Tom Hiddleston

In a New York living room, sometime in the early 1970s, a young boy is sitting in front of his television (possibly watching an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus) and playing with plastic toy figures of Earth’s mightiest heroes. He smashes The Hulk into Thor, zooms Iron Man around at incredible speed and makes Captain America leap over an H.R. Pufnstuf doll. Because, you know, he’s got one of those too. Forty some odd years later, that same little boy named Joss Whedon got a chance to slam those toys together again, and he achieved something that’s made up equally of the magic of childhood and the craftsmanship of a seasoned filmmaker. It was an impossible dream, a crazy call-out to the far left field bleachers, but The Avengers is the best movie that Marvel has made.

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The Avengers

Wow. People holding Tribeca badges and passes just got a kick in the pants from a dude in a metal suit, a guy who rips his purple shorts with rage and a host of other dysfunctional family members. According to their latest press release, the Tribeca Film Festival is closing its 2012 calendar with The Avengers. At a film event that celebrates James Franco’s eccentricities alongside indie filmmakers famous and not-yet-famous alike, this is a blockbuster move – one that the fest is using no doubt for publicity and as an opportunity to celebrate the heroes of New York City and beyond. Firemen, police officials, military personnel and others will have a special chance to join in on the screening. Marvel head Kevin Feige weighed in, saying, “We are proud that Marvel‘s The Avengers is the closing film of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and we are excited to welcome local heroes to the screening as special guests. We all know and love our iconic Super Heroes, but when it really counts, it’s our real-life heroes who save the world every day by making it a better place for all of us.” Despite its normal focus on the obscure, this fits well with the Tribeca mission which arose from the ashes of 9/11 as a means to prop up the New York City economy and to celebrate its art. On another level, it’s a booking that’s incredibly cool and makes native New Yorker Joss Whedon very happy. The director had this to […]

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I tease, of course. The Avengers is almost guaranteed to be a gigantic hit this summer and probably one of the year’s highest grossers. The film has a built-in audience by virtue of its characters, history and the intentionally structured universe that Marvel has created with the earlier films. It’s going to be huge thanks to the presence of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo/CGI) and others. And it’s going to be fun thanks to Joss Whedon in the director’s chair. But will it be any good? All signs point to yes, and that’s including the new TV spot below.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr pulls out his screening schedule, which looks like a gambling addict’s racing form. He bounces from huge, mainstream releases to minor indie award contenders. Facing motion-capture CGI, tattooed bisexual investigators, cross-dressing waiters, silent film actors, and a lead star who is literally hung like a horse, Kevin tries to make sense of the seemingly countless releases this holiday week. Exhaustion from this process makes it impossible to buy a zoo or face the 3D end of the world, but his movie stocking is full, nonetheless.

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It’s not quite hyperbole to say the The Avengers is the most eagerly anticipated film of 2012. The ensemble superhero film features several characters who have already proven themselves in their own movies (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor) as well as a few who haven’t (Hawkeye, Black Widow), but the idea of bringing them all together into one adventure has been a dream of Marvel’s and the fans for quite some time. And now it’s almost here. We’ve seen some images and a very brief teaser, but Marvel and Paramount have released the first real trailer this morning. It’s still teaserish at only two minutes, but it offers up a good idea of what we can expect from director Joss Whedon’s upcoming blockbuster. Check it out below.

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Editor’s Note: Our Cannes coverage kicks off hard and heavy here, so everyone welcome Simon Gallagher and forgive him his British spellings that slip by the editing process. Also, all Cannes reviews are best read with a glass of champagne. Day one on the Croisette and we’re already opening with a name as big as Woody Allen. For the second year in a row, the director who never seems to tire of making films, and who can still occasionally make exceptional ones, has a film showing on the Croisette. Following last year’s inclusion of You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, the 64th Cannes festival opened this morning with the New Yorker’s latest – Midnight in Paris – a screening that for me came laced with both excitement, and an underwhelming sense that I was about to see essentially the same Woody Allen film I’ve been watching for the past decade or so. It’s not that I don’t enjoy seeing Allen muse on the nature of love and relationships, or seeing him create a slightly grotesqued portrait of himself (this time taken on by Owen Wilson), I just think there is only so much enjoyment to be had when a filmmaker so obviously resists the urge to evolve through his art, no matter how good it is. But I had no reason to be suspicious, as it seems that Allen has taken it upon himself to debunk the idea that he generally makes and remakes the same film, throwing a […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr grabs his codpiece and cape, then gets hammered in the cineplex with Thor. He also suffers from wedding overload with two new movies, Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom. Though he probably should have put his shirt back on before seeing all the chick flicks. Finally, he takes a more esoteric and educational look at the Spanish Civil War drama There Be Dragons. Spoiler alert: There are no dragons in the movie.

