Thor: The Dark World

Shanghai Knights and Big Ben

We heard way back in October 2013 that an Olympus Has Fallen sequel was going to be called London Has Fallen and would clearly be set in London. Now we hear word that this action follow-up will be released on October 2, 2015. Focus Features, which used to be an art house arm for Universal Studios, is distributing the definitely not an art house movie, and this is what it’ll be about: The UK Prime Minister has mysteriously did and now all the western world’s leaders are in town for the funeral — which is a perfect way to kill them all, unless the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart) has brought along his favorite Secret Service agent, played by Gerard Butler. Having that plot synopsis so early is good, because now Roland Emmerich can make a sequel to White House Down with the same plot. Or at least just set a follow-up in England, which wouldn’t seem as much like a copycat given all the other sequels that have made the same jump over the pond for a jolly good change of scenery. If you’re not sure what I mean, just check out the following second outings that brought their franchises across the Atlantic.

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Jared Leto in Mr Nobody

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Mr. Nobody Nemo Nobody (Jared Leto) is 118 years old and on his death bed. He’s the last human doomed to die in a world where mankind has achieved a level of immortality and no longer faces an expiration date. Before he passes on, Nemo gives an interview to share the story of his life, but the tale he tales is an impossible one featuring multiple outcomes and events that simply couldn’t all be true. Or could they? This gorgeously shot and endlessly fascinating film is actually from 2009 and only now getting a release here in the U.S. for reasons unknown. It’s far from a traditional film, but if you like science fiction that explores humanity in surprising ways then you owe it to yourself to seek this one out. Leto does some incredible work here as a man shifting in and out of multiple threads of his own life, moving between different loves and events, and the supporting cast (Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh-dan Pham) is equally strong. This Blu also includes both the R-rated cut and the extended international cut that runs an additional 16 minutes. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Making of, deleted scenes, featurette, trailer]

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Thor: The Dark World (2013)

By the end of the year, we will be ten films deep in Marvel Studios mythology, which is quite a feat by any standard. While not every film can be the billion-dollar blockbuster like The Avengers or Iron Man 3, the smaller ones still make plenty of money worldwide and provide a substantial amount of connective tissue in the overall universe. In November 2013, Thor: The Dark World came out, performing about as well as its predecessor (which is to say good, but not great). The film wraps up a lot of Loki’s storyline from Thor and The Avengers, but more importantly, the mid-credits sequence leads into The Guardians of the Galaxy, due out in August 2014. For the DVD and Blu-ray release, director Alan Taylor sits down with Marvel guru Kevin Feige, villainous heartthrob Tom Hiddleston, and cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau to talk about the film and reveal the behind-the-scenes process of not just making a superhero film, but making an installment in a much larger franchise.

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goodfellastable

This week’s list of movies to watch is not inspired by a single new release, because there isn’t anything big enough out this weekend to warrant such a focus. Instead, I’ve got a year-end feature for you inspired by the entirety of 2013 in film. I can’t sum up every title released this year with only ten recommendations, but the movies I’ve selected are, I believe, the best representatives of the more notable titles and trends seen in the past dozen months. Most of the selections are familiar. Chances are you’ve seen more than a few. But obviously this edition has to involve more popular fare because they have to be influential movies to have informed so much of this year’s crop, even if unintentionally. Just take it as a call to watch them again, along with whatever you haven’t seen before, as a special sort of year in review of the most important movies of 2013 released before 2013.

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superman-the-movie-1978-marlon-brando-as-jor-el-sentences-general-zod-non-and-ursa

It’s only a coincidence that I’m writing this on the day Man of Steel hits home video, and it has nothing to do with the approaching 35th anniversary of Superman: The Movie. Rather, it’s something I’ve been wondering during the discussions of the latest Marvel movie post-credits “stingers.” Thor: The Dark World finishes with three separate teases. The first (not a stinger) comes before the credits and hints at something that will presumably be dealt with in Thor 3. The next comes midway into the credits and introduces a character and teases plot that is part of the larger Marvel/Avengers franchise storyline. And the third is just a funny post-credits scene that I expect to be the vaguely reported link between the film and an upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode. Personally, I have no problem with these or any stingers. The midway scene in Thor 2 is pretty goofy, though, and has been met with the usual confusion that, hopefully for Marvel’s sake, translates into curiosity instead of annoyance. And perhaps the way they’re done is a little tired, so maybe it is time to try something different. Like a prologue stinger. I don’t know if that phrase makes sense (I’m not totally sure of where the term stinger comes from), but here’s what I mean: set up the next film before the latest even begins. For the one and only example, as far as I know, look to the opening of the first Superman, which features the trial of […]

