Monthly Archives: May 2011

Review: Thor


So… Thor.

Let me tell you… my back was so Thor after I spent all that time sitting in the theater.

Thank you! Tip your waiters!

Okay, seriously. I saw Thor tonight. And it scared me.

No, it’s not a scary movie. I’m not sure I even jumped once, except in excitement at how cool what was going on looked. There was a lot of work put into the visuals of this film. A LOT. Some of those big action scenes should, by all rights, have looked totally cheesy – and for the most part, they didn’t. That’s impressive. (The standout exception, IMO, was Thor creating the tornado, which didn’t look right to me.) As someone who has never read a single Thor comic, and has rarely seen Thor portrayed as a guest in any animation, I think they nailed the look of this thing.

The battle with the Frost Giants at the beginning – pure awesomeness. I could have watched that part three times through. Collossally cool “finality” with the big beast at the end of it, too. The entire audience went “WHOA!” and justifiably so.

(As an aside, I have to say that I really enjoyed seeing this with a holiday audience. Everyone was there for fun and was respectful of others, and responded well to the film, laughing at the right spots, cheering when appropriate, and quiet otherwise. Completely reminded me why I love the theater experience. I did, however, miss my wife being there (I went alone this time).)

Anyway… it looked great. I also liked the cameos. J. Michael Straczynski got one as the guy to discover the hammer, and Stan Lee of course showed up as well – and got a good line, to boot. All good fun.

But then we get to the story. The strongest part was that involving Asgard and the Frost Giants, and the establishment of that universe. I was honestly intrigued by all that – though really I’m a little disappointed that even there details are glossed over (but I understand we have time constraints and need to move forward). Then we got to Earth. And really… aside from some humor and a couple of decent action scenes, I wasn’t all that impressed. Thor was supposed to “become worthy” by learning humility and leadership on Earth, and he was apparently learning it from, and through caring for, Natalie Portman’s character (Jane? For all the screen time they gave her she didn’t seem to do a lot of any importance). But I didn’t feel it – and that’s something this movie really needed… for me to feel it. I didn’t feel the love, I didn’t feel the hate, I didn’t feel the jeopardy (except during the Frost Giant bit at the beginning)… it was just a fun, cool enough movie to watch. Visually stunning, definitely, but not truly engaging.

And that’s where I really started getting scared. I wasn’t engaged with this. And the character for whom I most wanted to be engaged and wasn’t, was Loki. The bad guy. And that’s a really bad thing, because he’s the guy that’s [SPOILER ALERT] going to be the bad guy in The Avengers movie.

It’s been said that superheroes are only as good as their nemesis. If that’s true, The Avengers is destined to fail – at least for me. It’s already saddled with trying to engage a large number of superheroes in a short time (we all know how well that works with multiple super-villains, right?). Now it’s got to contend with a villain I don’t really care about?

It’s possible that the core of my feelings are similar to Dan’s on this one – in that I think we’re just supposed to accept the “god-like magic” of Loki, more so than any other character, and I dislike that. Everyone else at least has some kind of talisman or tool – most notably Thor’s hammer – that is a “powered” object that character can use. I didn’t really see that with Loki. What is his method of doing what he does? It seems to just come from within him… to be part of his nature. There were a few other little things along those lines, but it seemed more important to me in relation to Loki for some reason.

And what the heck was with that Destroyer robot/entity/thingy? Looked cool and kind of formidable, but big nasty major power? nah. Plus it was remote-controlled by stereotypical-villain-guy. No threat.

So, the villain didn’t work for me, the love story seemed virtually non-existent to me, and overall the story was a bit choppy. But guess what? I still enjoyed it. Not as much as Iron Man, Nolan’s Batman films, or Spider-man 1 or 2, but I thought it was worth seeing in the theater. Those effects were very cool, and there were some genuinely funny and exciting moments.

I’m going for the exceptionally rare 3-1/4 stars out of 5 for this one.


I got up this morning and read an email that referred to a comment made on Twitter… that’s a Tweet, for those who’ve been under a technological rock for the past few years.

I don’t really know why I did it, but I went out and created a Twitter account (@caddickisms, if you’re curious). I’m now “following” a couple of people and a few celebrities. I’ve already unfollowed one of them. I’ve created a list of those people who “make the cut” and left the rest in the openness of limbo while I decide whether or not I want to keep following them.

