After reading that Thor: The Dark World had not been especially well received by critics (66% on RottenTomatoes.com is not a universal panning, but also not a ringing endorsement), I dialed my already lowered expectations down. Although I think Chris Hemsworth is the new charismatic movie super star we desperately needed in the wake of the aging of Schwarzenegger, Willis and Stalone, the first Thor installment wasn’t exactly great and the trailer for this flick didn’t get me excited for the flick. So, perhaps this is why I was pleasantly surprised by this movie and I think my blurb for Thor: The Dark World might have to be something along the lines of “non-stop action thrill ride.” Read the rest of this entry
I don’t have a baby of my own, but I have been around babies… Nevertheless, I may not be the right person to weigh in on this. I’ll put aside the debate concerning, “The baby wants my phone, so I got him a toy phone,” (ie, the baby should play with baby toys or we should fool the baby into thinking they are playing with my toy) and instead just concentrate on the idea that the baby is playing with an Iron Man phone.
This… This just doesn’t seem right to me for a reason I can’t put my finger on. I am very curious about the phone as it appears to be one of those call the characters deals. What do they say?
“This Hulk. HULK SMASH!!! … Why baby cry?”
“I am Thor, God of Thunder! My enemies and the enemies of earth shall feel mjolnir’s wrath! I will smite all those that threaten peace, justice and afternoon nap time!”
“Hey, it’s Iron Tony! I mean… Sorry, I’m already drunk.”
You get the idea.
I’ve always thought that kissing under the mistletoe was a mysterious (but worthwhile) tradition, and I’ve done some research to try to better understand this plant and why it demands we make out. As it turns out, mistletoe didn’t always insist we hang it and hook up underneath it.
So where did this mistletoe thing come from? Those who have glanced through the Bible may be familiar with Matthew 16:19 (which includes some of Jesus’ parting words before going to heaven after the Resurrection) which goes a lil somethin’ like dis: “I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.” The next sentence wasn’t, “Oh, and thou should hang mistletoe above thy door and get sloppy under it.” Didn’t happen. So why do Christians do it? I’m sorry to say that I don’t have the answer, but here is a bit of mistletoe’s journey through history.
1. Mistletoe was once regarded as a symbol of fertility
Way back when, mistletoe was seen as a symbol of fertility and whatnot, so one can easily understand why people started tacking it up on door jams and getting hickies under it.
2. Mistletoe is poisonous
Huh. Referencing Batman Returns a lot lately…
Mistletoe is not the sort of thing I’d keep around the house, but then, I could always use a kiss from the Dr. Girlfriend. It’s not like you can eat mistletoe, so the only reason to keep it around is to get your freak on. I’m pretty sure it will make you sick and if you eat too much, it could even kill you. Ironically, the ancient Celts considered mistletoe to be an antidote to poison. I guess when it didn’t work, they’d just shook their head and remarked, “If only we’d given him the mistletoe tea sooner!” They should have contacted Batman – Batman knows mistletoe is poisonous!
3. Mistletoe pops up all over the place in Greek Mythology
Here’s just one instance: In the Greek epic The Golden Bough, the hero must journey to the underworld to see his father, but first, he must get the golden bough (which folks believe is actually mistletoe) to give as a gift to the queen of the underworld, because she presumably wants to make out with her husband, Pluto.
4. Mistletoe pops up in Norse Mythology, too
If you’ve seen the movies Thorand The Avengers, then you’re familiar with Loki, the Norse God of mischief. Not to be outdone by the Greeks, Loki somehow arranges the death of another god via mistletoe, but whether he’s killed by a mistletoe arrow or a mistletoe sword is unclear to me. So did they just scratch the dude and let the poison do the work, or did they straight up kill him and use poisonous wood just to make sure they got the job done? Loki knows…
5. Mistletoe is only a tradition with English-speaking Christians
The earliest documented case of kissing under the mistletoe dates back to the 16th century in England. The tradition has spread throughout the English-speaking world, but non-English speaking cultures rarely practice the kissing under the mistletoe tradition. I guess non-English speaking Christians don’t like having poisonous plants around the house.
6. There are at least two types of Mistletoe
Depending on where you live, you’ll be able to buy one species of mistletoe or another – but there are at least two: Viscum album is found in Europe and Phoradendron serotinum is found in North America. So at least two ways to die via Christmas on two continents – AWESOME!
I finally got around to seeing The Avengers this weekend, and a good time was had by all. At least half of the audience clapped at the end, which doesn’t usually happen in a movie theater, but it was that kind of flick – people wanted to stand up and cheer. After living with these characters for five movies, maybe this is what the audience always wanted; but if you didn’t see Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America, I don’t blame you if you were thoroughly confused. Read the rest of this entry
I have to wonder if Sir Anthony Hopkins ever thought that a day would come in his career where he’d find himself rendered as an Action Figure.
The world is a strange and wonderful place!
Oh yeah, you can check out my review of the Thor movie here.
more Comic Book Reviews at creativejamie.com/category/comic-book-reviews/
I’m ready to explain my feelings on the Thor movie, and it’s all spoilers from here. Also, I’m going to smash it into tiny pieces – yet, I liked this film.
I think the trailer actually did a better job of setting up the story; it would have been more interesting to have the movie continue on with the story on earth and then tell how Thor ended up on earth in flashback, but whatever. Like Daredevil, maybe I’ll re-edit this movie someday.
I’m sure there is a way to review this movie without spoiling it for you, but I’m a big fan of comic books, so that’s just not going to work for me.
Much like the Incredible Hulk, Thor is a gigantic setup for The Avengers movie at it’s core. Sure, it may look like this movie has interesting things to say, but I feel like I just sat through something that could have been summarized in five minutes during the first act of The Avengers – yet I was never bored. I don’t have any explanation for that contradiction. Read the rest of this entry
NOTE: for the rest of my Disney World posts, click here.
Since I was a kid, the improvements to EPCOT have been drastic. Think about it from a child’s perspective (or anyone under the age of 21, for that matter); what was there to do in EPCOT as recently as the 1990s? Not a whole lot. The Disney Imagineers or whoever the hell obviously figured this out, because they went to work: they added Test Track, Mission Space and they imported Soarin’ from California Adventure, as well as adding character meeting places, Turtle Talk with Crush, and that Nemo thingy that used to be educational. However, they still have that one farming thingy where they’re like, “See those fish we’re farming? You can eat some of their brethren later!” That always rubbed me the wrong way. Read the rest of this entry
Given that Iron Man 2 is coming to DVD and Blu Ray on September 28, I thought it was as good a time as any to take a critical look at Robert Downey Jr. as the Armored Avenger. Be warned: the following review contains spoilers (yeah, spoilers for a movie that made $128,122,480 in its opening weekend at 4,380 theaters) and is a giant ‘whatever’ fest. But read on…
You can’t talk about Iron Man without gushing over its star, so let me get that out-of-the-way. Robert Downey Jr. is the man, and he’s great in the Iron Man movies; whatever you think about the Iron Man films, you can’t deny that. The man has talent, and I can’t think of another instance where an actor had the opportunity to play a character he had so much in common with. Maybe the movie version is a bit sillier than the comic book version, but it works. Read the rest of this entry