By Arturo R. García
Hogun (Tadanobu Asano) tells Thor (Chris Hemsworth), “Hello, I must be going.”
World-building is at the heart of Thor: The Dark World, both in front and behind the camera: with the character’s first film and inclusion in The Avengers out of the way, director Alan Parker and the film’s five credited screenwriters show viewers more of the workings of Asgardian culture, and the connection between Asgard and the rest of the Nine Realms enables the filmmakers to provide a world-jumping final battle between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston).
Which makes it particularly sad when this expansive view of the Thunder God’s world can’t find any time at all for one of his series’ more stalwart characters, Tadanobu Asano’s Hogun the Grim. Again.
SPOILERS under the cut
By Arturo R. García & Kendra James
(L-R) Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako (Rinku Kikuchi) team up to save humanity from an extraterrestrial scourge in “Pacific Rim.”
Pacific Rim was introduced as an oddity and emerged as even more of one, but in a good way.
While the film was promoted as an homage to the Japanese Kaiju films of old (even outright integrating the term into the story), what audiences actually got was a movie that owed as much to anime classics like Neon Genesis Evangelion as it did to monster smash-’em-ups. And even more surprisingly, one that managed to use those tropes in a thoughtful, downright progressive fashion (albeit while using some wonky dialogue) without skimping on the action the trailer promised us.
Which makes it doubly disconcerting that the movie couldn’t even win its opening weekend at the U.S. box office, finishing second to, of all things, Grown Ups 2. Luckily, the movie’s doing well enough internationally that there’s already talk of a sequel.
But is it worth that kind of effort? Our intrepid reviewers suit up and tackle these questions under the cut. Heavy Spoilers from this point on.
By Kendra James
I’m not luring you in here to tell you to watch Doctor Who or Sherlock. You have my word.
Upfronts are done, premiere schedules are set; Stefon and Seth ran off into the sunset; and, even though it’s only May, it feels like we’re already halfway through the summer blockbuster set list…so what’s a pop culture junkie to do? I humbly suggest using this hiatus season to catch up on a few British shows you may have missed while our gladiators were white-hatting.
At no more than six episodes per season, I promise you’ll be done before Olivia Pope’s return. Just give us a moment to close our eyes and turn around, so we don’t have to witness whatever it is you have to do to get your hands on the four shows underneath the cut.
By Arturo R. García
It was almost enough to make you say, F-ck The Muppets.
No sooner did Eddie Murphy give up his shot at hosting the Academy Awards in a heart-warming display of solidarity with Bro – I mean, Brett – Ratner than an online campaign recommending Kermit The Frog and friends get the job pick up some steam.
The Muppets hosting The Oscars? The most interesting part of that pairing would be figuring out which half should feel more insulted.
But at least Muppets fans are coming at this from a place of honest – if at times overbearing (wokka wokka!) – enthusiasm. It’s been more disappointing to scan around other sites and see the same basic wishlist of prospective replacements:
- Stephen Colbert/Tina Fey
- Neil Patrick Harris
- Somebody associated with Glee
- Nobody at all
- Not to be outdone, the Huffington Post also nominated a muppet, albeit one with his own talk show.
- And one black person
With such a lack of creativity from normally creative people (Tracy Morgan? Oprah? Chris Rock?) you’d think Ratner was still doing the show! O-HOHOHOHO!
But seriously, folks. We here at The R can do better than that – especially since Rick Perry’s botched his audition last night. And our nominees are …
By Arturo R. García
In a better world for Idris Elba, we’d be writing about the return of Luther, the cops-and-robbers drama he produced for the BBC, in more glowing terms: the rising film star (thanks to Thor) coming back as a producer and lead for his relatively-little project that could. But given that the show’s ratings actually decreased during its’ first season despite Elba netting an NAACP Image Award and a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the title role, let’s just be glad it’s back at all.
Especially since the show ended that first season on a suitably squirmy cliffhanger: when we last left the despondent Detective Inspector, he was in the absolute wrong place at the wrong time – standing near his friend’s bloody corpse with his co-workers, convinced he was involved in another murder, closing in. His last question before we hit the credits – “Now what?” – would surely be the first one answered this year, right? Especially since showrunner Neil Cross only had four hours to wrap the case this year?
The show returned to British airwaves Tuesday, though no word yet on if and when it will air on BBC America. So far, though, the answers are few, while the problems for Luther are new. Be aware, spoilers are under the cut.
By Arturo R. García
And after the big to-do over Idris Elba getting cast in Thor, it turns out … you know what? He wasn’t bad at all. Some spoilers under the cut.
“It matters to Elba that while this diversity of work is available in TV drama, the same is not yet true of film. ‘Imagine a film such as Inception with an entire cast of black people – do you think it would be successful?’ Elba asks. ‘Would people watch it? But no one questions the fact that everyone’s white. That’s what we have to change.
“His solution – apart from continuing to play roles that require a good actor rather than one who is necessarily black – is to take matters into his own hands. Elba sees himself increasingly as an entrepreneur, with his own record label, TV and film-producing projects, and says he intends to set about producing the kind of films he thinks are missing. ‘I’ll direct myself and I’ll be colour blind and gender blind,’ Elba proclaims. ‘I’ll show that it can be done.”
–Excerpted from “The god in Idris Elba.”
Photo credit: BeeGadget