And of course I’ve tweeted my first tweet.

So I pretty much feel like I’ve had the full experience. What’s left?

Oh, the community. Right. Well, that part’s up to you guys. Follow me if you’d like. Write good tweets that prove to me that Twitter is a worthwhile thing.

I’ve avoided creating a Twitter account for a long time now for a few reasons:

  1. It’s just something else to keep track of.
  2. I don’t have a cell phone, so it kind of loses some of the immediacy for me.
  3. There’s no real draw that I can identify.

So, despite those things, I’ve created an account, and now I need to figure out what to do with it. I could post things that I come across and don’t quite make the cut for the blog here. Or I could just post about my blog posts. Or I could just tweet random things that come up. Not sure which way I’ll go with it.

I think the level of my addiction will really depend on you, though. Are you more likely to comment on Twitter than on here? That may pull me a little into Twitter.

So do your job: make me like Twitter… if you can.

Revisitation and new worlds

I’m going to revisit a couple of topics discussed here recently and then we’ll hit some new topics.

Well, after my last post I finished watching The Event. I stick with what I said about it, except for this: they did finally manage to make the title relevant, and they alluded to more about the “protectors” that showed they really did have some kind of plan. I like that they had been here before (guess that makes them “revisitors”) and that they left because of some fears about the “event” – I think that would have been really interesting to explore more, and if they’d pulled that thread in earlier it might have helped the show. Bringing that whole planet through? Very cool looking effect, but… no. It would rip both planets apart. The reveal about the First Lady? Not so much of a reveal. More like a “thanks for admitting it.” Though as my wife pointed out, it does reveal some of the silliness of the writing. Certainly she’d have been much more effective than all this rigmarole with Jarvis if the goal was to get Elias out of the way.

In the end, I do think it would be interesting to see where they would take it, but again, not too upset it’s cancelled.

Now, to revisit Green Lantern. Yes, again. They’ve released a new trailer:

I think this is the best trailer they’ve put out. It focuses less on the humor and more on the plot, with an important addition of setting context in explaining the universe. One of the complaints about the movie I’ve heard is that non-geeks won’t get it. Part of that, I think, is that they don’t understand the setting. There’s a lot of history to the Green Lantern universe that’s kind of important to understand for this film, apparently, and I think the voice-over here helps. It may be that it took too long for this context setting trailer to appear and it won’t make a big difference because people may have already checked out of this film, but I think they’re heading in the right direction with this trailer. Hopefully it piques some more interest in a few of you.

On to new worlds…. or more precisely, new trailers.

Torchwood: Miracle Day finally has a proper trailer.

I’m a little torn, honestly. I don’t know if it’s the settings or the large influx of American accents – or maybe the people at Starz got a little too involved – but it doesn’t feel as British as it should. That said, I think the plot looks intriguing and I love Gwen’s stinger at the end of the trailer.  Plus it looks like they’ve upped the effects budget, which is nice. And if I remember correctly, I didn’t really like the trailer for the last Torchwood mini-series but the show blew me away. If I can figure out how to watch this (given I don’t have Starz) I will.

I’m in the opposite position for the next trailer… I like the trailer but I’m wary about the film.

This looks from the trailer like it could turn out to be a really good Muppets movie. Very self-aware and self-referential, funny, and energetic. But there’s also something about the doe-eyed acting that’s worrisome. For some reason I’m getting flashes of the Rocky and Bullwinkle movie, and that’s not a great thing. But then there’s also the fact that the plot revolves around saving the Muppets Theater (though that’s not at all obvious in the trailer) which I think is a great idea. I’m looking forward to more on this one.

Super-Review: Cancelled shows

Lots of series finales showed up this year. Some of them were only supposed to be season finales, but the shows were cancelled. Most of the time, they didn’t know they were being cancelled when the finale was filmed, which leaves us fans in a bit of a pickle, dealing with completely open-ended stories – and even full-on cliffhangers. But this is where we find ourselves, and there’s nothing to be done about it except talk. So… here are my thoughts on how these shows ended, for better or worse – and yes, there will be spoilers.


