The sequel to "Thor" picks up after the events of "The Avengers".

 Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, and Tom Hiddleston is his brother Loki, who's locked up on Asgard for attacking Earth.

This time an ancient race of evil elves returns for revenge against Asgard, and Thor has to free Loki to get his help in escaping Asgard, and stopping the enemy from destroying the universe.

Almost everyone else from the first "Thor" is back, including Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Rene Russo as his wife, Idris Elba as Heimdall, and Natalie Portman as Thor's scientist girlfriend.

Thor brings her back to Asgard from Earth, where she attracts the attention of the leader of the dark elves, played by Christopher Eccleston . . . one of the many actors to play "Doctor Who".

This is the EIGHTH movie to take place in the Marvel universe, and supposedly it has a darker feel to it.

Probably because the director . . . Alan Taylor . . . worked on "The Sopranos" and "Game of Thrones". You'll want to stay to the end of the credits for TWO extra scenes . . . one of which is a tie-in for the upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie.

The first scene happens midway through the credits. The other scene comes at the end. And you can't have a Marvel movie without a mandatory Stan Lee cameo.

In this one he appears as an asylum inmate. One person missing from the first "Thor" is Josh Dallas, who played Thor's buddy Fandral.

These days he's Prince Charming on ABC's "Once Upon a Time", so Zachary Levi is taking over the role.

 Zach was actually the guy they originally wanted for the part, but he was tied up with NBC's "Chuck" when the first movie came out.

 

Our next flick is a spoof of "The Hunger Games" that also riffs on "The Avengers", "Oz the Great and Powerful" and "Harry Potter".

Maiara Walsh plays Kantmiss Evershot, and instead of Peeta and Gale, the guys in this one are 'Peter Malarkey' and 'Dale'. They're played by two guys from "Pretty Little Liars", Cody Christian and Brant Daugherty.

Your kids know Maiara from the Disney Channel show "Cory in the House". You also know Brant from his recent "Dancing With the Stars" appearance.

As for the other names they had fun with . . . they turned Effie into 'Effoff' . . . and the villain is President Snowballs.

 

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