Tag Archives: Thor the Dark World

Ranking the Marvel movies

Avengers assemble

Here’s a pointless exercise but maybe a fun one.

I decided to rank, in order of how much I enjoyed them/how good I thought they were, the big-screen Marvel movies.

It’s not too hard to tell that I prefer the official Marvel Cinematic Universe movies over the random Fox and Sony movies, I know.

A few provisos:

I’m not dipping back into pre-history far enough to drag “Howard the Duck” into this. And I haven’t seen it in a couple decades.

And I’m not including the 1994 “Fantastic Four” movie because it wasn’t released – I’ve only seen it on a bootleg DVD bought at a convention – and it doesn’t belong on this list any more than the awful “Captain America” TV movies do. Same for the “Blade” movies, which had their moments but seem as remote as the 1944 “Captain America” serial now.

Be aware, I’ve only glimpsed moments of the “Ghost Rider” movies on TV. And I’ve never seen the “Punisher” movies at all.

Two lists: First, just the “official” Marvel movies, then the list with the non-Marvel-overseen movies mixed in.

The Avengers

Captain America: The First Avenger

Iron Man


Thor: The Dark World

The Incredible Hulk

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 2

If you add the other post-2000 Marvel movies that aren’t part  of the official Marvel Cinematic Universe into the mix, it’s still weighted pretty heavy toward the official Marvel canon.

The Avengers

Captain America: The First Avenger

Iron Man


Thor: The Dark World

X-Men 2

Spider-Man 2


X-Men: First Class

The Incredible Hulk


Iron Man 3

The Wolverine

The Amazing Spider-Man


Iron Man 2

X-Men 3

Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Spider-Man 3

X-Men Origins: Wolverine



Looking at that list, it seems like “Iron Man 3” is way too far down. But maybe not. I need to see it again.

Something tells me my list will see a big shake-up next month, when “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opens.


By Selvig’s Chalkboard! More ‘Thor’ sequel Easter eggs

selvig chalkboard thor the dark world

Right before “Thor: The Dark World” opened, I pointed out some of the hidden secrets from the latest Marvel movie and how its first end credit scene – featuring the Collector, a character from next year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie – set up a narrative thread that could carry Marvel movies through “Avengers 3” in 2018.

Turns out there were other Easter eggs also that I’ve been learning about this week thanks to online postings.

The “Cabin in the Woods” whiteboard was a treasure trove of geeky fun for fans of that movie, and the chalkboard Erik Selvig uses to explain the events of the first “Thor” movie are pretty fun too.

Sharp-eyed fans have pointed out the reference on the chalkboard to the “616 Universe,” the name for the Marvel universe all the comic book characters inhabit. Looks like crazy old Selvig knows it exists.

The board also references – in a portion of the board right behind Selvig – “The Fault,” a “tear in the universe” plot point used in comic book stories featuring The Inhumans, the secretive super-powered race that Marvel is said to be interested in bringing to the big screen.

There’s also reference to “The Crossroads,” taken from a past adventure featuring the Hulk and … Dr. Strange, another Marvel character apparently destined for the big screen.

Here’s one I’m actually kinda more excited about, even if it is a longshot:

warlock cocoon thor the dark world

That cocoon-type thing is from the first scene in the end credits of “Thor: The Dark World” and is something that’s apparently been collected by … well, the Collector.

It looks suspiciously like this object:

warlock cocoon-fantastic_four_167_1

That’s from Fantastic Four 67, and that panel shows FF friend Alicia Masters finding the cocoon of Him, the cosmic being later known as Adam Warlock.

Warlock was a favorite of mine from the comics. He was a foe of Thanos, the smiley bad guy from the end credits of “The Avengers,” the guy who’s apparently destined to play antagonist in future Marvel movies, including “Avengers 3.”

Cool, huh? I’m kind of convinced that nothing happens in these Marvel movies by accident. Maybe they’re just in-jokes to entertain fans. Maybe they’re pointing the way toward future adventures. Either way, it’s fun stuff.

‘Thor’ sequel setting the stage for cosmic Marvel

thor and loki thor the dark world

When Marvel released “Thor” in 2011, I doubt that most of us on this side of the screen realized how important the adventures of the Thunder God would become to big-screen Marvel.

I liked “Thor” really pretty well. Maybe not as much as “Iron Man” or “Captain America,” but I thought the movie did a very good job of introducing the more fantastic elements of the Marvel Universe to the moviegoing audience. With “Thor” a success, how far behind could “Dr. Strange” or the cosmic Marvel stories or even the horror-tinged reaches of the Marvel universe be?

As it turns out, Marvel and director James Gunn are making the “Star Wars”-ian “Guardians of the Galaxy” now, for release next year. There’s a connection between “Thor” – spoilers ahead, I’ll warn you before – and “GOTG” but after duty in “The Avengers,” the Asgardian god of thunder returns in “Thor: The Dark World,” which stakes out, even more than the original, the more mystical, more space-bound corner of Marvel.

I won’t go very deep into the plot. Suffice it to say that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to face an enemy (former Doctor Christopher Eccleston) intent on avenging himself on Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and Asgard and recapturing the Aether, force of cosmic power not unlike the Tesseract, the mystical Cosmic Cube from “Captain America” and “The Avengers.”

The movie skips from Asgard to London, where Thor is reunited with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and her crew, and to other stops among the Nine Realms.

Director Alan Taylor (“Game of Thrones”) and the screenwriters make this sequel a far grittier – literally and figuratively – story than the original. Asgard has texture and the Dark World itself is a nightmarish landscape. London is the steely blue/gray we’re familiar with in modern-day TV outings like “Sherlock.”

The action is thrilling and the realm-skipping action shows every penny of the production budget.

