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Thor Ragnarok Film
A fourth Marvel Movie released this year
Yes, I can’t believe it!
A fourth Marvel Studios movie this year, and this one’s been much anticipated by fans everywhere. The storyline, actors and actresses are touching all demographic groups. According to the imdb User Poll, all demographic groups are being touched, but the graph has skewed to the younger groups, such as Kids, Teens and Young Adults.
The current Thor storyline (spoiler free)
Asgard is in jeopardy, as it’s the main city, leading to 9 other realms, via the Bi-Frost.
If you don’t remember Asgard, this is Thor’s world from the first film, Thor, where Odin, who is Thor’s biological father and Loki’s adopted father, played by Anthony Hopkins inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This would make Thor and Loki half-brothers. Asgaard was still standing at the end of film #1, as was Odin.
How does Film #2 fit into the Thor storyline?
This film begins with Jane and Thor leading separate lives. She’s in London, and he’s fighting other realms, in order to keep Odin happy, while earning his respect. Every now and then, Thor visits Asgard, when he’s in between other worlds.
Both are unhappy, as the Romeo and Juliet storyline goes, in addition to being the modern tale of Tarzan and Jane, as they re-discover their feelings for one another, when Thor visits Jane on Earth (aka Midgard), due to the electro-magnetic disturbances.
In Marvel’s unique story telling way, they weave together Norse and Greek mythologies, via Shakespearean style. For both Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hiddleston, this is a natural inflection. Chris Hemsworth as Thor delivers in his native Australian tone, and Jane has an American accent. With a SciFi cross-genre screenplay, the Dark World’s weaponry is hi-tech, especially the morphing grenades.
The Dark World is explained via Odin’s voiceover in the Opening Sequence. The Convergence is where all the planets and worlds are in alignment, an event that occurs once every 5,000 years, which pre-dates Heimdall’s time as the Bi-Frost Guardian. The Dark World antagonist and his second in command are after the source of Dark Power, called the Aether. Aether is what turns matter into dark matter, so if the antagonist can get this raw power into his hands, then he can convert all the realms into The Dark World.
Through a space-time continuum bubble, Jane becomes possessed with the Aether, which both Thor and Odin call “an infection,” as it protects Jane on Earth and throughout her travels of Asgard and the Dark World.
As the middle film in the Thor trilogy, there are little jokes throughout the script, to break up the serious moments. There are serious moments, such as Frigga’s death and Loki’s apparent death. If you haven’t seen this film, please pick up a copy at your local library or stream it, because it provides the missing beats for Thor: Ragnarok. The 2 extra Bonus scenes also play into the main Thor storyline, as well as the upcoming Avengers: Infinity Wars storyline, with Part I due out on May 4, 2018.
What about Film #3’s premise?
The storyline picks up directly where Film #2 ended.
In Thor: Ragnarok, the sibling rivalry continues among the two brothers, and Loki is portrayed as the God of Mischief throughout the film (“How am I supposed to predict the future? What am I, a witch?” “You’re dressed like one.”). I absolutely loved Tom Hiddleston in his continued role as the orphaned brother, led by the mighty Thor.
The Ragnarok story begins on a humorous note, with Thor talking to a skeleton, and there were lots of giggles throughout the film, with each film audience I’ve been with. This scene explains the missing time in between Film #2 and this starting moment, by saying “I went after some Infinity Stones, which I didn’t find.” Thank you to the screenwriters, for allowing film audiences to laugh at Thor’s antics.
- In Film #3’s trailers, there is another female character, who captures Thor and brings him to the arena, where Jeff Goldblum’s character is The Grandmaster of Sicar. Everyone on Sicar doesn’t age, since "on any other planet, I would be millions of years old." He really likes Scrapper 142, played by Tessa Thompson. Remember, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, everyone has a double identity, as being a Scrapper is only one identity. Her backstory ties into Odin’s, as does Hela, played by Cate Blanchett.
- Thor’s look is similar to the Roman Gladiator look, when he fights in the Arena.
The story is meant to tell the tale of not only Scandinavian mythology, but also Roman mythology to the youngsters in the audience. If nothing else, Marvel Movies integrate mythology, folklore and history into what non-followers would term it as a “SuperHero” movie. And, as I’m writing this column, Stan Lee is probably laughing out loud (and running all the way to the bank). Okay, if he’s not running to the bank, perhaps Disney and Marvel Studios definitely are.
The Ultimate Trailer Q: Why is Thor fighting The Incredible Hulk?
I have an answer for that question
In Thor vs Hulk, first published in 2017, with “material originally published in magazine form as AVENGERS #3, SUB-MARINER #35, DEFENDERS #10, INCREDIBLE HULK #255 and #440, THOR #385 and #489, HULK (2008) #5-6 and #26, WHAT IF? #45, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #112, and INCREDIBLE HULK ANNUAL 2001.” This compilation is really a good read because it combines all of these issues into one volume, with nice inside and backside cover art pictures.
This is a brand new compilation, originally produced between 8/11/2017 and 9/12/2017 in Kendallville, IN, USA. The battle between Thor and Hulk is shown in 331 pages. I most especially liked the Cover Art insert of “Avengers/Defenders War TBD [second edition] cover art by John Romita Sr. & Richard Isanove, which imagery-wise is what MovieViewers will see in Thor: Ragnarok’s main event time.
If you’re one of the Booksellers, I usually purchase GN compendiums, since, like you, I like to continue reading the entire story, and not having to wait in between GN issues. Yes, I know that I'm missing out on the current magazine story, but I receive the pleasure of reading the entire story at once. In addition, the compendiums tie-in key issues. In the words of Harold from Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, “you really get the full scope, when it’s all cut together like that.”
Edith Hamilton’s Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
I opted to purchase a copy of this book since it seemed relevant to some of the other movies that have been released this year: The Mummy, Transformers: The Last Knight, The Dark Tower and Thor: Ragnarok. Ms. Hamilton’s 7 chapters cover Olympus, Greek, Earth, Love and adventure, Trojan War, Families and Norsemen. I found the most useful information listed in the Genealogical Tables section, as well as inside the Index.
