If you are like me, you have a few days left until you are surrounded by family. Family everywhere! Which is…GREAT! Or, if you are not with family, you are either weeping into a plate of mashed potatoes or dancing a happy dance – it’s really all a matter of perspective. Regardless, here is your quick guide to two geek-friendly movies that you can drag your bus load of relatives to, or see by yourself (no sharing popcorn, yay).
What it says it is: A romantic comedy about time travel.
What the script says it is: A movie about father/son relationships, and about growing up.
Action level: Zip. Nada. No explosions at all.
Romance level: High, but not as high as the ads would have you think. Most of the romance stuff happens in the first half of the movie.
See it with: Your parents and your grandparents.
If they can handle: Swearing, a little bit of partial nudity (cute and comedic, not super sexy), non-explicit sex.
Avoid it if: You have daddy issues and/or have recently lost a parent. I bawled the whole time. Tim’s father is the one we all wish we had or that we all hope we’ll grow up to be (those of us who identify as fathers, that is). Quite good for a cathartic cry but unless you want your cathartic cry to be public, see it by yourself if daddy issues are your thing.
Capsule review: This movie is funny, touching, and sweet. I giggled like a maniac and cried like a baby. But it is also deeply flawed. It doesn’t work as a time travel movie, because the rules are broken at the filmmaker’s whim. The time travel is strictly a poetical device. It doesn’t work as a romantic comedy, because the focus is only one character, Tim, and all other characters are strictly subordinate. Despite its flaws, it’s quite a lovely movie about learning to appreciate an “extraordinary, ordinary life”.
You can find a a full-length review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Thor: The Dark World
What it says it is: A movie in which Thor has to save the universe from dark elves.
What the script says it is: A character-based comedy/drama about how Thor has to redefine his role and his relationships after the events in The Avengers.
What we (the audience) thinks it is: Loki 3. Let’s be honest, folks.
Action level: Huge.
Romance level: Medium.
See it with: Your siblings and your cousins. Your friends. Yourself, if you are stranded on Thankgiving and want to escape into fun and excitement for a while. Your grandparents will think it’s weird.
If they can handle: Violence, some death, minimal gore. It’s just a smidgen more graphic than The Avengers. There’s minimal swearing, a shirtless scene (of Chris Hemsworth), no sex. Might be too scary for little kids.
Avoid it if: You would have to see it with people who think superhero movies are lame. Who needs that attitude when you want to kick back and watch Loki run amok in peace? This is another movie about family issues, and it involves estrangement and loss although it never gets so angst that it stops being fun.
Capsule review: This is a fun movie with both humor and pathos and some romance. The dynamic between Thor and Loki adds emotional stakes to the visual splendor and the clever climatic fight scene. The over-arching plot, about evil elves, is ridiculous and serves purely as a device to keep the characters we care about running around and interacting. Loki steals the show, as usual, but praise is due to Chris Hemsworth as well who grounds the whole enterprise and has some good snark of his own.