And more from our Liz: Lindsay Lohan throws in the towel as her “last chance” looms … Obama’s British code name … Sarah Silverman and Mamie Gummer soar in “The Good Wife”
“NOBODY IN America, in the modern generation, has read their mythology and legends,” said Kenneth Anger.
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I DON’T know when Mr. Anger remarked upon the dearth of mythology knowledge, but maybe movies like the current smash hit “Thor” might lure a few kids away from video games and comic books.
It’s a hard call, because “Thor” is a mix of Norse mythology and the imaginations of the guys at Marvel comics. Not to mention the overwhelming, sometimes headache-making miracles of CGI and 3-D.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, there is so much happening in “Thor” it’s hard to make sense of it. It looks great, but it also looks like every other “epic’ movie made today. Nothing appears quite real, and you know a good deal of what you’re seeing and what the actors are relating to was invented in the editing room. Personally, I couldn’t stand the 3-G glasses and took them off halfway through. I can’t say I felt I missed anything.
Here’s what I did like — the two hot leads, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, his brother and eventual nemesis. Both young men manage to overcome the overblown fantasy aspects of the movie. They’ll be more appealing as mere mortals in future films. Unless “Thor” becomes a franchise. (Hiddleston will be seen in the new Woody Allen film, “Midnight in Paris” and Hemsworth has “Red Dawn” and “Snow White and the Huntsman” on the way.)
Anthony Hopkins appears as Odin, Thor and Loki’s father. He is Anthony Hopkins doing Anthony Hopkins. And Natalie Portman looks lovely as Jane, one of the humans who becomes involved with the mythological creatures. (Don’t ask.) Miss Portman won the Oscar for her intense performance in “Black Swan.” However, since then she has been seen in “No Strings Attached” (flop romantic comedy), “Your Highness” (flop medieval parody) and now “Thor,” which is a hit. But her presence herein is negligible. After the birth of her baby this summer Portman needs to take time off and try to navigate her way out of the rocky shoals of the “Oscar curse.”
“Thor” isn’t a bore. But … it’s no “Game of Thrones.” That someplace-in-the-Middle-Ages fantasy HBO series gets better each week.
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AL PACINO and Joe Pesci have reportedly signed on to co-star with John Travolta in the coming “Gotti Family” movie.
This movie is shaping up impressively and I believe that it is the reason Lindsay Lohan threw in the towel, pled “no contest” to that snafu with a diamond necklace and did not argue her jail sentence (120 days — but sure to be reduced and/or served at home.) She did not argue her 480 hours of community service … or the three-year probation on the theft charges. She will undergo shoplifting counseling and other therapy. Alcohol is still a problem.
For all Lindsay’s issues of entitlement, even she knows this Gotti movie could be her last chance. She still wants what she wanted when she was a beautiful 15-year-old: to be a movie star and a good actress. Perhaps, like her idol Marilyn Monroe, she believes if she can achieve this, she can “complete” herself as a human being as well; that certain emotional problems will be solved.
Alas, at the end, Monroe admitted she’d gotten it wrong — to complete herself as a person should have come first. Only then could she find herself as an actress. But she never lived to test this theory out.
Much better luck to Miss Lohan.
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READING in the British newspapers! The code name selected for President Obama when he makes his first state visit to Great Britain any minute turns out to be “Chalaque.” As this is a Punjabi word used to describe someone who is “cheeky, sharp, crafty and too clever for his own good,” it will now doubtless be changed … In Ireland at the rural village of Moneygall, you can sit in pubs next to lifesized cutouts of the President. He will visit to find his Irish roots later this month. (There was a relative named Holloway who was the great-great-great grandfather to our President. And the Irish are singing, “O’Leary, O’Reilly, O’Hare and O’Hara, there’s no one as Irish as Barack Obama.”)
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AND NOW something entirely different—Meredith and Tom Brokaw are hosting a private screening for the Sundance Film Festival documentary film titled “Buck” on May 17th in New York.
The “hero” of this film, about a true horse-whisperer named Buck Brannarian, will reaffirm New
Yorkers in their love of horses. The director, Cindy Meehl, will also be on hand.
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I LOVED Sarah Silverman in her serious acting debut as the creator of a kind of porn site for those of sexual-like-mindedness on the recent “The Good Wife.” I thought the comedienne and dirty-talker was just right as somebody you both rooted for and detested. She came across with lots of reality.
And not far behind her, actress/daughter of Meryl Streep – Mamie Gummer – who enacted a perfectly hateful and hypocritical defense attorney.
I can’t wait to see how this murder case comes out!
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VISITORS TO THE Cannes Film Festival find that the fashion house of Chanel has stolen a march on the red carpet movies. Chanel opened a pop-up shop right opposite the Festival’s entrance. This displays Chanel’s latest collection and is a mecca for the well-heeled and for movie stars in general. Chanel also opened up at the luxurious Hotel du Cap in Antibes, where the Chanel Cruise 2011-2012 show was held. This was followed by a Karl Lagerfeld documentary. Fashion has always melded with the movies, never more so than now.