Originally published in 1942, it’s a great reference tool, when one’s forgotten what had happened in which mythological group. The author presents the material in a straight-forward manner, without seeming boring. Some of her illustrations are not only useful for imagery, but are captioned so the reader knows what the mythological character did, as World history evolved.
Another great resource
I also picked up a remainder copy of Norse Myths: Viking Legends of Heroes and Gods by Martin J. Dougherty, at a Barnes and Noble vestibule table. Norse Myths looks like it would appeal to a young adult audience, but it’s quite informative on characterization. Because, like you, it’s been a while since I last remembered who’s who in Norse mythology.
- Most of what is known about Norse mythology has been inferred from fragmented and sometimes contradictory references in the Poetic and Prose Eddas (Dougherty, 13). There is not any way to know what is really true about the Vikings or Norsemen, as most of its Classical period (where the culture was written down), occurred in 1200-1240 A.D., of a more derivative work than actual notation. Much like any version of the Bible was written after the death of Christ, by his followers. Each follower had their own version of what happened in their journey with Christ (and with other followers), and many versions of the Bible: Old Testament, New Testament, and NJV, to name a few. One of my recommendations for a Non-religious version of the Christ story that was produced into a film is The Risen.
- Another factor to keep in mind with Norse Mythology is its Victorian revival, where there was a great deal of interest in the “Classical period (Ancient Greece and Rome) and a number of false comparisons were made between these cultures and those of the Norsemen” (Dougherty, 15). Marvel Studios was able to blend the mythology into believable living characters, whereby the Second Sequence leads Thor from being a prisoner from one of the Fiery beings (more on this, as you scroll down through my Hub), into using his Hammer to fly from the Bi-Frost gate into Asgard.
- In the movie, Heimdall was not the gatekeeper, and has been replaced by Scourge, which is fictionalized. In reality, Heimdall’s sole duty was to watch the Bi-Frost bridge, which links Asgard to Midgard, and in some versions of Norse mythology, “the gods lived mostly on Earth and travelled over Bifrost each day to reach Asgard, before returning home at night.” Part of this traveling is what makes Thor end up on Earth (Film #1), and his journey into the Dark World (Film #2). The continuity is kept within the Thor storyline, and uses Hela as one of the main God antagonists in Film #3.
Creation and Cosmology of the Norse World
According to the Norse world existence, there were two lands separated by an abyss. The first land is Muspelheim, the land of fire. In all versions of the trailer and Film #3, when Thor and The Incredible Hulk agree that they both like fire (but Hulk likes “raging fire”), this would be in agreement with traditional mythology. Geographically, the land of fire lay to the south of the abyss, and was ruled by a fire giant named Surt (aka the lord of Muspelheim). The fires of this land flowed north into the abyss, in the form of lava.
The other land is Niflheim, the land of ice and cold mist. On the north side of this land, is Hvergelmir, which is the source of all cold waters in the cosmos. Comparing Thor: Ragnarok to Justice League’s Icelandic village, where Arthur Curry (aka The Aquaman) lives among the people, helping them with his water powers, bringing fish to the village people, “because no one else can," there is not much difference between DC Comics and Marvel Comics, when it comes to the origination of story and phantasmal worlds. From its creators Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, an overlap exists in how the generational MovieFans grew up and now are directing their favorite GN into a Movie.
- When the glaciers reached the abyss, the heat from the land of fire caused Glacier Melting, and these droplets created Ymir. Ymir is considered a primordial Jotnar, a hermaphrodite, able to create life without any assistance. Ymir’s sweat is what formed two Jotnars (aka giants), and a third giant was formed by the mating of Ymir’s legs or feet.
- Ymir’s offspring included many giantesses, who became wives to other Jotnar.
- According to Norse mythology, these three giants were the first of the Frost Giants. Interestingly enough, there were 2 male and 1 female Jotnar. Transitioning from real mythology into the Marvel world, the 2 male giants are Thor and Loki, and the lone female giant is Hela. In Film #2, Loki declares “I am Loki of Jotunheim,” which makes him a Jotnar in the MCU.
- When Film #3’s trailer soundtrack and the final edit used the lyrics, “from the ice and snow, where the hot springs grow,” this was great use of sound editing to convey theme.
The abyss is Ginnungagap, a void that was at once empty and charged with magic. In Film #3’s Opening Sequence, when Thor ignites this abyss in the Opening sequence, charging the ground with his mighty hammer, this is truly Marvel movie magic on the big screen. The IMAX 3D version made the scene come to life, where his hammer was actually alive within a circle of fire. This abyss is a place where the world could collapse and be destroyed, but served as starting potential for all things.
- The realm of the Giants is called Jotunheim, or Utgard. This was shown in the Opening Sequence of Film #3, where Thor battles with the large giants in an unknown land.
Throughout Norse mythology, there is open acceptance of being either a Frost giant or a Fire giant. There are many types of giants.
- In all 3 Thor films, fighting for life is a constant theme. Because it’s a Marvel movie, family drama and family coming together as a unit, are shown on-screen.
- Thor and The Incredible Hulk joke about Fire in the trailers and Film #3 itself.
Types of Giants
There are many types of giants, associated with the Nine Worlds. Here is a partial listing:
1. Frost giants
2. Fire giants
3. Storm giants – Jotnar associated with storms and bad weather. Byleistr is a brother to Loki. Olvaldi is another storm giant, whose 3 sons include: Gang, Idi and Thjazi. When Olvaldi died, the 3 sons found a way to divide his rich empire, by ingesting the gold. Thjazi’s transformation into an Eagle, carried Loki away from Goddess Idun and her magical fruits; after this incident, Thjazi was incinerated by the Gods. Thjazi’s daughter, Skadi (aka Skathi), sought vengeance, and married the God Njord as a peace treaty; she also punished Loki, placing a serpent above his face, so its venom could drip onto Loki's face.
4. Sea giants – the God Aegir represents the bountiful sea, and Asgard was his home. Goddess Ran represents the dangerous sea, and this goddess are the drowned dead, who do go to Helheim, Folkvang or Valhol. She is famous for her net, whom Loki borrowed to catch Dwarf Andvari, who could morph into a fish. Aegir and Ran produced 9 daughters, who are waves of the sea, and have been suggested to be either the 9 mothers or 9 sisters of Heimdall, depending on which version of Norse mythology one is referring to.
