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Take actions to reduce post-holiday stress -3/2/2015, 9:16 AM

Breeding costs in cow/calf operations have changed -3/1/2015, 4:49 PM

Clubs and meetings (March 1, 2015) -3/1/2015, 3:45 PM

Phillipsburg DCF worker honored by governor -2/27/2015, 4:49 PM

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Lenten retreat March 14 in Hays -2/25/2015, 11:50 AM

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Rose Garden hosting special event March 9 -2/24/2015, 11:32 AM

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Clubs and meetings (Feb. 22, 2015) -2/22/2015, 3:17 PM

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Kochia control in early spring for fields in wheat -2/15/2015, 2:37 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 15, 2015) -2/15/2015, 2:37 PM

Clubs and meetings (Feb. 15, 2015) -2/15/2015, 2:27 PM

A mother-in-law's example of faith shows transformation -2/13/2015, 9:26 AM

Birthday -2/12/2015, 9:08 AM

Elevate your marriage during National Marriage Week -2/12/2015, 9:08 AM

Taking time to have a little laugh during life's busyness -2/11/2015, 8:51 AM

Lions Club convention March 7 in Hays -2/10/2015, 4:10 PM

HaysMed welcomes new pulmonologist -2/10/2015, 1:35 PM

'SpongeBob Movie' is what you make it out to be -2/10/2015, 9:01 AM

Remembering Valentine's Days from years ago -2/9/2015, 10:07 AM

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Clubs and meetings (Feb. 8, 2015) -2/8/2015, 4:26 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 8, 2015) -2/8/2015, 3:32 PM

County Extension has farm bill information available -2/8/2015, 3:31 PM

Kansas 4-H Foundation names new president/CEO -2/5/2015, 3:32 PM

Freezer-ready slow-cooker meals can be safe and delicious -2/5/2015, 9:36 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Feb. 5, 2015) -2/5/2015, 8:15 AM

Youngsters look back through generations on KS Day -2/4/2015, 8:15 AM

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Business Briefcase (Feb. 1, 2015) -2/1/2015, 4:32 PM

Nex-Tech names a studio space in Hammond Hall on FHSU campus -1/30/2015, 3:47 PM

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Moran gains seat on Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee -1/29/2015, 2:02 PM

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Comedian, author Rainn Wilson coming to FHSU -1/27/2015, 1:37 PM

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DeBakey Heart Institute sponsors coffee, conversation -1/26/2015, 11:04 AM

Many can suffer from seasonal disorders -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 25, 2015) -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Winter, spring options for winter annual weed control in wheat -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Bishop from Ghana visits area -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

Eating well while spending less actually is possible -1/22/2015, 9:55 AM

One of 5 finalists for FHSU provost position withdraws -1/21/2015, 11:36 AM

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HaysMed joins trend, expands Point of Service collections -1/19/2015, 1:46 PM

Couture-Lovelady assigned to House Rules Committee -1/19/2015, 11:22 AM

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Save some trouble, get agriculture leases in writing -1/18/2015, 3:14 PM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 18, 2015) -1/18/2015, 3:13 PM

-1/18/2015, 2:00 PM

Hays to host Western region farmers market conference -1/17/2015, 3:23 PM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 17, 2015) -1/17/2015, 3:14 PM

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Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 12, 2015) -1/12/2015, 8:47 AM

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Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 8, 2015) -1/8/2015, 9:18 AM

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SPOTLIGHT
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'Thor: The Dark World' isn't as bright as the original

Published on -11/12/2013, 10:16 AM

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The devil is in the details -- or perhaps more accurately, identity is in the details. So often in cinema, those details are not the product of the story at hand or the actors portraying it. The world itself is brought to life under the leadership and vision of the director and the work of hundreds of craftsmen ranging from visual effects to sound design.

I enjoyed "Thor: The Dark World." However, I did struggle a little with the absence or alteration of a few key details that defined the first "Thor" film.

Granted, that is a minor consideration from a biased source. As a film reviewer, I find I am far more sensitive to small changes than a typical audience member might be. That said, when small changes make Thor not feel like Thor -- I think it's worth mentioning.

The first third or so of "The Dark World" takes a little while to get cooking. Coupled with a directorial change, as well as changes in key crew positions, it didn't have the impact or weight I was expecting. Hammer swings don't land with the same force, and the "fish out of water" jokes aren't quite as funny.

Director Alan Taylor, who has directed some of my favorite episodes of HBO's "Game of Thrones," gets the serious dialogue moments right, but struggles to follow Joss Whedon's near flawless "The Avengers" when it comes to the action and humor.

The latter part of the film does an excellent job at compensating for its slow beginning. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston reprise their roles as Thor and Loki to great effect. Both actors are very well suited for their parts but, more importantly, also have a fantastic chemistry that serves as the heart of the story and binds the weaker elements together.

All in all, "Thor: The Dark World" was a fun bit of entertainment. Marvel really seems to have the origin story bit nailed down, but hasn't quite dialed in to the same formula for stand-alone sequels.

4 of 6 stars

James Gerstner works at Fort Hays State University Foundation. james.gerstner@gmail.com

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