THOR's Day

When I was much younger - so young that I didn’t even get it - I came across the following dirty joke about Thor: 

     Thor, god of Thunder, was walking the streets of Asgard with Odin, when Thor suddenly says, "It has been a long time, father, and the urges within me rage and threaten to burst out." 
     Odin ponders for awhile the horror of letting the god of thunder become unhinged, and all the damage that could come from it, and he replies, "Go to Earth, O Thor, and find thyself what they call a 'lady of joy' and treat her to your manly pleasures." 
     And this Thor did. The next day, he came back up to see Odin, and told him of the previous night's events. "My father," he said, grinning from ear to ear, "It was wonderful. The passion was released from within me 37 times!" 
     "37 times!" exclaimed Odin. "That poor woman! Mere mortals cannot endure such treatment. You must go and apologize this instant!" 
     So Thor went back down to earth and found the aforementioned prostitute, saying. "I'm sorry about last night, but you see, I'm Thor..." 
     "You're Thor?" shouted the girl. "You're Thor? What about me? I'm tho thor I can't thpeak and can hardly pith!" 

That’s how I feel right now. I saw the Midnight Premiere of THOR, but before that was dinner with friends, then not enough room in the car for everyone, so someone had to hang out at a sports bar waiting, and anyway, the point is I ended up sitting for about six and a half straight hours. 

Hyperion was not made for this. 

I’m not complaining. The meal was great, and while I was sitting around I got a short story mostly written, and you do what you have to do for the god of Thunder....

But the end result is that I find myself today feeling physically haggard, creatively bereft, and not capable of my usual 5000 word make-you-feel-like-you’re-there brilliance.  

I’ll just give you a couple of highlights. 

You can't touch this....(literally)

Before the movie they were giving away prizes for answering Trivia questions. Most of them were easy (I felt), but I was too tired to even try to raise my hand, let alone speak. The last prize, however, was two free tickets, and the question was what is the name of Thor’s Hammer. (It’s “Mjöllnir,” which is pronounced myol-neer). People kept saying it and they weren’t quite getting the pronunciation right, and this wasn’t helped by the fact that the Trivia Girl wasn’t sure herself, so it was chaotic.  Finally the manager looks at me and says, “I’m looking at this guy, and I”m thinking HE knows the right answer.” After I told him who to give the tickets to I was sitting there feeling quietly proud when I started thinking, “Wait a minute. Did that guy think I knew because I couldn’t hide my natural geniusicity, or for some other reason, and if so, WHAT OTHER REASON?????”


A couple of the Trailers were for movies I have written about and linked to before - GREEN LANTERN and COWBOYS & ALIENS - although these were new more fleshed-out Trailers and worth seeing.  The new Trailers were for:

COLUMBIANA (Zoe Saldana is an unstoppable assassin; no word on whether she was hired by the Navi)

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (the crowd was derisive until they saw it was a Guillermo del Toro film and then they got all giddy - sort of the opposite reaction people in when watching the Trailer last year for DEVIL)

SUPER 8 (Directed by JJ Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg, which has many people excited; some guy behind me quipped, “It looks like E.T. on steroids”)

CAPTAIN AMERICA (Think Six Million Dollar Man meets The Hulk meets PEARL HARBOR)

Movie-Hype #765  THOR

It’s awesome. 

What do you want from me? I said I was hurty.  Thor is everything you’d want in an old-school super-hero movie.  It’s cheesy, but in the best way. I mean, c’mon - the story is about the god of thunder who somehow makes his way to earth and has adventures with humans.  This isn’t exactly the gritty realism of The Wire, but it’s not supposed to be.  

Asgard is way cool - very futuristic and yet ancient at the same time, ten times cooler than the rendering of Mt. Olympus in that dreck CLASH OF THE TITANS. Odin is played by Anthony Hopkins - always a great thing. His wife Frigga is Rene Russo, and even though she doesn’t have much to do here, remember that Marvel very carefully sets up their super-hero films as franchises, so there’s every hope she’ll have more to do later. 

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is appropriately ambiguous and troubling, Sif (Jaime Alexander) is luscious and bad-ass at the same time and Colm Feore continues to impress with his King Laufey.. (If you’re not aware of their mythological significance of these names in the Aesir cannon going in don’t worry about it.)

On the human character side, Natalie Portman is an astro-physicist who discovers wormholes, and she’s every bit as unbelievable as any woman (or man for that matter) the movies have tried to make us believe are staggering super-geinuses of theoretical science (anyone remember Denise Richards as Nuclear Physicist Dr. Christmas Jones?), but it’s okay that her character is ridiculous because it’s Natalie Portman, and she’s really only there so we’ll find her adorable, especially when she gets all tongue-tied after meeting Thor. 

