I make no secret that I am not the biggest fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Liked the first one but really didn’t get the hype and not really excited about the upcoming Vol. 2. I love Spider-Man but with Spider-Man: Homecoming, this will be the sixth Spider-Man film and the trailers are cool but nothing really too exciting for me. Before Marvel Studios struck a deal with Sony to integrate Spider-Man into the MCU, Black Panther was scheduled to be released in 2017 and thus my most anticipated MCU film. But with that being delayed due to Spider-Man, my most anticipated MCU has become Thor: Ragnarok.
Thor was originally my favorite superhero in the MCU until Captain America slowly but surely supplanted that spot. As the movies continued, Thor continued to slide down the list of my favorites as they seemingly did not know what to do with the character. Since Thor is probably the most powerful Avenger, you have to take him out of most of the action scenes in those movies as he could seemingly end the conflict before it begins. The second Thor movie is just a case of mediocrity. So when Thor 3 became Thor: Ragnarok, my interest was piqued once again.
Thor’s Got His Helmet (Finally)
Other than a quick shot in the first Thor, Thor has never worn his iconic helmet. I knew it was because of the studio wanting to show off Chris Hemsworth and his face but it makes no logical sense. They even had old Anthony Hopkins wearing Odin’s helmet more than Thor himself. If Thor is a warrior with long flowing hair, it would be best to keep his hair in check as it can be used against him. I don’t know how much Thor will be wearing his helmet but the fact that it’s featured in a lot of the promo imagery, hopefully a good chunk.
You don’t get an actress like Cate Blanchett and just have her do nothing. This has been the biggest problems when it comes to the villains in the MCU. Great talent that is ultimately squandered. This does not seem to be the case with Hela in this movie as we frequently see her in the midst of doing something interesting. Whether it’s her destroying Mjolnir and taking on the armies of Asgard, it looks like she will be a villain who leads from the front. She will also be the first main big bad who is a woman which is a welcome change for the MCU. There are rumors she might stick around for future movies but she has already left an impression from the trailers…plus she wears Hela’s iconic and bizarre helmet.
Hey you know Idris Elba has been in three MCU films? No? Can’t blame you if you didn’t because he’s something of an afterthought. That looks to be changing with this one as we see more of Idris Elba as Heimdall doing more than guarding something. He is also sporting some fancy new hair and look. This does lead me to believe that there might be some sort of time jump within the movie.
All the major returning characters also seemingly have new looks.
There is also someone who has a new look but we’ll get to him next.
We all knew it was coming and we finally got it. The Incredible Hulk in gladiator attire. The movie somewhat adapts elements from the popular Planet Hulk storyline. The biggest question is how in the world did Hulk get there? The last we saw of him, he was in a quinjet going who knows where. A line in Captain America: Civil War seemed to indicate that he was still on Earth. So a big question the movie will have to answer is how Dr. Bruce Banner got there and how long has he been there?
Thor and Hulk Going Buckwild
The biggest thing about Thor and Hulk is that they are two most powerful Avengers. So usually the fight scenes between the two of them have had to be limited. Either no one is really strong enough to take them on or the destruction they would cause would be too great. So what’s the best solution? Take both of them off world to face opponents equally as strong as they are. Also there looks to be a rematch between Thor and Hulk from The Avengers, a fight that was a bit underwhelming. So it looks like this movie will be taking full advantage of their new locales and new technologies available to them.
Are you excited for Thor: Ragnarok? You can already tell that I am.
Thor is one of my favorite characters in all comics. His movie counterpart is not. While I highly enjoyed the first Thor movie, it has been scattered since then. He appears late into The Avengers and despite his brother being the main antagonist, he is not really a focal point. Thor: The Dark World is not a bad movie but it suffers from an identity crisis. Age of Ultron, Thor has to be taken out of many of the battles because he is so powerful he could probably ended the movie thirty minutes in. Plus his character probably got hurt the most by executive meddling as his scenes were devoted to setting up the larger MCU picture. So Thor is in need of a kick in the pants.
