For one crazy moment I thought I was sitting down to blog about something for the second time. I looked at the CultureWitch page and saw the name Thor, and was surprised because I couldn’t recall having blogged about the film Thor already. I hadn’t. There was a Thor in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Shortly afterwards when Daughter insisted on watching a film, we were somehow coerced into choosing Thor. It was all right. In fact, as entertainment it was perfectly fine. I suffered an elderly moment when I had to ask what Thor’s brother’s name was. I knew I knew. I just couldn’t find it in that dark cave where I keep my information. Loki.
Naturally. I didn’t like him in The Avengers, and he was no better before (seeing as I appear to watch the films backwards). I’m not much of a fan of blondes, but I preferred Chris Hemsworth to Tom Hiddleston. And I never quite know where I am with Stellan Skarsgård.
It makes a change to have an action film featuring Norse gods, as opposed to modern agents or aliens and that sort of thing. I just don’t have a lot of enthusiasm for Norse gods. But I reckon I can manage to watch the other films (whatever they are, because I am not keeping track). Captain America was fine. Yes, it clearly has something to do with who plays the hero.
And there is always humour in the outsider’s baffled reaction to what we believe is normal.
I remember reading about the original Danish film Brødre, and deciding I could never watch it. The mere thought of two brothers fighting over the same woman, when the one who’s married to her goes missing, presumed dead, at war, and the other no-good drifter gets friendly with his sister-in-law was too much. I thought much the same after seeing the trailers for the American version of the story, but found to my ‘relief’ that it was more than just two brothers wanting the same girl.
It’s fairly potent stuff, and the kind that leaves you knowing there is no right or wrong solution for anything like this. History repeats itself as father Sam Shepard’s behaviour towards his sons after Vietnam, comes back with a vengeance when Tobey Maguire miraculously returns from Afghanistan. He’s a changed man, and whereas we liked him best to begin with, we’d rather see the last of him towards the end. Or do we?
His daughters certainly do. They are scared of what he has become (at the hands of Omid Abtahi, who seems to specialise in this kind of character), and uncle Jake Gyllenhaal seems so much more safe and friendly. It’s ironic that both brothers have done something bad by the end, and both have been the ‘good guy.’
Bailee Madison as the older of the two daughters is fantastic. It almost comes as a shock to find a young girl actress who can act.
This is a surprisingly good American copy of a Scandinavian film; something I always complain about. It manages to feel real, rather than glitzy.
At Cornerhouse this week.