I received an all expense paid trip from Disney to attend the #ThorRagnarokEvent. The opinions expressed here are my own and I received no monetary compensation.
I’m so excited that the THOR: RAGNAROK embargo has lifted and I can finally shout my love for this movie from the rooftops! I had the privilege of screening this movie at the #ThorRagnarokEvent premiere WITH the talent from the film. We sat just a few rows away from Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo. Someone pinch me that I can call this my “job”! Marvel brought on Taika Waititi for this third installment and they couldn’t have picked a better director. Waititi mentioned at the press junket that it was his goal to make a movie where people left the theater smiling. He did exactly that. Thor opens in theaters on November 3rd and you better believe that I’ll be watching again. Keep on reading for my non-spoiler review.
ABOUT THOR: RAGNAROK
In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!
“Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.
Kevin Feige is producing with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Eric Pearson and Craig Kyle & Christopher L. Yost wrote the screenplay. Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” thunders into U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017.
THOR: RAGNAROK FUN FACTS
- Ragnarok translates to “the end of the universe” in Norse mythology, so it’s fair to surmise that some edge-of-the-seat action is definitely headed audiences’ way.
- Director Taika Waititi not only directs, but also plays a new CGI character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe named Korg (introduced by Marvel in a 1962 comic book). Waititi is well known for not only directing, but acting in his own films.
- On those days when he did double duty as director while also portraying the character of Korg before the cameras, Waititi was required by the VFX team to don the neutral gray motion capture leotard, dotted all over with halved ping pong balls, used for tracking purposes in post-production when the VFX animators create the CG character in the computer. It was a strange sight for everyone on set to see him directing in that getup!
- Characters from the Marvel comics coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in “Thor: Ragnarok” include the villainous Hela (Cate Blanchett), introduced in the Marvel comics in 1964; the fierce warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), debuting on the comic book pages in 1971; Skurge, the executioner (Karl Urban), a 1964 comic book debut; and the Sakaarian dictator Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), first appearing in the Marvel comics in 1969.
- Cate Blanchett’s, Hela, one of Thor’s most formidable enemies from the comics, is the first leading female villain in any of the Marvel Studios’ feature films to date.
- The film is the first feature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to shoot not only in Australia, but in the entire Southern Hemisphere.
- Village Roadshow Studios has nine sound stages and “Thor Ragnarok” utilized all nine of them for both filming and construction. Stage 9, the largest sound stage in the Southern Hemisphere, was completed just weeks before Marvel Studios moved into Village Roadshow for pre-production on “Thor: Ragnarok.”
- The world of Sakaar in the story is like nothing ever before seen in any of the previous Marvel Studios’ films. Its design was inspired by the comic book illustrations of Jack Kirby, who co-created “Thor” (with Stan Lee) in 1962. Sakaar is the world ruled by Jeff Goldblum’s dictatorial character, Grandmaster.
- The two backlot sets at Village Roadshow Studios (Asgard Piazza and Sakaar) are, collectively, equal in size to two American football fields. It took production over four months to build them with a crew numbering over 450 at its largest.
- Oscar®-winning production designer Dan Hennah (“Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit” trilogies) and production designer Ra Vincent (“What We Do in the Shadows”) designed over two-dozen sets (both stage and exterior builds) for the 17-week shoot.
- Veteran costume designer Mayes Rubeo (“Avatar,” “Warcraft,” “The Great Wall”) made over 2,500 original costumes for the film (depicting both the worlds of Asgard and Sakaar), with all materials sourced in Australia.
- Throughout the four-day shoot in Brisbane, Australia, both Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston took every break in filming to greet the fans by shaking hands, throwing “swag” (posters, sunglasses, T-shirts and such from “Thor: The Dark World”) out to the crowd, signing autographs and grabbing personal cell phones for that once-in-a-lifetime selfie. Many people (of all ages!) came back, day after day, rain or shine, for hours on end, to catch a close-up glimpse of the actual movie stars.
- Chris Hemsworth also had fun handing out pizzas to the Brisbane crowds, which were purchased by the production’s location manager, Duncan Jones.
- A local teenager spent all week on location hoping to meet Tom Hiddleston because she had sketched a portrait of Loki that she wanted to present to him. Production arranged for the two to meet in front of the local TV cameras.
- While shooting an exterior scene in the Australian wilderness, filming was briefly interrupted when a large python fell from the dense trees above. No cast or crew were harmed, and the snake was safely relocated by a professional snake handler, but not before a few brave crew members snapped some pictures.
- On days where Cate Blanchett was shooting, before cameras rolled on the first shot, Cate made a habit of leading the crew through a few minutes of calisthenics to start the day off right.
- During the early morning hours, before crew arrived for work, wild kangaroos were often spotted hanging around the backlot near the exterior sets of Asgard and Sakaar.
- On the first day of principal photography, a local Maori tribe performed a ceremonial dance to bless the crew in hopes for a smooth shoot. Eighty-four days of successful shooting later, the tribe returned and delivered a beautiful closing ceremony as a culmination to an incredible experience of filming on native land in Australia.
THOR: RAGNAROK REVIEW
Marvel Studios did good. THOR: RAGNAROK might just be my new favorite Marvel film, bumping Guardians of the Galaxy down to the second spot. This movie had a very “Guardians” feel to me with the colorful and humorous scenes, clearly influenced by Waititi. I have to admit that I was a little sad when I heard Natalie Portman wouldn’t be returning for the third movie. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) have amazing on-screen chemistry. Thompson’s character is a little rough around the edges, but still very endearing. She gives Thor a run for his money!
Speaking of endearing, Marc Ruffalo (Hulk) totally stole the show for me. You’ll love this version of Hulk, inspired by the Planet Hulk comics. Viewers will also love Cate Blanchett (Hela), the first leading female villain in any of the Marvel Studios’ feature films to date. Hela is absolute perfection and can we just talk about her amazing headpiece! I always get asked if I think this movie is appropriate for children. I think that decision depends on the child. THOR: RAGNAROK is much more lighthearted than other Marvel films, but I always recommend that parents or caregivers pre-screen the movie first. Don’t forget to stay for the TWO hidden scenes at the end of the movie! I leave you with this gift:
THOR: RAGNAROK TRAILER
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