Friday, May 27, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

CAST: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Kevin R. McNally, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Sam Claflin, Geoffrey Rush; DIRECTOR: Rob Marshall; WRITERS: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio; GENRE: Action/Adventure, Comedy; RUNNING TIME: 137 min.

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 2.5
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above.

Crossing paths with the enigmatic Angelica, Captain Jack Sparrow is not sure if it's love or if she's a ruthless con artist who's using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth.  When she forces him aboard the "Queen Anne's Revenge," the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard, Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know whom to fear more: Blackbeard or Angelica, with whom he shares a mysterious past.  Pirates... Stranger Tides is superb entertainment but more than entertainment it stimulates the imagination by the introduction of mythical mermaids to the story.  The beautiful creatures actually steal the thunder from Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp.  The attack by the nubile, innocent looking but menacing mermaids is a masterpiece at CGI, with the human fish bobbing in and out of the gigantic waves, capturing the muscular pirates and dragging them down into the ocean's depths are really something new to watch.  Scary--if mermaids were real you wouldn't want to ever touch the sea again.

Dylan Dog

CAST: Brandon Routh, Sam Huntington, Anita Briem, Peter Stormare, Taye Diggs, Brian Steele, Kurt Angle, Marco St. John,Courtney Shay Young, Gabrielle Chapin; DIRECTOR: Kevin Munroe; WRITERS: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer; GENRE: Horror, Suspense/Thriller; RUNNING TIME: 107 min.

Technical Assessment: 2.5
Moral Assessment: 1.5
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 18 and above.

The paranormal investigation job of Dylan Dog (Brandon Routh) takes a back seat after the death of his girlfriend at the hands of a vampire clan. He does not accept related cases like the mysterious death of a rich importer which appears to be murdered by a warewolf. However, when his friend Marcus Adams (Sam Huntington) becomes the next victim, Dylan does not have second thought of going back to the business of penetrating the world of vampires, warewolf, and zombies. The mysterious people behind these creatures turn out to be Dylan's friends with whom he maintains relationships for old time sake. In the course of his investigation for the case of the rich importer whose daughter becomes his close allies together with his dead friend Marcus who is now a zombie, he discovers that the key to stopping the deadly creatures is an artifact burried with one of the vampire in the crypt. Dylan got this artifact sooner, but of course, his "friends" would not like it and they want to make sure they have the artifact in their possesions.

The film Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is a combined comedy and suspense thriller. Whilst there is a central character, it does not help to put subplots together to establish a strongly-focused story. The role of Elizabeth which is like a wall flower has no impact at all despite the surprising revelation of her connection to the villains at the end of the film. The antagonists are not as remarkable so viewers could hardly hate them. Nevertheless, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night as an italian comic adaption is entertaining, primarily as an effect of the tandem of Dylan and Marcus. The humor brought by the character of Marcus is effectively carried by Huntington. Routh, on the other hand, hardly acts on this film like an eternal good looking zombie. He survived all the fights and hard beats of the beasts yet preserves the good looks as if nothing touches his face. The gory scenes of dead corpses and worms are not necessarily in bad taste but the director has the tendency to prolong and overdo. The make-up and overall production design are fine but there are more to desire with regards to lighting and compositions. The special effects are a bit of a hard sell too. Overall, the film falls average in the technical aspect.

The film shows how friendship is valued and that a friend is willing to sacrifice in order to seek justice for a lost friend and be motivated to take on bigger responsibility of ensuring victory of good over evil. However, if Filipino myths has manananggals, kapre, tyanaks, the European culture has vampires, zombies and human warewolves. This European supernatural forms is the context of the film Dylan Dog: Dead of Night and it shows that they do exist and live among the living like normal people. The film naturalizes zombies culture. It shows dead corpses and body parts as commodities which is contrary to the respect that Filipinos give to bodies of departed love ones.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The King's Speech

CAST: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall, Michael Gambon, Jennifer Ehle, Derek Jacobi, Max Callum, James Currie; DIRECTOR: Tom Hooper; WRITER: David Seidler; GENRE: Drama; RUNNING TIME: 111 minutes.