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dark crystal room

While watching Thor: The Dark World, my desire was to switch this week’s list of movies to watch to a list of TV series to watch. The whole movie is like Game of Thrones meets Doctor Who, the former an understandable influence since director Alan Taylor has helmed six episodes of that show (the fact that Christopher Eccleston is in the movie has nothing to do with the latter). He’s also won an Emmy for his work directing The Sopranos and a DGA Award for his work on Mad Men. Other series I was reminded of while watching include The Wire, because of Idris Elba, Lost, because of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and The IT Crowd, because of Chris O’Dowd. But most of these are already so well known, and they really don’t have a lot to do with Thor 2 other than talent connections. I also wasn’t interested in checking out 2 Broke Girls just to make a well-rounded yet thin point. So, here’s your usual list of movies I thought to recommend after the Thor sequel. Not surprisingly, there are no appropriate documentaries included this time. You’re welcome. Minor SPOILERS if you haven’t seen Thor: The Dark World. 

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Loki - Thor the Dark World

Tom Hiddleston joins us this week to discuss his third Marvel outing in Thor: The Dark World, and to find a match for Loki in the Shakespearean universe. Our interview is much ado about spandex, but before it, Geoff and I will share some non-superhero comic books we think should be turned into movies and hyper-sexualized HBO series. You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #40 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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taylor

Thor: The Dark World may be director Alan Taylor‘s first feature film, but this isn’t his first rodeo behind the camera. Far from it, actually. Taylor has directed episodes for some of your favorite television shows: Mad Men, Deadwood, Rome, Bored to Death, and The Sopranos. Taylor brought those series to real highs. For The Sopranos, he helmed the episode where Tony killed his nephew Christopher — one of the most dramatic moments of that series. But it was Taylor’s time on Game of Thrones that landed him Thor: The Dark World. The first Thor often felt like more of a cartoon than a movie, and Marvel wanted to ground those rainbow bridges for the sequel. That doesn’t mean Thor: The Dark World is a gritty, humorless experience, but has a “dirt” to it, which is how Alan Taylor describes the style of the film. Speaking with Taylor from the London junket, he went into the differences between television and film, directing his first feature, and Marvel’s Kevin Feige.

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Thor: The Dark World

So far Marvel has had a terrific run. They’ve been putting out solid films, and the way they set up Phase I was an astonishing feat. They’re risk-takers, and releasing a Thor movie in 2011 was one of those risky decisions. Would an audience accept a Norse God and all the fantastical mumbo jumbo that came with him? They did, making Thor a success for the studio. Its sequel, Thor: The Dark World, makes up for a few of the previous film’s issues, while also bringing its own set of serious problems to the table. This time around Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is facing more struggles than ever before. His relationship with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) has suffered after years of distance, he’s fighting small-scale wars, he’s still conflicted over his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and, to make matters worse, a D-movie villain, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), leader of the Dark Elves, shows up for revenge. Malekith not only shakes up the world of Asgard, but also any dramatic potential to be had with the more interesting conflicts set up but given no satisfying payoffs. So much, with the exception of director Alan Taylor‘s eye, is given little time to breathe.

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The-Avengers-Thor-and-Agent-Coulson

In this day and age, it’s hard to tell if a movie/TV series crossover is more beneficial to theatrical attendance for the former or ratings for the latter. Perhaps it’s to work both ways in the Marvel Cinematic Universe announcement that Thor: The Dark World is going to connect pretty directly with events in NBC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This isn’t a surprise nor is it that new for the series to feature references to the Marvel movies. Agent Coulson’s story arc has been connected to what happened to him in The Avengers since the start and will continue until we’re given more details of how the character was resurrected following “The Battle of New York.” And a couple episodes have involved the Extremis serum first seen in Iron Man 3. I haven’t seen the new Thor sequel yet, so I have no speculation to offer regarding the plot connection, but I can’t imagine it being too significant. The movie won’t be ending with a “To be continued on television in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” that’s for sure. We’re being given two weeks from the opening of The Dark World to the airing of the episode in question (“The Well”), but will the show actually depend on us seeing the movie in that time? That could potentially alienate some viewers who might want or need to wait for the movie to hit video to see it. And with ratings for the show continuing to decline in both the U.S. and UK, […]

