Daily Archives: November 6, 2017

Daily Discussion with BQB – Is Thor Cultural Appropriation?

Sigh.  I don’t want to be a wet blanket, especially because I love Marvel movies and Thor is the best of the solo hero standalone flicks.

But…yep, there was an ancient Norse religion.  Odinism.  Asatru.  Call it what you will, but just as the Romans had Apollo and the Greeks had Zeus, so too did the Scandinavians of old have Odin, Thor, Loki and Hela.

Thor was a God worshipped by many.  So I mean, yeah, if Marvel were to create a new hero called “The Amazing Jesus” and have him fight the Hulk and run around with Capt. America and Spiderman, people would be upset.

But Odinism was replaced by Christianity. I don’t know the whole history but my limited understanding is that the Romans took over Europe.  The Europeans were forest dwelling tree people and ironically, were considered savage barbarians by the Romans.

Eventually the Roman Empire converted from its multi-God system to Christianity, becoming the Holy Roman Empire and Christianity spread throughout Europe.

So I don’t know…there have been movies about the Gods of old and they are interesting but its just interesting how history plays out.  Some religions remain and it would be offensive to have superhero movies about them.  Others can turn the Gods of religions into cartoon characters.

I have some Scandinavian blood in me but I mean, it doesn’t bother me.  If I were a full blooded Asatru worshipping Thor lover though, yeah, I feel like I’d be sad to see Thor being a caricature.

Oh well.  Just a random thought.  Again, I’m not saying dump Thor.  Of all the Avengers, he has the best storyline, probably because it was written by ancient Norwegians and not Marvel.

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Movie Review – Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

This movie was a trip…maybe even an acid trip for the eyes.

Grab your hammer, 3.5 readers.  It’s time to review “Thor: Ragnarok.”

Ragnarok.  If you’re an Asgardian, it’s a word that scares you shitless, i.e. the destruction of Asgard itself.

As it turns out, Thor has a long lost sister, Hela, (Cate Blanchett), an evil bitch on wheels who wants to fill the power vacuum post Odin (Anthony Hopkins.)

It’s up to Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to save the day, and he wants to but alas, he’s been marooned on Sicario, a messed up world of slaves bent to the will of the eccentric despot known as the Grand Master (Jeff Goldblum.)

The Grand Master holds gladiator style fights and Thor is forced to do battle with the toughest champion of all, yes – The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk’s better half, Bruce Banner.)

Rounding out the cast is Tessa Thompson as Valkryrie, an enemy the God of Thunder charms into an alliance.  Idris Elba and Thomas Hiddleston reprise their roles as Heimdall and Loki, while Karl Urban joins as Heimdall’s replacement, Skurge.

This movie is the best of all of the Thor films (a series that has been getting progressively better overall whereas I would argue, for example, the Iron Man trilogy starts out strong in 1 but sucks butt by 3.)

It’s a symphony for the senses, an awesome sound track, lots of colors and special effects and even the story line is good.

My one criticism – I wish it had been kept a secret that the Hulk was the Grandmaster’s champion.  I don’t think this is a spoiler because Marvel has advertised that pretty heavily for a long time now.  The trailer shows Thor about to fight an unknown enemy in combat and then he is pleasantly surprised when it turns out to be his ally, the Hulk.

It was a tough call for Marvel/Disney.  It would have been hysterical for me, the way its built up through the movie that Thor doesn’t stand a chance against the mysterious champion, only for it to turn out to be his old green buddy.

On the other hand, Hulk being in the film is a selling point that Disney I’m sure wanted people to know about.  Ironically, there have been two standalone Hulk films since 2000.  Both more or less sucked, but this Avengers version of the Hulk with Ruffalo is solid enough that I wonder if a third standalone might be the trick.  Hulk himself gets some lines and some understanding on the screen here.

Overall, these movies keep building on themselves and the build up pays off.  If you haven’t seen the previous ones, you’ll still enjoy it but it does pay to invest in watching them all as there capitalize on each other.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

 

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