Thor 2 The Dark World

Thor 2: The Dark World is big, brash and utterly pointless. Natalie Portman is back as Jane, she’s nice, and Kat Dennings cracks some one liners. Chris Hemsworth thunders plummily. But otherwise it’s all just aliens blowing shit up. I used to like this kind of stuff. I could care less these days. Some of the Earth scenes filmed in my old stomping ground of Greenwich. Even that was meh. Thor 2? A big So What?

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Cabin in the Woods

For some reason, I really wasn’t expecting Cabin in the Woods to be anything like it turned out to be. I was expecting a group of isolated college kids to be placed in deep trouble – see The Breed or Wrong Turn or just about any other fish-out-of-water horror fayre. From the trailer, I was also actually expecting to add aliens to the mix. I really wasn’t expecting (spoiler alert from here on in….) ancient ghouls or even older gods, I certainly wasn’t expecting zombie axe murderers, or slick, manipulative, bet-placing scientists nor a world wide conspiracy to save the human race…

A collaboration between Joss Whedon and the writer of Cloverfield, the set up for “Cabin in the Woods” is really very good; you’re hooked immediately. The acting is above par for this kind of thing, the script is a decent balance of bejesus scares and funny, and the look-and-feel is consistently richly excellent. Unfortunately though, I found it devolved into something a little silly, and it lost me entirely towards the end. The only location info I can find is that some scenes shot at the Aerospace Campus of the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver. Verdict: Entertaining enough but no cigar.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Having recently sat through the Julia Roberts Snow White tale, Mirror Mirror, I was a bit meh about whether to bother with another version of the same: the much more widely anticipated Snow White and the Huntsman. But I’m not a Kristen Stewart hater, so I thought I’d give it a bash.

Well, obviously I’m not going to bother telling you the plot, but it filmed in the UK, without being particularly exciting in its choice of locations: Bourne Woods, Burnham Beeches and Frensham Ponds have all appeared in recent productions. What else to tell you? Well it’s pretty to look at and it tries very hard to be exciting, without actually being very good. Charlize Theron eats the furniture like she believes her own press, and Chris Hemsworth’s Scottish accent is so all over the place, not even his muscles can save him. Verdict? Wait til it’s downloadable.

Thor

Thor was a nice film. Entertaining enough. I liked Kat Dennings channelling Justin Bartha as the dry Riley Poole sidekick. I like Chris Hemsworth better without the hair. I love (of course) Natalie Portman. But it felt like watching a tv show. Nothing wrong with that per se, but I don’t see it being a thunderingly auspicious start to an Iron Man-esque franchise. It felt kind of shallow. I bet it’ll sell a ton of toys though. The town where the exiled Thor inadvertently crashlands for the very briefest of times, was purpose built in the scrubland outside of Galisteo, New Mexico. Strangely, I can’t summon the enthusiasm to write more than that.

A Perfect Getaway

Super-Serb Milla Jovovich and chunky little Steve Zahn (that’s new, serious Steve Zahn, not the former doofus version) are ostensibly a pair of love-struck newly-weds on Honeymoon in Hawaii. It’s A Perfect Getaway. They take a hiking trail to a remote part of one of the islands, falling in with an Iraq war vet and his almost-fiancee plus a pair of somewhat scary hitchhikers along the way. And its the scary that does it. Because a man and a woman have reportedly viciously murdered another pair of newly-weds back in Honolulu…..we just don’t know who.

So, A Perfect Getaway is a perfectly serviceable little thriller, particularly if you haven’t seen the trailer and aren’t expecting any of the twists and turns. Milla’s pretty good, Steve Zahn has (somewhat unnervingly) become really rather, how can I say this? smokin’, in his old age, and it’s also got Chris Hemsworth AND Timmy Olyphant, so there’s eye candy galore. And as for the Hawaii locations…..

And again here’s a twist. Because for all the times that Hawaii has stood in for Vietnam, Costa Rica, the Pacific, Africa, yadda yadda yadda, here’s one where Puerto Rico stands in for Hawaii. The climactic beach scene was actually filmed at the enigmatic Aguadilla in Puerto Rico (though the cave is actually found in Jamaica.) Ah, the magic of the Movies.