(By the way, how cool would it be if Mila Kunis came out with a Thor knock-off six months from now, something like “Mars: god of war” where Mila plays the human Mars falls for? Ever since BLACK SWAN and then Natalie making NO STRINGS ATTACHED and Mila immediately coming out with FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS I’ve been convinced that Kunis is now cinema-stalking her more famous counterpart.)

Other humans are Stellan Skarsgaard, who’s mostly there for his awesome accent, which makes him believable when he talks about Norse mythology stories he heard as a child, and Kat Dennings as the wise-cracking intern sidekick. In an Indie THOR Kat would have had the Natalie Portman love-interest role, which makes me wonder what an Indie THOR would actually look like.  Then again, Indie street-cred would demand forgoing special effects, and one place you don’t want to skimp on special effects is HAMMER TIME in a Thor movie, so maybe it’s for the best. 

(This brings up another point: there were two theaters playing the midnight show - in 2-D and in 3-D.  I was keenly aware of how Thor throws his Hammer all over the place in the comic, which might look hella-cool in 3-D, but I’m also generally of the opinion that 3-D is being over-exploited right now by Hollywood as a cash grab. After finding out that THOR was NOT shot with 3-D cameras, but was up-converted from 2-D for theaters, we made the decision to stick with normal, and while I haven’t seen both versions I STRONGLY STRONGLY STRONGLY urge you to do the same.)


As you may know, while Thor may not be the most top-of-the-mind story you remember from childhood, he is important to your life in one central way - he’s where we get Thursday.  Although Friday has a special place in our hearts (as it’s Fun Fun Fun Fun) I think Thursday may be the best overall day of the week.  In fact, I’m calling it Thor’s Day for the rest of my life, and you should too! (Why they didn’t try to tie that in and open the movie on Thursd...I mean Thor’s Day, is beyond me.)

And because I feel you need to know these things, here are the other inspiration for the days of the week: 

SUNDAY - from Sunnandæg or literally “Sun’s Day.” Makes sense the first day of the week would be to honor the biggest thing we could find in the sky. 

MONDAY - from the Old English Mōnandæg, or “Moon Day.”

TUESDAY - from Tiwesdæg or “Tiw’s Day.”  Tiw translates to the German version of Mars, god of war. Again this makes total sense, Astronomically speaking. 

WEDNESDAY -  from Wōdnesdæg or “Wodan’s Day” (Odin’s Day).  You might wonder why Odin, the all-father main god of the Aesir, gets the middle of the week, but perhaps it will make more sense to know that Roman’s associated him with Mercury. 

THURSDAY - Thor’s Day - forever and ever, baby! (Planet-wise, Thor is connected to Zeus, or Jupiter, because of the Lightning.)

FRIDAY - from Frīġedæġ or “Frige’s Day.” If you’ve been following along I bet you can guess what Roman goddess the Norse Frige was associated with......yep - Venus. 

SATURDAY - from Sæternesdæg or Saturn’s Day.   

End of Interlude

Where were we?  Oh yeah - what about Thor himself?  The film does a fantastically great job here, capturing the essence of the comic book character as best they can crossed with aspects of the generally known traits of the mythological figure.  It’s tough sledding - because Thor was known as arrogant, brash, impulsive, hot-headed, violent....not exactly a role model for the Kids today.  

Not to worry, though, for the Thor we see if all those things while still likable and fun...and this is in no small part because of destined-to-be-a-HUGE-star Chris Hemsworth.  Seriously - write it down.  He’s expressive, has stormy eyes, and he looks like a super-sized cut version of Brad Pitt. (He reminded me so much of a young Brad Pitt, and considering Anthony Hopkins plays his dad, and the subject matter of the THOR movie, that I joked it should be called “Legends of the Fall.”)

At one point in the film Thor has his shirt off, and I’m here to tell that in an audience of over-caffeinated jacked-up hammer-wielding ornamental wing-wearing fanboys there were audible gasps. They could probably make a movie called “Chris Hemsworth walks around nearly naked” and it would make 50 million dollars. I’d go once or twice, if only to prove I’m comfortable with my own masculinity. (Yeah, that’s the reason....)

Overall I thought THOR was pretty terrific. It didn’t have the sophisticated gravitas of the recent Batman movies or as many spectacular action sequences as we’re used to, but the film had plenty of heart was abounded with great moments of humor. It was directed by Kenneth Branagh, which might seem an odd choice for the subject matter, but I’m sure he helped keep the grand vision of Asgard alive.  Perhaps best yet, they continued to build on the Avenger’s theme, and when they finally get all the characters together it should be great.  

No one is going to walk from THOR saying it was their favorite movie ever, but I feel confident that no one is going to be disappointed, either.  I suppose I could have maybe wished for more actual Thunder and Lightning, but then, what would I have to look forward to in the sequel? 

May 6, 2011

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1 comment:

marg said...

how come no one's commented yet? i thot it was a great review, even though i dont remember ever reading a thor comic. where is the HYPERION NATION? come on people, comment!