Taika Waititi is a filmmaker that I’m familiar but not one that I can say I’m a fan of. So it was interesting to see that he would be directing the latest Thor movie. But after the Russo Brothers took on the Captain America franchise and took it to new levels, I am open to anything. One of his mission statements going into the movie is to make Thor the most interesting character. In his own movies, Thor tends to get overshadowed by Loki. Though Loki is in Ragnarok, it is unkown just as how much.
Then there’s the added caveat of The Incredible Hulk. The Hulk due to some legal quagmires cannot have a solo movie. So the next best thing? Team him up in the Thor movie while adapting elements from the popular Planet Hulk storyline. Thor and Hulk trapped on a gladiator planet where even the two most powerful Avengers will have to fight for their lives and one another. The movie was described as something of a buddy road trip movie as Thor is left stranded on the other side of the galaxy. It won’t come as a surprise to see Thor drag Hulk with him as he will need all the help he can get to prevent Ragnarok.
The newcomers to the franchise are also exciting. Cate Blanchett will also be playing the first female big bad in the MCU, Hela. Academy Award winning actor winning certainly brings in a gravitas to whatever she is in. Tessa Thompson is one of the biggest up and coming actors is playing Valkyrie. Karl Urban will be playing Skurge the Executioner, someone who can take Thor on in a one on one fight. Jeff Goldblum is playing The Grandmaster who has ties to other MCU characters like The Collector and Thanos. These are all in addition to the already stellar cast from previous movies such as Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston.
There’s still much we do not know about the movie. Just how does Hulk get involved? Will there be an Infinity Stone? How well can Waititi juggle all these different elements? Will this be the end f the Asgardians? These answers will certainly be answered November 3, 2017.
Plus: we get to see the return of Doctor Strange. The post credits scene between Strange and Thor was filmed for Ragnarok.
Thor: Ragnarok is pegged to be one of the most important films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is the film that is supposed to have the strongest ties to the formerly titled Avengers: Infinity War 1 & 2. But Thor has to deal with Ragnarok aka The Twilight of the Gods. It has always been known that Hela would be the main antagonist. But it was revealed at San Diego Comic Con 2016 that she would not be alone. Two more villains were revealed and that was the Fenris Wolf and Surtur. Surtur is very important as Ragnarok has been depicted in the comics and Surtur is usually the cause of these events.
Though nothing was released the public, audiences inside of Marvel’s conference revealed that two pieces of concept art were shown. Thor (with a shorter haircut) will be facing off with the Fenris Wolf while Hulk will be squaring off with Surtur. Since Ragnarok is supposed to be the end of the Asgardian gods, it is no surprise that they would not take this lying down. Though exactly how the Hulk enters the fray is still a mystery, it is no surprise that he is in the movie. Thor will definitely need help in dealing with these events as he cannot call on the rest of the Avengers because despite them being warriors, they are still mortals. Though Hulk is a mortal, he is much more than that, sometimes equated to rage incarnate.
Thor and Hulk were excluded from the events of Captain America: Civil War because they are the two most powerful characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced. So where would they go? Only to an extinction level event brings the two together along with the Asgardian forces. Since Hulk cannot have a solo movie, his villains are trickier to introduce. So what’s the next best thing? Have him in Thor’s movie where it is filled with gods, demons and monsters.
Though the movie seems to be filled with villains, who knows how much of an actual role Surtur and the Fenris Wolf have? Hela still looks to be the driving force and the main antagonist. Cate Blanchett is playing the character and there is no way they are going to shaft the Academy Award winning actress. More and more details about Thor: Ragnarok is bound to come out in the months coming out. The movie has only been filming for about a week. Either way, the movie is shaping up to be an exciting movie. Is this the end of the Asgardians? We will see.
“Ghostbusters (2016) is a better version of Pixels which was a ripoff of Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters is the 2016 reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise that started in 1984. This film has been in development since the second film was released in 1989. It has seen many changes before finally finding a director in Paul Feig. Feig and screenwriter, Katie Dippold, settled to go for a complete continuity break and start fresh. Thus brings about the new Ghostbusters which is an all female crew. The four Ghostbusters are played by Melissa McCarty, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. So how is this film? It’s okay.