Technical Assessment: 4
Moral Assessment: 4
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 13 with parental guidance.

In 1925, Prince Albert (Colin Firth) and wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) are quite content with living their lives away from the public eye. Bertie (Albert), who smokes heavily and stammers, has a speech therapist whose method of making him speak with marbles in his mouth so frustrates the former that he gives up sessions with him. Under cover of anonymity, Elizabeth then arranges for another therapist, a rather unorthodox one by the name of Lionel Logue, a failed Australian actor (Geoffrey Rush) who insists on dealing with his patients as friends as part of his therapy. This friendship, at first uneasy, is to deepen in time, especially when his elder brother and King of England, Edward, abdicates the throne to marry an American divorcee—making Albert step up as King George VI. Being a monarch then means speaking through a microphone as the entire British Empire is listening, a nightmare to a seemingly incurable stammerer. How would Bertie face public humiliation on account of his glaring speech deficiency?

We understand how The King’s Speech won so many awards including Oscars for the film, the director Tom Hooper, actors Firth, Rush and Carter, etc. It is a historical drama that satisfies the audience’s craving for drama while respecting accuracy in the retelling of history. There couldn’t have been a more perfect cast for such a period piece. The actors virtually crawl into the skins of their characters and revive the excellent synergy among their real life counterparts that actually worked to help gain for a stuttering prince the courage to overcome himself and to eventually give hope to a nation at war. Particularly impactful is the scene where Bertie approaches the microphone, glumly as though being led to the guillotine, to deliver a speech to unite the nation. Firth’s and Rush’s acting, the content of the speech itself, footage of the anxious population, and the majesty of the background music all combined to make these perhaps the most memorable 3 minutes in the whole film. Prepare for goosebumps.

The King’s Speech is a story without a villain—rare, it seems, for cinema these days when villains actually outnumber heroes. It throws the spotlight on royalty but says nothing about royalty’s flamboyance or extravagance. It even sidesteps the over-romanticized newsmaker of the day then, King Edward’s renouncement of the throne “to marry the woman I love”, twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson. Director Tom Hooper must have thought there were better things and better people to make a movie about than the infatuation of a wimp for a woman who felt she was all worth the attention and the scandal. Hooper is right. The King’s Speech is a rich and deeply human story that highlights the characters’ sympathy and support for one another, positive attitudes in the face of limiting circumstances. The friendship that deepens between the stammering king-to-be and his persevering therapist, together with the unstinting support of the loving of queen-to-be, effect a transformation in the monarch that will surely inspire audiences of all ages.

In The Name of Love

CAST: Aga Mulach, Angel Locsin, Jake Cuenca; DIRECTOR: Olivia Lamasan; SCREENWRITERS: Enrico Santos, Olivia Lamasan; PRODUCERS: Charo Santos-Concio, Maricel Samson-Maritinez; GENRE: Drama; DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema; LOCATION: Philippines; RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 2.5
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 18 and above.

