A SOULFUL HUMANOID ROBOT │ GHOST IN THE SHELL (2017) (SPOILER ALERT!!!)

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Theatrical Release Poster; cr: IMDb

Aplenty of skyscraper buildings. Neon lights are everywhere, embellishing the buildings and the streets. Some buildings are running the high-definition hologram advertisements. The population of robots have the same appearance as the population of real humans, even the total of the real ones are actually outnumbered by the total of robots. And the cutest part is when a group of geisha robots suddenly turn into geisha-like spider robots. Those are the visualizations I got from a movie which is directed by Rupert Sanders (known for directing Snow White and the Huntsman) and had the anime version since 1995, which is directed by Mamoru Oshī.

With the time setting of Japan’s advanced technology era–located in Hong Kong–Mira Killian (Scarlett Johansson) must accept the situation after the boat which she rode with her parent was destroyed by the terrorists and caused a big damage to her body (except her brain), also her parent’s death. And by the world’s leading developer of augmentative technology Hanka Robotics, Mira’s body is submitted to Dr. Ouelet (Juliette Binoche) to create a new mechanical body called ‘shell’. This body is a Hanka Robotics’ secret project and can be worked if the body is connected to the human brain. And such an unexpected event that Mira is the only one of her kind who successes this secret project. Why? It is believed that Mira still has the ‘ghost’ in herself or in other word, it is a human soul.

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‘Major’ Mira Killian (Scarlett Johansson), cr: IMDb

A year later, Mira has attained a new rank ‘Major’ and placed in Section 9, a group who is led by Daisuke Aramaki (‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano). One night, Section 9 gets a mission to thwart a terrorists attack on a Hanka Robotics business conference in a hotel. But when Mira destroys the geisha robots–which have turned into geisha-like spider robots for some reasons–one of them leaves an odd voice message.

 “Collaborate with Hanka Robotics and be destroyed.”

A big question appears in Section 9 about where does the voice message come from and what is the meaning of it. But, it can be solved quickly after one member named Togusa (Chin Han) finds out who is the culprit with his augmentative technology, and he is a hacker named Kuze (Michael Carmen Pitt). And by Aramaki, Mira with her very close partner Batou (Pilou Asbæk) go to the Hanka Robotics and visit Dr. Dahlin (Anamaria Marinca) about her findings from a hacked geisha robot. After knowing that the findings are not as much as expected, Mira braves herself to do the ‘Deep Dive’ into a hacked geisha robot for finding out an answer about Kuze’s whereabouts–even in the end she is also hacked by Kuze.

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(l-r): Kuze (Michael Carmen Pitt) & ‘Major’ Mira Killian (Scarlett Johansson), cr: IMDb

On her effort in finding Kuze’s whereabouts, Mira always gets haunted by her past or in her word is ‘glitches’, yet she tries to ignore it. And while the story is ongoing, Kuze tells the truths when the both of them meet and makes Mira remembering clearly about her past. This takes her to the death of the scientist team in Hanka Robotics (including Doctor Ouelet who is revealing the real truth of Mira’s past), also her little reunion with her mother and his brother Hideo (whom surprisingly is Kuze himself).

I must say that I’m not a big fan of old animes, but this movie–adapted from a manga by Masamune Shirō–catches my attention. Why? Because this movie will take the audiences into the Japan’s future atmosphere, both in terms of city and lifestyle. The other reason is I really love anime, so if the Hollywood movie teams want to make a live-action movie from a/an manga/anime adaptation, they must make it very well and touching otherwise fans from around the world will not respect it. I like the story personally, but sadly I don’t really like with the character development from each characters.

I’m expecting Mira to be a strong and emotional character–as depicted in the story–but it turns out 180 degrees. She is so expressionless–and the way she does ‘it’ is clearly forced (maybe this is how they depicting Mira). Not to mention, Mira’s action scenes in this movie are in counts than Mira’s chit-chatting scenes with Section 9 members (especially with her close-partner Batou). Whereas in Marvel movies, there are countless of Black Widow’s action scenes than chit-chatting scenes with her teammates–that does not go for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, more chit-chatting scenes there and it makes me queasy.

