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Entries in Thor (37)


Valley of the Link

Buzzfeed lists 28 Asian American directors, some with great movies under their belt  - presumably to help Disney with Mulan because they'll need it. Consider that...
Newsweek ...Sony went with a white dude for their competing Mulan project
Awards Daily gorgeous photoshoot of Loving stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga for Vogue
Marvel reveals the end credits music on Doctor Strange. It sounds kind of lava lamp funky with a touch of warped vinyl. I don't know. I can't describe music.
i09 Taika Waititi promises that Thor: Ragnarok is "out there crazy" and that Marvel was totally accepting of his style. He's also suggested on Reddit that the movie will mostly ignore the larger Marvel Universe (aside from a Doctor Strange reference)

Coming Soon Hugh Grant, Imelda Staunton, and Brendan Gleeson join the cast of Paddington 2. But who fills the Nicole Kidman shaped hole?
/Film Captain Planet movie in the works with Leonardo DiCaprio producing
/Film first look of Caliban (played by Stephen Merchant) in the new Wolverine movie Logan
Slate "Why do people in old movies talk like that?" I haven't yet listened to this episode of "Lexicon Valley" but it sounds like a great topic 
AV Club Did you hear that Benji is being rebooted? It is. It's already filming! No franchise is safe in the grave. 

Stranger Things Has Alarming Staying Power
Yes people are still talking about Netflix's hit series. The latest online discourse is around whether or not the character of Wil is gay. The 11 year old actor who plays him, Noah Schnapp, spoke out about the speculation with a surprisingly mature response. Towleroad thinks it was a smart one but Mic thinks Schnapp is missing the point. Where do you stand on this? 

Last Week's Must Read
Apologies that we missed it but you shouldn't! Vulture published a fascinating piece by Mark Harris that makes a thorough case for why distributors need to release more information about their VOD releases including grosses. There is lots to think about here 


Lukewarm Off the Presses: Beyond Ragnarok & Huppert Fever

Reheating some news we never got around to! But perhaps it's news to you...

Cate Blanchett will be playing Thor's next big bad "Hela". We assume she's the antlered one in this concept art so we cautiously look forward to that costume. But confession: I don't trust Blanchett in villainous mode (*dodges tomatoes*) since she overdid it in both Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Hanna and nearly so in Cinderella and I don't mean overdid it in a fun comic-book kind of way but just too much overall. Plus the Thor movies are easily the worst part of Marvel Studio's work to date. Other new players in Thor: Ragnarok will be Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie (a character I loved as a kid so yay, Tessa). And of course Mark Ruffalo as the not jolly green giant and Chris Hemsworth as the guy with the hammer. For some reason they are forcing Sir Anthony Hopkins' Odin back on us (I thought he died in the ssecond movie?) and Tom Hiddleston is back under Loki's horns which is a pity because he deserves to use his time on other things, now, come on. They've wrung that character dry, they've leaned on him so much. 

Apparently the villain in Star Trek Beyond looks like this. It's actually Idris Elba underneath all that makeup. LOUD SIGH. First Oscar Isaac gets buried in ugly latex for Apocalypse and now Idris? Idris Elba is, and I think the internet will back me up on this assertion, one of the most attractive people on the planet. So why won't Hollywood show us his face? It is really pissing me off. This year he's onscreen as a tiger (Jungle Book) a buffalo (Zootopia), a sea lion (Finding Dory), and this alien but not as a human man you can actually look at. As a pasty white boy I am fully aware that there are people who think I shouldn't talk about race... but as a human person stuff like this is really getting to me. I am not one to jump on every perceived racial slight and proclaim racism (As I said much to the internet's displeasure this past season, I think #OscarsSoWhite was oft-misguided because the actor's branch is not the correct target for such things given both Hollywood and Oscar history) but I can't look at Idris Elba's career, and Zoe Saldana's career (note how she's always blue or green in her movies... until she was a black woman doing blackface -yikes!) and Lupita Nyong'o's career post Oscar (a CGI alien and a CGI wolf so far, but not an actress you can gaze at despite her considerable beauty) and not KNOW that Hollywood's race problem is dire and also, I'd wager, subconcious.