After a 10 year run, this series came to a close on its own terms. The “no tights, no flights” dictum was finally lifted as Clark took hold of his destiny and finally became Superman. There were a couple of surprises along the way, both good and bad. Lex’s return was handled differently than I thought, but I liked his final scene with Clark. I think it kept with the tone of the show very well. Once again, though, I’m a little disappointed in how they dealt with the “big bad” in the end. They did a great lead-up to a pretty lackluster battle. Basically one punch (though it was a heck of a punch), is not what I was looking for there. And Superman pushing an entire planet? Nah. I liked that he wore the suit, but there still must have been some problems with that, because you never really see him in it except in a blur or at a large distance. Visually, I loved what they did with Apokolips and Darkseid, but the Superman bit – the bit we waited 10 years for – was unfortunately a little underplayed.

I should probably write a whole post just on this one… we’ll see how that goes later. For now, I’ll leave it with this: not everything I hoped for, but really what I hoped for was probably outside their budget.

Human Target

This one was cancelled long after the season finale aired. Maybe they had a sense it would be axed, though, because there’s really no cliff-hanger to speak of here. Things wrap up with a sense of short-term completion and a “more adventures were had” kind of attitude. I really enjoyed this show, and I’m sad to see it gone, though I think the first season was much better than the second, and held more potential. Guerrero… I think I’ll miss him the most.

No Ordinary Family

I really enjoyed this show. I don’t get why it received such a ‘meh’ attitude. Yeah, it was not “Heroes, Season 1” style, but it was a fun show, respectful of its own genre, and had a good sense of humor. The characters were good. I enjoyed the old fashioned “good vs. evil” straight-forward take it had. It wasn’t shooting for any Emmys – it was just after a good, light entertaining story. And I really liked Katie and all her geek references. Again, sad to see it go.

Stargate: Universe

When I first heard of this show, I called it “Stargate: Voyager” and in some ways I still think that was justified. But while Star Trek: Voyager got sillier as it went, SG:U improved by leaps and bounds. It started off so different than its parent series that I think it lost a lot of audience not long out of the gate (pun intended). The writers were too stubborn in sticking to their new take despite the backlash at the beginning. When they finally listened and started fixing it, the damage was done and when it really started firing on all cylinders it was too late. So now we’re in a position where a truly excellent show is gone. If they’d have cancelled it after the first season, I would have been a little disappointed. Now I’m really sad we won’t get to see more. What they did in that last 5 or 6 episodes was really great and changed the whole game. It’s a shame it got cancelled before they aired.

The Event

You know why this image is blurry? Because that's how the writers saw the plot.

I’m really unsure where I stand on this one. I’ve enjoyed watching it, but at the same time it’s frustrated me that it’s not a better show. There’s an awful lot of foreshadowing of nothing. What happened to the aliens knowing what “event” was coming? They didn’t seem to have any real foreknowledge of anything. This whole subplot of generations of protectors didn’t seem to go anywhere either.

I guess I’m not too disappointed they cancelled it, but I wish it could have had a proper ending.* And maybe something that justified it being called “The Event.”

* Okay, technically I haven’t seen the last 2 episodes yet, so maybe a couple things will be answered in the last few episodes, but come on… I’m betting it doesn’t have a proper ending.

So what shows are you going to miss?

2011 Movies to Drool Over

I’m a bit behind in putting up my movie list for this year.

Last year’s list was full of promise, but I only got to see 4 of the 21 listed films in the theater. I’ve since brought the total up to 11 with the help of DVDs. I hope to catch the 12th (Voyage of the Dawn Treader) on DVD next week. I’m still annoyed that I missed that one.

And once again this year I’ve already missed some that I wanted to see. Limitless and Source Code looked really good, for example. On the other hand, I’m perfectly comfortable having skipped The Green Hornet (but I still want to see it on DVD). I am Number 4 was on the fence for me, but I am looking forward to the DVD. I’m disappointed I didn’t get to The Adjustment Bureau; that one looked like a Twilight Zone episode. Super, Paul, and Battle: Los Angeles are all on the “if it comes up” list. I’m kinda interested in Atlas Shrugged and The Consipirator, too, but not enough to spend theater bucks.