Below Mira are the auxiliary characters that for me are not very important and/or leave us some imposed impressions. The first one is Mira’s close-partner, Batou. Though he is depicted as caring person towards Mira (and his fellow Section 9 members), he’s just the same as Mira, expressionless and clearly forced in some scenes. One of them is when he expresses his longing towards Mira (with mind-com) while on their mission in a yakuza pub to search Kuze’s whereabouts.

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(l-r): Daisuke Aramaki (‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano) & Cutter (Peter Ferdinando), cr: IMDb

Then, there is this Section 9 leader named Aramaki–the only character who uses the real Japanese actor. At first, there is nothing wrong with him until he successfully creates an ambiguous. He is the only Japanese speaker in the movie while the others speak English–especially the figures from Japan (and one of them is Kaori Momoi who plays Mira’s mother). With such a positive thinking, I started to think that in that time, translator devices have been highly developed from I expected, so the Non-Japanese people will unnecessary speak Japanese. Since in this movie the most casts are from Hollywood, so yeah…

Last is Kuze who appears to be the most tiresome character in the movie. Aside from his way of toneless speaking, he doesn’t have a soul (including emotion) like a robot–and that truly makes me sleepy. That goes the same when he is told to express as if imposed and it makes me want to puke.

In addition of liking the story, I also like the visualizations. Though the movie takes place in Hong Kong, I like how the team depicts the atmosphere of the future in Japan. The city which is very identical for the skyscraper buildings, coupled with a thousand of lights, making it very future-like. But the most interesting thing from this movie is the high-definition hologram advertisements–and they run them without projector screens. I don’t know why I like these, but I’m expecting these to happen in the next ten years. Hihi…

Overall, the movie is quite good. But because of the not-so strong enough at the character development from each characters, the movie quality should decrease. Oh and by the way, it feels awkward for me if the Asian fiction characters are played by Hollywood actors/actress. Why? To me personally, it is very difficult to fathom into these characters. They are so unpredictable and (sometimes) full of emotions. That is why all Asian actors/actress are really appreciating their own character and trying to play it well. No offense because that is my opinion.

 

Ps: I know it’s pretty late… but that’s okay (also forgive my grammars)

 

Movie Title: Ghost in the Shell (2017) │ Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller │ Adaptation: Ghost in the Shell (manga by Masamune Shirō) │ Director: Rupert Sanders │ Producer: Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Steven Paul, Michael Costigan │ Screenplay: Jamie Moss, William Wheeler, Ehren Kruger │ Composer: Clint Mansell, Lorne Balfe │ Cinematography: Jess Hall │ Editor: Neil Smith, Billy Rich │ Production Company: DreamWorks Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, Arad Production, Shanghai Film Group Corporation, Huahua Media │ Country: The Unites States │ Language: English, Japanese │ Cast: Scarlet Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Carmen Pitt, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Peter Ferdinando, Anamaria Marinca, Kaori Yamamoto, Andrew Morris, Kaori Momoi, Michael Wincott, Rila Fukushima │ Release Date: March 16, 2017 (Shinjuku, Japan); March 31, 2017 (The U.S.) │ Running Time: 107 minutes │ Rating: PG-13 │ Score: 2.0/5.0

The Best DC Movies! | Wonder Woman (2017) (SPOILER ALERT!!!)

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Official Movie Poster; cr: IMDb

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Full Team! (l-r: Saїd Taghmaoui, Chris Pine, Gal Gadot, Eugene Brave Rock, Ewen Bremner); cr: IMDb

Long time ago, ladies’ roles were underestimated by the global. They assumed that ladies should be at home, doing their duties as a housewife. But for Diana Prince, it’s different. Since she was a little, she had always dreamt to save the world, but she never knew that there will be a lot of threats that will take her life someday.

