Movie Review: Thor

I’ve been delaying this movie review for as long as possible, because it’s been hard to process my feelings about the film. When I left the theater, I was convinced I didn’t like the movie. In retrospect, I think my complaints are a bit more specific than an overall dislike.

The movie opens with Odin waging war against the Frost Giants of Jotunheim to prevent them from conquering the nine realms, including Earth. The Asgardians seize their source of power and the Frost Giants attempt to retrieve it just before Thor (Odin’s son) is about to ascend to the throne. When Thor travels to Jotunheim to confront their leader, an all-out war erupts, and Odin is forced to intervene. Because Thor is unapologetic and arrogant about his actions, Odin exiles him to earth, in hopes that he’ll learn his lesson.

Before I continue, I’d like to confess that I ripped that entire plot off from Wikipedia, because I had absolutely no idea what was going on for the first twenty minutes of the film. That’s either because I have a pea-sized brain, or because I was not familiar with the story before entering the film, and it wasn’t properly executed for comic-book novices such as myself. Regardless, that opening scene was simply too long. The real fun of the film begins when Thor is banished to earth, and he becomes a fish out of water.
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Sarah Lake on 20/20 — Still Won’t Keep Quiet About Black Swan

Oh Sarah Lake . . . you still don’t get it. I’ll explain it to you again so that you understand why your behavior is inappropriate. It’s absolutely none of your business if the movie studio wants to portray Natalie Portman as a ballerina. You were hired to be her dance-double, and you did your job. Now be done with it. To go on national television and expose who really did all the dancing is ridiculous and unprofessional. In the interview below, Lake explains that she’s discussing the issue because she wants to “stand up for the art form,” so people don’t think they can become a professional ballet dancer in a year and a half. Here’s the problem — no one thinks that. And what if they do think that? What’s the harm? If I think I can become a professional ballet dancer in a year, then maybe I’ll take up the sport and get in shape while trying. Maybe more people will become interested in ballet, which only helps the art form. But if I’m convinced that it takes me 20 years, then why bother? Get my point Ms. Lake? Learn the business of Hollywood before you run your mouth.

Natalie Portman’s ‘Black Swan’ Body Double Speaks — Bad Move Sarah Lane?

Even though It’s gutsy when the lone wolf stands up to the big bad Hollywood studio, it’s also career suicide.  Sarah Lane is making the interview rounds to discuss just how much work she did as Natalie Portman’s body double in Black Swan.  Lane says Natalie Portman did only 5% of the work, contrary to the 85% claimed by  Benjamin Millipied, Natalie’s choreographer and fiance.  She claims she wants to clear this up, not because she’s jealous of Natalie’s success, but because she thinks it’s an insult to dancers everywhere to suggest that someone could become a professional ballet dancer in only a year.  She’s also unhappy that she’s not even credited as Portman’s body double, having only been mentioned at the very end of the credits as a “Lady in the Lane.”  Nothing pleases me more than defending the little guy, but I’ll make an exception this time around.  First, it’s really none of Lane’s business how Fox Searchlight Pictures (the movie studio) wishes to portray Natalie Portman’s dancing ability.  If they want to stretch the truth to make their movie sell, then so be it.  Sarah Lane was paid for her work, and that’s all she’s entitled to.  Furthermore, if she wanted to be credited as Natalie Portman’s body double, then she should have a long talk with her agent that negotiated the deal.  These things are worked out in advance, and it’s therefore not the studio’s fault for billing her as a “Lady in the Lane” —  it’s her agent’s fault.  And lastly, as previously mentioned, this is career suicide.  Do you think a major movie studio is going to hire Sarah Lane again after she exposed information they didn’t want released?  Probably not.  When you have a job, do your job, keep your mouth shut, and get out.  Let this be a lesson.

Today’s Rule: Stop Calling Romantic Comedies “Predictable”

It’s called a romantic comedy for a reason.  If the two main characters don’t get together in the end, then it’s not a comedy.  And if you use My Best Friend’s Wedding as an example I might throw something.  Sure that film was “unpredictable,” but it was also horrible.   Furthermore, I don’t pay good money to walk into a theater expecting a laugh, and leave the theater crying because the lead actress got hit by a bus.  So what inspired this hateful tirade?  Well, I saw the film No Strings Attached, which was surprisingly mediocre.  I use the term surprising, because I expected it to be terrible, and left feeling pleasantly complacent.  In Dishmaster land, complacent is equivalent to cheerful bliss.  After I left, I read the reviews, and I kept seeing the word “predictable.”  What exactly were the critics expecting?  There were certainly issues with the movie, but predicting the ending was not one of them.