Pitong buwan na si Emman (Aga Mulach) na nakakabalik sa Pilipinas matapos ang 7 taong pagkakakulong sa Japan dahil sa pagtatangkang magtakas ng pera para sa mga Yakuza. Mula sa pagiging mananayaw ay kuntento na sana siyang tumulong na lamang sa pagtitinda sa palengke hanggang malaman niyang naghahanap ng mga Dance Instructor (DI) para sa mga asawa ng pamilya ng gobernador. Dahil minsang nailigtas niya si Dylan (Jake Cuenca), ang anak ng gobernador na ngayo’y tatakbo bilang pangalawang alkalde, siya ang kukuning tagapagturo para sa kanya at ang kanyang kasintahang si Cedes (Angel Locsin). Mapapalapit ang loob ni Dylan kay Emman at mapipilitang si Cedes na tanggapin na ang binate bilang DI nila para sa darating na Governor’s Ball. Lingid sa kaalaman ni Dylan, dating magkasintahan sina Cedes at Emman sa Japan na nagkahiwalay lamang dahil sa pagkakahuli ng binate nuong itatakas niya ang pera para sa mga Yakuza. Sa una ang may galit si Emman kay Cedes dahil bigla na lamang itong nawala nang mabilanggo siya. Subalit nang malaman niya ang pagsusumikap at mga sakripisyo ni Cedes, kabilang ang pagpayag na makarelasyon si Dylan, para lamang makalaya siya ay muling mabubuo ang kanilang relasyon. Magtatangka silang takasan ang katiwalian ng pamilya ni Dylan subalit kailangan muna nilang lagpasan ang pagsubok na ibabato sa kanila ng tiwaling pamilyang ito.

May potensyal sana ang simula ng pelikula, lalo ang di-linyadong pagsasalaysay at pagpapakilala sa kwento ng bawat tauhan. Ang nakakatuwa ang “love story” nina Emman at Cedes sa Japan ay siya naman sanang nakalulungkot na pagtatagpo nilang muli sa Pilipinas. Isa pang kahanga-hanga ay ang paggamit ng mga makabagong “post production techniques” na kitang-kita sa mga pagbabalik-tanaw na eksena sa Japan at sa “opening credits’ ng pelikula. Hindi na tulad ng dati na biglang magiging mala-sepia ang kulay para lamang ipakita ang nakaraan. Mahusay din ang disenyong pamproduksyon dahil nabigyan tuon ang mga maliliit na detalye mula ayos ng bahay at pananamit ng tauhan para lalong maging buo at malinaw ang kwento. Dahil hindi naman masyadong mabigat ang hiningi sa mga actor ay pasado naman ang kanilang mga pagganap na ginawa. Pasado pero hindi pang-Famas. Dalawa ang pinakamalaking pintas sa pelikula. Una, hindi makatotohanang na mananayaw si Aga. Hindi naman dahil hindi siya marunong sumayaw kundi dahil nakikita sa kanyang postura at linya na hindi siya isang “ballroom dancer” at may kabigatan na ang kanyang kilos bilang “hiphop” dancer. Kahit si Angel Locsin ay kulang din ang istilo at disiplina sa pagdadala ng sayaw. Kaya’t halos puro malapitang kuha at pagpitik lamang ng lee gang kanilang ginagawa. Mas maganda sana kung kumuha ng mga “double” upang ang mga eksena ng sayaw ay mas maganda at makatotohanan. Ikalawa, masyadong madrama ang pelikula. Sakit na ata ng Pinoy ang pahabain ang iayakan at ibabad ang luha. Nakuha mo na sa unang 3 segundo, pagtatagalin pa ito ng ilang minuto. Baka mas nababagay ang ganitong istilo sa telebisyon kung saan kailangan pahabain ang eksena.

Pinupunto ng pelikula na ang tunay na pag-ibig ay hindi sumusuko, handing mag-alay at mapagpatawad at handing magparayaw. Naipakita naman ito ni Cedes at Emman sa bawat pagsubok na kanilang nilagpasan alang-alang sa minamahal. May ilang mensahe nga lamang na dapat bigyan tuon ng mga magulang lalo sa mga kabataan anak na manunuod. Una, ang pakikipagtalik sa labas ng kasal ay para bang pangkariniwang gawain lamang. Mahalagang ipaalala na sa kultura natin ay pinahahalagahan pa rin ang sakramento ng kasal at ang pakikipagtalik bilang pribilehiyo lamang ng mag-asawa. Pangalawa, kahit sakripisyo at ginawa alang-alang sa kaligtasan ng iniibig, ang paggamit ng katawan para makakuha ng pabor ay hindi pa rin tama. Maraming karahasan dulot ng katiwalian at pagkagahaman ang ipinakita sa pelikula. Mainam na naipakitang may mga marangal na alagad ng batas na tapat sa tungkulin subalit nakalulungkot na lagi na lamang sa huling bahagi sila nakararating. Maayos naman ang pelikula para sa pamilya pero mas nababagy ito sa mga matatandang kaya nang timbangin ang mga sensitibong eksena.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Water for Elephants

