Tom Hiddleston

The Gauntlet 04: Thor

The Gauntlet 04: Thor
Screen Heroes

 
 
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Screen Heroes and the entire network are proud to announce a new weekly segment: THE GAUNTLET! Join Jeremy from Redshirts & Runabouts and Saturday Morning Tooncast and Rae from Costume Couture and Screen Heroes on their epic rewatch of the MCU films starting with Iron Man. That’s right, every week, we’re talking about one of the many stops on the road to Thanos and Avengers: Infinity War. This week brings the introduction to the son of Odin, Thor himself!

For our fourth episode, we talk the blonde hunk from the sky: Thor! Join us to see how we feel about the first foray into the fantasy world of Asgard. Did it impress? Did it fall flat? What could have been had Branaugh continued as director?

If you already subscribe to Screen Heroes, then you’ll get these bonus episodes every Sunday! Not subscribe? Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Blog Talk Radio, Spreaker, Google Play, or just drop in our RSS feed. All the links are below!

Screen Heroes: The Gauntlet Podcast Credits

Hosts
Jeremy Monken
Rae Stewart

Special Guest
Derreck Mayer

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Rae Stewart
Derreck Mayer

Music
Avengers Theme Excerpt by Alan Silvestri

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The Gauntlet 04: Thor

SH S4E17: Thor Ragnarok

Disney tries to buy 20th Century Fox, Shazam gets its heroes, and Justice League has an embargo! Then, it’s off to Asgard as we talk Thor: Ragnarok!

We dive deep into the characters, tones, jokes, continuity, and the MCU as a whole including how things lead up to May’s Avengers: Infinity War and the true introduction of Thanos.

Let us know what you think of Thor: Ragnarok! Is Ragnarok the best Thor movie? The best MCU movie of the year?

Comment below or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Twitter or Facebook!

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Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

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Flying Killer Robots

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SH S4E17: Thor Ragnarok

How They Held Up: 2017 Anticipated Movies Part 1

You may remember a Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2017 list that we published back in January.  Or you may not. I don’t know if you read it…

Either way, as of March, three of the ten films on the list have already been released. What a great time to recap these films and see if our some of our 2017 Most Anticipated Movies lived up to our expectations or if they fell flat.

Kong: Skull Island

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Released: March 10
Rotten Tomatoes: 78%    Metacritic: 62%    imdb: 7.1
Worldwide Box Office Gross: 394 m
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly

This movie was really everything I wanted from a Kong film, to be honest. When I see a disaster monster film, the last thing I expect is Oscar-bait performances and epic story telling. I expect over the top stakes and realistic terror-stricken actors. That’s what I got. I was ultimately impressed with the well placed story lines woven throughout the film. Each character had a different goal once they set foot on Skull Island, which was handled by everyone quite well. The center of the movie, King Kong, was brilliant. His CGI was rendered so well it was frightening at moments. As an audience, you believed he was the perfect protector.

Overall grade: B. See the movie, stick around after the credits

Beauty and the Beast

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Released: March 16
Rotten Tomatoes: 70%     Metacritic: 65%     imdb: 7.8
Worldwide Box Office Gross: 710 m
Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline

What a spectacular film! This long-awaited live-action adaptation of the classic Disney cartoon blew me away. It left me with such a magical fulfillment that very few movies give me nowadays. I was astounded by the sheer talent and detail that was packed into every corner of the film. Aside from the visual spectacle the movie created, the beloved soundtrack, including the newest additions, were stunningly recorded from start to finish. This movie will be tough to beat for me. It was everything I wanted and more, making it a shoe-in for my favorite film of the year.

Overall grade: A. Relive the magic again and again.

Power Rangers

download (5)

Released: March 24
Rotten Tomatoes: 44%          Metacritic: 47%           imdb: 7.1
Worldwide Box Office Gross: 61 m
Director: Dean Israelite
Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader, Dacre Montgomery

As far as the numbers go, this is the most polarizing film of the year so far. The fans and critics are once again at odds. And I can’t say I’m surprised. For Power Rangers, this film is amazing. It features some great moments that even casual fans of the franchise will love. It does Power Rangers immense justice. However, there were a lot of issues that left critics feeling sour. It lacks an identity between a kids’ film and an adult fan service movie. It’s very apparent they had no idea who the target demographic was at any point.  And it struggled because of it. My hope is that now the pesky origin story is out of the way, they’re able to build on what they created, give us more Ranger time and less Breakfast Club moments.

