Directed by: Kenneth Branagh. So here I am, having plowed through all of the X-Men movies, I decided that I owed it to myself, as someone who likes to stay abreast of the culture in which I live, and as someone who used to spend all of his allowance on Marvel Comics, to take a look at what is now a sizable crop of superhero movies. In no particular order, I chose Thor first, because it was on Netflix, and Iron Man wasn’t. I was never a huge fan of Thor, but he’s pretty awesome, and this movie does a pretty awesome job of blowing him up to the big screen. I was surprised at how much character they actually gave Thor; I actually gave a shit about him, through his lofty diction and his otherworldliness. Chris Hemsworth is a great choice, further proving my theory about unknown actors often doing a better job for certain roles than big names (maybe a redundant point, but regardless). The leading ladies in these things tend to be faceless roles, but Natalie Portman did a good job bringing a face to it. Come to think of it, they really went whole hog as far as casting goes, considering how much “acting” is actually required: Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Idris Elba to basically be a statue, Stellan Skarsgård as the human anchoring point, and Canada’s own Shakespearean Colm Feore hidden behind a bunch of makeup and CGI. It seems like thespianic overkill for a bunch of fighting and yelling and capes and shit, but hey, why not? This movie could easily have passed for complete garbage, but instead, perhaps thanks to Mr. Highbrow Branagh, it was more than watchable.