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…

Friends with Benefits (♦♦♦½)

Jamie (Mila Kunis, Black Swan) is a successful headhunter. Dylan Harper (Justin Timberlake, The Social Network) owns an influential blog and is in conversations to head a well known publication. The problem is that Dylan lives in L.A. and would have to move to N.Y. City. Jamie convinces Dylan to take the new job with the condition that he can’t leave it for a year. Since Jamie and Dylan are both single and they haven’t been successful in any prior relationships, they decide to throw caution to the wind and be friends with benefits…Friends who have sex that is. Of course, that works well until they realize they are mutually the people they care about the most apart from family.

Patricia Clarkson, Woody Harrelson and Richard Jenkins co-star.

A lot of nudity and sex, but this movie manages to be really funny without sounding offensive. There’s solid acting by all characters, and the topic of Alzheimer’s is treated with care. There is great chemistry between Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. I thought that this is a better story and the acting is better than the less successful No Strings Attached (Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher), which broaches the same topic.

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