May 6, 2011, - 7:56 pm

Wknd Box Office: Thor, Something Borrowed, Winter in Wartime, Cave of Forgotten Dreams

By Debbie Schlussel

The best–and ONLY good–new movie this weekend is a small arthouse thriller about World War II and the Nazis.  If you can’t find it, best to stay home and rent/Netflix something else.

*  “Thor“:  Rhymes with bore . . . for a reason.  Yaaaawn. This ain’t no “god of thunder.” More like, god of slumber. Chris Hemsworth (who trained for this movie at the Detroit area gym where I work out–nice house, no one home) plays an uninspired version of an already uninspired superhero, Thor.  This movie was boring, a mess, and had a dull, waste of time story.

Thor, a prince of some distant planet, is a brash, arrogant, immature guy who defies his father, the King, and goes to some planet where they freeze people.  He fights the frozen dudes and upsets the balance of things.  His evil brother puts his father in a coma and sends Thor to earth, where he falls in love with an annoying Natalie Portman (sooooo sick of her and her lackluster acting–her best performance was as a kid in “The Professional” (read my review) and it’s been all downhill from there).  Portman is a scientist studying storms and disruptions in the desert, where Thor lands.  There is no spark between them and no chemistry.  The same can be said about Hemsworth and his role.  Dullardsville.

I saw the movie in 3D, and it was a waste.  Didn’t need to be 3D and there was barely any of it of substance.  Kinda like this long, boring movie.  Nothing objectionable here.  Just nothing worth spending $10-$14 bucks and more than two hours of your life on.   It’s fine for kids.  This is mindless baby-sitter stuff.  Nothing more.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Something Borrowed“:  Wow, it’s official.  Anti-American Kate Hudson hit the wall.  She’s supposed to be “the hot one” in this movie, but instead, she really looks like a fat old cow, far older than her years.  Awful.  This is an unbearable chick flick I advise guys to avoid like the plague.  Yes, there are a few really funny lines, but they are all the property of John Krasinski, and there’s not enough of him and far more of the annoying chick flickish fawning and brooding stuff.

Ginnifer “my parents got the ’70s Jennifer memo but were hooked on Seagram’s or couldn’t spell” Goodwin plays a lawyer who is the “geeky,” “less pretty” half of a best friend duo–two women who’ve been BFFs since they were little kids.  Hudson is the half of the duo who always gets what she wants, is supposed to be super hot, and is engaged to the lawyer Goodwin always wanted but didn’t think she was good enough to have.  The guy–by the way–is played by a Colin Egglesfield, who looks like they took Tom Cruise Silly Putty and put him on a stretching machine.  It’s too distracting how much he resembles a semi-twisted version of Cruise.

The guy always had a crush on Goodwin and didn’t think she wanted him.  Now he is engaged to Hudson and they are about to be married.  But he and Goodwin have a one-night stand and the machinations continue.  Does he break off his engagement?  Does Hudson find out about them?  Who cares?  I sure didn’t.  Booooooring.  Next.  This went on forever, despite being more predictable than death and taxes.

It was even less convincing because Goodwin, who normally ain’t all that, actually looks better than Hudson in this.  Stick a fork in it, Kate.  You’re done.  So, what was that you said about how you hate Americans?  Eat it.  Oh, wait, looks like you already have . . . and then some (and this was filmed before she got pregnant, so save the e-mails).


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Winter in Wartime [Oorlogswinter]“:  I cannot say enough good things about this masterpiece.  LOVED It!  Excellent.  And while it begins slowly, it sneaks up on you as a great thriller. Easily one of the best movies of the year, and definitely THE BEST so far.

A boy in his early teens is the son of the mayor of a Nazi-occupied town in the Netherlands.  He secretly helps a British pilot whose plane crashed in the woods nearby and is working with the partisans.  The boy has an uneasy, precarious position because his friends have been arrested and killed for being involved with the partisans, and his father is trying to maintain an uneasy peace with the Nazis to save his village people.  At the same time, the boy’s uncle–who is working with the partisans–has moved in.  Who can the boy trust?  Will he be able to sneak around and save the soldier without risking others’ lives?

