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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Review: Thor-y… But It Kinda Thucks

Thor is not painful. You just can’t think about it too much.

You can’t think about the Marvel movie cliche’ of “asshole finds inner goodness by having his power stripped or trumped temporarily.”

You can’t think about all of the really good actors slumming through leaden dialogue and characters that have virtually nothing to do.

You can’t think about why the film goes blurry every time you move your head more than 10 degrees off of a perfectly squared, screen centered 3D axis.

You can’t think about why the effects look so cheesy so often.

You can’t think about being stuck in an abandoned western town that has people filling every inch of the frame everytime there is a street shot and all disappear when people drive crazy or 3 of the 4 streets in the town get blown up.

And mostly, you can’t think about why you aren’t feeling more when you’re watching it. It’s not freshman lecture boring… it’s tv-series-that-you-used-to-like-but-now-watch-out-of-habit-because-it’s-still-on-your-DVR boring.

Chris Hemsworth is fine… but he’s playing a stiff, so no real challenge. He isn’t Downey in Iron Man because he is reading from the script, not riffing. His four sidekicks are okay… but not really memorable. Jaimie Alexander is gorgeous and in skin-tight clothes and yet, somehow, isn’t very sexy. Rene Russo looks like she was woken from a nap. Hopkins can’t fake it anymore. Stellan Skarsgård also sleepwalks. We know more about Natalie Portman’s skin than ever before, but nothing about her character. I love Portman, but she didn’t have anything much to play here and The Girl needed to be more interesting for the film to work better. And while Kat Dennings gets off a few smart ass lines, like so many other characters, she has no investment in the story. And Idris Elba, who works his voice and his contacts to within an inch of their life is, after all the talk about his godliness, playing the f-ing doorman!

I like all of these actors. Wasted.

Yes, Asgard works better than earth… because earth doesn’t work at all. Are we really supposed to get excited about “big guy wakes up in hospital and throws guards around?” Really? Did they do a 3 hour shoot of isolated close-ups with a bow with every actor who was up for Hawkeye in The Avengers? Did Marvel pay Fox for the CG foundation for Gort from the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still? Did they avoid paying Jim Cameron for making blue people by making sure we couldn’t see any expression aside from their eyes? And whatever happened to the idea that if you were really a god, you didn’t need to be surrounded by the trappings of false idols?

All that said, I didn’t really start getting bored until the middle of the film. And I was pretty good with some of the third act… until they tried to make it so complicated conceptually that Thor’s head would have exploded trying to figure out the angles. I like the Thor hammer effects, though often, just as they were getting cool, they cut away and lost momentum.

The biggest problem is the script. The idea of the film felt forced and contrived from the start. Even though Clark Gregg is doing his best Ryan Seacrest, walking you through SHIELD trying to figure out who Thor is, they never seem really surprised. There is a good joke in the film in which Gregg just assumes that something is something he is already familiar will. (Stay vague… no spoilers) There is a moment when Thor is shirtless and the girls objectify him. There is even a real dramatic moment between Thor and dad that feels like a real dad and his teen son. But these moments of actual human interaction are too few and far between.

There was one genuine surprise for me in the entire film. It’s just a beat and it actually got me to make a noise and pop up in my chair. But then, it is followed by a scene that, first, requires a character to not finish what they were doing for no other reason that the screenwriters wrote it that way (there is another one in the film… with one of those… almost… got… the… sentence… out, which is laughably bad and a key turn in the film), and second, takes an event we all know is about to happen and drags it out until your teeth hurt. When it happens, you still get that “big ending” rush… but oy.

I completely see how Thor could be a really fun character in an Avengers movie. With Downey Man cracking jokes he doesn’t get and feeling competitive with Hulk on strength and Black Widow wanting to get into his armor, he can be a lot of fun. And this film was not painful to watch… but it was no pleasure. There isn’t a single moment in the film that I feel like I ever need to see again. A big ass hammer flying into your hand to be used for mayhem is a really cool thing. But now that I’ve seen it, time to move on.

I like Joe Johnston and Chris Evans and a bunch of the Captain America actors too. Fingers crossed.

76 Responses to “Review: Thor-y… But It Kinda Thucks”

  1. IOv3 says:

    David Poland not liking a comic book movie? I AM SHOCKED! I AM ABSOLUTELY FUCKING SHOCKED! :P !

  2. Foamy Squirrel says:

    “There is a good joke in the film in which Gregg just assumes that something is something he is already familiar will. (Stay vague… no spoilers)”

    You realise that joke was featured in some of the trailers?

    I liked it. I mean the plot was no great shakes and after 90minutes of throwing SHIELD guys around Thor walks up to Agent Coulson and says “We now fight on the same side” and that one line resolves the entire Avengers thing…

    But it has little flashes of humanity throughout that made me smile and think “Someone working on this script has real talent”

  3. NickF says:

    Your review joins Devin’s as the first two sensible one’s I’ve read. A lot of indifference toward the earthbound stuff, while wishing more time was spent on asgard.

    The fake New Mexico city looked bad in the trailers, extensive shots of it in the movie with the dutch angles must look unintentionally bad.

