Ignoring “Fast Five” (which doesn’t count, because it doesn’t have a LEGO version of its poster), this coming weekend is the real start of the 2011 summer movie season, due to the opening of “Thor.” I’ve seen it and was more underwhelmed than most people, but that’s neither here nor there (we can still all be friends and meet up on the rainbow bridge right?). The fun will still begin as we all discuss the movies beyond the good or bad, like whether or not “Thor” promotes neopaganism or, better yet, a peace between believers in Creationism and believers in Evolution (implicitly through the magic + science themes). Anyway, here are some more pre-viewing discussions:
– At Cinema Blend, the gang has a summer preview highlighting the familiarity of all the tentpoles. Let’s just look at this week’s opener, “Thor.” Here’s what they see:
Thor is Flash Gordon? It’s hard not to watch the trailers for Thor and think of Flash Gordon. All those scenes in Asgaard are missing is a Queen soundtrack, and you’d have the same movie. Winged helmets and Queen just go together. Thor is, however, likely to be at least a little less campy. Especially in the parts of the film that seem to take place in the desert with Natalie Portman.
Going in, I saw more of a “Masters of the Universe” thing (as well as the similar “Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time”), particularly since it’s completely the opposite type of fantasy/reality crossover. Mortals don’t go to Asgard; Asgardians come to Earth. But yes, a Queen score would have been nice, and while it’s not really intentionally campy, I actually found “Thor” to be a lot sillier than “Flash Gordon.”
More notes, links and things up for discussion after the jump.
– More “Thor” expectations: in a list of 10 Bits of Norse Myth You Probably Won’t See in Thor, The Mary Sue highlights an additional sort of “Shakespearean” theme that is indeed unfortunately missing from Kenneth Branagh’s film. And given that it’s already a big fish-out-of-water comedy, it wouldn’t be that strange for the movie to use the old cross-dressing trope. From the myth of the Thrymskvitha:
they take a page from Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy and just dress Thor up like Freyja and send him in her place. So the gods dress Thor up in “jewels, women’s clothing down to his knees, a bridal head-dress,” and Freyja’s famous necklace Brísingamen. Loki, who we’ve already described as something of a shapeshifter and a genderbender, makes himself look like a handmaid, and off they go.
– Movieline wonders Where Will “Thor” Fall on the Summer Kick-Off Box Office List. They present a slideshow of the biggest summer openers. Fortunately for Paramount, “Thor” fits at least one of the trends among the titles, which mostly are either superhero movies or Universal monster revisits, and it helps if they feature Hugh Jackman apparently.
– Earlier this week, Movieline asked where the women of summer are. Now Brian Collins at Badass Digest wants to know Where’s the Horror? in his latest Terror Tuesday column. Not only has it so far been pretty bad for wide releases of the genre, the summer doesn’t have much promise either:
In a couple weeks we have Priest, which is yet another “not really horror” movie, and in 3D to boot, which as of late seems to be acting like more of a disincentive to see a movie. Other than that, we have to wait until August for anything that can be considered a full blown horror movie, and most don’t really hold much promise: a 3D remake of Fright Night, the 5th Final Destination movie, and Dimension’s oft-rescheduled Apollo 18, which is, sigh, half sci-fi anyway. The only one I’m really looking forward to is Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, which can boast the involvement of Guillermo Del Toro
Isn’t the summer usually a fun time for camp slashers and such? Or are most horror flicks piled into October these days?
– This Frank Miller-directed Gucci ad somewhat serves as a cross-promotion for “Captain America: The First Avenger,” despite its lack of direct co-branding. In fact, if anything, the superheroes I’m most reminded of by logos on screen are Shazam (or is the bolt more indicative of The Flash, or Thor, or Doc Samson, or, uh, the Schutzstaffel?) and Moon Knight. Is Gucci giving the geeks an extra whiff of something?
– Erik Davis at Movies.com asks for Your Favorite Summer Movie of All Time. I don’t know about these being “the best,” but if I similarly go on the memory of the experience I’d pick Burton’s “Batman,” “The Goonies,” “Howard the Duck” and “Dick Tracy,” all of which I was obsessed with the summers they came out. I apparently liked a lot of bombs. Here’s Davis’ pick:
It’s kind of hard to pick your favorite summer movie of all time. For me, I tend to lean toward the stuff I grew up with since those moviegoing experiences are the ones I remember the most. If I had to pick one favorite, though, I’d probably go with Jurassic Park. Till this day I remember seeing Jurassic Park with my dad and being completely blown away by the special effects, the story, the film’s heart-stopping moments and the hang-onto-your-seat surround sound. Jurassic Park provided the sort of summer moviegoing experience you want from every big blockbuster released between the months of May and August, and I still haven’t had an experience that’s topped it all these years later.
– As I’m always crazy about location depictions in film, I’m very thankful for Cracked’s 6 Myths About Famous Places You Believe (Thanks to Movies), which takes Hollywood to task on portrayals of Russia, Australia, Miami, the Louvre and Egypt. But the D.C. problem is the only one I can fully appreciate since I haven’t been to those others (save for Miami, the entry for which is a bit picky, though still strange). Citing problems with summer movies like “True Lies,” “The Invasion” and “Live Free or Die Hard”:
Every city pretty much looks the same, right?
This is why movies get so many little things wrong about D.C. — people who actually live there can chuckle when The Invasion showcases the capital’s many nonexistent newspaper stands, or when Live Free or Die Hard sticks in tollbooths, which the city actually has none of. But, like we said, those are little things. When you’re trying to pass off another city as Washington, D.C., it’s better to focus on the bigger giveaways, like maybe the freaking skyline. [….]
Here’s the thing: There are no skyscrapers in D.C.
– I’m not sure I totally get the point of this Geek Zodiac infographic, mainly because I was hoping it was more about uniting years of movie trends. But anyway I was apparently born in the year of the pirate, which might explain why I enjoy the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies so much more than my peers and look forward to “On Stranger Tides” more than any other tentpole this year.
– Which is exactly why I’ll go against my usual grain and share a clip of a movie before I’ve even seen it. Is this a slapsticky sign that Rob Marshall is giving me a “Pirates of the Carribbean” movie reminiscent of “The Pirate Movie”? Oh goodness, I hope so.
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