I finally got the chance to check out Thor: The Dark World earlier this week and while I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did its 2011 predecessor, I had a good time with the movie and want to take a few lines here to share my impressions. First and foremost, it’s funny. As you might expect, Kat Dennings is great as Darcy. That said, it’s odd to label her as the comic relief given all of the levity provided by other characters throughout the film when she is nowhere to be found. Also, as you’re probably even more inclined to expect, Tom Hiddleston is fantastic as Loki and chews up virtually every second of screen time that he’s allotted. On the other hand, what the film had in humor it lacked in drama, conflict, tension, and/or just answers in general. Who are the Dark Elves and why do they insist on everyone living in darkness? What is the Aether and why is it a death sentence for some and a source of all-encompassing power for others? It’s like I walked into the movie 15 minutes late although I’m sure I was seated in time and watched the entire thing. In other words, see Thor: The Dark World for the 112 minute escape that it is and you should be fine. Expect to come out of it with some idea of how and why everything happened outside of just pure coincidence and you’re setting yourself up for frustration.
My one paragraph review aside, this week’s Top 5 includes the first trailers for Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah, our visit to the set of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, a series of Super Mario Bros. short films that you may love or that may leave you scratching your head, the first teaser trailer for Disney’s Maleficent, and the uplifting story of BatKid fighting crime in San Francisco. As is routine, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
1. First Two Trailers for Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH
This week not only introduced us to the first footage and poster from Darren Aranofsky’s Noah but also to the film’s first two trailers. While I wouldn’t consider myself an Aranofsky fanboy, I’ve liked a majority of his films and even the ones I don’t “like” I still respect due to the filmmaker’s palpable skill. Where Noah falls on this scale for me remains to be seen (I enjoy both trailers), but I can only echo Matt’s sentiment from his trailer write-up that I hope Paramount allows Aranofsky’s unique vision to remain intact for the final cut.
2. ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES Set Visit
Without a doubt, one of my most anticipated films for the remainder of 2013 is Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. That in mind, while I’m thankful our own Dave Trumbore was able to visit the film’s set at the SeaWorld San Diego dolphin exhibit and bring us this set visit recap and these set interviews with Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, another part of me is filled to the brim with an all-encompassing jealousy.
3. SUPER MARIO BROS. Gets the “Gritty Reboot” Treatment
What we have here is a Super Mario Bros. short film series from Snow White and the Huntsman writer Evan Daugherty. Mr. Daugherty wrote and directed this four installment series, entitled The Four Players, based on ideas he says he’s been tossing around since before he joined the film industry. The end result is something that teeters between a snide look at the “gritty reboot” trend prevalent in today’s pop culture and a crash and burn that’s borderline unwatchable. I have to think that the way you look at these short films ultimately depends on whether or not you believe Daugherty is in on the joke.
4. First Trailer and Poster for Disney’s MALEFICENT
In more trailer debut news, Disney premiered its first teaser trailer and first poster for the Angelina Jolie led Maleficent this past week. The film is a new take on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale and features Jolie in a villainous role that she seems tailor-made for. Helmed by Oscar-winning production designer Robert Stromberg in his directorial debut, the film’s mise-en-scène looks to be similarly stellar as Stromberg’s previous work on films such as Alice in Wonderland and Avatar. Color me excited for this one.
5. BatKid Fights Crime in San Francisco
For the most part, this last story falls outside of our standard coverage wheelhouse. Nevertheless, it’s just too damn inspiring not to share in spite of the fact that you’ve probably already seen or heard about it via any number of national media outlets. Miles is a five-year-old boy battling leukemia. With the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the city of San Francisco was transformed into Gotham for an afternoon so that Miles could fulfill his dream of being Batman (or “BatKid”) and defending its citizens from the likes of The Riddler, The Penguin, and more. Are they only make believe? Yes. Should I have grown out of superheroes years ago? I don’t think so and this story helps illustrate why. At their core, these characters mean much more to our society than box office dollars and merch sales. Here is proof.