  4. IOv3 says:

    Nick, this and Devin’s do not even come close to being sensible to me. Especially Devin’s, which reads like a screed from a guy who really needs to go watch another Human Centipede movie. While David just needs the Summer to end already, so he can discuss films that actually matter… to THE GOLD!!!

  5. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Honestly, I think the earthbound stuff improves the movie on the whole. I think I would have started throwing things at the screen if I had to watch 2 hours of stick-up-bottom cod shakespearean melodrama. I’d rather watch Kat Dennings’ bemused reaction to Thor’s overblown farewell than Jeremy Irons-level fantasy scene chewing.

    Yes, yes, “I did it all for youuuuuuuu…” now go sulk over there with Generic Misunderstood Villain #234.

  6. nikki whisperer says:

    Serious question: with the possible exception of his Shakespeare work (namely, HENRY V, whose visual lustre was provided by DP God Alex Thomson), has Branagh EVER made a good movie. DEAD AGAIN, FRANKENSTEIN, and SLEUTH are pretty much totally tone-deaf and unwatchable. I mean, how much is Marvel and the script and how much is merely Branagh’s ineptitude?

  7. Martin S says:

    IO – …this and Devin’s do not even come close to being sensible to me

    Do you mean sensible as in “sound judgment”, or as in you haven’t taken your thorazine today?

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    Nikki: I quite enjoyed Peter’s Friends and In the Bleak Midwinter (a.k.a. A Midwinter’s Tale).

  9. David Poland says:

    Thing is, IO, I LOVE summer movies. I just like good summer movies. Inception and The Dark Knight, btw, are both movies I liked… juts not as much as you.

    I truly hope that Captain America is as good as The Rocketeer or better. I hope that Pirates is a lot of fun. I even have hope for Trannies 3, which has the best trailer of the lot.

    It’s a weird thing that you (and some others) love this accusation so much, as I really enjoy the whole vibe of summer films. But when Thor can’t even do the effects beautifully, sorry… can’t just do what so many critics seem to be doing… “it wasn’t nearly as sucky as I expected and Chris Hemsdale was CHARMING, so I am giving it a pass!”

  10. nikki whisperer says:

    Joe: OK, I respect that. But would you agree that his “Hollywood” output as director (lumping SLEUTH in with that category) has been particularly egregious?

  11. Joe Leydon says:

    To be honest, while I liked his Frankenstein more than I disliked it, I have never seen the other two “Hollywood” movies you mentioned. In fact, to be entirely honest, I kinda-sorta avoided his Sleuth, even though Michael Caine is my favorite screen actor of all time, because I enjoyed the original so much. But, again, I’m interested in seeing Thor, simply because I’ve really admired his Shakespearean films (even the much-maligned Love’s Labor’s Lost) so much. BTW: My opinion of Branagh may be more than slightly clouded by the fact that I lucked into seeing his Henry V at the Stratford Theatre Festival many moons ago, and it was one of the most electrifying theater experiences I’ve ever savored.

  12. yancyskancy says:

    Been ages since I’ve seen DEAD AGAIN, but I enjoyed it at the time and always thought it was well received. Was it just residual good will from HENRY V? Haven’t seen FRANKENSTEIN or SLEUTH.

    I, too, liked IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER.

  13. When the critical backlash on Dead Again start? I get that I’m a minority on Frankenstein, but Dead Again opened in late summer 91 to rave reviews and decent box office. It still has an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes and I still adore the wacked-out Hitchcock throwback. Just curious as the meme these days is that Dead Again was some awful movie, when it was not treated as such on release.

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    Re: Dead Again — I do remember at least one critic — David Denby? — complaining at the time that Emma Thompson simply wasn’t as sexy/attractive in the lead role as Branagh obviously thought she was.

  15. nikki whisperer says:

    JOE: I am probably the world’s 2nd biggest Michael Caine fan (right behind you) and SLEUTH is a miserable experience. The performances (even Jude Law) are fine and one would think you can’t really go wrong with the material, but it’s one of those movies where you know it’s going to be awful 10 seconds in. Every choice just seems wrong and everything is just a little bit “off” — the look, the pacing, the tone, the use of music, the editing, the set design, the lighting. It’s hard to pin-point or articulate exactly, but you just know you’re in the hands of a filmmaker who doesn’t get it. I really can’t imagine any studio seeing that film and then entrusting its director with a huge $100M+ franchise epic. I think they thought his name would class it up and, while I haven’t seen THOR yet, hearing David’s comments on even such seemingly mundane details as crowds in the background rang a bell.

  16. SamLowry says:

    I liked Dead Again as well and own the video…but you had to mention that it’s now 20 years old?

    Get off my lawn!

  17. Joe Leydon says:

    Sam: For years, I debated whether Do the Right thing was sufficiently old enough for me to screen it as part of a film HISTORY class. Then it hit me: It’s 22 years old. I’m screening Do the Right Thing Thursday and Friday for my students. Dammit.

