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

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…

The Italian Job, 2003 (♦♦♦♦♦)

Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg), a mastermind plotter, and John Bridger (Donald Sutherland), a gifted safecracker, joined by four other highly skilled thieves, execute a perfect heist in the picturesque city of Venice. What can possibly go wrong? Everything! Steve (Edward Norton), one of the gang members, double crosses the rest of them, walking out with a bounty of $35 million dollars worth in gold. He kills Bridger and assumes Charlie and the others are dead too, but that’s his first mistake. One year later, Charlie meets with the other three gang members and recruits Stella, John Bridger’s daughter, also a professional safecracker, to avenge Bridger’s death and recover the bounty. Easier said than done! However, Charlie and the others, thanks to Steve’s distrust of people, manage to carry out the heist as it was done in Venice.

Mini cooper races, major traffic jams, and good acting enhance the tension in this thriller. My heart kept pounding in my chest until the end. Great movie! I wish there were more like this one.