Using a “Reel to Real Redux” method peppered with film interpretations, this is how the main characters will be discussed in the remainder of this column.
Odin is the Allfather. According to Norse cosmology, the Glacier Melting not only created the 3 Jotnars, but also a cow, named Audhumbla, who fed herself and Ymir. After licking the ice to feed herself, she revealed another creature, named Buri; Buri was part of the first tribe of gods named the Aesir. Aesir gods “represented war and martial virtues” (Dougherty, 25). Buri bore a son, named Bor, and took one of Ymir’s descendants as his wife, a lady named Bestla.
- Odin explains this relationship in Film #2, to Thor, when they have one of their meetings.
Mythically, Odin was the first offspring of Bor and Bestla, making him half Jotunn and half Aesir. He then had two other brothers, Vili and Ve. Bestla’s brother (the unknown uncle) taught Odin his nine magical songs; the unknown uncle was rumored to be Mimir.
The three brothers killed Bor, because he was creating too many Jotnars via procreation. After a battle, there were only 2 survivors (Bergelmir and his wife), who escaped via boat into the land of ice and cold mist, and started a new race of Frost Giants. During this battle, the cow Audhumbla didn’t survive the descent over the abyss.
Another type of god was a Vanir, who personified love and fertility. Vanir’s home was called Vanaheim, which lay to the West of Asgard, a celestial realm.
- Vanaheim has its own plotline and its importance is shown in Film #2.
After this family battle, the 3 brothers formed the Cosmos from Ymir’s bodily remains. His skull became the Sky, while his brains became the Clouds. Sparks from the land of fire became the Stars. The flesh became the Earth. His bones became Mountains, while his hair became Grass and Trees. Oceans were formed from his sweat, or possibly his blood, depending on which version of Norse mythology you are following.
- In Thor: Ragnarok, when the Grand Master affectionately refers to Thor as “Sparkles” and the “Lord of Thunder,” these are euphemisms for the actual Norse lands. Thor corrects the Grand Master with “God of Thunder,” and that he’s not the Lord of Thunder.
- In Film #1, Odin already existed. It was a film to teach his son, Thor, how to discover his powers, and become a leader among the Norse people, as well as the people of Earth, aka Midgard.
Mythically, Mimir’s head counseled Odin, while mystical creatures provided meals at Valhol, while Yggdrasil constantly replenished the springs.
Odin married Goddess Frigg, but had polyamorous relationships with other women, which resulted in the creation of other Jotnar. Thor is the offspring of Odin and Giantess Jord (aka Fjorgyn or Hlodyn), who was associated with Earth in a primordial way. The difference between a Goddess and a Giantess is that the Goddess is involved with the activities of her sector, whereas the Giantess is the natural state of the sector (Dougherty, 99).
Vali is another of Odin’s sons, due to the mating with Rind. Vali is an avenger of Baldr.
More Cosmology follows the Battle
I can understand why Marvel likes to craft mythology into its films, as it makes for an interesting story! This is no different in Norse mythology, as the storyline continues to become more interesting and entertaining.
After the 3 brothers formed the Cosmos from Ymir’s remains, this created The Nine Worlds, which all 3 Thor films make reference to. What is not shown in any film is the connection of the Nine Worlds by Yggdrasil, the World Tree; its roots reached out to Asgard, Jotunheim and Niflheim, and the big ash tree even survived the Ragnarok battle.
The underlying spring/well that reached from Yggdrasil into Asgard is called Urd’s Well, aka the Well of Wyrd or the Well of Destiny, which provided Odin with much knowledge about the Runes. The gods met at this well, and its knowledge was self-nourishing, and therefore eternal.
- In Thor and Thor: Ragnarok, this knowledge is symbolized by The Eternal Flame, which burns forever, and is kept hidden deep within Asgard. Also deep within Asgard are other worlds’ secrets.
- Marvel Studios weaves classic mythology from Norse and Greek backgrounds, to arrive at Film #3’s plotline, where Thor arrives on Asgard and sees Odin sitting in his bathrobe, eating olives and watching theatre. This is a great introduction of Loki the Trickster disguised as Odin, and what did Loki do with Odin?
The Hall of Valhol is shown in all 3 films, where warriors waited for the day they would be called into battle. Even Scrapper 142 knows the importance of this day.
The Nine Realms (Worlds) include:
1. Asgard – lying above the Mortal realms, connected to Midgard by the Bi-Frost bridge.
2. Vanaheim – one of the celestial realms in the upper branches of Yggdrasil.
3. Alfheim – lying above the Mortal world, and home to the Light Elves. Ruled by God Freyr, a Vanir.
4. Midgard – world of the mortals, and the only world perceived by humans. In the ocean lay Jormangandr, the large serpent. During Ragnarok, Midgard would perish and everything would die. This is exactly what happens in Film #3.
5. Jotunheim – lying in the Middle World alongside Midgard, Jotunheim is a barren land. When Loki declares he is “Loki of Jotunheim" in Film #2, it’s actually a confessional that he is the ruler of a barren land, or a ruler with no followers.
6. Muspelheim – lying in the South world, it's the land of fire, home of the Fire demons. The Eldjotnar originate here (aka Muspelsmegir), and are the Fire Giants. Surt is the lord of Muspelheim, and his name means “black,” due to his charred appearance and his connection to volcanoes and lava. Surt’s flaming sword was used to kill Freyr, setting fire to Asgard and Yggdrasil. In Film #3, Thor meets Surt in the Opening Sequence, while Thor is tumbling around the hanging chains.
7. Niflheim – lying in the North world, it’s a frozen land, but holds the oldest of the 3 Great Wells: Hvergelmir. This famous well is the world’s cold-water source. This is where one of the Frost Giants named Hrimthursar, originated before relocating to Jotunheim.
8. Nidavellir – the underground home of the Dwarfs.
9. Svartalfheim – an underground realm, and home of the Dark Elves. If the dark elves surfaced, they would turn to stone by exposure to sunlight.
