I had the day all mapped out in my head. I would get up early, go for a long walk, whip up an egg white omelette with fresh asparagus, and then spend the rest of the rainy afternoon at the movies immersed in the fascinating new documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. I mean, what’s more fun than a Werner Herzog film about cave drawings!
Outlines are not always filled in the way we expect, however, and sometimes we just have to go with the flow. In this case, the flow was sort of like the Mississippi at full-flood stage, and it washed me over the levee into a Five Guys for a cheeseburger and then floated me right into a 3D showing of Thor. Self-improvement was going to have to wait for a drier day, because the God of Thunder made me forget about Werner’s cave drawings momentarily.
Thor is the third movie about an individual superhero that leads to next summer’s The Avengers, an alliance that is comprised of Thor, Ironman, the Incredible Hulk and Captain America. I was a little confused when I first started hearing about this project because I thought they were talking about the TV series The Avengers with Patrick MacNee and Diana Rigg, and I could not remember John Steed ever dressing like a Viking holding a hammer. Totally different project. There have been references to the upcoming Avengers film in each of the Ironman films, and Thor has the after-the-credits scene as well.
This was not a movie I was particularly interested in seeing. I wasn’t familiar with the Marvel characters, being more of a Batman fan (although I will admit to having an inexplicable crush on the character of Mon-El, one of the Legion of Superheroes). But I had over an hour to wait before Cave of Forgotten Dreams began and already had my ridiculously overpriced 3D glasses in hand, so ducking into Thor to kill some time seemed like a good idea.
The first third of the story takes place in the realm of Asgard, where we learn that Thor is an arrogant spoiled brat who is always looking for a fight. Eventually he’s banished for trying to start a war and ends up on earth, where he is immediately hit by Natalie Portman’s van. The film is pretty standard fantasy and the script reads like outtakes from an Arnold Schwarzenegger film (“You are unworthy of your title, and I’ll take from you your power!”) but things pick up once he starts interacting with mortals. And undressing. It was at this point that Cave of Forgotten Dreams was about to begin and a decision had to be made: Werner Herzog or the God of Thunder with his shirt off. You know that flow I was talking about before? Apparently it has a really shallow end as well.
So Thor turned out to be fun and a little cheesy, which was apparently exactly what I was in the mood for. It was also the first in what is going to be a long line of 3D movies about to be released over the summer, and my first chance to don the Harry Caray size glasses since Avatar. I had approached Avatar with caution because I had no idea how I would react to the new technology. I did envision what projectile vomiting might look like in 3D, and did not envy the person sitting next to me. But Avatar didn’t make me nauseous at all, even with all the swooping dragons and Navi tail twitching. I came out of the theatre with a headache, but I figured that was because three hours was a long time to have to stroke James Cameron’s ego.
Thor had exactly the same effect. No motion sickness at all, but it gave me a headache and my eyes kept burning. Wearing the 3D specs over my own glasses might cause some of that, or maybe I’m just a hopeless hypochondriac who needs to find something to complain about in every film I see. Whatever. I do think it’s interesting that the added dimensionality seems to help the brain adjust to the sudden movement. At least half of the film was CGI, and there’s no shaky camera work allowed when the computer is putting in all the special effects. Since it seems like nearly every summer movie coming out is in 3D, I’ll have a chance to explore the effects a bit more.
A quick suggestion: keep the little plastic bag the glasses come in and stick them back in it to keep from getting scratched before you put the glasses in your purse/pocket. Then plan on bringing them with you before you start lining up for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part II. With the theatre charging $4.00 extra for 3D films, it will save you a lot if you bring your own. And those heavy dark frames are really in right now. People might think you’re a hipster. Or an artist. Or maybe blind.
Barf Bag rating: ZERO bags I think I’m going to have to come up with a new icon rating for 3D films. Maybe bleeding eyeballs . . . that shoot out at you and make you think you’ll be able to grab them! You’ll need to wear your new glasses to read the reviews!