Overall grade: C+. Go in expecting to have fun and nothing more.

 

****BONUS****

Logan

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Released: March 3
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%      Metacritic: 77%     imdb: 8.5
Worldwide Box Office Gross: 567 m
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen

This film was not on my Most Anticipated list. That was a mistake. For me, the previous Wolverine films had been ultimate let downs and I was almost certain that this one was not going to be any different. I was dead wrong. Logan brings every ounce of A game it had to the table. Featuring stellar performances from every actor involved, the film hits you with an emotional heaviness that isn’t found often on screen, despite the many efforts.  It was a movie that could stand on its own, not requiring the knowledge of any previous X-Men films beforehand (which is fantastic, because who needs homework?)  The combination of Mangold + Jackman + Stewart, all of whom have said this is the end of the line for their characters*, was so overwhelmingly brilliant that I cannot recall another director/actor combo that produced the same gravitas in a comic book film.  It’s almost a shame that this was a finale for them all. But what a beautiful beginning to Dafne Keen as X-23.

Overall grade: A-. Nothing is perfect, but this is damn close.

 

What did you think of some of our most anticipated films? What are you most anticipated movies for 2017?

 

*The author is well aware of multiple interviews where each party gave stipulations for their individual returns. She is noting that as of now, all of them have confirmed their characters would go no further in the timeline.

How They Held Up: 2017 Anticipated Movies Part 1

Kong: Skull Island – Quick Movie Take

Ryan of the Screen Heroes podcast and Buster Props bring us an early take on the monster movie reboot Kong: Skull Island. The new incarnation of the giant gorilla takes place at the tail end of the Vietnam war and stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman.

Have you seen Kong: Skull Island yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for even more fun videos.

A diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unite to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong. source

Kong: Skull Island is rated PG-13 and has a running time of 118 minutes.

Kong: Skull Island – Quick Movie Take

Crimson Peak: A Spoiler-Filled Review

Crimson Peak is a new horror film from famed Director and Writer Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth). I, for one, am a huge fan of Pacific Rim and can’t wait for the sequel. Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland (2010)), Jessica Chastain (The Martian, Interstellar, Zero Dark Thirty), and Tom Hiddleston (Thor, Avengers, and the upcoming Kong: Skull Island), along with Charlie Hunnam (Pacifc Rim, Sons of Anarchy).

Crimson Peak Summary

The film takes place during the late 19th century, beginning in the United States and then spending the second half of the film in England. In short, Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) joins Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) at their old, run down mansion in England. The whole story is odd to me, but here’s the basic rundown with spoilers. Edith comes from money, lots of it. Her father was a hardworking man who has made something of his life and in turn, Thomas Sharpe comes to America in search of money. The Sharpe family had money at one point but it long since gone, their home literally falling apart back in England. Thomas Sharpe has a plan to get money rolling back in using the red clay under his property but he needs funding for his excavation machine. Crimson Peak EdithEdith’s father turns down his proposal. Meanwhile, Thomas takes an interest in Edith. Things seem nice at first but, long story short, Edith’s father uncovers incriminating evidence against Thomas and tells him to break Edith’s heart and leave, even paying him a decent sum of money to do so. Then, not surprisingly, Edith’s father is murdered in the wash room by an unknown figure… we are to assume it’s Thomas or his sister Lucille. Edith quickly marries Thomas. In fact, it seems that she does so before the funeral even occurs but either way, she moves to England, selling off everything she and her father owned and is in the process of transferring his family’s wealth into Thomas’s name for use on the excavation equipment, theoretically.

Now that we are at the mansion, creepy things happen. Edith sees ghosts, terrible ghosts, which are portrayed in a very unique way. We quickly figure out that a lot of murder has occurred in this home and Edith is becoming ill, likely due to some kind of poison. Meanwhile, back in the United States, Crimson Peak Thomas SharpeDr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam), who had taken an interest in Edith, is not convinced that Carter Cushing’s death was an accident but apparently no one else cared to investigate. More on that later. McMichael leaves the U.S. to find and presumably rescue Edith. During this time, Edith discovers that she is in fact being poisoned via her tea that is prepared by Lucille and that Lucille and Thomas have been planning this murder all along. What’s more important is that we finally find out that this mansion is Crimson Peak. Why is this important? When Edith was a child, the ghost of her mother came to her and warned her to beware of Crimson Peak. She doesn’t discover this nickname until it’s far too late and she is quite ill.

