I Am Thor
John Mikl Thor was a bodybuilding, steel bending, brick smashing rock star in the 70's & 80's whose band, Thor, never quite made it big. Years later he attempts a comeback that nearly kills him.
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★★★★ review by Jeremy Milks on Letterboxd
I used to have a Thor poster on my wall in the 80's but I hadn't even heard his music at that point. He was just so rad that his image was enough. I think some people like him "ironically" but this doc is all heart and you can't help but love the guy. The fact that he pretends to have a manager named Steve Scott (which is himself) is very George Costanza-ish and provides the biggest laughs in the movie on multiple occasions. Really loved seeing this.
★★★★ review by Josh Stewart on Letterboxd
It's fascinating, funny, sad, and uplifting all at the same time to see a dude who was at the top of the world physically and almost there professionally learn a bit of humbleness and then just keep trying to make it work for the fans who are still there. I hope things only continue to get better for this guy.
★★★★½ review by XaviSanchezPons on Letterboxd
Risas a porrones pero también momentos de lagrimilla. Entre "El luchador', "Best worst movie" y "Ed Wood". Lo que consigue hacer Ryan Wise (director del docu) con los pocos recursos que tiene es prodigioso: es ágil con el montaje y saca oro del día día más rutinario de Thor y su banda.
"I Am Thor" se ventila en pocos minutos la faceta histórica del personaje (habla poco de las pelis, el único pero) y crece cuando se centra en el comeback musical de Thor. En esencia lo que hace aquí Wise con Thor es lo mismo que hizo Burton con Ed Wood: plasmar la obsesión y la ilusión casi inocente de un creador estrellado. Resumiendo, una de las mejores peliculas que he visto este año.
★★★½ review by Russell Holley on Letterboxd
A fun, light, high-energy doc jam-packed with an inspiring DIY rock n' roll spirit. Really enjoyed spending time with Thor.
★★★★½ review by Dan on Letterboxd
I Am Thor is a wonderful documentary much in the same vein as Anvil, as it chronicles the relative rise of a heavy metal act and the long, painful road to stardom (at best). This isn't quite as good as Anvil but that is largely due to Thor not being nearly as good a band as Anvil. After all, both are metal acts from the 70s/80s that had some immediate success and were expected to hit the big time but for a myriad of reasons were unable to do so. Both struggled with poor band management and decision-making, strong personalities almost to a fault, and oftentimes situations beyond their control. But if there's one thing that we can learn - if you are a struggling metal band, head overseas to Europe or Asia if you want some success, as those fan bases are rabid for their metal and quite appreciative of your efforts.
The documentary itself does a nice job relying mainly on interviews and not invoking personal opinions of those putting the movie together. It's always interesting to see how contemporaries view the subject matter, and while Jon Mikl Thor the person is not a perfect person, it was pretty clear that most people really did like the guy and he seemed to be a genuinely nice person. He's not without fault here of course, and part of me found it very frustrating to see him constantly in control of his fate to a large degree and make poor decisions. But it's also hard to fault someone who is literally putting all his effort into living out his dream. Let's just say there's a reason I'm an accountant - aside from the obvious lack of talent, it's just completely against my personality to live such a risky life where you have no guarantee that your job will even be there.
Overall this is just such a neat documentary about a man and those involved in his life and band, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't tear up when those huge crowds showed up for the band's European performances. Unfortunately, I can't say I really thought any of Thor's music was actually good (unlike Anvil, where their music I enjoyed), but the stage performances must be a sight to see with him bending steel bars with his teeth.
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