    Yancy: http://www.movingpictureshow.com/archives/mpsMidwinterTale.htm

  18. NickF says:

    Well, over at WB’s Rotten Tomatoes site, Thor has dropped from 95% to 89%. Based on how most of the critics seems to be giving it a free pass I’m guessing it will end up in the mid 80′s with a 6.8 rating or so.

  19. IOv3 says:

    Martin, blah blah blah.

    David, again, go read your reviews of those films, go read your Hancock feverish rants about how it’s a better superhero movie than TDK, and go read your Inception silliness from last year. Seriously, you get weird during the Summer and continue to act weird all Summer long.

    Again, David, I could give a shit if you like any of the myriad of films that I like. Seriously, could care less, but the fact that that’s always your first response to me is sheer and utter bullshit.

    Finally, Nick, have you seen Thor? If not, why you hating on the Norse god yo?

  20. nikki whisperer says:

    IO: OMG, I forgot about the HANCOCK love. LOL. HANCOCK is an insanely awful movie in just about every way.

  21. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, I have to agree with David when it comes to Hancock.

  22. IOv3 says:

    I enjoy Hancock but David went batshit about that film. Literally… bat shit.

  23. Martin S says:

    NikkiWhisperer – It’s the studio.

    Marvel has two main models. One is the Raimi, where the director had a personal attachment to Spidey as the character was literally being developed month-to-month while Raimi was a kid. Favreau is like Raimi, except he was part of the first generation to grow up with a fully functioning Marvel Universe. As directors, they understood what made the characters work on several levels.

    The other model is Bryan Singer, where the director’s previous work shows a possible insight to adapting the character. Singer wasn’t a comic reader, but he understood how ensembles work and related to the X-Men relationship through his love of Star Trek. By the time production commenced, Fox had been developing X-Men as property for several years through scripts and the animated series, which was a sort of Cliff Notes of X-men character structure. Ang Lee’s Hulk has been the only major deviant.

    Thor, Cap, Punisher 2, FF, Wolverine, Inc Hulk all follow the X-Men model. The problem each time has been the script because whatever the director brings, it’s not going to find the heart of the character since all they know is learned in a cram session of a few months. They are truly dependent on the writers and producers to know what ticks, and Feige hires the writers and approves the story direction, so a hole is dug before a frame is shot.

    Feige knows this. You can see he’s trying to find that IM sweet spot by now hiring seasoned genre writers as directors. With Shane Black and Whedon, Feige knows that at minimum he’ll have a tight script before principle, so whatever shortcomings they have as directors, he’s banking on 2nd Unit, DoP and Post to overcome them. In other words, let Black and Whedon shoot the dialogue scenes and everyone else handles the action.

    Thor doesn’t gel. It’s Inc Hulk 2 where some parts pleasantly surprise, but Branagh cannot overcome the cut-n-paste script. Save whatever is leftover from Protosevich, the other writers were green which was Feige’s call. He owns the muddle of IM2 and Thor. Cap may turn out to work, but that will be due to a number of last-second moves.

  24. nikki whisperer says:

    I will grant that Hancock has an interesting concept, a few funny “trailer beat” scenes and allows Smith to show some intriguingly darker shades to his star acting pallette, but it’s like a textbook case Frankenstein monster of tonal inconistency and death by comittee/studio-pussyfooting. And that third act battle with the tornado (?) and shit-looking CGI??? WTF???

  25. SamLowry says:

    Joe, after working on and off in schools for the last fifteen years, I’ve noticed in just the last year or two that we’ve been invaded by creatures not of this Earth.

    The newest generation of seemingly human teens have dropped an iron curtain around the year 2001 and anything before then is considered “Ancient History”. Pulp Fiction may as well be a silent movie as far as they’re concerned. They have no shared cultural background with us that teens possessed only a decade ago, and no interest at all in anything that was not produced to entertain them.

    In the old days they may have called this a “generation gap”, but I find it odd that I have no problems relating to people in their 20s or 30s–it’s the teens that seem to have been teleported here from somewhere else entirely.

    P.S. I’ve heard some kids call the LotR trilogy “old”, so Jackson may have to do a whole lot of unexpected promotion to get young asses into seats.

  26. Count me in as firmly on Team Hancock. It’s surprising right up to the end and moving as hell (the coda is incredibly powerful). Made my ten best list for the year and I would defend it unto death.

  27. Martin S says:

    IO calling someone out as getting weird over certain movies.

    Hello Kettle. I’m The Pot. You Are Black.

    Or in IO’s case – Hello Kettle, I’m a 40-year old white guy who likes to feign minority status.

    By the way, I love how you’re claiming GL Bandwagoners when you’re entire shtick has been to glom onto every otaku project. By showing no discernment, you’re bound to be right once every several months. So for every one TDK, you’ve got a Watchmen and Kick-Ass to defend.

  28. actionman says:

    PETER BERG POWER

  29. Merkin Muffley says:

    Saw it in real 3d last night in Burbank.
    It was alright.
    Better than “Iron man 2″ and “the hulks”, not as good as “Iron Man 1″ (which I thought was good, but not great).
    Some good performances and some nice moments, but overall, it was too uneven to call a great or even good superhero movie. Its doesn’t drop the ball. Its not offensive. Its…fine.