10. Helheim – ruled by the Goddess Hel. In Film #3, Hela was locked away by Odin, because she wanted to rule the world with Death soldiers; Odin didn’t want to world to be ruled by death, he wanted it to be full of goodness and light. Odin then turned to his next born son, Thor, to keep the “gold and silver” inside of Asgard.
TrueFact: a Jotunn is a being of power. Also recognized as a Goddess or a Monster. They are a mystical group rather than a family or race.
Why is Odin missing an eye?
This is part of the concept of The Odin Hero’s Journey. He lost one eye, because he wanted to attain more knowledge from Mimir, a god of the Aesir tribe. Mimir wouldn’t allow Odin to drink from his well, so as the guardian of his own well (Mimir’s Well), had Odin place one of his eyes in the well as an offering, to attain additional knowledge.
This brings another subject into play: the use of body parts or blood in films, as a peace symbol. Blood oaths as seen in John Wick Ch. 2 and It.
Why is Thor now missing an eye?
In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor battles with Hela (scroll down for more on her character), and she blasts him with her deadly powers, taking away his right eye. His eye-patch covering is very cool, in the film’s Finale. He now looks like Odin. Which was seen this week, in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer.
Mythically, Thor does lose an eye with Goddess Hel. Her realm is sometimes stated to have been within Niflheim, separated by a high wall (Dougherty, 35). Existing within her own sub-realm, this means that she is the Goddess of the Dead. She had dominion over the dead of all of the Nine Worlds, and ruled Helheim.
Contrary to Thor: Ragnarok, Hel is the child of Loki and the Jotunn Angrboda, making her half goddess and half Jotunn. In the MCU, she is the first-born of Odin, and preceded Thor in birth. So, this would make Thor, Loki and Hel half-siblings.
Thor has been described as “Thor is Thor, not the Roman god Mars with added lightning powers!” (Dougherty, 14), as some chroniclers have pulled from other cultures to help in their understanding of the Norse gods. In Film #3, Marvel blurs the line between Norse and Roman cultures, when the Contest of Champions occurs. Thor is dressed in his Gladiator gear, and that is definitely fictionalized.
Other misconceptions during the Victorian Era (includ[ing] imagery of Norse Warriors with winged helmets, which there has been no archaeological evidence proving its existence, nor their primitive clothing or armor), are where the traditional Norse culture gets diluted. Genealogically, there are quite a few Scandinavian people who are trying to learn about their roots, but the written records only go so far (Freeman, Personal interview with Doug Larson, 2012).
- In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor’s arena outfit is a Roman Gladiator outfit, which is fiction.
- What is true in Thor: Ragnarok is when Thor says: “Because that’s what heroes do” is true, since most of the Norse mythology is a story of a mortal hero.
TrueFact: on Opening Day, the IMAX Movie Poster Display (at The Dole Cannery) had been changed out with a new Movie Poster version. This was different than the “Coming Soon” version.
Loki’s character - Part 1
Loki is quite a complex character. A trickster, and called “The god of mischief” in Film #3.
Considered to be Jotunn (plural of this is Jotnar), he is a god-by-adoption. Jotnars represent the natural world, and when they fight, the world becomes unbalanced. The root word study of Jotunn is “Giant,” but it can also mean devourer. Loki was a god, who was adopted by the other Norse gods into the Aesir tribe, making him Odin’s blood brother.
Mythically, his children included Hel, Jormungand and Fenrir.
Hel has already been introduced in this column.
Jormungand is translated as “Great beast or monster,” as seen in the film as the big Serpent, whom Thor battles with in Film #3’s Opening Sequence. As a plot device, this battle inside the Bi-Frost is a great lead-in to Asgard. According to legend, this is correctly shown in the film, as it would have been Thor’s third encounter with the Serpent, during the battle of Ragnarok.
Fenrir is the wolf, that bit off Tyr’s hand after he was tricked into being shackled by the gods. Since he was the most monstrous of Loki’s children, the gods decided to keep him in Asgard, where they could control him. The magical rope called Gleipnir, was used to restrain Fenrir. Gleipnir was crafted by the elves, and was capable of binding anyone or anything, until Ragnarok, where Fenrir broke free of the chains that held him and sought revenge. During Ragnarok, Tyr sacrificed his hand in Fenrir’s mouth, in order to save the Cosmos. Fenrir escaped, slew Odin, and then was killed by Odin’s other son, Vidar.
- In Thor: Ragnarok, Fenrir is the digitally composited wolf, whom Scrapper 142 tries shooting it from her ship, but to no avail. This is where Bruce Banner shows his true Superhero identity, and fights the “stupid dog,” amidst the Bi-Frost bridge.
Some of Loki’s mythically magical tools include:
- Laevateinn – sword used to fight Heimdall at Ragnarok.
- Andvarinaut – a cursed ring, similar to Draupnir, previously owned by the Dwarf Andvari, who was tricked out of the ring by Loki, and then put a curse on the ring. By passing it onto others, Loki spread more chaos in the world.
Which Thor needs to fix, in order to keep order among the Nine Realms. So, Marvel Studios doesn’t deviate too much from the incarnation of Loki.
TrueFact: Andvarinaut is the ring in Wagner’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen.
Loki’s character - Part 2
Out of all the characters in Norse mythology, Loki is perhaps the most complex. And, the one who’s most appealing. So, here’s the reel version of Loki. And thank you to Tom Hiddleston for playing a great Loki.
Sticking to the god-by-adoption is a slight deviation from Marvel’s version, where he’s the adopted son of Odin. The “blue skinned boy” whom Odin found on another planet, might also be Marvel’s SciFi version of what Loki really looked like (going back to the theme of “What do the Alien beings on the Alien World look like?”). In the Norse artwork, Loki has human colored skin.
The brotherly rivalry continues, and this time, Loki is not portrayed as too much trickster, as more of the underdog: the brother who’s been treated as the Outcast his entire life. Trying to fit in, and blending his own goals into the storyline, Loki is a tertiary threat to Thor. In fact, when the brothers work together with Scrapper 142 and The Incredible Hulk, the Revengers form a pretty good team!
