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…

Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol (♦♦♦½)

An IMF agent--is killed by a female assassin for hire in Budapest--while carrying classified documents. His killer gets the documents and escapes.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), after escaping from a Russian prison, is given the mission of stealing nuclear codes from the Kremlin. However, the mission goes terribly wrong and a rogue, Swedish nuclear extremist, gets away with the codes while bombing the Kremlin. Russian’s authorities suspect Americans are behind the attack. Thus, the president disavows all IMF agents and activates Ghost Protocol. Without resources or backup forces, Ethan Hunt and his team have to retrieve the codes.

This is a stylish, grand motion picture with beautiful photography and globetrotting adventure. Tom Cruise has never been in better shape, proof of that is his mind blowing stunt on the outside of the 120th floor of the tower hotel in Dubai. The scene where Jeremy Renner jumps towards a slowing giant fan in a tunnel is reminiscent of Cruise’s famous incursion at Langley in MI-1.

Overall, this movie has sufficient twists and turns to entertain and surprise, even though the plot is slightly convoluted. Jeremy Renner as a tormented agent in disguise and Tom Cruise provide most of the dramatic tension when acting is concerned. Swedish actor Michael Nyquist (Abduction, The Millennium Trilogy), as the villain, is quickly becoming a household name.

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