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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

This is the only movie to come out in the last ten or so years that I saw multiple times in theaters. The second it hit the budget theater in town, that became my go to suggestion for things to do. It's a perfect film. So perfect that I cheated and watched it a month or two ago before it came up on the Random Number Generator. I couldn't conceive of going possibly four years without watching it.


Taika Waititi is tied with Edgar Wright for my favorite director. Just so smart. You can tell he gets on fabulously with his actors and really gives them space and agency to explore their characters. His pacing is on point but his visuals are really kind of breathtaking. Watching it this time through, I couldn't help but be distracted by all of his wide action shots. Each and every one worthy of a painting. Some of the framing dropped my jaw but even more remarkably, he doesn't hold the shot to make sure you appreciate it. It's just part of the incredible structure that holds up a solid movie.


The score is an absolute banger. When we saw it for the first time, I glanced at the poster as we walked in and noticed Mark Mothersbaugh's name and was instantly even more excited. I LOVE a synth score and this is maybe the best. Perfectly suited for each and every moment. Mostly light and quirky but epic when necessary. (A rarity for Marvel movie scores.)


Tessa Thompson and Cate Blanchett are two of the most beautiful women on earth and they are also superb actresses who deliver fully realized characters. So much love to them and also Taika Waititi for letting them shine in ways we don't get to see for too many women, even now.


Jeff Goldblum at his weirdest and I love it. MORE. MOOOOOOOORE!



I was utterly disinterested in Thor and Loki before this movie and I think I just needed the actors to be let off their chains a little bit. Their banter is so engaging and fun that even though I've watched this movie a couple dozen times already, it's never old. And Anthony Hopkins playing Tom Hiddleston playing Anthony Hopkins is a thing of beauty. I could write an entire dissertation on that scene in the Asgard court with the Tragedy of Loki play. "Somebody help!!!" makes me guffaw every. single. time. Sam Neill. The choir. It's all too much. Such a gift.


I find myself wanting to talk about this movie beat by beat. If you want to know my thoughts and receive my unbridled enthusiasm, just watch it with me some time. We'll have fun.


Quick shout outs to Clancy Brown as Surtur and Karl Urban as Skurge. I always love seeing those two listed but these are particularly fine performances, however small.


Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas. 16x20" "Patron Saint of Weird"


Takeaways:

-Get ready for more Thor: Ragnarok makes because I am prolific with ideas right now. I filled a sketchbook page with ideas after watching and only time/money dictated my choice. I'm gonna make em all. ALL OF EM.

-For this idea, I was really digging on the murals/frescos/what-have-yous on the ceilings of the Asgard throne room. Very Greek/Russian Orthodox iconography and I'm in love. I honestly considered doing one for all of the characters (ALL OF EM) but to start, I had to go with The Grandmaster because of the "I pardon you ...from life" moment. And Jeff Goldblum is just endless amounts of fun in this role. I wanted to nod to the icon style by embiggening the eyes a bit, elongating the neck and making him a bit narrow. I worry that it's not enough to be a strong design choice but overall I'm happy with it.

-This was my first time working with (imitation) gold leaf! I love it! It was way easier than I expected. I'd planned on the halo being a little patchier but it was so easy I didn't have to convince myself that's what I wanted!

-Acrylic is clearly gonna be a thing for me and the next time I do one, I think I'd like to try painting on wood or mdf panels. I don't love the canvas texture showing through as much as it does and I'm not yet confident in really globbing on the paint to cover it up.

-I love this painting so much. I'm so happy with it. I hope it makes you smile.


Next up (besides more Thor: Ragnarok pieces): A KNIGHT'S TALE! :D

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