This is not complicated, really, if casting directors, directors, agents, executives, managers, and maybe even the actors on occasion would just think decisions through a little more, especially in regards to the optics. FACT: People like to look at beautiful actors. They always have. Stop hiding them from us! 

Isabelle Huppert is having a good year. I missed a lot of articles on Elle and Isabelle Huppert's time in front of the press at Cannes. In a new interview at the Guardian about Elle and her latest stage performance in Phaedra there's a lot of fascinating tidbits including her repetitive unwillingness to talk about other famous actors but her chatterbox response to questions about directors. She also wants to do more comedies...

Viewers do tend to think of her on-screen persona as a full-on neurotic, steeped in psychosexual anguish.

“Yes, but you can be a comic neurotic too.” So does she feel underrated doing comedy? “I certainly do feel…” she hesitates a moment; I take that as a yes. “That’s why I’d love to work with Woody Allen or Noah Baumbach – to do comedy in that New York vein.” But her serious roles, she insists, often contain more humour than is apparent. “Even The Piano Teacher – although I wouldn’t try to persuade anyone that was an out and out comedy…”

Whew. I was worried for a second. That film is not a knee slapper. As for Huppert in comedy. Can you handle that? I liked her in I Heart Huckabees and especially in 8 Women but in both she was working with or riffing on that dramatic neurotic performance so her comedy was stemming from perceptions of her as an actor, just as much if not more than her actual performances.



Posterized: Tom Hiddleston

Photography by Charlie GrayWelcome to Actors Month. We'll try to concentrate on the men for the next 30 days just for a change of pace. (Though obviously Actresses are never far from our hearts so we won't ignore them entirely).  So let's kick things off with Tom Hiddleston. I Saw the Light, a biopic of Hank Williams expands into over 700 theaters today. While I can't recommend the film which is DOA without any of its own energy or insight and contains every single rise and addictive fall trope from every music biopic ever produced.

BUT at least Tom gets to sing (every note in fact) and he has a fine voice so hopefully we'll hear it again in a future film?

The internet's ex-boyfriend (he's been replaced by Oscar Isaac we hear) has been famous for just five years now having risen to fame very quickly via Thor (2011) and his rendition of lying Loki. 

He has made 14 pictures. How many have you seen?

Click to read more ...


Finding Linky

LA Times the Academy has clarified some of its new rulings on membership due to confusion from within its own ranks - very useful info
In Contention Kris Tapley has some thoughts on that as well and depressingly mentions there is still talk of "expanding" the acting categories. This will be very hard for yours truly to stomach if it happens. Traditions are important (and no I dont mean traditions of discrimination - don't confuse the issue!). Changing an 80 year tradition of a set of five slots in no way helps diversity and may actually serve to make the Academy look much much worse sending an accidental message (you weren't good enough for five but maybe with seven -- oops you weren't good enough for seven either!) so I pray to all the cinematic gods that wiser heads prevail and they reject it. 
Fistful of Films... speaking of working through something by talking about it. Fisti takes on the subject of Leo's Oscar baiting through the years and denies it! Interesting and entertaining though he's totally crazy that his work in The Revenant will be the best leading actor win in some time. (Noooo. I mean, he's fine but good ≠ great) 

Guardian $17.5 for Nate Parker's Birth of a Nation a record Sundance sale
TFE ICYMI we were just discussing that film's buzz last night
Pajiba reminds us that Blade Runner 2 is about to start production so Harrison Ford is reviving another one of his classic roles
Pajiba also tries to decipher Kristen Stewart's much misquoted outrage producing "stop complaining - do something" quote by transcribing the interview. (This serves as yet another reminder why the outrage factory is so annoying and boring itself. People contradict themselves ALL THE TIME when they're talking on at length about complicated subjects and sometimes they dont even know what they're saying. And if you lift a few words out you can make anything look worse. Give everyone a f***ing break. Chances are they weren't trying to offend anyone.)
Comics Alliance I keep hearing competing things about Thor: Ragnarok. First that it's the "darkest" film yet (ugh) and second that it's going to be the funniest. Usually those things dont go hand in hand so who is telling the truth? But Taiki Waititi the new director has a good sense of humor (see What We Do In the Shadows) so let's hope for the second one.
i09 Speaking of Taika... the sequel to his great vampire mockumentary has a title We're Wolves (get it werewolves) but he has to wait until after Thor to do that.
Vulture Sir Ian McKellen would like to remind you that the Academy could be more inclusive with gay people too. Thank you Sir Ian, Hero.  
Playbill well that didn't take long. Hamilton, Broadway's new mega hit, has already announced its tour plans to kick off in 2017
Playbill Jonathan Groff's turn in A New Brain -- which I don't think we discussed here - has been recorded for posterity. He was just superb in that staged reading and Saturday Night Live's Ana Gasteyer was sensational as his mom... can we get them both in movie musicals please? 

