1. Thor: The Dark World (Disney, 3,841 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Welcome to the grim and gritty Thor. Gone are the silvers and golds of the first film, replaced by a pallet of blues and greys.
This mirrors the shift Thor underwent in the comics as well, from the garish primary colored world of Lee and Kirby to the more rough hewn presentation of Walt Simonson and the old-world styling of J. Michael Stracyznski and Oliver Copiel. So if you are worried about comic fans jumping of because of the style change, don’t . As for the non-comic fans in the original’s audience, well, any fantasy film that looks more like Game of Thrones (this film was directed by that show’s helmer, Alan Taylor) will probably be right up their alley.
This time around, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) faces off against an ancient foe named Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) who wants to destroy the known universe and remake it in his own image, with Thor’s paramour Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is caught in the crossfire. Thor can not hope to defeat Malekith on his own, so he must turn to the one man he can never trust, his half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), for help.
Return back for a reviews and other fun stuff about the film tomorrow.
2. About Time (Universal, 1,200 Theaters, 123Minutes, Rated R, Opening into wide release on 11/8): As a rule, I’m, not really a fan of romantic comedies. Well, with one exception–any one that Richard Curtis had anything to do with.
To be honest, I have not seen any of the films he did with Bridget Jones in the title, but I have seen and liked Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Love Actually. And with that track record, any romantic comedy he has a hand in has to have something going for it.
His latest effort is the film, which redefines the term “high concept.” Domhnall Gleason stars as Tim, a man who discovers that the men in his family have the power to go back in time. He uses this power to do what any red-blooded man would do–go back in time and get himself the perfect girlfriend, who he finds in a woman named Mary (Rachel McAdams). While using time travel to build the perfect relationship might seem easy, Tim finds out that it’s anything but.
3. 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight, 1,144 Theaters, 134 Theaters, Rated R, Opening in wide release on 11/8): It’s officially Oscar season, and each year it seems that it keeps getting longer and longer (much like the Christmas season in department stores and shopping malls). And that means that we will be seeing a lot of “Oscar-bait” films. Films from “important” directors, featuring casts loaded to the gills with critical favorites and Oscar nominees, more often than not telling epic and harrowing stories based on true events.
This film has all the markings of an “Oscar bait” film. Only difference is that most Oscar bait film don’t deserve any attention from the Academy and this one does. This film has been buzzed about since it premiered at the Telluride Film Festival back in August, especially for Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance as Solomon Northrup, a free Northern black man kidnapped and sold into slavery, and most likely will be getting some attention on Oscar night.
In a bit of coincidence, it’s fitting this goes wide the same week a comic book film comes out. The screenwriter of this film, John Ridley, has worked in comics, most notably the very good The American Way miniseries from Wildstorm released a couple years back.