Tag Archives: Chris Hemsworth

Ghostbusters (2016) – Movie Review

Ghostbusters returned in a brand new reboot. Yes, it features a new timeline, new reality and new cast.

Release Date: July 15, 2016
Writer: Paul Feig
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth

Erin Gilbert (Kristin Wiig) is a university professor of physics looking to obtain tenure at her job. Her problem is in the past she wrote a book with her childhood friend, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) proving the physics around the paranormal. Basically, she proved through science that ghosts exist. Abby recently published that book and now Erin’s job is on the line.

Meanwhile, New York is experiencing an increased level of paranormal activity. Someone is place devices throughout the city that amplifies that manifestation of such ghosts. Abby with her partner, Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), convince Erin to investigate the occurrence at a local historical landmark. Then again in a subway tunnel, where they meet Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones). This is the origin story of the new Ghostbusters.

The original Ghostbusters was never really a movie about guys who battle ghosts. It was an ensemble piece featuring Harold Ramis, Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray. The purpose of the movie was to put these guys together and make a funny movie.

The new Ghostbusters is exactly the same thing. Bring together the talents of Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones and make a funny movie. The cast is perfect and well balanced. Wiig and McCarthy are the anchors to the team and together are a modern-day female Laurel and Hardy. Wiig playing the straight person and McCarthy walking the two into trouble.

Fans of Saturday Night Live will love the performances of McKinnon and Jones. Kate McKinnon has some brilliant moments on screen, especially at the end. Leslie Jones bring much-needed energy to the ensemble and plays the perfect contrast in attitude for the ensemble.

The story is fine. Paul Feig always manages to string together a solid story and the acting makes up for any perceived weaknesses in plot and science talk. The ending is a little problematic as all the little fantastic moments throughout the film lead up to a less than spectacular ending. What I’m saying is the small fight scenes with the ghost are exciting and fun to watch and it leads to a climax that does not match the events leading to it.

Feig manages to pay homage to the original Ghostbusters. The surviving members (sans Rick Moranis) make cameos throughout the film. Bill Murray manages to slip in the film with a character that moves the plot along. Feig also likes to throw a few curveballs at moments you would expect an obvious reference to the past. He’s real good at that.

But I laughed and that’s the job of comedies. Make me laugh and you will too. Put these four actresses in any movie and I’ll watch it.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – Movie Review

It is never an easy task to top a great movie. Avengers: Age of Ultron would possibly be a great movie if it were a sequel to the original. You’re going to have a great time, but you’ll always have the first movie in the back of your mind to remind you it’s a sequel.

Release Date: May 1, 2015
Rated PG-13
Writer/Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Bettany, James Spader.

Avengers Age of Ultron 01

There is a lot going on in Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you follow Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you know that the final remnant of Hydra has Loki’s Sceptre, been experimenting on power people (i.e. Inhumans) and building some kind of an army. The movie opens as the Avengers assemble to rid once and for all Hydra and regain the scepter.

After the battle, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) allows Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) to study the scepter. Stark discovers the scepter contains a form of high-level alien artificial intelligence. Stark and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) decide to see if they can leverage this new technology and create an army of robot “bouncers” that will protect the earth from alien invaders.

Unbeknownst to Tony, he accidently succeeds in this dream and creates Ultron (James Spader). Long story short, Ultron believes man is the earth’s greatest enemy and that the Avengers have to be destroyed first. In order to ensure success, Ultron convinces the two damaged power people, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), to slow the Avengers down.

Avengers Age of Ultron 05That’s the big story, but it wouldn’t be a Joss Whedon movie if it didn’t have more b-story. Banner and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) have a budding romance brewing. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) has a bigger role in Age of Ultron, and we learn a little about his real life. Captain America (Chris Evans) is ready to accept the cards life has dealt him. The Vision (Paul Bettany) is born into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Joss Whedon manages to recreate the team dynamic from the first movie. He again succeeds the balancing the stories of the large cast. He’s also a master of telling a giant earth-threatening story and bring a great deal of humor to the cast. No one stages big fights than Joss Whedon. Whedon lso addressed the issues of collateral damage when a battle of titans go at it in a heavily populated city. Take that Man of Steel.

Clearly, the best part of Avengers: Age of Ultron is the villain, Ultron (James Spader). The tone of Spader’s voice is ominous, intelligent, theatrical and menacing. I doubt he’ll get an Oscar nomination for this performance, but I’m sure people will bring it up.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is a great action adventure and in its greatness still falls short of the nostalgia of the first movie.

Blackhat – Movie Review

In Blackhat, Chris Hemsworth plays Nick Hathaway. Hathaway is a brilliant hacker, who is currently serving a 15-year sentence for his crimes. After a nuclear meltdown in China, it is discovered by Chen Lien (Wang Leehom) that the accident was caused by a devious hacker. A hacker who gained backdoor access to the plant’s computer systems and prevented the cooling fans from operating correctly.