Cinematic Corner reacts to a bunch of recent news but I'm linking up because it's always fun when Sati drools on Tom Hardy and she's so enthused about his enthusiasm over the Oscar nomination
Towleroad okay this is adorable. One of the dancers from Kinky Boots celebrates his 29th birthday by doing 29 death drops around Manhattan
Vulture has a longread on the fall of Ryan Kavanaugh and Relativity's bankruptcy
Variety Abe Vigoda, the film (The Godfather) and television (Barney Miller) actor has died at 94
John August... responds to that but encourages us not to dismisses the story as opportunism or embrace it as cautionary tale.

Today's Teaser
Awww, it's Ellen DeGeneres signature film role, returning to us in Finding Dory. In which we will find out if a character that was so wondrous in short comic relief doses can handle carrying a whole film...



Is Marvel Recruiting Cate Blanchett?

Yesterday, fresh off her Golden Globe and SAG nominations, Cate Blanchett was reported to be a potential candidate for an unknown role in Thor: Ragnarok, another high profile star to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Twitter has not been pleased.

BUT! Before you get out your pitchforks and scream of heresy, let's note a few things about the third Thor entry that might change your mind:

1. Taika Waititi is taking over directing duties. If you haven't watched his vampire mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows from earlier this year, fix that! The film excels at the kind of farcical character humor that was the strongest element of Kenneth Branagh's original installment and was mostly absent from the sequel.

2. Mark Ruffalo is also starring in his Hulk's first time outside of an Avengers film, so the film is already giving us something we've been asking for.

3. Galadriel! Blanchett isn't afraid of genre material, and when she's having a ball, so are we.

4. Let's not forget how the MCU works with potential crossover characters - think of the possibilities. How about this one: none other than Tilda Swinton is in the forthcoming Doctor Strange. One can dream!

5. As we were reminded with her recent W Magazine spread, fun things happen when she gets to be a little kooky.

There's plenty reason to be optimistic!

Nothing is known of the role yet (please be a villain, please be a villain, please be a villain), but this and the assembled team thus far at least point toward Marvel making this one feel a little more special than what we got with Thor's round 2. Thor: Ragnarok is coming November 3, 2017.


Links: Jennifer's World, Screenplay Competition, Gena's Glory

Illustration by Jennifer WilliamsActresses Actresses Actresses
<-- If you haven't yet read Jennifer Lawrence's short essay "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars" you should.

 on the many stars who are coming out in support of JLaw on Twitter
Teen Vogue Jennifer Lawrence and other stars before they were famous posing for Abercrombie & Fitch
THR Actress Joan Leslie (Yankee Doodle Dandy, Sergeant York) has died at 90 
Tracking Board Yorgos Lanthimos' (The Lobster) next project is about Queen Anne and it's called The Favorite. The female driven film will star Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Olivia Colman  
David Poland "20 Weeks To Oscar" he thinks only four movies are locked up in Best Picture: The Martian, Spotlight, Steve Jobs and Room but here's what I found most interesting. He argues that only Brie Larson & Kate Winslet can rest easy in their respective actress fields and I can see that The rest of the fields are fluid.
AV Club Because Ryan Murphy isn't spread thin enough he's pitching an anthology series called "One Hit Wonders" to star Goop herself, Gwyneth Paltrow  

Oscar Chatter
Awards Daily on the Screenplay races. Celebrity writers + Best Picture heat 
In Contention Kris Tapley on the makeup race. Can box office bombs factor in?

