Thor, Jane Eyre and Ringer

I’ve wanted to see more of Chris Hemsworth since his too-brief appearance in JJ Abram’s Star Trek.  Yesterday Thor was released on DVD, so my friend and I watched it together.  I’ve never read the Thor comics or studied Norse mythology, unless watching Erik The Viking counts.  My impressions of the movie will focus on the actors.  I’m still not sure what a Bifröst is, and there will be no whingeing about the differences between the movie and the comic books.

Thor was enjoyable enough, but I’m not a huge fan of all digital backgrounds.  Asgard shimmered and glowed with shiny surfaces and deep colors, but I never suspended my disbelief for moment. Jotenheim didn’t shimmer and shine at all, but it was still too digital.  I much preferred the scenes set on planet earth—even the scenes set in a small town in the New Mexico desert, a town that looks like it was built expressly for a giant silver robot to ravage.

I must say, the few seconds of Chris Hemsworth bare-chested in jeans was worth the price of the DVD rental.  Oh, my.  Hemsworth is 6’3″ but he looked even bigger in several of his scenes.  Perhaps the DVD extras reveal some special effects involved with that.  I wouldn’t know, since rental DVDs like Thor don’t come with extras.   Hemsworth has beautiful blue eyes, and his beard didn’t bother me too much.  It’s easy to dismiss the acting talent needed to play a superhero, but Hemsworth had to make some pretty silly lines sound convincing.

Thor began without any opening credits, so my friend and I had to play the “name that actor” game throughout the movie.  I knew I’d seen the actor playing Loki, but the straight black hair threw me off.   I guessed JJ Feild instead of Tom Hiddleston.  These two actors look a lot alike, and I’m hardly the first person to notice it.  They would be perfect for a remake of A Tale of Two Cities.  Tom Hiddleston, sporting light brown curly hair, has a supporting role in Wallander with Kenneth Branagh (director of Thor).  I’ve watched the series wishing Hiddleston had more to do.  He had plenty to do in Thor.  In many ways, Loki is a more interesting character than Thor, and Hiddleston had my attention throughout the movie.  He’s definitely on my “actors to watch” list, and his next film is War Horse this Christmas.

Tom Hiddleston and JJ Feild

Tom Hiddleston (left) and JJ Feild (right)

I’ve liked Kat Dennings since I saw her in Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist.  She provided some welcome comic relief in Thor.  She played the assistant to Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster.  Portman was okay, but it was hard to take her seriously as a scientist, since her character spent most of the movie swooning over Thor.  Not that I can blame her.  Stellan Skarsgård was fine, but he didn’t have a whole lot to do except get hammered drinking with Thor (sorry, couldn’t resist).  I’m familiar with Canadian actor Colm Feore, but my friend and I were at a loss to figure out who he played when we saw his name in the closing credits.  Then we read further.  He played the king of the frost giants.   All those blue prosthetics with glowing red contacts made him unrecognizable.

Speaking of closing credits, I only found out after I returned the DVD that there was a post-credit scene.  Damn.  Now I have to see if anybody has put it on YouTube yet.  It’s a teaser for the Avengers movie, I assume, which will also feature Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.

*   *   *   *

I was prepared to embrace the new Jane Eyre with Mis Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, but it was disappointing. It’s told in flashbacks after Jane runs away from Thornfield, so it might be confusing to someone who hasn’t read the book or seen other filmed versions.  Many parts were rushed or dropped altogether to squeeze the story into two hours. Too much of this valuable time was spent on Jane and St. John (Jamie Bell), while the relationship between Jane and Mr Rochester developed too quickly to be believable. Normally I like Fassbender and Bell, and Wasikowska impressed me as Jane, but I still didn’t care for this movie.

*   *   *   *

Sarah Michelle Gellar plays identical twins in the new CW drama Ringer.  I watched the premiere because favorite Ioan Gruffudd has a supporting role.  He was great in Horatio Hornblower, but his career lost momentum after he appeared in the Fantastic Four movies.  I was relieved that his accent in Ringer is British, because I’ve never been impressed with his American accent.  The series is about a twin on the run who takes the place of her rich sister.  In spite of the ridiculous premise, it wasn’t as bad as I expected.  It shows some promise, at least, and I’ll watch again to see if it grows on me.  I forgot how interminable the commercial breaks are on the CW, so that will probably influence how often I watch.  It’s a tough time slot.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rachel on September 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I totally agree with you about Jane! I was disappointed in it as well because of how the rushed the relationship between Jane & Rochester. I also thought they unnecessarily made St. John a jerk.

    Reply

    • I was tempted to say St John was a jerk, but I couldn’t remember if he was that way in the book. Thanks for the confirmation. I guess we’ll have to wait another five or six years for the inevitable remake.

      Reply

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