Love and Thunder

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu

The family on the balcony at the Alamo in the Cedars, Dallas, Texas

Lee texted us on Friday – he and some friends were going to see the newest MCU film, Thor’s Love and Thunder at the Alamo in Lakewood and had two extra tickets. I’m sort of Marvel Superhero’d out – but it was a family thing so I said I’d go and was looking forward to it.

Candy and I drove down there and waited (not for very long, they were on time) and was reminded why – as a family – we will not see movies anywhere other that the Alamo chain of theaters. Lee had the tickets on his phone, so we were waiting in the lobby. This was an early showing – so the place was deserted. A single man walked up to the lobby guardian and asked him, “My family is in watching Maverick and I couldn’t make it on time – can I go in?” The guardian checked, saw it had been 20 minutes and said, “Sorry, I can’t let you in this late.” The Alamo has two rules that make going to the movies tolerable.

  • No text, phone use, or talking during the movie (they will throw you out).
  • No getting into the movie after it starts.

The man looked disappointed as he left. I asked the guardian if this happens a lot. “I’m afraid it does. If the movie in only a couple minutes in, I’ll go ahead and say it’s OK – but the film started more than twenty minutes ago.”

The last time I went to a movie not at an Alamo Drafthouse (so long ago, I don’t remember where, when, or what) a bunch of people came in ten minutes after the movie started, stood around in the aisles, talking loudly about what seats (the place was pretty full) they wanted to take and asking people to move to open up spaces so they could sit together.

Never again.

I hadn’t been to the Lake Highlands Alamo before – it’s really nice. They have powered, reclining seats… so comfy. Also, if you go to an Alamo – get there early – they do a great job of putting together little bits of film to get you in the mood. One thing they showed was a Thor Cartoon from the 60’s – I remember seeing that very one when I was a sprout.

So, all this was cool and all – but how was the movie? Uhh, it was Meh. I actually likes Thor Ragnarok – the humor brought by Taika Waititi was a breath of fresh air in the increasingly predictable MCU. I love his style of injecting humor into dead-serious situations (especially Jojo Rabbit). But here is all felt forced and overdone. Not an unentertaining time – but nothing special.

Also, I’m still suffering from withdrawn from Everything Everywhere all at Once (I’m still haunted by my thoughts riding my bike three miles home in the dark after that movie). That was a life-changing film and it isn’t fair to compare any other cinematic experience to that… but it is what it is.

Thor Love and Thunder did put a bit of a bug in my bonnet on the more overblown aspects of the MCU – thinking about the universe and all. Then, later on in the day, I decided, for some reason, to watch Eternals streaming at home.

It was awful.

The movie is about a group of superhuman androids that live, basically forever, protecting humankind from destruction (at least they think they are). There are fascinating concepts – like a superhero that can control minds ending up as a Jim Jones-like cult leader in the Amazon – someone that spends eternity stuck in a pre-pubescent girl’s body, destined never to grow up (her fellow Eternals treat her like a little kid even though she is thousands of years old), – there is a moral quandary between duty and kindness – all these amazing aspects – yet the movie is horribly boring. All the fascinating stuffins are ignored for silly action scenes and interminable stretches of all the Eternals standing around talking about nothing. Why did I bother?

Such a waste of time.

I’d rather watch the Alamo Drafthouse PSAs.

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