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…

Hereafter (♦♦♦)

Marie LeLay (Cécile De France) is a re-known French journalist in her last day of vacation when a tsunami strikes. Marcus is a young boy (Frankie and George McLaren) who has been struck by a family tragedy. George Lonegan (Matt Damon) is a gifted psychic refusing to acknowledge his gift (or curse as he calls it). These three characters’ paths will cross in the streets of London.

This movie has been directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The music is also his. The musical score that appear in most of his films (haunting guitar chords, piano and violin) are ever present. As always, shadows engulf the characters to enhance the drama.

Although haunting, this movie is unlike other films that Clint Eastwood has directed. It doesn’t have the same resonance as Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven, Changeling and Gran Torino. However, its main topic, what happens after death, is explored with care even if no definitive answers are provided.

I liked this film more than my rating reflects. The acting is superb by characters big and small.

Matt Damon has departed somewhat lately from the type of films that have given him commercial stardom such as The Bourne Trilogy and The Ocean’s Trilogy. Those action flicks focus more on his ability to fight or being at the edge of the law. In his last two movies (Hereafter and The Adjustment Bureau), however, he explores his most dramatic essence, and he excels at it. I believe Matt Damon is one of the most versatile actors of his generation, and this movie is proof of that.

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