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thor-dark-world-poster

Update: just added new Preview below.

In the latest Marvel superhero mega-movie, the stakes are as big as can be and so is the movie. We saw Thor: The Dark World in 3D which made the film appear even bigger as much of the action jumps off the screen at you. As a sequel to Thor (and really, The Avengers), The Dark World progressed the story along nicely, and had all the elements a superhero movie requires.

Natalie Portman returns to play astrophysicist Jane Foster, and Thor’s love interest from the first movie. We find the hammer wielding god, played for the third time by Chris Hemsworth, in the role of peacekeeper in the 9 realms that Asgardians rule over. In his heart Thor pines for Foster. That this love is forbidden gets a little play at the start of the film and then is abandoned once the bad guy sets his evil plan in motion.

The bad guy is Malekith (played wonderfully by Christopher Eccleston), leader of the Dark Elves (who hail from a time before the universe was created and they’re a little cranky about that who light and goodness thing). Eccleston was pretty unrecognizable under all that makeup, but it gave him a sort of Dark Vader eeriness, and Eccleston’s acting helped elevate him into a suitable opponent for Thor. Malekith’s cohorts wore masks most of the time, reminding me alternatively of Storm Troopers (but with better aim) or, here’s your Disney reference, Spectromagic Dolls (a real horror for those in the know).

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The conflict, when it comes, is what I call comicbook violence. People die, but there’s no blood. When gods are fighting each other the stakes still manage to feel real and when humanity is involved, we are essentially ants to those with superhero abilities. That’s how it should be. The film earns its PG-13 rating, but it you have a mature kid who’s a little younger, they’ll probably be fine.

Editor: Please welcome new blogger Chris Fox. He’s got the Marvel beat! He promised me no spandex.

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Tuesday marked the premiere of the most highly anticipated show in television history – at least by me. I have been a huge fan of The Avengers franchise since the beginning and I’ve had a man crush on Agent Coulson from the moment he threatened to taze Tony Stark and watch Super Nanny.

So let’s talk about episode one shall we?

The show opens with long shots of L.A. and Skye’s voice over giving us the background info we need. Basically, after we were attacked by aliens the world went crazy – makes sense.

We also meet Michael (played by veteran to Joss Whedon T.V. shows, J. August Richardson) and his son, Ace. They have a touching moment right before the building beside them explodes.Michael reveals that he has super strength as he scales the building and saves a woman from a fiery doom.

Skye sees the whole event and records it on her phone.

Next, we fly to Paris to meet Agent Grant Ward as he is searching for a Chitari neural link. He gets into a bit of a tiff with some goons from the group known as The Rising Tide who also want said neural link. He returns to S.H.I.E.L.D. and gets debriefed by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders reprises her role very well).

Then comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the return of Agent Phil Coulson.

I’ve seen Marvel’s The Avengers, and I liked it. Technically, I’m not allowed to share too much about it at this point, but trust me when I say that it’s good, fun stuff. And that’s all I’m going to say about that (except for this great bit from Mark Ruffalo on his inspiration for the Hulk). (Update — Here’s my review of The Avengers!)

What I can talk about is an Avengers Giveaway! That’s right, we’ve got Avengers swag and you can win it.

You’re welcome.

The Disney Blog is giving away the following items to one(1) lucky winner (entry guidelines below):