Tag Archive: Marvel


Thor: Ragnarok

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Once I found out that Thor: Ragnarok was on video, I wanted to see it.

Thor RagnarokIt is no secret that I am a big fan of the Marvel comic series movies. I have seen most of them and love them. Each one fits into to the overall story line, with different issues being addressed specific to those characters.

But this one I knew was going to be different. It was reported that Chris Hemsworth wanted a different feel to this movie and I could understand why. Thor is a stoic character most of the time with a bit of fiery emotion that is hard to control. This can be hard to play all of the time.

In using new director Taiki Watiti, improvisation was the rule on set. Some of the lines came from suggestions from a fan who visited on set during a make-a-wish visit. Others came during the moment of filming. We have seen glimpses of humor throughout the past movies but here Hemsworth allows us to see a goofier and sometimes more honest version of Thor.

But there are other momentary glimpses of perfection. Such as when a Led Zepplin song is used for the final battle song. I giggled and screamed a little when I realized the legendary English band’s ode to Nordic myth set the scene for this important battle. I could have sworn Loki’s hair did a slow motion swoop during this scene, matching the musicality of the song.

The story is about Thor’s need to get home after being captured on a distant planet. He needs to beat the super opponent in order to be able to leave. And he must get back home to stop his older sister, that he never knew about, from destroying Asgard.

Thor and LokiWhile I love this series for developing characters and making us like them even more than before, never have I seen this group of actors mix the serious and the humorous so seamlessly. His description of the break-up with Jane is telling and funny and face-saving in one fell swoop.

But other characters, including Tom Hiddleston and Jeff Goldblum go for the humor as well, working in the subtleties of their characters as allowed. It is not a total wink at the camera but there is enough to let us know the actors are trying to have fun while dealing with the serious aspects of this movie.

There are plenty of sight gags and oops moments, physical humor and eye rolls that make us laugh. But there are also moments of emotional angst and personal introspection as characters decide who they really are as a soulful creature. There are always ethical issues to mull over in a Marvel comic book movie but here we get it mixed with humor.

Thor valkarie and helaCate Blanchette, Tessa Thompson and Rachel House are great as women warriors who fight with fury and their own sense of purpose or right and wrong. There are so many moments with these women that you just need to watch the whole movie to catch their wonderful moments that string along wonderful baubles into a beautiful necklace.

The essentials of the Marvel movie remains. But the differences make this movie worth the viewing. Who can resist The Immigrant Song by Led Zepplin during the major battle scene?

No one, I tell you, no one.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Big Action Adventure

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

When your family is made of boys and their friends, action-adventure is going to be the most frequent movie selections.

In the last week, we saw two of the biggest movies in that genre.

Star Wars The Force AwakensI thought when I brought home Star Wars:The Force Awakens that this would be our Friday night movie. But no!!! The case was snatched out of my hands, barely leaving my digits intact. The movie was watched that night by the teen boys. It was watched the next day by my husband. It played a third time because the 11-year-old did not get to see it. I managed to watch bits and pieces each time till I got most of the story and saw the final revelatory scene.

What a movie! What action! What storytelling!

A part of me thought about how so much is similar to the original story. A child is in dire straits, making money by salvaging or repairing the items left behind. Their parentage has slim links to anyone else. And yet this young person is smart, resourceful, and filled with an unknown power.

There are differences in this tale. There is a villain who comes from the bravest and righteous of people. Someone formerly with the Empire’s army can no longer stomach the evil he must do. And I feel myself being pulled into the story, the conflicts, the grandness of it all despite seeing how it is a re-tread. Knowing that the sequel does not come out before 2017 is nearly painful.

We also saw Captain America: Civil War. We went to Movies 10 which now has these wonderful reclining seats. My husband loved the seats. I would have liked it if you could only recline the back. In the end I sat with the recliner at full relaxation mode, still unsure if I liked it.

Captain America Civil WarIn this final film of the Captain America trilogy, many nations are calling for responsibility from the Avengers for the damage and death their battles leave. Individual members of the Avengers are being asked to sign the Accord to provide safety. But Captain America refuses. And when the international group is targeted by a bomb, his friend Bucky is identified as the mastermind.

Cap knows this to be wrong and he makes a choice that will pit fellow avengers against each other. It leads to one epic battle that will lead to another.

It is strong storytelling with dialogue that reminds us these people are friends, life long friends in some instances. The nuances are important with a cast this large, we actually learn about them and their motivations. The action is thrilling as well although at times I was left wondering if a person could really do some of the bits they did.

As for the movie, I once again came away impressed with the Marvel Franchise. Characters are allowed to grow and develop, over time they change their opinions, show their age. Stan Lee makes his usual appearance that allows humor to slip into a serious scene that can happen between friends.

Both movies are long, meant for pre-teens and older who will obsess over the characters. I would not show them to younger children in part because of the violence and because these are movies over two hours in length.

Both are thrilling and exciting. But the more meaningful will always be the Marvel series.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.