Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm Tho Thore!

That's Riccardo Fachetti's Frazetta-esque painting of the Norse deity Thor defeating the Ice Giants with his hammer. It is from him that we get the word "Thursday" and also the Marvel comic of the same name. Tho why am I tho thore?

For about three hours today, the trailer for the new movie starring Aussie Chris Hemsworth (glimpsed briefly as James T. Kirk's doomed daddy in last year's Star Trek) was up for viewing all over the web. Directed by Kenneth Branagh (yes, Hamlet*; Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the underrated, noirish reincarnation thriller Dead Again), Thor also stars Natalie Portman; Anthony Hopkins; Idris Elba; Stellan Skarsgard; Rene Russo; Clark Gregg and Colm Feore in yet another superhero origins tale, all leading up to Marvel's gigantic, multi-hero epic The Avengers** in 2012. It has been removed from every single site I searched. "Removed at request of copyright holder," was the most common message. And it sucks, because I really wanted to share it with you.

Interestingly, the trailer starts with what I've just noticed is a sort of Marvel meme: our hero (or more often, villain) is seen escaping from being strapped down to a hospital-type table and taking on several doctors, nurses, orderlies and/or assorted paramilitary type behemoths. It then moves on to Asgard, where King of the gods Odin (Hopkins) is seen exiling Thor to Earth for treason. And Branagh's vision of Asgaard certainly appeared spectacular, with soaring golden towers and lots of sparkling Nordic armor. Thor must prove himself a hero on Earth before he can regain his father's favor (and throne).

The Mighty Thor was not a major character in my super-hero canon; I was more of a DC Justice League kind of boy. I knew Thor existed, but he wasn't one of my favorites. My best memory of the character is his pseudo-appearance in the '80's comedy Adventures in Babysitting.

The now-removed Thor trailer was pretty danged awesome. I hope you had a chance to see it. I'll post it as soon as it's available again. Just the sight of Hemsworth's exposed pelvis was enough to make me want to see it -- I know... TMI, Uncle P.

I'm seeing Dinner for Schmucks tomorrow with D. You can expect my review. Personally, I think it looks friggin' hilarious. Plus, it has Paul...

And since I can't seem to get enough Paul lately, here's a silly little thing he did with the also underrated (and gorgeous) Famke Janssen:

Damn, that man is boy-next-door gorgeous and hilariously talented! I hate him! I want him.!I hate him! I want to be him... (no, not really - just me; as famous, gorgeous and talented as he is, with him on my arm -- Hey! A boy can dream, can't he?).

And finally, I have had confirmation that I will be directing for Shakespeare '70 again this fall, though with a rather different kind of play for me. It's Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, a play ostensibly about women making their way in a man's world. "But Uncle P, what would you know about that? " Well, I think I can relate, as a gay man who has had to make his was in a straight world, I certainly understand the feeling of being treated as a 2nd class citizen and the things I've done and sacrificed in order to not only survive, but also to thrive in an overwhelmingly hostile environment.

Of course, as with any good piece, it's about so much more than that. Churchill is probably best known for her 1982 Obie-winning play Cloud Nine. It is the first time Your's Truly will be directing an all-female cast, and the first time in 5 years that I'll be directing a play without D in it. It's a complex and fascinating piece and with the right cast, has the potential to be phenomenal. I haven't felt this challenged by a piece since the last time I directed for them, but Q is once-again my producer/right-hand and I think together we'll make something extraordinary. We always seem to. One of the five billion and four reasons I love her so much.

Well, enough stream-of-conscientiousness for tonight. I had a rough one last night (a long story for another post, someday -- maybe) and I'm very tired. I really wish I could have shared that trailer with you. Maybe this will make up for it:

More, anon.

*Featuring some truly odd casting and the great Jack Lemmon's most deer-in-the-headlights film performance.

**The cast of Joss "Buffy/Firefly/Dollhouse" Whedon's film was introduced at last week's ComiCon in San Diego, to what was reported to be rabidly positive fanperson response. I'm also breathlessly awaiting for Ryan's Green Lantern, but that's just me...

Uncle P

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