With producer Kevin Feige and the other folks at the helm of Marvel Studios delivering a master class in franchise management, the Marvelverse is cruising ahead this year towards the end of its Phase Two.
Unless you are familiar with Marvel superheroes, it is hard to understand recent events in Italy. The Prime Minister, Democratic Captain Italia Enrico Letta has been just ousted by RenziThor, the Democratic Party leader.
There is no rhyme or reason to how this all works. I have no advice for Natalie Portman or Gwyneth Paltrow or Anne Hathaway or any of the myriad other actresses who might hope to attain this kind of good will so easily. It is just inside you, like Cleopatra in that rug.
Kenneth Branagh's Thor had a certain playfulness that pitted the ultra-serious world of Asgard, land of the Norse gods, against 21st-century USA. Now director Alan Taylor has taken the reins of the franchise and, with Thor: The Dark World, drains the fun from it.
This Friday, you might use your hard-earned money to pay to see a movie called Thor: The Dark World. What is this Dark World and what does it have to do with our friend and crown prince of Asgard, Thor?
The current trend of superhero/fantasy/sci-fi films can be seen as a form of modern mythology -- grand out-of-the-ordinary tales inspired by human experience like lore of old, with this newer crop of stories heavily influenced by big entertainment corporate interests.