The plot of the film is basically the same as the 1984 film. This is a new team composed of two people who are versed in the paranormal but shunned, someone who shares in their belief and somewhat oft kilter and a layman who all join forces to take on the new threat to New York City. This was pretty much a safe bet and hard not to see why they did it but it still feels like something new could have been done. Though like the original film, the chemistry between the four helps elevate the film than what it could have been.
Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig have the best chemistry out of the two. This is probably due to working together before in Bridesmaids and also having the same director from that film in Feig. Melissa McCarthy was the biggest question mark to me as I have never been a fan of her work and she has a noticeable gimmick that is unfunny to me. But she plays it straight along with Wiig which was something unexpected. Unfortunately they really have nothing to do after the first act but they are solid performers. Leslie Jones was probably the biggest surprise as I have only seen her in bit parts outside of Saturday Night Live. She works really well with the rest of the cast and has much more to do compared to her counterpart in the 1984 film. Kate McKinnon is the only one who didn’t sell me completely. I didn’t think she was bad but she seemed to be in an entirely different movie which sometimes work and sometimes didn’t.
The rest of the cast also falls in line with McKinnon as they are all broad and outlandish. Chris Hemsworth gets the noticeable role as the secretary to the new Ghostbusters who is a complete idiot. It’s subtly implied that he’s gotten by in life due to his good looks. It was refreshing to see Hemsworth’s comedy chops but his character is a little too dumb sometimes. Andy Garcia as the Mayor also shows his comedy chops and makes you wonder why he hasn’t had too many comedic roles in the past. In fact he gets one of the biggest laughs towards the end of the movie but more on that later. The rest of the cast are just there and not worth much. In fact the villain is entirely forgettable and going into the movie I did not even know who the villain was and leaving, I realized why. He’s just a nothing character. Though the form the villain takes does answer a big question I’ve had about the Ghostbusters for some time.
So where does the problem start? About halfway through the film, once the Ghostbusters become an official team. After that, the movie is formulaic and and predictable. The third act is a complete mess. It rips off the ending of the 1984 movie and has destruction that is seen in superhero films. Paul Feig is a talented comedic director but when it comes to action, he probably should have gotten a better second unit director. It just becomes a series of computer generated ghosts and clutter. What doesn’t help is that there are no set rules for how to deal with ghosts like in the 1984 film. The third act is not very fun but Andy Garcia’s Mayor does get a moment where I found myself laughing.
Ghostbusters is not a bad film but it is also not a great film. I am not a big fan of the original film in 1984 so I can say that I did not have a bias going into the film. The cast helps elevate the film as you can easily see where it would fall apart if it a lesser cast of Ghostbusters. If there is a sequel, you can see where it would shine as most of the hard work is out of the way now. If you are a fan of the Ghostbusters in general or the four women, I will think you will enjoy this. But I can’t highly recommend it myself.
Today, July 4th, filming has officially begun on Thor: Ragnarok. This will be the third film in the Thor saga in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What makes this movie interesting is the role it will play in the MCU. Kevin Feige, who runs Marvel Studios, has said that Ragnarok will be a very important movie in the franchise. It will have key elements that will play into the two part Avengers: Infinity War (which will have name changes) so this is a movie worth keeping an eye out for.
Since it was only the first day of filming, it is really hard to say what they have shot. However there are some interesting behind the scene pictures that have come online. Some of them include a short haired Chris Hemsworth who plays Thor. This is interesting because there have been rumors that Thor will lose his traditionally long hair in a key moment of the film. They could be shooting these scenes first so Hemsworth can film all of his long haired scenes later.
Mark Ruffalo is also there on the first day. Ruffalo is the newest addition as he brings his character Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk into the Thor franchise. No one knows how much Banner or his alter ego are in the movie but it’s reason to say he will be an important part. Also interesting to note is that he also has shorter hair. His version of Banner has also sported shaggier hair so it will be interesting to see if this is a story element or just them doing something different with Banner.
Some set designs have been shown. The movie is being filmed in Australia and is the first MCU film to not be extensively filmed within North America or the United Kingdom. Will this film take advantage of Australia’s unique landscape? That’s yet to be seen but definitely would not rule it out. These sets do have echoes of The Middle Earth saga. Either way Thor: Ragnarok will turn out to be an interesting film. Eyes will certainly be on this film as filming continues and more actors come to set.