'Thor: Ragnarok' Is The Film Marvel's Been Trying To Make For Years

'Thor: Ragnarok' Is The Film Marvel's Been Trying To Make For Years

How Taika Waititi's refreshing point of view enhanced the superhero genre.
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Which movie is the most well-made Marvel movie? Not which was your favorite or which was the most successful, but which one is genuinely the best stand-alone film? Before this month, most Marvel fans might have said Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

It realizes the importance of character and relationship development, it's the only Marvel movie to really nail Natasha's character down, it's dramatic, well-written, and well-paced. For many Marvel fans, it's the obvious choice.

That is, until Thor: Ragnarok came out last weekend. Ragnarok is essentially the opposite of The Winter Soldier, between its flashy, colorful aesthetic and humor-driven sensibility, but it has succeeded in ways past Marvel movies haven't been able to: it appeals not only to casual viewers but to people who explicitly don't like Marvel's films.

So what did director Taika Waititi do that got it right?

One of the most obvious differences between Ragnarok and previous Marvel movies is the color scheme. Every Marvel movie in the past five years has been desaturated and gray, The Winter Soldier included, as if this might enhance the reality or drama of it all.

Waititi's film, on the other hand, shoots for bold colors and high contrast, an aesthetic that is reflected in the fact that nothing in the film is dull. The plot, the characters, the humor, the finale -- everything is embellished and with purpose.

This contrast between gray and color is most clearly seen in that fact that Ragnarok is genuinely funny. Nearly every Marvel movie sticks to a sarcastic sense of humor, and one-liners seem to be the only currency they deal in. Basically, no matter what character is talking, they get varying degrees of the Iron Man sense of humor.

Waititi's previous films, from Two Cars, One Night (2005) to Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016), share a sense of humor reviewer Dan Taipua brands "Kiwi humor," a sense of humor that is "distinctly Māori" that carries into Ragnarok. It is deadpan and deprecating, yes, but it is also situational and made up of actual jokes, for once.

Ragnarok doesn't abandon character development for the sake of comedy or plot, though. Every character is at their peak in this movie, especially Thor, who most writers have difficulty utilizing to his full potential. His cocky, slightly oblivious personality is hard to nail and apparently hard to make compelling, but Waititi decision to knock Thor down and let him find his way back combined with his biting sense of humor allows Thor to develop without sacrificing or changing what other writers managed to put into him.

At Thor's side stand Loki, who remains one of Marvel's most compelling characters thanks to Tom Hiddleston's Shakespearean sensibilities, Korg, a light-hearted rock creature played by Waititi himself, and Valkyrie, a refreshing female warrior played by Tessa Thomspon and one of Ragnarok's most important players.

Natasha's role was heavily praised for not being a love interest and being allowed to develop in The Winter Soldier, but Valkyrie takes it one step further by actually receiving her own character arc. Her character goes through the "former hero caught in a depression slump after losing loved ones in battle is called to action again" storyline that is often reserved for male heroes.

When it does come to plot, though, Waititi's use of comedy and character are its driving force. Waititi's films often combine comedy and adventure into aspects of the same genre, a technique that is largely why this film's finale works where other Marvel films don't.

So many superhero movies go too big in their third act and don't know how to stick the landing, but in creating such a vibrant, over-the-top world, Waititi's world-ending finale fits right in.

Taika Waititi essentially takes what exists as a vague idea in other Marvel movies and enhances it through Thor: Ragnarok. The energy, humor, and characters are elevated in a way no other Marvel movies has managed to succeed in. The film even manages to use music in a way other films haven't by using representative musical themes in the film's final moments, when "Sons of Odin" is brought back from the first movie.

Waititi is changing the game not by changing the rules, but by looking at them to see how he can make them better. Hopefully, Marvel will see the success this film has found and realize why the new answer to "Which is the most well-made Marvel movie?" is, without a doubt, Thor: Ragnarok.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube | Marvel

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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18 Types Of Mini-Golfers You Come Across On An 18-Hole Course

Which type of mini-golfer are YOU?

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Mini-golf: A fun activity that has been around since 1916. We have all played mini-golf before and have probably played a variety of courses over the year. The one thing you might not always realize is the players around you. Next time you go mini-golfing take a look at those playing around you and see if you can find these 18 types of players. Even see which of these mini-golfers you fit!

The professional golfer.

This is the golfer who always has to look at the hole, line up his shot every time, and takes the rules seriously such as adding a stroke when the ball goes out of bounds. I mean it's mini-golf, you don't need to line up ALL your shots.

The driver.

This is the golfer who drives the ball as if he was on an actual golf course. It's one thing if you have a power swing, but this person typically drives the ball purposefully.

The obnoxious one.

This is the golfer who is just wild and all over the place. They make such a big deal out of every play, might make irrelevant comments, etc. It's just unnecessary.

The cheerleader.

This is the person who is constantly cheering others on. Even if it's a bad play they'll say "awe, it's o.k! You still got this!"

The family with the annoying kids.

This is the family where the parents don't know how to control their kids. This is where the kids will go to the next hole before their parents, destroy some of the property, or even interfere with other people golfing.

The family that tries to act like a family.

This is the family that you can clearly see is just acting like a family. It could be as simple as a family that seems tense and is just playing together to a family where the dad and kids are playing while the mom just walks around with them filing her nails.

The group of 8+.

This is the group that holds EVERYONE up. They don't care if there are 8+ balls on one hole at a time. If you are this group, please let people behind you go ahead.

The inseparable couple.

This is the couple that is all over each other. They're constantly kissing if they aren't playing or they are taking pictures of each other.

The teenage girls.

These are the girls acting all innocent and taking selfies while playing while their parents sit near the entrance for them. It's the only thing they can do without parent supervision.

The oldie.

This is literally a grandma or grandpa who is naturally just slow. They are so adorable, but it'll take a good 2 hours to play a full 18 holes with them because of how slow they move.

The smokers.

These are the people smoking cigs or cigars while playing. Let's just hope they aren't smoking around kids and put their butts in the little buckets at each hole.

The slow pokes.

These are the golfers that just take forever. If you are a slow poke please be considerate of those behind you and let them go ahead of you.

The competitive one.

This is the one who is constantly up in your face about how they're going to win. They are the ones who can't just enjoy a game of mini-golf.

The out of bounder.

This is the golfer who constantly hits the ball out of bounds. At that rate you don't even give them a penalty stroke because they'd be up to 10+ on one hole.

The goofball.

This is the person who just acts silly. They could be the ones using a child's size putter or balancing on different rocks or stumps on the course.

The clueless one.

This is the one who never realizes what hole their on, when it's their turn, or what they are even doing.

The scorekeeper.

This is the golfer who takes keeping score seriously. Or this could just be the person who naturally always keeps score when you go mini-golfing.

The normal couple (or group).

These are the people we all love. It's the people who like some friendly competition, but don't goof around. They move from hole to hole at a good pace and keep to themselves. They also are cognizant of those around them. These are the mini-golfers we all love and should strive to be.

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