Tag Archives: thor

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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Movie Trailer – Thor: Ragnarok

Hey 3.5 readers.

The trailer for Thor: Ragnarok is out and it’s pretty fantastic.  The use of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song (“I come from the land of the ice and snow…”) is pretty effective.

What say you, 3.5?

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In Defense of Joss Whedon

cropped-cropped-img_1543.jpgBriefly, I was sad to see Joss Whedon being accused of being anti-feminism.  I mean, the guy is the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  If you were a young person in the late 90’s/early 00’s you were glued to that show.  Evil hideous vampires running in terror at the mere mention of “The Slayer.”  Willow and Tara – one of the first open lesbian relationships I remember seeing on television.  Faith the Vampire Slayer who went rogue.  Willow goes from lowly nerd to witch of unstoppable power.

Meanwhile, if you saw the latest Avengers and thought that Black Widow came across as weak then I don’t know.  I don’t think we saw the same movie.

You might have noticed that I’m a nerd.  SPOILER –  Due to said nerdyness, I cheered for the scene where Black Widow, referring to Bruce Banner, says “He’s kind of dorky.  Chicks dig it.”

In my head, there was a voice that said, “No, no they really don’t but thank you for saying that, Black Widow.  It made my day.”

If there had been some kind of effort in the film to portray Black Widow as some kind of brainless bimbo, wouldn’t she have gone for Thor’s muscles or Tony Stark’s money?  No, she went for the nerdiest member of the team.  The guy with the brain.

In reality, the nerd never gets the girl.  Capt. America, Thor, and Iron Man can walk out the front door and score a dozen women before they hit the front porch, but in his human form, Bruce Banner is a super geek.  It was nice to see a geek get the girl.

What’s the argument that Black Widow came across as weak?  Strong women can’t fall in love?  They can’t be comforting?  Hulks need love too you know.

SPOILER – The main complaint centers around a scene where Banner tells Black Widow he can’t be with her because he’s a “monster” and he can’t have children.  (I’m not actually sure why he can’t have children.  Is there a scientific reason as in the gamma radiation fried his junk or just the general safety concern that if he had a kid the kid might misbehave, piss Bruce off and he’ll Hulk out?  But I digress)

Black Widow shares that she can’t have children either because of a forced sterilization procedure she underwent during assassin training (no kids=no ties that can be exploited).  She then says something like “you’re not the only monster on the team.”

Thus the fracas is over the idea that a woman who can’t give birth is somehow a “monster” but I don’t think that was what Whedon was trying to say at all.

I mean, from a writing perspective, maybe that point could have been clarified, but in general I think she was referencing her overall past as a ruthless killer and not necessarily the sterilization.

Or, maybe she was referring to it.  Maybe she does feel down on herself because of it.  Sometimes it is possible for a character to be too harsh on him or herself.  Perhaps Black Widow needs to realize all she has to offer the world as a hero who’s now fighting on the side of good.

SPOILER – Times she came across as strong in the film:

  • That whole driving the motorcycle through the city chase scene
  • Various scenes where she fights with the men and holds her own
  • Towards the end, where, when faced with “going down with the ship” i.e. refusing to leave the “air island” while there were still people in danger on it, she nonchalantly says, “There’s worse ways to go.”  That’s a sign of leadership right there.

On top of that, you have the new character, Scarlett Witch, who forms a team with her brother, Quicksilver and is arguably the stronger/more powerful of the duo.

I don’t know.  I know it’s only a movie and I know feminism and women’s rights are important but I’m not sure I can think of anyone who’s done more to promote female characters in comic book style movies and TV than Joss Whedon.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Movie Review – Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Iron Man!  Thor!  Hulk!  Captain America!  Black Widow!  Hawkeye!  Various and sundry other Avengers!


It’s time for Bookshelf Q. Battler’s review of Avengers: Age of Ultron!

Dun…dun dun da dun…dun dun…dunnnnn….dun dun da dun dun dun!

Sorry, that was me trying to sing the Avengers’ theme song.  Doesn’t translate well through the written word.

The summer movie season is has arrived and Hollywood is coming out swinging with this superhero extravaganza.

If you SPOILERS make you angrier than Bruce Banner with a stubbed toe, you might not want to click below:

Continue reading

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The Avengers 2 – Age of Ultron – Out Soon

Who’s excited for it?

What are your expectations?

What do you want to happen?

What do you want to NOT happen?

Iron Man takes a siesta on my bookshelf.

Iron Man takes a siesta on my bookshelf.

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