I Am Thor Blu-ray Review
Do you know what I like most about getting old? When you see or hear something from your past that triggers a great memory. That feeling hit me when I was watching I AM THOR. The film includes a 1976 clip from “The Merv Griffin” show featuring a barely clad body builder whose talent was taking a regular, ordinary water bottle and, using only his lungs, blowing it up until it burst. I remember watching this show when it aired because, like most kids who see things on television, I later attempted the same stunt. If memory serves, I either collapsed from exhaustion or just gave up. I’m going with gave up. Which, thankfully, is something John Mikl Thor never did.
An entertaining look at an unusual entertainer, I AM THOR follows John Mikl Thor through an incredible journey to finally be relevant. We learn that, while in high school, Thor started body building. He worked himself into good shape and soon formed a band with some friends. Looking for a gimmick, he would go onstage clasping an oversized hammer as the front man for the new band “Thor.” While the band played behind him, Thor would sing. He would also do feats of strength on stage, including bending a steel bar with his bare hands. Things progress well for Thor, and “Thor,” but not to the extent he and the band would like. Hello retirement.
What makes I AM THOR fun to watch is that the title subject, John Mikl Thor, understands not only that he could have been bigger but also that he knows why he wasn’t. The film follows him as he moves to Hawaii to work as a nude waiter at a place called “What Do You Say to a Naked Waiter?” Not sure if I could ever eat there, especially when I get upset if the waiter just puts his thumb in my soup. Director Wise started this project in 2004 so almost eleven years or so of Thor’s life are represented here, including his recent triumphant reunion tour in Finland that is met with great success. And if you’re going to be a huge, yet regional, star, it’s Finland. I have a friend here in Kansas City that is, literally, the WORLD AIR GUITAR CHAMPION. In the Midwest he can travel unmolested. In Finland, he’s Elvis! It seems the Fins think of Thor, and “Thor,” like the Germans think of David Hasselhoff. Even if it takes a little while longer to bend a steel bar, the audiences go wild from the first moments he hits the stage. Thor is shocked to meet members of “Thor” tribute bands and scores of fans who love the music which, I must confess, is pretty good. Smart musical licks and sharp lyrics. The music alone is worth the price of admission (or, in this case, a disc). As he refers to himself in the film, John Mikl Thor most certainly is the little engine that can. In Finland!
Video: Presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the producers have done a good job of cleaning up a great deal of the archival material used.
Audio: The soundtrack is delivered in DTS HD Master Audio 5.1. and gives special attention to the various archival recordings featured. The interviews featured are presented loud and clear and the various crowds (concert goers, etc) and their accompanying cheers are well mixed.
Besides a few coming attraction trailers, there are no extras on this disc.