General Linkage
Interview talks to Emma Donaghue the novelist who adapted her own work for the screen in Room
Criterion has an amazing conversation with the French director Arnaud Desplechin (Kings & Queen, My Golden Days). They talk Oscars, Lars von Trier (?), male versus female actors, nudity, everything. I like this bit on his relationship to Mathieu Amalric who is in most of his films:

Mathieu is hard with me. He’s really hard. You don’t know all his French films, but I saw all his French films. He always plays the same part in all the films. They’re quite good, but I remember when I proposed Kings & Queen to him, he told me: “Arnaud, the script is great, but I don’t want to play the same character as in My Sex Life. You have to prove to me that this is another character.” I have to prove to you? Come on, you play the same character in five films, why am I obliged to prove that to you? He said, “Because it’s love, so you have to prove it.”

Birth. Movies. Death Thor: Ragnarok will be Marvel's darkest. But will it introduce Valkyrie? (People will be completely be over superheroes by the time the females arrive. sigh
Empire NOooo. Now they want to make a Die Hard "origin story". Boo
Playbill two underused fine actors Aaron Tveit & Mary Elizabeth Winstead headlining a new CBS comic thriller BrainDead with a truly bizarre premise
AV Club broke down 22 references in the Hail, Caesar! trailer
MNPP Jason has some thoughts on a possible tv version of Y: The Last Man


"I had seen her when I was a teenager in Lonely Are the Brave with Kirk Douglas. I'd never seen anyone that beautiful with a certain gravitas. It was particularly unique in that time, when many women were trying to be girlish, affecting a superficial, 'I'm a pretty girl' attitude. It seemed to be the best way to succeed, but Gena did none of that. There was a directness—not that she wasn't fun and didn't smolder—but it came from a place that was both genuine and deep.

-Mia Farrow on Gena Rowlands

Elle Magazine's "Women in Hollywood" issue is available digitally now and comes out next week featuring Gena Rowlands, Alicia Vikander, Salma Hayek, Kate Winslet, Carey Mulligan, Ava DuVernay, Amy Schumer, and Dakota Johnson.


News Bits & Bobs: Steve & Natasha, Jenn & Donald, Taika & Mjölnir

• Asking the important question: Is Captain America a virgin still? [Pajiba]
• Damnit. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have delayed the opening of their new museum. I'm so excited about this but we're talking 2018 now [Variety]
• Queen of Dystopia Jennifer Lawrence (who should thus know) has declared that if Donald Trump becomes President it will be "the end of the world". This may have been the most intelligent thing the verbally uninhibited actress has ever said [AV Club]
•  71's awesome debut director Yann Demange will director a true crime story about a teenage undercover informant - they're looking for a quick start in 2016. Yay! [Deadline

• John Waters might finally make another movie. But he won't talk about it yet! [Speakeasy]
• Black Widow is getting a new comic book in 2016. Why can't the movies understand that she deserves her own? [Comics Alliance]
• Harry Potter's voice actor in Brazil (Caio César Ignácio Cardoso de Melo), who also works as a cop, has been killed. Tragic. [The Guardian]
• 10 reveals from Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron commentary including why he put them in marble in the end credits (I personally ed that) [Coming Soon]
• What the hell is going on with Xander (Nicholas Brendan) from Buffy? Violence and arrests right after rehab? So sad. Hope he pulls out of this tailspin. [Variety]
• Joseph Gordon-Levitt will likely headline a new thriller In Sight from screenwriter Katie Lovejoy after a bidding war [Tracking Board]
• Handsome* New Zealander hired to lift Mjölnir. Taika Waititi of What We Do in the Shadows fame will direct Thor: Ragnarok [The Wrap]
• An interesting review of Janet Jackson's new album via Rich Juzwiak. I wish the talented Juzwiak didn't have to diss Madonna to complement her but dissing that icon is as natural to humans as breathing. (sigh) [Defamer
• Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tatiana Maslany, Olivia Cooke, and Gina Rodriguez are all in the mix for the two key female roles in Star Wars Episode VIII. That's a formidable shortlist of strong popular diverse and young actresses. Let's hope the two roles are good and not just window dressing. John Boyega will chemistry test with them. [/Film]

*What? I met him one time at a festival for his second directorial feature Boy and to my surprise was struck semi-incoherent. I am only human.