Loki is still the trickster, and his actions further his own agenda. His reaction to their encounter with Doctor Strange, is to pull both knives (where did those come from? Suddenly, I’m having images of Tubbs from Miami Vice, when he pulls a huge gun out of nowhere!). Loki still helps Thor, but Thor is one step ahead of his devious brother (“You would still trust me?” “Would you?”).
Which, in the latest film, is to become a leader of any group, with willing followers. So, you know how Film #3 is going to end.
How the Valkyries add to the existing Thor storyline
Originally, the Valkyries were “hags associated with carrion beasts, but in later depictions they are changed into beautiful warrior-maidens.”
Marvel Studios uses the beautiful, valiant warriors in the matte painting in Thor: Ragnarok, as their previous battle with Hela, wreaks havoc in that world. Of course, this is Thor’s world, so the Valkyrie battle affects Asgard, and, as the MovieViewer will see in Avengers: Infinity Wars, it will bring the fight to Earth. Along with other heroes from the MCU!
Thor and Scrapper 142 are more friendly warriors, and after a mutual breakup with Jane Foster, he likes Scrapper 142 for her bravery. And, she can outdrink and outfight him, thereby, making her his equal.
Which brings another topic to the Big Screen: powerful women subduing a man (albeit the “Seductive God of Thunder”), and assuming power and control in the captive state. This is also seen in the modern vein of Wonder Woman, and played well by Gal Gadot, against Batman (who’s got a major attraction going on with Diana Prince) and AquaMan (she helps him when SuperMan is resurrected), and balanced with The Flash (who’s crushing on her) and The Cyborg (who’s learning how to be more human) in Justice League.
With the Justice League Double Feature fresh in my mind, Wonder Woman is the most powerful warrior princess from the Island, and this is what Steve Trevor finds most fascinating. If you were a little disappointed with the Valkyrie battle in Thor: Ragnarok, as I’m hearing from some of the MovieFans, then pay the Admission Price and see Justice League. I assure you that you’ll not be disappointed in the Amazonian Warrior Battle Sequence. This is one of the better sequences that I’ve seen in a long time on-screen.
Hela in Film #3 is actually Hel, a Death Goddess who rules Helheim (naturally). The land of Hel, literally. Played wonderfully by Cate Blanchett, she transforms from a Jotnar into a Goddess, and has some blue-veined skin showing throughout her transformation. Just like Loki, her Goddess uniform has black antelopes, whereas Loki has brand new antennae's.
Marvel has taken creative license with this mythical character, as Hel is actually one of Loki’s children, and not his half-sister, as Thor: Ragnarok shows.
Her battle with the Asgardians is pretty good, until Thor does some fast battle thinking, and knowing that the Revengers cannot beat Hela in Ragnarok, he gives Hela to Surt. They have to hold Hulk back from his urge to destroy raging fire, which is what Surt is, a wall of Raging Fire.
Heimdall is an interesting character. First, I will give you the Real version. Then, the Reel version.
Heimdall is actually a blood brother to Odin, in addition to being the gatekeeper to Asgard. His main job was to warn the other gods if Jotnar approached the bridge. “On the day of Ragnarok he would blow his horn to summon the gods to battle, but this could not prevent the Jotnar from storming Asgard. Their passage over [the] Bifrost caused its destruction” (Dougherty, 43).
Lineage-wise, Heimdall is actually one of Odin’s sons. Odin had two sons with his wife Frigg: Baldr and Hod. Other sons of Odin are Thor, Heimdall and Tyr. Heimdall had nine mothers, although unclear how this came to be, he was responsible for creating humanity and laying out the Norse social structure: leaders, warriors and farmers. Mythically, Odin is actually credited with this structural layout.
Heimdall’s also a god, because his powers allow him to sense the approach of the Jotnar. His senses were so keen that he “could see a hundred miles and hear the grass growing at the far end of the Bifrost bridge in Midgard.” His powers came to be through a similar bodily sacrifice (ear possibly) given and kept hidden inside of Yggdrasil.
Heimdall is the enemy of Loki, being polar opposites in personality. During Ragnarok, both fought to the death.
Some of Heimdall’s magical tools include:
·Gjallar (aka Gjallarhorn) – horn that sounded the battle of Ragnarok.
·Hofud – sword that was used to kill Loki in Ragnarok.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Heimdall is still the gatekeeper of the Bi-Frost. Yes, he assists Thor in opening the Rainbow colored portal, and still has his sensory powers.
The battle of Ragnarok is good, in that it shows the Bi-Frost being used as the fighting ground for Thor, Hela, Loki, Valkyrie, The Hulk and Surt, among other digitally-created characters. Unlike Norse mythology, Heimdall did not defeat Loki in the film version.
To date, he’s not been associated as Thor’s brother in the MCU. But, wait for it… in another Marvel storyline.
The historical importance of Ragnarok
This is the battle that destroys the world, where the gods die and, “worst of all, they have foreknowledge of it, but cannot alter their fate.” (Dougherty, 45)
1. Heimdall and Loki slay one another.
2. Odin is killed by the wolf Fenrir, and avenged by Thor.
3. After battling the giant serpent Jormangandr, Thor dies.
4. The survivors of Valhol place themselves in the new world creation.
MCU is using this film to pave the storyline from other MCU worlds, such as the Bonus scene from Doctor Strange, where Doctor Strange and Thor meet, and Thor asks for Stephen Strange’s help in locating his brother (Loki).
MCU’s use of Thor: Ragnarok paves the way for the remaining characters to move into Avengers: Infinity Wars Part I, due in theatres on Friday, May 4, 2018, with a Premiere Night on Thursday, May 3rd. I’m awaiting the ticket sale on ATOM, and when it becomes available, I’m definitely pre-reserving my seat at my theatre of choice. Unless, I have to work the Theatre Assignment, then I'll opt to see it later during Opening Week.
