Thor (2011, Kenneth Branagh)

I can’t pretend we watched this for any reason other than to prep for the much-more-highly-anticipated Avengers movie. We haven’t yet stooped to renting Captain America, though. Totally entertaining, an overall better flick than Iron Man 2.

Scandinavian god-prince Thor (Chris Hemsworth of Cabin in the Woods) with his four friends (including Tadanobu Asano, the crazy slit-mouthed star of Ichi the Killer) and prankster brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston of The Deep Blue Sea) piss off the ice creatures from another world, so Thor’s dad Sir Anthony Hopkins tells Idris Elba to banish Thor to Earth without his powers or hammer. Sam Jackson’s SHIELD quarantines the hammer while Thor proves irresistible (initially loutish, but learns earth-manners quickly) to storm-chaser Natalie Portman. She hangs out with comic-relief Kat Dennings (Norah of the Infinite Playlist) and science-buddy Stellan Skarsgard, who is fortunately Scandinavian and so knows what Thor is about. When Loki turns traitor, Thor manages to revive the hammer and save his homeland, leaving Portman lonely back on earth until the sequel (since I don’t think she’s in Avengers).