCU and in my own life. Some things change, some things stand the tests of time.

I think this time around, I’ll slot it in just below the Avengers on both lists. I think Iron Man 3 might actually be the better movie in a lot of ways, but the Avengers I think wins just on sheer spectacle. Feel free to disagree. :) It’s all made up numbers anyways.


Original 2013 review:

Go see Iron Man 3. I’ll wait.

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Gravity

Gravity is pretty awesome. I’m sure I’m not the only one to say that (it’s getting surprisingly good reviews all around; scifi doesn’t always get that), but here’s another for the mix.

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Don Jon

This is going to be a hard one1. I went with my wife on the suggestion of a friend of hers–I think perhaps something was lost in translations. It’s certainly not the usual sort of movie that either she or I usually goes for.

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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

The Mortal Instruments comes with a fair amount of baggage. It’s a young adult urban fantasy series of five (with a sixth on the way) in a genre that by default seems to invite comparisons to Twilight1 and Harry Potter 2. There are love triangles galore3 which in the movie at least seem somewhat arbitrary. And then there’s the whole history with authorĀ Cassandra Clare's history in fan fiction4.

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Elysium

Elysium is a pretty solid action movie with a nice message underneath it all. Unfortunately, it’s not quite District 9 and there have been rather a lot of solid action movies this year.

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