Thor – and phallic imagery

Thor (2011) by Kenneth Branagh

Okay, I should write this blog before I forget everything about the movie – because really, it is not that memorable. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: is there actually a movie I will talk well about or is this just about ranting for me? It is not, and I liked Thor, still, it is not exactly Shakespeare (although a friend said that there was something Shakespearean to it and I kind of agree).

I like Kenneth Branagh’s movies a lot. They are aesthetically impressive, all of them. One likes looking at them, they are not complicated – visually. They are beautiful and opulent – I don’t need some artsy camera shots, I am old school. Branagh certainly has a knack for stories of epic proportions , still, I was a little surprised when I read he would make a comic into a movie – without having known anything about the story. But it turned out to be a wise decision for both the director and the producers. Thor is stunning, I like pretty much everything about it.

You think: Yeah, right! Just because I think a movie is forgettable does not mean, that I consider it a bad movie. I will think about this movie at some point and remember that I liked it and maybe even watch it again – rented on dvd. But maybe I will not. I don’t think the world a worse place for forgettable movies, they give us pleasure for the time being, that is certainly a good thing. That I will not owe it on dvd at some point does not mean I did not enjoy watching it. It is like The Lord of the Rings – trilogy. I watched them, I liked them, I do not feel the need to buy any of the dvd boxes.

Still, you are right about one thing: I am going to nag about something now. It is in the title so I forwarned you. The phallic imagery in this movie is… well, it mostly is there. In one’s face, so to speak (which is a disgusting phrasing, at least for me it is). Pretty much all of Ansgard consists of phalli, then we have swords, the hammer, speers, you name it, it’s all there.

I know very little about nordic mythology – aside from the fact that Xena kicked Odin’s ass back in the days, I know pretty much nothing. I have heard about the main players and mostly laughed at some rediculous names – Frigga? Really? – but that’s about it. Yes, I was probably on some subconscious level (I don’t know much about Freud either so I don’t care what he said about the subconscious) aware that this would be a movie telling a story that is based on patriarchal ideology… but could you, Ken Branagh, have gone a little bit lighter on the phalli? I know, you could have… you chose not to.

Well, whatever. On the whole, I enjoyed the movie. As you might know, I think Natalie Portman an acting genius – or maybe an acting genius – and I enjoyed her playing a genius… so there. Of course, the acting was great. Anthony Hopkins alone would have justified that statement, but then there were Natalie Portman, Rene Russo (I love Rene Russo), Stellan Skargard, and Kat Dennings, so it was even better. And I finally had explained to me why Samuel Jackson was in that short sequence at the end… not that I am keeping up with comic book wars, and sequels, and what-nots, ’cause I am simply too poor to read that many comic books – especially comic books about male heroes which would also bore me to pieces.

So, yeah, good movie, go watch.

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The Tourist

The Tourist (2010) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

I don’t know why it is that I have such problems posting about movies starring Angelina Jolie. I guess, I am starting to ramble much in presence of beautiful women and Angelina is stunning…

That said I may be able to continue, then again, this movie plays on her beauty, to her beauty. There is not a minute in this movie where a man does not look at her, after her. She is object of this movie, all scenes play toward her. It’s in your face! And this is something I do not necessarily like, maybe because it is a heterosexist way to portray her since it’s only man looking at her and the women look rather jealously than lustfully at her (which is ridiculous). It also makes the female viewer (and lesbian viewer) painfully aware of Laura Mulvey’s concept of every perception at movies being male perspectives. Though I don’t necessarily agree with Mulvey this movies seems to do so.

It does not look at Johnny Depp as an object (though some of the female viewers might), that is. But okay, enough of the academic analysis and let me say that I enjoyed the movie. Simply because there was nothing that was not enjoyable. The tone was light, the plot not too difficult to figure out, there were references to movies past (though Johnny Depp is not really a Cary Grant-character).

Maybe the movie treaded too carefully at times but then, I would not know what to do differently (unless maybe to have women ogle Angelina, and her wearing some snug jeans, but that’s just something I would have any attractive woman wear in movies). The movie is harmless, it does not make a deep impression, but it will probably make a lot of money (especially on the European market, we so love to see ourselves represented in American films!).

The reason I watched it was Angelina herself. I had already watched the trailer several times and it did not impress me that much though I would usually watch anything with Angelina in it. Still, I did not plan to watch this one. But I was coincidentally (yeah, this happens to me sometimes) near the movie theater in Berlin where the premiere was on Tuesday, and I happened to see the tip of her hair – twice… there were too many people in between us to really see her but… y’know, just the knowledge that there were only a couple of meters between us… it’s pathetic really but it is also uplifting to be so near someone you have admired so long and usually only see on the screen or staring from tabloid covers… so, yeah, I wanted to see what the fuss was about and went to see it the very next day. I couldn’t help myself but I guess that’s what these premieres are for… I wasn’t prepared, though, for the overindulgence of Angelina Jolie I got from this movie. Sometimes less is more, y’know.

I blog – it’s what I like to do

I am currently involved in four blogs – one of them is almost over, as is the semester here in Tulane, New Orleans. Another one will end when I am back in Germany, so two left. And this is the one where you will find “movies ‘n’ stuff.”

I love the movies, I love going to a theater, smell the popcorn, drink my Cab yellow, and watch a movie. Any movie, really. Yes, I watch bad ones, too, and I will tell you about them, too. Let’s face it, our taste when it comes to the celluloid screen is not impeccable and sometimes we just happen to sit in a very BAD movie. It happens. Sometimes we sit in a good movie and then there are those in between and beyond.

I will try not to retell, I will try to criticize. I will try not to drool over my favorites, I will try not to break anything if I accidentily should walk into a Tom Cruise-movie (it would be more likely to be kidnapped into one of those than me accidentally walking into one, actually). But I will tell… the good, the bad, the rest.

I am a rather opinionated person and I am not necessarily nice but I also try to be polite and I hope you will grant me the same courtsy if you leave a comment. This said, enjoy the read.