Such a young boy shows incredible fortitude and maturity, as many surely did amidst Nazi occupation during World War II, as did many American boys who served, fought, and some of whom lost life or limb.  Kids his age in the current era pale in comparison, and I doubt most would have the guts to do against the Islamic threat what this kid and many others did against the Nazis.

In Dutch with English subtitles.  A MUST SEE.  Terrific.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Cave of Forgotten Dreams“:  Werner Herzog directed and narrates this documentary about a French cave preserved for thousands of years because it was sealed off with rocks, etc.  Inside, there are many drawings and paintings of various animals, along with stalagmites and stalagtites, and the preserved bones of dead bears and other animals.

While this was interesting at first, it went on and on and on.   It could have been a 20 minute television feature, and that would have been more than enough.  Instead it covered the material to death, and then some.  Listening to Herzog narrate this was kinda like listening to an evil villain from the “Die Hard” movies narrate something academic.  Strange and mildly comical.

But the comical became absurd when Herzog goes 20 miles away to some sort of reptile sanctuary and asks what the crocodiles (or alligators–I forget which) think about the paintings in the caves nearby.  Really?  Did you really just ask that, Werner?  I laughed a lot.  But, unfortunately, the movie didn’t end there.  It kept on going and finally it was over.  Great stuff for insomnia.

Plus Herzog never tells us how the paintings/drawings were made and what implements were used or what type of ink.  Other basic questions like that just weren’t answered as he bored us to tears with his repetition and inane musings.  I don’t dislike Herzog.  He’s a bright guy.  But it’s important to note that he is the same guy who defamed brave American Gene DeBruin in his “Rescue Dawn” movie.  I’ll never forget that, and neither should you when  you watch anything else he makes that gets to the big screen.


Watch the trailer . . .

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28 Responses

LOL! I so enjoyed your reviews this week! You’re writing is fun!

Pity about “Thor”. Well, maybe not but those Australians are the best looking blokes on the planet. Hemsworth does not disappoint in that dept.

Loved your thoughts on that nasty Kate Hudson. Without nepotism, she’d be a 4 child mama with 4 different dads “gimme girl”.

That Dutch films sound like my “cuppa”. On my “to see” list it goes!

Thanks for the Herzog review. I did not know that about him. Jeez. I will always keep that in mind, but he is German and those Western Europeans always unfortunately think like that, to my chagrin. I do love his movies madly (I love “My Best Fiend”) and I know I will love his narration as I have always been so enamoured with it. He’s got such a unique way of speaking…I just love it.

I just love it! Too good! Another week of good reading!

Skunky on May 6, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Lighten up! Thor was very entertaining, there was nothing boring about it. A good movie for anyone.

Mike on May 7, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Thor. Wretched acting, unimpressive special effects: note to Kenneth—“loud” does not equal “cool.” However, I CAN’T WAIT for the Riff-Trax!

    Occam's Tool on May 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm

“Thor”: I’d see it because IT IS FREAKING THOR!

Everything else: MEH. I’d love to see a movie about how a group of French North African Jews were left to fend for themselves during the Algerian “War of Independence” in the 60s. We’ve seen enough of partisan-saves-Allied-soldier flicks. Any film-makers want to take on a challenge of documenting the damage created by Islamofascist ethnic cleansing? Step up to the mother-f***ing plate!

Final verdict: TORRENT!

The Reverend Jacques on May 7, 2011 at 2:00 am

Thor was my favourite comic book when I was a kid, but this movie like pretty much every superhero movie looks woeful. The really bad and dumb superhero movies Hollywood cynically churns out are symptomatic of a deeper malaise in our culture, but that is a whole other thing..

This Dutch World War 2 drama looks good, it’s worth remarking that whilst kids today may not have the courage in the main to tackle Muslim fanatics, whose fault is that? Their parents, people my and your age Debbie. Whose bad pathetic example are kids today following? Their useless dhimmi parents, that’s who. I see brave Europeans and Americans being charged with ‘hate crimes’ for speaking out against the cancer of Islamic tyranny and hate and the vast mass of people are either indifferent, clueless or in fact supportive of ostracising and criminalising the Thilo Sarazzins, Allen Wests, Elisabeth Sabaditch Wolfs and now Lars Hedegaards of the world.