    The good news is Chris Hemsworth as “Thor” works, and I look forward to seeing more of him in “the avengers.”

    But this movie is a classic case of the whole not living up to the sum of its parts.
    And the 3d is worthless. Best 3d shot of the night was the company credit for paramount. That got an audible gasp from the crowd.
    The rest of the 3d.
    Not so much.

  30. IOv3 says:

    Martin, Otaku? Fucking anime nerd. Seriously, there is a difference between MANGA and COMICS. The fact that you don’t know the difference demonstrates why you are a total fucking potzer.

    Scott, yeah, you are in the same boat with Poland. You being the age that you are and totally not getting these films remains rather interesting.

  31. Joe Leydon says:

    IO: Did it ever occur to you that us older folks — that is, those of us who actually bought the first issues of The Avengers and The Uncanny X-Men and The Amazing Spider-Man, and read comic books for years and years — might “get it” ever better than you do?

  32. IOv3 says:

    Joe, you folks went and saw TDK and then bitched about not getting it afterwards. GOOD FOR YOU, Mr. “Whose Carol Danvers” Leydon :P .

  33. Joe Leydon says:

    OK, I give up. Whose Carol Danvers? The Defenders’ Carol Danvers? Or The Avengers’ Carol Danvers?

  34. IOv3 says:

    She has a name, Joe, and again I don’t hate the old folks. I love the old folks. They are going to make a movie with a crazy freaking punk rock girl with a dragon tattoo a huge flick at the end of the year. They should be given dap for their… verve!

  35. The Big Perm says:

    IO, have you seen Thor?

  36. IOv3 says:

    Perm, if you don’t finish producing your SyFy original movie for October. There will be a bunch of depressed college freshmen with nothing to do over that weekend!

    You also seem to miss the point. Nick seems pissed at Thor and I am wondering why. Can’t a brother ask a question?

  37. The Big Perm says:

    That sounds like a no to me! Of course we all know you’ll cream your pants over it, but couldn’t you at least wait to see it before you obnoxiously defend it?

    I’m sure doing a SyFy original movie is also accomplishing more than you ever have, should you make fun of that, loser?

  38. nikki whisperer says:

    IO: What’s “to get” or not “to get” about THE DARK KNIGHT? I mean, it is what it is, namely an extremely well-crafted comic-book movie with an assured tone and aesthetic that looks amazing, has a wonderful iconic villain performance by Ledger, and some stunning action scenes (and, alas, some not-so-hot ones, too — specifically, the akward club and parking lot fights and the videogame-esque Joker’s lair Batcomputer-assisted shootout). But it’s not particularly deep and it’s far from a perfect movie; there are definitely some clunky-bits — the ferry boat scene is embarassingly facile and on-the-nose and the Two-Face/Harvey Dent stuff is wrapped up underwhelmingly and abruptly. I mean, it’s a solid flick, but, again, it’s hardly the second coming everyone made it out to be and deep it certainly is not, so to act like there’s some higher level to it that you “get” and “olds” like Joe do not is baffling.

  39. The Big Perm says:

    Ya’ll be crazy if you think Hancock was better than TDK. It was aiight yo, but sheyit.

  40. IOv3 says:

    Shilli, that’s how you feel. Good for you. I know older people who went and saw it, and didn’t get it. That’s them. Seriously, what the fuck is the point of the response up there other than you thinking I give a shit what you think about TDK. Seriously, I don’t, thanks for sharing, but you missed the motherfucking point :P !

    Perm, seriously, you take shots all the time and think me telling you to get back to work is mean? Really? Wow.

    Seriously that’s not a shot and you once again do the Hot Blog dance of MISSING THE MOTHERFUCKING POINT! Nick seems to have a fucking agenda with Thor so I am asking him why he has such an agenda. The fact that you fuckers think everyone is working an agenda with every questions is more of a problem with this blog than anything else. No agenda Perm, just asking a fucking question.

  41. nikki whisperer says:

    IO: It was germane because you accused Joe Leydon of not “getting” THE DARK KNIGHT. And my question to you was, what is so “deep” about that movie that allows you to condescendingly accuse someone of not “getting” it? I’m not a hater of the movie by any means, there’s certainly an awful lot to admire. But what, exactly, is so “brilliant” and “revolutionary” about it, besides its craft and Ledger’s performance, that, in your eyes, seemingly, only “young people” can pick up on like a proverbial dog whistle? The vague “war on terror” subtext? A tinge of moral ambiguity? Again, what’s to “get” or not to “get?”

  42. IOv3 says:

    Shilli, I shouldn’t be mean to you because you seem like a well-intentioned kid. Nevertheless, I know some old folks who just DIDN’T GET TDK. It didn’t work for them. That’s not GETTING IT. Sorry you missed the point of the ferry boat but it’s not facile, and maybe you should give it another look. Whateverthecase, even Poland shared that he had his older Academy friends that just didn’t get TDK.

