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…

The Debt (♦♦♦♦)

Rachel (Jessica Chastain/Helen Mirren), Stefan (Sam Worthington/Tom Wilkinson) and David are three Mossad agents, who in 1965 were given the mission to kidnap in East Berlin a former Nazi doctor—Dr. D. Vogel, a.k.a. the Surgeon of Birkenau—responsible for thousands of deaths during the war, and transport him safely to Israel to stand trial.

The kidnapping goes as planned, but not so the escape from East Berlin, so Rachel, Stefan and David must take turns to feed and care for Dr. Vogel until their extraction takes place. There are two sure things: it will be hard for the three operatives to interact with their enemy, and they will never be able to forget what’ll happen next.

This movie is among the best I have watched this year! It starts a little bit scattered, going back and forth between the past and present day, but one the story focuses, it’s a pure adrenaline rush. It is wonderfully acted by young and old actors alike, thus there’s a sense of continuity in the time elapsed in the film, instead of a break. The characters are so flawed, so human, and their mission has gone so wrong, that one has no other choice but empathize with them.

I’m starting to enjoy Jessica Chastain’s performances; this year she has gotten great opportunities to shine next to acting heavyweights, this film included. In my opinion, Helen Mirren’s performance is her best since The Queen. I always enjoy Tom Wilkinson’s grave, forceful acting, and in this movie he does not disappoint.

Great movie, powerful ending! Worth every cent!

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