Friday, 29 April 2011

Thor After Credits described / explained

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Ok Everyone who saw the movie should have seen the very cool, retro Bond style,
Thor Will Return In The Avengers!
But as the increasing urge to stampede out of Cinemas the second that the last syllable is uttered continues, and to be fair, people rush to catch that bus or train home, staying right until the end for the now legendary Marvel Movieverse (Ahem Marvel Cinematic Universe) end credits scene is not happening for most people. More than that sometimes people just don’t get them. No those of us that do are not just nerds! (We are cool nerds!) I’m going to begin, at the beginning, with Iron Man’s after credit scene; followed by The Incredible Hulk’s, then Iron Man 2’s and finally Thor’s. So you can feel free to skip straight to number 4 to read about Thor’s (4 for Thor, see what I did there?) Also look out for my own, sneaky “after credits scene”. Again it’s a spoiler of sorts...... you have been 

  1. We first had Nick Fury Director of S.H.I.E.L.D (Samuel L Jackson) turn up right at the very, very end of the credits in Iron Man, to tell Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr.) that he was by no means the only Super Hero in the world and was part of a much bigger Universe. Most importantly Fury told Stark he wanted to “ to [him] about The Avenger Initiative.” Simple enough if you Know Marvel and if you didn’t it was pretty easy to think, Fury is some kind of secret agent boss type, there are other super heroes and this dude wants to be in charge of a bunch in something called the Avenger posse.

2. So on to The Incredible Hulk; here they were much kinder to those in the audience needing to rush home to the baby-sitters and gave us the extra scene about one second after the movie’s end. This scene actually takes place AFTER the end of Iron Man 2, explaining why Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr.) is speaking to / recruiting General Ross (William Hurt). After some amusing banter, which implies that, like his father Howard Stark (who is deeply involved in the Super Soldier project of WWII that creates Captain America), Tony has been approached to help in the revived Super Soldier project, Stark asks Ross “What if I told you we were putting a team together?” This one is pretty straight forward, until we find out that this scene actually takes place after the scene at the end of Iron Man II, where Nick Fury tells Stark that he is no longer wanted, because of his drinking and erratic behaviour, as a member of The Avengers and would like to use him as a consultant. This is the role he is playing here in advising Ross they are assembling a team. It is also possible that he is advising Ross that they will have a team capable of capturing The Hulk / Banner, rather than trying to recruit Banner / Hulk for The Avengers. Given that Doctor Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) states that he believes S.H.I.E.L.D has “disappeared” Banner, in Thor, it is quite possible that it is the former.

 3. Iron Man II marks a return to the long wait. Everybody gets a chance to find out who all the people are that played a part in making the movie they just watched though. This scene is very straightforward, but it is partly meaningless to anyone who has never really read many Marvel Comics, or watched Marvel cartoons; which are a pretty big percentage of the audience. We see Agent Coulson completing the mission Nick Fury sent him on 2/3 of the way into Iron Man II. He drives up to a ridge overlooking a big crater that’s recently been made. Now here begins a nifty series of misdirection. With the desert setting and the big crater we were all thinking it must be Hulk! But instead we see a hammer wedged solid in the ground! The Camera zooms in and as the screen fades we hear thunder!  Remember having to explain this to a number of people when we went to see Iron Man II. Of course by now we all know it is Thor’s Hammer MJOLNIR!


  4.   Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan  Skarsgård) Goes really deep into this bunker / max prison type place and meets Nick Fury, cracking a joke about being taken all the way down there to be killed. It feels like he already knows Fury. There’s more potential misdirection here (as With Bruce Banner getting ‘mentioned’ in the movie we assume it is going to be a prison for Hulk / Banner). Fury is standing behind a large metal box / case and thanks Erik and Portman, for their help with Thor. Erik says it is amazing stuff and that this Cosmic Powers lark has never been seen before. Fury then says that's not quite right and opens up THE BOX (Yes the caps are justified, it’s a dramatic moment!). Inside the Box is a Cosmic Cube AKA The Tesseract; we assume it's the one the Red Skull is searching for in Captain America: The First Avenger, which has some connection to Odin (more thefts from his vault perhaps?) We Know Skull finds it and uses the Cube to and help HYDRA / Nazi Germany try take over the world! (They’re HYDRA, they’re HYDRA & The Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain!). Fury explains that it is a source of immense (infinite) power and that he wants Erik to help S.H.I.E.L.D find out how to use it. (A Cosmic cube / Tesseract is technology that is at least on a par with the Asgardians’ tech, possibly even more so. Again fitting Arthur C Clarke’s axiom that “Any technology, sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic!”). It effectively grants wishes, any wishes. But here's the real kicker... Right after we hear Fury describe the Cube we see a reflection of Loki (who is NOT in the room) with a smile on his face he says "Well, I guess that’s worth a look"......The Prof then effectively mimics Loki, same words, same intonation, suggesting that Loki is now going to be influencing / controlling the good Dr. with his freaky godlike powers! Also it confirms that despite his fall into space / the dimensional nexus Loki is NOT dead and that he is going to be the cause of the massive global catastrophe that finally leads to Nick Fury's Avengers, well Avenging!