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, James Frain, Christoph Waltz, Hal Holbrook, Paul Schneider, Ken Foree, Tim Guinee, Mark Povinelli, Scott MacDonald
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Sara Gruen, Richard LaGravenese
Running Time: 122 min.
Genre: Drama
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Technical: 4
Moral: 2.5
CINEMA rating: R 14 (For audiences aged 14 and up)

In 1931, Jacob (Robert Pattinson) is a regular guy with dreams of having a happy family life as a veterinarian like his dad. About to take his final exams at Cornell University that would earn him his license as a veterinary doctor, he is dealt a blow by life when his parents die in a car accident. He discovers that they have left neither cash nor home for him since they had mortgaged their house in order to give him an Ivy League college education. The bank now owns everything. Distraught, Jacob decides to leave the house without looking back. He is determined to leave behind his house, his past and his dreams, although he does not know where to go and what to do. He just wants to get away, and so he hops a train, unaware it is the traveling Benzini Brothers circus. After a minor scuffle that almost gets him thrown off the train, Jacob is taken in to do odd jobs like shoveling the cars clean of animal manure to earn his keep. He is soon bewitched by Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), the circus star and wife of the travelling show’s mean big boss August (Christoph Waltz).

Directed by Francis Lawrence (I am Legend and Constantine) with screenplay written by Richard LaGravenese and based on a novel by Sarah Gruen, Water for Elephants is an extremely watchable film that has the power to take the viewer by hand to a world all its own. The sets, the costumes, even the smallest props are meticulously prepared and chosen to bring about a nostalgic feel to every frame, creating not only a charming but also an enchanting period movie.

Part of its appeal, particularly to the young at heart, is its circus environment. Who wouldn’t be entertained by animals dressed up and trained for tricks that delight young and old alike? And to see these intelligent animals off stage and interacting with humans—that’s certainly an experience few would pass up even if only in the movies. Any Filipino who has ever wondered how the local feria at town fiestas magically sprouts up in a few hours can find charming answers just watching how the Benzini circus hands put up their big top as if it’s almost a ritual.

Waltz is perfectly cast as the circus owner August, exhibiting the same strengths that made for his award-winning performance as Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds. With a face so mobile it can switch back and forth between charismatic and tyrannical in a split-second, Waltz’s villainous portrayal defies prediction—one never knows what he’ll do next, giving the movie its much needed tension.

Pattinson and Witherspoon are also the best choices for their roles—Pattinson out of his vampire mold combines intensity and gentleness, while Witherspoon deviates from happy roles to play a small town girl who endures her husband because the circus is “the only place (she) can be somebody.” Despite a few critics who claim the two actors lack chemistry, director Lawrence is correct in keeping the illicit passion between them on slow burn—otherwise the love angle would overwhelm the other elements that make the movie worth watching even by younger audiences.

Indeed, Water for Elephants is not a love story at all; it is more about kindness—the abundance or lack of it in people—and the dynamics of cruelty and poetic justice. It’s about the intelligence of beasts. That could be the reason behind this old-fashioned film’s endurance at the box office—at a time when movies bring to life fictitious superheroes through CGI, Water for Elephants has remained—now back to back with the lords of spectacular special effects Thor, The Priest, Fast and Furious 5—signaling a return to real people in real situations in real life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Something Borrowed

CAST: Kate Hudson, Ginnfer Goodwin, John Krasinski, Colin Egglesfield, Steve Howey, Ashley Williams, Sarah Baldwin,Grace Capra, Shirley Dluginski, Jill Eikenberry; DIRECTOR: Luke Greenfield; WRITERS: Jennie Urman, Jordan Roberts; GENRE: Romance; RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes.

Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 2
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 18 and above.

Dex (Colin Egglesfield) and Darcy (Kate Hudson) are getting ready for their wedding. Darcy’s best friend Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) is to be maid of honor. But one night at a party, one drink too many leads Rachel to disclose to Dex that she had a big crush on him in law school. Little did she know that Dex also felt the same but had kept silent about it. Apparently each one thought the other was too good for him/her. The discovery of a secret long kept leads to a regrettable situation: they sleep together for a night, and since then lies and deception become the order of the day, compounded by the conflict between guilt and self-preservation. Unable to handle the situation any further, Rachel confides to friend Ethan (John Krasinski) who prods her on to do what makes her happy, but Rachel does not have the heart to hurt Darcy who has been her BFF since childhood.

Based on a novel by Emily Griffin, all Something Borrowed needs is to be dubbed in Pilipino for it to pass for a (mediocre) Filipino romantic comedy. It has self-centered wishy-washy lead characters who are supposedly smart but exhibit an IQ of 40 when it comes to managing their (love) lives: a pathetic and irritatingly loyal friend, a best friend with an ego the size of Antarctica, an extremely rich love interest who is so undecisive he ought to be in a Shakespearean play. About the only almost level headed character here is the guy who gives almost-sound advice but whose love will remain unrequited. There is really no one in this movie that you can root for. The story, in fairness, could be a hit as a local TV telenovela, given its length (too long at one hour and 53 minutes), its script (dragging), its acting (ho-hum!).

Up to a certain point, loyalty to a friend (as that which Rachel has for Darcy) is commendable. Genuine concern, too, for another human being (exhibited by Ethan) is good. But in Something Borrowed, these two things are merely used to advance a nonsensical story which unfortunately ends in a distorted “win-win” situation. After all that tug of war between right and wrong, between conscience and concupiscence, the movie concludes with this message: “It’s okay to cheat for love’s sake, others do it, too, anyway.”

The Priest

CAST: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Lily Collins, Brad Dourif, Stephen Moyer, Christopher Plummer; DIRECTOR: Scott Stewart; WRITERS: Cory Goodman, Min-Woo Hyung; GENRE: SciFi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Horror; RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 3
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above.

After the Church’s victory on its war against Vampires through the Priests who possess supernatural abilities, the monsters are locked away and the Priests are now disbanded. Then years later, a lone warrior Priest ( Paul Bettany) receives a bad news that his brother has been killed by the vampires and his niece is abducted. Wanting to save his niece, he asks for the Church’s permission to pursue the vampires but they won’t allow him for fear that it would cause public panic. This leaves him without a choice but to break his sacred vows and pursue his quest to track down his niece and save her from becoming one of the vampires.

With its sloppy storyline and ridiculous points and turns, the plot of the Priest is pretty simple bordering on melodramatic than sci-fi. Which is not at all bad because the audience could easily follow through the play of emotions and motivations of the characters in the film given the spectacle of visuals and sounds. The production design is decent and the computer graphics appear to be believable. The fight scenes could be both engaging and distracting (perhaps those were done with the same purpose). Bettany delivers a promising performance and strong screen presence that goes also with the other casts although their characters seem underdeveloped.

