Catching Up on Superhero Movies with Thor

I was impressed with Kenneth Branagh’s Thor. I finally had a chance to see it, because Y won a free Redbox code from the McDonald’s Monopoly promotion. I have been so busy lately that I have fallen out of touch with much of recent movie and television going-ons. Thor, however, was a treat tonight, because I made some time to watch it with Y and it was a pretty good story by J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosvich. I believe that the film is a step in the direction for superhero filmmaking. There is certainly spectacle, but that spectacle is tastefully rendered and presented to the audience through good cinematography (for the most part). Despite the compression of Thor’s path to wisdom, it was done in a way that connected with the audience in a stronger way than, say, Hal Jordan’s (Ryan Reynolds) terrible training montage in the Green Lantern. Also, I liked the tiny bit of explanation of the Einstein-Rosen Bridge or wormhole, but Natalie Portman’s “science” didn’t make the story itself as science fictional as it could have been. What about all of the other Asgardian technology? How does that work? Perhaps the movie was largely meant to be magical. At least they mentioned Arthur C. Clarke, but they should have given him his due with a full quote.

I am a professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on 20th/21st-century American culture, science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology.

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Posted in Comics, Movies, Science Fiction
2 comments on “Catching Up on Superhero Movies with Thor
  1. Kathe Davis says:

    It’s Kenneth Branaugh — what did you expect? : > )
    But what do you mean by the direction? Quality?

  2. Jason Ellis says:

    That’s true–Back in 1996, I navigated the Atlanta bus system to get from Georgia Tech to the Tara Cinemas to watch his full production of Hamlet in 70mm film–twice! I think that he encouraged good performances by the actors with what could have been a cookie-cutter performance on par with many other comic book movies. I think X-Men First Class and Thor stand out as exemplary cases of comic book movies.

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Who is Dynamic Subspace?

Dr. Jason W. Ellis shares his interdisciplinary research and pedagogy on DynamicSubspace.net. Its focus includes the exploration of science, technology, and cultural issues through science fiction and neuroscientific approaches. It includes vintage computing, LEGO, and other wonderful things, too.

He is an Assistant Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY (City Tech) where he teaches college writing, technical communication, and science fiction.

He holds a Ph.D. in English from Kent State University, M.A. in Science Fiction Studies from the University of Liverpool, and B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture from Georgia Tech.

He welcomes questions, comments, and inquiries for collaboration via email at jellis at citytech dot cuny dot edu or Twitter @dynamicsubspace.

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