  43. nikki whisperer says:

    IO: So now the ferry boat scene “went over my head!?!?” You don’t see how that’s condescending? Please elaborate on its multitude deep layers to enlighten me, oh wise one. And watch the scene again and tell me it’s not clunky, didactic and on-the-nose and that the performances of all the passengers save Deebo aren’t amateur hour.

  44. IOv3 says:

    Shilli, you really should wait for me to edit my posts, and I am not your daddy. You do what you want to do but there’s more going on with that scene. If you want to be obstinate about a scene in a movie, then good for you.

  45. nikki whisperer says:

    IO: Dude, why not actually defend your position? I’m not being facetious. Elaborate on exactly what “more” is going on in that scene that makes it so brilliant. I’m genuinely interested to know your thoughts on this.

  46. HoopersX says:

    I still say Alexander Skarsgård would have been a better fit for Thor.

  47. Not sure how I fell into your ‘naughty list’ this time around IOv3. I saw Thor last night and actually kinda liked it, certainly enjoyed it more than I was expecting. And one can love The Dark Knight AND Hancock, as they are vastly different pictures with only the presence of a crime-fighting vigilante acting as any kind of connective tissue.

  48. David Poland says:

    I think a screenplay with more muscle would have been a better fit for Thor.

    I think Hemsdale did fine. But like many superhero pieces, it’s the secondary characters that add most of the flavor. And aside from Idris Elba’s tiny role, there ain’t much flavor here.

  49. IOv3 says:

    I still state that’s crazy because his acting on True Blood consist of him staring and flexing his ass!

    Shilli, it’s the larger concept at work there that makes it a great part of that film. Basically, these people are being terrorized and the only way to solve their problem is to terrorize another group of people. Some how, thanks to Batman, the CRIMINALS and the PEOPLE both realize that they are above being terrorized and terrorizing others, and do not bend to the mad man’s will.

    ETA: Scott, again, I own the three disc special edition of Hancock. I like the movie just pointing out Davey Craziness but your Scott Pilgrim review sir. Oy to the vey :D !

    ETA II: David, your anti-Kat Dennings rantings must stop :P !

  50. leahnz says:

    i also quite like ‘hancock’, it’s a bit weird, rude and unique in tone in the pantheon of superhero flicks without resorting to out-and-out spoofery, and of course it hinges entirely on will smith’s ornery gravitas for its appeal — if you don’t buy will as ‘the cock’ then i can see how it could come off as quite a dud (after seeing it with my then too-young boy at the time – not realising what i was in for – i had to put up with a great deal of mouthy, “i’m drinkin’, bitch!” and variations of “head up his ass”-ery until i could nip that language right in the bud)

    using the word ‘get’ is contentious when discussing movies, to say the least; i like to use the joke analogy: one can ‘get’ a joke entirely and still not find it funny. same with flicks, cup of tea and all that.

    having said all that, i still haven’t seen ‘thor’

  51. yancyskancy says:

    David, you keep brain-farting Hemsworth as “Hemsdale.” :)

    I liked HANCOCK, even though I think it had the potential to be much better. The whole was less satisfying than the parts.

  52. anghus says:

    nikkiwhisperer,

    i agree with you about that scene. it is very, very simply staged and the performances are feel telegraphed. but i think one of nolan’s gifts as a filmmaker is knowing when to simplify in order to make sure everyone gets it.

    Dark Knight and Inception both have scenes that take very complex themes and simplifies them to an almost paint-by-numbers kind of way.

    io is way off (again). That scene didn’t go over anyone’s head. That scene was designed for everyone to get.

    The best big budget filmmakers know when to complicate scenes and when to simplify them. I mean honestly, if you look at 3 of the biggest movies of all time: Titanic, The Dark Knight, and Avatar, it seems clear that audiences like it when everything is so black and white that they can’t help but get it. Were any of the characters in Titanic complex? Was the plot and theme of Avatar not oversimplified to the point of almost being absurd? The Dark Knight’s theme of order versus chaos was simplified so that everyone could play.

    There’s some quote about journalists having to write at a third grade level so that everyone gets it. Sometimes filmmakers do it too. And the result it four quadrant success.

  53. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    anghus when I was reviewing movies for a daily newspaper, my editor told me that I had to always write with the paper’s audience in mind, and that meant writing at a 4th-grade level. And I agree with your assessments of the 3 biggest movies of all-time. They are easy to follow and really only TDK features anything resembling a complex character.

  54. Joe Leydon says:

    I will go a bit further: Just as I don’t think there’s any doubt that we “got” what Nolan was saying in the ferry scene, I think it’s safe to say we all “got” what Nolan was saying about the dangers of surveillance in the scenes with Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman. Really, IO, I don’t understand what you’re talking about when you say that I or anyone else didn’t “get” The Dark Knight. We got it, all right. We simply didn’t think quite as much of it as you do.

  55. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW, Anghus: Some scriptwriter — William Goldman? — once noted that every major piece of information in a movie has to be communicated three times to the audience — once for the really sharp and observant folks, again for the average moviegoers, and a third time for the mouth-breathers. Sounds right to me.

