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Mad about movies

City Times takes to the multiplexes to find out what’s in store for movie buffs this week

By Davina Raisinghani (davina@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Thu 28 Apr 2011, 11:29 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:02 AM

Thor

WHEN ANTHONY HOPKINS and Chris Hemsworth came face to face dressed in their Thor armour suits for the first time, Hopkins remarked, “God, there’s no acting required here, is there?” Nevertheless, both their performances in this screen adaptation of the Marvel Comics classic have garnered critical acclaim.

After almost two decades of being stuck in ‘development hell’ (the project went through several cast, crew and script changes during this time) the job of directing Thor went to Kenneth Branagh. Starring alongside Hemsworth and Hopkins are Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård and Rene Russo.

The plot follows the skilled but arrogant warrior and God of Thunder Thor (Hemsworth) as he is banished from his home in Asgard by his father (Hopkins) and sent to Earth sans his magical hammer where he meets scientist Jane Foster (Portman). Now, Thor has to prove his worth as the next in line to the throne.

Megan Lehmann writes in her review of the 114-minute film for The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s a noisy, universe-rattling spectacle full of sound and fury with a suitably epic design, solid digital effects and a healthy respect for the comic-book lore”.

The box office figures of Thor, which has so far only been released in Australia, have surpassed that of Iron Man in its opening weekend. The movie opens in the US on May 6.

Trivia:

· Jim Carrey and Gemma Arterton were considered for the roles of Loki and Jane Foster, respectively. Meanwhile, Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum and eventually Daniel Craig were the first choices to play Thor at different stages during the production, however the final selection came down to between brothers Chris and Liam Hemsworth.

· In preparation for Thor, Chris Hemsworth went through a six-month regime to put on weight. His diet included eggs, chicken, sandwiches, vegetables, brown rice, steak and protein drinks coupled with a regular gym routine.

Tamara Drewe

IT’S YOUR CLASSIC ugly-duckling-turns-swan story, but with an entertaining twist: now, the swan’s so gorgeous, she’s stuck with attention from every man in her hometown and inspires hatred in practically every woman she encounters. The result? This week’s release, British comedy Tamara Drewe.

Helmed by director Stepher Frears (The Queen and High Fidelity), the features stars an ensemble cast of Gemma Arterton, Roger Allam, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans, Tamsin Greig and Jessica Barden.

Based on The Guardian’s comic strip-turned-graphic novel by Posy Simmonds, who in turn was inspired by Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, Tamara Drewe follows the exploits of the title character (Arterton) as she returns post-plastic surgery to her village to sell off her mother’s house. However, her glamorous job as a newspaper columnist and pretty looks lands her in the most chaotic situation she has ever been in.

Popular critic Roger Ebert writes in his review of the 111-minute film for the Chicago-Sun Times, “Tamara Drewe resembles another British village comedy, Local Hero in which everyone lived in each other’s pockets. Its director is Stephen Frears, a master of many genres. Here he knows exactly what he’s dealing with: foolish and flawed people who harbor desires that may not be good for them.”

Trivia:

· Gemma Arterton has claimed in several interviews that she was extremely uncomfortable wearing the character’s signature hot pants for her introductory scene in Tamara Drewe but had to so for the punch line at the end of the scene to work.

· For Tamara Drewe’s pre-nose job flashbacks, Arterton had to put on a prosthetic nose, an unflattering wig and a school uniform. The actress notes that pictures of her in the get-up “freaked out” her husband when he first saw them.

Daft about DVDs

With two comic characters finding their way to the big screen this weekend, this time’s theme for our recommended rentals is, you guessed it, comic book films

1. SpiderMan (2002)

2. Sin City (2005)

3. V for Vendetta (2005)

4. Batman Begins (2005)

5. Iron Man (2008)

6. Incredible Hulk (2008)

7. The Dark Knight (2008)

8. Watchmen (2009)



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