Look at Holland, who like the rest of the West have learned nothing from the Nazi occupation, they have criminalised Geert Wilders (who is on trial for hate speech) and Hirsi Ali (who was hounded out of Holland) and welcomed anti-Semitic Muslims with open arms, Amersterdam and Rotterdam are ‘culturally enriched’ to a degree that is shocking and terrifying. Dutch Jews are getting out or going dhimmi (like self-loathing Jew kapo Jeb Cohen, leader of the Dutch Labour Party and the worst thing to happen to European Jewry in an age). Most Dutch people going to see this movie won’t make the connections between the Nazi occupation past and their dhimmified present, hardly. It would be funny if it wasn’t so terrifying.

Larry in Tel Aviv on May 7, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Larry, I enjoyed your commentary on Holland. There is something about those Scandinavian countries that put me right off. I have ZERO interest in them and I find their peeps annoying.

    (I also have to give a thumbs up on DS’ comment about that freak Spurlock re: the hair and mane shampoo. LOL, her commentary was spot on, and funny. I so remember that coming out in the EIGHTIES!!!!)

    Skunky on May 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm

So Marvel went with aliens instead of “God of Thunder”, cowards. Wasn’t looking forward to it anyways, seen enough bad guys in metal suits to last a lifetime. Seems focus groups and political correctness will control and ruin all movies forever.

ender on May 7, 2011 at 2:20 am

Just wait… Marvel needs to churn out a couple of more bores so that they can tie everything together for the Avengers movie (with another actor [the third one now] to play Bruce Banner/Hulk in this movie). Yep. I can smell the forthcoming winner coming down the Hollywood crap shoot right now. Doesn’t it get you excited?!?

Pats on May 7, 2011 at 6:59 am

Whenever I hear the name “Thor” these days, I think of the 1994 episode of “The New Red Green Show” titled “The Owl Project” where the members of “Possum Lodge” were shooting stuffed animals placed in strategic places all over the forest, and one of the stuffed animals from a local taxidermy shop was “Thor, the Mighty Polar Bear” – which was actually a dead raccoon that was bleached. The priceless line was when Red’s (Steve Smith) nephew Harold (Patrick McKenna) intoned, “Thooor? That mangy yellow lump that’s been hanging in [the taxidermist’s] front window for the past 20 years? . . . And he’s rancid. Just one bullet and pffff!–” That one bit seems to elicit more interest than the entire “Thor” movie combined.

ConcernedPatriot on May 7, 2011 at 7:49 am

Heard you on Mike Church yesterday. Nice. As you continue to speak favorably about Winter in Wartime, you might want to mention that there is a remarkably similar book for children 10+. It is “The Winged Watchmen”, by Hilda von Stockum. (ISBN 1-883937-07-8) Exciting, engaging, with a great moral message of courage and sacrifice.

Geoffrey Parker on May 7, 2011 at 8:55 am

Debbie….please repost your review of “Winter In Wartime” when the DVD is released to remind your readers to watch it then. Where I live (and most likely everywhere else), every screen is showing Thor and Fast & Furious 5, so I have zero chance to see it at a theater.

IM4Israel on May 7, 2011 at 10:48 am

Jews who created the comic book industry loved to garb themselves in every culture except their own. I always wondered what the hell Stan Lee was doing with the character Thor. Shakespeare might of gotten away with writing about the Danes when mass communication didn’t exist, but a Jew from NYC really could not get a feel for Vikings. The only Jewish Superhero in the Marvel Universe is “The Thing”. Let’s face it, the Thing AKA Benjamin Grimm is a thug loser who sounds uneducated. What is more Ben is not sexy (often the biggest insult in Jewish “SECULAR” culture) and doesn’t hook up with the likes of the Invisible Woman. If I remember correctly… The Thing is stood up by a Hollywood actress and his girlfriends always seem second rate… they never last while his pal is married to a Barbie Doll. One feels that Stan Lee has a low opinion of the American Jewish community… and of himself. The Thor is the Marvel Megastud of Gentiles. I wonder if he is circumcised in outer space. Probably not.