5.   Samuel L Jackson and Chris Evans were seen filming a scene for captain America the other day. It is a contemporary scene with Evans, looking a little lost and 1940s in chino style pants and a white T-shirt listening to Fury and accepting something, we’re guessing a Shield, from Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). Most people are assuming this was the after credits scene from Captain America; it could well be, but there’s also the possibility that it’s the opening scene and we’re all being fed another piece of misdirection, with the after credits scene actually being a mini-prologue to The Avengers itself featuring anything from a Skrull incursion, to HYDRA launching some Battle: Los Angeles style global invasion or those pesky little white lab mice finally taking over the world! Oh wait a minute, they’re Warner Brothers' characters, and I guess that will have to wait for the decidedly rushed Justice League movie! They’re Batman, Green Lantern & The Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain.

UPDATE 22/7/11:- As suspected  Marvel Studios fooled us, but the surprise is in fact a kick ass teaser for The Avengers. Read something about that here...Click

Find out why Marvel Studios end credits scenes are at the end here...
Nuff Said.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Forget The Royal Wedding, all the romance, drama and fancy clothes you can handle are in Thor.

Forget The Royal Wedding, all the romance, drama and fancy clothes you can handle are in Thor.

Well I've been waiting about, oh 30 years or so for this film and I finally got to see it a few days ago. IF you're one of those people that believes someone looking forward to a movie for a long time means you will automatically love it when it comes out need to see my reaction to films like Clash of The Titans (2010), Tron Legacy (yawn) Star Wars Ep II and many more, like Fantastic Four (pick one they both suck ****) and Ghost Rifer to pick just a few. 

That said boy did I love this film. It's had some pretty decent reviews (currently at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, it'll go down as more cynical, super hero hating American reviews kick in, but it is impressive never-the-less, especially when you consider this includes reviews from the likes of The Daily Mail. (Wait a sec, a good review from The Daily Mail isn't a good thing, is it?) Anyway here's my summary of the plot followed by a review..

da Plot....

A team of scientists, Professor Andrews (Stellan Skarsgård), Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and her friend Darcy (Kat Dennings) rush to investigate a strange atmospheric disturbance when they hit Thor (Chris Hemsworth), with their van. A misunderstanding leads Darcy to taze him, even though she was thinking of ways into his pants seconds earlier, and as they take him to hospital they wonder who he is.

Jumping back in time we see Odin and his powerful race of Asgardians come to save the human race (circa around 935A.D) from the terrifying and powerful Frost Giants and their Casket of Winters. Hence we learn why the Asgardians were previously worshipped as gods by the Norse. (The Frost Giant Invasion begins in Viking lands). Odin takes the Casket and places it in his vault, where similar, end of the Universe capable, objects are stored. Frost Giants attempt to steal back an immensely powerful artefact from Odin’s Vault. The, DESTROYER guarded, vault contains artefacts from around the universe capable of bringing about Ragnarök, including the unspeakably powerful Infinity Gauntlet. Although the theft is thwarted Thor demands retribution; but Odin, who has laboured for centuries to achieve and maintain peace, forbids it. 

Thor and friends, warrior woman Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and The Warriors Three, Fandral (Joshua Dallas), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) & Hogun (Tadanobu Asano), head off to the Frost Giant’s realm of Jotunheim, on a jolly frat house, giant bashing revenge trip; but their actions enrage, Frost Giant, King Laufey (Colm Feore) and Odin. Angered by his son’s arrogance and stupidity, Odin banishes Thor to Earth, powerless until Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer) senses he has learned responsibility and Humility.

On Earth Thor and Foster grow close, S.H.I.E.L.D agents Coulson (Clark Gregg) & Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) grow interested and The DESTROYER arrives with the command to, well destroy, everything it comes across. Meanwhile Heimdall’s (Idris Elba) role as Guardian of The Nine Realms is being severely tested and Thor will be needed to save Asgard as well as Earth.

The review...

What’s this? Shakespeare via Superheroes? Arthur C Clarke’s science as magic! This is no ordinary Super hero movie and the most risky stop on the road to The Avengers has is a genuine winner and a not like any superhero film we’ve seen before. Branagh promised us “Mind bending visuals” and he delivered! This film has some truly awe inspiring visuals and some genuine, screen bursting drama. Hemsworth and Hiddleston will be major stars after this film; more than holding their own against a perfect Anthony Hopkins portrayal of Odin. Hiddleston’s Loki is simply excellent. He’s layered, nuanced and not two dimensional. Like Sif you may not be sure what he’s up to all the time, but he is compelling and in no way is he left out a little so Thor can be centre stage. There’s a real sense of raw emotion here too, you feel that the family drama, the conflict of desires, emotions and responsibilities weighs heavily in Odin and his two sons. The scenes with any of these three, especially when all three are together, fairly sizzle and they are played out with every bit as much seriousness as if they were performing Hamlet at the Old Vic.