  56. Monco says:

    The Dark Knight is pretty deep, at least in my opinion. What makes the movie immortal is the interrogation room scene. There is so much meat there, nothing is superficial, everything sticks you right in the gut. They are having a debate about the fundamental nature of humanity. How is that not deep? As far I as I can tell, everything the Joker says is true. Well not the “I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these civilized people? They’ll eat each other” Batman wins on that one but eveything else is true, especially the stuff about Batman. That’s what enrages him so much. And then the ending brings it all home. You have Batman a “knight”, which is a Christian symbol, being rejected and hunted down like a dog. There is hope at the end of the movie but you have dig to find it. That’s why people call Nolan a cold, detached filmaker and the film nihilistic. Again, and I’ve said this before what is so different about Nolan is that he obviously thinks that Batman is the kmost interesting character. This trilogy is one big long character study.

    Now despite having said all this, I still think that Batman Begins is the better film. There is a reason TDKR is essentially a sequel to Batman Begins and not The Dark Knight.

  57. sdp says:

    “There is a reason TDKR is essentially a sequel to Batman Begins and not The Dark Knight.”

    Yes, there is a reason: accidental prescription drug overdose.

  58. waterbucket says:

    All the shirtless Thor pictures really make me want to see this film even though I know that it’s going to suck. But that man is pure beefcake.

  59. palmtree says:

    The only person who can literally go batshit is Batman himself. So…David Poland is Batman. Whoa.

  60. Martin S says:

    Classic, IO. You think otaku is an anime term because that’s how it’s been defined stateside. Who’s the manga boy?

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=otaku

    This thread is quintessential IO. He can go after Nikki for believing he has an agenda, but if anyone questions him, they have a fucking problem for thinking he has an agenda. Yet, all he’s done is attack anyone who dissents from his positive view on Thor, a movie he hasn’t even seen.

    IO repeatedly says he doesn’t give a shit about what anyone else thinks, yet keeps coming back. Ask him to define his stance, the answer is “you just don’t get it”.

  61. IOv3 says:

    Martin, I define any stance you want but you are such a fucking twit, it’s not even funny. Who gives a shit what a repcon like you thinks? You are fundamentally diametrically opposed to everything I believe and that you refer to comics as Otaku, demonstrates just how much of a fucking twit you are.

    You also ignored that Shilli basically wanted to run down TDK. That’s what he wanted to do. He completely missed the point that it had nothing to do with what he responded to, and I even went out of my way to state why I disagreed with him. Seriously, did you not read that above, or are you so far up your own ass with this nonsense it makes you oblivious to obvious?

    Finally, this is why you are a twit. I have no positive take on Thor. I simply feel that Devin Farci is a moron when it comes to these films, and I have never taken David serious with any Summer film. The fact, again, that you cannot grasp these simple facts, make you a twit, and the fact that you think I run this blog just makes me laugh.

    I am one poster you dumbass. Nice of you to make it all about me because I guess it is. THIS IS NOT LONGER THE HOT BLOG! THIS IS THE INFERNO BLOG! THAT’S RIGHT! IT’S AN INFERNO NOW! WOOT! WOOT!

  62. Joe Straatmann says:

    The term otaku as used by the Japanese refers to someone who’s obsessive about something, usually in a negative connotation. In fact, they did a recent study of what “otaku” Japanese women would want to be with and the music otaku won. Sounds about right considering the aura “being in a band” can have. Now the American usage of otaku is usually limited to manga and anime, but while just throwing the word in there is odd, Martin is not incorrect in the way he’s using the word, all though if he was using it on the wrong side of Baltimore during the wrong time of Summer, he probably wouldn’t be found alive because that is OUR WORD AND YOU DO NOT USE IT!

  63. Foamy Squirrel says:

    I recently asked some Japanese friends of mine (living in Japan) about “otaku” – they said it’s pretty much lost the negative connotation over there, so they get a bit confused when it’s used as a pejorative.

  64. Joe Straatmann says:

    That makes sense. I guess it must be as effective as calling someone a “NERD!!!!!!!!” these days. My response to that is, “Yeah. And?”

  65. Daniella Isaacs says:

    I have to say I agree with Nikki. Kenneth Branagh might just be the most inept director to have ever scored an Oscar nod in that category.

  66. anghus says:

    i was scanning through the Rotten Tomatoes reviews of thor and i find this from some scrub at the Austin Chronicle.

    “Thor suffers from Iron Man 2 syndrome: too much backstory, too many subplots and character introductions, and not nearly enough full-frontal nudity from Natalie Portman, who frankly is given very little to work with here.”

    So Iron Man 2 suffered from not having full-frontal nudity from Natalie Portman?

    Didn’t it also suffer from not having Natalie Portman in it at all?

    I love that this clown follows the full-frontal statement with ‘she’s given very little to work with’.

  67. storymark says:

    “not nearly enough” implies there’s some, right?

    Right?

    No? Damn.

  68. Krillian says:

    Waitwaitwait….

    IO’s 40?

  69. IOv3 says:

    No I’m not 40.

  70. Martin S says:

    Alex is at least 38 and white as Wonder Bread.