Natalie Portman’s stupidity in being charmed by Queen Rania of Jordan… probably because oh wow… real life Aristocracy… the same reason global femmes went nuts over a recent royal wedding in the U.k..

I have not seen Thor yet, but I will be looking at it differently then you do Debbie. …but then it could just suck. The problem with self hate is that nothing good can come from it.

Noah David Simon on May 7, 2011 at 11:43 am

Oorlogswinter reminds me of a book I read as a kid,”Snow Treasure”

“It is 1940 in Norway, a neutral, peace-loving country that is invaded by Nazi Germany. A gang of Norwegian children do what Norwegian children like best – ski. They are actually rescuing Norwegian gold from the nazi invaders. The Nazis search all adults but don’t suspect children playing. The children carry the gold, one bar at a time, across the mountains to a fishing boat. It is a race against time, it is spring and the snow is melting. So they ski from dawn to dusk every day”

Great book and they evidently made a movie of it in 1968.

ebayer on May 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm

If you knew anything about Norse Mythology you may have like the movie. But if you’re not a fan of comic book super heroes, why the hell are you watching the movie to begin with? Fanboys are going to complain about it too,but at least they have a reason.

That’s like somebody saying that Queen of the Damned and Interview with the Vampire are FANTASTIC movies when anybody who has read the actual book knows how much the movie sucked. Perhaps you should, I don’t know, read a comic book before you go see a movie based on a comic book.

M: I know a lot about Norse Mythology and read a lot of comic books. “Thor” still sucked, though. DS

Miseree on May 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Movies based on comic books should be aimed at children. That is the target for the comic book.

Adults need real drama, real conflict in a movie to make it something more than boring. Children don’t suffer from this malady.

What makes the Nazi movie more appealing to an ADULT is the fact that there is real conflict in the story. People could die, and it creates tense, real-world drama. And subsequently, it engenders more respect for the characters’ strength or moral fortitude to do the right thing even in the face of potentially deadly consequences.

Unlike comic books, where superheroes shoot lazer beams from their eyes or read minds or fly, all with no effort. No cost. No conflict. No real drama. That stuff is fine for children.

Where these movie companies screw up is that they try to make these comic-book based films appealing by dazzling sound effects and target “adults” by putting in sex or something. Boring.

pitandpen on May 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm

This movie will be nothing like the comic book I read. Just where is Dr. Donald Blake, Thor’s alter ego, his limp and walking stick which when struck upon a hard surface changes him to Thor? Where is the bridge to Asgard?

In other words…

These cartoons, despite crude animation were seen even into the early 1980’s on channel 5 in NYC.

Bob Porrazzo on May 8, 2011 at 6:41 am

LOL “god of slumber”

Bonzer Wolf on May 8, 2011 at 10:49 am

I’m a bit concerned that the Dutch are getting a whitewash. Caroline Glick thinks they were the Nazi’s most ardent collaborators, outside Germany.

A: In fact, the movie does NOT whitewash them. Yes, the Dutch were collaborators with the Nazis. But that’s a fact that is well known (remember, Anne Frank?) and has nothing to do with the irrelevant opinion of an also-ran commentator, Caroline Glick, who sided with pro-Hezbollah Iranian protestors and sold Israel down the river as an Oslo negotiator, and who also is a paid employee of Frank “Islam is Peaceful, just not Islamists” Gaffney. She also claimed “The Hurt Locker” is a left-wing, anti-war movie, a conclusion exclusive to morons. You need to wake up on her. DS

Adam on May 8, 2011 at 11:03 am

The showing of Thor I went to suffered from bad projection and bad sound – although listening here it might be just that the sound is too loud on the whole movie and it blows out the tuning of the speakers wherever it is played.

I got the feeling of missing scenes from it – stuff left on the cutting room floor that would have explained certain happenings better whereas without them one is left to guess at how it happened. It made it choppy and hurt the flow.

I thought that Hemsworth did an amazing job of portraying a simple, powerful airhead. And the way his character responds without pause in his speech seems very natural and conversational even considering his mildly stilted dialogue. To converse in that way across from Natalie Portman who is trying to portray a modern woman can’t have been that easy.

