I’m really, really excited for this film. Thor: The Dark World is my most anticipated movie of 2013, so, needless to say, I was pretty giddy when the trailer was released last week. Thor is my favourite of the pre-Avengers Phase One films. I’m also very eager to see how Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) get along in this film. After the events of Thor and The Avengers, the relationship between the brothers would understandably be very tense, but the trailer teases a potentially interesting dynamic. I’m so excited!
The Deep Blue Sea, 2011, USA/UK
As the credits rolled on this film, I found myself in a daze. I was heavily contemplative and melancholy and I was deep in thought all the way home and into the evening. The Deep Blue Sea was just astounding.
The film looks at the dying days of a relationship. Hester (Rachel Weisz) left her comfortable, yet passionless marriage to William (Simon Russell Beale) to live with Freddie (Tom Hiddleston). Freddie was a pilot during the war, and is a restless, damaged man. Through flashbacks, we catch a glimpse of moments that give us a sense of why their relationship is failing.
It was heartbreaking and depressing, but, most of all, it was thought-provoking. Hester and Freddie are complex and tragic characters. They’re flawed: Hester seems dependent and obsessed with fairly benign things, and Freddie is temperamental and emotionally scarred from the war. What is more desirable: a passionless marriage or an intense, painful, doomed relationship? Is it better to feel something – even if it is hurt, as opposed to feeling nothing at all?
The answers to those questions seem to be a matter of opinion, which is what makes this film so interesting. It’s easy to see the differing perspectives of the main characters, but none of them are “right”, so to speak.
During the entire second half of the film there was this awful lump in my chest. It was painful to watch, and one almost feels anxious for the characters. It is, after all, very hard to watch a relationship fall apart. It will certainly make you think and leave a haze of melancholy over you, though.
Weisz and Hiddleston were both fantastic. They’re gifted performers, and Weisz made my heart break for Hester. And Hiddleston crafted a character that remained sympathetic, despite being deplorable and frightening at times. It takes great skill to do that. Hiddleston is best known for playing Loki in both Thor and The Avengers – and he stole the show in both. I’m quite eager to see where his career goes.
I’ve never seen the play the film was based on, so I cannot comment on the faithfulness of the adaptation. At times, though, the film looked and felt more like a play than a film. The film was very intimate, and bare, which gave me the sense of standing in the room where the scenes were actually taking place. At first, this style was a bit jarring, but it worked very well and, ultimately, I appreciated it.
The film is currently playing at the Globe here in Winnipeg. I’m not sure how much longer it’ll be playing, so go see it this week!
The Avengers, 2012, USA
I’m STILL on a buzz from seeing this movie last night. It was thrilling, funny, and a real good time. There’s a reason it made more in its opening weekend than any other movie in history. Mark my words: it will end up making more money than Avatar did. The bar for summer blockbusters has been set VERY high. I definitely need to see it again, since I missed some of the dialogue and one-liners because of all of the laughter in the theatre.
For those of you living under a rock, The Avengers is an ensemble superhero movie featuring Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson, in the token female role) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). They must work together to fight against Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who is trying to rule mankind by commanding an alien army. And that’s all you need to know about it going in!
One surprising highlight of the film was Ruffalo. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a fan of the Hulk as a character. I found Hulk terrible, and The Incredible Hulk was passable at best. I was actually disappointed when they cut Edward Norton, because I did like his interpretation of the character, but I understood why it was done, considering the fact that Norton is notoriously difficult to work with. I can say, firmly, that they made the right decision because Ruffalo is, far and away, the strongest interpretation of the three. I really like that they’ve moved away from the “I don’t like myself” crap from the first two Hulk films, and that this incarnation of Bruce Banner appears to accept himself and his powers. The character also had a sense of humour about himself and others, which the previous two seriously lacked. I actually WANT to see Ruffalo in a Hulk-centred film.
As expected, Black Widow was mostly around to offer some token female eye candy. I’d suggest they make a movie about the character, but I fear that Johansson would make it woefully dull. I just couldn’t get invested in her character. To a lesser extent, I felt the same way about Hawkeye. Renner’s character suffered from poor character development (or: no character development), but he did about as much as he could with the character. I can see Hawkeye having an interesting back story.
I saw the film in 3D on an IMAX screen. I was fairly impressed with the 3D, particularly in the second half of the film. I was actually nauseous towards the end, which can be seen as a good thing or a bad thing, I suppose. It highlights just how realistic the 3D looks….but being nauseous isn’t fun! The visual effects were amazing, and the film was fun to look at.
If you haven’t seen The Avengers yet, check it out! Be sure to remember to stick around after the credits because there are TWO scenes after the credits. I won’t say a word about them, because it’s best to be pleasantly surprised by them.
I’m almost disappointed to know that the “team” won’t be getting together in all of the Marvel superhero films. I think the audience has been thoroughly spoiled by The Avengers. I’m always excited to see another superhero offering, but Iron Man 3 can’t possibly be as cool as The Avengers was.
Watching this movie has made me wonder, yet again, why I don’t read comics. I LOVE superhero movies and the stories behind all of the characters, but I haven’t really read any of the comics. I suppose it’s because I don’t know where to start. Can you pick up the latest issue and start from there, or is it best to start from a particular storyline? Or just read some of the more popular storylines before heading to the contemporary issues?
War Horse, 2011, USA
Albert (Jeremy Irvine) becomes the owner of a young colt after his drunken father (Peter Mullan) purchases him at an auction. Albert trains the horse, named Joey, and teaches him how to plow, even though he is a thoroughbred and not a farm horse. When World War I starts, Albert’s father sells Joey in order to make some extra money, which breaks Albert’s heart. Albert swears that he will find Joey again, and heads to the front line in order to do so. As a cavalry mount, Joey has a rough time of it and changes hands numerous times through the war.
The film was beautifully shot. Janusz Kaminski is an amazing cinematographer. He framed gorgeous shots of the European countryside and shots that reminded the audience of the sheer devastation of war. The music was beautiful, as well. John Williams’ score is likely my favourite of the year, and I’m sure he has a good shot at getting an Oscar for it. I’ll be upset if he doesn’t win the Oscar, in fact. The main theme (heard from 3:31 onwards) used throughout the film was so powerful that it drove me to tears every single time. Beautiful music adds power to a movie, and Williams’ score was perfect. The music, the cinematography and the sweeping, touching story created an immensely powerful and memorable film. It had an amazing, timeless feel to it. Spielberg created a movie that feels like it could have been made 50 years ago.
Both fronts are shown throughout the film, and I really appreciated how the characters were written. There was only one “villain” in the movie, and he wasn’t involved in the war. Every character was human, and, as one poignant scene showed us, they could be friends…if their countries weren’t at war with one another. They were simply human beings fighting for their country.
After seeing it, my mom and I were talking about how most of the actors weren’t very well known. I recognized several of them, but after looking at the cast list, I realized that I am familiar with a good number of them; I just didn’t recognize them. Tom Hiddleston has a small but powerful role in the film, as does David Kross.
The film was based on a play that is currently on Broadway and the play itself was based on a book. I’m very eager to see the play. According to Wikipedia, it is starting in Toronto this year! I may have to plan a weekend trip to see the play, which is said to be extraordinarily good. I’m curious to see the puppet used onstage and its effect on the story.