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…

Drive (♦♦♦½)

A “driver” is a key element to successfully carry out a heist. Enter Ryan Gosling as a gifted driver who knows L.A. streets inside and out, and always delivers his cargo safely home. Driver has a part-time job in the movie business and a full-time career as a car mechanic.

Driver meets Irene, a pretty neighbor with a kid, whose husband is in jail. Driver and Irene enjoy going out together, but then her husband is freed. When Driver finds Irene’s husband beat almost to death for a prison debt, he chooses to help.

With that purpose they carry out a heist, but it goes horribly wrong. When Irene loses her husband and witnesses an outbreak of violence from her neighbor towards another man, she has to wonder who was worse for her, if her husband or her handsome neighbor.

There is graphic violence along this film. A sense of mystery is implied by suspenseful, acoustic music surrounding Driver. I have to admit that it’s in those gruesome, dramatically demanding roles where Ryan Gosling truly excels.

Carey Mulligan and the kid are the only sweet elements in an otherwise brutal movie. Contrasting with it, are beautiful shots of Los Angeles skyscrapers at night, both aerial and ground views. Plenty of action, gore, some drama and a little mystery are at the core of this film.

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