    As for Otaku, just read the etymology. IO won’t leave home to be around his own geek kind, yet perpetually sells himself as the geek king. He purposely uses obtuse, trivial references like ‘Carol Danvers’ because it feigns a breadth of knowledge that he can use like a club on a film blog, which is the equivalent of going to a comic site and ripping people with Peter Greenaway references.

    And IO, as for your review of Thor, it’s already in the bag. If you dislike, you’ll have to apologize to Dave. If you find it alright, then you have to admit Scott, Nikki, Joe, were right…and if you loves it, Captain Renault will be shocked once more.

    We might as well move onto the next step of I0 going horseshit crazy about the weekend numbers.

  71. scooterzz says:

    i can’t help but think that, with this weekend’s release of ‘thor’, tomorrow’s free comic book day activities are going to be especially pro-social….
    and, speaking of ‘thor’….went i went to the market this morning, my friendly neighborhood bootlegger already had dvds available…that’s pretty speedy even by noho standards (as if noho HAD standards…but that’s another convo)….

  72. anghus says:

    scooter, there’s been a thor bootleg online for almost a week from the australian release.

  73. scooterzz says:

    i had no idea…thanks…

  74. IOv3 says:

    Martin, who gives a fuck what you think about me? I certainly do not and I love freaking Thor. Why? For reasons people like David and Devin never will but that’s their own deal and it doesn’t make them any less just different. It’s the best Marvel film by a country mile, it has the best cast, and it turns what’s ridiculous comic imagery into something rather breathtaking. Go see it and enjoy the first Marvel film featuring a REAL THEME for it’s titular character.

  75. Krillian says:

    Okay, saw Thor last night. I liked it. Didn’t love it; in fact I agree with Dave on many of his points. I’d put it about on par with the Norton Hulk. Not as good as Iron Man but better than Iron Man 2, somewhere in there.

  76. Rett says:

    Thor…hmmm? Good movie, but it was a bit dark. I thought Branagh did a good job with what he was given. we’ll have more Thor, I’m afraid.

