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Thor: The Dark World (film)

Thor: The Dark World is the sequel to Marvel’s Thor. Chris Hemsworth is back as the titular Asgardian, along with Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and the always stunning Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. Alan Taylor (The Emperor’s New Groove) takes over the director’s chair for Kenneth Branagh, and you can tell that there’s someone new in charge. Thor was a character-driven action film with deep Shakespearean themes. Thor: The Dark World is a special effects-driven action film with a lot of loud noises. There are a lot of familiar characters, there are a couple of new characters, and there are a lot of fight scenes but you don’t know what is at stake, so you don’t care what happens.

The second movie in a superhero franchise is usually the best film because you already know the characters and you can get to the good stuff right away. Spider-Man 2, X2, the list goes on and on. But Thor: The Dark World is a step backward. There are a lot of good things about this movie. It has cool action scenes. Natalie Portman is pretty. The climatic battle practically redeems the whole movie. But the problem is that you don’t give a fuck about any of the characters. You just wonder where Iron Man is. It’s worth seeing; just don’t expect it to be better than The Avengers.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

The Olympics are an amazing event. Every four years, athletes from various nations get a chance to compete against the world and represent their countries. Most athletes will never get a medal; the highlight of their Olympic experience is typically the Opening Ceremony. The host country usually puts on a little display to show off how amazing their country is, and there’s a lot of music and theatrics and fireworks. Then there’s the Parade of Nations where all the represented countries get a shout out and a moment in the spotlight.

The 2008 Beijing Opening Ceremony was amazing. It was an impressive display of China’s power, and their power is in their population. They have a shit ton of people. And they can do shit in unison and that is terrifying and awesome. The London Games had a tough act to follow.

They tried though. They got renowned director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later) to direct the show, and they had every single British celebrity you can think of make an appearance. They had Daniel Craig a.k.a. James Bond! They had the mother fucking Queen of England! They had David Beckham and J.K. Rowling and Kenneth Branagh! They even had Mr. Bean and Sir Paul McCartney (the last good living Beatle)! There are only a handful of world-famous Brits and they were all there.

There was a theme to the ceremony. I’m sure there was. But it was boring and so I don’t know what it was. At one point they were paying homage to the Industrial Revolution and they forged Olympic Rings and it was beautiful and awe-inspiring. And then that shit just kept going on and on. And on and on. Then it went on some more. By the time the Parade of Nations was starting, I was done. I have the internet; I can see what countries are competing on my own time. I don’t need to rely on NBC’s extensive Olympic coverage.

It wasn’t a terrible Opening Ceremony. It just had the bad luck of following the best Opening Ceremony of all time. The Summer Olympics have started. That’s all that matters. Let the games begin.

Critically Rated at 12/17

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