The clergy as a peg for the world’s seat of power with the priests as warriors is an intriguing and interesting premise but could also be taken out of context given its portrayal and (mis)representations of the Catholic church rituals. Perhaps, the film is an attempt to emulate the Catholic church’s dark past through a futuristic sense that make everything seem confusing. However, the Church is not portrayed in the film as an evil force, perhaps only neglectful, if not ignorant, of its duties. Again, in the context of its dark history, the Catholic church has already admitted its mistakes and as any other institution, it is not perfect. The Priest also challenges “sacrifice” as the foundation of church believers. It is challenged, questioned and critiqued in the film. But towards the film’s end, it is still “sacrifice” that made all the sense in the story saying that it is the very essense of love not just for one’s self, but for the entire humanity. With sacrifice, the evil is defeated by the good.

Friday, May 6, 2011


CAST: Christine Reyes (Grace), Carlo Aguino (Carlo), Ryan Eigenmann; DIRECTOR: Topel Lee; PRODUCER:Viva Films; GENRE: Horror/Suspense; LOCATION: Philippines

Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 1.5
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above.

Ilang araw pa lamang sa lumang condominium unit ang mag-asawang Ronnie (Carlo Aquino) at Grace (Christine Reyes) ay marami ng kakaibang nararamdaman, nakikita at naririnig si Grace. Kinumpirma ng mag-inang kapit kwarto nila ang mga kakaibang kaganapan na nakasanayan na nila gayon din ang mga kamalasan sa buhay ng mga tumira sa condominium. Napag-alaman ni Grace na maliban sa kanila ng mag-ina ay mayroon pang mag-asawa at grupo ng mga estudyante na kasama nilang naninirahan sa condominium. Hanggang sa pagtulog ay dinadalaw si Grace ng kababalaghan. Napansin din niya na sunod-sunod na kamalasan din ang nangyayari sa kanila. Napaslang pa ang pinsan niya pagkatapos bumisita sa kanya at payuhan siya na lisanin nila ang condominium dahil sa napakalakas na negatibong enerhiyang bumabalot sa kabahayan. Sa kalaunan ay natuklasan ni Grace na ang pamilya ng asawa niyang si Ronnie ang isa sa mga naunang biktima ng kamalasan ng bahay. Samantala hindi naniniwala sa kababalaghan at malas si Ronnie. May praktikal ding dahilan ito na limitasyong pinansyal kaya mas mainam para sa kanya na manatili sa condo at hwag na lamang pansinin ni Grace ang mga inaakala niyang kababalaghan na naghahatid ng kamalasan sa buhay nila dahil sa pagtira nila sa condominium na nakatirik sa tumbok na tatlong sanga ng daan.

Masalimuot ang kwento ng pelikulang Tumbok. May kalabuan kung seryosong nais ipahatid ng pelikula ang paniniwala tungkol sa kamalasang hatid kapag nakatirik ang iyong tirahan sa tumbok ng daanan. Hindi malinaw kung mga ligallig na kaluluwa o espiritu ng demonyo ang mga namiminsala. Bigla na lang may mga taong nagbubuwis ng buhay para lang maipakita ang kamalasan. May kakahayahan na makapanghalay ang demonyo habang nasa anyong tao o kaya ay bilang espiritu sa realidad o panaginip. Sa layunin na makapanakot ay pinagalaw ang mga bagay kahit walang tao, bumubukas at sara ang mga pintuan, may mga lumilitaw na imahe ng batang babae at lalaki, at mga tunog ng iyak ng bata at paghiyaw ng babae. Establisado ang pagkakaroon ng temang may kaugnayan sa kadiliman ang pelikula. Ang lumang condominium ay tila di ana angkop tirahan dahil madumi at kawalan ng ayos. Hindi masyadong gumamit ng mga nakakatakot na imahe o make-up. Medyo palaisipan naman na sumabog ang kalan sa isang kuwarto at namatay lahat ng nasa loob pero ang kwarto lamang nila ang nasunog.. Wala namang dating ang pagganap ni Christine Reyes, walang naipakitang takot sa mga ekesanang hinihingi ito. Gayon din si Carlo Aquino kulang din ang ipinakitang damdamin sa pagganap bilang police photorgrapher at asawa ni Grace lalo na mayroon pala siyang nakaraan sa mahiwagang bahay.