Leave a Reply

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
The Purge: Anarchy 12.9 2806 NEW 12.9
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 10.4 3969 -62% 113.4
Planes: Fire & Rescue 6.3 3826 NEW 6.3
Sex Tape 5.6 3062 NEW 5.6
Transformers: Age of Extinction 2.7 3224 -45% 219.9
Tammy 2.3 3402 -45% 65.9
22 Jump Street 1.4 2229 -31% 177.2
How to Train Your Dragon 2 1.1 2169 -40% 157.9
Earth to Echo 1 2450 -44% 29.7
Maleficent 0.9 1541 -27% 226
Also Debuting
Persecuted 0.31 736
Wish I Was Here 0.15 68
Velaiyilla Pattathari 61,800 31
Mood Indigo 10,400 2
There's No Place Like Utopia 10,300 1
I Origins 9,500 4
A Five Star Life 4,000 1
Alive Inside 3,600 1
An American in Hollywood 2,750 4
Among Ravens 2,000 4
Video Games 1,700 6
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
It was supposed to be a horse race (notwithstanding Belmont) but at the finish line the singular teen romance The Fault in Our Stars left the competition in the dust with an estimated $48.1 million debut. Conversely, the frame’s other major release Edge of Tomorrow proved disappointing in a distant second at $28.9 million.
Exclusive newcomers were strong, including a solo Manhattan campaign of $9,400 for Citizen Koch. Much-ballyhooed abortion-themed rom-com Obvious Child proved fertile with $84,100 at four dispensaries.
In the niches, Indian import Holiday partied fair at $373,000 while Pinoy romantic comedy Maybe This Time grossed an impressive return of $552,000 on a trifling 51 screens.
Revenues for the session exceeded $160 million and ebbed 3% from last weekend’s tally. It was 8% improved from 2013 when the debut of The Purge posted $34 million and holdovers of Fast & Furious 6 and Now You See Me duked it out for place position with respective box office of $19.6 million and $19 million.
Industry tracking pitted The Fault in Our Stars against Edge of Tomorrow with the former demonstrating a slight edge as it picked up momentum toward opening day. The adaptation of John Green’s YA novel of teens who strike sparks in a cancer support group had a prognosis of $35 million.
The tide truly turned when Fault generated $8.2 million and Edge took in $1.8 million from Thursday previews. Crystal ball-gazers upped the ante to $55 million but the picture took another surprise turn with an unexpected 31% drop from Friday to Saturday business. Strong WOM in exit polling bodes well to broaden the opening weekend crowd, a predictaly 82% of women and was 79% aged 25-years and younger.
Edge of Tomorrow appeared to suffer from the amusement park factor with the movie crowd opting to skip this particular fun ride. Tracking had pegged the pic to open at between $32 million and $34 million. Reviews were upbeat for the futuristic mayhem with a Groundhog Day twist that opened a week earlier in 27 international territories to $18.7 million.
Exit demos also indicated that the sci-fier wasn’t particularly stepping on Fault’s toes with a 61% male tilt and 73% of the audience aged 25-years and older. A studio spokesman expressed confidence for a strong second weekend hold but history and upcoming competition definitely have the picture bucking considerable odds. International prospects are already ahead of Edge of Darkness’s likely final domestic tally with a second weekend estimated at $82 million that included a $25 million bow in China, $16.6 million in South Korea and Russia with $8.6 million.
Open Road's Chef expanded effectively again, prepping $10 million domestically.
Weekend (estimates) June 6 - 8, 2014
Title
Distributor
Gross (average)
% change *
Theaters
Cume
The Fault in Our Stars
Fox
48.1 (15,160)
NEW
3173
48.1
Maleficent
BV
33.6 (8,520)
-52%
3948
127.5
Edge of Tomorrow
WB
28.9 (8,280)
NEW
3490
28.9
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
14.9 (4,090)
-54%
3639
189
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Uni
7.2 (2,270)
-57%
3160
30.1
Godzilla
WB
6.0 (1.920)
-50%
3110
185.1
Neighbors
Uni
5.2 (1,940)
-36%
2674
137.8
Blended
WB
4.0 (1,370)
-51%
2928
36.5
Chef
Open Road
2.5 (1,940)
32%
1298
10.3
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
1.9 (1,290)
-46%
1481
196.3
Million Dollar Arm
BV
1.8 (1,120)
-49%
1643
31.4
Belle
Searchlight
.75 (1,580)
-40%
476
7.6
Rio 2
Fox
.72 (1,030)
-35%
702
125.6
Maybe This Time
ABS
.55 (10,820)
NEW
51
0.55
The Other Woman
Fox
.48 (980)
-65%
489
83.2
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
.43 (1,360)
-31%
317
255.9
Holiday
Big Pictures
.37 (2,590)
NEW
144
0.37
Heaven is for Real
Sony
.37 (830)
-54%
446
88.8
Words and Pictures
Roadside Attractions
.29 (2,940)
269%
98
0.54
Grand Seduction
eOne
.28 (3,020)
-13%
97
0.82
The Lego Movie
WB
.26 (960)
-5%
274
255.8
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fox Searchlight
.24 (1,280)
-37%
185
57.8
Ida
Music Box
.21 (2,540)
-10%
84
1.3
The Immigrant
Weinstein
.19 (1,320)
-39%
145
1.4
Divergent
Lionsgate
.19 (650)
-43%
298
149
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)
$156.60
% Change (Last Year)
8%
% Change (Last Week)
-3%
Also debuting/expanding
Fed Up
Weinstein Co.
83,600 (950)
-49%
88
1.2
Obvious Child
A24
84,100 (21,030)
4
0.08
Cold in July
IFC
68,900 (970)
-38%
71
0.25
Night Moves
Cinedgm
48,500 (1,520)
126%
32
30,800
Lunchbox
Sony Classics
50,700 (1,100)
-9%
46
4.1
Filmistaan
UTV
35,500 (1,480)
24
0.04
WolfCop
Echolands
34,900 (4,360)
8
0.03
Ping Pong Summer
Gravitas
26,400 (1,760)
15
0.03
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
Weinstein Co.
23,200 (5,800)
4
0.02
Only Lovers Left Alive
Sony Classics
22,800 (760)
-53%
30
1.6
Tracks
Mongrel
13,800 (2,760)
5
0.01
Citizen Koch
Variance
9,400 (9,400)
1
0.01
Trust Me
Paladin
5,100 (565)
9
0.01
Burning Blue
Film Arcade
4,600 (380)
12
0.01
The Case Against 8
Submarine
4,300 (1,430)
3
0.01
Test
Variance
2,400 (800)
3
0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014)
Distributor
Box Office
Market Share
Warner Bros. (12)
728.5
16.80%
Buena Vista (11)
677.1
15.60%
20th Century Fox (11)
615.2
14.20%
Sony (11)
577.7
13.30%
Universal (10)
540.5
12.50%
Paramount (8)
322.2
7.40%
Lionsgate (13)
285.4
6.60%
Open Road (6)
95.1
2.20%
Fox Searchlight (5)
83.7
1.90%
Weinstein Co. (12)
76.5
1.80%
Relativity (5)
75.5
1.80%
FreeStyle (6)
68.9
1.60%
Focus (6)
39.2
0.90%
eOne/Seville (14)
35.3
0.80%
Other * (142)
107.9
2.60%
4328.7
100.00%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014) *
Title
Distributor
Box Office
The Lego Movie
WB
255,590,340
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
255,447,104
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
194,388,396
Godzilla
WB
179,093,006
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
174,401,266
Divergent
Lionsgate
148,811,524
Frozen *
BV
137,534,677
Ride Along
Uni
134,965,071
Neighbors
Uni
132,600,495
Lone Survivor
Uni/eOne
125,026,404
Rio 2
Fox
124,909,565
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Fox
110,162,081
300: Rise of an Empire
WB
106,601,189
Noah
Par
100,950,258
Maleficent
BV
93,846,968
Non-Stop
Uni
91,869,306
Heaven is for Real
Sony
88,412,645
American Hustle *
Sony/eOne
82,661,672
The Other Woman
Fox
81,725,819
The Monuments Men
Sony
78,132,865
* does not include 2013 Box Office