That’s what she always thinks. A girl who was born in Themyscira Island, home of the Amazons. All of these happen from a tale which is told by her mother–Queen Hippolyta–about how was the Amazons created by Zeus after his son Ares, God of War, destroyed humanities with evil zests. If this still continues, then there will be an infinity war. Because of this, Zeus decided to kill Ares and created a weapon that can kill Ares (when he returns one day). That weapon is called The Godkiller–and apparently it’s a sword.

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Little Diana (Lilly Aspell) & her mum (Connie Nielsen); cr: IMDb

With age, Themyscira Island suddenly has a human guest named Steve Trevor, an American spy who is assigned to seek some information about what are the German’s armies doing in Turkey. He arrives with a (stolen) plane which has been shot and fallen into the sea together. Because of this, Diana intends to help him by carrying him into the coastline. But, who knows that his presence makes the Amazons asking his reasons, so they entwine him with Lasso of Trust (a magic rope that can make someone says the truths) onto him.

The reason that Steve tells to the Amazons is the same as the tale that her mother told to Diana–and she believes that this doing is Ares’–so she decides to go to the human world with Steve to stop the mess (and bring The Godkiller).

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In the human world, Diana will meet some new stuffs that she had never known before, like putting on a (ethical) outfit, trying new food (like ice cream), slow dance, etc.. Not only that, in human world, Diana starts to reveal the real identity of Ares–which is a speaker of peace on the Imperial War Cabinet named Sir Patrick Morgan–and her true self.

After DC Comics fans waiting for +70 years long, this summer Wonder Woman is officially aired in whole world cinemas. Directed by Patty Jenkins, the movie is adapted from a comic by William Moulton Marston with the same title. And for those who have already read the comic, there are big differences between the movie and the comic for sure, for example Diana’s outfit when she is in London.

Talking about which era, the movie’s takes place when the World War I (between Axis Powers and Allied Powers) finally comes to an end. With the World War I as the time setting, Jenkins wanted to show the audiences how are the situations back then. Starting from the situation at the front line war, and the people’s conditions there. Jenkins also added a little of Old Greek myths in the movie.

The question is, how will DC elevate Wonder Woman’s movie quality while the last DC Movie, Suicide Squad, can be said as a failure?

Diana Prince is just a girl full of curiosity and ambitions. Her curiousness is the entertainment material for the audiences. How come that Diana herself is a descent of the Greek God, and she enters the human world. She must adapt there for sure, but how she’s doing it is such entertaining. One of the scenes that successfully made me laugh is when Steve tries looking for a new outfit for Diana because her outfit that she wears is a little bit naked until she must cover herself with a long black coat. For your information, while Diana trying her new outfit, she assumes that those are battle outfits (and as you guys can see that those are tore widely).

While her ambition is already seen from the beginning of the story. Her wish to join the martial art training with the other well-trained Amazons has already made after she often sees their training. Because of that, her mother’s sister Antiope intends to train Diana quietly–until her mother finds out. Other than that, her wish to stop Ares’s doing–which Diana believes that he’s already came back–makes her going to the human world until her mother overwhelmed to stop her.

And, the appearance of an American spy Steve Trevor changes Diana’s life. His patience combines Diana’s curiosity. For example, when he wants to prove Diana that he really tells her the truth by using Diana’s Lasso of Truth. Aside from his patience, Steve is a (very) careful person. He doesn’t want Diana to run away while running on the mission. But behind that, he actually doesn’t want her to be hurt on the mission.

And as the story goes, the chemistry between these two characters keeps growing until they decide to continue it to the next level. Because of this, fans started to ship (fandom’s language) them. It is so romantic that when the story reaches to an end, they finally separate at the take-off field and Steve gives Diana his dad’s watch as a sign that he really loves her.