Having a ship of survivors, with Loki as the Leader, means that this group will more than likely be returning in Infinity Wars. Don’t know if they’ll be in Part I or Part II.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Chris is returning in his 3rd Marvel film as Thor. Chris’ other work includes:
- 12 Strong – which was in the Trailer playout for Thor: Ragnarok. Due to be released on January 19, 2018, this film shows how a group of 12 soldiers were deployed from the USA, immediately after September 11, 2001, to stop the Taliban from further invading the USA on their soil. This is on my Movie Watchlist, as I really like Chris, and have a need to see how the story of the Horse soldiers (coincidence?) plays out. Here is a one sentence hook:
“12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban.” (pro.imdb.com)
In Trailer version #2, the story is further shown with the 12 horse soldiers being escorted by Taliban ground forces. 12 Strong’s premise is better understood, after seeing No Greater Love on November 16, 2017, just prior to my Justice League Double Feature. This documentary film details a US Army unit’s war stories from Afghanistan, and answers a lot of questions that were alluded to in Dreamworks’ Thank You for Your Service.
In Trailer version #3, Chris’ Australian accent is gone, and he sounds American (Freeman, Daily Movie Outing: Roman J. Israel, Esq., 11-22-2017). I’m really looking forward to not only his character, but also some of the other men in the Unit.
For Film #3: All Thor MovieViewers loved the scene, when he wakes up while being healed, shirtless from the waist up. Eyeballs opened up for both men and women in the audience, since he’s really in good shape for the role. Of course, all of the Marvel superheroes have appeared shirtless from the waist up, if y’all will remember Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, where Chris Pratt removes his Opening Montage battle shirt and changes into a fresh one, signaling the end of the First Act. Again, this is no different than when Captain Kirk removes his shirt (1960’s TV series with William Shatner and 2000’s Film franchise with Chris Pine). Also, no different when AquaMan or Superman removes his shirt in Justice League.
Another upcoming film recommendation
Another upcoming film recommendation that looks filled with major T-bombs (Testosterone-laden power) going off on-screen, is Den of Thieves, with Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber and O’Shea Jackson Jr. Having missed O’Shea’s performance earlier this year in Ingrid Goes West, I’m definitely planning on seeing both 12 Strong and Den of Thieves.
I’ve been a MovieFan of Pablo’s, since his performance in 13 Hours. Gerard Butler’s been casted lately in strong patriotic roles: London Has Fallen and Geostorm. It will be interesting to see if Gerard delivers an accented performance.
Remember that the Movie Trailers don’t give everything away, just film critic’s sleighted (less than favorable) reviews. I made the mistake of reading The Honolulu Advertiser’s morning edition, after an all-nighter of a Thor: Ragnarok make-your-own double feature (where this author creates her own Double Features at different theatre locations = So Much Fun), and the newspaper’s film reviewer was more than critical about the actors’ performances.
- I have many friends who are talented actors, and have studied their craft well. On-stage performances done Shakespearean-style for 2-hour plus, without missing a line of dialogue. Perhaps the film reviewer doesn’t understand the craft of acting, when he wrote: “The actors have gotten their roles down in this film.” The actors already had their roles down in the prior Thor films.
- As Patrick Stewart was quoted during one of his interviews: “Making films is easy, as you can have as many takes as you want. On-stage, you only have the one chance.”
So, my best advice is not to read the morning paper’s reviews, before you see the movie. Save the paper’s reviews for after-the-show. Because, with any Marvel movie, it’s the fans whose opinions really matter, as they are plunking down hard-earned money.
One of my MovieFriends was seeing Thor: Ragnarok for the 4th time that day. We had met during the Blade Runner Double Feature on Thursday, October 5th (Freeman, Weekly Audit: Justice League Week 2 Rechecks, 11-24-2017).
Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Tom is returning in his 3rd Marvel film as Loki, half-brother to Thor.
Loki’s costumed antennae helmet was longer than the first film. In the 18-plex’s lobby, the 3D Standee Display was roped off, allowing Loki’s antennae to remain straight and tall. I know because on one of my Theatre Audits for The Dark Tower, I walked up to the 3D Standee Display in an empty lobby, and carefully touched the Antennae cutout. (Okay, this is the closest I will come to actually touching Tom Hiddleston)
While examining the impressive 8-foot display, I also photographed it with my Smartphone from various shots and angles. The best 3D shot was a closeup straight on, looking at Chris’s outstretched arms, with Jeff in the center. With the cutouts being layered behind each character, it looks 3D on my Smartphone.
Wow, I must say that Marvel Merchandising is getting quite creative! And, thanks to Regal Theatre staff and Vendor X (called that, as he never introduced himself to me) who assembled the display so well! Thank you for the pre-Movie experience.
Another "Thank You" to the screenwriters, who would be responsible for Loki’s line to Scrouge (played by Karl Urban): “You had one job! Just the one!”
Other memorable lines include:
· “I’ve been floating for 30 minutes!”
· “I’ve got to find another planet!”
Jeff Goldblum as The Grand Master
This actor needs no introduction. I was surprised to see him in the Trailer as the Arena Master during the Contest of Champions.
Absolutely loved The Commodore ship, and all its film action sequences. Plus, memorable dialogue that has several levels of meaning:
- Valkyrie: “Didn’t you know that he uses it for his orgies?”
- Thor (to Bruce Banner): “Don’t touch anything.” (as Bruce is trying to hold onto something, during their action sequence)
Oh yes, didn’t you know, all Superheroes have the skill and knowledge to fly spaceships …at least, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! And, this is why Marvel is able to blend their characters seamlessly from GN into the SciFi world.
Cate Blanchett as Hela
She is the main female antagonist in the film, as Thor is the main male protagonist. Playing off of the Brother-Sister theme, she delivers in the role as the Goddess of Death (“…and what were you the god of?”). Her role is explained in the First Act, and that’s all I’m going to tell you. Because, there is a monumental moment at the end of Act I, which drives the story and plot forward for the famed Ragnarok battle.
Cate’s upcoming work will include:
- Ocean’s Eight – as Lou.
- The Jungle Book – as Kaa.
- How to Train Your Dragon 3 – as a voice talent of Valka.
Mark Ruffalo as The Incredible Hulk (& occasionally Bruce Banner)
Yes, it’s a little confusing, as Edward Norton played Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk.
Mark Ruffalo plays this character in The Avengers storyline, as seen earlier this year by Spider-Man: Homecoming tie-in. In this film, he’s one of the main characters, who’s feeling underappreciated by Thor. Filled with either rage or non-rage, the digitized Hulk is the Green Goliath come to life on the big screen (“Hulk, naked from the hot tub, forever on my brain…”).
