Brandon’s Entertainment Reviews for the week of July 10th, 2022:
Thor: Love & Thunder
In Theaters Now
Chris Hemsworth returns in the latest Marvel installment, Thor: Love & Thunder, directed by the beloved Taiki Waititi and Natalie Portman makes her return since appearing in the original Thor released in 2011. If you’ve watched the trailer, you have pretty much watched the movie. While I felt entertained overall, with some laughs (nothing uproariously funny) and very little emotion (despite one of the main characters having stage 4 cancer), I don’t feel the need to rush back to watch it again. In fact, this Marvel movie will likely rank on the lower end of the superhero spectrum. It still gets a thumbs up from me, despite that, for providing entertainment enough to escape reality for two hours. Natalie Portman becomes lady Thor, Chris Hemsworth exposes his naked ass for all to see, Christian Bale plays a formidable bad guy (but I’d argue that he was scarier when yelling at the lighting guy on the set of Terminator Salvation), a very chunky Russell Crowe plays a hilarious hedonistic version of Zeus, and in the climax fight scene, Thor enlists a gaggle of children to temporarily wield the power of Thor to help in the battle. A little girl uses her stuffed bunny to shoot lightning bolts from its eyes to battle shadow demons. It’s funnier in the moment, trust me. Notes of cheesiness, hints of heart, loads of action, and screaming goats provided recurring laughter. Thumbs up!
Stranger Things: Season 4
Streaming on Netflix
Unpopular opinion: the song “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush is annoying and is not nearly as good as everyone thinks it is. While I understand the role that this song plays in Stranger Things: Season 4, I do not believe that it deserves to be revived as a popular hit. I’ve heard it on local alternative radio stations, over a PA system at a major concert prior to the artist hitting the stage, as well as grocery stores. Kate Bush’s “hit” is inescapable, and I predict that it will exit as quickly as it entered the zeitgeist. On the other hand, I’m thrilled that Kate Bush (who wrote, produced, owns the original copyrights to her songs, etc.) is making a fortune since originally releasing this song in 1986 and its resurgence thanks to Stranger Things. Get that money!
The whole world has seen the latest season of Stranger Things it seems, and it really is as good as the advertisements say. Being a fan of all of the seasons released so far, I feel like this latest season is more mature and acts as the main course to all of the appetizers in previous seasons. Maturity in the characters, in the plot, in the music selections (ahem, for the most part), and it has the ability to keep you totally sucked into every episode. I love the reveal of Vecna (the ultimate villain) and how his back story is slowly revealed through Volume 1 of Season 4. While I wasn’t a fan of him at first, the introduction of the new character/fan favorite Eddie Munson (who’s performance of a familiar Metallica song completely steals the show in Volume 2), becomes one of the best parts of the new season. The interactions with Hopper (who is trapped in a Russian prison) and the Russian prison guard Enzo should get a spin off of its own. Argyle, the long haired pizza guy/stoner, is outstanding and he should also get his own spin off as well. Overall, I give Season 4 of Stranger Things a big thumbs up!