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…

Beastly (♦♦♦)

In this modern day fantasy, Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is an attractive high school student, vain as only his father can be. According to Kyle, beautiful people are meant to rule the world while ugly people are marginal. When Kyle wins a student election over Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), invites her to a party, and then humiliates her in public, Kendra touches his arm and curses him with a year living with his ugly looking self. The curse will vanish only if within that year someone tells him that they love him.

Seeing his son’s face proves to be too much for Kyle’s father, who buys him an apartment overlooking the city and pays a blind tutor to give his sons private lessons. When Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens), a beautiful former classmate who is practically invisible at school, comes to live with Kyle, he changes his identity and tries to win Lindy’s heart by doing everything she loves. The only problem is…He is running out of time.

This is a charming, romantic movie for younger audiences. It has several things going in its favor: great music by hip contemporary artists, and clean dialogues. The acting is not that great, or the chemistry, but Hudgens and Pettyfer are two great-looking people making a good fantasy work, and it does. The best performance in the movie, in my opinion, is Mary-Kate Olsen’s as witch-looking Kendra.

Not a classic but still enjoyable.