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taylor

From a visual standpoint, Thor: The Dark World is an interesting sequel. It’s a serious departure from the world Kenneth Branagh set up with the first film, which was light and cartoony (in a pleasant way), but all those dutch angles and color-y rainbow bridges sure did make some snicker. For the sequel, there’s a grime to Asgard, and there’s a tangibility that director Alan Taylor was clearly hired to put on screen. The folks behind Terminator 5 are probably hoping he can bring that exact grit to the upcoming reboot. Now, Alan Taylor says his attachment to the semi-reboot remains a “rumor,” but while speaking with him this morning in support of his feature debut, he stated that in such a way that makes it seem far more than just another meritless rumor. When asked if Terminator 5 would keep more in touch with James Cameron’s films than the series overhaul we see in Thor: The Dark World, Taylor described his take on this “rumor”:

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On paper, Thor: The Dark World might be about Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and a dark world, but for a lot of people, the real draw will be seeing more of Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Naturally, the first clip released from the film is overflowing with the trickster, featuring the kind of snappy repartee we’ve come to expect from the God of Mischief, even if he is missing his trademark horned helmet and any kind of basic hair care. The setup’s pretty simple: Loki, having tried and failed to conquer Earth in The Avengers, is now in time-out, but Thor needs his help, for reasons that would probably be clearer were this clip longer than 53 seconds. Thor promises his adopted brother freedom from space jail as well as vengeance (for something that again, we’ll probably figure out in a not-less-than-a-minute viewing of Thor: The Dark World). After a little back-and-forth about being desperate and “betray me and I will kill you,” the Odinson brothers are together once more. Fans may be clamoring for the villain more than the titular hero, but the film itself seems to be tilting in the same direction. The most intriguing character work seems heaped in Loki’s lap — will he betray Thor, side with the film’s villains, betray everyone, or follow some yet-unknown path? Thor, on the other hand, just looks angry and sad. Maybe he’ll cheer up a bit on November 8, when Thor: The Dark World hits theaters and rakes in several Asgards’ […]

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thordarkworld-lokiposter-full

Everybody’s favorite Asgardian brothers are prominently displayed in two new posters for Thor: The Dark World, courtesy of Marvel. The two posters, which separately feature Thor and Loki, are kind of a breath of fresh air after the last poster, which crammed every single character from the last film plus a thousand bolts of lightning into the frame. Marvel is giving the people what they want, which is a whole bunch of Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. The Loki poster does a fantastic job capturing the character’s essence as Hiddleston sits in golden ruins with a mischevious grin on his face while fire rains down from the sky behind him. What did he just do?? More importantly – why is Thor’s hammer Mjolnir sitting in the bottom righthand corner with no Thor in sight? At first glance, the Thor poster (which you can see after the break) is just an unstoppable ball of epic energy. Look at the lightning bolts. He’s flying through the sky to throw his mighty hammer down. But take a second look at that face. Thor is so uninterested in whatever is going on in this scenario. Thor is having an existential crisis mid-air.

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Loki Glass Prison

The glass prison designers of the fictional world are making bank this year. It seems that almost every action-packed superhero or quasi-superhero film features the same prominent set piece and it hasn’tt gone unnoticed: a recent meme circulated remarking on the inefficacy of the glass  prison, showing the evolution of the structure on film. The image, created by Raven Montoya, stacked a number of villains captured in glass prisons on top of each other: Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs, Magneto from X2 (technically a plastic prison), Loki from Avengers,  Raoul Silva from Skyfall, and lastly, the animated Stitch from Lilo and Stitch. The caption  quipped, “Yes! Of course it’s a good idea to put the homicidal maniac in a glass prison. I’m sure he won’t get out.” That the villain always escapes comes hand in hand with another trope of the glass prison—to  quote the Joker in The Dark Knight, “It’s all part of the plan.” The villain intends to be caught in order to set his diabolical plan in motion. Charlie Jane Anders of io9 cites the Rube Goldbergian  nature of the scheme as one reason for the evil mastermind to create this situation—to enhance  his devious nature. She also notes a more important use of such a tactic: “You get to put the hero and the villain in the room together, without having them fight.” All this would seem to be blockbuster screenwriting 101. You set up a mid-movie failure to create tension before the final […]

