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November 15th, 2013

Movie Review - Thor: The Dark World

Thor: The Dark World

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tim Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Idris Elba, Jaimie Alexander, Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Rene Russo, Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård, and more.

Directed by: Alan Taylor Screenplay by: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely Story by: Don Payne and Robert Rodat Based on the Comics by: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby Cinematography by: Kramer Morgenthau Original Music by: Brian Tyler

Premise: Over five thousand years ago, though the time of darkness drew to a close, the dark elves discovered a way to return the universe to how it had been before. Stopped after a bloody war by Odin's father, the dark elves and the aether weapon they'd hoped to use were long thought destroyed. As a new convergence of the nine worlds nears, Jane Foster stumbles upon the fact neither is actually gone. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as the hammer weilding Thor. He's matured in the two years since his first arrival on earth and that maturity comes across easily thanks to Chris' skills. Natalie Portman also returns as Jane Foster. I loved all the weird quirkiness of the character, and it was a lot of fun watching her child like fascination as she gazed upon the people and wonders of Asgard, and 'geeking out' over the science. Tim Hiddleston gives great range to all that is Loki, a character as mercurial as the aether they seek to keep from the dark elves' grasp. Chris Eccleston brought a grave air to his portrayal of Malekith, even as Anthony Hopkins mirrored him in his fury to keep his way of life, even if it took every last living soul to do so.

2)  Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Tons of special effects work their magic through the film. From the super cool dark elf ships to the awesome grandeur of the convergence, the special effects team didn't disappoint.

I was very happy they took time to show us more of Asgard. The Asgardians' ceremony for dead was impressive. Even better, they didn't forget, as so many movies and TV shows do, that the headliner wasn't the only one to lose their life. The gorgeous ceremony looked like an amalgamation of viking/Norse, and Japanese traditions. Gorgeous.

The workings of Asgard's defenses were totally fun to watch, but even more so were the cool fighters of the dark elves. The technologies of the two races as well as the 'look and feel' were different from each other, reinforcing their separation, and the dark vs. light aspect of the story. The dark elf grenades were super nasty! They also made for some very cool visuals.

3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: The story was always moving. Even in parts where you'd expect the action to slow down, they managed to do things in such a way that it kept moving forwards instead. The story also had tons of cute moments - quirky and/or funny bits that added layers of fun. One of them was an unexpected Captain America cameo - funny and unexpected yet totally fit the moment. Jane's dinner date was another.

The themes of family and responsibility are woven throughout, as well as that of stubbornness and resistance to change. They gave Heimdall some great scenes to play in!

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: The stunt guys were kept very busy in the film. There is a ton of hand-to-hand combat, getting thrown, falling, rolling. The whole department was very busy indeed.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Whether real or CGI, the cinematography was fantastic. The view during the ceremony for the dead, the close and intimate shots of Asgard, watching the dark elf ship cut furrows in Greenwich, the convergence of the nine worlds, and more - gorgeous! The film is worth watching just for the locations and beautiful shots alone. Wait until you see Thor's view from his bedroom or Heimdall's at his post - food for the eyes.

6) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: Each race and world had their own unique styles of clothing, armor, and even hair styles. Half the fun of watching Jane in Asgard was seeing her go native.

Conclusion: "Thor: The Dark World" easily outdoes the first"Thor" film. The movie is constantly moving and with the fun, quirky bits they throw in, totally entertaining. IMAX, if not IMAX 3D, would be well worth it for the great visuals. Make sure to sit through the ENTIRE set of credits. We get two extra bits, and one is at the very end.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Paying Full Price to See Again)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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