Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@ddmcd.com) consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

Kenneth Branagh's THOR

Kenneth Branagh's THOR

Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald

I saw this in 2D not 3D. I’m glad I did. Not only did I get a discount “senior” ticket, but the 2D image was bright and clear throughout, even when action shifted to the gloomy but magisterial home planet of the Ice Giants.

I never paid much attention to Marvel comics when I was a kid; “Thor” always struck me as a third-string also-ran property forever in the shadows of the more popular Superman, Batman, or Fantastic Four. But no matter; this film is tricked out with production values and imagery that are first rate.

It’s a fun ride. It really helps that all the main characters are played and directed with great authority, skill, and — where appropriate — humor. Yes, special effects are extensively used (that’s an understatement) but they are used with great skill in service of the story. 

I especially enjoyed the flipping back and forth between Earth and Asgard. The contrast between the alien gods (led by Anthony Hopkins) and  down-on-their-luck scientists (led by Natalie Portman) was entertaining and amusing. Ultimately, though, it’s all about a brash young god being cast out of “heaven” by his father. The dramatic conflict this generates is respected and used skillfully by director Branagh to tie the movie together. I have never been able to resist a good Prodigal Son story, I guess, and boy, is this one loud!

Review text copyright (c) 2011 by Dennis D. McDonald

Henry Levin's JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH

Henry Levin's JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH

Paul W.S. Anderson's RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE

Paul W.S. Anderson's RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE