May 15

Movie Review: Thor

Reviewer and Thor movie poster
Me & Thor

Thor (2011)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston
115 minutes
rated PG-13

I’ll go ahead and admit at the outset here that I’ve never read a Thor comic book, or even a full comic book  of any hero variety. A blasphemy of sorts, perhaps, but I’m ok with that. But I still appreciate a good comic book hero movie, and the latest installment in the Marvel movie franchise did not disappoint.

The movie Thor features a godly character of Viking descent – based on a mixture of Norse mythology and Marvel comic book lore. In the movie, the Mighty Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, is the son of the “all-father” Odin, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, and older brother to Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston. Just as Thor is about to be crowned King of the mythical realm of Asgard, the Frost Giants break in to Asgard and attempt to steal a powerful relic. Ever the warrior, Thor counsels his father to make swift and violent retribution against the Frost Giants, which would no doubt lead to all-out war. Recognizing his son’s arrogance and pride, Odin calls him a “vain, greedy, cruel boy”, and banishes Thor to Earth without his god-like powers, most significantly without the ability to wield his iconic war hammer Mjollnir. Once on Earth, Thor must learn the humility and wisdom required to be a great ruler, in order to earn back his godly powers and access to Asgard. Along the way he apparently also “learns” the ability to fall in love – with astro-scientist Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman.

This movie was complete eye-candy – I almost wished the Asgard scenes had run in slo-mo so I could take in all the details. The special effects were flawless – from the epic battle scenes in Jötunheim (the frost giant world), to traveling via the Bifrost Bridge portal, to Loki’s cloning powers, to the Earthly battle scene with the Destroyer – all just awesome. This is a film that is definitely worth seeing in the theater to get the full effect of the big screen – even worth splurging the extra few bucks to see it in IMAX 3D (which we did – Happy Mother’s Day to me!)

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May 1

Crafting Valhalla

Thor movie posterWith the premiere of the movie Thor this week, I thought I’d highlight some viking crafts. As my paternal grandfather was a full-blood Swede, I think it only fitting, ja?  :)

Chandra Willis created a stylish infant-toddler viking helmet (though her model does not appear to agree) – find her knitting pattern at Hot Potato Knits.

Yarn manufacturer Bernat offers a crochet version of a warrior baby helmet (Ravelry link, login required), with which I am completely in love, and which has me eying every baby head in near vicinity with crafting glee.

Traci Heiner worked up a pattern for a dishcloth featuring Thor’s Hammer – known as Mjolnir – and kindly provides a link to the Wikipedia entry to learn more about its symbolism.

Amigurumi viking doll projectNeedleNoodles offers an amigurumi viking pattern (left), as a free expansion pack pattern to her Creepy Cute Crochet book.

In the new-to-me craft category, a Viking Knitting tutorial from janraven on Etsy. Since the tutorial features 75 photo step-outs, it’s probably a good thing janraven also offers the finished Viking Knit Hoop earrings in her Etsy shop.

And finally, Cheryl Herrick (aka “crankycheryl”) shares her version of a Viking birthday party, complete with duct tape Viking helmets, a catapault, and a Viking long boat made of chocolate chip pound cake. Complete epic-ness.

Oh, and a side geek-note? Chris Hemsworth, the actor who is playing Thor in the forthcoming movie, also played George Kirk in the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, and is currently working on Joss Whedon‘s Avengers, also as Thor. Nice.

Viking crafts previously linked on GeekCrafts:

August 4

Baby Viking Hat


Pregnancy comes with all kinds of inconvienences. You feel sick for the first three months and spend the majority of the time looking for a bathroom. It does have its advantages though, for instance, you can spend all of your free time looking a teeny cute clothes, toys and bedding and call it “planning” for your new baby. I was doing just that when I ran across babyrocksmohawks‘  Baby Viking Hat on etsy. Tell me this isn’t pure golden awesome. I was thrilled by her hot pink and “atomic blue” mohawk hats, but I think this Baby Viking Hat really takes the cake.