Archive for Natalie Portman

Brand new UK trailer for Thor: The Dark World

Posted in Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2013 by Tom Austin-Morgan


The new trailer for Thor: The Dark World was released today and this time we get more! More plot, more characters, a better look at the locations including London and Asgaard, Idris Elba has taken off his mask as Heimdall, Tom Hiddleston is back as Loki and seems to be playing everyone against each other as usual, the voice-over is done by Anthony Hopkins.

Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings and Natalie Portman are all back, the latter seemingly transported with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to Asgaard and put in danger by the protagonist Malekith, whose face you can’t see in this trailer, but is played by Christopher Ecclestone. It looks like it’s going to be big. Very big!


New Thor: The Dark World trailer

Posted in Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2013 by Tom Austin-Morgan

Here’s the trailer for Thor: The Dark World, feast your eyes! It’ll need to work hard to be better than the first film, but it does look damn good. Not only are Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleson back as Thor and Loki, but so are the other supporting cast including Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgård, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba and Kat Denning. This time there’s a new bad guy in the shape of Malekith, played by Christopher Eccleson (yes, that’s him at 1:15!). As far as I can make out he’s a Dark Elf, another race of people from the 9 realms who are conjurors of magic and he looks like he means business with Thor’s girlfriend Jane. Also it looks as though London get’s ripped apart by something huge. The next installment of Marvel’s Avengers saga will be released in October.


Review: Thor

Posted in Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2011 by Tom Austin-Morgan

Thor is the latest in the slew of Marvel films leading up to ‘The Avengers’, coming out next year, and the first of the massive budget blockbusters of the Summer.

This is a slightly different beast than its superhero predecessors in that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) isn’t actually a superhero; he is the eponymous Norse God with the magic hammer, Mjöllnir. Though rather than Conan-style loin cloths or Hagar the Horrible furs and horned hats, these Norse Gods wear futuristic fantasy armour and chainmail. Thor even manages to get away with wearing a cape.

The premise is that Thor is banished to Earth from Asgard after invoking the wrath of a race of Ice Giants from another realm, Jotunheim,  by his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Upon his arrival he is hit by a car carrying a group of scientists who have been studying strange weather patterns in the desert near the U.S./Mexican border. Now lost and hospitalised Thor has to redeem himself to regain his powers, which have also been stripped from him.

Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents find Mjöllnir in the desert and begin to confiscate the work of the scientists who ran him over. This team is led by Jane Foster (Natalie Portman, who is having a very busy year), or possibly Erik Selvig (Stellen Skarsgård) and accompanied by, for no obvious reason, Darcey Lewis (Kat Dennings). Portman becomes the love interest in a tender scene on top of the building she works and lives in where Thor explains where he comes from.

So Thor helps them to get their work back just as the rest of his pals (whose names I didn’t catch and weren’t repeated enough for you to remember them, which was a shame) from Asgard beam down to Earth to warn him of foul play back home involving his mischievous brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleson). Loki has sent a behemoth down to smite them all and the obligatory ridiculous giant robot fight scene starts with Thor eventually regaining his powers after seemingly giving his life for the fate of the world…or the shit-splat desert town he has found himself stranded in.

The Gods and Goddesses beam back to Asgard to face-off against Loki who has taken the throne, and whose motivations become slightly blurred at this point. But after a fist-fight and destroying the Rainbow Bridge, which connects Asgard to the other realms, and therefore from Jane, the film ends with both of them trying to find a way back to each other (Jane having been recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D.) which will obviously happen as it is stated in the credits that “Thor will return in The Avengers”.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the film’s visual style is breathtaking. The quality of the landscapes of Asgard and the Ice Giant’s world of Jotunheim are incredibly well detailed and textured. The costumes are worthy of note as well, though if the acting wasn’t as good as it is they could have run the risk of looking camper than Christmas.

The acting isn’t so serious that the film loses sight of the fact it’s a comic book adaptation; there are some genuinely funny moments of slapstick where Thor is hit by a car, tasered and sedated by a large group of doctors while trying to escape a hospital. The scene-stealer though is Anthony Hopkins as Odin: he is a larger-than-life actor who clearly relishes hamming it up to play the king of the Gods unlike Stellen Skarsgård, who barely manages to conceal his bewilderment with the storyline. But top marks to Hemsworth who resembles and acts like a more muscular Brad Pitt circa ‘Troy’ with a real knack at comedic acting like later career Pitt.

This is a big, big blockbuster where everyone involved in the film is having a lot of fun and this genuinely rubs off on the audience. After a slow start, with a lot of back story explanation, you find yourself getting more involved as the story kicks off and unfolds. By the end you realise you’re having a brilliant time as is everyone else. Instead of feeling like a prequel to ‘The Avengers’ I feel this film stands up well on its own alongside the likes of its Marvel counterparts.

Review: Your Highness

Posted in Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2011 by Tom Austin-Morgan

I was expecting a lot more from this film by the director of ‘Pineapple Express’ and starring one of the writers, Danny McBride. McBride has had roles in some seriously good comedies like ‘Hot Rod’, ‘Superbad’ and ‘Tropic Thunder’, and you would expect he would want his first major writing role to provide his lead character with killer dialogue that would live up to the pedigree of the films he has appeared in. Instead he has written a script with a ‘shit’, ‘fuck’, ‘motherfucker’ or ‘cocksucker’ in every single line.

Added to the woeful script are the actor’s mock English accents and innuendo so obviously placed, and which were sometimes needlessly explained. For example; the scene with the old wizard (a puppet resembling a cross between a purple jellyfish and Yoda) where the main characters have to solve a riddle which is a thinly veiled request for the princes (McBride and James Franco) to ‘jerk him off’. That would have been enough, but no, we had to see them simulate masturbation with a puppet.

The intelligence level of the film is set at the start in a scene which sees McBride’s head in a noose at a trial in a dwarf village, the punchline for which you can see coming a mile off. As he falls through the trap door to his (surely impending) death, his feet hit the floor and he escapes. This said, there were few times during the film where I genuinely laughed, but not as many times as the audience in the cinema around me.

On a positive note, the sets, scenery, costumes, make-up and effects were really impressive and I’m sure the plot was sound enough way, way beneath the constant crassness which gave the film a disjointed feel. But this didn’t really balance out the fact that I felt short-changed by the shocking over-use of swearing as a plot device for cheap laughs.

I was suckered in by the trailer, which made this look like a hilarious comedy romp through a fantasy world. Top marks for the editor of the trailer as it’s actually one of the few films I’ve ever seen at the cinema that I wish I’d downloaded illegally. Even my Brother, who seemed to enjoy it a lot more than I did, said he probably wouldn’t  buy it when it came out.

The biggest joke about this is that it co-stars Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman and legendary British actor Charles Dance, in whose eyes you can clearly see the pound signs spinning. No acting awards will be won by the actors in this film

If you want a smutty film with more subtle wit than this farce watch a ‘Carry On’ or perhaps a Mel Brooks film, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein spring instantly to mind.