Weekend Movie Guide: Please Don’t Hurt ‘Em, Hammer Of Thor

Here’s the fan-made Thor poster displayed in a Chinese theater, which we have maturely captioned “Take me to Ass-Guard, Loki, I’m Thor.” -Vince

Opening in Asgard and Beyond: Thor: The Dark World

Opening Somewhere: The Book Thief, How I Live Now, Great Expectations, Best Man Down

FilmDrunk Suggests: Vince liked Thor: The Dark World. I anticipate liking it. You should try to open your hearts and like a hunky superhero, too. Otherwise, I wish a million Justin Long indie rom-coms on you.

Thor: The Dark World

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 66% critics, 86% audience (The critic score has dropped 4% today)

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

True, this sequel gets better as it goes along, but that’s a very steep climb just to arrive at not bad. – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Can we please cease and desist with movies where not just the fate of a person, or a family, or a city, or even a world but where THE FATE OF ALL EXISTENCE is at stake? Wouldn’t it be nice to see a superhero simply rescue a puppy sometime? – Tom Long, Detroit News

Armchair Analysis: That second review quote right there is the exact same as the trivial action hero joke about how we’ve never seen John McClain take a shit. Guys like Tom Long are the reason that critics get a bad name. Why review a superhero movie on its merits and how well it accomplishes what it’s supposed to – you know, a superhero saving the world/universe – when we can bitch about something completely irrelevant?

Also, Vince liked it if you haven’t read his review.

The Book Thief

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 59% critics, 80% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

Judicious and well acted, with some fine details of human strength and frailty. But its ultimate asset may be to lead young audiences back to the book … – Richard Corliss, TIME

Everything is far too pretty, from the wintry landscapes to the cozily shabby homes. Even as the war goes on, talk of it – and the Reich – remains simplistic. – Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

Armchair Analysis: Back when I was in college, one of my fraternity brothers used to steal everyone’s text books at the end of the semester and then sell them all back to the bookstore and keep the cash. Is that what this movie is about? Because while that was a super huge dick move, it was also pretty brilliant.

How I Live Now

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 65% critics, 63% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

How I Live Now manages to fuse a teen love story, steeped in alienation and hurt, with a near-future nightmare thriller. – Stephen Rea, Philadelphia Enquirer

Just because virtually any story can be told through the eyes of a solipsistic teen girl doesn’t mean that it should be. – Kyle Smith, New York Post

Armchair Analysis: From the synopsis, it seems this is a movie about a girl trying to simply live in a time of global political turmoil. We could just watch the news, too.

Great Expectations

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 69% critics, 51% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

Director Mike Newell approaches the sprawling bildungsroman with a stiff formalism, sacrificing all cinematic excitement for the sake of exalting great performances. – Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic

It’s good, not great – but, for some of us, expectations will be met, and then some. – Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

Armchair Analysis: Do me a favor, if you’re the kind of filmmaker who says to himself, “I’d like to try to put a new spin on a classic novel” and that novel or story has been a movie before, punch yourself in the balls. Unless you’re making a version that involves the Muppets. That’s my only exception.

Best Man Down

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 44% critics, 58% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

A very disjointed, confused, and sloppy movie. – Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com

While it tries to relate a story about the sloppiness of life, the way best-laid plans can go wrong in an instant, its script is neatly and tidily structured. – Tomas Hachard, Slant Magazine

Armchair Analysis: Don’t worry, Justin Long. You can always bounce back from those low scores and poor reception in Kevin Smith’s walrus horror movie.