Release Date: January 16, 2015
Rated R (Violence)
Runtime: 133 minutes
Director: Michael Mann
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wang Leehom, Tang Wei

Chinese authorities ask Chen Lien to team up with FBI agent Carol Barrett (Viola Davis) and FBI Agent Jessup (Holt McCallany). In a show of international help, their mission to track down the mysterious hacker. Lien discovers that the hacker used code developed by Lien and his college roommate, Hathaway. Convinced that he is the only person capable of finding the hacker, Hathaway is released into the custody of the FBI.

blackhat-movie-imageBlackhat contains all of the basic elements of an action thriller: the mysterious villain with aspirations of global disaster; two former enemies working together to vanquish a common threat; a misunderstood genius who is the world’s only hope; a genius with skills in computer programming, hand-to-hand combat and firearms training and the sexy sister (Tang Wei) who not only falls in love with the genius but also teaches him to be human.

Unfortunately, Writer/Director Michael Mann is unable to make a compelling movie about the world of computer hacking. Mann tries hard to making hacking interesting a dramatic with our heroes sitting at a computer, punching keys with force and authority; highlighting meaningless garbage on the screen and the required frustrated clearing of the desk. But clearing, the action is quite limited, so you have to have your programmers forced into action elements. I should also mention that they are nuclear physicists, able to enter a highly dangerous, radiation flooding control run. Blackhat requires audience to suspend disbelief to absurd levels.

One thing you don’t often see in American movies is realistic portrayals of Asians. Asians are portrayed as real people: good, bad or otherwise. It was fantastic to see a group of Asian thugs storm into a room and none of them knew martial arts. They had badass guns.

blackhat-movie-imageBlackhat also suffers from a serious filmmaking problem. The movie was shot in the United States, China, and Jakarta. Footage shot in the United States looks like your average movie, on par with other films. Footage shot in China and Jakarta appears to have been shot differently, probably digital. Every scene appears to have a different quality like it was shot with video cameras. The change in quality was noticeable to everyone.

Unable to effectively make computer hacking exciting, Blackhat is a mediocre, if not boring, action movie that will sit on the shelf with the hundreds of other action films produced every year.

Thor: The Dark World – Movie Review

Before the beginning of time, the universe was a dark place ruled by the Dark Elf, whose leader is Malekith. Light entered the universe, when the Asgardians, defeated the elves only to have Malekith swear he will exact his revenge. Soon the nine realms are going to line up and Malekith seizes his opportunity to seek his revenge.

Released: November 8, 2013
Studio: Marvel Studios
Rated: PG-13

Director: Alan Taylor
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo

Strange temporal anomalies are showing up on earth, where portals are appearing moving you from one place on earth to another in the other of the nine realms. When Jane Foster begins to investigate these anomalies, she inadvertently becomes host to a power essences that Malekith will use to restore the universe to darkness.

All-in-all this is a story of Thor coming to the rescue to defeat Malekith and prevent universal destruction. Overall, this was a fun movie. There is so much lore and mythology surrounding Thor and Asgard that a movie like this can get bogged down trying to explain these unfamiliar details and stories. Marvel Studios does what they do best, which is get you directly into the heart of the story. They spend just the right amount of time giving you the back story of Malekith. They introduce mystical elements, such as the nine realms, rainbow bridge, and convergence, in a way that you either understand what is going on or you trust the director, Alan Taylor, that these are just facts you need to accept and then power through the story.

The main story is saving the universe, the secondary story is Thor’s family: Odin (Dad), Frigga (Mom), Thor and Loki (Adopted Brother). After the events in Avengers, Loki is banish to a prison cell for all eternity by Odin. Loki feels no respect or honor for his father, Odin or for his brother Thor. Loki mentions that he went to earth so that he could rule over them as a God, just like his father. We also see his relationship with his mother (Rene Russo). It’s clear that if there was any love for Loki, it’s his mother, even if she is not his real mother. Thor, on the other hand, has always love Loki, but that love is damaged because of Loki’s constant betrayal.

The story now attempts to redeem Loki, if that’s possible, by enlisting him to help defeat Malekith. Why would Loki help? See the movie.

Thor: The Dark World does everything it needs to do to be an amazing movie. Fantastic visual effects, making mythology believable to the audience, continue to explain why these people are “gods” and an onslaught of action scenes and humor. The movie primarily takes place off earth, but the earth scenes are funny thanks to Kat Dennings and Stellan Skaarsgard.

It’s a good fun movie, if you go in without high expectations. Do not see it in 3D. Stay for the very end. There is a mid-credits scene setting up Guardians of the Galaxy and a humorous scene at the very end.

Also, pay attention to the new “Marvel Studios” opener. Now that they are tied solely with Disney and have dropped its association with Paramount, Marvel Studios has rewarded themselves with a new opening sequences with the flashing comic pages, but also a nice soundtrack to back it up.