Review: ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and ‘Frankenstein – National Theatre Live production 2011’

You may be wondering why I’m writing reviews at one in the morning on 1st November when I clearly should be having an early night so that I can be up good and early to get the first couple of thousand words written on my NaNo novel in the morning. I have a legitimate excuse: I went to see a film and then a recording of a play at the cinema this afternoon/evening. It’s been an exhausting day but before I go to sleep I’m going to write my reviews.

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Thor: The Dark World

Release date: 30th October 2013

Cast:

Chris Hemsworth

Tom Hiddleston

Natalie Portman

Christopher Eccleston

 

The nine worlds are on the verge of a rare alignment that will weaken the walls between worlds and an old enemy of Asgard awakens ready to take advantage of the convergence. When Jane Foster stumbles through one of the gaps and finds herself with a parasite Thor’s help is needed to set the worlds to right. Again.

But to do that he needs the help of his friends and his brother Loki, who is currently in prison. An attack by the Svartalfar convinces Thor that he has to break a few rules and try to trust the lie-smith, not only with his and Jane’s but with the fate of the universe.

 

We laughed, we cried, we couldn’t decide whether to love or hate Loki the Sass-master. It really was very entertaining and action packed. Thor has finally grown up; he completes the journey to maturity that he started in ‘Thor’. Jane gets her first trip to Asgard and a monster from Jotunheim gets trapped on Midgard. There were no Elizabethan swearwords in this film unfortunately.

As ever the actors make the film what it is; the skill and talent of Hemsworth and Hiddleston imbue the characters with a liveliness and reality (as much as comic book heroes based on thousand year old myths can be ‘real’, that is). The film is set mainly in Asgard and London with the final battle taking place in Greenwich (Thor had to use the Underground!) but we get glimpses of the other worlds and their inhabitants. This enriches the universe of the film.

We were the only ones to wait around for BOTH the extra scenes. And look for Stan Lee in the police station when Stellen Skarsgard’s Dr Eric Selvig is arrested for running around Stonehenge naked.

If you’ve enjoyed the rest of the Marvel ‘Avengers’ films, this is a must see. It’ll only really make sense if you’ve already seen Thor and Avengers though.

 

 

National Theatre Live  50 Anniversary Encore Screenings Frankenstein

2011 (Originally performed/broadcast/recorded)

Cast:

Benedict Cumberbatch

Jonny Lee Miller

Written by Nick Dear based on the novel by Mary Shelley and directed by Danny Boyle

 

Everyone knows the story – genius Dr Victor Frankenstein creates his creature and then abandons him. Lost and alone the creature is unwelcome wherever he goes and eventually goes mad with loneliness and gets his revenge.

This production is written from the creature’s point of view and gives him back his voice. Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance is exquisite in his portrayal of the development of the Creature’s mind and body; it really looked and sounded like he didn’t know how to walk or talk. Jonny Lee Miller’s Victor Frankenstein is as tormented as his creation, full of pride at his achievement and self-loathing for it.

Frankenstein is a story that is as relevant today as when Mary Shelley published the original back in 1818. Then she addressed topical issues – the rise of scientific explanation over religious dogma, women’s rights etc, and today I saw this adaptations relevance to issues such as discrimination against the disabled.

A wonderful experience.

 

And now I’m going to sleep, good night, I hope you’ve all had a spook-tacular Halloween (corny I know but I couldn’t help it), or Happy Samhain if you celebrate it. Winter is well and truly here.

Rose

 

 

 

 

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