The end story of Wonder Woman is such a plot twist! At first, Diana thought that Ares was the general of war from Germany Erich Ludendorff. But, it was totally wrong and the real Ares is Sir Patrick Morgan. Also, there’s a gaffe near the end of the story, which is where Patrick’s (Ares) statement to Diana about the formation of a new and better world after the humanities are destroyed by themselves. So confusing, don’t you think?

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Overall, the movie is beyond my expectations. I always state that the DC Movies are way worse than the Marvel Movies, yet somehow Wonder Woman deserves five thumbs up. I even got touched while watching a scene where Diana uses her shield to protect herself from the Axis Powers’ rain bullets.

 

Movie Title: Wonder Woman (2017) | Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, War | Adaptation: Wonder Woman (DC Comics by William Moulton Marston) | Director: Patty Jenkins | Producer: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Richard Suckle | Screenplay: Allan Heinberg | Composer: Rupert Gregson-Williams | Cinematography: Matthew Jensen | Editor: Martin Walsh | Production Company: DC Films, Atlas Entertainment, Cruel and Unusual Films, Tencent Pictures, Wanda Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures | Country: The United States | Language: English | Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Saїd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Lucy Davis, Elena Anaya, Lilly Aspell, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Ann Wolfe, Ann Ogbomo | Release Date: May 15, 2017 (Shanghai); May 31, 2017 (Indonesia); June 2, 2017 (The US) | Running Time: 141 minutes | Rating: PG-13 | Score: 9.0/10.0

 

 

Gru has a Twin Brother?! │ Despicable Me 3 (2017)

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Official Movie Poster (recently)

How does it feel when you’re told by someone (who appears to be a non-relationship with you) that you actually has a twin brother/twin sister? After Gru is being told by someone (let’s say that he is Gru’s neighbour) that he actually has a twin brother, he surprises and says that he wants to see him. After he gets some information about where is his twin-brother’s living, Gru and his family travels to his place (by a jet).

His long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother named Dru. Originally, after their parent gave births to Gru and Dru, their parent suddenly went divorced and both of them finally got separated. Unlike Gru who always grouchy, Dru is energetic and friendly. And as Dru’s villain spirit is still running in his veins, Dru wants to ask Gru to come back being villain again yet Gru hesitates. So, Dru shows something that Gru has never seen before in his life–and that ‘thing’ affects him to become a villain again.

Right before his meeting with Dru, a villain named Balthazar Bratt–a former child star who has grown up to become obsessed with the character that he played in the ‘80s–steals a big diamond from the secret room in a cruise ship and makes the Anti Villain League shocked. The headquarters asked for Gru and his wife Lucy to stop Balthazar. But unfortunately, the mission fails and the two of them are forcely fired and they have to run their tough life.

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Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker)

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Felonious Gru (Steve Carell)

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L-R: Felonious Gru (Steve Carell) & Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker)

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L-R: Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) & Felonious Gru (Steve Carell)

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L-R: Felonious Gru (Steve Carell) & Felonious Dru (Steve Carell)

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“Let’s party!!!”

Will his twin brother Dru finally leave his villain side to help Gru? Will Gru, Lucy, and Dru finally cease Balthazar Bratt? Will Gru and Lucy finally get the job back?

After the biggest animated hits of Despicable Me’s franchises–with a spin-off Minions (2015)–brought to you by Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures, Despicable Me 3 will be continuing the adventure of Gru, his wife Lucy, their adorable adoptive daughters (Margo, Edith, and Agnes), and the Minions. Directed by Pierre Coffin (whose popular by directing all of the Despicable Me’s franchises) and Kyle Balda, and written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, the movie will be first premiered on June 14, 2017 at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and released on June 30, 2017 in the US.

The movie itself will be joining three main casts, Steve Carell as Gru/Dru, Kristen Wiig as Gru’s wife Lucy, and Trey Parker as the villain Balthazar Bratt. The movie will be also joining Miranda Cosgrove as Margo, Dana Gaier as Edith, Nev Scharell as Agnes, and many more. BONUS! One of the movie director, Pierre Coffin, will still voicing as the Minions.