Mark’s portrayal of Bruce Banner is quite funny, as he and Scrapper 142, have become friends on the Grand Master’s planet (“Hey, angry one!”). Their sparring is quite nice, as she blends in a nice balance as the powerful good female equivalent into the male dominated roles.
Tessa Thompson as Scrapper 142
As with all Marvel movies, there is always a surprise waiting in the storyline.
Scrapper 142’s character arc tie-ins with Odin’s backstory. I can’t tell you more, because this would be giving away the entire story, and the film is still in its Theatrical Release.
Can’t wait to see if her character will be included in Avengers: Infinity Wars. I don’t know if she’ll be in Part I or Part II, as no plotlines have been discussed, as of this Hub publishing.
Other movie notations
Loved everything about the film:
Hair, Makeup and Costume design
- Thor’s Roman Gladiator look. While the costume is molded to fit Chris’ body type, I especially liked his longer length hair, and especially the way his hair tie was positioned in three loops, which was different than Film #2. It stayed in place during the action sequences in Film #3.
- Thor’s Earth look. Who else but Chris could make a two-toned teeshirt, hoodie, Carhartt jacket, blue jeans and black boots look so good?
- Scrapper 142 – Black uniform. This is her everyday look, but in her White outfit, she also looks good.
- Bruce Banner as Tony Stark – Rio shirt, Black tuxedo jacket and slim black jeans (“Will you stop that?” and “I’m sorry, but Tony wears his jeans a little tight.”)
- Loki – Black Tuxedo. This was only one costume change for two Earth locations. He also had his Asgardian look (traditional blue and green colors) and Sicar look (blue spacesuit).
So, if you’re in for a humorous take on Shakespearean-delivered dialogue, then this film delivers.
- Great viewing in any format.
- If you want your Graphic Novel come to life, I recommend seeing it in IMAX 3D, while it’s still in its theatrical run, until November 16th’s Premiere Night, where Justice League IMAX 2D will replace Thor in this slot.
- In the opening sequence, Thor and his Hammer do amazing things. The scene literally comes to life in IMAX 3D, and has an entirely different look and feel. When the IMAX countdown trailer says “See a movie, or become a part of one,” you’re definitely going to experience bonding on a different level. I know I did!
- The Incredible Hulk – the Green Goliath has Mark’s face, but is given a digitized body. I’ll have to wait for Cinefex issue #156 to see how he was created. Thank you to the Visual Effects team for providing Hulky on-screen.
- Another great storyline, which ties into a Doctor Strange scene, from November 2016’s Theatrical release’s Bonus scene.
- Well integrated with the previous Thor storylines.
- Humorous dialogue, which helped the plotlines along, during the 130-minute story.
- The film ends with more possibilities into future storylines, involving aforementioned characters. And probably more characters from the MCU.
- Film audiences have been conditioned to stay and watch the Entire Credit Roll, to see the Bonus Scenes. I didn’t have to remind audiences to stay and watch the upcoming scenes, as I had to, with Spider-Man: Homecoming. It was nice to see the 1st Bonus scene being shown before the “Above the Line” credits, while the 2nd Bonus scene after the Stars listing, and before the “Below the Line” credit roll. Yes, I appreciate the nuances with any Marvel movie, as the Bonus Scenes are edited differently for *each* film.
- Nice editing of Arena sequence! Which means that there is a “Mahalo Plenty” to the Visual Effects team for pre-visualization, as quite a few number of technicians need to figure out how the action needs to move in the 2D scene, and then add in the Human actor (Chris) and the Digital actor (Hulk). And, this is what made The Chariot Race an important piece in Ben Hur, where the script only said: “They race.” In this case, “They fight.” The talented production and PostProd teams get to decide how Thor and The Hulk fight, and who will win.
- Thank you for paying homage to the Star Wars outer space look, looking like classic “Star Wars,” but using a modern panned down look. I noticed and recognize the respect for Industrial Light and Magic’s homage, as they were involved in Thor: Ragnarok’s Post-production process. Speaking of which, I’m sure you already have your Reserved Seating tickets for Episode VIII!
- Sound editing was really good (and loud!) in the RPX and IMAX theatres. Both versions of IMAX (2D and 3D) were exceptional; all 12 digital tracks working together. Remember, if the Auditorium floor and adjoining Restroom wall vibrates, then the film is a good one! And, if the vibrations cause you to drop anything in the restroom stall, then the film’s an exceptional one. I felt the rumble from the RPX theatre, in the adjoining Ladies Room stall (about 7 feet away).
Developing the Theatrical technologies
Just as technology has been evolving for all media types, film editing has changed over the past few months. Despite your personal feelings regarding Disney, having acquired Marvel Studios on August 31, 2009 (Howe, 429) and an announcement earlier in November 2017, for Fox Media buyout, Disney is a company worth noting. Marvel Studios is one creative arm for Disney, and will be releasing Coco, beginning on Tuesday, November 21, with limited release film viewing. Not sure if this LR viewing will be available in Hawaii, but I’m looking forward to Coco’s storyline, whether I work the gig or not.
As far as Marvel Studios’ final film product is concerned, this is a creative unit who is setting the pace of the future of motion pictures. Partnering with ILM and Skywalker Sound, the final edit of Thor: Ragnarok was distributed in all formats, with the intent of:
1. User Experience in mind. Whether you choose to see your movie in Digital standard (4K), 3D (RealD 3D or Dolby Digital 3D), RPX, Dolby ATMOS, IMAX 2D or Titan XC, IMAX 3D or Titan LUXE with 3D Dolby Digital, that’s surely a lot of formats. A Movie Fan could literally have experienced Thor: Ragnarok in all of these formats. And, been in a theatre for a week straight. Yes, I admit, the rigorous checking practice, even I had experienced Thor a little too much in a short time frame, given back-to-back Premiere Night and Opening Day showtimes. Luckily, I’m a fan of Chris’, so, I really didn’t mind.