But that’s all in the past. Looking forward from today, these are my “movies of interest”:

Thor – yeah. In the theater, please.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – probably DVD, but I wouldn’t mind catching it in the theater.

X-Men: First Class – on the fence, but I’m thinking it’ll be a theater movie.

Super 8 – totally want to see this in the theater. Really looking forward to it. Spielberg and Abrams working together, and apparently at the tops of their games? Oh, yeah.

Green Lantern – Theater, easily. If I miss it there I gotta wait until it’s on DVD and watch it at Mike’s house on his mammoth screen. My TV won’t do it justice.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon – despite my dislike of the entire Transformers movie series, I’m still tempted to see this on the big screen. I feel like such a hypocrite.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 – Theater. No doubt. It just looks fantastic.

Captain America – Again, theater is a must. This is working out to be a really expensive summer.

Cowboys and Aliens – Theater if I can, DVD if I have to.

Smurfs – I’ll be smurfed if I step foot into the theater for this smurfing movie, or use my money to rent a DVD. The only way I’ll see it is if it’s on TV when I walk by.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Hmmm… tough call on this one. Leaning towards theater, but if I’m being realistic it’ll probably be DVD – but only because there are so many others that must be in the theater.

Conan the Barbarian – DVD only. Mostly intrigued because Arnie’s replacement is “Ronan” from Stargate: Atlantis (Jason Momoa).

The Three Musketeers – intrigued, but it looks a little darker than I expected. On the other hand, I love me a good sword-play flick. It’ll be tough to pass this one up in the theater.

Contagion – so far all I know is who’s in it (Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne), but it’s one to look into.

Puss in Boots – probably DVD, if that, despite what I said in the podcast.

The Muppets – I hope this is good. We need another good Muppets movie. And I’d love to be able to take my kids to a film this year.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – I forgot they were making this! I liked the first one. I’ll see a sequel. Preferably in the theater, but this one may end up grudgingly on DVD.

(Some of these I’ve talked about with Lee Sargent on the most recent edition of my podcast. Take a listen… if you dare.)

So… 10 that I’ll catch in the theater if at all possible, 5 of which will upset me if I have to wait for DVD. And most of them are packed into just a couple of months. This does not bode well for the odds of me catching them all.

Those are probably most of the major players in the theater this year. Which ones are you looking forward to? Which ones did I miss?

We’re back, and better than ever in “We’re back, and better than ever!”

I know you didn’t notice, but I did. This site was down for about 20 hours due to a glitch that showed I had overspent my bandwidth allocation. I hadn’t, but that didn’t stop them from taking my site down.

Anyway… we’re back now.

And we are, in fact, better than ever! I’ve joined the mere thousands upon thousands of sites listed on iTunes!

Yes, that’s right, you can now find the TIDBABSH podcast on iTunes.

This seems like a perfect opportunity to say how much I hate iTunes. I really dislike it. The software (at least the Windows version) is a memory hog. Updates are a pain in the neck. It’s slow to respond. The “security” features are annoying.

But hey… if that’s how you roll, who am I to stand in your virtual way? Feel free to go subscribe to TIDBABSH there. I won’t hold it against you.

And since you’re over there anyway… how ’bout tossing up a rating? Be honest… unless it’s a low rating, in which case feel free to lie.

TIDBABSH 2: Part 2: Return of The Australian

If you thought he was gone, you weren’t paying attention.

He’s back! He’s opinionated! He’s Australian! He’s spent more time thinking about pop culture than is probably healthy!

And that last bit actually pays off in this, the second half of our conversation, as Lee Sargent and I concentrate on pop culture and movie/TV news and rumors, including a run down of why Wonder Woman’s shorts are annoying, which Pixar films shouldn’t get sequels (but are), and two super-hero showdowns!  (listen to part 1 for the beginning of the exciting discussion).

To be specific, we get into these items (and of course, ramble about other related things):

You might want to take a look at any of those trailers you haven’t seen yet for some context before you listen. There’s some good stuff there!

Done yet? No? That’s okay, we’ll wait.

No, seriously… take your time.

Alright then, just click play. You know you want to! Leave your thoughts in the comments! And don’t forget to visit Lee at Quit Your Day Job and Lee and Dan’s Midnight Movie Club podcast.