Talking about the Minions in Despicable Me 3, (according to the last trailer that I had posted below) they will start to act like a gangster. Colour-matching clothing (which is black and white stripes) and a tattoo per each Minions on one of their body part, like hand, neck, and butt. Yes, butt–and I wish that butt tattoo won’t exist in the movie! And don’t forget with their funny and adorable acts because those signature acts will surely make the audiences laugh out loud.

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Aside from funny, the movie will be also enclosed with some heart-warming scenes that will obviously make the audiences feel touched–just like Gru who feels touched after Agnes says that she wants to help him by selling things to the neighbourhood after losing his job. Very recommended to watch with your family/friends. And, while waiting for the release date, how about we check on these three trailers first.

Despicable Me 3 – Trailer #1

Despicable Me 3 – Trailer #2

Despicable Me 3 – Trailer #3

Hope you enjoy them and thank you for reading this blog! I really appreciate it!! 🙂

 

Movie Title: Despicable Me 3 │ Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi │ Country: The US │ Language: English │ Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda │ Writer: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio │ Producer: Chris Meleandri, Janet Healy │ Composer: Heitor Pereira │ Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharell, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews, Jenny Slate, Russell Brand, Andy Nyman, Brian T. Delaney, Michael Beattie, Martavious Gayles │ Production Company: Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment │ Release Date: June 14, 2017 (Annecy); June 30, 2017 (The US)

A (Very) Long Distance Relationship Story | Hoshi no Koe (SPOILER ALERT!!!)

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Hoshi no Koe (Bahasa Edition)

Have you ever wandered that someday in the future, some teens will be sent to outer space for investigating creatures–other than humans? If you have, have you ever wandered too that you become one of them? What will you react? If things are going like this, then you have to say goodbyes to your family and friends, and go into outer space to carry out in this mission–which will probably make you die in vain there. Or, you’re like Mikako Nagamine who always carries her own old cell phone (which can only send/receive messages) into outer space just to give words for her one and only close friend (since junior high period), Noboru Terao.

Their ages are the same, so their junior high school. They first met at the kendo club in school (on their first year) and in Noboru’s eyes, Mikako appearance is not as pretty as the other girl students. However, what intrigued him is her burning spirits during kendo practice–and makes her kendo skill thriving. From that time, they began their relationship.

Actually, they have already made a deal to go to Jouhoku High School, a favourite high school in their area. But, fate says otherwise. She has been selected as a recruitment member of the UN Forces and already left Earth on the day before her graduation ceremony starts. And because of that, she cannot properly say goodbye to Noboru.

Although they’re separated between space time, they still communicate each other with their own old cell phone that can only send/receive messages. But, for how long the message will be received by either Mikako/Noboru is up to how far the distance between Earth and somewhere in outer space. The farther the distance, the longer the message will be received.

Written beautifully by Makoto Shinkai–who also creates Byousoku 5 Centimeter (5 Centimeters per Second), Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo (Children who Chase Lost Voices), Kotonoha no Niwa (The Garden of Words), Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name.), etc.–Hoshi no Koe (Voices of a Distant Star) tells about Mikako and Noboru who run their (Very) Long Distance Relationship–or (V)LDR for short–for years. Setting in year 2046-2056, Makoto wants to show the readers that the presence of an alien group (called Tarsian) had made humans’ life agitated. Because of this, Earth sends some people (mostly women) into outer space to investigate the existence of them. And because of this too, Mikako and Noboru have to start their (V)LDR–between Earth and somewhere in outer space.

Mikako who cannot let go her times in junior high chooses to battle in outer space with her junior high uniform and because of that, her friend–who appears to be two years older than her–Satomi questioned her. She thinks that Mikako has a special person (in Earth) in her heart, but she keeps hiding it becuase she’s a shy person. On the other side, Mikako has her ‘hero’ side. She’s the first time who sees a Tarsian group and called all units of Lysithea (her mother spacecraft) to have a battle with them. On the second time meeting with Tarsian in a planet called Agartha, she drives away the gigantic one and saves a few Lysithea member’s lives.