As a martial artist and aficionado of fight scenes I liked the cleverness of the more magical and superpowered fight scenes in the beginning but I disliked the more human fights where were oversimple and insulting – perhaps they should have taught Hemsworth more than 1 or 2 moves.

luagha on May 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm

As a child I was a big fan of Thor comics, watching the previews of this movie I knew it wouldn’t hold a candle to the comic. Hemsworth is not right for this role, I thought someone like the Green Bay Packers’ linebacker Clay Matthews jr. would be great. Most writers today don’t have the depth of character it takes to create a character of depth so what you see are underdeveloped films that were rushed through so we start production of the Avengers movie which will also suck, like the Fantastic Four and the Hulk. I do believe Spiderman is put together well.

Anthony on May 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm

What does it say about Kate “I need to bang A-Rod for attention” Hudson when most men would still rather do her mom Goldie Hawn 25 years after she is relevant.

Anthony on May 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Mother and daughter are opposites.

    Goldie Hawn is Jewish and very much pro-Israel.

    Her daughter is anti-American and you can only guess what her feelings about Israel might be.

    Its a reminder that under an oak, sometimes all you find are acorns.

    NormanF on May 8, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Hi Debbie,

I saw Thor yesterday and I honestly really enjoyed it. Now I will admit that I watched the cartoon as a kid and have always loved the Norse myths. Seeing the warriers three and Sif fighting on screen (and done right) was awesome. I think that they got the fight scenes perfect. The basic story about Thor needing to learn self sacrifice was good. However, I agree with you that they left alot out and the story was way too simple.

I think that this is basically a fun “popcorn” Summer movie.

jimmyPx on May 9, 2011 at 11:38 am

Debbie, a little late, but I saw “Fast Five” this weekend.

LOVED IT!!!!! I agree, even better than the original.

Odd, I saw one of those promo thingies they show on HBO to promote this and Jordana Brewster (VAVOOM!!!!) and Paul Walker actually looked younger than they looked in the movie.

One thing I disagree with you big time (sorry my honey!). I think The Rock stole the movie. I loved his character. I felt it added a bunch.

I always stay till the very end credits, so I saw the “stinger” you mentioned….interesting. One other thing, I hope this means Eva Mendes (Double VAVOOM!!!!!) will be in the next movie.

Jeff_W on May 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Thor seems like it would be interesting but I was immediately turned off when finding out that awful Natalie Portman is in it. Why in the world must every third movie made these days include that overrated, horrible disaster of an actress??? So sick of the media trying to shove her down my throat. I couldn’t stand her when she was a no-name lefty hanging out with Hillary Clinton and I definitely can’t stand her now that they are trying to claim she is a star.

No wonder the only decent movies made these days tend to be made outside of the U.S.

Brian R. on May 9, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Actually, Ms. Goodwin’s parents named their daughter Jennifer- she changed her name at some point to reflect the way her name is pronounced where she grew up- Tennessee.

Robert on May 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I personally enjoyed Thor–and I am an adult who enjoys comics, in full disclosure. It tended to run too fast, and therefore crammed too much into a short running time (it could’ve stood to have been a half hour longer). Natalie Portman did sleepwalk through this movie, though; Debbie’s right in the lack of chemistry with Hemsworth, who did a superb job as the arrogant but ultimately heroic Thor. It’s a shame: I once had some pretty high hopes for Portman, but since the Star Wars movies she just has not done well.

After reading Debbie’s review, I wonder if she fell asleep at the beginning, as the Frost Giants are explained quite well. Maybe it’s just not your kind of movie, Debbie–and that’s okay. Comic book flicks are not for everyone. (I am interested in what you’ll write on Captain America.)

And I will have words on some, at least, modern Americans not standing up to Islamism. I see these heroes every day; it is my honor and privledge to work with veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. If these men and women have not destroyed radical Islam as of yet, it is not their faults, nor the fault of their generation–no more than the failure in Vietnam was the fault of the Vietnam veteran.

Sentinel on May 11, 2011 at 3:51 am

The Jew loves the Nazi movie, what a shocker! Thor (a part of the larger Norse mythology movement) is designed to wean Christians away from Christ.

Greg on December 8, 2011 at 5:18 am

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