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…

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz (♦♦½)

Odd Thomas, the psychic twenty-one year-old fry cook from Pico Mundo, left behind his hometown accompanied by Boo, a ghost dog, and the specter of a famous singer, and arrived at Magic Beach, a coastal California town. There he got a job as a cook for Hutch Hutchinson, a former Hollywood star. Odd’s arrival at Magic Beach had been prompted by nightmarish visions of red tides and sky and a premonition of many deaths; in the middle of it all, was a pregnant young woman, floating above the sea.

A month after living in town, he finally met Annamaria, the lady in his visions of the end of the world. That same afternoon, he was pursued by three thugs who wanted to kill him. The next few hours were challenging for Odd Thomas, since he was instrumental in thwarting a terrorist plot targeting millions of American people. Over the course of a night, surrounded by a dense fog covering the town, Odd encountered an assorted cast of characters-- some good, some bad, some plain evil--that tested his faith in humanity and his own beliefs.

I wanted to like this book so much…But I didn’t. It’s not necessarily bad, just not interesting enough. The premise is good, and there’s plenty of drama and adventures to like, but the pace is so slow that it bored me to death. Enigmatic characters that never quite fit and very forgettable characters are some of the issues. There are only two good things going for this book: beautiful metaphors and relatively short story (283 pages).

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