Hemsworth is so at ease as Thor it’s fun to imagine him  playing the part for years to come. Likewise, Tom Hiddleston is such a welcome presence as Thor’s trickster brother Loki that I hope he becomes omnipresent in movies.

“Thor: The Dark World” could feel like just another step in setting up the decade-long Marvel movie plotline, as I talked about in this recent entry. But it doesn’t. It never feels perfunctory. It’s a grand, thrilling adventure in its own right.

Random observations:

Spoiler this line only: What I reported the other day about the two end credits sequences was correct. The first featured Benecio Del Toro as the Collector and sets the stage for “GOTG.” It’s a fun if oddball scene, directed by “GOTG” director James Gunn. It’ll be interesting to see how “GOTG” comes out next year.

Obviously Chris Hemsworth’s contract calls for a minimum of one shirtless scene per “Thor” movie.

Hiddleston gets to play more vulnerable and more multifaceted here than in “Thor” of “The Avengers.” It’s great and unsettling at the same time.

No spoilers here, but I loved the cameo. That’s the advantage of a shared big-screen universe.

‘Thor: The Dark World” marks the eighth movie in the official big-screen Marvel universe. Eighth.


Two credits scenes in ‘Thor: The Dark World?’


I was already looking forward to Nov. 8 and “Thor: The Dark World.”

Then today ScreenCrush.com reports that initial screens indicate the latest Marvel movie will have two credits sequences, not unlike “The Avengers.”

There’s supposedly a scene part way through the credits, like the Thanos scene in “The Avengers,” and an after-credits stinger, like the restaurant scene at the end of “The Avengers” and the Bruce Banner appearance at the end of “Iron Man 3.”

True? We should get some kind of confirmation soon.

And the movie opens Nov. 8.

First look: The trailer for ‘Thor: The Dark World’

Thor Jane Thor The Dark World

The first “Thor” movie took some of us by surprise. The Asgardean Avenger was never a favorite character of mine, so while I didn’t doubt that Marvel would do well with his debut movie, I wasn’t expecting as much as I did from “Captain America.” But I was pleasantly surprised.

So with “Iron Man 3” just a couple of weeks away, we get a trailer for “Thor: The Dark World,” which opens Nov. 8.

The trailer looks good, although it was amusing to see the preview opening in steel-gray modern-day London. That city is getting a hell of a beating this year, between this and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

Most of the cast gets a few shots in the trailer, led by Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, of course.

Christopher Eccleston Thor the Dark World

And can that possibly be Christopher Eccleston under all that makeup as villain Malekith?

Tom Hiddleston Loki Thor the Dark World

And they saved the best for last: Tom Hiddleston, rocking some “Rock of Ages” hair, as Loki.

Wonder if Odin had SHIELD build that glass box?

First poster: ‘Thor the Dark World’


With all the attention “Iron Man 3” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and even “Guardians of the Galaxy” is getting, we need a little love for the “Thor” sequel.

So here’s the first teaser poster for “Thor the Dark World.”

No helmet – sorry, half the Internet – but Chris Hemsworth looks ready to throw that hammer.

Coming this November.

Movies I’m looking forward to in 2013

iron man 3

2012 was a pretty good year for geek movies. I’m still boggled, sometimes, that so many comic book, science fiction and fantasy movies – not to mention big-budget, well-crafted ones – are released these days. We might be in a golden age for the genre.

Looking ahead to 2013, the calendar looks like just as much of a treat for fans.

“Iron Man 3.” After the superhero team-up that was “The Avengers,” why look forward to a solo superhero outing? Isn’t that a step back? Well, it would be but for a few reasons. I trust Robert Downey Jr. and director Shane Black. The preview looks dire and action-filled. And the movie kicks off Marvel’s Phase Two, which culminates in “The Avengers” sequel in 2015, so I’m pretty sure they’ll have some references to the big picture. May 3.

“Thor: The Dark World.” The first “Thor,” in some ways, held the promise (threat?) of being the weakest movie in the first phase of Marvel. Yet it was solid entertainment and laid the groundwork for much of the mythology that followed in “Captain America” and “The Avengers.” I feel very much at ease with this realm of big-screen Marvel. Nov. 8.

“Pacific Rim.” This story about giant robots created to fight giant, Godzilla-style monsters looks like something to appeal to all the 12 year olds within us. July 12.

star trek into darkness cell

“Star Trek Into Darkness.” This J.J. Abrams sequel to the reboot looks awesome. Unleash the Cumberbatch! May 17.

“The Wolverine.” I am not the craziest of fans of Marvel’s snikt-happy mutant. But Hugh Jackman has been so good as the character I’m looking forward to this and his role, however big, in “Days of Future Past.” July 26.

“Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” The first movie was a pleasant surprise. The second book is the weakest of the series, but I’m hoping they pull it off. Nov. 22.


“Oz the Great and Powerful.” This retooling of the classic story, a kind of prequel, could be really fun or really awful. March 8.

“The World’s End.” While we’re waiting for director Edgar Wright to make “Ant-Man,” how about this end of the world comedy starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman? Yes, please. Oct. 25.

Movies I’m almost dreading:

“Man of Steel.” We don’t need another origin story. We don’t need a “dark” Superman. We need a Superman who feels like the last of his kind but isn’t mopey about it. We don’t need a “Dark Knight” treatment, but I’m afraid that’s what we’re getting. June 14.

“World War Z.” I’ve said it before, but here it is again. The preview doesn’t look like the terrific Max Brooks book. June 21.

“The Lone Ranger.” A beloved childhood hero. I’m just not sure about the approach. Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp bring a lot of charisma to the proceedings, however. We’ll see. May 31.