2. Redefining the genre for other Marvel movies in the pipeline. Avengers: Infinity War Part I is the next Marvel movie that will be released in both IMAX 2D and IMAX 3D formats (Freeman, Weekly Movie Assignment, 10-27-2017). Looking forward to Deadpool 2, which is due out on Friday, June 1, 2018, with a Thursday Premiere Night on May 31, 2018. Ditto for Ant-Man and the Wasp which will be released in theatres on Friday, July 6, 2018. Venom will be released on October 5, 2018; please see the Video Link below, for more info.
3. Innovator in the marketplace. With some of the best creative teams in the film business, Marvel Studios has not only the financial backing, but the Human Resource recruiting, to attract the best talent. From some of the film credit rolls, Marvel talent usually chooses to design the Cinematic Universe, and they are also avid fans. In the words of Rian Johnson, he “got a big lump in my throat at seeing the Millenium Falcon in the hanger,” while filming Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.
Coco’s trailer versions
TrueFact: During Trailer version #1, movie audiences were not happy to see the skeleton and the Day of the Dead. Trailer versions #4 and #5 had positive audience results.
More Marvel Movies Pls
Overall, it’s another great title released at the end of 2017, and while Marvel Fans are awaiting Black Panther, it will be due out in theatres with a Thursday Premiere Night and a Friday Opening Day: February 16, 2018. Film questions which emanate are:
1. Why is hard for our central character to be a good king?
2. Who’s the Antagonist? How does he affect the Hero? Will there be more than one Antagonist?
3. How does the Hero’s mother affect his rise to accept the throne?
4. Who is the Hero’s sister? What is her contribution to his throneship?
And, don’t forget The New Mutants on Friday, April 13, 2018. This is a story involving 5 new mutants, separate from Logan’s ending. A lot of young adult viewers have been asking me: “Is Laura in this film?” and the answer is: “No.” This film will be introducing another storyline, separate from the X-24 kids.
This author is highly anticipating the theatrical release of Avengers: Infinity War Part I on Thursday Premiere Night with a Friday Open on May 4, 2018. Quickly, I need to do some Avengers film homework! In order to prepare for this film, go visit your local library and borrow the Avengers-related film titles:
2. Iron-Man 2
3. Iron-Man 3
4. The Avengers
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron
6. Captain America: Civil War
And, if you can’t borrow the DVDs, lest they be checked out and in circulation, there are Streaming channels to consider. Please remember that these streaming channels will need to be watched from a regular computer, Adult Tablet, and no GizmoTab’s allowed (doesn't work).
1. Netflix – for $6.99 per month, after initial Free Month Trial period, you could stream all of the Avengers movies at least once. Okay, maybe twice!
2. Hulu – for a Limited Time, $5.99 per month, with the initial Free Monthly Trial period for the 1st year, and then beginning in Year 2 will be $7.99/month for Limited Commercials plan. The Free Monthly Trial Period is inclusive of the Year 1 period. For Featured Add-ons, there is the No Commercials Plan. If you were wanting HBO-SHO-CINEMAX, then these are Premium add-ons, available through Hulu LiveTV, which is billable at $39.99 per month, and can be streamed from an Internet channel devices (i.e. RokuTV, ios).
3. Fandango – you’ll have to have a Credit Card kids, since you’ll need to purchase a Digital Copy, using Secure Login. Then, you own the digital streaming rights to each title. This means the movie is not available for Download, and you can't save it to your computer: you can only watch it from your Internet-enabled device.
If you would like a copy of the DVD movie, then here are the Best retail prices:
1. Sam’s Club – owned by Wal-Mart Corporation, Sam’s unit pricing is even less than Wal-Mart’s individual DVD price.
2. Wal-Mart – a major distribution partner for most of Hollywood’s blockbusters. Besides, everyone shops at Wal-Mart.
3. Barnes and Noble – their media ordering source is Baker and Taylor, or Ingram.
4. Computer or office stores – Best Buy, Office Depot (formerly Office Max), Staples.
Marvel Movies are great teaching material
TrueFact: In my online class “Writing the Fantasy Novel,” there were several references to Loki. With the ability to perform good and evil, my Instructor used Marvel’s Avengers Loki to demonstrate the use of character arc.
If you are confused about the Avengers Movie Order
I am also confused about the MCU ordering of the Avengers film, so I did a quick 2-second Internet search, and found this for y’all.
In order to lessen the confusion for the Marvel Fan Base, I hope you will use this as a starting point for your Avengers homework. The wonderful folks at C-net’s have developed a great image, which you can now see from your SmartPhone.
More Thor Thrills
Yes, I purchased the Thor: Ragnarok Collectible Large size cup (64 oz.), on Opening Day at the Dole Cannery, while performing my Movie Assignment. It was only $5.24, and comes with 1 Refill. What a better way to experience the movie, than drinking out of your own Soft Drink cup while watching the film.
One of my Film Friends saved me a Thor: Ragnarok Collectible Coin from the Opening Night Fan Event, so its picture was featured above, showing the actual size. Be sure to zoom in with your Smartphone, to see the coin detailing. Still plasticized, not going to be opened.
I also met Karen Gillan in-person, as she was in attendance for HIFF 37. In the MCU, she plays Nebula, the sister of Gamora, from Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 1 & 2). Karen is a very talented actress, and some of her 2017 film performances include:
- Annie in The Circle. Along with Emma Stone, Tom Hanks (whom you’ll see in the upcoming The Post, directed by one of my favorite directors Steven Spielberg) and John Boyega (whom you’ll see the week of 12-15th, as FN-2187/Finn in Star Wars 8).
- Karen’s upcoming performance as Ruby Roundhouse in Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle. Along with the rest of the gang: The Rock, Kevin Hart and Jack Black. She is very tall; with my booted heels, I was 5’4 ¾”, and she was about a foot and half taller than me, in her high heels. If she’s running alongside “The Rock” in Kualoa Ranch’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, then she’s gotta be tall, right?
- After we parted ways, she shot me her “MegaWatt” smile (making me chuckle aloud), and I thought she was going to see the mighty Thor himself in IMAX. But, she ventured into a HIFF auditorium.
And that’s why Opening Day attendance at your local theatre can be quite thrilling! Until the next film review, keep it hubbed in, Pam
© 2017 Pam Freeman