the summer movie season begun! and, man, i'm getting tired of 3-d. every fucking film is either shot, or converted to, 3-d. does it improve the film? maybe yes. maybe no. maybe, but who cares. 3-d hasn't run its course either like it did in the 1950s and '60s, early 1980s, when the movie studios thought they had to compete with television and later the development of the vcr. now the studio execs think they have to compete with every conceivable form and platform of entertainment on god's good earth. perhaps they do. after all, anecdotally, most people when asked say they prefer to watch a movie at home than at the theater.
there shall always be people who love to go to the movies. i'm living proof. so is nicholas. and we decided to see this early summer offering. in 3-d! it took a good chunk of the trailers, also in 3-d, to shake off the feeling of dizziness. normally i have a pretty strong constitution and think that those unfortunate few who barfed during screenings of the blair witch project
 because of its hand-held camera work are a bunch of wimps. even with such a strong stomach, and after adjusting my eyes, brain and gullet to 3-d, this flick was not improved with the added visual flair.
what to make of kenneth branagh, he who directed one of the finest film adaptations of henry v
 and the very fine noirish thriller dead again
, all low-budget indie-type fair, compared to this multi-million dollar spectacle? it was told that on a moonlit night ken walked down to the crossroads and made a bargain. maybe not. all in all, even if branagh sold his soul to the devil he made a decent action pic.
problem is, i was never a fan of thor. when i was a kid i was a religious reader of marvel comics, like spider-man, iron man, powerman & iron fist, et al., but thor was a god and to me a bit boring. at least peter parker was a mortal who also had to rely on his wits and ingenuity. thor has muscles, supernatural powers, and for a father the daddy of all gods, odin. thor was born into it, and parker had to earn his way, so to speak. for me parker was, and is still, THE MAN.
branagh chose his actors well. thor is nicely assayed by a gent with a flair for fighting and the sweets of a rom-com lead. natalie portman is the love interest but certainly no dame in distress. oh, there's anthony hopkins as odin and the wonderful actor stellan skarsgard as, um, i don't know, couldn't figure out why he was in the film. never you mind. the 3-d doesn't not add a lick to the action. however, branagh composes what might be termed the thinking person's action sequences. they somehow add to the development of the characters rather than be mere set pieces.
overall, the movie is, eh. i mean we liked it enough. and the set designs are wonderful. it is getting more and more difficult to tell the difference between cgi and real world things. but it is still a summer action flick and when thor retrieves his mighty hammer there is not a doubt in the world who will win the fight. that was not worth all the popcorn in california.