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Thor Movie Review – EXCLUSIVE

Let’s start with the end of the movie.  When you go see “Thor,” you must wait a full 7 minutes until the final screen credits.  There’s a scene with more movie, more intrigue, more of an upcoming direction.  That’s all I’m going to say.

For 50-year old director Kenneth Branagh,  “Thor” was forty years in the making.   The God Of Thunder debuted as a Marvel Comics’ Superhero in 1962.  As a starry eyed kid in Belfast Ireland, little Kenny buried his face into Thor’s universe.  I find it fascinating & miraculous that this kid somehow manifested a path to bring these larger than life characters to the big screen.   The second I found out that bit of information, my mind was set at ease.  Who better to take us on a ride in this world?  Fanboys have the passion!

The cast is solid.  Natalie Portman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba & Chris Hemsworth as “Thor.”  The tone of the film has more of a definite Sci-Fi edge than previous Marvel films like “Iron Man” or “Spiderman.”  This time there are two worlds in addition to Earth.  The synopsis: Thor, the son of Odin of Asgard, gets banished to Earth sans his powers.  All I can say is, conflict lies within the family.

There’s also a bit of a love story going on here too.  Amidst all the Norse/earthling craziness, Natalie Portman manages to keep pulling the movie back into a realistic place.  Special shout out to Natalie who kept “Thor” eco-friendly by insisting the big Hollywood production do away with using thousands of plastic bottles on set.

A couple of technical things.  “Thor” has amazing sound & visuals.  I love onscreen acceleration.  “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “The Matrix,” “Apollo 13.”  Kenneth Branagh & his special effects team crushed it.  It’s very exciting to watch.  Did you know there were over 150 movie prop hammers used in the filming of  “Thor?”  The hammer named, Mjolnir was created to be an extension of Thor.  There were highly detailed, custom made metal hammers. By the same token, there were hammers constructed of lightweight foam.   The filmmakers were sticklers about having Chris Hemsworth holding Mjolnir in the exact same poses as Thor in the comic books.

I’m kinda 3D’ed out, but it works here.  “Thor” was built for 3D.  “Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs Evil,” not-so-much.  You’ll have a terrific time watching this on a regular movie screen.  If you’re willing to pay the extra freight, “Thor” is playing on IMAX.  This is an epic summer movie.  If you don’t have fun with this, just stay home & watch “Revolutionary Road” on Netflix.  If that’s you, you’re bummin’ me out.   My advice, get out there & catapult into the Marvel Universe!  You’ll be glad you did! “Thor” is rated PG-13

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Your Highness, You’re No Princess Bride

I was curious.  Could “Your Highness,” be the period piece comedy,  to make a run at one of my top 5 favorite films of all time,  “The Princess Bride?”  Not. Even. Close.  “Your Highness” always goes for the cheap laugh.  I get it.  I love raunchy rated “R” comedies.  “There’s Something About Mary,” kills me!  “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,”  I am one of the Sorrow Suckers! In those movies, I actually cared about the characters.  Not so much in “Your Highness.”

James Franco & Danny McBride play brothers.  McBride is jealous of his heroic, svelt sibling.  The weird thing here, Franco displays intense physical affection for his own brother.  That’s pretty messed up.  I say, who cares if two men are gay?  But brothers?  I just don’t get it.

Kudos for filming in Northern Ireland.  There’s gorgeous scenery.  On the other hand, it looked like smaller scenes were filmed inside Medieval Times.  British accents are tough.  Natalie Portman pulls hers off perfectly.  McBride & Franco flat out butcher Brit accents.

I love to laugh. Comedies are what we all need.  What you have here is a stoner comedy at its core.  Don’t over think it.  This movie tries to get laughs for all the wrongs reasons.  Hehe, they keep saying the “F” word.  Hehe there’s boobies.  Hehe there’s gay humor.  Hehe there’s a penis.    There’s an uber cringing moment when a horny pot-smoking oracle talks about  sexually abusing James Franco’s character as a child.  The bar has been lowered here.  At the very least, it’s in terrible taste to do child sex abuse jokes.  It’s a cheap shot. There’s too much other stuff to make fun of in this setting.

If you’re looking for a movie with charm, wonderment, sword fights, miracles, heroics, true love…..you’d better rent “The Princess Bride.”

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Hesher Film Freak Movie Review Bad Hair Santa

Here’s the thing about Hesher.  Hesher was rough, but it had to be.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt played it like Bad (Hair) Santa.  (In that holiday classic, Billy Bob Thorton was extremely rough on the kid & softened up as the movie progressed.) Same exact thing with Hesher. (BTW, see Bad Santa right now if you haven’t already.)

The kid who played TJ (Devin Brochu) was really good.  You genuinely cared about his journey.  Rainn Wilson plays the grieving father zoned out on prescription drugs.  He’s really just kinda there.  Natalie Portman’s character, Nicole, is what bothered me most about this movie.  In her own way, she’s sinister, more messed up than Hesher. No spoilers here.


In my opinion, Hesher was way too hard core, sets the bar for crudeness, brutal beyond belief, unapologetic, with a touch of heart.  I said a touch of heart, not near enough of it.  I still feel like that long-haired Hesher needs a good ass-kicking.

I know some will say how cool this loner Hesher is. He’s this, he’s that.  You know what he is?  He’s a friendless douchebag.  It’s all up there on the screen.  Maybe somebody should enlighten the audience to justify this bitter behavior. (Oh & why exactly am I paying $12 bucks to see this?)

Hesher hits theaters Friday May 13th, 2011

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“Thor” Hammers into the Summer Box Office Blood Bath!

“Thor” looks fun.  What’s not to like here?  Oscar Season will be behind us in a few weeks.  Then it’s time to loosen up, grab a tub of popcorn & prepare for escapism.  Geeks of the world will unite for Marvel Comic Icon, Thor.

“Thor” opens in theaters May 6th, 2011

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