Monday, May 23, 2011

2 Very Brief Movie Reviews from 2011: Thor; No Strings Attached

Thor (2011) - in 3D
Director - Kenneth Branagh
PG-13; 115 min
Thor - Chris Hemsworth
Jane - Natalie Portman
Loki - Tom Hiddelston
Odin - Anthny Hopkins
Erik - Stellan Skarsgard

The movie begins with a scene that involves Natlie Portman on earth, in the desert, chasing strange weather patterns.  Then there is about 30 minutes of back story explaining who Thor is and what planet/solar system/bridged space place he is from and why we should care.  Then it goes back to Natalie Portman.  Then we get more back story about the Ice beings and their issues with Thor and his father the king Odin.  Somewhere in between we learn about Thor's brother Loki and what his role is, and back on earth we learn more about Erik (Stellan Skarsgard - a great actor, normally) and why he is there.  In between all of this we have the story of Thor being banished from his neck of the woods and into ours and why there is a crossover battle in the desert that involves a large machine thing and a small western-like town.  The 3D adds nothing and detracts fully.  The movie rides the razor's edge of being a children's cartoon with all the corny CGI and terrible dialogue.

Anyone who has read even a few of my movie reviews knows that this is not the type of film I normally care for (so yeah, take it for what it is), but putting that aside, this is still a terrible movie.  I tried to be 'entertained' for 2 hours and just enjoy my popcorn, but nothing about this film added up to anything good.

* out of 5

No Strings Attached (2011)
Director - Ivan Reitman
R; 108 Min
Natalie Portman - Emma
Ashton Kutcher - Adam
Kevin Kline - Alvin

Director Ivan Reitman's name is attached to a whole lot of decent and very good films from long ago (Meatballs, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Twins) but nothing much to note in recent years, unless you really loved the tv pilot for Cooking Lessons in 2004.  Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman are both bonified movie stars sure to bring in money, and true to form the film has more than tripled its 25,000,000 budget.  In this film the two stars have enough chemistry to make it enjoyable enough for two people to sit through on a Saturday evening at home and maybe laugh once or twice and not exactly want to light themselves on fire.  Nothing new is done here - a boy and a girl want to have sex but no relationship beyond that except one of them falls for the other and of course the other does too, and the in between is a bunch of friends telling them they are crazy for different reasons.  It's not a terrible movie, but it's really not very good either.  It is the exact definition of an average romantic comedy.

** and 1/2 out of 5


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