And, Noboru who patiently waits for Mikako’s messages while running on his boring activities since high school period started. He joins the kendo club again, where the girls are the majority members. And in this club, he’s suddenly being loved by a his junior–who is prettier than Mikako–and they start dating. But, as Noboru has his date, his thoughts about Mikako grows stronger. “What is she doing now? Is she still alive?” he thinks. Therefore, Noboru decides to stop his date with his junior.

Nine years later, he starts his mission as a communication operator–which appears to be a part of UN Forces. Thanks to his choice while he was in second year high school, he finally has a chance to meet Mikako again for the last time. But that means, Mikako won’t be the same age as him–she is five years younger than him now.

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Hoshi no Koe (Short Anime Film Edition)

For the story itself has two POVs (Point of Views), Mikako’s POV and Noboru’s POV, so readers must be able to adjust whose POV is this. Even though the ending itself can be guessed by readers, still Makoto (evilly) didn’t reveal the continuation of their relationship–which makes readers upset and questioned about it. And unfortunately, some of the languages he used are SF (science fiction). There are some terms and sentences that we can’t understand (since Makoto loves SF so much).

Overall, the story is very good. Not only containing SF content, but also containing romance content that will make readers (including me) touched. Highly recommended for teenagers, especially those who love this light romance genre so much. Before the novel was wrote, the short anime film adaption had already been released in 2002 with 25-minute duration only.

Book Title: Hoshi no Koe (Voices of a Distant Star) | Genre: Sci-Fi, Space, Drama, Romance, Mecha | Author: Makoto Shinkai (original creator), Waku Ōba | Illustration: Miho Takeoka | Publisher: Media Factory, Kadokawa Corporation | ISBN: 978-602-8750-90-5 | Date Publish: July 25 2002 | Rating: 9/10

 

2017年5月21日

End of Asgard (or not) ǀ Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

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Official Teaser Poster

Adapted from Stan Lee’s Marvel comics with the same title and after the events of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor finally came back with the new threats. He met the ruthless Hela, the ruler of Hel and Niflheim who had been inadvertently released from her prison. Asgard was under attacked and Thor’s hammer called Mjolnir (a hammer in Norse mythology) destroyed by Hela. Without his mighty weapon, he got imprisoned on the other side of universe called Sakaar.

In order to get back into Asgard and stop Hela and the impending Ragnarök–the destruction of his home world and the end of Asgardian civilization–he had to win a gladiatorial duel against his old friend (who is also The Avengers) called ‘The Incredible Hulk’. Yeah, whether he is happy or not… Could he win the duel? Could he obstruct Hela and the impending Ragnarök?

Directed by Taika Waititi and produced by Kevin Feige, the movie will release on November 3 2017 (The U. S.). The movie is also rumored as the last Thor’s film after Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013)–whether it is right or not (we are still waiting for the news update).

For Marvel fans, the movie will become the most awaited movie this year. Chris Hemsworth (as Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (as Loki) will play for the main character again for the movie. The movie will also involve new stars like Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, and the surprise star–Mark Ruffalo (as Hulk). Talking about Mark Ruffalo’s presence for the movie, like I said before, there will be a battle scene between Thor and Hulk–which will be interesting for the fans around the world and become a trend topic (I think).

Well, that is all I can share to you guys (especially you Marvel fans). Even though we are still waiting for the official trailer, I hope you get entertained after watching the first teaser. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Movie Title: Thor: Ragnarok ǀ Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi ǀ Country: The U. S. ǀ Language: English ǀ Director: Taika Waititi ǀ Producer: Kevin Feige ǀ Adaptation: Thor (Marvel Comic by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby) ǀ Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh ǀ Screenplay: Eric Pearson ǀ Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins ǀ Production Company: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studios, Motion Pictures ǀ Release Date: November 3 2017 (The U. S.)