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 Artist (♦♦♦♦)

George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the major star of a movie studio in Hollywood during the silent era. A chance encounter of Valentin with an aspiring actress named Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) catapults her to instant celebrity status. With the advent of talking films, George Valentin becomes obsolete while Miller becomes the next “it” girl.

Meanwhile, the stock market crashes triggering the Great Depression and George Valentin loses his fortune falling on hard times. A new opportunity for Valentin in the movie business is handed down by Miller, who never stopped loving him.

While I don’t think this is a Wow movie, I did enjoy it very much. This is a silent movie from beginning to end; the product is nothing short of amazing. This is a delicate film in which acting, followed by a climatic musical score, plays a central role to deliver the story.

I have the opinion that an actor must be quite good to act in a silent film, because he/she has to convey his/her emotions using mimic. Many of today’s actors would have been lost portraying George Valentin and Peppy Miller in The Artist; fortunately, Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo perform effortlessly and win our hearts in the process.

Jean Dujardin has a masculine appeal that reminds me of Omar Shariff, and he acts with the same emotional abandon.

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