Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

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Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

Julia Roberts' Filmography - Part II

In Ocean’s Eleven (♦♦♦♦♦), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (♦♦), Ocean’s Twelve (♦♦♦♦), and Valentine’s Day (♦♦♦) Roberts guest-stars with relatively minor but good roles among star-studded casts. I love the stylish heist in Ocean’s Eleven, even more so because they didn’t have to kill anyone to get the money. The entire cast was charismatic and lovable. I dare to say they felt they were playing rather than working, reason why they went on to film two other motion pictures in the franchise. I didn’t like Ocean’s Twelve as much as Eleven, though the same elements of the prior movie remain. I believe that Valentine’s Day is as ordinary as it gets. Garry Marshall tries yet again to replicate the success of Pretty Woman with, in my opinion, pitiful results. Furthermore, I strongly dislike Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (♦♦) directed by George Clooney. I am willing to see this film yet again given the positive reviews I have read about it.

Roberts finally won a Best Actress Academy Award for her role in Erin Brokovich (♦♦♦♦♦) as Erin, a single mother, three times divorced, who loses a lawsuit and with no means to support her family, begs her former lawyer Ed Masry to hire her. An apparently straightforward real estate assignment becomes a David vs. Goliath case when Erin comes across a major corporation cover-up of contaminated water in a small California town. Albert Finney (Amazing Grace, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead), Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight, Love Happens) and Peter Coyote co-star.

To conclude, I am going to discuss three motion pictures, namely Closer (♦♦♦♦), Duplicity (♦♦♦♦), and Eat Pray Love (♦♦♦♦). Closer is a very serious film on how two adult couples handle issues of trust, truth, and love in their relationships. The script is well written and the acting is superb. This movie is not to be taken lightly; it leaves you breathless, in shock even, as the characters attempt to outmaneuver one another and find their way out. Also star Clive Owen (Derailed, Gosford Park), Natalie Portman (Star Wars, Brothers) and Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, Alfie). I enjoyed Duplicity a great deal! In it, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen star as two corporate spies who scheme the perfect plan but end up outsmarted and empty handed instead. The lines are funny and delivered effortlessly. Those two belong in each other’s arms! Also co-star Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man, Sideways), and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton, In the Bedroom) as corporate executives. Last, but not least, Eat Pray Love is a thought provoking motion picture that despite causing a few chuckles does not try to be funny. It is a philosophical piece without being preachy. It makes you understand that life is meant to be lived simply and profoundly. In this film, writer Liz Gilbert (Roberts) realizes that her life is unfulfilling and decides to get a divorce and travel to Italy, India and Bali in search for happiness. Along the way she meets people who help her become a more rounded person. Worth seen!

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