Maliban sa mga pananalita ng kapitbahay nina Grace na dinadaan sa panalangin ang mga kababalaghan at kamalasan na nakasanayan na niya sa ilan taon ng paninirahan niya sa condominium ay wala nang iba pang mapupulot na aral sa pelikulang Tumbok. Maganda naman ang samahan ng mag-asawa. Pero nakakabahala na natapos ang pelikulang nagpapatotoo sa mga tinatawag na malas at swerte. Karumaldumal ang ilang eksena ng pagpaslang. Iilan lamang ang tauhan ng pelikula subalit walang naipakitang positibong image --- mag-asawang nagbubugan at humantong sa patayan, estudyanteng maiingay at walang galang, pulis opisyal na nagbabanta kapag nalaman ng publiko ang pangit na katotohanan sa serbisyo, at kasero na kampon ng demonyo at nanghahalay ng tumitirang babae sa paupahan, ina nais mamatay ang anak na iniluwal sa paniniwaang kampon ng demonyo, at istambay sa daan na bigla na lang mananaga ng mga inosenteng dumadaan sa kalye.. Sa kabuuan ay halos walang naihaing moral ang pelikula.


CAST: Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Hemsworth,Idris Elba, Ray Stevenson, Kat Dennings, Stellan SkarsgÄrd,Rene Russo, Jaimie Alexander; DIRECTOR: Kenneth Branagh; WRITER: Ashley Miller; PRODUCER: Marvel Studios; GENRE: Action/Adventure; LOCATION: U.S.A.; RUNNING TIME: 130 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 4
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 14 and above.

Hammer-wielding Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is heir to the throne of his father King Odin (Anthony Hopkins). When he learns that their family palace in Asgard has been ransacked by their enemies, the frost giants, Thor, a rather gung-ho kind of royalty, defies his father’s orders and packs his brother Loki and a handful of buddies along to give the frost giants a lesson. But stands to learn his lesson, too, as Odin is just as determined to teach him one for his brazen disobedience. He banishes Thor to Earth, along with his hammer, his favorite weapon of destruction, but on Earth, Thor loses his nobility status and becomes just an ordinary guy. Worse, his magical hammer is stuck in rock, which means it will only yield to his touch when he stops being a (as Odin says) “vain, greedy cruel boy.” On Earth he meets scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman)—that and Odin’s death spell the beginning of change for Thor.

In mythology, as one of the movie’s posters proclaim, Thor is god of thunder. It seems apt that Thor the movie’s soundtrack is as thunderous as they come, even ear splitting in certain battle scenes. While Thor and Odin are supposedly Nordic gods—and every square centimeter of Hemsworth’s face, from any angle, under any lighting, leaves you no doubt as to the authenticity of his noble Nordic looks—but director Kenneth Brannagh casts the cinematic Thor and company as aliens from a non-heavenly realm, perhaps aware that mythology is lost to the majority of moviegoers these days. Portman’s role here is rather a letdown after her Black Swan soared to higher heavens—but she did aim to be credible as a scientist. Editing is good, it must be said, and the CGI leaves nothing more to be desired. Particularly giddying but pleasantly so are the scenes that enable the viewer to zoom through intergalactic space. Makes you feel really smaller than a dust particle in the whole of creation.

When Thor becomes small, that’s when he becomes really big. When Thor learns to bow his head in weakness, that’s when he gains true power. When he loses his weapons as a warrior, that’s when he’s most heroic. There’s a line by Erik, speaking to Thor that goes "When you learn you don't have all the answers, you ask the right questions" which seems to be the message behind the paradoxes in Thor. Despite its violence, its being a glamorized fluffy action movie, Thor has something weighty to say. Weighty as in biblical. There goes another paradox. And hey, Thor’s fave weapon is a hammer—isn’t that also carpenter’s tool? Go figure.