What gets better than Chris Hemsworth playing a hunky super-hero with a totally unnecessary accent? This weekend – not much (except for About Time, seriously, it’s phenomenal, go see it).

Marvel Pictures does it once again with Thor: The Dark World out in theaters this weekend. Excellent cinematography, acting, and action sequences make for a real popcorn pusher.

To give you a glimpse, Asgard (Thor’s home planet) is facing the dreaded Dark Elves, who, once upon a time, tried to send the entire universe into darkness with a substance called “Aether.”  Its purpose is to take away all the light – everywhere. Asgard, in the first fight, kicks some serious elfin tail. They capture the Aether, and, since it can’t be gotten rid of, the leader of the Asgardians tells them to bury it where it can never be found. Fast Forward to present day, Jane Foster, Thor’s girlfriend, who he’s been away from for the last two years, is searching everywhere for the God of Thunder. In her quest, she stumbles upon a worm hole that begins a lot of problems for everybody. It gets so bad, Thor has to go to his estranged brother Loki, who is currently locked away in an Asgardian prison for his crimes against Earth (see The Avengers).

The movie is full of twists and turns, and all kinds of fun drama and comedy and super-heroes and shirtless-ness and dimension jumping and nakedness and kissing and asylums and random monsters and references to other movies in the franchise… Let me stop before I get carried away.

Moving on to the actors, Natalie Portman looks stunning throughout the film, especially when Thor (spoiler alert) takes her to Asgard. The costume designer very easily could win an Oscar. Her acting was on par, as it tends to be.

Kat Dennings is hilarious in her role as Darcy the intern. This may have been her best role since ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’. I have always loved her in everything except for her Two Broke Girls show, but this brought her back to my favorites list.

Chris Hemsworth, the title character Thor, is flawless in his portrayal of the Asgardian prince. He is, of course, as handsome as ever, but his acting chops are well on display here. He is spot on with his delivery and timing. He is also quite the pleasure to watch (especially at the 15 minute mark, your jaw WILL drop).

Now that I have given such a glowing review, we can talk about the issues the average consumer might have with the film.

One could easily feel left out on a joke if you are not a die-hard fan of the series or franchise. That is not necessarily a bad thing for die-hard fans, but if you do go see this movie and it has been a while since you have seen the original AND Avengers, you will not understand a lick of what is going on. Even as someone who considers himself somewhat of a Marvel fan, it was even a bit thick for me to grasp at some points. Some parts I had to think really hard about, which I found a bit tiresome. The plot was thicker than a Cajun accent. But, being a super-hero movie, that fact is not surprising.

During the movie, I found myself asking “How many of these super-hero movies are they going to put out?” These movies may not be completely done until we are well in our graves. They are creating a ton of plot to keep up with. And, to make it worse, they are taking their good, sweet time to release the films. The next Avengers movie isn’t slated to come out until 2015. This begs the question whether or not people will get tired of these movies before they finish the series. I know that they will have a solid base to turn to, but I am curious how many times they can strike gold.

All in all, the movie was a lot of fun to watch. Stuff blowing up is always fun to see. However, the thick plot may turn people off. If that is the case, it could very well spell trouble for the franchise.

Rating 7/10

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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Post-Covid travel planning

Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?

For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:

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