Hemsworth is instantly likeable but portrays his Shakespearian hero’s flaws well. He needs to be banished and the film does an excellent job of showing us why. Coriolanus, King Lear, Henry V there’s bits of Shakespeare all over the place and we all know that, short of bringing The Bard back from the dead, Branagh is the man when it comes to Shakespearean drama and comedy. He was simply the perfect choice for this film, the dramatic scenes in this film are first class and it holds the whole film together. But the real joy, apart from the humour that fills the film and makes it such fun to watch, is the vision he has brought to the look and style of Asgard and the other realms. They are simply stunning and 3D must be the way to truly experience Asgard and Jotunheim are true Marvels, with some parts of them floating and some serious, defiance  of our laws of physics going on. I can’t really say more without spoiling the movie.
The bad guys are genuinely threatening. Frost giants may come in many sizes, but they are deadly whatever their size and some of them were impressively gargantuan; although that was nothing compared to their giant pet!
“We’ve got Xena, Jackie Chan and Robin Hood!” advises a S.H.I.E.L.D agent. He’s not quite right. Warrior goddess Sif, and the legendary Warriors Three are giving sufficient screen time to let us know we want to see  a lot more of them. Fandral “the Dashing” is perfectly realised, it just evokes Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood. Whether helping Thor in Jotunheim or attempting to slow down The Destroyer on Earth you really find yourself wondering when there will be more of these.
Finally to Heimdall: Idris Elba is perfectly cast as the guardian of the 9 realms. At one point he is asked if Odin feared him. You can see why, he’s a very imposing figure and his voice, slightly augmented, is again 100% perfection. The white supremacists who are organising their boycott of Thor, because Elba is black and Heimdall is white, have no leg to stand on. The character is an alien and regardless Elba nails the part and Branagh has made another excellent, non PC, casting choice.
This is a great 2 hour of fun and the only fault is the film isn’t long enough. We wanted more, but the end credits did promise us Thor will return in The Avengers!
Stick around for an excellent after credits scene that sets up both The Avengers AND Captain America. Both of those films have a lot to live up to!


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Behind the scenes video from Thor

I had forgotten how strange and exciting it used to be watching these fake towns getting built for movies. It just seems so old school these days. I have to admit i enjoyed it here, even if I know that it's all going to get blown to pieces!

Kenneth Branagh gives us some nice information about his thinking when directing the movie and things are genuinely looking good.

The movie is out on 27th of April with previews on Bank Holiday Monday the 25th. (UK). 6th of May (US)


Friday, 8 April 2011

Hello Hawkeye. Jeremy Renner's Avengers Character Teased in Thor clip?

Thor just can't get his hammer on!

Around 23-25 seconds into this clip (see below and feel free to retweet) we see a guy pointing an arrow in our reluctant Avenger's direction. Now we may all be jumping the bow, but seeing as there have been non stop rumours that multiple Oscar nominee Renner has filmed a small part in Thor AND we know that Thor's Hammer is surrounded by S.H.I.E.L.D agents AND they don't tend to carry compound bows as standard issue AND the Movie Avengers are basically following the Ultimates (or Ultimate Avengers if you must) blueprint, hence the Avengers being put together by Samuel L Jackson doppleganger Nick Fury (conveniently played in the movies by Samuel L Jackson).

Both Black Widow and Hawkeye are S.H.I.E.L.D agents with extra special skills that are put in to keep the super types, Iron Man and Co. on mission and instil some tactical discipline. Widow we've met in Iron Man II, and whilst we won't see an extended cameo of that nature from Mr Renner, his appearance in Thor is a pretty big deal as the last two pieces of Marvel's MASSIVE Avengers jigsaw, finally come into place!



Monday, 4 April 2011

Stop! Hammer Time!

This TV spot is just awesome. Sorry to use such a ubiquitous and frankly overused term, but awesome it has to be. When we were teens, reading Thor and Avengers comics we would have called this AWESOME, or maybe DARK! Anyone who has ever read Thor (Big sister I'm looking at you) and doesn't go nuts and retro at this trailer simply needs to move on to their own private, soulless island.

It has everything, he flies! The Hammer twirls! Mjolnir-cam as it knocks down Troll (Ice trolls? Frost giant kids, I don't know but they're cool) and flies back to Thor! Seriously, it was freak out time.

Perhaps best of all was the first real Avengers feeling, when they trailer referred to "other heroes" and we get to see Avengers in waiting Iron Man and Hulk! I haven't even seen Thor, but I'm so looking forward to Hulk and Thor getting on each others' nerves and having a good old hero VS hero Punch up!

"You're big; fought bigger! :)

The Supers are back! So am I.

Catch up part one

I know this is getting old but apologies again for missing so much over the past week, where I have once again been too ill to write this blog for 5 days or so and I have missed lots! I'll be posting trailers and opinion on the revitalised Green Lantern, Thor's Hammer vision TV spots (more Avengers plugs), The Sleeping Beauty head-to-heads, Stan Lee's cameos and the unwelcome return of the Justice League movie with DIFFERENT actors playing Batman, Superman & Green Lantern to the actors who WILL CONCURRENTLY be playing those heroes in standalone films.
In the mean time here's a clip from Thor. The Thunder god has just been banished to long ignored Realm of Earth, worse he's been hit by Natalie Portman's van and is hence more than a little confused and upset.