Thomas begins to have doubts about the murder because he has fallen in love with Edith. We find out that Thomas was married before and that at least three other woman have been targets of this nature, all now dead. THEN we find out that Thomas and his sister Lucille have an intimate, sexual relationship between the two of them, even producing a child at one point… which Lucille murders. Alright, so Dr. McMichael shows up, tries to take Edith away but is stabbed by Lucille. Thomas then takes advantage of the situation to pretend to kill McMichael to he can save Edith. Thomas is killed by his own sister in a fit of rage. The final battle, so to speak, takes place out in the snow between Edith and Lucille, with McMichael slowing bleeding out in the mines. Edith is victorious thanks to a timely appearance of Thomas’s ghost, which distracts Lucille long enough for Edith to bash her head in with a shovel.

Okay, so that’s what happens.

What I Liked About Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak is a beautiful movie. The colors, the costumes, the digital effects of the ghosts, all beautiful. I love the time period and the style of the film. I truly felt part of that era and the characters felt at home in that time. The state of the mansion was never questioned. It was ready to fall apart. All of the sets were designed perfectly, though overly dramatic at times.

Crimson Peak Lucille Sharpe

The acting was also pretty solid. I thought Jessica Chastain stole the show with her character being the most consistent and threatening. I also truly enjoyed Jim Beaver’s performance as Carter Cushing, as short as it was. He was perfect for the role and I’d wished he had survived if only to see him in another scene.

What I Disliked About Crimson Peak

I did not like this movie. I did not enjoy it and I would not watch it again. Why? There are several reasons. First, the whole plot is thin and illogical. Thomas Sharpe travels the world pretending to look for money and then winning over daughters from rich families. Then his sister dispatches with those families, forcing the daughter to be the heir to the fortunes. Thomas marries the woman and waits out Lucille to murder her in some way, usually poison. Let’s put aside how expensive it is to travel the world (the siblings had been to Italy, France, and the United States among other places), wouldn’t it be infinitely easier for Lucille, as a woman, to win over a single male with money? Second, they are only in this situation because they refuse to leave their family house which it turns out they hate anyway? All this while the siblings have a romantic relationship. Okay, let’s put that aside for a minute and focus on the murder of Carter Cushing. This is a decent sized man, nearing 60. He is preparing to shave in a fairly large wash room that has several attendants. While alone… completely, 100% alone for some reason, with no attendants anywhere in earshot… Lucille sneaks in (a woman in a men’s room in the 19th century) and is able to slam Cushing’s head against a sink not once but several times, literally crushing in the skull in more than one spot. Then, he is left dead on the floor, blood everywhere. She magically slips out. Then, no one wants to investigate the death. Everyone, except Dr. McMichael, believes Cushing slipped and hit his head….. half a dozen times and hard enough to not just knock himself out, or split his head open, but to literally crush an entire chunk of the skull, exposing the brain. Alright, let’s put that aside. Then, Edith quickly sells everything she and her father owned, marries Thomas and moves across the Atlantic, when not a week before, she was desperately trying to get her memoir published using every connection she had. Why did she give everything up so quickly? She was hurt and sad, of course, but she seemed very conscious and alert by the time she arrived in England. This decision seemed completely inconsistent with a character we are to believe is intelligent and level headed, though stubborn.  Finally, everything is so contrived. They sell clay which turns the snow red which is why it’s called Crimson Peak. It’s the dead of winter, so the Post Office is closed and that’s the only building anywhere near Crimson Peak. No police officials or lawyers want to investigate the violent death of one of the most prominent men in the city but the doctor who just got back in town is a resident Sherlock Holmes… which is also referenced early in the film for, I suppose, foreshadowing. Everything is so heavy handed. Edith’s memoir includes ghosts but it’s not a ghost story. The ghosts are just a metaphor for the past. Guess what? That’s actually the synopsis for the film she is in. Crimson Peak has ghosts but it’s not a ghost story. They are there to warn about the past.

Crimson Peak Conclusion

Crimson Peak Sharpe Family

In the end, it’s a wonderfully beautiful film that falls flat for its contrived, heavy handed, ridiculous plot. The actors are solid with Chastain stealing the show. If you love horror films, you might enjoy some aspects of this movie but if you take a minute to think about the plot and everything that it takes to get you to the climax and resolution, you’ll realize that this is a poorly orchestrated story.

I give it 2 poisoned cups of tea out of 5.

What did you think of Crimson Peak? Comment below with your thoughts!

Crimson Peak: A Spoiler-Filled Review