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Yesterday, Free Comic Book Day, and Thor

Yesterday, Free Comic Book Day, and Thor

Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day. Pepe Melan and I spent the morning at the local Comic Shop in Lancaster signing comics and talking to comic book fans. It wasn’t as big as last years gathering, but it was still nice to meet so many people like us who love comics. We made a few connections which may result in more news here later.

If you’re a person who reads and is passionate about comics please support your local comic shop. It seems to me they are dying away, especially in the smaller towns like mine.

After the signing we decided to catch the new comic book-based movie, Thor. I went into the theater with a sense of “I hope this movie is good.” I was not disappointed. Anthony Hopkins as Odin was expectedly great. I am willing to over look that the film makers cast other supposedly Nordic gods in the film who were Asian and African-American, It is after all, fantasy and who is to say that an alien culture from another place would not be as diverse as our own here on Earth. To the bitching I’ve seen online I say “It’s a comic book film people, get over it.”

The film is a bit slow in places, but I think it was necessary because it was a big story to tell. My main concern was that the story would be too big and complex for the average non-comic reading moviegoers. To be fair I think Kenneth Branagh pulled this off nicely. The story by J. Michael Straczynski was a good translation of comic to film. Since he was the writer of the comic I think he was the right choice for the film.

The story is spread across three realms or planets Asgard (realm of the gods), Yodenheim (realm of the Frost Giants, and Earth (realm of mortals). The movie skips between them telling a story in each. There is war with the Frost Giants, punishment of arrogance, betrayal, and redemption. I liked the Einstein explanation of travel between the realms.

The acting is decent, as I said Hopkins is perfect as a god-king. The other actors fit their roles as well. I could probably done without the comic relief of Cat Denning, it seemed out of place or maybe added to keep teenagers entertained. I was disappointed with SHIELD, they’re supposed to be an organization that handles super-human threats. I don’t think the portrayal was fair, they had their butts handed to them numerous times in the film. If they are a line of defense for the planet I think we’re in trouble.

I’ve seen other reviews saying the movie is another Dark Knight or as brilliant as Lord of the Rings. I don’t think I would go that far. It was a good film, not sure if I’d see it twice at the theater. If early box office is an indicator I think the movie will be the success it deserves to be. If the upcoming Summer of comic book movies are as well done as Thor we are in for a great bunch of comic-based films.

Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch

I really wanted to like Sucker Punch. Visually the movie is interesting, but I’ve seen this style in Snyder’s other films like Watchmen and 300. So it really wasn’t anything new or groundbreaking. I had actually waited for both of these films for rental rather than seeing them in the theater. I probably should have done the same for Sucker Punch.

The story was predictable. You knew where it was going next. There were not any surprises in that department. The overuse of slo-mo gun battles and sword fights became tedious after the first couple of scenes, and I guess if you’re inside your mind during these fights you are a complete badass.

The characters in the film were uninteresting and flat. I just didn’t care what happened to them. The villain was just not very good, like he was trying too hard to be bad.  The story was simple. Young girl’s (Babydoll) mother dies leaving her with twisted evil stepdad. He has her put in an asylum where the creepy orderly will have her lobotomized.

Babydoll retreats into her mind to join up with other inmates to attempt an escape. In the process fighting weird creatures, samaurai-like beings, and creepy Steampunk Germans. I won’t give away anything more except to say why aren’t there more movies with dragons? That was the coolest scene in the film, and all too short.

Pretty girls and neat special effects do not make a good movie though. I guess I want a good plot and to be challenged by having to think a little bit. Not a terrible film, but maybe just a rental?