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THOR & LOKI: BLOOD BROTHERS
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Reviewed by: Mike Catalano

Directed by: Joel Gibbs, Mark Cowart

Starring:
Daniel Thorn
David Blair

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
That ol' Trickster God, Loki, has ascended to the throne of Asgard after defeating and incarcerating his brother, Thor. Selfish and without pity, Loki desecrates his once-grand kingdom with little regard for its subjects. Can the ensnared Thor break free and restore peace to Asgard?
Is it good movie?
It's been a good year for Thor, I suppose. Not since ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING has he been so prominently featured on film. I never knew a great deal about him and his brother, Loki, though I am about halfway through the movie with Chris Hemsworth playing the God of Thunder. After sitting through the animated short series, THOR & LOKI: BLOOD BROTHERS, I can attest that the tone and look is definitely in direct contrast to the live-action flick. Because it's an animated adventure of lesser scale, BLOOD BROTHERS takes a decidedly darker turn, which certainly benefits the proceedings as a whole.

With the aid of a dark tone on their side, filmmakers, Joel Gibbs and Mark Cowart are able to convey some impressively sinister dialogue for the newly anointed Loki. I was impressed to see that the two clearly had a respect for their audience as well as the subject manner. This is a well-crafted, adult-oriented piece of comic book animation. The only thing that somewhat hinders the show is it relies heavily on dialogue-driven scenes as opposed to crafting grand action sequences. The live-action film was able to succeed in this respect and I really wish that BLOOD BROTHERS had some more of it. With such awesome, tough characters and the ease of animation, I expected to see some major battles going on here. Sadly, what I got was a lot of Loki pouting about being a king and surprisingly little of Thor himself (the dude is chained up in the dungeon for a long time).

Another aspect of this series that was "love it or hate it" for me was the animation itself. The detail and colors are very striking and do a cool job of enhancing the story. The few action bits are executed with some interesting flair. My main concern was that although animated, the images don't exactly move in a normal fashion. In fact, they barely move at all. I'm sure the filmmakers were going for some kind of artistic vision here in the sense that their work comes off as paintings with small sections that are set in motion every now and then. I'm not sure if I'm explaining this correctly, so maybe you really have to watch it to understand what I'm getting at. Let's put it this way: when Loki was speaking, just his mouth would move and nothing else. It looked weird.

On the whole, I'd say that for any big Thor fan, this is definitely a must-own. It does an excellent job of conveying a compelling, smart story of the Thunder God and his frosty brother. The average DVD seeker is probably going to be put off by the nearly motion-less animation and mostly action-less storyline. At least there is some talented voice work on display as well as a welcomed return to adult storytelling. Nothing cheesy about this tale, meaning that it is not one to watch while hammered.

Video / Audio
Video Widescreen 1.77:1

Audio English dolby digital.

The Extras
A Look-Back Featurette with writer, Robert Rodi and artist, Esad Ribici.

A brisk Behind-the-Scenes Featurette.

The series Trailer.

Last Call
An interesting enough telling of the legend of Thor that is somewhat hindered by "still life" animation and an initial lack of action. However, the respect for the audience and dark, adult-oriented tone definitely make this a worthy package for any lover of the subject matter.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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