Valhalla Rising

Currently streaming on Netflix.

I’ve never seen a man so disfigured, give me the biggest chubby I’ve never known.  Nicolas Winding Refn doesn’t seem to know how to write women (Valhalla Rising would miserably fail the Bechdel Test); but, Refn knows how to write the most sexually electrifying  male leads to ever see the big screen.  See Drive.

To say Valhalla Rising is slow-paced, is a sure under-statement.  The first spoken words come as a surprise, because so much time has passed without language.  That is not to say it is silent.  Refn selects jarring, intense music that sets a perfect Purgatorial mood.  Normally, I give up easily on slow-paced movies.  I am often impatient and bored.  I was neither during this one.  The moments of stillness added to the suspense.  The gorgeous landscapes (filmed in Scotland) interspersed with shocking red clairvoyant impressions were enough to keep me at the edge of my seat.

The protagonist, a Norse warrior, begins as a slave with unrivaled fighting skills.  Refn’s movies are like the bashed-in heads he loves so much.  Rough, bloody, and raw, but soft on the inside.  The Norse warrior is 100% hero.  A noble savage that meets his match when he meets nobler savages, also known as Injuns.

Valhalla Rising did have a fatal flaw – a disappointing ending that I won’t spoil for you.  Even still, the movie is entirely worth watching.  I wholeheartedly recommend it… $11

As a side note, the picturesque landscapes of this movie reminded me of one my all-time favorite music videos.  Though entirely different in tone, it shares gray skies and rolling hills. See here.

Yolkie’s Recommendations:

Drive
The Hidden Blade
Let the Right One In

Other Reviews:
Vahalla Rising Review
The Speculative Scotsman
Between the Seats

Thor

Thor wasn’t going to be worth writing about.  Then I found out that numb nuts at Rotten Tomatoes gave this piece of shit 78%.  That means it was actually “fresh”.  The horror! I didn’t want to write a review because the list of failures in this movie would be too exhausting and a bit trite.  The negativity I bring to these reviews is tiring. I blame Rotten Tomatoes for this one – they FORCED me to write this one with that damned rating.

Cast and Acting
Chris Hemsworth as Thor was a terrible mistake.  He must have sucked some dick to get that role.  How could he get past any auditions with that silly voice?  Why are you talking like that!?  You sound like prepubescent boy trying out his “large man” voice in a school production of King Lear.  I don’t even know what Thor is supposed to be like in the comics, but I know what bad acting looks like – and Hemsworth displays it without shame.  The combination of writing and Hemsworth resulted in an entirely uninteresting hero with weak-ass superpowers.

Thor’s brother, Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston wouldn’t have been so bad, except that some doofus make-up artist decided to make him look like Snape.  The evil-brother-role was a little bit over-done with the cancer-pale skin tone and jet black greasy hair – especially in comparison to the brazen golden locks of Thor.  Ya make it kinda obvious where the plot is going.  Nothing to say about Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, and Kat Dennings – waste of talent on this movie, but they neither made the movie better or worse off.

Story line
None to speak of.  There’s a pathetic love story that’s got no heart, but who watches an action movie for plot? It’s all about the action. So… see below.

Action
Action sequences were awful! He’s got a fucking hammer that he throws! I didn’t even know what superpowers he had – that definitely needed explanation. While he seemed to be pretty strong and had this awesome hammer, he could also generate weather or something? But he couldn’t do shit without that stupid hammer – so lame. THEN, there was this action scene that really drove me nuts.

***** Spoiler Alert! *****

Okay, now that you’ve been warned about the spoiler.  Thor almost dies by the backhand slap of a robot.  Absolutely no fighting foreplay. Thor just steps up to the robot and tries to persuade the robot with some words.  BAM! Backhand slap knocks him off the feet, left to die.  Somewhere and somehow, Thor’s heart miraculously changes (like a scene from Beauty and the Beast) and this hammer comes to save him.

Visual Appeal

If the movie has shitty actors, a shitty plot, and shitty action – I would at LEAST think it would have some stunning visual effects.  Right?  NO!  You will get nothing cause this movie is worthless.  The ugly CGI hurt my eyes and the costume design was cheesy (again, reminding me of a school play)… $0

I’ve never seen these movies, but they also seem like terrible action movies, so you might like them.  Yolkie’s Recommendations:
Daredevil
Elektra
Hulk 

Side commentary about movies today.  While I was on Rotten Tomatoes checking out the rating for Thor, I got a glimpse at the top box office hits in our nation.

77% Thor $65.7M
78% Fast Five $32.4M
52% Jumping the Broom $15.2M
15% Something Borrowed $13.9M
72% Rio $8.5M
59% Water for Elephants $6.1M
41% Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family $4.2M
51% Soul Surfer $2.3M
40% Prom $2.2M
11% Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil $2.0M
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