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Thor and Loki

Another glimpse at the upcoming Thor: The Dark World is here, thanks to a brand new trailer. It’s got all the hammer-smashing, Norse fantasy and hordes of women swooning over Chris Hemsworth (that part might be implied). Marvel clearly knows what audiences want to see in a Thor film: lots and lots of Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston (as the nefarious Loki). This trailer sets its sights on the two of them and rarely (if ever) hesitates to show something about the story or any other non-Thor-or-Loki characters. All we can really gleam from this new footage is this: Thor has a problem. Loki has some knowledge of how to fix that problem. The two team up. After that, it’s all Thor swaggering, Loki sneering, and the two doing a whole bunch of fantasy-themed ass-kicking. Check it out after the jump.

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Tom_Hiddleston_as_Loki_op_800x583

Was Loki your favorite part of The Avengers? Do you have fond memories of seeing the Asgardian villain create chaos everywhere he went, trying to take down the intrepid band of superheroes and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents while also getting pummeled by the Hulk? Well too bad, because Tom Hiddleston just confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the god of mischief will not be appearing in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Apparently, he and writer-director Joss Whedon are in agreement that Loki’s story was played out to completion in the first film, and the sequel to the 2012 hit will focus on a new villain for the Avengers to battle. Hiddleston’s fine with it – no, really. “When I think of all the things I loved as a child, for example, Hans Gruber wasn’t in Die Hard 2. And in Indiana Jones, by the time he moved from the Lost Ark to the Temple of Doom, there was a whole new bad guy. I think keeping it fresh and new is good for The Avengers even though it’s a shame for me,” he tells EW.

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Marvel Studios Panel At Comic-Con

We could write all about the Marvel Studios Comic-Con panel from yesterday. We could dig through Twitter and the coverage from other sites and our own chats with some of the Marvel stars (coming later today) and give you a list of things we learned. Or we could just publish this video of the panel and let you make your own conclusions. That second option sounds great, as there is no perfect way to explain what happened when Tom Hiddleston took the stage in full character and turned a 6,000 person Hall H crowd into an army of loyal followers. Apparently we all just want to be ruled. All that trouble in The Avengers for nothing. So sit back and enjoy the Marvel Studios panel from the comfort of your own home. You’ll get updates on the more medieval Thor: The Dark World, the S.H.I.E.L.D.-heavy Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the out-of-this-world Guardians of the Galaxy and a little update about something called Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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mnad_mitchell

Tonight we explore the world of art, Matt Murdock’s new home and supporting TV characters who should have their own show. It’s all here in Movie News After Dark.

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teaser thor the dark world

I really expected to hate Kenneth Branagh’s Thor. He’s a fine director, and Marvel had shown even by that point that they knew what they were doing, but the idea of a movie based on a Norse god as superhero just sounded terrible. Happily though I was wrong, and the film ended up being an entertaining entry that managed to make both its hero and villain extremely likeable. Now that we’ve entered Marvel’s Phase Two, their post-Avengers plan is ready to roll out with sequels and new content. Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 is first out of the gate this summer, but hot on its heels will be Thor: The Dark World. Branagh has been replaced with TV veteran Alan Taylor. While it may seem like a risk tasking a television guy with crafting an epic, big screen adventure take comfort in the fact that some of the series on his resume are equally ambitious and well respected including Oz, Homicide, The West Wing, Deadwood, The Sopranos, Mad Men and, wait for it… the somewhat apropos Game of Thrones. If that doesn’t do it for you though you can just check out the teaser for Thor: The Dark World below.

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Ant-Man

If you haven’t had your coffee yet, now’s a good time to take it ocularly. For the most part, this Phase Two featurette from Marvel (via Superhero Hype) is a keen look into the world of Iron Man 3 with an eye to how they’re deepening the well while returning to it in order to make Tony Stark a richer character post-Avengers. The cast and crew, alongside Marvel head Kevin Feige, weigh in on how this trilogy entry is also a piece of a much larger puzzle. Then, they show some of the other pieces. The briefest of footage from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World is joined by test footage from Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, concept footage from Guardians of the Galaxy and a few comments from the filmmakers. At any rate, let’s stop pretending that you’re reading this and get to the video:

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published: 12.23.2014
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