It’s been a bit busy lately, what with some recent outings and continuing my job search.  Actually, some opportunities that I’m looking for include writing about and reviewing movies for various websites.  Anyway, in getting back to posting on here about movies, I just watched “Thor” again.  I didn’t see that in theaters, so the first time I watched it was on DVD within a few days before going to see “The Avengers” earlier this summer.

“Thor” (2011)

A ceremony honoring the passing of the throne is interrupted by a breach by Asgard’s enemies, the Frost Giants.  Acting against his father Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) wishes, causing an uproar, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) loses out on the throne of Asgard.  He finds himself falling to Earth in a magnificent whirlwind phenomenon as Jane (Natalie Portman) and company race across the desert toward it.  They later put the pieces together as to the origin of this mysterious plain-clothed man, after his surprising appearance in the middle of nowhere.

The powerful hammer soon follows with a crash in the desert, a party of locals turn up attempting to dislodge it.  Suited government men eventually take over the impact crater of Thor’s hammer, making it a top-secret zone.  Meanwhile, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), with newly-discovered knowledge of his past, puts his own agenda into action in the realm of Asgard.  He is driven by feelings of long since being second to Thor in the eyes of Odin.

Thor, Jane and her friends, Erik Selvig and Darcy (Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings), find themselves struggling against the government men and soon, a giant armor-clad menace.  Up in Asgard, Thor’s friends struggle against the reign of Loki and how to help their should-be leader stuck on Earth.  Who wins the day comes down to Thor and his ability to act as an honorable leader, as his father wanted.  In the midst of everything, there is a budding romance between Jane and the handsome God of Thunder who speaks of realms and such.

Knotwork detail of Thor’s hammer, as well as on the floor and golden gates of the Asgardian palace add to the story its age-old myths.  In an interesting contrast, there are the references to modern-day technology such as Facebook and the Hubble Telescope.  Both Asgard and Jane’s lab similarly have bursting, spiked elements in their architecture; it seems to bring a connection between the two very different worlds.  They’re people are different and far apart, yet share common bonds through ideals and timeless struggles.  Amazing special effects, conflict of good and evil, humorous moments and a great cast make this one of my new favorites of its genre.

“The Avengers” (2012)

Going into it, I wondered if I should have seen more of the movies about the other individual Avengers.  Just to have the visual background on those that have their own separate movies.  At least in terms of Thor and Loki, I already knew the reasons for bad vibes between the two out-of-this-world rivals.  But lacking background on the rest wasn’t a problem for watching the Avengers take on evil with their combined strengths.

One by one, the Avengers are found in various locations and brought together for a common cause.  A few of them clash at first, adding to the super-strength action and overall conflict.  Other times, verbal jabs are exchanged in humor, as well as references to pop culture.  As an Avenger from another world, Thor doesn’t get the meaning behind such comments.  But despite a few differences along the way, the team lead by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) are one collective force against eminent evil.  Loki, as Thor’s otherworldly nemesis, is at the head of that evil making its way to Earth.

Even with all the combined strengths and powers of the Avengers, once the evil forces arrive, they appear impossible to defeat.  Great in numbers and with enormous assets to their army, the Avengers have an epic fight ahead of them.  All the while, everyday citizens are in danger as the intergalactic battle wages on around their city streets and businesses.

Besides Thor’s part as one of the Avengers, a few familiar faces show up from the movie “Thor.”  Those include the government man, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) who first discovers where Thor’s great hammer crash-landed and co-Avenger, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).  Only after seeing “The Avengers” and re-watching “Thor” did I realize that there is also a brief reference to Tony Stark in the God of Thunder’s time spent on Earth.  It’s another connection between at least those two Avengers.

Just as in “Thor,” the special effects are stunning and a great cast brings the action-packed story to life on the screen.  Mark Ruffalo, as Bruce Banner, tries to take it easy to prevent his green side, The Hulk, from showing.  Chris Evans is once again the patriotic Captain America and Scarlett Johansson is the sly Black Widow.

So far, out of all the Avengers, I’d say that I like the hammer-wielding Thor the most.  But after seeing the team of superheroes fighting for justice, Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man is also a favorite of mine.  I’ll have to catch up on the “Iron Man” movies sometime as the next step in watching the Avengers-related movies.