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I may love most Marvel movies, but if there has been one bone of contention between them and me, it would be lackluster final battles. If there was a second, it would be completely useless press junkets. Now, press conferences are often boring no matter what the movie, but for some reason Marvel and I have never really gotten along in terms of not sucking. Unfortunately the conference for Thor was no different. While I enjoyed the movie (Rob Hunter gave it a B-) the conference failed to turn up many interesting things. Well, at least not interesting things about the movie. Here’s what I learned (with potential spoilers that you already know for The Avengers):

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The summer of 2011 will see the biggest assemblage yet of superheroes onscreen with the upcoming releases of X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, and Captain America: The First Avenger. (At least until next year when The Avengers hits theaters.) Every movie is a gamble to some degree, but these three mitigate the risk a bit in that the X-Men film is the fourth in a popular franchise and the other two both feature highly recognizable actors in the title roles. But there’s one superhero movie this summer that’s flying with a hammer in place of a safety net. The potential hurdles include a relatively unknown lead actor, a director thought to be an odd choice at best and a terrible one at worst, and a hero built on magic and fantasy. Thor is a god, an honest to god deity, and that can be a hard sell in the science-fiction and technology-filled world of Marvel films. Thor opens with a brief intro in the Southwestern US with a pair of scientists (Natalie Portman and Stellan Skarsgard) and their snarky assistant (Kat Dennings) tracking an odd weather phenomenon. They drive towards the center of the storm and accidentally collide with a figure emerging from the darkness.

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“Eloquent badass” is not only how one would probably describe Thor’s brother/nemesis, Loki, but also the actor who portrays him, Tom Hiddleston. At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Hiddleston was the only cast member that wasn’t tight-lipped as if they were hiding serious government secrets. The actor spoke off the cuff, even revealing a plot twist… and he did so in that ear-pleasing British accent of his. Hiddleston’s voice is smooth, clear, and everything you’d want from a great British accent. Hearing my voice go up against his was quite an emasculating experience. My sometimes quick, Mark Zuckerberg-like mannerisms sounded even more idiotic, something I never thought possible. Hiddleston made me sound like one of those hicks from Deliverance in comparison, but that seemingly total gent would never be one to tell me so. I unfortunately didn’t have the chance to see Thor before speaking with Hiddleston, but we covered an array of topics from tone, finding humanity in a villain, what you get when angry Gods do battle, and how much of an honor it must be to have one’s face on a 7-Eleven Slurpee cup.

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Paramount and Marvel have released a pair of new posters for the forthcoming Thor, starring Chris Hemsworth and directed by Kenneth Branagh. And despite the fact that these are posters numbers twelve and thirteen for the film’s marketing team, we’re giving them some time. Why? Because they are ripe with intensity as Thor (Hemsworth) and his bad brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) stare each other down. Nothing says epic intergalactic brouhaha like a simple bit of sibling rivalry. Check out both posters for yourself after the jump.

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After the roundtables for Thor I not only left feeling more excited for the film and convinced that it wouldn’t be a Flash Gordon camp-fest, but I also couldn’t have been more impressed by Tom Hiddleston. If you don’t know Hiddleston, he’ll be playing the horn helmeted villain Loki. From what Hiddleston said, Loki wont be another mustache-twirler. He had a clear vision for who Loki is and for what he wanted to do with him. Hiddleston also seemed to be one of the few of the cast members that talked candidly (and very intelligently) about the film. Most actors during these type of events are tight lipped and wont give up any plot oriented details. Hiddelston was the opposite. In fact, if you want to stay in the dark on Thor, I recommend not reading what he had to say.

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Thor Movie

Remember that little gathering of geeks that happened over last weekend? Comic-Con, or something of the like? It was there in San Diego that Marvel debuted the first footage for their next superhero excursion, Thor. It was a five minute trailer that proved to attendees that Kenneth Branagh’s film was made of more than the sum of silly costumes and star Chris Hemsworth’s workout routine. It proved Thor to be worthy of existing in the Marvel movie universe. But it only proved that to those who saw the footage. For the rest of us, there were still plenty of doubts. Until now. The footage has now been placed online — not as a bootleg, but as a digital copy — and the days of Thor are upon us. Check it out right after the jump.

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These costumes look terrible. It’s hard to believe that in a world that has moved beyond the Batman of the 1960s in so many ways that costumes like this could still make it down the pipeline. It’s doubly bad that they are coming from the studio that took comic book characters and made them accessible by making them inhabitants of the real world. From the beginning, Thor was going to be faced with the production challenge of integrating a God into the scientific mix or Iron Man and Hulk, but why they decided to make it tougher on themselves is a complete mystery. Get a load of the ridiculous after the jump. And put on your eye patch for it.

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thor-header

What does Stan Lee have that Dominic Cooper, Matthias Schweighöfer, Robert De Niro, Jude Law and Stellan Skarsgard seem to want so badly? A role in Thor, that’s what…

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marvelupdate

Marvel just gave away some details about their upcoming slate of films that certain comic fans might just be interested in. Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor, and more on the inside.

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hiddleston-loki

Another day, another casting decision from the halls of the Marvel Studios offices — or at least, another relatively solid piece of speculation. This time another relative unknown is stepping in to play Thor’s nemesis.

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tom_hiddleston_thor

Could a guy who once played a lord in a Brit television adapt of “Nicholas Nickleby” become a God for Thor?

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published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.17.2014
D+
published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.16.2014
B+

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